I arrived along with 2 large groups of raggazzi (‘young people’), evidently on a junior-high school field trip, and several other older international tourists, by boat from the town of Salerno where we were staying for a few days. I hadn’t been back to the Amalfi region since our eldest so was 20 months old, in 1990. I had high hopes for everything I might experience since I saw it ~27 years earlier. Nursing a bad left knee, I lingered at the stone jetty as the kids re-assembled and then flowed up into the tourist-filled piazza and sea-front streets at the base of gorgeous Positano. This ancient Roman town was built over the past millennium or so up the steep hillside as ranks of beautifully proportioned homes and small villas ascending the hairpin curves of the road winding through the narrow gorge of the old river valley.
At a noteworthy stone building of maybe 15 m2 standing in solitary isolation on the outside of one of these hairpins was a shop selling the typical local ceramics, in their splendid patterns and colours. The charming proprietor (“Sosa”) recommended a restaurant further up the road. Sadly, it was closed. The staff all suggested I climb some more until I reached “Il Capitano”, perched on the side of the cliff about 500 m up from the waterfront. They said it offered a stunning view of the little town falling down the narrow valley to the ocean.
I was so happy I followed the advice.
The cost of the catch of the day, because of the size of the serving, would have been far too much for me (~40 Euro). Instead, I had the 'Baccala in vaso cottura con pomodorini, basilico e bufala a cubetti', or the cod in 'cooking pot' (lidded glass jar) with potato slices, baby tomatoes, basil, lemon slice, butter and buffalo mozarella. It was amazing...tender, juicy and full of flavor, for 18 Euro. Along with a world-class view of a world-class location, a UN World Heritage site.
The servers were professional, quiet and unobtrusive. They all spoke good English, which was most helpful. They contributed to a very fine meal I will remember for at least the next 27 years!!
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