The Music Begins!
Tuesday, 3 July 2007
We enjoyed the fabulous breakfast at the hotel including lots of fresh mozzarella di bufala (you just can’t find it like this anywhere at home – and the locals say not even elsewhere in Italy since it’s made nearby) then took Gerri and Betty for a walk to Vietri to get cash from an ATM. They were as ga-ga as we were when we first saw one shop after another spilling over with bright colorful pots, platters, and tabletops, and the bucolic stories told by the ceramic storefronts. One, a shop specializing in chicken, depicts the lifecycle of a chicken from the egg, to the burly man with a knife in his back pocket to the pot over an open flame. A barber shop has scenes from the Barber of Seville – all in brightly colored enameled ceramic tile. We saw the church and its campanile (bell tower) then meandered down lots of steps to a long narrow alley where a grandmother walking nearby told Anne that she likes to take this way through town because she can always count on a nice breeze to go with the shade.
Back at the hotel, we greeted William and Janet in the lobby when they arrived by taxi from the airport. They were ready to crash rather than walk back into Vietri for lunch so we and the ladies walked back to town to find something interesting.
The Trattoria da Raffaelle looked like a good bet: there was a ceramic sign out front boasting “Pizzeria – Where you know you’ll eat well – Always fast.” The owner was able to give us all his attention, informing us that his father and grandfather had run this restaurant before him since the 1920’s.
He was proud of the quality of ingredients he used and serves pizzas bigger than most personal sized ones we’ve had in other places. I had fun pulling out the goodies from their shells in my shellfish pasta.
We did another Vietri walk-around with William and Janet at then dinner at the hotel followed by an all Ravel piano concert by Ian Hobson – the show-stopper was Ravel’s waltz, which we had previously heard for two pianos, arranged for just one piano – we all went to bed thrilled with the first concert of our trip.
Vietri sul Mare – Amalfi -
A 10 passenger taxi took the 6 of us down to the ferry port in
ple bougainvillea petals making even this sunny summer day seem pleasant. Anne found a black linen long-sleeved shirt for my birthday at a little “Positano style” boutique named Pepito’s.
We walked west of the port up the pretty seaside path called Via Positanesi d’America named for the large percentage of people from this town who immigrated to New York City, past the Torre Trasita, an old Saracen watchtower renovated as a residence that can be rented for a holiday home, to our restaurant, O’Guarracino. Friendly service from the owner who apologized for her rusty English in her emailed answer to Anne’s request for a reservation and continued to joke with us as she served. The view of the sea with the rocks named I Galli just off shore complements the much better than average dishes including an exquisite pasta with lemon sauce.
Another lovely boat ride back to
The concert, in the lovely Byzantine-inspired cloister, featured music of the Americas in honor of the Fourth of July. We even stood, saluted the American Flag and sang the Star Spangled Banner. Fabio and Giselle Witkowski, favorites of ours since we first heard them at the festival in 2000, delighted us again, completing the program filled with favorites from both north and south America with a four-hand rendition of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue
Around midnight, there are fewer cars to impede our tour bus. The driving is easier because it’s easier to see the approaching cars’ headlights. We sat on the front row and felt that we could do some of the constant shifting between gears for him. The trip home went fast and we were in bed by after the dancing stopped down by the pool.