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Star Frutta and the Virgin Mary

Jan 07, 2015

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On sunny but not too hot days one of our favorite walks is taking the road up to Star Frutta, a roadside fruit stand that is famous for giving visitors their first real glimpse of Positano from the Amalfi Coast road. Tour buses by the dozens stop and disgorge their passengers to walk around the time park dedicated to the Virgin Mary, to  take photos of the amazing view and buy a lemon, orange or some Viagra Positano, the local hot pepper mix.

We walk up from Bar Internazionale, taking the state road. Dodging the huge tourist buses, cars and taxis and of course the local 3 wheeled delivery vans we pass the Pescaria, restaurants and internet cafes and my favorite house, decorated with bright pieces of glass, beach tiles, cement and plaster formed into whimsical mermaids and the sea serpent of Positano, the Pistrice. Every time I see it something new has been added. It’s a wonderful sight when the sun shines on all of that glass!

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Continuing up the road, we pass the houses on the outskirts of town. There are a few villas for rent and a hotel or two, but mostly here are houses lived in by the local people. Tucked into the ravines and inside bends in the mountains, these lovely little casas are easy to overlook but always charming when you take the time to notice them! There is also a surprise that you can smell before you see it; a stable built into the side of the mountain! Using the land wisely, the horses have very linear stalls and then an upward climb to emerge onto the street! There are also carriages stored as well, for weddings and special events.

Every so often we stop to look back at Positano. At the right time of day it just glows in the golden sunshine. In the late afternoon, shadows make great stripes across the mountain, making for a dramatic vista!

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As we get closer to Star Frutta the air is a bit cooler. And finally around another bend, there you are. Several stands cluster together selling touristy trinkets, cold lemon drinks, fruit and vegetables, and herb mixes for pasta or flavored oils. Walk down behind these stands and out to the promontory below the Virgin Mary. A truly breathtaking view awaits, it’s hard not to take photo after photo! But it’s a long walk back, so we stock up on some veggies, dried porcini mushrooms and herbs and trek  back down to the cocktails waiting on our own terrazzo!

Ciao!!

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- Victoria Harper

Victoria Harper is the tour guide and owner of In Splendid Company