By the time we arrived at Positano on the Amalfi Coast, we were halfway through our month-long honeymoon and had really started to make the most of la dolce vita. We’d slept off the post-wedding exhaustion, felt full of energy and were ready to explore. Conveniently, the beautiful and iconic settlement of Positano was just the place to do it. Its winding cobbled lanes, stunning pastel houses, interesting shops selling handmade wares and breathtaking views provided plenty to get excited about.
However, despite its breathtaking beauty, like most bustling tourist destinations, Positano abounds with overpriced, average restaurants and mediocre, touristy sights. It took us a couple of days to dig beneath the surface, and we soon discovered the town’s true hidden gems.
This Michelin-starred gem of a restaurant can be found in Le Sirenuse (review to follow in due course) and boasts one of the most famous and romantic views in the world. We had one of the most memorable restaurant experiences of our lives, as the service, food, wine, atmosphere and live music were all impeccable (and we even lucked out and visited on a night when a full fireworks display was taking place right behind the hotel – result!)
Don’t miss: ordering the tasting menu so that you can maximise your time spent overlooking that view (as well as your enjoyment of the food!). Arrive early and watch the sun set over the cliffs, then enjoy the romance of the view by candlelight.
Restaurants that are accessible via boat
These include the quaint little restaurant, Il Pirata, partially-built into the cliffside in the little cove of Marina di Praia (find out more here), and the shabby-chic Da Adolfo on Laurito Beach. Both of these restaurants serve up fresh fish and authentic Amalfi dishes in relaxed and romantic settings, and are a 10-minute boat ride from Positano.
Don’t miss: a sunny, post-lunch slumber on a lettino, or sunbed next to Da Adolfo (which will be needed after one too many shots of Limoncello too early in the day), or a breezy walk around the winding cliff path by Il Pirata, from Praiano to Saracen Tower.
Positano’s most notorious family-run restaurant which sits right on the beach front at the Spiaggia Grande and boasts an interesting history, laced with rumours of illicit affairs and its use as a meeting-place for interesting characters, serves up some the freshest and most delicious fresh salads and seafood that we enjoyed on our honeymoon.
Don’t miss: bagging yourself a water-front table for a prime people-watching position.
2. Shops and sights
From the hand crafted, fully customisable sandals at Don Ciccillo, 6-8 Viale Pasitea to the locally-made pottery at Umberto Caro on Via Pasitea, there are quaint little boutique shops down every steep alleyway and around every winding corner.
Don’t miss: a little snoop around Franco Senesi Fine Art, showcasing talented local painters and sculptors.
From the VIP scene at Spiagga Grande to the quieter and more laid-back Fornillo Beach, a ten-minute walk from Positano towards the little village of Fornillo, Positano’s beaches have something for everyone.
Don’t miss: seeing and being seen as you strut your stuff along the seafront, and get an iconic photo looking back up at the pastel houses of Positano.
Throwback to this time 2 weeks ago in Positano #tbt #throwback #latergram #travel #travelblogger #luxury #luxurytravel #Positano #honeymoon #holiday #followyoursunshine #regram #repost @richbyles with @repostapp. ・・・ Me and Tay Tay in Positano a week ago 😍 #taytay #taytakemeback #sorrento #italy #view #love
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The Church of Santa Maria Assunta
This pretty pastel yellow Church with its colourful majolica tiled dome dates back to 18th Century and is one of Positano’s most recognisable (and most photographed) symbols. It’s definitely worth a quick view inside, just so long as you are modestly covered.
Don’t miss: keeping an eye out for wedding shoots as couples travel from all over the world to have their photograph taken in front of this iconic building.
A lunchtime drink in the pretty courtyard of Ristaurante Al Palazzo
Take in the stunning architecture of the surrounding buildings and marvel and this little haven of peace just a hop, step and a jump away from the bustling, tourist-filled lanes just outside.
Don’t miss: a little nosey around the historic Hotel Palazzo Murat while you’re there.
An afternoon sip on the terrace at Hotel Poseidon
This hotel is perched on the hill above the town, and offers a completely different view of the pastel houses from an elevated perspective.
Don’t miss: ordering the best Gin & Tonic I have ever had in my life, laced with fresh juniper berries.
An evening tipple on the terrace at Il San Pietro Hotel
The views over Positano and the Mediterranean Sea from Il San Pietro are utterly sublime, and the romance of the setting is captivating. Block out a few hours to listen to the live guitar players and singers who will serenade you into the night.
Don’t miss: the mind-blowing Espresso Martinis.
4. A visit to Praiano
The tiny hamlet of Praiano is a small but pretty fishing village which lies five minutes down the road from Positano, and is often overlooked in favour of its bigger, more tourist-friendly cousin. Yet it would be a shame to bypass this little settlement if you are staying nearby. Its many winding walkways, steep steps cut into the cliffs and authentic Italian ‘vibe’ make it a sight to behold.
Don’t miss: watching the sun set from Praiano. Due to it’s western-facing vantage point and sweeping views over Positano and Capri, locals say that this is the best place on the Amalfi Coast from which to watch the sun go down. My favourite place to do this is from the rooftop of the boutique hotel, Casa Angelina.
Once all of these hidden gems had been explored, I couldn’t help but re-read the 1953 quote by John Steinbeck that I’d devoured while planning our honeymoon:
‘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’.
There’s a reason why this town has embedded itself in the hearts of so many.
For more in my Italian honeymoon series, head here.