I think that Heaven fell on Italy
What a lovely day yesterday! For those who haven't heard yet, or for others who just need their beliefs confirmed, ITALY IS UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL. So fantastic in fact, that I was forced to take 425,331 pictures as I zoomed along the highway that runs from Napoli down to the Amalfi Coast. Even though there are corners of Naples that are characteristically Mediterranean, I sometimes need to be reminded of why I am here.
Saturday evening, a friend suggested that I go eat at a little trattoria high up on the mountains of the Sorrento Peninsula (Penisola Sorrentina), so Sunday morning we headed that way. The village of Massalubrense sits at the tip of the peninsula overlooking Capri and far enough from the city that Naples quickly becomes a distant memory buried by flowers, clean air, singing birds, and a view of the sea that could convince a willing soul that its infinite blue is the entrance to heaven.
After having a few antipasti, a little pasta and some home-made wine, we continued down the tip to find the best view possible. Here is what greeted me:
That island is Capri and the other is a photo of a little vineyard with Ischia peeking just above the haze in the distant horizon.
I turned around, not being able to go further in the car, and when I was faced with the choice of turning right to go Naples (Traffic! Chaos! Noise!) or left to continue to Positano following the most beautiful stretch of highway in the world (Blue! Sea! Ahhhh...) I naturally chose the latter.
Just outside of my window my eyes met sheer cliffs, the Mediterranean and uninhabited islands, while car navigated the hairpin turns of the road carved right out of the mountainside. I will share these pics with you, but you must keep in mind that my little camera is no match for the reality of the Amalfi Coast and my hand was not so steady in the moving car.
I am amazed that anyone is able to drive with a view like that...
To your right is Positano, home of the famous Nicky who graciously ignored my bad behavior as I called her from the parking garage to announce my arrival.
Oh a bell tower! Nothing says "Mediterranean" like a bright pink bell tower.
You may think that I am a bit dramatic, but this tiny piece of earth will exorcise the dreamy romantic in anyone. It is the kind of place which puts roots in your soul that will compel you to go back because only there can you find your fix. It is thousands of years of changing tides washing against ancient rock. It is antiquity against modern life all wrapped up in a confused, colorful, gesticulating package of people and place. It is the very thing that makes you fall in love with Italy.
Ah, now I remember. I am where I want to be. My decisions reconfirmed, I am renewed and grateful to know that for me, paradise is just one hour away.