After a few days in Almafi we decided to travel about a half hour north to another coastal town called Positano. Notorious for pastel colored buildings and beautiful cliff views- this is the most iconic part of southern Italy. We checked into an adorable family owned B&B and headed straight to the beach (it only took 500 steps LOL). When we finally got there it was the golden hour & the views of the town were absolutely STUNNING!
Where to Stay
We stayed a family owned property in Positano called II Gabbiano. Each one of their twenty rooms has a sea view & a free breakfast included. Just beware of hidden fees like getting cappuccinos or snacks from the hotel staff (they are not free - yikes!). Another quirk of the hotel was that each time you left you had to give them the metal key to your room so that you wouldn't loose it. One major perk of the property is that it is only about a ten minute walk to the heart of downtown and a lot of popular restaurants.
What to Do
1. Go to Capri
My Dad likes to joke that we never stay in one place for long... While this may be true - you cannot miss the opportunity to go to Capri. From the docks of Positano it is a 20 minute ferry ride to the island, and will only set you back 30 euros roundtrip. Initially, I felt like the island was VERY VERY touristy. But once we took a bus to upper part of the Island (also referred to as Capri) I fell in love with the traditional Italian shops & stunning views. While we were there we took a chair lift to the top of the highest point of the island. Although, the single seater chair lift up the steep cliffs was incredibly scary I would definitely recommend doing it.
2. Go Restaurant Hopping
I decided to embrace the high carb Italian diet by trying different pastas, pizza, and local favorites like gelato. The best part is you won't gain any weight because it will be a cardio workout up all the stairs to get back to your hotel afterwards.
Where to Eat
There are no bad places to get coffee in Italy- I swear. My favorite place was close to downtown Positano called Collina Bakery. The employees were so nice & they gave me a free cappuccino when they found out we were visiting from Boston.
When we went to Capri there was an absolutely beautiful restaurant called Panorama Pizzeria. Mark Zuckerberg had literally eaten there a few weeks prior. The hospitality of the wait staff, incredible food, and views made it the best dining experience I have ever had. *Tip* Many restaurants in Italy charge each person a cover when you sit down. Therefore, it is only necessary to tip 3-5 euros if your service was extra special.
We had some amazing restaurants right near our hotel in Positano. But also if you walk along the beach there are many options to choose from. Chez Black has really great pizza and pasta (lol like pretty much everywhere! But it is also right next to the only club/night life spot in Positano called Music on the Rocks. It does not open until 11:30 pm & the drinks are pretty pricey but it is inside of a cave so the interior was worth checking out.
After an almost 9 hour plane ride, 6 hour time change, and 2 hour drive up the treacherous cliffs of the Almafi Coast sits atop a picturesque mountainside. My parents were brave enough to rent a BMW despite the many warnings of narrow roads, spotty navigation, and lack of signage. I sat in the back seat biting my nails directing them on our GPS. Amidst our jet lag & exhaustion we arrived at our little bed & breakfast just before sunset. Since this was my first time traveling abroad I thought I would share about how wonderful it all was, but also my tips if we were to do the trip again.
Where to Stay
The hotels in the Almafi Coast & Ravello are all very small, family owned, and can be super expensive... It is best to travel towards the beginning of October when it is considered the slower period to find cheaper rates. We stayed at an adorable B&B just outside of the downtown Almafi called Hotel Villa Felice Relais. There was a bus you could take for only 2 euros to go around the area & was fairly easy to use. If you want to be right in the action I would recommend staying in downtown. The prettiest hotels I have ever seen in my entire life were called Santa Caterina in Almafi and Belmond Hotel Caruso in Ravello.
What to Do
1. TAKE THE BUS TO RAVELLO!
This place is absolutely magical. It is located about 15 minutes north of Almafi. Taking the bus up the sides of the steep mountain were absolutely terrifying, but if you can get over a fear of heights it is so worth it. Downtown Almafi can be packed with tourists but this is a much quieter and relaxing town. There is amazing shopping, cafes, and many photo ops.
2. Visit the Almafi Cathedral
Situated right in the center of downtown the Almafi Cathedral (Duomo di Sant'Andrea) is the focal point of Piazza del Duomo. I highly recommend going inside to see the beautiful paintings and sculptures - it is breath-taking!
3. Hang on the Beach
The beach here may be a bit rocky, but the beautiful landscape is hard to pass up. We hung by the coast at a little beach club & restaurant and had some aperol spritz. The weather stays beautiful until November 1'st and plenty of people were still swimming. *Tip* The stairs to get down to the beach can be daunting. It was at least 400 stairs from our hotel to get to the water... Be prepared for a workout!
4. Head to a Winery
You cannot go to Italy without visiting a winery! My brother found us a lunch & tasting on Airbnb about 45 minutes from Amalfi. It is all family owned & the staff was extremely knowledgeable about the winery. We sampled five different wines, had a spaghetti lunch, and ate delicious cake for dessert. You can find the tour here.
Where to Eat
If you like croissants and good espresso Pasticceria Andrea Pansa is the place! Our hotel had a breakfast every morning, but I wanted to try something new out on our second day in Almafi. Pasticceria Andrea Pansa is right in downtown and was very popular. *Caution* iced coffee is not a thing in Italy. I made the mistake of ordering it my first day & it came out like a blended Frappucino. It's best to stick to espresso!
Right on the waterfront is one of the top restaurants in Almafi called Marina Grande. The staff here is so nice & I had the absolute best pasta I have EVER eaten. The food is very reasonably priced and you cannot beat the waterfront views. 10/10 would recommend.
For the best pizza in Almafi you must go to Donna Stella Pizzeria. It located about a 10 minute walk from the center of downtown. There are little lemon trees growing above the tables & the family that owns it is very sweet. My friend had her wedding rehearsal dinner here!
Welcome to my blog, my name is Rachael. I'm a twenty-something year old from New England. Follow my journey into the world of marketing & entrepreneurship. Please write to me with any questions you may have!