Italian is known as a language of romance. Italians know this as a fact. They radiate sexuality.
Walk along any city street in Italy and you will see lovers at every stage of life: young lovers, flirtatiously laughing and kissing and chasing; adult lovers, languishing over bottles of wine while looking deep into each other’s eyes; and old lovers, sitting quietly on a terrace holding hands. In Italy showing affection is not just accepted, it’s a part of life.
But there’s one place in Italy that exudes romance more than any. Positano, on the Amalfi Coast, is the most romantic place I’ve ever been. It’s where I learned how to fall in love all over again.
After years of marriage, of raising children, managing careers, and building lives as a family, I have to say that romance began to take a back seat. Life was good, but not as exciting as it once had been—until the kids were gone, and we went to Italy.
Is it possible to fall in love with the same person over and over again?
I believe that it is, if you can put yourself in the right situation.
You would think that, after years of marriage, love would be established and set, hard as concrete, resistant to fractures. But life is more complex than concrete.
On this trip to Italy I remembered exactly what was important. It wasn’t what car I was driving, or the clothes I wore. It wasn’t the schools my children were going to, or the success of our careers. What mattered most in my life was the way my husband looked at me, the sweet words that he quietly whispered in my ear, for me alone, private innuendos that made my heart do butterflies.
Positano sits on a hill over-looking the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. I had booked a bed and breakfast through Karen Brown, not knowing the affect that this romantic hotel would have on my relationship with my husband. But we walked into a room that opened onto a large balcony looking over houses spilling down the hill to the deep blue Mediterranean Sea, and even while our host was showing us our room, my husband was standing behind me, kissing my neck as we marveled at the view.
This was my American husband, whose proletarian upbringing prohibited any display of public affection. But the romance of Italy was seeping into his blood, and when I turned to look at him he was beyond any public embarrassment. His eyes, and heart, were for me alone.
During the week we spent in Positano we fell in love all over again. Long mornings were spent in bed waiting for breakfast to be delivered. Alberto, our host, made it clear that our initial request for breakfast at 7:30 a.m. was uncivilized. We would have to wait until 9 a.m. But by the end of the week, 9 a.m. was even too early. Our days were spent strolling the streets, hand in hand, with an occasional kiss and knowing smile. Evenings we’d sit down by the water, watching the moon rise over the sea.
There was a bench by the shore where we would sit, snuggling closely as we waited for the moon’s reflection to lead directly to us—a brilliant beam of light reflecting off a calm sea. My husband called it the Pathway of Lovers, as it turned out to be.