Ohhhh Positano, with your cascading views, steep roads and beautiful beaches.. how I love you. When we arrived to Positano via ferry from Capri, I felt like I had finally arrived to the Italy I’d always imagined. I’d been dreaming about coming here for years and we were ACTUALLY THERE.
We got off the ferry, with our over-sized backpacks we had packed for about a month of travel, and started walking in the direction we assumed our hotel was in. We had a screen-shot on my phone from the last time we had wifi and were able to look up the directions, so we started up the road. We knew Positano was full of steps and steep walkways, but we didn’t know exactly what we were getting ourselves into.
We walked for what felt like an hour (but which was probably only about 20 minutes), up stairwells and down paths with signs we didn’t exactly understand, until we finally arrived at our Hotel, Art Hotel Pasitea. This hotel was great! Not the fanciest we’ve ever seen, but our balcony had a beautiful view, the staff was super friendly and helpful and we ending up really loving the location up in the hills away from the crowds.
When we walked in the concierge said “Oh, you must have taken the bus to get here. It drops off right in front.” Oops. He must not have had a good look at us yet, because our sweat-soaked shirts would say otherwise. Needless to say, if you stay here, take the city bus, which you can pick up right above the beach area in the little town and it will take you up the road in no time for just a few Euro.
After we checked in and went up to the room, I took a shower and got situated while my husband went for a quick walk around the neighborhood (this happens just about everywhere we go – I need a minute to unwind and he likes to set out on a quick little adventure to scope things out – it works perfectly). On his walk he found a restaurant with an AMAZING view, made a reservation for dinner and came back to say “I found our dinner spot! Even if the food isn’t great, the view is worth it,” and he was so right!
Luckily, the food (and wine) was fantastic at Gabrisa Positano! Check out this view though!
Italians tend to eat much later than we are used to in Hawaii, but I would still recommend showing up here a bit earlier so you can catch the sunset while you enjoy a drink!
The next morning we woke up, had breakfast and coffee in our hotel (the breakfast was decent and included in our hotel price) and headed to the beach! We enjoyed the steep walk down to the beach town as we stopped to take photos and marvel at the view.
We are typically pretty early risers – so we got to the beach before ANYONE else had arrived and reserved a few lounge chairs for the day. I found these early mornings to be some of my favorites of our trip because we were able to enjoy each place for ourselves before the madness began. July and August are high season on the Italian Coast and in the afternoons, everything gets pretty busy. Getting to the beach early meant we were able to swim and enjoy the quiet before everyone arrived. After about a few hours, it started to rain a bit. We thought we’d wait it out (coming from Hawaii we’re used to a quick downpour, followed by sunshine and we don’t mind getting a little wet) but then it started to REALLY come down on us. We packed up our things and headed into the little shops along with crowds of people who had the same idea.
We found a little cafe, ordered a glass of wine (I think it was probably 11:00 by then…okay, so maybe it was only 10:00 or 10:30, don’t judge us….) and a pastry and sat out the storm. There was louder and brighter thunder and lightening than I’d ever seen or heard and everyone packed inside doing the same thing we did. We actually got a huge kick out of it. Two minutes ago we were on the beach, now we’re ducking for cover from the craziest storm we’d possibly ever seen. About an hour went by and the weather did just what it does in Hawaii – it started to clear, the clouds parted and the sun started to shine. We paid our bill and walked around the little shops before heading back down to the beach.
This time we ordered some Italian beer and olives and spent the rest of the afternoon lounging in the sun until we’d had enough and headed back up to our room.
*Tip – the sand here isn’t smooth and fine like we are used to in Hawaii – instead it’s made up of tiny little pebbles that get extremely hot when the sun is blazing. Make sure to wear your slippahs (sandals or flip-flops) down to the water to avoid burning your toes!
That night, we had one of the best meals/experiences of our lives. Are you ready? You should definitely be writing this down. We read a recommendation for a family restaurant called Tratteria La Tagliata before we arrived in Positano and the concierge at the hotel later told us it was his favorite restaurant in all of Positano. That was all we needed to make a reservation. We chose the earliest time they had (remember, we really like watching the sunset during dinner or drinks) and they even had a free shuttle pick us up for dinner. We figured out this was necessary because it was about a 30-minute windy drive up into the hills that we never would have made on our own.
This was the view from our table! Getting there on the first shuttle of the night made it possible for us to have a front and center table to this incredible sight. So worth it.
Besides the gorgeous view, basically everything made here is grown right there on this land. They use fresh, healthy ingredients and put so much love into every meal. Their gardens and grounds were breathtaking and we were so glad it was still light out when we arrived so we could take a walk around and enjoy the scenery.
There is no menu, they just bring out each course for you, one at a time, and you’re able to try so many different dishes. Our favorite dish was something the waiter called “Mama Pasta, No Name” – it was similar to a lasagna without red sauce and we absolutely loved it. I don’t eat meat or dairy in my normal life, but decided not to shy away from anything they brought to the table. I wanted to eat the food they prepared in the way it was meant to be enjoyed, and I felt good knowing exactly where all of the ingredients came from. I even met a man outside the restaurant who said he is a vegan who only eats meat and dairy once a year when he visits this exact spot. His exact words were “Monsanto doesn’t even know this place exists.” With that being said, I did TRY bites of everything, but I left most of the meat to be consumed by my other half. Poor guy had a lot to make up for and was so stuffed when we left. They also make their own wine and it’s wonderful!
The entire meal only cost 40 Euro per person. That was it! Including the shuttle to and from our hotel, including their wonderful wine and dessert that we ate so quickly we forgot to photograph. If you go to Positano, this place is an absolute MUST. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to visit this place. Before we left we looked at each other and agreed we would be back someday.
We spent the rest of our time walking around the city, visiting the small shops, enjoying the views, and drinking more wine of course.
We left a little piece of our hearts in Positano and can’t wait to return someday!