The article was prepared with Kasia and Łukasz from Creativeroamers.
Romantic Positano, Poseidon and delizia al limone
We arrived at Positano in the rays of the setting sun, following a line of cars heading “to paradise”. The journey to the famous coast offered us wonderful views: when driving from Rome, we passed the dormant slopes of Vesuvius on the left, and on the right, in the distance, between the waves shimmering in the sun – Capri, the island of sirens. But the real feast for the eyes was yet to begin.
Walking in the evening around the decorated with lanterns, palm trees and flowers Via Marina Grande promenade by the main beach, we realised we had indeed come to paradise. In front of us, there was a “cake” (as the inhabitants call it), a high cone-shaped cliff with colourful buildings piled up, now shining like candles on a cake. Although the place is visited by about 10,000 people a day, it was very quiet here. We could hear Italian melodies from the restaurant while tourists, at tables along the promenade, were eating pasta with seafood or the famous local dessert: delizia al limone (lemon cake with icing). After all, many people consider Positano the most romantic place in Italy for a reason. Supposedly, the Greek god, Poseidon, created this town out of love for the nymph Pasithei. Sitting by the promenade and soaking up this extraordinary atmosphere, we already knew that we had to stay here longer than originally planned.
Wonder women, lemons, fiat 500 and la dolce vita
The day in Positano greeted us with fabulous views from our balcony. In the distance, we could see an archipelago of the small islands of Li Galli. If you’re visiting Positano and the Amalfi Coast, you should book a room with a view. In high season, prices may start from EUR 170 a night, but you shouldn’t spare any money! This place is worth it!
We ate a small breakfast (croissant and coffee) and went for a morning ride in the legendary red Fiat 500 from the 1960s. Marcello, our driver, told us the story of the car: it belonged to his grandmother, and he decided to renovate it and take visitors on tours around his town. As we were getting to know Positano by car, we stopped at the best viewpoints to admire the first rays of sun that were falling on the cliffs and the “cake” by the main beach. Finally, we drove to the viewpoint on the SS163 Amalfitana road with a wonderful panorama of Positano and the surrounding area. Next to the road, you can try the best juice you’ll ever have at a very friendly Mr Salvo’s stall with fruit and vegetables.
We finished our ride, said goodbye to Marcello and went for lunch. We ended up in the famous Collina bakery, where they serve the best lemon granita and lemon zest ice cream! Anyway, lemons are everywhere – from lemon trees, through plates, cups, various types of ceramics that you can buy in souvenir shops, to delizia al limone or limoncello – a lemon liqueur that it is produced from a special variety of this fruit. Why lemons? This region is famous for the cultivation of lemon trees, and lemon is simply its symbol.
After a lazy afternoon in the town, we went for another ride, but this time we changed the means of transport to… a boat. We were going on a special sunset cruise. We heard Positano looks even better from the sea – and it was time to check it out. Our captain came to pick us up at the harbour by the beach. Swaying slightly in the waves, we took off the shore and let ourselves be carried away by these unforgettable moments. Once again we admired the Amalfi coast and the views of the once sleepy fishing town – now bustling with life, but remaining an intimate seaside resort. We are not surprised that the area attracts so many artists and filmmakers from all over the world. Films such as “The Talented Mr Ripley”, “Rome” by Fellini or the blockbuster from 2017 – “Wonder Woman” were shot here. We sailed a little to the east towards Praiano and Amalfi. The captain prepared champagne for us, so we opened the bottle and took a few sips, gazing at the last rays of the sunshine. I think this is called “la dolce vita”, isn’t it?
Late in the evening, intoxicated with happiness and wonderful views, we arrived at the hotel, where we still could see the glowing “cake” from the balcony. Neither of us wanted to fall asleep, as this image was mesmerizing.
Capri, the Margherita, and the most beautiful hotel in Italy
The next day in this Italian paradise brought new attractions: we decided to see Amalfi – once a former Roman colony, and later one of the four duchies (maritime republics) just like Venice, Genoa, and Pisa. It’s possible to get there by car, bus, or ferry. We chose the last option. The cruise took about 20 minutes and provided us with stunning views of the Amalfi coast. From Positano, you can also sail to Capri, a picturesque island located right next to the Sorrento peninsula. The island offers amazing seascapes, dramatic cliffs, charming towns and very exclusive hotels. The places worth visiting are the towns of Capri and Anacapri, Marina Grande – the main harbour, and the highest point on the island – Monte Solaro (589 meters above sea level), which you can reach by a cable car.
When we reached Amalfi, the dome of the tower of St Andrew’s Cathedral, the town’s patron saint, gleamed in the sun. We left the ferry and set out to conquer Amalfi, getting lost quite quickly in narrow, atmospheric streets. Again, we noticed lemons were everywhere: on plates, postcards, and pictures. Even though we visited the Amalfi coast at the beginning of September, the closer to noon, the hotter it was getting. We decided to buy two lemon granitas and rest in the shade. We admired the cathedral of St. Andrew, which was just in front of us, and we wondered how this town could be inhabited by 70,000 people (for comparison, nowadays, there are only 5,000 inhabitants). In the past, thanks to its strategic location (the routes of Western European, Arab and Byzantine merchants crossed here), Amalfi quickly grew rich and strong.
Rent a car and book attraction tickets before you go!
However, as a result of numerous invasions by the troops of the Duchies of Genoa and Pisa, the maritime republic of Amalfi fell in 1136. Later, in 1343, a tsunami devastated the harbour and much of the city. After this catastrophe, Amalfi never regained its former glory. The world heard about the town again only in the first half of the 20th century, when the first foreign tourists started coming to the coast. Today, Amalfi, along with the entire region, is one of the most visited places in Italy. After a moment of rest, we moved on to look at the wonderful hand-painted ceramics. We even considered buying a souvenir mug – of course with a lemon painted on it. We tried to soak up the atmosphere of a seaside town, but soon we sat down again to eat lunch. This time we chose pizza. We were close to Naples, the place where Margherita was invented, so we asked for two Margheritas. That was an excellent choice, the dough was amazing!
Time for the next point of the trip – the town of Atrani, which is located right next to Amalfi. We reached it by a narrow path running between the buildings. We had to climb a bit, but it wasn’t in vain. After a while, we saw a cape full of colourful buildings, including the church of St. Mary Magdalene, and rows of blue umbrellas on the beach below. For many, this town is the most charming on the entire coast. We went down the hill to the centre of Atrani, and we hung out around the streets for a while – there are fewer people here, and you can still feel the atmosphere of a sleepy fishing village. Yes, this is a place where you can really relax after strolling through the bustling streets of Amalfi. Another town, Ravello, towers over Atrani – it’s called the most romantic on the whole coast. It has beautiful villas and magnificent gardens, and above all – it offers stunning views.
Sadly, it was time to go, we returned to Amalfi along the beautiful seaside promenade, passing rows of colourful umbrellas and tourists resting under them. We boarded the ferry, and again, we were struck by the beauty of the Amalfi coastline. But the day wasn’t over! In the evening, we went for limoncello at one of the most beautiful hotels in Italy – Le Sirenuse. The hotel opened in 1951 and offers its guests stunning views of Positano, a swim in the pool surrounded by lemon trees and meals in the Michelin-starred restaurant. The fabulous atmosphere on the hotel’s terrace only made us even more sure that we didn’t want to leave this place.
The Tyrrhenian Sea and sweet doing nothing
We decided to spend our last day simply resting. Positano’s main beach, Spiaggia Grande (“Big Beach”), offers phenomenal views of the town, but it’s a bit crowded, and we were looking for something a little more intimate. We chose a small cove next to the town where the Fornillo beach is located. There were a lot of locals were on this beach. We went for a swim in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The water was warm, nice and very clean. Then, we spent half of the day on “sweet doing nothing”. Returning from the beach, we sat down at the restaurant on the main promenade and ate the best zucchini paccheria in our life. The Amalfi Coast just wouldn’t let us go.
However, it was time to leave our little paradise. The weather reflected our moods – a storm was coming. We said goodbye to this fairy-tale corner of Italy, leaving a large piece of our hearts in it – we would definitely come back here.
Location: the Amalfi Coast is the southern part of the Sorrento peninsula on the Gulf of Naples.
How to get there:
- by plane: you can find a lot of connections to Naples, and from there, all you need is a transfer, taxi, or bus to Positano or another town on the coast. You can also fly to Rome and rent a car. The journey from Rome to the Amalfi Coast takes about 3 hours.
- by car: if you live close enough, you can go by your own car. You can also rent a car upon arriving in Italy, but remember that parking is difficult on the entire coast. There are very few parking spaces, so book a hotel with parking facilities.
Hotels:the hotel base is quite large, but the prices in the season start from EUR 170 a night – you have to be prepared for expenses.
Rent a boat with a skipper: EUR 180 for 2 people, 1.5 hours, sunset cruise with champagne.
A ride in a historic Fiat 500: EUR 150 for 1.5 hours, most often in the morning.
Positano to Amalfi ferry: EUR 9-10 depending on the season.
Sun loungers and umbrellas: Fornillo beach: EUR 35 for two sun loungers and an umbrella per day, Spiaggia Grande: from EUR 30 for an umbrella and two sun loungers per day.