Saturday, May 31st, 2008


After our adventure in Sorrento the day prior, it was difficult to get out of bed and go for another outing… but, of course, we did! Originally, Jean and Kathleen were going to take the Almafi-Positano excursion on their own, but I decided to join them and jbom stayed behind to relax.


As usual, we set off in the morning on our tender about 9 a.m. and again, it was a beautiful day. We’ve been lucky this entire trip… really lucky. The weather has been wonderful – we’ve been waking up most mornings to clear blue skies with the sun shining. And the temperature has been favorable… ranging in the low 70s in Venice up to the high 80s in Corfu, Greece.


Almafi and Positano were no exception. And getting to Positano was more than half the fun. We disembarked the tender in Almafi and immediately jumped onto another day-trip type boat with upper and lower seating for the 30 minute boat ride to Positano. The ride along the coast was really breathtaking and lived up to all of the hype… houses dotting the steep side of the coast in yellow, blue and green to emulate the sun, the water and the land… all tightly stacked together in a random, yet organized formation.


After the 30 minute narrative by one of the guides en route, we disembarked on Positano and had the rest of the time to ourselves. Positano is tiny by most standards and first existed as a fishing village and then grew into a tourist business. Most of these villages along the coast have transformed themselves… and as we had come to Italy at the early part of the “tourist season”, we at times felt a bit of the crush of the tourists that surrounded us from time to time.


The main “street” of Positano is all walking… and you spend your time either looking at the sea sitting in one of the many café’s or browsing in one of the many shops. Kathleen has been on a mission the entire trip to keep an eye out for anything her grandchildren, other family or friends would like. She doesn’t speak Italian, but before you know it, she has run in and run out of a shop with a gift or two to capture her memories of her time in Italy!


We walked up the hill at a leisurely pace and stopped in the shops to have a look… mostly beach and summer wear along with knickknack shops full of souvenirs… some really nice and others, well, from China with a Positano logo on them. It was easy to spot the mediocre stuff. Positano is known for their blue, green and yellow pottery.. really beautiful and vibrant earthenware.


I mentioned the walking path… well, the path was beautiful…big flagstones on the ground and the same stones that made the walls of the buildings all joined together. In order to beat the summer heat, a covered trellis of bougenvea (again!) in bright magenta covered the area over our heads. The locals had trained a canopy overhead the majority of the way up the main shopping path.  Another beautiful place.


Back on board the day-trip boat, we got lucky and grabbed a seat up top and had a fabulous view all the way back to Almafi. The sun was shining and it was a lovely boat ride back. Once back on the shore in Almafi, we were talking about going back on the tender to hang on the ship, but a man from the cruise overheard us and said that we had to just “go and take a look through the arch ahead”. We took his advice and walked through the arch into Almafi. Before us was an incredible Renaissance-style church at the top of many steps. It was incredible… the design was so brilliant that the pictures (again) do not do it justice.


We walked up the stone steps and into the church to have a look. To our surprise, there was a wedding going on… and we almost walked in right at the end of the recessional. Fortunately, we didn’t interrupt and quietly took a seat at the back of the church. It was such a beautiful place to have a wedding! The ushers did a good job of clearing the massive staircase so the bride and groom could have it to themselves as they walked down the stairs to their awaiting family and bridal car.


Afterwards, Kathleen bought a few more postcards and then we headed back to the ship to enjoy the rest of the day onboard. I would say that the boat ride back and forth to Positano was the highlight as well as the church in Almafi. After a while, you get a little tired of all of the shops to browse in and it is a bit of the “been there, done that” mentality. I found it important to take a mental moment of the surroundings that house the shops to keep in mind the absolute natural beauty of the area… as it was this reason that people first came to this area in the first place.


After our day in Sorrento, the boat ride to Positano and our time in Alfmai, this to date, is really the area that I have loved the best for its sheer natural beauty. It has lived up to all of the hype from all of the pictures in all of the travel books and in all of the movies that have been shot in this area. I hope that you get the opportunity one day to see it for your self!