Happy Birthday To You Señora

It became colder, sitting out on the restaurant terrace. We were dressed like summer tourists, naturally enough. In the end, we succumbed and requested to move inside.
Our waiter showed us a room, another dining space, which was empty, except for the patron and her daughter sitting at a table, with one of the men who worked at the hotel.
Other than this, we were by ourselves, sitting at a corner table in splendid isolation. The other diners seemed prepared to brave the chill.
I let my eyes wander around the room. To the right of us was a passageway leading to the kitchen, and a hutch area where the waiters prepared the wine, and cutlery. I saw an old, farmhouse style, Italian dresser, nicely carved, and on the walls surrounding us there was an exuberant fresco, spanning the length of the room, primitive browns and burgundies, men fishing with their boats and nets, a biblical resonance.

These devoted expressions reminded me of my childhood, a soothing balm on the troubled landscape of memory.
Is it faith, or art that heals? Or a combination of the two?


Dinner at Pupetto Part One

That evening we had dinner at the hotel. Diners were sparse, owing to the inclement weather. It was chilly sitting outdoors. The waiters were apologetic, stressing how unusual for the time of year. Even so, it was fun sitting on the balconied terrace, peering into the mystery of night. Our waiter was a young guy, very handsome and smooth, betrayed by a subtle hint of shyness. When I enquired, (sotto voice), about my friend’s ‘surprise’, he smiled and said, “don’t worry, we know everything”.

We ordered seafood, followed by pizza, and mineral water. The young guy brought still water, instead of sparkling; when he saw his mistake the smoothness faltered, and for an instant, we could see that he took his art very seriously, and was proud.

I felt a shade of nostalgia, he reminded me of someone long ago.

The seafood was naturally divine.

staying in positano - dinner at hotel pupetto

the restaurant

Waking Up In Paradise

We woke late in the evening, maybe 8 o’clock. It had been raining, and the terrace was soaking wet. Rainwater poured from the roof but the sky was pierced through with light. I looked over the railings to where the fishing boats were tethered, nestling peacefully. Tinted clouds crossed the indigo sky.

Waking up in paradise

Fishing boats in Positano


Hotel Pupetto

On the day we arrive in Italy it is overcast. The Italians remark over and again, with uncertainty, on how unusual the weather is for the time of year.

Milan was hotter than Naples and when we got to the hotel there were storm clouds gathering. Fabio, our driver, was disturbed. He said it was very bad for the tourists. Positano is a small town carved into the rocks along the Amalfi coast. It consists of three and a half thousand people, and much more besides. Everything you gaze upon is art. There is, it seems, an agreement between the inhabitants and mother nature to provide as much beauty as possible for the towns inhabitants, and the tourists who flock to Positano, year on year for a drink of nectar from this ancient place. The town flourishes upon the tourist trade, visitors amount to ten times the local population each month.

Many of these arrive at the end of July, so that by August the narrow, roughly paved lanes are choked with humanity, but nobody seems to mind the invasion.