DOING NOTHING in POSITANO
The AMALFI COAST
OK, let’s say you are spending a week on the beautiful Amalfi Coast of Southern Italy. What to do? Well, you can just do more or less nothing if you’re so inclined. Let’s say you are staying in the coast most famous town, Positano? Now doing nothing? It’s not really doing absolutely nothing, but meaning that your’e just staying in town, going to the beach, having lunch, cocktails, a little bit of shopping along the way, dinner, gelato, and a nightcap before going back to you hotel for a nice Amalfi Coast sleep.
You are stying at a nice hotel, perhaps Le Sirenuse, The Hotel Poseidon, or the lovely Hotel Casa Albertina. You wake up, take a shower and get ready for the day. You will go down to the brakfast room and have a wonderful Italian Breakfast in your hotel. Your breakfast will most likely include, tea, or Cappuccino, Fruit Juice, a Cornetto (Italian Croissant) or two, sweet pastries like Sfogliatelle and Danish, fresh fruit (Oranges, Peaches, ets.), Scrambled Eggs, Ham, and maybe some local Salami and Cheese. Just about every hotel, in Positano and all along the Amalfi Coast, Capri, and Sorrento will have a wonerful breakfast buffet that is sure to please everyone.
After breakfast, you might quickly go back to your hotel and get the things you need to go to the beach. You will go down to the beach that you pick for the day. In Positano, this might be Fornillo Beach, Speaggi Grande, or my favorite, La Scogliera Beach Club next to Music on The Rocks. You will get a chaise longe and stake your claim. So, if you are like me, you brought reading material, you will swim, whcih I do quite a bit of on my Capri and Amalfi Coast days at the beach. I am not normally a beach person, but when I am on Capri or in Positano, I do turn into one, and I love to swim. And I swim a lot. During my time at the beach, I’ll go for a swim and stay in the water for as much as 15 to 20 minutes at a time, several times durin the day. I just love being in the water surrounding Capri, or anywhere on the coast, most likely in Positano. I jump in, and swimm out, and I just love floating on my back and starring at the gorgeous town before me (Positano) and how it just shoots up out of the blue azzure sea and sores into the heights of the Heavens, where some like to hike way up there, on The Path of The Gods as the call it. But me, I’m just swimming and floating around. I love being in this beautiful water, emmersed in the Sea, and warm Italian Sun shining down on me, fillng ,me with natures own Vitamin E. Besides the beauty of it all, and the wonderful healthful feeling of the wonderful salt water surround my body, I like to swim back and forth, parallel to the shoreline. I do this for the exercise, and another way, along with the soothing water, for the betterment of my body and health. It all feels so good.
So, I go in and out of the water. When out of the water, I might sip on a juice or refreshing Aperol Spritz, and mybe a little snack. I might read a book, or lay down and try to take a nap, and I love listening to what I call the sounds of the beach. The sounds of the beach? Well, you can hear the sea itself, wave splashing onto the sand or rocks. Mayber there are seagulls flying around and cawing. And the sounds of all the people around you, within hearing distance, whether a few feet, or hundred feet away, and all the sounds blend togther, children palying, people talking, the Seagulls, the Sea and wind. I lay down, shut my eyes, relas and listen. It all flows together, and I fell as wondeful as anyone could ver be. I’m on the Amalfi Coast, Italy.
At lunch time, if I’m at Fornillo Beach, I’ll have lunch at La Guicino, a nice little restaurant, right at the beach. They make tasty Pizza, Pasta, and seafood dishes. Most liekly though, I’m at Lo Scogliera Beach Club. Lo Scogliera is my all-time favorite place in the World to swim, “I just Love it.” Though it’s not cheap at 25 or 30 Euros ($30 Dollars plus) I love it, and pay the high price as a special treat to myself. It has sentimental value to me, as I’v have been going to Lo Scogliera since my very first visit to Positano, way back in the Summer of 1985.
So if I’m at Scogliera, and it’s time for lunch, I can hop over to Chez Black, La Cambusa, or most likely I’m going for a nice lunch at my favorite place of all, Buca di Bacco a couple hundred feet away. I’ll sit out on the big beautiful terrace, order a small carafe of Falagnhina (local white wine), and I look over the menu. There’s a 90% chance that I’m going to have a tasty plate of Spaghetti Vongole made by Chef Andrea, for my main course. And for my starter (antipasto) I will either have a plate of Cozze Marinara (Mussels) or grilled Octopus or Octupus Salad, and I’ll be having my favorite Amalfi Coast Lunch of all. It’s just fantastic. Sitting out on the beautiful terrazzo at Buc d Bacco, having a tasty lunch, breathing the sea air and looking out onto the gorgeous town of Positano and the Tyyranean Sea, it may soudn cliche, but oh so true, “it just doesn’t get better than that.” After my amazing lunch at Buca, (or wherever) I had back to the beach.
Back at Lo Scogliera, I’ll do more swimming, reading, napping, and another Spritz midway throught the afternoon. Then after a wonderful day at the beach and a tasty Amalfi Coast Lunch, I’ll head someplace for a nice afternoon aperitivo before heading back to my hotel for a late afternoon nap.
In days gone by (80s & 90s) I’d always head straight to Bar DeMartino for my afternoon cocktail. I love Bar DeMartino so much, and miss it trememdously since the closed. Back in the day, as I’ve already said, I’d head to Bar DeMarino up by my hotel, the Casa Albertina. Bar DeMartino was a wonderful little bar (cafe) that as any typical Italian Bar, they served Espresso, Cappuccino, Panini, pastries, gelato, Italian Cocktails and local wine. After discovering the Negroni, earlier on my 1985 trip to Italy, once I got down to Positano, once I doscovered the lovely Bar DeMartino, after the beach and being out on the terrace across the road, I’d get either a Negroni or Lemonade for my afternoon drink. There’s a wonderful view there, and I’d sit back with my drink, look at on the town, and think just how lucky I was. I was in Positano, one of the World’s most wonderful place. I was sitting out on the terrace at Bar DeMartino with this oh so beautiful view. I had my cocktail, and I was quite literally in 7th Heaven. Or as close to 7th Heaven as anyone could ever be. I was, back in the Summers of 86 and 85, Positano, on the Amalfi Caost.
After my lovely little aperitivo, I’d just walk up the pathway behind De Martino to my hotel, The Casa Albertina, my spot to stay in the lovely seaside town of Positano, Italy. I’d take a nap, tired after swimming, lying in the Sun and climbing the hill to my hotel. Sleeping is quite wonderful in Positano. Usually you don’t use an air conditioner, something I don’t really like anyway. In Positano, Capri, and all along the Amalfi Coast, most windows have shutters. You close the shutters, but keep the windows open, and the wonderful sea air sweeps in, making the temperature just right. Yes, there is really no need for air con, and I always sleep very well. I’m in Positano.
After my nap, I’ll take a shower and get ready for the night out. I might go for a quick apertivo on the amazing Terrace at the Poseidon Hotel at the Bar Trident. It’s right down the toad about 150 feet or so from Bar DeMarino and my hotel, and they have what may very well be the most gorgeous view in town. Seriously. I’ll get a nice seat, an Aperol Spritz and enjoy the World Class View. It’s easliy one of the World’s Best.
After my cocktail at The Poseidon, it’s down to Da Vencenzo for dinner. It’s right next to DeMartino, and was reccommended to me, a few days before I left for Italy, bu my old friend, poet Rene Ricard. I ran into Rene on 2nd Avenue in New York, and when heard I was going to Positano, he reccomended a nice little hotel, and told me that I had to go for espresso and cocktails at DeMartino, and I had to go to Da Vincenzo for the World’s best plate of Spaghetti Vongole (Clam Sauce). I took Rene’s advice, and he was right. That first night (Jume 1985) at Da Vincenzo, I met Jesse and Victor at Da Vincenzo, one of Positano’s most wonderful restaurants of all-time. Jesse and Victor took good care of me. I had a Seafood Salad to start, and ordered the Spaghetti Vongole, just as Rene told me to do. The salad was very tasty, and a few minutes after eating it, Jesse brought me my spaghetti. And do you know what? Rene Ricard was right. That was, without question, the best tastiest plate of Spaghetti with Calm Sauce that I have ever had. I will never foregt it.
After my wonderful dinner of the World’s Best Spaghetti Vongole ( recipe ), I went next door, back to Bar DeMartino for a little nightcap before going back to my hotel.
When I got back to my hotel, I was so pleasantly surprised to find a Purigian Bacci on the pillow of my bed. Yumm! But just one. I loved it, and imagine that I still remember that one little piece of Italian Chocolate, these 37 years gone buy. I went to bed, and slept like a Baby, as they say.
This is how you do nothing in the beautiful town of Positano, the Amalfi Coast, Italy.
Daniel Bellino Zwicke
February 9, 2022
Note : This was a day I spent in Positano, in June 1985 .. It was a typical day I’d spend in Positano, on 7 wonderful trips to the delightful town. Doing nothing? Meaning, just going to the beach, having a nice breakfast, lunch and dinner, of the local cuisine, and a bit of shopping and cocktails in-between, “Doing Nothing in Positano,” is the best thing to do.