About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

P is for Portofino, Portovenere, Positano



We're returning to Italy this week, not for the Pantheon shown here, but for three pretty places that I visited in 2006 - Portofino, Portovenere, and Positano.

First, I spent one day in Portofino, so named for the dolphins in the area. It's a small fishing village and resort on the northern rim of the Italian Riviera. The town is crowded around a small harbour and is considered to be one of the most beautiful Mediterranean ports. I climbed the hill by the harbour to visit Castello Brown, one of the town's main points of interest. From that vantage point, I managed to take many photos of Portofino and the yachts below. This castle was used to defend the harbour from as early as the 15th century. In 1867, the castle was purchased by the English consul in Genoa (Montague Yeats Brown) and he transformed the fort into a comfortable villa. Throughout the rooms, you can view photographs of many jet-setting celebrities who visited Portofino throughout the 50s and 60s - the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Ingrid Bergman, and Brigitte Bardot. A few of us had lunch on one of the patios in the harbour area and then did some window shopping, especially for Murano glass. Finally, Positano had the most beautiful cemetery I've ever seen. Gardens surrounded some of the plots and statues of saints and others decorated the area.

Next, is the town of Portovenere, one of the first towns along the Cinque Terre region of Italy. It dates back to the first century and is named after the goddess Venus. With its colourful facades, it made a dazzling first impression from the boat on which we arrived. We climbed the steep hill to the Gothic church of St. Peter, which was consecrated in 1198, and the Doria Castle. You can read about the castle's origins here. It was in Portovenere where I had my photo taken with a statue of a fisherman and began a tradition of having my photo taken with lots more statues in the weeks ahead throughout Italy.

Finally, we checked out Positano on the Amalfi Coast, south of Rome. We stayed here for 5 nights and not only explored the coast and some of its little towns (Amalfi, Atrani, Ravello), but also took a day trip to the Isle of Capri. Positano sits in the hills leading down to the coast and a beautiful, protected beach. It was a relatively poor fishing village in the first half of the 20th century because more than half its population had emigrated, mostly to Australia. However, after John Steinbeck published an essay about Positano in Harper's Bazaar, it started to attract many tourists. Steinbeck wrote, "Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you've gone." I certainly can relate to that! The town was also featured in the movie, Under The Tuscan Sun (2003) and Nine (2009) and was the setting for the romantic adventure novel, Finding Positano, A Love Story (2010). The little port of Mongibello was also based on Portofino in the movie The Talented Mr. Ripley and parts of the movie were filmed here. It was in Portofino that I bought a pair of Italian leather loafers and tasted excellent gelatto!

I cannot say enough how much I love Italy - its people, culture, food, wine, and history! If you ever have an opportunity to visit, here's a tip - avoid the "touristy" places like Pisa and go to one of these three places - Portofino, Portovenere, or Positano. You will not be disappointed! Hope you enjoy the slide show - all my photos except for 3 scanned postcards.


18 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

Leslie, this is wonderful. I bookmarked this page to remind me of the names of these beautiful places! Your slide show is a delight.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Shrinky said...

My Goodness Leslie, is there any part of the world you haven't visited? I loved "The Talented Mr. Ripley", and am pleased to see some of the location was shot here - it truly is a beautiful place, isn't it? Thanks for another great post!

Roger Owen Green said...

You are so much more well-traveled than I!

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Cezar and Léia said...

I agree with your words about Italy, my heart is also enchanted, and well...I'm descendant of Italians! :)
Wonderful pictures, thanks so much for sharing!
Hugs
Léia

Meryl said...

Sounds wonderful. You always introduce such interesting off-beat (at least for me) places. Thanks.

Hildred and Charles said...

Beautiful slides, - a great post and thanks, Leslie, for sharing your adventures there.

Sylvia K said...

Marvelous slides, Leslie! Such a great post for the P Day! I do love Italy and your pics do bring back lots of wonderful memories!! Hope your week is off to a great start! Enjoy!

Sylvia
ABC Team

photowannabe said...

Oh how I would love to visit these places. Beautiful slide show too. I love to go to the places less traveled. makes wonderful memories.

Wanda said...

What a great place to visit. Will probably never get the chance to see in person, but I do frequent our Portofino Cafe down down Montrose, CA. Does that count???

Joy said...

The Amalfi Coast must be one of the most beautiful places in the world. Nice to relive. We took the local bus to the town, I always remember the group of men sat on the wall at a particularly narrow bend, I think their entertainment was the manoeuvring of traffic at that point.

Birgitta - foto CHIP said...

Oh! I have also been to Positano :) Lovely coast area! We stayed at the Monestery of Santa Brigida in Camaldoli NAPOLI - very interesting!

chubskulit said...

Lots of beautiful Places!!

Please come see the Paintings at my page.

Paula Scott said...

Ahhhh!!!! Italy!!! Yes-I want to go to these places too in addition to the others I've mentioned in just about every one of your posts!

Liz said...

Beautiful places - so colourful - but STEEP!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I've never been to any of these places and you've reminded me how much I want to! I know exactly how you feel about Italy.

ChrisJ said...

That advice about avoiding touristy places is so true most places I have been. If we are driving somewhere new I always get Barry to take insignificant looking side roads to see where they go. We've found some lovely places doing that.

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Three P places in Italy! My cup runneth over.

Tumblewords: said...

Stellar spots!