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Posts tagged ‘Amalfi Coast’

Positano & beyond | Photos Part 5 – Epilogue

I began my Daily Norm tale of my time on Italy’s stunning Amalfi Coast with a post examining the unrivalled beauty of the town of Positano, which we had made our base, and in particular the ravishing sea views from our room. As the weeks have gone by, and I have shared with you tales of our visits to Capri, Amalfi and Ravello, as well as walks around Positano and days on the beach, not to mention my many sketches and paintings which the trip has inspired, it has never failed to amaze me what a beautiful place the Amalfi Coast is. Of course you realise it when you are there – how can you not? Yet it is of course so easy to slip into easy complacency when you are surrounded by perfection at all times. But happily, complacency never got so much that my photographs, or indeed my artistic expressions of Positano and beyond ever ceased, and sat now in a far more urbanised London environment reviewing both my posts on this blog as well as my many photos and souvenirs from the trip, I can appreciate with renewed energy that it really was a paradise on earth.

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My final hurrah at this conclusion to my Amalfi Coast series is a good old hodgepodge of miscellaneous shots which otherwise never made their way in to any of my more focused posts. They are accordingly a wide-ranging bunch, from further shorts of the lush green gardens of Ravello, to yet more views from our hotel balcony. The selection is also packed, as always, with plenty of the finer details which caught our attention and tickled our interest when we ambled through the quaint narrow streets of Amalfi’s coastal towns. Sure they may have bankrupted us, but they sure were wonderful places to explore.

And with these photos I bid a hearty farewell to my engorged photo album of Positano & beyond, as my travel-hungry eyes rove around the globe in search of new pastures to explore. The possibilities are quite frankly endless. Best get saving…

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2014 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Art-in-Amalfi – Painting 5: Praiano

Having painted four views of Positano in gouache on paper, all of which concentrate on the hodgepodge of pastel-coloured cube like houses that are characteristic of the town, I decided to set my sights further afield, and start exploring the artistic potential of locations elsewhere on the Amalfi Coast. The perfect opportunity presented itself when, en route to the epicentre of the coast, Amalfi (see tomorrow’s Daily Norm for more on that front) we passed by the cliff-top town of Praiano.

Smaller than neighbouring Positano, which can be seen directly across the bay and vice versa, Praiano nevertheless has its own glittering domed churche and cluster of houses clinging precariously to the high edges of a mountain slope. However unlike Positano, whose multi-coloured composition can be spotted some distance away, Praiano is characterised by a gleaming symphony of whites and creams, dazzling in the sunshine as its buildings contrast against the green vegetation all around.

Praiano (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

Praiano (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

This particular view of the town, seen side on with the gradually fading folds of the mountains in the distance was definitely my favourite angle of those many enjoyed as our boat whisked past the town at speed. And of course in the process of cubic simplification which has been the focus of my recent gouache works, Praiano could not have been a better model – for its white washed houses simplify down to their basic elements brilliantly, while retaining all of the shape and character of this very pretty town.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacy-brown.com

Positano & beyond | Photos Part 3 – Giornate in Spiaggia

Ah beach days. Those heady days of sunshine bliss, when you can lie out in the sun, meditating upon the swish of the waves curling in upon the sandy shore; when lying back enjoying the sun makes relaxation feel purposeful (after all, you are getting your intake of vitamin D, with all of the protections of sun lotion, naturally); when a refreshing dip in the sea affords all of the thirst-quenching satisfaction of an icy drink on a hot summer’s day; and when, at the day’s end, your skin feels sweetly sun kissed and your whole body groans in the pleasure of having embraced the good life. I’ve always been a beach lover, my partner even more so, and in Positano on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, we were afforded the opportunity to enjoy beach life with an indisputable bonus: a view which has to be one of the most stunning I have ever experienced from a sun bed.

From Positano’s surprisingly long stretch of beach, your lounger gives you a view not only on the crystal clear Mediterranean sea, with the swish yachts moored a little further out and the small ferries gliding in and out from the island of Capri and the town of Amalfi further down the coast, but it also gives you an unbroken panorama of the splendidly clustered town of Positano, its little pastel houses gathered together on the steeply plunging mountain sides. There was therefore no greater pleasure than simply lying out on a lounger gazing at this view – on one particular occasion I don’t think I was able to close my eyes once for fear that I would somehow betray the beauty of this landscape. And when taking a dip in the sea, and therefore straying a little further out, the views just got better and better.

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This set of photos was taken either from the beach, or of the beach, both viewpoints providing wonderful vantages from which to catch a beach and a town full of abundant colour in the Mediterranean sunshine. On one particular occasion, we managed to bag two sunbeds set out on their own on a jutting rock, giving us unrivalled views of the town and the beach below – no wonder we had to toast the occasion with a glass of chilled white wine. This was a beach experience which is unlikely to be beaten.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2014 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Positano & beyond | Photos Part 1 – A room with a view

There are few places on the earth that are naturally synonymous with paradise. Even the most beautifully secluded spots have not escaped some degree of commercialisation or urbanisation which detracts from the feeling of finding a paradise on earth. And yet Italy’s Amalfi coast, nestled in between the cities of Naples and Salerno and on the Southern most stretch of the Sorrento peninsula, is one place which is intrinsically described as, and discovered to be, a paradise on earth.

True, the coast has not escaped the touch of humankind, not least because much of the coast is now specifically given over to tourism. But what human development exists is inevitably curbed by the rugged and hostile landscape of steep mountain passages and severe plunging cliffs. It is also precisely that very development – the clustering of white washed and pastel houses against steep mountain passages – that makes the Amalfi Coast so visually stunning. And that beautiful relationship between man and nature is never seen with such perfection as in the little town of Positano, clustered along a fold of one of the coast’s most impressive mountainous passages. And it was to Positano that I have just ventured in my most recent European travels, making this stunner of a town our base for a week’s discovery of the Amalfi Coast and the islands beyond.

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There are so many ways in which I can express the beauty of Positano, and as my tales of this Amalfi Adventure roll out on The Daily Norm, you are probably likely to see and read most of them. But as a starting point, I don’t think anything says Positano, and our experience of it better than by sharing the incredible view we enjoyed of the town from our balcony at the Palazzo Talamo Hotel. When we opened the balcony doors and saw what view was to be exclusively ours for a week, I almost fell off the balcony with the joy of the moment. An unrivalled 180 degree view took in not just the pastel and white cluster of Positano, but its beaches, its vast mountain ranges, and the toing and froing of fishing and tourist boats from its harbour.

As the days unravelled, we sat on that balcony morning and night, drank chilled prosecco as the sun set in the evening, took photos as the sun rose again over the Eastern most reach of the mountains gradually lighting up the town, watched the city become a twinkling sea of stars as darkness descended and the uninhabited stretches of the mountains disappeared from view, and painted and sketched the many glorious sights which could be seen before our very eyes. We never even shut the curtains at night – who could close off that view from sight?

And while perhaps a camera can never truly capture the awesome feeling one has when faced with the scale of an incredibly far reaching view, it surely helps to create the mood and the magic which was manifested by every moment’s interaction with this most fantastic of panoramas. And this was before we even got down into the heart of Positano! But more of that another time. For now I would like to share with you: Our room with a view.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2014 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.