Positano’s MUST GO’s list continues…

* Wine & Dine

There are so many great restaurants to chose from! Here are 3 of my favorite dinner spots:

  • La Tagliata: A MUST! Sitting high above Positano in Montepertuso, the Barba family (Peppino, Antonietta, Enzo and their parents) welcomes you to their restaurant for Italian cooking and hospitality at its best! Make reservations (+39 089 875 872) and they’ll send a car to pick you up for the 15 minute ride up the mountain.  Ensure its early enough to enjoy the sweeping views and sunset. Come hungry…the delicious 4 course dinner is family style, complete with wine and limoncello, and only €35 per person. The atmosphere is pure Italy! *Update 22 February 2011* We love this restaurant so much we’re having our wedding dinner here in May 2011 in their NEW larger property right next door! They’ve built this spectacular new location by hand over the last several years. Three terraces offer even more sublime views of the coast in the distance and their organic vegetable gardens just below…enjoy as you feast and drink! They also offer two lovely bed & breakfast guest rooms for rent. Visit their new website for tons of fabulous photos!
  • La Guarracino: This romantic spot, located on the Via Positanesi d’America, sits above the sea like a tree house. Great seafood like Poseidon’s Treasure and pasta like Tagliatelle al Limone.
  • Da Vincenzo: Cute authentic Italian spot in town with amazing local pasta dishes like scialatielli with eggplant and smoked parmesan and zucchini parmigiana. Make reservations as it gets crowded (on Viale Pasitea 172, +39 089 875 128).
  • After dinner: If you’ve still got energy, there are a couple of great places for live music and dancing.  Music on the Rocks, built into a cavern at the east end of the Spiaggia Grande, is a unique bar with live music during the week and a nightclub on weekends (it doesn’t get going until LATE).  La Zagara, a great pasticceria by day, is a piano bar at night… its fantastic for enjoying a nice after dinner drink and live music under the lemon tress covered patio.

* Explore the Coast

By car or boat there are so many incredible spots within easy distance of Positano:

  • Amalfi: A short, albeit tight & winding drive down the coast is Amalfi, the biggest town on the coast (if you don’t have a car you can bus or take a ferry from the beach). Once home to a thriving paper industry, this port town is busy with activity.  A great stop for a few hours of exploration and lunch.
  • Ravello: Pass Amalfi and head up the mountains 1,100 feet to this romantic town high above the Gulf of Salerno. Enjoy sweeping views of the entire coast. Villas and gardens to explore…some even turned into beautiful hotels like Palazzo Sasso. The Ravello Chamber Music Festival takes place every year March – November.
  • Pompeii & Herculaneum: Destroyed in 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius erupted, Pompeii was a bustling ancient city sprawling 66 hectares. Discovered in the 16th century, 45 hectares have been excavated giving visitors an amazing look at a preserved ancient civilization. About 45 minutes by car from Positano, I recommend getting a local guide they offer to give you an individual tour.  Herculaneum, once a resort town, was discovered first and is better preserved because of the volcanic mud that covered it (about 15 minutes from Pompeii). Another treasure is supposed to be Paestum, further south of Positano, with the most complete Greek temples in the world even counting those in Greece.
  • Capri: A 45 minute boat ride away is this small glamorous island and its most famous attraction, the Blue Grotto.

Where to Stay? My favorite little local family run hotel is Albergo California. The Cinque Family owns the hotel … Maria is Mamma and hostess ensuring every guest is happy! From adorable balcony rooms at great rates (only 15) to breakfast on their incredible terrace, its a great spot with fantastic views and an easy walk to town. Maria can also arrange everything from transportation from Rome/Naples to great activities…cooking classes, wine tastings, painting classes, excursions to Pompeii and Capri. If they’re booked we also stayed at Casa Albertina, a cute hotel with 19 rooms on the opposite Positano cliff from Albergo California, up high so it has stunning views (and also lots of steps to get there).  Maria also recommends Villa Rosa next door to her if she’s booked. Friends have enjoyed their stay at Hotel Palazzo Murat and renting a quaint apartment from Ville In Italia.

I recommend a minimum of 2 days to drink in all Positano has to offer then give yourself another 2 or more days to explore the coast with Positano as your base. If you can take a full week, you will not be disappointed with everything it has to offer. Best bet getting there is fly to Rome or Naples… if Rome then train to Naples and get a car service from Naples to Positano for €100. Rental car is also an option if you prefer driving albeit a little more stressful. Best time of year to go is May-early June and September… its high season as are July and August but not as busy.

And for more amazing photos to put you in the mood visit the gallery.

Positano…the perfect spot to practice ‘dolce far niente’…the joy of doing nothing!