Photo Daniel Bellino Zwicke
View from back of VILLA CIMBRONE
Photo Copyright Daniel Bellino Zwicke
TRAVEL GUIDE / COOKBOOK
Daniel Bellino Zwicke
Now, flash forward to May 2015. Back in the Summer of 1985, yes people knew of Positano, but very few Americans, and not many others outside of Italy. Back in 85, the only people who went to Positano, were people who as they say are “in-the-know.” I had no idea back then, that this small town would one day be pounced upon by hundreds of thousands of people from all corners of the globe, each Summer starting in the early 1990s, as it is now and who knows for how long? Positano, is now known by millions more than had known of the place way back in 1985, when I first visited this lovely town on Italy’s Amalfi Coast.
As you now know, the town rises steeply from the sea, and up to very high heights and into the sky to the area known now as, The Path of The Gods, the hiking trails high up on the highest points of town. Obviously, the name Path of The Gods comes from The incredible beauty and heights of this area which emerges high above the Sea below, and up into the Heavens with Godlike Beauty along the way. And up at the top are the two small hamlets of Montepertuso and Nocella. These hamlets are part of the town of Positano. Up in Monetpertuso there is a large natural arch that has been carved out by Mother Nature, right into the mountain. Montepertuso was literally named for the arch which translates to “hole in the mountain.” And it’s this arch that many make there way up to Montepertuso to hike up to the arch to take pictures in front of it and to marvel at the abundance of stunning vistas as they look down at Positano to the sea and each and every sight they lay their eyes upon.
OK, back up to the top of Positano, Montpertuso and Nocelle. Legend has it, that it was at this arch where the Virgin Mary had a battle with the Devil, of which traces can be seen in the rock of the Gambera Mountain, with the shape of a Snake and the hole in the arch which it is said was made by the finger of the Virgin Mary. While up in Montepertuso, see the Church of Santa Maria Grazie and go to one of the fine restaurants up there, which includes Ritrovo, a very popular restaurant, considered to have some of the best food in town.
Now I have to tell you that, this is a whole other world, and rather different then Positano down by the sea, the beach, and hotels. When I was going to Positano in the 80s and early 90s, I never went hiking up in the mountains and I hadn’t even heard of others doing it either. And I’d never even gone up there until my fourth trip to town, there was no need to, everything was happening down below, at the beaches, hotels, restaurants, bars, and the caffe’s of lower Positano. It’s the Positano everyone knows, except now there’s another aspect that interest people, yes hiking The Path of The Gods for even more world class spectacular views.
It’s all quite spectacular, and it is now a “thing,” hiking The Path of The Gods. Back in 85, it was not a “thing,” 1985, 86, or 1988, and no one who I know ever knew or spoke of it, and still when I was in Positano in 2015, it had now become a thing. And I a person who knows more than most (90%) of the people going to Positano these days, in 2015 I still didn’t know of this thing known as The Path of The Gods. I became aware of it in 2018, from Instagram a few months before taking my fifth trip to Positano and the Amalfi Coast with my cousin Tony in the Spring of 2018. And this is part of the phenomena of that thing called Instagram. As Positano, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast hold some of the World’s most beautiful scenery you’ve ever seen, people just have to go there and get the ultimate Instagram picture to post. Yes, this is another of “Thing,” posting the most spectacular pictures ever! You’ll get them in Positano, and the Amalfi Coast of Italy.
Wow, I just realized something. I had just thought that it was only because of the popularity of major motion picture films like “Only You” (Marisa Tomei & Robert Downey Jr.) and “Under The Tuscan Sun” that let The Cat Out of The Bag as exposing Positano to the masses who previously had no-idea this little town existed. Yes, I thought it was soley the fault of these two movies, but now as I write of Instagram and The Path of The Gods, I just now realized that it was Instagram too, and maybe even more so responsible for the people of the World discovering Positano and The Amalfi Coast.
Excerpted from POSITANO The AMALFI COAST by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
Coming Soon … Positano – The Amalfi Coast is a Travel Guide / Cookbook of Positano, Capri, The Amalfi Coast, Naples and the surrounding area. The book is due for late 2019 Publication.
A View From The PATH of THE GODS
The AMALFI COAST
BEST SELLING ITALIAN COOKBOOKS
by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
Author of Upcoming POSITANO – The AMALFI COAST
The PATH of THE GODS
BACK on CAPRI
And a APEROL SPRITZ at BAR TIBERIUS
PIAZZA UMBERTO CAPRI
Back to Italy 2019; Rome, Salerno, Naples, Capri, Ischia, and Positano, the Amalfi Coast, vacation and research trip to put the finishing touch on my upcoming book Positano The Amalfi Coast – Travel Guide / Regional Cookbook. Had a great time, and learned a few new things and going staying in two places I’ve never stayed at before, Salerno and Ischia. I’d spent some time in Salerno last year with my cousins Tony, Marta, and Mimmo, but I stayed there for 2 days this year and did a little exploring. I stayed at a wonderful hotel, the Plaza Hotel, which I had a wonderful time at, and I highly recommend staying there. It’s a super nice hotel with nice rooms and excellent service from owner Gaetano and his staff. The hotel is situated in an excellent location to make it an affordable base to stay if you’re looking to do Positano, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast, and you don’t have $350 a night or more to stay in Positano or Capri, but you want to spend time visiting and eating in those spots, then staying at the Hotel Plaza at about $95 a night for two, including a tasty and robust breakfast, his hotel is one of the best choices you could possibly make to explore Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and the outer islands of Campania. Besides being such a great hotel, the location could not be more ideal. The Hotel Plaza is located 200 feet from the Salerno Train Station that can get you a train to Naples in just 30 minutes and just 1 1/2 hours to Rome. The hotel is just 3 blocks to the Marine Terminal where you can get frequent ferry boats to Positano, Amalfi, Cetara, Minori, and other points on the Amalfi Coast. Very convenient.
Besides staying in Salerno, I finally made it to Ischia, a place I’d been wanting to go to for years. The reason I’d never gone before, is that I love Capri so much, that I had a hard time not going, so year after year I’d be back on my beloved Isle of Capri. Well I did like Ischia, it’s a beautiful place, but having spent 4 days on this lovely volcanic island, I still prefer Capri, which is more compact and easier to get around to the beaches and most popular sights and such. My favorite things about Ischia were watching a couple fishermen bring in their fresh catch of the day, swimming, drinking Biancolella with every meal, and finishing the meal with the a wonderful new Amaro I discovered, the locally made Amaro Rucolino which is made with its own secret recipe of roots and herbs and the main flavor ingredient being locally grown Arugala (Rocket). I just loved it, and brought 2 bottles of it to bring back home to New York.
While staying on Ischia, I took the short 20 minute ferry boat to the Island of Procida, another new discovery. I quite a nice time in Prociada where the shot the movies Il Positano about famed Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda, and The Talented Mr. Ripley starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, and Gwyneth Palthrow.
I had a nice tasty lunch of Alici Fritti at the Trattoria / Pizzeria Piazzetta on Procida were I had a lovely time chit-chatting with a couple English ladies sitting at the table next to mine outside on the piazza, with our gorgeous view of Procida. Quite a nice time.
One day, I walked the 3 short blocks from the Hotel Plaza to the Marine Terminal of Salerno and caught a ferry boat to Positano to go visit my friend Mario and his wife who were staying at the Hotel Poseidon in Positano. It’s a beautiful 50 minute boat ride from Salerno to Positano, that cost just 12 Euro. Glad to be back in Positano, I stopped at the Delacatessen for an Aracini and fresh fruit before making my way up to see my buddy Mario and his wife Esperanza. It’s a nice little walk up the pathway and then onto the Via Pasitea where the Hotel Poseidon is located at # 148 Via Pasitea. This hotel is perfectly situated at one of the nicest spots in Positano, with a spectacular view of the town on its large terrace where you get one of the best views in town. The Hotel Poseidon has a nice pool on their terrazzo, along with a bar, and one of Positano’s best restaurants, the Tridente.
I had one of the best times on my whole vacation hanging out with my friends Mario and Esperanza that day on the Terrazzo of the Poseidon Hotel. We swam in the beautiful pool, drank Campari, and Aperol Spritz’s and had the most wonderful time, hanging out poolside in Positano, with our gorgeous view of the most famous and treasured town of The Amalfi Coast Italy. Yes it was a very day hanging out with Mario and his lovely wife. A day I will always treasure and always remember.
On this trip I visited some of Underground Napoli (Naples) which was quite interesting. There was a Roman Market and other buildings that were built over older Greek Ruins. It was quite interesting to see.
I started my trip in Rome, were I stayed for 2 days before taking a fast train from Roma Termini Station down to Salerno (1 1/2 hours). Once I got off the train in Salerno, and out of the train station, it was a nice easy 300 foot walk to the wonderful Hotel Plaza just across the street from the train station. Again, I reiterate, the Plaza Hotel is a great place to see to base your trip to the otherwise expensive Amalfi Coast of Italy. This hotel is lovely and a wonderful place to stay. Ask for Gaetano and tell him “Daniel from new York,” sent you. And have a Great Time!
To SEE PICTURES of The TRIP
Look For POSITANO
The AMALFI COAST
to POSITANO NAPLES
The AMALFI COAST
TRAVEL GUIDE / COOKBOOK
RECIPES INFO & STORIES
Of NAPLES CAPRI POSITANO
and The AMALFI COAST
BACK in POSITANO
The AMALFI COAST
Stopped in here for an Espresso, so I could use the bathroom and change into my swim trunks to go swimming at Marina Picolo. If you want to go swimming at Marina Picolo, the best way to get there is to take a little town bus to Due Gulfi (Two Gulfs). Get off the bus, and ask one of the locals where the pathway is to Marina Picolo. It’s a great little walk (10 minutes), with nice sights to see as you stroll down to the beach. You have options of paying for a chaise-lounge at a private beach club, or better yet, there is a free beach that’s awesome. I never pay when swimming at Marina Picolo and always opt for the free beach, which is wonderful.
I reserve saving my money for when I go swimming at Da Luigi Beach Club at the Faraglioni Rocks. It’s gorgeous!
#AperolSprtiz #Aperol #Campari #Negroni
MAP of SOUTHERN ITALY
SORRENTO – CAPRI – POSITANO – CETARA