Ahhh… Half term had arrived and it was time for me to pack up the kids, half the house and stuff for myself as we were off on different adventures. The little ones went to spend 3 days driving my mum crazy (she loves having them really) and Mr Be and I were off to spend 3 days in Positano, Italy.
We flew from Luton Airport and all was pretty straight forward. Our flight out was pretty empty so we had literally our pick of seats. It was a short two-and-a-half-hour flight which we paid £377 for. A very reasonable price as it was half term. We flew with EasyJet. Mr Be doesn’t love EasyJet as he’s a bit of a snob when it comes to flying (I’m not talking first or business class or anything, he would never fly Ryanair though). I had checked the prices for British airways which were £150 more- I just could not justify paying this amount as we would have to buy our snacks on the plane anyway. When all was said and done we got to Naples airport ahead of schedule.
Now, getting to our accommodation was time consuming to say the least but it was definitely the most scenic. We jumped on a Bus from outside of the airport which took us to Sorrento which is basically the half way point between Naples and Positano. 10 Euros and and hour and fifteen minutes later we arrived in Sorrento. I recommend getting the bus, its air conditioned and allows you to see the beautiful hills and landscapes of the area as you drive around. It may not be the most luxurious way of getting around (the bus was more of a coach and the interior was in need of some repair) but if its your first time I would recommend it. If you do want a private transfer from Naples to Positano it will cost you around €90-€125 one way. You could also use the ferry system which is reliable but the bus is your most cost effective option.
Once in Sorrento we go on the SITA Bus (an ordinary bus) which took us to Positano within an hour and cost €8 each. Now the road to Positano is not for the faint hearted or those with a fear of heights. The road literally winds round the outskirts of the mountain so on your left hand side you will see massive towering mountainsides and on your right, steep cliff edges and the sea. Mr Be doesn’t really like heights and so was a little on edges as the bus sped around the narrow, windy, cliff hanging roads. Views were out of this world though!
Where we stayed…..
We chose to Stay in Positano over Sorrento or Amalfi as we felt it was the most central point and that the town itself has easy links, by ferry or bus, to the other neighbouring towns including the island of Capri. We knew we would be visiting all of the places I’ve listed so Positano was a winner in regards to a base for us.
Casa Cosenza was our home for the next 3 nights. It’s a small, family run B & B in the heart of Positano. To get to it from the bus stop took around 10 minutes of walking down hill and down around 190 stairs with our luggage. Positano is literally built on a mountainside so if you are going be prepared for PLENTY of walking up and down many, many stairs. You will get plenty of exercise which you will need to burn off all the delicious food.
Back to our accommodation. We booked Casa Cosenza through Airbnb and it cost us £410 for 3 nights, room only, check in at 2pm and check out at 10am. If you want you can ask for breakfast to be served on your balcony for an extra €10 each but be warned it consists of only croissants, tea/coffee, juice and jam. I didn’t think it was worth it.
Our hosts were very welcoming. Everything about the accommodation was explained when we arrived and that was It really. Very laid back and easy going. The room itself was lovely, very Italian in regards to the décor. The whole room was a lovely shade of dusky pink including the tiled floors. There was a fridge with a few drinks and snacks (payable) a wardrobe, safe and an ensuite bathroom with the usual amenities. The room was basic, very clean and quite frankly all we needed. But to be honest it wasn’t the room that we paid for…it was the view! Just look at it…postcard perfection. Waking up to this in the mornings and seeing the sparkling beauty of it at night was something else. If your looking for somewhere clean, tidy with hospitable hosts then Casa Cosenza is your pick if staying in Positano.
Filling the days…
Although our trip was only three days long, we managed to do quite a bit and see most of the Amalfi coast. In Positano we spent a day and an evening, looking in the independent art galleries (which displayed some stunning works, some of which you can see below), shopping and buying souvenirs in the quaint, shops located on the steep, winding back streets. Walking along the streets you can smell wafts of lemon from the lemon candle shops, the scent is strong but if your in to lemony fresh smells you need to get yourself a candle. Our one is in the bathroom, it hasn’t been lit but you can smell it as soon as you walk in.
We travelled to the island of Capri by ferry which cost us €38.50 return. The ferry ride lasts lasted for around 40 mins and is very breezy but beautiful. Taking a ferry is probably the quickest way to travel around the Amalfi coast, the service is also very efficient and reliable. Tickets can be purchased on the harbour and you will also be given a ferry schedule to help plan your journey back.
As soon as the ferry docked at Capri Marina we were greeted by lots of taxi drivers offering to be our chauffeur for the day (for €150) to take us up to Capri town and to Anacapri, which were 3km and 6km away from the Marina- all up hill I might add. We declined the chauffeur offer and went to the Laser Capri kiosk instead to buy tickets for a tour around the Island. We paid €18.00 each for a boat tour around the island which included stops at places of interest such as Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto), Punta Carena, I Faraglioni, Arco Naturale. I have to say that the stop at the blue Grotto was a truly beautiful experience. E pulled up to the grotto and were met by men in gondolas who rowed us into the grotto. The light from outside the grotto hits the water and illuminates it to a stunning clear blue colour. Its very hard to describe so I hope the photos do it the justice it deserves. Now the snag here is that when you get to the blue grotto you have to pay to get into the little gondolas- €14 each. This is a bit of a cheeky tactic, which is stated in the very fine print on their flyer but its well worth the money.
After our tour of the Island we walked the 3 kilometres up to Capri town centre. This took 20 minutes and was an absolute killer on the thighs. I’m telling you, I had thighs of steel after this trip and the step counter on my IPhone was through the roof. Seriously though if you’re not a fan of walking or cannot walk for long periods of time, take a cab. In the town centre you will find a playground for the rich, lots of high end clothing stores, restaurants, galleries and shops. The views from the town are very picturesque but be warned the town is full of tourists and is very busy, even in mid October.
On our last day we travelled by ferry to Amalfi. Amalfi is very close to Positano, the trip took about 20 mins and cost us €8 each. Another fantastic ferry ride, I just can’t get over the views and the way that people build their homes and businesses into the mountain side, truly amazing. In Amalfi we visited the Cathedral, did some chopping and ate gelato. We were tempted to get the bus up to Ravello but decided against it and just walked leisurely around the town instead.
The food, the food! Everything we ate was delicious! I’m being serious. We love Italian food and everything we ate did not disappoint. We ate at all types of food establishments from Michelin star to street food and all was very tasted. Apart from the scrambled eggs. I’m not sure why but we had scrambled eggs twice fro two different restaurants and both times they were very watery, perhaps they were trying to stretch the eggs by adding a lot of milk, I’m not sure but we didn’t enjoy those. In Positano we mainly had breakfast at Caffe Positano which was a little way up from Casa Cosenza. They serve English, American and full continental breakfasts as well has pancakes and omelettes at a fairly reasonable price, 2 mushroom and spinach omelettes, a coffee and a tea came to around €20.
We ate dinner 2 nights in a row at the famous Chez Black purely because the food was excellent and the service was so warm and welcoming. Mr Black himself (the owner of the restaurant, a cuddly older gentleman) greeted us both nights. The restaurant has been there since 1949 and sports a wall full of photographs of Mr Black, his family and celebrities who have visited over the years. Matt Damon, Queen Latifah, Denzel Washington (whose photo is up their at least 5 times, a regular visitor) along with many other celebrities can be seen eating and smiling with Mr Black in his restaurant in the photos. We ate seafood risotto, grilled fish, squid and prawns, black ink pasta with calamari, profiteroles, rumbababs and cherry tart over the two nights that we visited, as well as drinking whisky and cocktails. Our meals were not cheap in Chez Black as we paid round €90 each night for two courses each, water and and alcoholic beverage each. I have to say though that the food was worth every penny, the seafood was cooked perfectly and desserts were out of this world. Mr Black also gave us a ‘pass’ to a bar that he owned along the beach called The Fly Bar where we went after dinner on the first night and had more cocktails. Fly Bar is a candlelit room, decorated with soft furnishings a bar and a pianist playing easy listening tunes. Very beautiful!
On Capri Island we ate pizza at Al Capri which was well priced at €8 each and had gelato from the shop next door which was the best gelato I have ever tasted, €5 for two scoops. Try the pistachio and chocolate…yum! In Amalfi we had lunch at the restaurant (I can’t remember the name of it) which is directly outside of the Duomo di Amalfi (Amalfi Cathedral). We ate pizza, club sandwiches and fries and drank Prosecco, all of which came to €32 so quite good value for money. Be aware though some of the restaurants put a ‘coperto’ (cover charge) onto your bill. I thought it was service charge but at one place we had the coperto and service charge! The coperto charge we found was usually €3-5 and only on the bill at the smaller restaurants.
On our last night we went to Rada restaurant (a Michelin star restaurant owned by Mr Black as well, that guy is cleaning up in Positano). In the summer it would be difficult to get a table at Rada but because it was October and the end of the season we pretty much had our pick of tables. We we sat by the window looking out onto the waves and the night lights of Positano. The food here was very special. Each course was unique, flavoursome and beautifully presented. As we were celebrating 15 years together we did push the boat out a bit, we had the 6 course tasting menu and the bill came to €230…. not cheap.
So to summarise…..
Positano is truly romantic and bellisimo! It is not a cheap place to spend 3 nights but there are ways to keep your pockets happy but you have to be willing to spend a lot of time researching for the most cost effective ways of travelling around, finding places to eat and stay. Food in general was expensive-especially if you like good food and great service.
The local people are warm and very welcoming, they are happy to help you in anyway they can and are just genuine nice people trying to make a living. The picturesque views are something that I will find hard to forget, such beauty. If your planning on taking a trip to Positano I highly recommend it but you need to do one thing first- buy yourself an extremely sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes as the steps are no joke.