Monday, 10 August 2009

Picture Perfect Positano

A few weeks ago I spent 10 fantastic days in Positano, Italy on the beautiful Costiera Amalfitana (Amalfi Coast). Positano, South of Naples and East of Sorrento, is a chic picture perfect town of white and pastel coloured houses, built into the rocky cliffside of argubly one of the most beautiful stretches of coast in Europe.

We arrived from Naples by boat (it has to be the best way to arrive) and the view of Positano as it comes into view is simply breathtaking. The colours were so vibrant and it appeared that the houses and hotels were literally clinging to the rocks in the air.

After a brief struggle up some steep steps with our luggage and a brief taxi ride (we had heavy bags) we arrived at our hotel - the 3* Hotel Montemare. The Montemare is a small friendly family run hotel with amazing views from the lovely terrace. The terrace also housed the hotel restaurant and pizzeria - Il Capitano where we enjoyed a tranquil meal one evening looking down over the town.

The hotel itself was high up enough to enjoy the beautiful sea views but close enough to walk to the town centre and the beach, which was perfect. The room was light, spacious and comfortable. It had a good air conditioning system, which was a godsend in the basking heat that we enjoyed whilst in Italy. The whole of one wall in the room was decorated with a huge colourful painted mural of Positano and the balcony whilst small enjoyed enjoyed a sea view from which to watch the sunset over the sea.

Getting around Positano was relatively easy but as it is built into the side of the cliffs and split across a ravine, there were numerous stairs everywhere (see below). However, there was a local bus route that ran frequently and the road was easier to walk down (but busier with cars).

There are numerous boutiques and shops, selling everything from souvenirs to beachwear to designer handbags and sunglasses (there was even an outlet of Missoni). In addition there were art galleries aplenty (see my other article) and jewellery stalls lined the bourgainvillea covered street that ran alongisde the Palazzo Murat.

There were plenty of restaurants to ensure that you could eat somewhere different every night if you wished. Seafood, not surprisingly, was abundent, as well as lots of delicious pizza. Restaurants in Positano were not cheap on the whole, although there were some more reasonably priced ones dotted about. My favourite was Buco di Bacco and we ate there twice. Situated upstairs, on the seafront, the restaurant has hosted numerous famous people over the years, such as Jackie and Aristotle Onassis. Buco di Bacco was buzzy and friendly, well decorated with gorgeous lighting with a lovely view over the beach. The food was delicicous (I had a partularly memorable piece of sea bream) and the desserts to die for.

Other good restaurants were La Pergola and Cafe Positano (which although situated by the roadside had a lovely romantic atmosphere).

There are two beaches in Positano, both set into a kind of cove. The beaches are pebbly along this part of the coast, although we had sungloungers each day so didn't have to suffer any discomfort. I Preferred the Spiaggia Formillo to the larger, busier Spiaggia Grande as it felt more spacious and relaxaed. Spiaggia Fornillo has a number of friendly beachside restaurants/cafes and we particularly liked Ferdinando's bar, with Ferdinando himself being the most welcoming host, offering great value food with daily specials prepared by Mama!

Positano is well placed to do a number of day trips. We arrived from Naples, visited Pompeii (via Sorrento) and hired a Piaggia to drive to Amalfi and Ravello (a stunning village higher up in the mountains) - both definitely worth a vist!
The Amalfi Coast is beautiful and I will definitely return there, to Positano in particular. I can see now why Sienna Miller and Balthazar Getty chose it as the place to reunite a year after they holidayed here together.

What do you think?


BardSpeaks said...

What an amazing place!

Obviously Darren said...

Thanks Bardspeaks, yes it was. I would definitely recommend it!

decomondo said...

Ciao, Obviously Darren, I like your post! I found out things I didn’t know on Positano before.
The place is beautiful and with all those stairs is also a kind of gym, it seems!
The Mediterranean cuisine is one of many reasons that pushed me to choose to live in Italy. It is part of "colourful odours" that make Italy so SPECIAL, don't you agree?

Obviously Darren said...

Hi me, thanks for your comment. Yes I agree the food is delicious in italy. I love the mediterranean diet generally because it is so fresh and healthy.

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