Massa Lubrense
Campania: Positano & Montepertuso

Positano is a resort clinging to the sides of a mountain. Many have said it is the most beautiful of the towns along the coast — I’m not sure I agree — THEY’RE ALL BEAUTIFUL! Admittedly Positano is very special. The town is adorably and chicly picturesque and there’s a real beach here. Basically you have a one-way street that loops down through the town and works it’s way back up the hill — along the way you have shops, hotels, restaurants, houses and much more — views all around. Additionally, you have small flower-filled walkways, arcades and stairways that take you down to the seaside. In Positano you relax, dine, stroll, shop and take in the vistas that are beyond magnificent. The trip down is easy — the trip up — not so easy — take your time — have lunch, stroll back to your hotel or reach the point in town where there are taxis and buses that will take you back to your hotel. The Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta is worth a look and has a 13th century Byzantine Black Madonna inside. You’ll love the hotels here — there are many to choose from in a variety of price ranges — almost all have splendid sea views (that is the draw here —soaking up the beauty, the smells, the flavours — all that is Positano).

Above Positano (about 3 km) is the small town (think perched village) of Montepertuso. Montepertuso is dramatically situated on a cliff 1000 feet above sea level — you can drive here (there is a trail you can hike to get up here — if hiking is your thing — you can also take the local bus). There’s a huge hole in the mountain at Montepertuso (only 3 mountains in the world have these "holes" — one is here and the other two are in India)….and there’s a legend associated with that hole in the mountain….It seems the devil was taunting the Virgin Mary to cross to the other side of the mountain by blowing through the wall — Mary accepted his challenge (to the devil’s surprise), yet the devil had to go first. The devil tried to in vain to blow through the wall — he failed. Then it was Mary’s turn and she placed her finger on the mountainside and blew — amazingly, the wall opened and that’s the legend of why there’s a hole in the mountain of Montepertuso. There’s a town festival each year where they re-enact this challenge. My real reason to go to Montepertuso is to dine at one of the restaurants like Il Ritrovo — ph: 089875453 — good food in a rustic trattoria; Donna Rosa — ph: 089811806 — elegant and super food; Il Cenacolo — ph: 089875786 or La Tagliata — ph: 089875872 — dining well at either of these spots — YUM! If you do wish to dine up here and you’re there on a clear evening….you’ll be rewarded with the twinkling lights of Positano (just a really great dining experience — your hotel can call and make reservations and you can take the bus or some of the restaurants do offer shuttles).

Further above Montepertuso is Nocelle (another perched village) — to reach this village you have to walk up about 2000 steps (from Positano) or walk uphill through an olive grove….or drive (a recent occurrence)…you park and then enter the town. Nocelle is noted for its nuts (noci — thus the name) — walnuts and hazelnuts.


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