Memorable moment – Porto Bello, Salina, Italy

This ‘memorable moment’ snapshot taken in the sea lounge bar at Porto Bello, Salina encapsulates for me what was so great about our time in the Aeolian Islands.portobello-salina
Dateline: 22 June 2016

On our first day in the Aeolian Islands, we came ashore at the port of Santa Marina on the island of Salina late on a Sunday afternoon. We walked through the quiet streets of the town, admiring the picturesque beauty of this island village and photographing its many colourful doorways. As we walked past the white-washed Ristorante Porto Bello which overlooks the marina, we saw that there was a bar out on the terrace so, of course, we had to go in!

It was here that we had our first Aeolian ‘drinks dinner’ experience, and here that I had my first Aperol Spritz. Relaxing on the terrace, with the warm breeze and a view over the beautiful Tyrrhenian Sea to the nearby island of Lipari was magic. This was the Mediterranean island experience of the movies. The relaxed company of a group of life-long friends, in a startlingly beautiful setting.

So, when we were back in Salina a few days later, we beat a hasty return path to Porto Bello. And this time, we sat partially indoors, where we spotted the grape vines and bougainvillea we had missed on our previous visit. Planted in the smallest of patches of soil, these tenacious plants have wound their way through the bar, up the staircase, and across the upper level restaurant before emerging into sunlight above the roof. Along the way, they have been assisted with some ropes which gently hold them in place.

For me, this sums up the Aeolian Island experience: unexpected details, wrapped up in a relaxed convivial experience.

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