We awakened this Sunday morning with clouds and mist enshrouding the cliffs outside our windows above Positano. Not because it was a Sunday, but we had already determined to take today as a day of rest, meaning that we weren’t going to indulge in any tourist activities and just indulge in living “La Dolce Vita” here in Italy. Of course, that means something different to different people.
To me, it meant going on a hike in the cliffs above our apartment. The steepness of the terrain here and the inaccessability of reaching different nearby locales caused the people of this area to create trails between towns way back before there were roads. Now, those trails serve as picturesque byways for hiking and walking. We are fortunate to have the beginning of one such trail right by our apartment. It goes for approximately 2.5 kilometers straight to the top of the cliffs where the town of Santa Maria del Castello sits. And, when I say “straight to the top”, it feels as if it is almost a vertical climb. Though that is a great exaggeration, it is a continuous climb without any level areas all the way to the top.
As I said, everyone has their own idea of what living the good life is and my love of hiking is not exactly shared by Ryan. But, being the loving husband he is, he wanted to go along and provide me with a hiking buddy for both companionship and safety.
However, even Ryan’s best intentions and his love for me can’t make him love hiking. After seeing on a map just how much further the town above was, we both felt he should return to town so he could indulge in his own passions for R&R. He was itching to paint from all the inspiration around him here in Positano. So we parted ways and agreed to stay in touch with texting – thank goodness for technology, and a surprisingly good cell signal!
I hadn’t gone too much further when I remembered that Ryan was carrying our water. Oops! But, I knew how far I could go without having water and decided to only hike for an hour up and then turn around whether I had made it to the town above or not. The hike was gorgeous and I was so energized by the dizzying heights and stunning grandeur of the views that I didn’t even think about how hard my heart was pounding.
Soon I was so high that the clouds were below me obscuring the beautiful view of the Mediterranean. The cool weather was great for hiking though.
With only a few minutes to go until my hour limit would be up, I found myself at the top with the landscape flattening out and small farms and rustic homes spread out around me. I still couldn’t see any sign of Santa Maria del Castello, though, and was concerned about how much farther it might be. I had hoped to find a market to buy some water but some girls from Japan passed me heading down the trail right about then. With no real ability to communicate with one another, they mistook my gesturing about a possible place to buy water as a request for a drink from their prodigious supply. After politely declining a few times, I accepted and took a few swigs, making me feel better about getting back down the cliff in good order.
I walked for a ways down one gravel road thinking I might spy the town in the distance but I didn’t so I decided to turn around and not chance being even further away from our apartment without water.
When I reached the edge of the cliff where the trail started its steep descent, the view was more open than it had been only 15 minutes before. But, funny enough, it was sprinkling now. It didn’t last long and was refreshing. Ryan was checking in with me by texts and knew I was on my way down.
Going down seemed to go by so quickly. Just as I had been mesmerized by the natural beauty around me on the way up, I saw things differently but just as beautifully on my descent.
While I was hiking, Ryan had been to the market just up the road and found a huge heirloom tomato, some burrata cheese, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Our landlord here had already said we could have free access to the fresh basil growing in pots on the terrace. He prepared the amazing looking caprese salad above for us to eat on our terrace while we looked out at the Mediterranean. It was as good as it looks, believe me! The church bells wafted up from the town below in all their Sunday glory and it was really a moment we will always remember. This seemed much more about what being in Italy should be rather than the tourist activities in which we partake. It made us so glad we were taking the day for ourselves. Following the salad, we had sandwiches with local bread, pesto, hard salami, Italian cheese, and more of that incredible tomato. Mmmmm-mmmm.
Because we were taking the day for ourselves didn’t mean we had no labor to do. It was a good time to do some laundry in the kitchen sink and hang it out to dry. We don’t have a washing machine until we get to Rome on Wednesday. Nothing like fresh air-dried laundry!
After doing laundry, Ryan painted on the upper terrace where we had eaten lunch and I went to the lower terrace to read on my Kindle. Reading my book is so much fun, now that I am right in the area in which it is set. I could do this all afternoon – and I almost did!
This short video shows you the passing scenery that we enjoyed from our terraces this afternoon. Notice the cars moving along the winding roads and the boats doing the same in the sea below. After our wonderful day of doing just the things we each enjoy, we changed our clothes and walked to the Ristorante da Costantino just up the road, where we had eaten lunch our first day here. They all acted like the knew us and asked us how we’d spent the past few days here in Positano. We had a delicious dinner of bruscetta, antipasto, spaghetti and meatballs for Ryan and a Margerita pizza for me. What a nice day “of rest” we’ve had and what a wonderful time it’s been to be in Positano on the Amalfi coast.