I could move here. Like, pack up my things tomorrow and move here. Positano is my dream town: gorgeous weather, near the ocean, laid back atmosphere, INCREDIBLE food, interesting people, and THAT VIEW!!! The cliffside town of Positano is what inspired our trip to Italy in the first place. I saw a picture of all of the colorful buildings scaling the cliffs, and I knew I had to see it for myself. Could a place that perfect really exist? Yes, yes it does.
Getting to Positano
Do this carefully… very carefully. There’s only one road in and out of Positano and it’s dangerously winding and narrow. It reminded me a lot of when we drove the Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur a few summers ago. The road is set high up on the cliffs so the views of the ocean are stunning. I can absolutely say that you need to hire a driver to get here. I can’t imagine having to navigate that tiny, crowded highway for myself. Combine the tourist congestion during the busy season with the huge city buses (that aren’t even supposed to use this road!), and you get some traffic nightmares. Once, our driver had to throw our car in reverse to avoid being sideswiped in a curve by one of the buses!
Type A Tidbit:
Take some anti-nausea medicine if you’re prone to motion sickness!
Let your driver know that you’re interested in taking some photos. There isn’t a shoulder on the road, but our driver knew of a few places that we could pull over.
Where to Stay
Knowing how popular and ritzy the Amalfi Coast is, I just knew we would be shelling out a lot of money for a hotel. That wasn’t the case at all! We stayed at the family-run Hotel California, and it was wonderful! This hotel was featured in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun… remember the balcony scene?? That was filmed here! The hotel lobby opens onto a picturesque terrace with ivy growing overhead and lemon trees in flower pots. We ate our complimentary breakfast here every morning, and I fell in love with their croissants! Our room was nothing too fancy, but it did feature TWO separate balconies that we watched the sunrise from. If you’re familiar with Positano, our hotel was located across the street and three buildings up from the famous (and famously expensive) Le Sirenuse hotel. We enjoyed the same view as the residents at Le Sirenuse but we saved hundreds of dollars a night! The following pictures were taken either on the balcony or from our bedroom window.
What to Do
The beautiful thing about Positano is that no schedule of events is needed. I know, I know… so unlike me to not have an itinerary. But the atmosphere is so laid back, and there really aren’t any attractions that you have to beat the crowds to. Don’t look at your watch, and just enjoy the warm sun and fresh ocean breeze. Having said that, here are our suggestions for how to spend your limited time.
Go to the Beach
And not just any beach. I recommend paying $12 per person for the colorful chairs on Spiaggia Grande. That’s the main beach right in the center of town. A small fence separates the private section from the public section. While the public section is free, it’s more crowded, doesn’t come with chairs, and is closer to the boat dock. We spent an entire day reading and lounging on the beach. Oh, and they do allow alcohol on the beach so go buy a bottle of white wine for the afternoon!
Type A Tidbit
Get as far away from the boat dock as possible. The exhaust fumes gave us such a headache! The ferry idles until all passengers are unloaded and then loaded again, and the smell was just too much.
Do Some Shopping!
Positano is famous for their custom leather sandals, and it’s not hard to find a sandal shop. Go in, pick out your design, and they’ll fit the sandal to your foot. I bought one pair, and loved them so much that we went back the next night too. I ended up with two pair and they were about $75 a piece. Even Matt couldn’t resist a pair!
Another souvenir worth purchasing is hand painted ceramics. Whether you’re looking for platters, tiles, or a complete set of dishes, you can find it all! Examples of the ceramics are all over town. Tobacco stores and hotels use tiles as signs for their shops, and restaurants serve on hand painted plates! I really wanted to buy a hand painted serving platter, but I couldn’t make myself spend that much money. Oh well, next time!
If there’s one food you must have in Positano, it’s lemons! Lemons are everywhere! We had a lemon dessert that was the best non-chocolate dessert I’ve had in a long time (but more on that next week). Positano also famously makes their own limoncello. Limoncello is a lemon infused liqueur that is meant to be drank at the end of a meal to aid with digestion! Don’t forget to buy a bottle to take back home!
Type A Tidbit
While the limoncello is brought out in a shot glass, it is NOT meant to be taken as a shot! Sip it slowly as you would an after dinner drink.
Enjoy the View!
Take your time in Positano and don’t rush from attraction to attraction. Savor the food, watch the waves, and catch your breath. The scenery is out of a picture book, and I never grew tired of the view.
Positano was the first place in Italy that we both agreed we wanted to come back to. Venice was our favorite up until this point, but Positano stole our hearts. I still dream about drinking a limoncello slushie on that beach!
Next week we’ll cover where to eat in Positano… and we have some GOOD ONES!!!