+ Positano Travel Guide

What do you do when you need to be at the airport by 5am? Don’t go to sleep at all, that’s what! Yes, we were shattered but at least the trip to Positano (taxi, plane, two shuttle buses) went quickly as we dozed the whole way. After a transfer from positanoshuttle.com, we were shown to our apartment, Sirena 1 at Residence AlcioneThis place is even better than in the photos. We paid more for a superior suite, and I’m so glad we did as we essentially got private use of a large terrace with sun loungers, beautiful plants and a patio table to boot. What really sets this place apart is the complimentary continental breakfast which is hand-delivered to your room at a time that suits you.

Residence Alcione - Sirena 1 superior suite
The terrace of our superior suite at Residence Alcione

Collina Bakery was our first taste of authentic Italian pizza, and it didn’t disappoint. The pizzas were so big we got two meals in one go, and ate the leftovers on our terrace that evening! The next day, Ned and I decided to pass the beach and keep edging along the coastal path to see what was there. We weren’t disappointed! For the first time we were able to appreciate how clear the emerald ocean was (although didn’t get a chance to go for a dip that day). La Marinella is a rustic beach bar/restaurant with a charming waiter who has quite the way with words! 

Us at La Sponda
Ned and I at La Sponda restaurant

That evening, we got to La Sirenuse a bit early for our 8pm dinner reservation at La Sponda and so ended up at their champagne and oyster bar. This rooftop terrace dripped with elegance and made me feel every inch the celebrity! After ordering a round of drinks, they brought us almonds, crisps and bountiful green olives unlike any I’d ever tasted. (side note: I need to find out what olives these were as they were SO tasty!)

Once our drinks were done with, we went down the staircase to La Sponda. Ned decided my trip-planning skills deserved some reward, and proceeded to pay for the chef’s menu with a selection of wines with each plate (picture of the tasting menu here). The food was some of the best I’ve ever tasted (especially the veal sirloin and coconut macaroons at the end!) but what made it for me was the candlelit view accompanied by two men playing romantic music for the majority of the evening.

Someone paragliding over Positano beach, looking from Caffe Positano
Someone paragliding over Positano beach, as seen from Caffe Positano!

 

The next day, we were looking for something cheap and unfussy and Caffe Positano fit the bill perfectly. This place had slow service, but the view of Positano beach from high up on the hill made it worthwhile. We shared a buffalo mozzarella salad and a courgette tagliatelle, both of which were divine. One thing I really noticed in Italy is the tastiness of their cherry tomatoes. Each little bite has more taste than an entire box of salad tomatoes from back home! What made the meal even more memorable was witnessing some guy paragliding over Positano, and what felt like dangerously close to where we were eating!

Tagliata wine, our starting dish and the view of the coast from Tagliata

La Tagliata was our destination for the evening. This family-run restaurant is almost nestled in the clouds it’s so far up! As it’s quite difficult to get to, upon reserving your table they ask where you’re staying so they can pick you up in a complimentary shuttle. At 7.15pm, a shuttle turned up and we began ascending the mountains. We were greeted by Vincenzo, who explained to us upon arriving that there was no need to choose what to eat as a set menu cooked by “mama and papa”. Thankfully another couple got up and left so we nabbed a table with a better view of the coastline. Despite the thunderstorms, there was an awesome, brooding tint to the evening that was a beautiful accompaniment to the great food and (even better) homemade ‘Tagliata’ wine. Oh, and if you’re in any doubt, they do drop you off home at the end of it! For a price of ~35 Euros each, the food was well worth every penny.

Saturday was spent walking around the town once more, however by this point of the trip I had succumbed to a weird, odd, disgusting skin rash. “Polymorphous light eruption” basically means my porcelain white skin had forgotten that UV light can tan my skin.. instead, it thought it was being poisoned and initiated a way OTT response to protect my skin! To be fair, we couldn’t tan much anyway as the thunderstorms started to descend late afternoon. And, before we knew it, we had to leave Positano behind for our one-night/one-day stay in Naples before our flight home.

You can track the places I visited in Positano using the nifty map below!

Naples

We went with the dependable www.positanoshuttle.com to get back to Naples on Sunday evening, and our hotel of choice was Ciliegina Lifestyle Hotel. This hotel is pure luxury with a jacuzzi hot tub on the roof terrace complete with sun loungers, and also a jacuzzi bathtub in the bedroom. Even better, we were greeted with a free glass of prosecco. The hotel is also f***ing good at continental breakfast, delivering it to your room with beautifully made cappuccinos.

Pasta shop in the historic district

Although my first impressions of Naples were in stark contrast to the dream that is Positano, I really warmed to it as we meandered through the narrow streets and started to soak up the culture. I would really suggest just getting lost and finding your own ‘Naples’.

So we were given two main recommendations by friends (not to mention our taxi driver!) which were a restaurant called Sorbillo and another nearby called Di Matteo. When we walked past, Di Matteo didn’t seem to be a good place to dine in, as it looked like it was solely takeaway pizza. So, we decided to walk back up towards Sorbillo…. however, we ended up in the copycat restaurant!!! Not to worry, the pizza was 6 euros and tasty, but trust us to get pizza wrong in Naples :/

For others looking for a good pizza place in Naples, I would probably err on the side of caution and go to this Sorbillo, and only try the ‘copycat‘ if the other one is busy 🙂