13 July 2018

italy, part five | positano.

oh, positano. far and away my and christopher's favorite leg of our journey.

it can be said that the town is for tourists, but it can also be quickly understood why: positano is impossibly picturesque — a seaside, shell-pink dream. stone houses in peaches and creams are stacked precariously over the chilly mediterranean, appearing to rise from the craggy mountains themselves. boldly striped umbrellas bloom bright across tidy beaches licked by soft, rolling waves and lively with terraces serving gelato and pizza. cliffs are dusted in fog and made vibrant by agave and bougainvillea and ancient castles. the salty sea is kissed by grottos for the swimming and waterfalls for the gawking. thousands of stairs connect the hilltops with the sea and everything in between.

i am failing to find words for what it was to take francis to beauty across the ocean for the first time in his life, or to see my husband with our son in his arms on father's day, or to meet the day's sun on spiaggia fornillo with a milky coffee in my hand and my songbird in my arms, but i know i got lost in joy. i know that i knew it even as i lived it. i know these moments-turned-memories will hum in my marrow all the rest of my days.

favorites from our stay:
+ the stunning drive to positano, and the first glimpse coming into view
+ francis' first dip in the sea (verdict: he much prefers a nap on the beach)
+ hugo spritzes (elderflower, soda, prosecco, fresh mint) with a view at franco's
+ sfogliatelle (local pastry) gelato from buca di bacco
+ beach day on spiaggia fornillo (with sun chairs and breakfast from pupetto)
+ beach day on spiaggia grande (that view!)
+ gathering for supper as a family, night after night
+ boat ride down the amalfi coast, sipping bubbly and bobbing from town to town
+ lunch at hotel il san pietro's zass (pistachio ravioli, bellinis, peach melba...the trip's best meal)

leading up to our travels, i gathered loads of local recommendations, but we didn't actually get around to them, so next time has already planned itself! for safekeeping until then:
+ da adolfo for mozzarella grilled on lemon leaves, zuppa di cozze, tiramisu, and local wine
+ da vicenzo for local seafood, gnocchi, and lemon cake
+ brasserie covo dei saraceni for what locals say is the best pizza in positano
+ l'incanto for spaghetti vongole, scialatielli ai frutti di mare, and paccheri
+ pupetto for pizza positano (ricotta, mozzarella, lemon, mint)
+ lo guarracino for local antipasti and pastas
+ criscito for pizza made from age-old sourdough starter
+ local beaches: arienzo and laurito
+ hike il sentiero degli dei (the path of the gods) and homemade lemonade at the convent of san domenico

12 July 2018

italy, part four | rome.

our time in rome was made up of two brief, but entirely lovely, interludes: we landed in rome and commenced our holiday beneath the italian sunshine in her streets, and we passed through once more on the drive between cortona and positano. the sing-song sounds of church bells trailed us as we made way out of tuscany and two coffees each later, we were circling the colosseum. 

sweet memories of rome: the first meeting of uncle nicky and francis, four months old. boulevards in full bloom. sandwiches wrapped in paper. looking up and looking down in the sistine chapel. darting into a taxi outside the vatican single heartbeats before the rains moved in. heaping bowls of cacio e pepe. al fresco cafe scenes. streets awash in colors of ochre and peach and rose. our pudding-cheeked boy napping and nursing his way across italy.