AOS Travel Guide: Positano, Italy
Date: November 15, 2016 | Location: Positano, Italy
By now, you all are probably aware that I left behind a piece of my heart in Positano. The first time my husband and I traveled there was during our honeymoon. We returned home with endless tales of its wonder, consequently causing my in-law's to book a trip there to see it for themselves. When they asked us to join them, you can bet that we jumped at the opportunity.
Walking through the town of Positano is like walking through the pages of a fairytale. It is renowned for being the most beautiful and idyllic town along the Amalfi, which is why I think it is the best place to set up home base. If you want to visit other towns or islands, you can easily reach them by bus, taxi, ferry or private boat.
S T A Y.
You have two options in Positano: to stay right in the central part of the city or just a few minutes outside. Bobby and I personally prefer to stay inside of Positano because we like to be able to easily get out and do things without having to schedule a shuttle or ferry. In our experience, most of the fun in traveling comes without a plan, when you're able to simply wander and explore without the worry of a timeline.
Sebastien Garden Airbnb - Once again, Airbnb didn't disappoint. We didn't arrive at our apartment until around 8 PM due to a missed train and traffic on the road from Naples to Positano. Our host kindly waited for us to ensure that we found the place alright. She welcomed us by walking us through the apartment to explain all the details and graciously leaving us with fresh figs and tomatoes that she picked from the garden outside. Our place was a quick 5-10 minute walk down to the main beach, but the stairs on the way back up are not for the weary traveler.
Other options that we haven't stayed at, but look incredible are:
Le Sirenuse - A stunning hotel that is probably a 5-7 minute walk down to the beach and all of the attractions that Positano has to offer. We went to their lounge (which will be covered in another section) for drinks and were very impressed by both the ambiance and service.
Covo dei Saraceni - This is a beautiful hotel located right at Positano’s main marina. Covo dei Saraceni is definitely the most centrally located place to stay on my list. We ate at their restaurant one night which provided great service and one of my favorite dinners of the trip, a savory sea bass ravioli.
Il San Pietro di Positano - A few bloggers that I follow have stayed here and have posted the most amazing pictures. It is located outside of Positano, but I checked their website and found out that they offer private shuttles to guests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This hotel is most likely going to be the priciest of all of these, but I can’t imagine it could get much better. Il San Pietro is the only place I would consider staying outside of Positano.
E A T.
La Tagliata - An amazing, family-owned restaurant, this place is the real deal. We tried to go there on our honeymoon, but didn’t make reservations ahead of time and were unable to get in. Luckily, we made it there this time around. La Tagliata is on the top of a mountain and offers free shuttles to the restaurant. Immediately upon arrival, we were greeted by the owner and led to our table where house-made bottles of red and white wine patiently waited to be poured. I believe almost everything they serve is grown in their gardens or hunted by them. Once you sit down, they begin bringing you course after course of the freshest food imaginable. A live singer began serenading us halfway through the meal, and at one point, "Mama" came out of the kitchen to join in on the festivities. It was definitely one of the top three meals that we’ve ever had in Italy, and the experience made it even better. It also happens to be extremely affordable, which is always a plus in my book.
Lo Guarracino - Bobby and I went here on our honeymoon and it was good enough that we wanted to go back for seconds. Great seafood and great house wine. It is one of our favorites, for sure.
Ristorante Covo Dei Saraceni - As referenced in the 'Stay' section above, I had one of my favorite dishes here. We came here on a whim after our sunset cruise and were met with helpful staff and fantastic food. The ambiance is warm and inviting. Like many places in Positano, I'm not sure what makes their indoor plants grow the way that they do, but I wish I knew their secret.
Da Adolfo - Unfortunately, we didn't actually get to eat here, but we did make it to their private beach. This restaurant is on a private beach about 5 minutes from the main beach in Positano. Apparently, it is extremely hard to make reservations (I called about twenty times on the day of and couldn't get through), but I'm sure you could make reservations if you start calling early enough. We ended up eating at the beach club next door. It was good, but I have a feeling Da Adolfo would have been both better and cheaper.
Il Capitano - Offers one of the best views of Positano that I have yet to see. We stopped in for pizza and arugula salad and left happy and full.
Bruno - We had a great dinner here on our first night in Positano. The outdoor seating is right on the road - which I didn't love - but the food made up for it. Great pasta, chicken scallopini and service. They also have indoor seating. If you make reservations, I'm sure that you could sit inside.
D R I N K.
Franco’s Bar - The lounge/bar at the Le Sirenuse. It offered great music and ambiance. The drinks were a little more expensive that the norm in Positano, but I would say the experience is worth it.
Music on the Rocks - This is a three-level discoteca/lounge/piano bar built into the cliffs of Positano. We went to the discoteca on our honeymoon and had a blast dancing the night away. On our most recent trip, we only made it to the lounge/piano bar. It is probably the "coolest" place that I have ever been. If the weather is good, it is open air.
Cooking Class at Hotel Buca di Bacco - We haven't done this, but have always wanted to. You definitely need reservations.
Path of the Gods Hike - Unfortunately, we were also unable to fit this in, but we heard it is not to be missed. It takes some planning because you need to take a car to the top and walk down. The link provides some information that should make the process a little easier to figure out.
Sunset Cruise - We went on a sunset cruise that left from the main marina of Positano on the third night of our stay. The driver provided champagne and some light snacks, but that was nothing compared to the view. It was such a special night that we will never forget.
Private Boat to Capri - This was the best experience that we had on our trip. We had a private boat with both a driver and tour guide for the entirety of the day. They informed us that we could go any where that we wished. Our tour guide, Fabrizzio, pointed out a cave that you were able to swim through a small opening in the cliffs to get to. Bobby ventured in and was awestruck with what he saw. Our driver dropped us off at Marina Picolla around lunchtime and Fabrizzio came on shore with us to show us the ins and outs of Capri.
Capri - The island of Capri is breathtakingly beautiful. On our most recent trip, we arrived on the island via Marina Piccola versus the main marina which was a much better experience than we had on our honeymoon. Although Capri is incredible, it can be very touristy. Marina Piccola is a lot smaller and less touristy than the main marina. Fabrizzio took us to the taxi line to get up to the top of Capri where we would be eating lunch.
Da Gelsomina - While on the boat, we told Fabrizzio that we liked to find restaurants off of the beaten path and he quickly recommended Da Gelsomina. We had to take a taxi half of the way there and then switch to a tiny car to get up the narrow road to the restaurant. The restaurant is at the top of the cliffs of Capri. There is a pool and bar that guests are allowed to use. The food was delicious and they had their own homemade wine. Afterward we finished eating, we took a walk on their trails to one of the highest points of the island. The views of the Tyrrhenian Sea were unbeatable.
Stay on the island of Ischia - We asked our boat driver, Salvatore, what his favorite island near the Amalfi was and he recommended Ischia. I believe it is smaller than Capri and less touristy. I don't know much about it, but would love to stay there if we ever make it back. I recommend researching it as an option to anyone looking for an authentic experience.