Tales from Positano: The Waiter

Last week, I began to share a series of personal tales from my recent trip to Positano.

For those of you who don’t know anything about Positano, let me just start by saying that it is seriously one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to in my life.

positano2Positano is a little town tucked away on the Amalfi Coast, about one and half hours from Naples. The views are absolutely breathtaking, the water is aqua blue even on a cloudy day, and the charming little towns painted with pastel colors bring life to the otherwise rugged cliffside terrain. I’m still not sure if these stories were inspired by the interesting people I met along the way, or if the sheer beauty of the place simply made me more vulnerable and aware of my surroundings (I mean we meet interesting people everyday, don’t we? Why is it that sometimes we don’t even realize it?). Whatever the reason is, I felt compelled to write down these stories on my train ride back to Bologna and I thought I might as well share them, just incase you’re thinking of making a trip to Italy and need some inspiration on where to go.

Last week, I published Part I: The Driver. Here is Part II: The Waiter.


Tales from Positano
Part II: The Waiter

Oh boy, here we go.

We had just sat down at an outdoor table of a restaurant two blocks from our apartment in Positano. An instrumental version the Baywatch soundtrack was playing in the background. Dressed in purple dress shirt, black vest, “man scarf”, and an apron at the waist, our waiter frolicked his way over to our outdoor table, smiling ear to ear as he performed a little heel tap dance in the middle of the street. He practically sang out “buona sera!” as he opened his arms wide, Julie Andrews style, like he was on a Broadway performance of the Sound of Music.

What a show… I thought, rolling my eyes. He’s an experienced showman for tourist diners.

Speaking a mix of English and Italian, he began his first act. “What-a would you-a like ah… to ah… drink?! Un po’ di VINO, red wine or, ah… white wine?!”

Responding in Italian I said to him, “Una caraffa di vino bianco, per favore”.

“Ah, ma parla Italiano Lei?!” You speak Italian Miss?!

“Si parlo, Italiano”. Yes, I speak Italian.

I myself had to admit he was charming, even if it was in a cheesy show-business kind of way. At least he was polite and hard working, unlike many other waiters in Italy (I don’t mean to stereotype or say that all Italians are not polite or hard working. It’s just from my personal experience, I’ve noticed that restaurant customer service in Italy, particularly in less touristy areas, tends to be not so great for my standards). Anyways, this guy was good, even if he was a bit of a fake.

After he returned with the water and the wine, his second act began. “SO! What would you-a like-a to eat? A little bit of bruschetta oppure a little bit ah fish?” I gave his our order in Italian and he repeated it back for us, “Ok, we gonna do two bruschetta, one risotto seafood and the bella orata! Perfetto!”

I nodded and smiled to confirm.

The dinner was delicious. Even though it was early November, the tomatoes were perfectly ripe and juicy. The orata (dory) fish that I ordered was served whole, in a garlicky broth with broiled tomatoes. The risotto had every kind of fish imaginable and was made in such a way that it resembled paella more than the buttery risotto I was used to.

For the rest of the night the waiter maintained his spritely attitude, all the way until the last act. As we were finishing up the last bite of our shared slice of Torta di Caprese (one of the most typical desserts from Campania made with almond flour and bittersweet chocolate), our broadway star brought us our bill, proudly plopping down three tiny glasses of limoncello, glowing neon as they reflected the light. “Grazie!” we exclaimed, and our Broadway star took a bow.


This story is from a series, Tales from Positano. For the next few weeks, I will be releasing a new “tale” every Friday. Check out my first tale, The Driver, and stay tuned for next week’s post to hear about some of the wild creatures I discovered during an adventurous hiking trip on the Path of the Gods. :)