Positano: What I Wore, What I Ate, & Where I Stayed On The Amalfi Coast

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Positano, Italy is one of my favorite places in Europe. I’ve dreamed of visiting Positano and the Amalfi Coast since the first time I saw it in a photograph. Misty hills dotted with colorful villas and lush foliage frame an emerald blue cove; and of course you can’t miss the iconic silhouette of it’s duomo. With no shortage of visitors, Positano offers amazing food, accommodations, and a spectacle of resort wear worn by visitors from all over the world.

One thing to note about Positano, is that because it’s nestled between two mountains it’s very hard to catch good lighting for photos. Normally, I prefer to shoot in low morning or evening light – but it Positano, the sun is hiding behind one of the mountains at these times!

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View of Positano from our hike

What I wore in Positano:

If some one were to ask me, what should I wear in Positano? My answer would be, “Why, anything you like!”. You could channel a classic local Italian resort town vibe with simple classic pieces like tailored shorts and white collared shirts knotted at the waist, or go a little more Ibiza with flashy mesh cover ups, Pucci print, and bleach blond hair.

Italy always made me think of Gwen Stefani in the Cool video shot in Lake Como, so I used this opportunity to channel some classic 50’s resort fashion: high waisted shorts and a knit crop top (also styled this way). You can’t go wrong with a vintage look in this historic, old world beach town that was frequented by 1950’s movie stars including Jayne Mansfield. Also, always suggest silk maxi dresses for travelling because they pack up small and look put together anywhere – these fit in nicely here.

For what to wear in Rome, see this post: we were there for two nights and hit the sights in a whirlwind tour, so stylish and functional gear was neccessary.

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Shorts – American Eagle // Top – Zara // Dress – Milly NYC (vintage) // Earrings – Chloe + Isabel c/o Annie @ Collective Passions

Where I stayed:

We stayed near the beach to make exploring the bottom part of the town easier (and because we’re lazy, and didn’t want to hike or bus back up the hill after). We stayed at the Bucca di Bacco Hotel, and overall  the service was great, the rooms were clean, and they had incredibly attentive waitstaff at both the restaurant and breakfast.

Don’t expect modern furnishings in Italy, unless you’re staying at a super high end or new hotel.

Tip: do your own research on where to eat. The hotel staff will often send you to the hotel restaurant, or somewhere else they’re affiliated with.

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View from our room in the Hotel Bucca di Bacco

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Italian tile in the lobby of the Hotel Bucca di Bacco

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View from our room at the hotel Bucca-di-Bacco

Where I ate:

The food is always freshly caught or grown in Positano, but selection of restaurants can seem overwhelming. With a few basic rules you can get the best Italian dining experience possible.

  1. Avoid the restaurants along the waterfront; they’re super busy from May-August, and over priced for the quality.
  2. Save some room in the budget for a high end dining experience. While you won’t be disappointed here at any price range, there are a couple fine dining experiences here that are 100% worth the price.

Zass Restaurant at Il San Pietro: a top-notch fine-dining experience with a view

This was our fancy date night dinner in Positano. For 20 Euro, we hired a driver in a Mercedes to pick us up at our hotel, and drive us a few miles up the road to Il San Pietro, a gorgeous hotel perched on top of a rocky cliff. A few flights of stairs down from the entrance is a terrace, with colorful tiled benches and a stunning views of the coastline.  We arrived early so we could enjoy some Aperol spritz, wine, and the classic Italian bar snack: nuts and olives.

The dining room was old world, Italian style fancy – the host even brought me an ottoman for my clutch to rest on next to my seat. Why don’t all restaurants have this?

The bread was some of the freshest foccacia I have ever tasted, and was served with two slices of pizza. We shared a course of gnocchi, which is a must when in Italy, which was definitely in my top 3 gnocchi experiences of the trip. For mains, I had a halibut and my boyfriend the lamb – complemented by a nice Chianti from the extensive wine list. To finish we so full that we passed on the desserts, but were still served several courses of small truffles and candied fruit as a “treat” from the kitchen. Next time, hopefully we can stay here!

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View from the terrace at Zass restaurant, at the Il San Pietro Hotel

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Il San Pietro terrace

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Il San Pietro Terrace

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Appetizers before dinner at Zass

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View from the table at Zass

Le Sireneuse: luxurious champagne and oysters

Le Sireneuse, another gorgeous high-end hotel in Positano was close to our hotel. The 1,000 Euro plus per night price tag was a little steep for us, but we’d heard rave reviews about visiting their terrace for champagne and oysters and taking in another perspective of the mountainside.

Funny side note – we ran into some folks from NYC who chartered a yacht. My particular favorite was Jim from Brooklyn who was sporting pink Converse and a pink sweater, and making fun of himself for dressing like he was in the Hamptons. He proceeded to drink a little too much champagne and refused to budge when his husband and other travel companions got up to leave. So they left him behind…next to us!

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View from the Le Sireneuse patio

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View from Le Sireneuse patio

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Delicious Oysters

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Cheers!

Capricci: delicious and cost effective

This restaurant almost qualified for my “avoid” category since it’s just around the corner from the waterfront, but it makes the recommendation cut because the food was great (and cheap, comparatively), and the service was awesome. Two charming, silly waiters were on duty and indulged me by allowing me to practicing my Italian, and teased and joked with the other guests. I was in need of some light, digestion friendly fare at this point and ordered a arugula and tomato salad with chicken and my boyfriend had pizza, followed up with on the house limencello as a digestif (that I made him drink).

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Other tidbits:

Eat the produce: If you’re visiting Positano, you’ll notice that it’s the land of lemons. While I’m not a huge fan of limoncello, there are plenty of local shops  offering other ways to taste this fruit (candied, in chocolate, you name it!). The produce in Positano is locally grown for the most part, and mouth wateringly ripe. Sold in little shops all over town, it’s worth sampling some tomatoes or strawberries for a snack.

Go for a hike: In Positano a path winds all the way up to the very top of the mountain. From here, there are sweeping views of the Amalfi coast, and you get a little feel of what village life is like without all the tourists.

Day trips: Also highly recommended is a day trip to Amalfi, Sorrento, Capri or Ravello by ferry or car for a different twist on local scenery, food, and culture.

How to get to Positano: Typically, you travel to Naples and then get a boat, bus, or train to Positano. We opted to hire a driver, which was worth the $130 Euro to save braving the crowds near the train station which can be a bit of a sketchy area in Naples.

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Amalfi lemons

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Fresh fruit grown locally

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The Duomo in Positano

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Another view of the town

Do you plan on visiting the Amalfi coast? If so, feel free to email me if you ever have any questions!

 

xx Jill

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