Positano - Picturesque Italian Paradise
One of the most important components of learning about the diversity of our world is traveling to different lands and engulfing in the culture. I must admit, traveling is a passion of mine, and I am grateful to be able to share these experiences with my family. Five years ago, little did I know I would fall in love with this southern shore town of Italy.
Nestled in most beautiful backdrop, Positano is a town full of colorful buildings, vibrant life, charming people, and the tastiest seafood, tomatoes and pasta. Its popularity has grown immensely since my first visit with the influx of celebrities and Instagram influencers posting their photos online for all to consume the beauty along the Amalfi Coast.
For the last five summers, I have been fortunate enough to return to Positano as my summer get-away. I like to joke that since I have visited, Jennifer Lopez, Kourtney Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Zoe Kravitz, Henry Golding, Jason Statham, Emily Ratajkowski, Dan Blizerian and more celebs have since visited. In fact, just this past summer while I was there, Sofia Vergara was celebrating her five-year dating anniversary with her husband Joe Manganiello.
Aside from the stunning beauty of Positano, why do I return year after year? Quite simply, the people! Since my first visit, the locals of Positano have embraced me and adopted me as a local myself. I have made some heartwarming friendships and consider many of my new friends, family. Year after year, it feels like a homecoming when I return. Not only have I connected with the locals, I have established many new friendships with other travelers from my own homeland of the USA!
Each year, I am constantly bombarded with questions of how to travel to Positano. I have compiled a list here for lodging, restaurants, beaches, and must-do experiences. While many pass through for a few days stay, my stay of three weeks always seem to go too quickly!
The closest airport to Positano is Naples, Italy. From there you would have to take car service to drive you to Positano which is about an hour drive. I do not recommend renting a car as the road along the Amalfi Coast is narrow and not the easiest to drive. Parking is also very limited.
Personally, I fly into Rome as there are roundtrip direct flights from my airport. I tend to spend a couple of days in the front or back end of my trip in Rome as it is one of my favorite cities to visit. Car service from Rome to Positano is about three hours depending on traffic, but a very direct drive on the highway.
I recommend using Astarita Car Service as they are very efficient and professional. All the drivers I have had through them for the last five years have been incredibly personable and helpful.
Where to Stay
With the popularity of Positano, it is best to book lodging as early as possible. There are many hotels to Villas to choose from. Keep in mind that Positano has many, many steps, so comfortable walking shoes are key. I have always stayed closer to the center of town which as at the bottom of the hill. There are a variety of price points and you get more value and space by booking a private villa that can be found via AirBnb.
If you are looking for all out luxury, Villa Boheme is an absolute dream. It is best described by the proprietor Gianfranco Russo.
“It's difficult to explain with words how people grow their intense sentiment towards Villa Boheme. In simple terms: the location is breathtaking - internal and external and is incredibly high end and luxurious. The experience, incomparable. However, what magnetizes people to this place is that they are at our home, with our family. And by family we mean Chez Black, Rada, Fly Bar, Riva Bar.
Everywhere our guests go - in town, for dinner, in the villa - the experience is dense and full of sincerity. They become part of Positano, known as guests of our family - making the luxurious tangible experience incredibly intangible - and 'local'. The inclusion is not intentional but instead, just the second nature of our family and everyone involved. Our guests avidly rebook mid holiday at Villa Boheme and inevitably, there are often a few tears upon departing. Positano is a magical village and we are very privileged to be able to share it in its pure form.”
Other hotels to stay include:
Covo dei Saraceni – located near Positano port with beautiful views and a pool
Villa Flavio Gioia – located in town close to port
Le Sirenuse – luxury hotel to the stars and honeymooners
Poseidon Hotel – located above town with stunning rooftop dining and swimming
Hotel Buca di Bacco – located in town close to port
Il San Pietro di Positano – luxury hotel away from town
Depending on your budget, travel party and time of stay, it is best to explore different options. The prime hotels, villas and locations book up quickly, so be sure to reserve as early as possible!
Nothing compares to the fresh food of Positano. While I am not a big seafood eater, I look forward to eating the fresh seabass each summer. Of course the pasta, pizza, gelato and lemon sorbets must be enjoyed as well! Here are my favorites!
Da Vincenzo – I can eat the short rib and pasta dish all day long! Always busy, reservations are a must!
Chez Black – Positano’s first restaurant and most popular in town! Great for people watching along the beach and celebrity sightings. My last visit, Zoe Kravitz (Big Little Lies) was seated right next to me. Gianfranco, who is a celeb in his own right can always be found greeting guests with his charming demeanor. The sea urchin pasta and heart shaped pizza are fan favorites!
Da Adolfo – my absolute favorite place for seabass. A reservation must be made prior, and a little boat with a red fish on top comes by to pick up patrons from the Positano port beginning at 10:00am. Reservations can only be made by phone. It can be difficult to reach anyone, however, keep trying, it is totally worth it! Totally casual beach club where chairs need to be reserved ahead of time as well. Be on the lookout for Zorro the cat which will each spaghetti from you!
Da Ferdinando – beach club at Fornillo Beach. This is where I spend a majority of my time. Delicious food and great views! Can be reached by walking along the path along the sea or catching the boat with the octopus picture from the port. Captain Guido and his dog Chica will safely transport you!
Collina Bakery – fresh baked goods and yummy gelato. Across the way is their casual restaurant where they serve the best chicken sandwiches!
La Tagliata – no menus, just be ready to eat! A complimentary van provides roundtrip transportation to and from the restaurant. Views from above are spectacular!
Rada – set above the nightclub Music on the Rocks, great ambiance for a romantic dinner. Food is simply delicious and again amazing views!
Elisir Di Positano – great casual restaurant to grab something light or to drink. They make the best fresh lemonade in all of Positano!
Casa e Bottega – the BEST organic restaurant for breakfast. I can eat the banana pancakes every morning! The fresh squeezed orange juice is perfection!
Ristorante Sareceno D’Oro – my son’s favorite pizza. Fun staff and cool experience eating alongside the main road of Positano. Always had a fabulous meal! They also have takeout service for those who want to bring food to their villa.
Covo dei Saraceni Restaurant – I have never eaten at the fine dining location, but rather at their more casual restaurant outside near the port. A huge selection of specialty pizzas! One of my favorite places to sit outside and relax!
What to Do
As I mentioned, Positano is filled with hills and steps. Leave the high heeled shoes at home or carry them in a bag as I do!
Beaches - the beaches are rocky, so you may want to bring water shoes. I have gotten used to it over the years and am fine walking on the rocks. Spiaggia Grande is the most popular beach, but way too crowded for me. I spend my afternoons at Fornillo beach. Keep in mind that the chairs are for rent. Prices are dependent upon location. Also don’t forget to bring your beach towels!
By Sea – my visit to Positano is never complete without spending the day at sea. There are many boat rental opportunities. I personally rent from Lucibello Positano Boats and request Antonino who has been our captain for the last five years. While we rent a yacht, there are many different sized boats to choose from. My son’s favorite is the small motorized rubber boat that he goes out to explore with my husband.
Hiking – get your hiking shoes on and explore the Path of the Gods. Literally you feel like you are in Heaven! It’s about an hour taxi drive up to the start and approximately a three-hour hike back down depending on where you want to end. Be sure to start early in the morning before it gets too hot!
Shopping – Positano has luxurious linens, ceramics, and handmade leather sandals. While I personally do not wear much linen, I recently found a fantastic women’s shop with gorgeous dresses, skirts and tops along with bags and accessories.
Francesca Moda Positano – my go to shopping spot for unique and feminine clothing. Instagram @FrancescaModaPositano
La Botteguccia Positano – my ultimate spot for handmade sandals. Check out the newest designs on Instagram @LaBotteguccia1960
Other towns – depending on how much time you have, there are so many other amazing towns to visit close to Positano either by car or ferry. Capri is just a 40-minute ferry ride away!
Great towns to visit are Amalfi, Sorrento and Ravello.
Nightlife – Music on the Rocks! Literally embedded in a cave with gorgeous people and great music!
Bars – whether for a pre-dinner drink or socializing with friends, the following are my favorites!
Riva Bar– located outside of Music on the Rocks
Ocean Bar – situated on the beach, comfy chairs and great drinks and bar food!
Franco’s Bar – located near Le Sirenuse. Great photo opps!
Cooking Classes – want to cook like a true Italian? Loved my cooking class with Chef Andrea from Buca di Bacco. I have continued cooking dishes I learned once I returned home. So fun and yummy!
Photography – get your cameras ready for the most beautiful backdrops in the world! Every picture you take will be stunning! For those classic Positano photos you see on Instagram, make sure you wake up bright and early for the photos before the crowds arrive!
If you are looking for something high end throughout Italy, think private Vatican tour, private wine making classes in Tuscany, helicopter tours, top notch services, etc… I have the perfect contact. Just send me a message and I will make the intro!
Being one who has traveled the world, Positano is my first love that I consider my second home! I do hope you have an opportunity to visit!
If you have any specific questions about Positano, Ravello, Amalfi, Capri, Sorrento or Rome, please comment below!