In May 2016, I took a special trip to the Amalfi Coast with my closest friends (all 11 of them) and it was spectacular. If I had to pick (but please don't make me), I may tell you this may be the most beautiful place on earth.
Expectations can run high going into a big trip like this. The seduction and desire to see everything can be overwhelming. But, to travel savvy, sometimes the pre-planning process just takes focus. What do I mean? Avoid trying to follow a bloated itinerary, especially for this region. Instead, pick a short list of activities and make the most out of each. A simple itinerary can be more rewarding than a jam-packed schedule.
Here's my Five Favorite Moments from Positano.
1. Chartering a Private Boat
OK, this may be a costly activity, but it's totally worth it for a large group. Visiting the Amalfi Coast just wouldn't be complete without a relaxing day on the water. Weeks before departure, I had the pleasure of working with Lucia from Lucibello to charter the Apreamare 100 Ue Ma for 9 people. For ~€100 per person, we explored the stunning coastline from afar, Capri Island, and the many hidden caves for over 8 hours on a private speedboat. The boat size was perfect and the company provided beverages, spirits, and towels. We were dropped off for lunch at a restaurant of our choice. And, the best part? We decided how much time we wanted to spend (or waste) at each stop. It was perfect and I can't recommend this enough.
2. Day Trip to Amalfi
The Amalfi Coast is geographically fragmented, both vertically and horizontally. It can be difficult and time-consuming to travel between cities while navigating the mountain roads. While it's tempting to plan a visit to each city (Rovello, Sorrento, etc), my advice is to pick one and enjoy it to the fullest. We chose the town of Amalfi, the regions "town center" just a short ferry ride away, which offers a nice mix of history (the 9th-century Amalfi Cathedral) and city life (a beachside bar). It offers the quintessential Italian street experience lined with cute shops, restaurants, and plenty of gelaterias.
3. The Hotel Casa Albertina
Perched mid-mountain, about 1,000 steps above the beach, is a street called Viale Pasitea. This is Positano's main street and the only roadway that is accessible by car. At the corner of Viale Pasitea and Via Della Travolozza is the Cafe Positano and Restaurante Da Vincenzio. Sandwiched between the two establishments is a narrow stairway which leads up to the Hotel Casa Albertina, where we had the pleasure of staying for 3 days.
Painted a deep coral, the Hotel Casa Albertina is a boutique bed and breakfast with convenient access to the beach (Spaggia), restaurants, and cafes. My guess is the hotel had no more than 15 - 20 rooms. The room had two comfortable beds and a sofa couch, a large bathroom, and a wonderful balcony. The Wi-Fi was decent but nothing worth noting. The hotel's common spaces included a large terrace, where they also served a delicious European breakfast every morning, and a multi-purpose indoor space with plenty of seating. We found ourselves completely happy and quite content just having a glass of wine watching the sunset from the terrace.
The key here is to pick a hotel within a reasonable distance to the beach/port. I recognize the appeal of staying at the very top of the town, with priceless views of the ocean and more affordable hotels, but for Positano, I recommend placing more value on walkability and easy access to the town.
4. Da Vincenzio, The Cave Restaurant
Just 15 steps from the Hotel Casa Albertina is a wonderful cave restaurant called Da Vincenzio. The restaurants classic Italian menu offers an array of deliciousness, from seafood to your traditional meals - all while eating in a chilly cave. Remember pastas come first, followed by the meat course, then salad, and, finally, the charcuterie plate. Save room for wine and tiramisu.
5. Rada The Cave Club
Going out in Positano can be tricky - frankly because there aren't many options. But, that didn't stop us from trying. We decided to visit Rada, a multi-floored cave club and restaurant located on the far right side of the beach, famous for its "Music on the Beach" event. The building facade is covered in a stone pattern with the words Rada up top. You can't miss it.
Once inside, the clubs pink and blue neon lights illuminate the gorgeous cave interior. The club has a few dance floors playing a variety of music, a few bars, and plenty of white sofa seating. It's worth a visit if you still have some energy left in you after a long day of touristing.