How is everyone’s day going? Wonderful, I hope! Sorry I haven’t had a chance to post about the rest of our weekend in the Amalfi Coast! We’ve been super busy!
By the way, before I tell you about the rest of our weekend, I just have to talk about this superb running location I found! I’m pretty energetic, and I like to run a lot, listen to music and get away from everything for a minute. But, running around the city of Florence is almost impossible because it’s such a crowded city, so people are always in your way. Plus, it’s really really hot..I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that before.
So, a couple days ago I decided to climb up the steps to the Piazzale di Michelangelo, and there’s actually this really pretty neighborhood up there with sidewalks and everything! It’s perfect, because the sidewalks are lined with trees, so the pathway is all shaded, and it looks like the neighborhood just goes on for miles and miles and wraps around the whole city. I don’t know if that’s true, but the sidewalk just seems to keep going. The best part is that it’s a quiet little neighborhood, and it seems like a lot of older people live there. Occasionally you run into an old couple walking their dogs, but it’s not crowded at all. So, you can actually get around. Crazy, right? It’s also at the very top of the piazza, so every few feet, the trees open up and you catch these breathtaking views of the whole city with the hills in the background! So it’s motivating! Or it makes you stop and take a million pictures every ten seconds. Whatever. I’ve been going for runs around the neighborhood every couple of days, and now some of the old people say hi to me. Italian old people are so cute! Yesterday, I was running at the same time the sun was starting to set, and I just kept thinking: I don’t think I’m going to be able to run at the gym in Kent anymore. It’s just not going to work out after these extraordinary views…I’ll be way too spoiled.
Anyway, back to Positano. Our second day at the coast was a lot of fun! We woke up around 8 a.m. and took a 45 minute bus ride to the beach! We basically spent the whole day there. We bought little sun chairs with umbrellas for 10 Euro (because the beach is so rocky, there’s no way you can lay on it without acquiring some huge welts) swam around in the water and laid out on the beach all day!
To the right, there was this huge hill with all of these houses that looked like they were stacked directly on top of each other! It was crazy. To the left, there were some amazing mountains. I had a hard time figuring out which way to look, because either way I just couldn’t stop staring at the view. For lunch, we went to this cute sandwich shop called vini & panini (which means wine and panini) and we got some DELICIOUS panini. They’re the best I’ve had since we’ve been here. They were the size of my face. When the people cut them in half, it looked like two separate sandwiches! My friend Sarah and I decided to split one, which was a really good decision. You can pick what you want on it, like an italian subway, so we ordered a panino on foccacia bread, with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, prosciutto and pesto. After we left the beach around 5 p.m., we had dinner at the hotel, got showered and ready again, and then headed out to the square to walk around, shop and eat some gelato. Some people went back to The English Inn (the dance club place), but we were pretty tired, so a few of us walked to this private beach nearby to eat pizza and hang out. Later, a bunch of people decided to go swimming at night, but it was freezing and I really don’t know how they survived. So we opted out and just went back to the hotel.
Here are a few fun facts about Positano:
1. There is an amazing place here that sells lemon granite! Granite is Italian ice (just like those Rita’s places we have back at home) and it’s delicious mixed with some orange juice. I thought that Rita’s ohio-an italian ice was one of the best things ever, until I moved to Italy and tried italian italian ice. SO good. So, if you’re ever here in Positano, visit the lemon granite stand at the top of the stairs in the town square and order lemon granite with orange juice, or granite di limone con succo d’arancia.
2. Positano is known for selling handmade sandals! They have a bunch of sandal shops here, and it’s so cool! They are about 160 euro, so obviously, that was out of my budget range. Some of the girls bought them though, and they’re made right on your feet! They measure them so they fit perfectly, and then weave them around your foot. It’s so cool! You get to pick the colors and design you want, and these people do it so fast; they are so talented. It takes under five minutes for them to make you a pair of sandals. It’s pretty cool to watch.
3. There are a lot of really talented artists here! They take these colored tiles and break them up into little pieces. Then, they throw the little pieces into the sea. I’m not sure how long it takes, but they have it all mathematically calculated so they know exactly how long it will take for the pieces to wash back up onto shore. After they wash back up, the artists go out onto the shore and collect all their pieces. Since they’ve been tossed around in the salty sea for a while, they are SO smooth and shiny! Then, they use them to make awesome mosaics. So, while you’re walking along the shore, you can find all of these beautiful colored pieces of sea glass! So awesome.
4. The sea is REALLY REALLY salty! It’s cool because I’ve never swam in water that is that salty before, but it also tastes extremely gross. So, when boats pass by and all these waves start tossing you around, you get nice little mouthfuls of salt mixed with a drop or two of water. Delicious! Also, when you get out of the water after swimming, and then dry off in the sun for a little bit, you have dried salt covering your body. At first, I freaked out because I thought I was extremely sunburnt and peeling, but then when I started to wipe it off, I realized all the white stuff all over me was dried salt from the ocean. So… that was new! If you ever go to Positano and swim in the mediterranean, remember that it’s extremely important to stay hydrated. I can’t afford to keep buying bottles of water, so I just carry a water bottle with me everywhere and fill it up in water fountains or bathroom sinks. I feel a bit like a homeless person, but hey! it works.
Speaking of water bottles, my water bottle has a filter, which is one of the best investments I made before coming here because I carry it with me everywhere, and it filters out anything gross in the water! yay! You have to pay for water everywhere..restaurants don’t give it to you for free with your meal. You get free wine instead, which actually is no help at all because wine dehydrates you. You also have to pay to use public restrooms. (what the heck) So this one time, we were eating lunch at a little cafe, and I forgot to bring my water bottle with me. We didn’t want to pay for water or a public restroom, so we may or may not have just gone to the bathroom in the cafe and drank out of the sink. shh don’t tell anyone.
Okay, well, tomorrow hopefully I’ll have the chance to tell you all about day 3 in POMPEII!! woohoo! (the educational part of our weekend) Then, I’ll have to fill you in on the entertaining cooking class we took this week.
Finally….ahhh I’m absolutely in love with this city! The more I learn about Florence, the more I love it so so much! It’s full of so much history, and art, and charm. We watched a National Geographic documentary yesterday about all the hidden secrets of Florence. It was so fascinating! I loved it.
I miss you all so much! (I’m listening to Christmas music right now. don’t worry about it. oh hey! I’ll be back around Christmas time!)
Lots of love!
xoxo Lizzie xoxo
Chris Tomlin – Glory in the Highest Christmas Album (hehehe it’s cold today, okay?)