New Year in Positano is usually cold and for the most part spent outside on the beach. Each year I look with longing at all the festive dresses and sparkly tops in the shop windows, knowing that there anything I wore would be completely covered up by a coat and scarf.
The evening kicks off with a big dinner, cenone. Friends and family gather and eat and drink until midnight, usually with the television or radio on in the background so as not to miss the countdown to midnight. Often pork and lentils are served, the lentils are believed to resemble coins, bringing luck for the new year. Down on the beach the seafront restaurants are packed with italian tourists, swathed in fur coats and elegant overcoats. In the square on the beach a few people dance to traditional music played by a band on a stage that faces the lion steps. As midnight draws near the band stop playing and start the countdown.
On the stroke of midnight the whole town erupts into a cacaphony of noise and colour as the churchbells start ringing in the New Year and fireworks are set off from every terrace, garden and beach. Along the coast the next village reflects Positano in miniature with fireworks shooting out from every corner of the town. The fireworks are deafening, reverberating around the mountainside until it almost feels like being stuck in the middle of a warzone.
We stood on our friends terrace, watching the display until 12.30 and then made our way down to the beach. Skye had fallen asleep at 10pm and even though I had woken her to see the fireworks she was very sleepy, and cold too. We pushed our way through the crowds, greeting friends and sipping champagne. By the front of the stage we danced a little to warm up, but Skye was tired and wanted to go home.
I know that later in the square there was music from another band and after that a lot of people went over to the Fornillo beach where a huge party was held that lasted till dawn. But by 2.30am we were tucked up in bed and fast asleep, not even disturbed by the fireworks that still exploded throughout the night.