It’s our very last city guide from our European adventure and it’s bitter sweet to be done. I was reliving each moment as I put together these posts and now, looking through these photos was making me miss Italy so much, and I can’t believe it’s been over a month since we returned.
Our last few days were spent in Positano, a town on the Almafi coast. After being in Cinque Terre earlier on in the trip, I kind of expected the same vibe, and although both areas are colorful fishing villages situated ever so carefully on a rocky mountainside, they had a different vibe to them altogether.
We weren’t as active during this part of the trip because it was the last few days of a super long trip, but we still managed to squeeze about as much out of this small town as two days would allow.
Day 1 Cruising into town: Although Positano is accessible by car and bus, we took the train to nearby Salerno, then caught a ferry into Positano. The train was much shorter and less expensive than the bus, plus we had the added bonus of approaching Positano by sea allowing us to take the views in from a stunning vantage point. The ferry also stops in Almafi before arriving in Positano, so it was nice to see both towns (even though we didn’t get off there). The train tickets were about $40 each and the ferry was $23 with Travel Mar. After we got off the train, there wasn’t really any info as to where the port was, so we just walked straight out of the station toward the water and sure enough saw a sign for the ferries.
The worst part about ferrying into town was that we had to lug our bags to the hotel which was about halfway up the side of the mountain. We wound through tourists and were ‘those people’ with our luggage banging across the cobblestone streets. After arriving at our hotel, Albergo California, we were immediately wowed by the views from our room and the cost of the mini bar. I know that sounds so silly, but the beers and prosecco were 1.50! We cracked open two cold ones and sat on the patio, soaking in the amazing views.
After grabbing a reservation at a nearby restaurant, Bruno, for dinner, we set off to explore the town at dusk. There were shops selling nothing by lemon everything, custom leather sandal shops, and lots of adorable patios on which to grab a cold prosecco. After eyeing the menu at one such place, we realized that the bubbly at our hotel was about 1/10th of the cost and walked back up the hill to sit on the Albergo California terrace for some pre-dinner drinks.
Dinner at Bruno was great. Service was a little on the questionable side – like the waiter would talk us up for 20 minutes, then not come back for an hour – but the food was wonderful. We both got primo piatti of pasta, then an entree, but the pasta dishes were so big, I wish I would have stopped there… The spaghetti al vongole was spot on. The only downside of the food and wine scene in Positano is the more tourist-centric pricing. In Cinque Terre and Rome we could get a pasta dish for $8 and a bottle of wine for $15, but it was back to reality in Positano with $15-18 pasta dishes and $30-40 bottles of wine – the exception being the bar at our hotel which was molto economico!
Day 2 Relaxing Walk: We set out exploring the town a bit more and a bit more leisurely than the previous placed we visited. We meandered up to Casa e bottega which was the CUTEST shop with farm-to-table style brunch. The shop was a one-room store, kitchen, and seating and was lovely. They had the most adorable ceramics. I would have bought a ton there had I faith they’d get home in one piece.
After a bit more shopping, we decided an afternoon beverage was in order and stopped at Caffe Positano for a light lunch. I had melon with prosciutto and a prosecco while Matty had some grilled prawns and a beer. The view wasn’t to shabby either!
Satisfied with our light lunch we worked our way down to the beach and found a beach shack with some sort of spiked frozen lemon something. We took our lemon drinks to the nearest beach chair for some views of the sea. The beach chairs are part of the beach ‘club’ and we paid 15 euro to enjoy two chairs for the afternoon. I figured it was worth it since the beach is rocky and not very soft. Plus, the umbrellas made it quite nice to take a little beach nap.
Sufficiently rejuvenated, we headed back to our hotel for a sunset view off the patio. With a few more 1.50 proseccos, we lounged and chatted about the town, the trip, and most importantly, what to eat that night. I’d made us reservations at La Tagliata, which I’d heard great things about, but it was too far to walk and there really aren’t any taxis in Positano. I ended up scheduling the restaurant shuttle to pick us up, but it never came, so we were back to the drawing board. We ended up just walking down into the village and stopping in at Ristorante Max and had a fabulous meal. I was a bit sour from the issue with the shuttle, so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have, however. I did have one of the best wines of the trip there and wish I could recall the label!
Day 3 Return to reality: The next day, we woke up late, had a very italian breakfast of two cappuccinos with a cornetto and reflected our two perfect days in Positano. After packing up, we hopped on the ferry, then the train to travel back to Rome to catch our flight.
I was so grateful and fulfilled from the wonderful trip we’d had and was ready to get home. We covered SO much ground on our trip from Paris, to Burgundy, to Switzerland, to Cinque Terre, to Rome and finishing in Positano. By the time we flew home, I could barely remember the beginning of the trip.
After it was all said and done, I have to admit I had a favorite –
Cinque Terre was my favorite spot for an outdoorsy, relaxing, authentic Italian adventure. The pace was slow there and the people were so kind. We had the best meal of our trip there and some of the best views. It isn’t a place you’d go to for glitz, glamor, or nightlife, but it had everything that a vacation is to Matt and I. For people thinking about a visit, I would probably pair together a trip to Florence with a trip to Cinque Terre. You get the history and romance of Florence and the raw, outdoorsy paradise of Cinque Terre – and they’re pretty close to each other. We didn’t go to Florence on this trip because we’d been a few times before, but this is totally what I’d do for a return trip. I just hope it’s sooner rather than later!