Suddenly yesterday it started raining. I'm talking pouring down like nothing else. Raining cats and dogs. Since I'm always at the right place at the wrong moment, just about ten minutes earlier I decided to take a walk, unaware of the possible meteorological shift. I obviously found myself in the middle of it all without the occasional umbrella, so I started to dance with it. I opened up my arms and drank the tears of water. I couldn't quite believe it but they tasted something like limoncello (the typical lemon liqueur produced in this area), probably because they went through the terraced lemon groves before touching the ground. The smell of citrus fruits literally filled the air. That’s when I started to be hungry.
A few minutes later, I found a clearing along the coast, with a pretty little beach in the middle. An indication on the road pointed towards “Bagni d’Arienzo”, but didn’t precise exactly how long or what would it get to finally arrive there: 243 steps later, I had my feet on warm sand (it was sunny again), and I met Amalia.
This young, extremely kind woman (who is obviously already married and has her husband working with her in the premises) is the daughter of Ada, the cook and behind the scenes queen of this family run snack bar turned restaurant on the way between Positano and Praiano. This immaculate beach is nestled under the splendid former Zaffirelli’s holiday villa now turned 5 star resort Treville.
You can either access the Bagni by foot or, more simply, there’s a free boat shuttle service departing from the pier of Positano every half hour.
There’s only a few umbrella on the beach, sorted out by Peppe, Ada’s husband, who is also the one who makes sure all the guests get on and off the boat safe and sound when they reach this paradisiacal destination for a scrumptious meal.
These tentalising little anchovies were served to me on a bed of fresh lettuce and wild rocket salad, the very bitter and crunchy kind, to be found only when organic cultivation applies. While Ada is busy producing hundreds of ravioli (a Neapolitan fresh pasta typically filled with cheese) every morning for the hungry customers, Peppe goes to their 16 hectares plot of land, located just on top of the bay, to pick up the daily vegetables. A perfect family team, which I’m starting to understand, seems to be the winning rule around this area.
People from all over the world greatly appreciate this kind of informal, warm hospitality, so much so that they come every year for more. Peppe gracefully showed me a stone sculpture representing their whole family, a creation offered to them by a Russian kid who spent a couple of weeks here last year. Upon his return a few days ago, this young boy couldn’t believe his eyes as he found out that Peppe had kept his gift with such care – “We remember people, and they remember us”. This sentence alone tells a lot about the incredible humanity that one breathes around here.
As I breathed out, here came the desserts (two for me, oh yeah!): a delicious pastiera napoletana (a typical festivities cake – but then again here is always a celebration!) and freschezza amalfitana - Amalfi style freshness, a trumphal chocolate sponge cake topped with almonds mousse. An unmissable spot near the path of the gods. Wanna find out more about my Amalfi Coast project run in collaboration with Pasta Rummo? Click here to enjoy the first episode.
With love and a hint of lemon zest,