travel

Italy Recap Part 1: Positano

Positano, Italy is straight out of your imagination. It’s literally a tiny town on a cliff in the Amalfi Coast, with the Mediterranean Sea at its base. How much better can it get?

Our hotel balcony at L’Ancora. (Yes, I think my husband looks great shirtless)

We flew into Naples and got private car service to Positano. While more expensive, we were SO happy we did – we were exhausted, and from what I’ve read on Trip Advisor, others traveling there felt the same way.

We stayed in Positano three nights, which I think was the perfect amount of time – just enough to unwind and get a good sense of the tiny town. Our only regret is not eating at Da Vincenzo more than once!

Dinner our first night at Buca di Bacco on the water

We spent most of our days at the beach. There is a small public beach, or you can pay for access to one of the private beaches (and a lawn chair). If you’re planning on spending the day at the beach, I’d recommend the private — it was 12 euro for a chair, but totally worth it to maximize our relaxation time. Otherwise, you’re stuck laying on the grainy sand of the public beach (which we totally did, but not ideal for a full day of sun).

The view near Da Vincenzo – our all-time fave restaurant

We opted for a nicer hotel as this was our anniversary weekend, so we were sure to choose a hotel that (1) was near the beach and (2) included breakfast. Our hotel’s breakfast was one of our favorite things – it was truly sooo good. Another benefit of staying at a hotel was that the concierge could make reservations for us. That came in handy when we realized a lot of the restaurants we wanted to eat at were booked up night after night.

Our second night, we went to our favorite restaurant – Da Vincenzo. I first heard about it from a coworker and had added it to the long list of restaurants I wanted to visit. But then after our taxi driver on the way into Positano said it was her top pick in the area, Da Vincenzo quickly made its way to the top of my list.

And it did not disappoint.

For an appetizer, we had grilled calamari so tender and delicious, it was hard to even believe it was calamari. Then Gluten Cutter enabled me to treat myself to the most delicious pasta ever. (Seriously – I still dream about it.)

 

Grilled calamari at Da Vincenzo
Post-dinner drinks at Franco’s

After Da Vincenzo, we went to Franco’s for a few drinks – this beautiful all-white spot with dim romantic lighting and a great view. From there, we were feeling pretty good, so we decided to head down to Music on the Rocks – a dance club by the water. We had a complete and total blast, stayed out waaaaaaay too late (like 4:30 am), and didn’t wake up until after noon the next morning!

On our way to Music on the Rocks

Since that was the day we were supposed to visit Capri, I was totally bummed. We no longer had enough time to visit Anacapri too and make it back by dinner (since that was a longer bus ride from where we’d get dropped off in Capri), but at least we could do the Blue Grotto. (Or so I thought.)

Well, turns out the waves were too choppy for the Blue Grotto, so they weren’t doing any tours! And, as we discovered, Capri is pretty lame other than those two sights – super touristy and not much else to do. We got gelato, hung at the beach for a few hours, and then went back.

(P.S. – It’s pronounced kah-pree, not capri like the pants.)

The beach at Capri

Overall, our three days in Positano were amazing. I would absolutely recommend it. It was a perfet way to start our trip and get into vacation mode. See below for all of my recommendations.

Up next: Rome, Siena and Florence. Stay tuned!

Recommendations

Transportation

  • From Naples to Positano – Taxi Driver Positano was awesome, easy and on time – and private so you go straight to your destination. Simply email info [at] taxidriverpositano.com for a quote
  • From Positano to Rome – Roma Positano Shuttle was an easy-to-book shuttle service that picked us up directly from our hotel and took us to our next accommodation in Rome

Eat & Drink

  • Da Vincenzo – Our absolute favorite restaurant in Positano (and arguably, in Italy!) We had the calamari, the homemade ravioli and Pasta Genovese. Everything – service and all – was incredible!
  • Max Restaurant – Hidden down a stairway in the heart of Positano, this place has an impeccable atmosphere and tasty cuisine. I had homemade pasta with shrimp and zucchini and it was delish.
  • Capricci – A great lunch place – known for its pizza. Though the caprese salad I had was totally awesome too! 
  • Enoteca Cuomo – Adorable little meat, cheese and wine shop. We stopped here for wine most days. 
  • La Zagara – A garden bar known for its Aperitif at night, but a pastry bar during the day. A good place to stop for a drink.
  • Buca di Bacco – A nice restaurant right near the water – the best of the touristy by-the-beach options (or so we were told).
  • Franco’s – Super small but romantic bar with a nice view. The service was terrible when we went, but the atmosphere was actually worth it.
  • Music on the Rocks – Positano’s resident dance club! A total blast if you feel like going out.

Accommodations

  • Hotel L’Ancora – We had SUCH a wonderful experience at this hotel. Our room had the most beautiful balcony view – the upgrade was totally worth it! The staff was so nice and accommodating, and the place was classically chic. Plus, it’s in a great location – just a few steps from the path down to the beach. And did I mention the all-included breakfast was phenomenal? Eggs on sausage on bacon on nutella donuts. WHAT.

Sights

  • La Spiaggia Grande – Rick Steves will try to tell you that there are historical sights to be seen in Positano – which I’m sure there are. But for us, the adorable windy streets and breathtaking views were enough to truly get a sense of the culture. So the only sight we needed in Positano was the beach!
  • Capri – While we didn’t get to experience Capri to its fullest because of the weather and timing, the Blue Grotto and Anacapri are supposedly epic. Worth making the trek out if you can swing it!
 
If you’re planning a trip to Positano and have any questions (or simply need to know where to start!), don’t hesitate to reach out.

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