Our next stop on our Italian adventure was Positano! This had been the city I was most excited to go to and it definitely lived up to the hype!
We left Florence early and took the train to Salerno (about two and a half hours) and then walked a few blocks over to get on the ferry to take us to Positano (about an hour) around lunch time. We had bought our tickets online before for both the train and ferry which eliminated a lot of stress as it was confusing already trying to find where we were going. The ferry over to Positano was so breathtaking because it passed by all the towns along the Amalfi Coast on the way. When we arrived to Positano, we made the mistake of thinking we could handle the eight minute walk to our hotel from the ferry and we were VERY wrong. The walk was completely uphill (including lots of stairs) and cobblestone making it extremely difficult to get our suitcases up. Thanks to a very nice Australian man you carried them up the stairs, we thankfully made it to our little beachside hotel, Hotel La Bougainville. It was the priciest out of all our hotels of the trip, though it still wasn’t the fanciest spot. However, I would definitely recommend staying there again as it was in a great central location of the town and a short walk to the beach. They also had breakfast and beach towels provided every day and most importantly, we had an incredible view from our little balcony.
After checking in, we headed down to lay out on the public beach for a bit since it was a gorgeous day. The walk down to the beach is filled with a ton of boutiques, ranging from lemon souvenirs to pottery stores to linen dresses and leather sandals. We grabbed some lemon ice as a refreshing treat to enjoy on the beach and it was the ideal way to wind down after our busy day of travel. The public beach is perfect for laying out with a towel, but if you want chairs or umbrellas, you can pay to rent them right next door (where the famous Gray Malin-esque umbrellas are).
For dinner that night, we had a reservation at La Tagliata, which is located way up on top of the town. Since its so far up, they provide a free bus service to pick you up, which was luckily located a few steps up from our hotel. The drive up was about twenty minutes and had the most insane views. Since we would be heading up right after sunset, we headed back down to the beach to snap a few photos. Nothing more gorgeous than the pastel buildings in that golden hour light! While our drive was dark going up to the restaurant, it was definitely still a gorgeous sight to see with all the buildings twinkling. There is no menu at La Tagliata, and it is presented like a tasting menu with about six courses. Lindsay and I personally loved this as we were able to try a range of appetizers, pastas, meats, vegetables and desserts too. Definitely come hungry! For the amount of food and wine we had too, it was definitely a great price.
The next morning it had been predicted to rain so we decided to sleep in a bit and grab a later breakfast at Casa e Bottega. We loved this place so much that we actually came back the next day too! We were in need of some healthier options and we were able to choose from some delicious smoothie bowls, egg dishes and juices to start our day off with. Plus, the place is decorated so chic with bright white walls, local pottery and linens and homemade sweets to take away as well.
After breakfast, since it was a little chillier (around 65) and not necessarily beach weather, we walked around and explored all the amazing local pottery stores and grabbed coffee to go from Collina Bakery. Once we walked up even a little further up, we were able to see a gorgeous view of all the umbrellas on the beach and the colorful buildings along the cliff. Everywhere you look in Positano is truly breathtaking and felt like we were in a dream land!
That afternoon, we had scheduled a cooking class. By far this was one of my favorite parts of the trip and highly recommend doing one while in Italy. Our class was at a restaurant called il Ritrovo, which was way up again on the top of town, very close to our dinner the night before. They also provided a bus service to pick us up from the hotel, where we then drove up the windy roads all the way to the top. They were four other people in our class, two ladies who were from California and a couple in their late 50’s visiting from New Zealand. We really lucked out with them as they were so nice and we all easily worked together in the class.
The owner of the restaurant was a sweet little grandmother who everyone called “Mama.” She reminded me a lot of my own Italian grandma Mimi because she was super sweet and funny, making the class even more fun. The class took place right in the kitchen with the rest of the staff as they prepped for dinner, which was such a cool way to see how they prepare for a busy night at the restaurant. During our class we made a range of dishes, from four cheese ravioli, stuffed zucchini flowers, fettucine, tomato sauce, seabass with lemon and then almond cookies for dessert. Everyone got a turn in making the dishes, including using the pasta maker. While we cooked, we also got to sip on prosecco and wine, and even taste what we were making. After about three hours, we all went outside to enjoy the gorgeous view and our meal! This was one of my favorite meals of the trip so even if you don’t have time to take the cooking class, I highly recommend coming here for dinner. We headed back to our hotel that night with all the recipes of the dishes we made so I can’t wait to test them out myself back here in NYC or with my Mimi back in Michigan!
For our final day in Positano, we headed back to Casa e Bottega to try another smoothie bowl and also their healthy cinnamon pancakes (so good!). This was also another chilly morning so we decided to take a super long walk to go peek inside one of the luxe hotels in Positano called Il San Pietro di Positano. About a 40 minute walk along the narrow and steep roads, this walk was definitely a workout but it resulted in the most insane views. Once we arrived to the hotel, we walked around their gorgeous porch, complete with Italian tile benches, that looked over the water. Below us were incredible views of their rock beach and bright orange beach chairs and perfectly manicured tennis court. We then took another lengthy walk down to get a close up look and see the huge waves crashing against the rocks. Visiting this hotel was definitely a lot of walking and we were super tired after walking back to town, but it was a perfect morning activity since it was still chilly and I definitely recommend going to walk around the gorgeous property.
Once we got back to town, we changed into our suits and headed down to the beach to grab some lunch before laying out. We split a pizza, calamari and a few Aperol Spritzes at Le Tre Sorelle, one of the restaurants located right off the beach. This area is great for people watching and getting a delicious meal before laying out for a bit in the sun.
We knew we wanted one over the top meal while on our trip, and there is no way else more perfect to just that than La Sponda at Le Sirenuse. Our reservation wasn’t till 8:30 that night so we headed up to Franco’s Bar, located right next door, to catch the sunset and drinks before. Franco’s is an absolute must when you are in Positano. Not only is it decorated to perfection but you get the most picture perfect view to catch the sunset. The bar opens right at 5:30 pm so make sure to get there when it opens to catch a prime spot. We waited about 15 minutes for a seat and each had the pomegranate gin drink called “La Dolce Vita” and it was my favorite cocktail of the trip. Another favorite part of Italy is they always make sure to give you lots of snacks at the bar, like green olives, popcorn and potato chips so we weren’t starving waiting for dinner. I wish we would have gone to Franco’s earlier in our stay because I would have gone back every night!
Now dinner. Truly one of the most incredible meals I have ever had. Le Sirenuse is one of the nicest hotels to stay at, so being able to have dinner there was super special. The whole restaurant is very romantic and filled with candles, ivy and twinkle lights. What makes the meal though is the service, thanks to the extremely attentive waiters in white jackets. To eat, we had a special autumn vegetables dish to start with and then split two pasta dishes, the lobster spaghetti and an artichoke and crab risotto. My favorite part of the meal though was the dessert. The lemon soufflé took twenty minutes to make and when brought out, a scoop of lemon sorbet was added on top, melting into the soufflé. Best dessert of the trip by far. It was the most dreamy way to end our stay in Positano.
Overall thoughts on Positano: My favorite city of the trip. It was such a beautiful town and had a great relaxed vibe to it. However, there were still places where you could get dressed up and have a special meal and night. It was easy to walk back and forth from our hotel to the beach and they had great transportation to get you to the restaurants higher up. Cannot wait to go back to that special city again one day!
Next stop: Capri!
THINGS TO DO
Take a walk up to take in the incredible views
Shop at the local boutiques for lemon souvenirs and pottery
Lay out on the beach
Take a cooking class
WHAT I WORE