We were a little delayed in talking about our last two days, there is the last day on the scooter, our boat rental day (also known as evil sunburn day), dinner with Frances and Bruno, our departure from Atrani, our last night in Rome…When I get home I plan to do more summary posting and edit some of our best pictures to share.
Day five and it is our last day with the scooter…I’m a little sad to see it go, it’s such a great way to get around and see more than you could by bus or on foot. Most of the places we’ve gone to can be reached by hiking paths and were it January I wouldn’t hesitate, but its July and just sitting still outside will make you sweat.
High above Positano are two small towns with incredible views and small piazzas. The first was Monte Pertuso, a town that actually has flat spot big enough for a normal sized soccer field. We’ve seen some make shift pitches, smaller flat areas were kids play, but in general there is never more than a few feet of totally flat space anywhere. Amalfi could have that much flat space, but its the port and bus stop and I suspect they aren’t going to give up the tourists for a field.
We also had lunch in Monte Pertuso at Il Ritrovo. Pasta with squid for Jake and with eggplant and tomato for me. While eating a woman came out and introduced herself; she’s from Rockland County, New York and said that her family owned this restaurant and one in New Rochelle. Then she gave us some fried zucchini flowers…I’m going to have to look up their place in NY, I don’t understand why we don’t fry zucchini flower? All those people trying to give away zucchini all summer and I’ve never seen a flower!
After lunch (45 Euro for two plates of pasta, a half bottle of wine, and water) we continued up the hill to Nocelle. Again, it’s all about the view. We did see three hikers and I wasn’t even a little jealous.
Our final stop today was Positano. It’s the most popular destination here, with the most exclusive/expensive hotels and restaurants, lots of shopping, and plenty of beach. The cliff face it climbs is steeper; that there are buildings from top to bottom is astounding. But in the end I found it crowded. When we returned to Atrani the evening and spoke with Frances and Bruno she said its much more pleasant during the off season, that it’s a small town like all the others but with 10 times the people in the summer. It’s probably more picturesque than the other towns; the walls are clearly painted and/or white washed every year and the streets/paths are better maintained.
Our scooter travels these last three days have left me more convinced that Atrani is the right town for us. Easy beach access, small piazza with places to eat, small markets, hiking paths nearby, bus stops to everything around the corner in Amalfi, and quiet. I can see staying in Positano if I could afford the expensive hotels close to the water. I would consider staying in Ravello during the winter (because its high up the hill and the beach access wouldn’t matter). But I’m pretty sure if we return, it’s going to be here.
Our last trip with the scooter was back to Ravello for dinner at Villa Maria, a restaurant with its own organic garden and an outstanding view of the water and ridge lines. I’m not putting this one at the top of the list; the appetizer and pasta dishes were underseasoned, bland really, and the service was a bit lacking as compared to Il Pino and Da Gemma (same price range). The entrees did stand out and we were very impressed with the tuna filet and rack of lamb we ordered. However, for the money, I wouldn’t recommend it. Bruno later confirmed this for us, telling us that it’s a tourist trap but that the meat courses seem to be really good. The view was redeeming.
See you guys soon!! We’ll be home Saturday night and have much much more to share!