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Positano and the Amalfi Coast, October 2004

Positano is a beautiful small town on the Amalfi Coast, South of Naples. It is a rugged coast with vertical cliffs, on which houses perch precariously and roads are scary feats of engineering.

Michael and Patsy invited us to spend a week there to celebrate Patsy's birthday, together with Patsy's sister Bo, Michael's friend Byron and his wife Cecile. They had made a house exchange with the manager of a hotel in Positano. His house (circled on the picture) is on the west side of the town, spectacularly placed high on the cliff and reached by steep stairs (about 200 steps!). People in this town must have strong hearts.

On the terrace you can feel like an eagle overlooking the town below. Note the typical domed roofs of the region. At night, when the full moon shines on the water, the effect is magical. One night a tremendous thunderstorm crashed through, but the dawn came with an eerie stillness.

The town is built around two beaches, with a steep promontory in between. The center of the town is in a small valley that goes down to the main beach. The church has a dome covered with glazed majolica tiles, like must churches on the Amalfi coast. Having one of the few large beaches on the Amalfi coast, Positano used to be an important place for the trade with Sicily and North Africa. Now only a few small fishing boats land on the beach. When the surf is not too high, ferries to Amalfi, Salerno and Capri also stop at the pier.

There is not that much to do in Positano, besides being lazy, so we took several side trips. Follow me for a trip to Ravello and sailing to Capri.

The highlight of the whole trip, though, was Patsy's birthday dinner in Amalfi.

Part 2: Rome