Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Positano = Paradise




So, immediately upon returning to Rome from Morocco, we hit the rails and took a train south to the Amalfi Coast, where we would meet up with my family for Christmas. When I was a child, we lived in southern Italy for three and a half years, and had not been back all together since I was twelve. Some time last summer when my sister Emily was visiting Portland, we got the idea of renting a house in Italy for Christmas. So often, ideas like that just stay fantasy, but this time I guess we were all motivated, and we actually made it happen it! Yay, us!

At first I envisioned a pastoral Tuscan farmhouse or something like that, but the weather decided us for the Amalfi Coast, which has a pretty similar climate to Southern California. Basically, we didn't want to freeze! So we rented a house in Positano. Ah, Positano.

Jim and I were here the summer we got engaged, and when we play the game "O Where in Italy Will Our Villa Be?" the answer is: Positano. Like Venice, it is one of those places that seems to exist for postcards. It's so pretty it's slightly surreal.

The villa we settled on -- Casa Carolina -- is inside the little circle below:





Closer:





I can't even begin to tell you, the views from the terraces . . .

I am in my soul a sea girl. I grew up always by the sea, and my happiest childhood years were spent by this sea, but it's been a long time since I lived at the coast, and I have never lived with an unobstructed view of the ocean. It is a sublime thing, to always have the sea before you.






It never gets old. It is never the same twice.








The house itself. The agency photos looked great, but you never quite know what you're going to find. I was sure it wouldn't suck, in any case. But I was blown away by how much better it was than I expected.

Here's the front door. Welcome.




Beautiful crisp white throughout.




That terrace. So fabulous.




Let me out!!!




Dining room. LOOK at that fireplace. Have you ever seen a cooler fireplace? And you can't even see the coolest part: it has a passage that wraps all the way behind it!




Our first meal of many at Casa Carolina, supplies bought at the tiny markets up the steps.






The rest of my family should have arrived that day as well, but you might recall what was happening in European airports the week before Christmas. Oh man. So they were scattered hither and thither, sleeping on floors at Schipol and Frankfurt where they were stranded without connections, and ultimately without luggage. So that first day and night, it was just us rattling around in the big old house. We did get dibs on bedrooms, ha ha! We didn't choose the most beautiful, with the stunning view (saved that for my parents). We chose the quietest and most remote, where we wouldn't have to share a bathroom with the teenagers :-)


The next morning, waiting for the others, we had a nice wander down into town.




And I do mean down into town. Positano is a city of  stairs. 
Venice has canals, Positano has stairs. Hundreds. It is not a place for the lazy!












To the beach! Love the way the tiled duomo looms over the beach.
























Looking through the trip photos, Clementine is asleep on Jim's chest in a lot of them. 
She was napping-on-the-move kid.




Awake!




More Positano -- and also Amalfi, Ravello, Sorrento, and Vietri Sul Mare -- to come!

18 comments:

Rachael said...

Beautiful, beautiful pictures, Laini. I am literally salivating over these views!

Jenn (From the Mixed-Up Files) said...

Your photos are always wonderful, but that picture of the cat watching the pigeons is fantastic! Thanks for letting us travel vicariously with you. . .

Julie said...

Oh, these photos are such fun to see. I have several jigsaw puzzles of Positano and recognize instantly where your accommodations are (I actually recognize the building with the peaked roof just to the left of your circle). What a beautiful place to relax and explore!

Joel Le Blanc said...

What a magical place! I can't wait to visit it one day myself. I remember some shots of it in the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun" and thought it was beautiful, but your photographs really capture it.

Heidi said...

I had a one day stopover today in portland! Got the train here from Chicago on my way (the long way) to California. And then I remembered you lived here so I kept my eyes peeled just incase I ran into a pink haired woman and the cutest baby alive, while getting my coffee fix. Haha. It's lovely here; take away the hills and it reminds me of Melbourne where I'm from.

And those are gorgeous photos!

Amber said...

Thank you for sharing these! WONDERFUL!

:)

Becoming Nonna said...

Beautiful. Positano has long been on my list of must experience.

I've lived by the Chesapeake Bay all my life; can't imagine being land locked.

Anonymous said...

Fatty these photos are simply wonderful! I had only seen a few of them. I miss you guys and hope you are having the time of your life. Enjoy every single moment! xo

Anonymous said...

ps-Im forwarding them to Andrew- hes never been to Italy and is dying to go!

Myrna Foster said...

The color! Why don't we paint our houses like that in the US?

Heidi said...

Oh my gosh. I just discovered Powells books. You have half a shelf there almost! I've never seen so many kids and YA books in one place in my entire life. Going back tomorrow for sure! If I lived here that's where I would go every day to write. Way better than Borders.

Suzanne said...

Holy cow... some of those pictures...

If you didn't make a living at writing hauntingly beautiful novels, you could SO make a living writing a fabulous travel blog. Just something to keep in mind, next time writer's block rears its ugly head.

MacDougal Street Baby said...

Okay, that picture of your daughter and your husband, locked in a sleeptime embrace?! Amazing. Please enlarge it and plaster it all over your house!!!!

Just finished Lips Touch Three Times. Loved it. I have to admit, I wanted Spicy Little Curses Such as These to go on forever.

I'm going for Blackbringer next!

Lynsey Newton said...

WOW is all I can say. I want to go there like NOW...your photos are so good (much better than mine could ever be). Good to meet you last night and thank you for signing my books. I hope you're enjoying London!!! :)

Keriann Greaney Martin said...

Oh I LOVE Positano. Seeing your photos makes me miss it so much. I only got to visit for a few short hours in summer 2008 and it was my favorite place in Italy. Did you guys have the limoncello?? I brought back so much for all my friends and family, ha ha. I love your villa too! I will go back there someday :)

tone almhjell said...

So beautiful! We have to go there. And the villa was gorgeous, too. I'm intrigued by that fireplace passage. What was it for?

CherylConnell said...

WOW! Awesome - another place to add to my list.

Cheryl

TeresaD said...

I can't even tell you how bad the case of wanderlust these pictures have stirred in me is. I've been trying to get my family to take a trip to Positano this year, and I've been using your blog as a visual aid! "See this? Thiiiiiis is what it looks liiiiiike... Yes, let's go heeeeeeere...

I'm looking forward to Amalfi and Sorrento posts as well!

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