From the city of fountains to a coastal escape!

 

As we left Rome, we were excited to start the next phase of our trip which was to relax, rejuvenate and rest. My good friend who went to Italy a few years ago, said that if we are going to Italy then we have to go there – ‘there’ is Positano! We organised to fly to Naples which was humorous in itself as we didn’t realise how quick the flight would be – it was a 45 minute flight and no sooner had we made our ascent, then the pilot announced that we were on our descent! We landed in Naples airport and headed out to meet our driver. It was probably a good hour and a half drive. It was nice to sit and take in the sights as we drive through Naples and headed down and up the winding roads to Positano.

We were staying in Montepertuso which literally translates to hole in the mountain. Our apartment was just underneath that ‘hole’. We had seen the photo taken from the balcony in the booking and it looked amazing, we were excited to arrive and unwind. We arrived before the apartment had been finished cleaning so the daughter of our host, Teresa advised us to go to town centre, which was 5 minutes walk away. She recommended we try Il Ritrovo, it was in Piazza Capella. We walked to the town centre and found Montepertuso to be a quaint little town. There is a general store which we frequented to buy food and supplies during our stay and bus tickets. The restaurant was easy to find, it was the main one there and only one open for lunch which made it an easy choice!

We were seated on the balcony which had wonderful views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. We had glimpses of the amazing view when we arrived at our apartment and along our walk to the Montepertuso town centre. We had a lovely lunch, the restaurant uses all local, fresh produce and the food is very good. We felt relaxed already as we sat and enjoyed the view, the lovely food and the friendly atmosphere at Il Ritrovo. When we finished lunch, our waiter gave us some mixed herbs and dried chilli to take away which came in handy when I cooked dinner a few times during our stay. After lunch we headed back to our apartment to check in, change and head down to Positano Centre.

The bus ride to Positano Centro was a harrowing experience for the uninitiated! It was nail biting as the bus driver navigated the narrow roads where at times, you could reach out the window and touch the side of the mountain! We give the bus drivers much credit as they all navigated the mountainside with ease. At times, you wondered how two cars could fit alongside each other to pass but it happened without incident. The bus stop was at the street which was above our apartment and due every hour. You could buy bus tickets on the bus for 1.30 euro but if we purchased them from a newsagent or at the general store, it was a little cheaper at 1.10 euro. We found out that you could buy as many as you needed in advance as they were one way tickets so we would buy 6 or 9 at a time for the 3 of us. We had no idea once we were dropped off at the bus stop at the Positano Town Centre, which way it was to the beach but we rationalised that we should keep walking down.

As we walked, we passed may shops, markets and the iconic church of Santa Maria Assunta right in the town centre. We didn’t stop to admire much during this walk as we wanted to get to the water to have our first glimpse of the beach and fit in a quick swim for the afternoon. When we arrived, we were not disappointed by the beauty of our surrounds.

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Our first day at Positano and Montepertuso exceeded our expectations. Our host was a lovely man named Raffaele who lived in a nearby apartment as did his daughter, Teresa and her family. Teresa speaks English and helped us with directions, communication and organising a boat trip to Capri on her Father’s boat on our last day in Montepertuso. More about that later. We learnt from our balcony, we could see the island Il Galli – it is privately owned and is the one that looks like a dolphin from the air. Being a private island, you are unable to visit but we were told by Teresa that it has beautiful villas on there and you can see it from the air. I’ve included a picture I found on the internet as some of you may be familiar with it.

Li Galli

Li Galli – picture courtesy of Golden Tours Sorrento

We headed back up through the town after our afternoon swim to catch the bus back to Montepertuso. There is only one bus and the bus stop is right above our doorstep so it was very easy to catch the bus to and from Positano town centre. There is also the option to walk to and from Positano Centro down the many flights of steps and back up – we were advised it would take about 45 minutes either way but we decided the bus trip, although a nail biting experience at times, was an easier alternative with my daughter in tow.

The next day we decided to spend a full day in Positano, after breakfast we headed up to the street (which was up 5 flights of stairs) to get the bus. We did a lot of walking even though we took the bus up and down to Positano Centro! We decided we would relax and enjoy the beach, have lunch and just soak up the sunshine and atmosphere at the main beach. This was our down time, family time at our happy place – beachside and we were savouring every moment!

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We had a couple of days where it was Wake up, eat, beach, sleep, repeat! Then one day we decided to hop on a ferry to explore Amalfi. There are many ferries you can catch from Positano at various times and prices. We walked out to the ferry wharf to find out what time the ferry was due to depart and we were lucky that there was one leaving fairly soon. We bought our tickets and waited to board, we had no expectations and just wanted to see where the day took us. The ferry ride was amazing, we loved seeing the coastline as we sailed down the Amalfi Coast from Positano. We arrived at Amalfi, not knowing what we would do other than wanting to see Grotto Esmeraldo.

When we got off the ferry, there were people asking people to join a boat to go to the grotto, as it was what we wanted to do – we got onto the boat, paid our 15 euros and we were off! It all happened very quickly, no sooner were we off one boat, then we were aboard another! The trip to the grotto was quick, we unloaded and waited at the entrance to the grotto. It cost 5 euro for the tour of the cave – it is one cave and has the nativity scene submerged under the water. There are plenty of stalactites hanging from the ceiling of the cave and due to the refraction of light, the water looks emerald. It was a very quick tour of the cave before we were waiting for the boat to return and take us back to Amalfi. Once we arrived back at Amalfi, we grabbed some lunch near the wharf, then walked into the town centre to explore.

It was such a beautiful little town to explore, markets, stores, we saw the Duomo di Sant’Andrea in all it’s glory. We ate delicious arancini, roamed the streets, taking it all in and found at the end of the main street in the piazza, the Fontana cap e ciuccio. It is an unusual decorated fountain basin which was originally used to refresh the local donkeys who had pulled carts from nearby villages. We enjoyed this spontaneous day trip and we planned to have a couple more before we left the Amalfi Coast.

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Another day trip we decided to do was Sorrento. We arrived to the port and made our way up to the town centre. It was a maze of streets, markets, rows and rows of stores and was very busy. We walked around, looking the Basilica di Sant Antonino which was beautiful and walked to a vantage point to take in the view. We had a lovely lunch in a restaurant down by the marina during the infamous Sorrento Summer storms before heading back to Positano. We weren’t that impressed by Sorrento – we found there were rows of shops and not much else. We spoke to another couple waiting for the same return ferry to Positano and they shared the same sentiment. We were glad to have experienced it for ourselves, although we now wish we had visited Ravello instead. It will have to wait for another time!

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We spent Father’s Day at Positano, having lunch at a restaurant with great views a little further from the main beach, called Ristorante Lo Guarracino. The food was amazing and was a great way to celebrate Father’s day while away! We explored walking around from the restaurant to a little beach further up, taking in the gorgeous views and enjoying the scenic walk. It was a spontaneous exploration where we uncovered a great walking track, having our own little adventure! We were liking our stay here at Positano more each day, always something amazing to discover!

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On our last day, it was nice enough to go out on the boat trip to Capri. We were excited to be able to take the trip because we had booked a different boat trip but due to the storm a day earlier, it was cancelled and our deposit refunded. Initially, we were supposed to share the boat with two other people but we were lucky to have it to ourselves for the day. The weather was beautiful, sunny and calm seas – it was an amazing way to end our week in Positano. We toured along the Positano coast then headed out to Capri. The sea was calm, the sun was shining, there were no clouds or rain in sight! We sailed under the famous arch of Il Faraglioni where we were advised that it was good luck to kiss your sweetheart as you pass undderneath, which we happily obliged!

Raffaele gave us a tour around the island of Capri before we disembarked. We had lunch at Ristorante Lo Zodiaco, it was a lovely place to eat lunch by the water and helped my daughter to feel better as she had gotten a little seasick as we travelled across from Positano. We wanted to see the blue grotto but when we bought tickets, the man said “if it is open”. When were we aboard the boat, we were advised that due to the storm a couple of days ago, it wasn’t open but we still enjoyed the boat trip – we love being in and around water.

We returned to peruse the markets along the marina, unfortunately we didn’t have time to go up to the gardens due to the time taken to see if the blue grotto was open but we still enjoyed the day – we knew we would return one day. On the return trip to Positano, Raffaele stopped the boat in the bay of a small beach. It is only accessible by boat and we jumped into the clear aqua waters of the Tyrrhenian sea! It was the  highlight of our trip. We swam to the beach, walked along the beach before heading back into the water to swim back to the boat. I languished in the sea a little longer, not wanting the day to end. The water was so refreshing and clear, it was such a treat and a great way to cap off our week in Positano!

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We hope you enjoyed Positano and the Amalfi coast as much as we did – we hope to return to explore more of the area and see places we didn’t get to visit this time around. Our ‘places to go’ list seems to grow each day! We definitely felt relaxed and rejuvenated after a week here. It was a priority to Laugh.Love.Live during our time here and we looked forward to visiting a few more places in the eternal city before heading home. I’ll leave with a few pictures of us exploring Montepertuso, the main piazza, the Chiesa Santa Maria delle Grazie and the “Pierced rock” where the legend states that Mother Mary fought with the devil ( in Serpent form) and won. Mother Mary pierced the rock with her finger as a sign of her everlasting presence here – what a great legend! Peace and Blessings!

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