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This trip to Positano has been wonderful in so many ways.

Ron, my nephew, and his wife Becky shared their amazing villa with me.  And we are all happy to have someone from home to share our memories of an idyllic time in and idyllic place.

Sitting on the terrace, which overlooks the sea, we have laughed and remembered the people we have loved and lost.  This is our first time together in so many years that we needed to share those parts of our lives that we have lived without each other.  And we share so many people.  Family connections are the best!  I look at Ron and I see so much of my sister, Joyce, and my treasured brother-in-law, Wes.  Isn’t it great how people’s looks and mannerisms live on in their children and even their friends?

Serendipity served us well.  When we were walking to the bus yesterday I spotted another one of those huge posters announcing a church festival.   Maria Santissima del Rosario was being honored (all the past week) by masses and special concerts.  We joined her final celebration last night.  We arrived after the procession had begun but were able to join in with the congregation following the statue and the priest up the narrow street toward Amalfi.  The street wound through the shops and hotels where owners had placed votive candles in their windows and the niches in their stone walls. Colored lights hung in patterns above us.  As we reached at high bluff the procession halted.  (Perhaps it’s the local way of blessing the sea.)

While we waited, the fireworks began.  Literally, the most beautiful and longest fireworks show I have ever seen was staged from the beach below.  We were nearly on a level with the sparkling bursts of color that exploded singly and in great bouquets that lit the sky.   Then the band played as the bearers of the Madonna turned, following the priest back to the church.  As during the journey up the hill, the priest was reciting what seemed to be portions of a mass with the congregation calling the responses.  Intermittently the tubas rose up and the band played.

We all gathered back at the church where signs pointed to nine numbered locations. Food!*  Huge (I mean HUGE) pots of pasta were trundled to tables.   Men and women served great plates of penne, beans, caponata, rice and who knows what all, accompanied by little plastic cups of red wine.  Boxes were set out for offerings for the church.

We wandered and dined with hundreds of other Italians and a few tourists: everyone eating while leaning against buildings, sitting on retaining walls and huddled in circles of friends and acquaintances.

We loved feeling a part of something in the

Ron with his peeps in the procession

town and sharing it with each other.  We missed three of the food spots.  Bummer!  But we were already stuffed, part of the way of the road to our stairs, and up way past our bedtime, so we will never know what the first three courses would have been had we eaten in order.  I guess we actually missed another, because

Ron and Becky in the crowd by the church

we grew tired of waiting for calzone that could not be cooked quickly enough to feed the young crowd that hung on the fence shouting taunts and encouragement.

 

It was a perfect ending to my trip.  I leave this morning on the boat for Salerno.  Then a two-hour train ride will take me back to my very different world.  This has been a lovely interlude thanks to Ron and Becky.

*I kick myself for the lack of food photos.  I have my memories but I’ll have to paint pictures with the written word because I put my camera in my bag when the food started.