I love this photo from Ferragosto. I didn't take it, Captain Peter did. The Madonna is carried out the church, around town and along the beach in a twighlight procession. Which reminds me of a story. The story of how Positano got its name....
Once upon a time, many years ago a band of thieves stole a cedarwood portrait of a Black Madonna. They took her onto a saracen ship and set sail upon the high seas. One evening during the voyage, there was a terrible storm with winds so strong that the mainsail threatened to fall. The rain pounded down and the huge waves crashed into the ship, sweeping men and objects overboard.
Ther crew were terrified, running around in panic on the ancient ship, their duties abandoned. The rain lashed their faces, the wind roared and the mast creaked and swayed above them. Suddenly over the mayhem, the sailors heard a calm and steady voice calling. “Posa, posa!” Lay me down. It was the voice of the stolen Black Madonna, she was asking to be taken to shore. The sailors decided to trust her and ran back to their posts, but there was hardly any need. Although the ship was damaged and the sail was torn, it practically sailed itself towards land.
They sailed into in a small bay and the Madonna was carried onto the beach and laid down. The storm died away and the sailors climbed back into their ship and sailed away. At dawn the local fishermen came down to the beach and found the Black Madonna glowing, waiting peacefully on the sand. The inhabitants of the village built a church in her honour and named the village Positano, after her cry of “posa, posa”, asking to be left in there, during the storm.
And the Black Madonna live happily ever after in the church built for her in the fishing village.