Positano is paradise to me, a place I hope to visit many times in my life. Crystal blue water, amazing food, endless wine and beautiful, happy people. It’s a dream destination, total bliss!
Where to stay…
All accommodations listed below are Budget ($90-150 Euros/night) and can be reserved on www.Booking.com except Casa Celeste. Cross reference with www.Tripadvisor.com for reviews, etc. if you are interested more options or opinions.
Also check www.Venere.com for B&B or apartment-type accommodations.
Casa Celeste is my favorite, probably because it’s where my good friend and I spent a blissful and hedonistic week in Positano in June of 2011. Owned by Celeste, her husband and their son Marco, it’s quaint and bare bones, but the views are spectacular and the hospitality is exactly what you want from an Italian family. Rooms run abound 90 Euros a night, maybe a bit more in high season, and the location above Fornillo beach is wonderful. (Celeste and husband do not speak English but Marco can help with any questions or requests.) Their seaside restaurant Bar Bagni Da Ferdinando at Fornillo Beach is ideal for a day of eating and relaxing, either in lounge chairs or at the restaurant, or sunset cocktails. Marco’s brother Guido runs service with a big smile in flip flops, Da Ferdinando T shirt and Gilligan-style beach hat. Truly fantastic!
La Casa di Peppe is another great option in the same area above Fornillo. It’s a beautiful house owned by Peppe’s family and is perched high above the sea and beach in the most amazing setting. Rooms are well decorated and views from the terrace are unbeatable. (Peppe is fluent in English and Spanish and is a true Positano character!)
Casa Teresa is about 20 steps from both Casa Celeste and Casa di Peppe and is another good find in this area. Teresa, her husband and their extended family run the inn and are really lovely people. Accommodations are clean and homey. (Very limited English but communication happens).
Hotel Vittoria is also located above Fornillo Beach and has the most services of all accommodations listed. Rooms are clean and views are amazing. An elevator takes you to an entrance near the beach and a nice breakfast is served on the sun drenched terrace. (Fluent in English and full service hotel).
Eating and Drinking…
Da Adolfo (lunch)
No words can describe how much I love this place. A little boat with a Red Fish sign and sexy little Italian man picks you up at the dock at the Grand (main) Beach where the ferries come and go. From there you ride along the coast for about 10 minutes, past the mountains, coves and high-end hotels and villas that dot the hillside. Just past the spectacular Hotel San Pietro is the seaside restaurant Da Adolfo. Call ahead to reserve a table, the last boat from Positano usually leaves around 1:00pm so be sure to confirm boat times when you call for a reservation. Upon arrival, you can catch some sun on the beach in lounge chairs (around $7 Euros/person for the day) or head straight to the the open air, rock- floored restaurant. Menu changes daily and items are listed on a chalk board. The owner and his brother, who is the Chef, run the restaurant with ease and enjoying a 2-3 hour lunch of starters, pastas, grilled fresh fish, tiramisu and bottles of wine or house sangria is the routine. After the feast, retire to your lounge chair for a nap and try to contain the smile on your face as you drift away and wonder how on earth you could ever be so lucky.
Bar Bagni Da Ferdinando (lunch)
Great location at Fornillo beach. Perfect for fresh tomato bruschetta, salads, sandwiches and a nice cold beer or glass of wine to wash it all down.
Lounge chairs are available for daily rental for about $7 Euros. Great place to enjoy an early evening spritz as well! (Kayaks available for rental too).
Da Vincenzo (dinner)
Had a DELICIOUS dinner here. Started with marinated white anchovies, Caprese salad with the best fresh mozzarella and ripe tomatoes, Zuppa di Cozze (mussels in tomato sauce), seafood Pasta and lots of delicious Falanghina white wine. Loved this place.
Il Ritrovo (dinner)
Call ahead for a reservation and they will send a driver to pick you up. Located high in the hills of Montepertuso above Positano, the views are incredible…and the food is some of the best in Positano.
Ideally you would fly straight to Naples then arrange for a transfer to pick you up at the airport.
Positano Shuttle has been my go-to on every occasion, I also use them for the reverse trip from Amalfi Coast back to the airport or train station. Just make sure to book at least 24 hours in advance.
There is a $35 (Euro) shared shuttle that can pick you up either at the Airport or Train Station, or you can request a private transfer starting at $95 (Euros) for 1-3 people. Make sure to complete the reservation using Paypal or credit card and have a copy of your transfer information before you go, either in an email or print out.
Other option is to rent a car and drive (1 1/2 hours)…but having a car while visiting Positano is definitely not essential. Transportation to Amalfi, Ravello, Capri, etc. is all very easy via boat, cab, private transfer, scooter or bus.
Flying in to Rome, getting to Positano is a little more complicated, but there is a good system so it’s definitely do-able without a car.
About a week before leaving NYC, buy a ticket through the Rail Europe website for a high speed train, Rome-Naples. Once you receive a confirmation email that the purchase is complete (it should have your seat assignment, etc. on it), you will not need to check in once you get to Rome Termini Train Station. Make sure you either print out the confirmation or have it saved in your email inbox.
Once the train is confirmed, book a shuttle through Positano Shuttle to pick you up at the train station. Include the train # and time of departure/arrival in your online request so they can have someone waiting for you at the platform. Make sure you have Positano Shuttle’s contact number in case there is unexpected delay in your travels.
From Rome airport, take the train (in the airport after collecting baggage, follow signs for “Train" with a picture of train) to the station, it’s a 3-minute walk. Buy a ticket for $14 Euros to Rome Termini. The trip from airport to train station takes around 30 minutes. Once you arrive in Termini, go to the main part of the station where there are lots of shops, cafes, and Bins starting at #1. Look for your train’s Bin assignment on the boards that are located throughout the station.
Once you arrive in Naples (trip takes 1 hour, 10 min) there should be a driver waiting with your name and he or she will take you to your destination. Drive takes about 1 1/2 hours, but most of the drive is around the Amalfi Coast so it’s not so bad!
Or…rent a car and drive about 3 1/2 hours (if there is no traffic!) straight to Amalfi Coast.