Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Positano

If you follow me on Insta, you definitely know that the town of Positano on the Amalfi Coast is my favorite spot in the entire world because I refuse to stop professing my love for it.  In 1953 John Steinbeck published an essay in Harper's Bazaar titled "Positano bites deep", also professing his love for this magical place after he himself visited.  Ever since it's been a popular destination for tourists from all around the world!

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. Its houses climb a hill so steep it would be a cliff except that stairs are cut in it. I believe that whereas most house foundations are vertical, in Positano they are horizontal. The small curving bay of unbelievably blue and green water laps gently on a beach of small pebbles. There is only one narrow street and it does not come down to the water. Everything else is stairs, some of them as steep as ladders. You do not walk to visit a friend, you either climb or slide.
— John Steinbeck, Positano Bites Deep, Harper's Bazaar, May 1953

The beautiful Amalfi Coast consists of many different towns, all of which I hope to explore someday.  For this specific trip I had only 3 days so it made sense to check out just one, and Positano won our vote (and eventually our hearts).  Here's everything you need to know to plan your Positano getaway!

Side note: If you have more than 3 days you could easily spend more time here - the more the merrier especially given that there are so many other towns to explore nearby.

 

HOW TO GET TO POSITANO

Depending on where you're coming from, there are two different options I recommend:

  • Via Naples: Fly or train into Naples and then cab to Positano
    • The cab ride is about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Naples to Positano
  • Via Salerno: Take a train to Salerno and then ferry to Positano.  You could also take a cab if you wanted.  We took a ferry on the way in and a cab on our way out — the views from both were unreal.  If you have the extra time, I’d recommend exactly that over in/out from Naples
    • The ferry takes 1 hour and 15 minutes, leaving every hour or two (changes based on time of year).  Check the schedule here to be sure.  It makes a stop at Amalfi on the way (good photo opp) and they serve drinks and snacks on board
    • A cab from Positano to Salerno will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes and goes along the coast.  The views are unreal. It cost us €130 which split between numerous people was well worth it

Other options from Naples (bus, ferry) can be found here.

When you book your accommodations, ask them about transportation.  Mine booked my cab ride out for me so I didn't have to worry about anything except being ready at the time they were scheduled to arrive.

 
 

WHERE TO STAY

Stay at Dimora del Podesta, a wonderful b&b ran by the sweetest local Italian family.  The location is perfect — the walk from town/the beach is about 15 minutes (uphill but very doable) or you can take a bus there if need be.  Each morning they serve you breakfast on the terrace overlooking town which is pretty magical.  Also some of my favorite moments of my month long Europe trip were while sitting on the balcony, drinking wine, listening to music and people watching.  Since going in July 2015 I've had numerous friends stay here at my recommendation and they all loved it as well.  Tell them I sent you :)

If you're looking for something a little (ok, a lot) fancier, Le Sirenuse Hotel is about as dreamy as it gets.  The view is to die for (you see it on Insta constantly, I'm sure) and the most Instagram-perfect champagne bar I've ever seen.  If you aren't staying here, at least go for a drink and the view!

 

WHAT TO DO

One of 100 reasons I love the wonderful people at Dimora del Podesta is because when we arrived, Elia, one of the brothers, sat on the balcony with us going over our plans.  We didn't have many but knew we wanted to squeeze as much into our three days as possible and thanks to him we came up with the following:

  • Spend a day at the smaller beach (Spiaggia del Fornillo) - it's less busy than the main big one (Spiaggia Grande) and just as pretty.  It's also lined with places to eat and drink so you can grab lunch between tanning sessions. The day we spent there was one of my favorite days of all time
  • Buy local shoes. They are known for their sandals and a lot of the places will custom make them for you, i.e. you pick out the design and the material and they fit it to your foot.  SO COOL!
  • Take a boat to Capri for the day - the coast is beautiful and there are so many different grottos and generally pretty sights.  Capri was a little underwhelming to be honest, likely because we went in July which is peak tourist season, but if you spend time there check out Anacapri.  
    • Note: I'm the only person on earth that did not love it so you should probably give Capri a chance :) The boat tour was great and I still really enjoyed the day even though I didn't love Capri itself
  • Go to the blue grotto of course (do this as part of your Capri trip)
  • Walk of the Gods if you're up for some exercise!
  • Music on the rocks - it is a club in a cave on the beach! If you are there on a Wednesday go then (it's ladies night which apparently is the night to go) but don't show up before 12:30 or 1am or you'll be there alone (literally)
 

WHERE TO EAT

  • Saraceno d'Oro - it's good (get the pizza) but more importantly the people are amaaaazing.  Make reservations & try to eat outside - it was my favorite street (also the one we stayed on).  Such a fun vibe.  If your waiter is Peppe, tell him hi from me :)
  • Il Fornillo - super cute spot for dinner, very close to Dimora del Podesta
  • Da Afolfo - you can only get here by boat.  The captain takes you to a private beach and cooks fresh seafood lunch for you
  • La Tagliata - they pick you up from your hotel and shuttle you to their restaurant in Montepertuso.  There's no menu, you pay ~40 Euros for all you can drink wine and a many course meal.  The views are unreal
  • The champagne bar at Le Sirenuse Hotel - drinks are pricey but it's worth it for the view! 
  • Ristorante da Costantino - I didn't go here but a friend recommended it.  It's super high up so the view is to die for, allegedly!
 

And that's that! If you're reading this because you're debating visiting - I really cannot say enough how wonderful it is.  Of course it's a popular destination for couples, as it should be, but I went with three girl friends and also had the time of my life.  Do yourself a favor and book it immediately :)

 

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