Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone. Nearly always when you find a place as beautiful as Positano, your impulse is to conceal it. –John Steinbeck in Harper’s Bazaar May 1953
I wasn’t born yet when he wrote these, and yet six decades later, Positano’s countryside seascape beauty has grown even more captivating and has no plan to diminish its appeal for all the decades to come. Not a single day passes that I don’t see Positano’s photo on Instagram feeds. Proof that travelers from all over the world flock to this place daily, hoping to get a glimpse of Amalfi Coast’s most picturesque town. Having visited Positano myself, I do understand why. Your Italy adventure is incomplete if Positano is not in it. So head on to the Amalfi Coast the next time you are in Italy. You’ll be glad you did!
In advance of your trip, know that Positano is not called a vertical city for nothing. The roads are narrow. You need to use the stairs, of which some are as steep as ladders, to get to where you want to go, including the beach. But don’t let this minor issues dampen your spirits.
You have the option to stay in Positano itself, or other hotels in the nearby town along Amalfi Coast, depending on your travel necessities and comfort. Here are some that you may wish to consider, according to your budget.
Le Sirenuse Hotel: Used to be Marchesi Sersale’s summer villa, converted into a hotel since 1951. Exquisitely decorated with valuable antiques, paintings, and family heirlooms that provide a welcoming charm and character to this home away from home. John Steinbeck himself stayed here in 1953. This 58-room resort is now considered as one of Italy’s leading seaside luxury hotels.
Villa Magia: Wake up to one of the most spectacular views along the Amalfi Coast in the comfort of this boutique resort. Originally built as a watchtower in the 13th century, it was purchased by the couple, Giancarlo and Marilù Vespoli, in 1992 and made the estate into a family home. Their children, who decided to share the beauty of their place, converted their home into a luxury villa in 2015, and later as a luxury boutique resort. As it sits on top of Positano’s highest peak, all the guest rooms on five luxurious levels have terraces that offer a full view of the entire coast – ideal for a relaxing staycation. Despite its location, the Villa is accessible by car; perfect for the physically challenged traveler.
Positano Art Hotel Pasitea: Built on the rocks with a touch of Mediterranean architecture, each guest room’s private balcony on this property boasts both of the direct sea view and the town view of Positano. Traveling by car is no problem, as a private car park is provided as well.
Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am a very picky eater. It is true to some degree, unless I am in Italy. Even the Buffalo mozzarella that they sell in the public market tastes heavenly to me. I won’t mind eating it all day if my stomach permits me. It’s true. I have no doubt those who’ve been there will tell you the same. Anyway, without further ado, let me list down the restaurants where you can sit down and savor mouth-watering menu that will please even the most discriminating palate.
La Tagliata Fattoria: I suggest you come here for lunch starving. This is a restaurant where you won’t see any menu per se, yet the food keep coming. The reason being, they cook different food everyday, and the vegetables they serve are daily harvest from the family farm right next, and down below the restaurant’s site itself. I should warn you to keep your pace, otherwise the endless amount of antipasti will fill you up very quickly. Make room for the main course, it’s worth it. Never mind the dessert if you’re on a diet, just eat the fresh fruits, and try their homemade chilled limoncello. This drink will apparently help digest what you’ve eaten. This place is popular for its excellent view of the Mediterranean sea and superb food. Definitely worth the EUR40 per person meal. I had lunch in this restaurant myself, and the service is excellent, so don’t forget to tip. There are mixed reviews on TripAdvisor’s website. My recommendation only speaks about my own personal experience.
Ristorante Covo Dei Saraceni: A few steps away from the beach, and popular for their à la carte service. Unlike La Tagliata Fattoria, here you will pay what you’ve ordered. The place is ideal for those who need either a quick bite, or a nice table to sit after a long tiring shopping spree. You will be able to enjoy the view of the beach while eating for as long as you wish. You might want to watch the sunset here as well. Reservations are not required. If you are looking for a budget friendly meal, this place is for you.
Buca di Bacco: Another highly recommended restaurant in Positano is at the beachfront operated by the Hotel Buca di Bacco itself. Rated excellent as per TripAdvisor clients’ review, I have no reason to doubt them. The service is à la carte, hence reasonably affordable. With an open air view of the beach and bay, what more can you ask for? You might also consider staying in their hotel located at the upper level.
Depending on what you fancy buying, and willingness to splurge, the following shopping list is for you.
Feludei: In search of Fine Italian Jewelry? Head to Feludei, in via dei Mulini, the pedestrian area leading down to the sea. You will not miss it as it is adjacent to the Palazzo Murat Hotel, one of the popular places in Positano.
Liquid Art System: For contemporary art collections, Liquid Art System have got you covered. They have galleries in London, Istanbul, and two in Italy (Capri, and Positano). If contemporary art is your passion, you will be delighted you have come to Positano.
Souvenir Shops: Fiorella di De Lucia Giorgio (a gift shop), and Milano Vito (a souvenir shop) along via G. Marconi; Ceramica Assunta srl, and L’arte della ceramica (two pottery stores), and Collina Teresa (gift shop) along Via Cristoforo Colombo. Via G. Marconi and Via Cristoforo Colombo are about 18 to 21 minutes stroll apart, a distance you will enjoy exploring because of the magnificent Mediterranean Sea view.
- For fine and specialty dining, book in advance to guarantee your table.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes if you are planning to go shopping. As I’ve mentioned earlier, the walkways are narrow and steep.
- Always carry a water bottle with you to stay hydrated. You can refill it for free at any drinking water fountains installed in public areas, thus saving on expensive mineral water purchase at tourist kiosks.
- Have small Euro bills on hand. You will need them for purchases at small souvenir shops, and for tipping.
- As in any public areas, keep watch of your belongings, especially on crowded streets.
- Your camera should always be ready to shoot. The spectacular view of the Amalfi Coast is too precious to miss.
- Drive, if you can. It will save you a lot of time getting to the places you want to visit at your own pace. You’ll have plenty of time at your disposal to satisfy your photography, food, and shopping adventure.
- Expect the unexpected, and enjoy the whole experience.