It’s hard to believe that just over 10 years ago, Positano could still be called a ‘hidden gem’. We made our first visit in May 2004, when it was still necessary to know some Italian to get by. Michael had learned of this little seaside town from friends in LA who had visited a few years before. He’d seen their photos (back in the day when people still printed photos) and knew he wanted to visit someday too.
We booked a last-minute weekend break from London when his sister, Alli, and her husband John, had come to visit. I remember this trip like it was yesterday – the first time we drove that winding road from Naples along the steep cliffs of the Amalfi coast – I remember it being so breath-taking. I was practically gasping for air the minute we could see Positano from the car window! Our driver, Ottavio (who still picks us up every year!), pulled the car over and let us take it all in. I had never seen anywhere more beautiful in my life. We spent that long weekend feeling like we had discovered the world’s best-kept secret, and as our car drove out of town Michael and I vowed to return to Positano every year for as long as we could.
This is our 13th visit to Positano. We have kept our promise and have returned every year. Over the years we have made friends here, watched children grow up, locals grow older, and friends get married and have babies. We’ve returned with new babies (nearly every other year for a good while), growing children, more wrinkles and this year, with long hair, Brazilian hats and a scruffy beard that has made Michael nearly unrecognisable to the locals. Each year our children’s cheeks are pinched and kissed by locals who have watched them grow up. There’s Fabio, Vito, Mario and Alessandro at the beach. There’s Marcella, Giosuè and their son, Vincenzo, at our favourite restaurant. There’s the sweet, blue-eyed Maurizio selling gelato, and Giavonni and Luigi in the tabacchi and souvenier shop—(we met them when they were teenagers and now they’re grown men!).
We’ve witnessed changes in this little town — upgrades and advancements due to its growing popularity — but we are always comforted to see how much actually remains the same. For 13 years we’ve found the same friends working in the same restaurants, the same artists selling their wares on the same streets and the same guys working on the beach. Shops and restaurants remain where they’ve stood for decades – their menus and inventories virtually unchanged in 13 years. It is comforting and familiar. It feels like our home away from home. Other than the increase in visitors and English proficiency amongst the locals (waiters now speak English and you can find English menus in every restaurant), it’s not that different.
Our first week here was a busy and exciting one. Alli and John returned with their daughter, Gianna, and crammed into our little apartment with us. My best friend Esther and her children made the trip from Amsterdam and spent the first few days catching up with us. New friends we met along our journey around the world made the trip too. Michael and Lauren, from Newcastle, Australia, who we met in a campsite, came with their daughters Lillian and Evelyn. Our friends, Ollie and Rebecca from Napier, New Zealand, brought their girls, Sophia and India. It’s been so fun to introduce all of these friends to our favourite spots and to our friends here. In the weeks to come more friends are due to visit and more memories to be made.
Last night we took a stroll back through our photo archive to look at all our Positano pics from years past. I couldn’t resist including some of these moments, especially new babies, below. Our times in Positano have been some of the best in our lives. We are so thankful to have had found this place. Here below are LOTS OF happy memories from all the past years….
Baby Easton, 2005
Dada and Easton, 2005
Easton on Fornillo Beach, 2006
Happy Easton in the water, 2006
Michael and Easton, 2006
Baby Quin, 2007
Mama and Quin, 2007
Easton and Quin, 2007
Family photo, 2007
Easton on the beach (he’s always been a water baby), 2008
Mama and boys, 2008
Mama and Quin walking, 2008
Mama and Quin getting gelato, 2008
Mama and Quin in the sea, 2008
Michael getting gelato, 2008
Little Quin, 2008
Easton and Quin eating gelato, 2008
Little Quin (post-gelato!), 2008
Mama and boys, 2008
Family photo (with new baby Ivy), 2009
Mama and Ivy, 2009
Michael and Ivy, 2009
Three kids on terrace, 2011
Little Ivy overlooking Positano, 2011
Michael and the kids, 2011
Pregnant mama and little Ivy, 2012
Pregnant with Marlow, 2012
Four kids, 2013
Mama on beach with Easton, Ivy and Marlow, 2013
Baby Marlow, 2013
Quin and Ivy, 2013
Four kids on the bar, 2013
Four kids on the bar, 2014
Marlow on the beach, 2015
Four kids on the bar, 2015