STORIES FROM AN ITALIAN VACATION

The first time I arrived on the Amalfi Coast my heart moved outside my body. There is a feeling of nostalgia, of being transported backwards in time fifty years but in a good way. Beautifully designed old wooden boats still matter, as do striped beach beds with wooden frames and fabulous little sun visors on them that you can tilt at just the right angle to block the sun from your eyes but still see the cute guy in the front row.

To be part of an August in Italy is to be front row at a theatre with an emerald green sea and inflatable flamingos. There’s so much to see, there are bare chested handsome guys with names such as Rocco, Gennaro and Salvatore ferrying people backwards and forwards from Positano to the hidden beaches along the coast. The boat ride so exquisite, you almost forget you are going to the beach. There are men in white linen with the latest Persol sunglasses who look like they have stepped out of an Italian movie and glamorous women with big sunglasses who will change their bikinis up to 3 times a day!

The beauty is astounding. It’s not just the physical beauty of the Amalfi Coast as the mountain falls directly into the emerald sea, or the water that is so transparent you want to stare at your body through its beautiful green or deep blue filter, it’s the beauty of the beaches themselves. The way the ‘bagnini’ organise the beach umbrella and beds in a manner that is so artistic and beautiful that you will remember it forever. They lay them out in curved arches in blue and white, straight lines in orange and green or a delightful cacophony of rainbow colours that appear to have been placed by the master himself.

But it’s the feelings that stay with you long after you have had your last dip in the sea. It’s falling in love with the cute guy on the boat, the songs you remember on your last trip from Da Adolfo back to the port as the whole boat sings together. It’s the way the sun bounces off the water at sunset and creates all sorts of magic on the sea. It’s the pasta alle vongole that you eat sitting under a little wooden shack with the sea in front of you, little stones under your feet feeling joy and happiness with every mouthful. It’s the memory as you look up at the mountain on your last trip back to the port and see the candy coloured houses amongst the pine forest and you promise yourself you will remember this moment forever. 

It's the stories and memories that stay with you forever. I hope my series Stories from an Italian Vacation transports you back to this little piece of paradise every time you see your favourite print and remember this magical place.

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