Italy and romance go hand in hand – but in Positano, their fingers are intertwined in the most loving of ways.
Last year, while knee-deep in what was, at times, wearisome preparation for our late summer wedding, my fiancée and I turned our attention away from the bridal showers and the gift registry to a much more important endeavour – choosing our honeymoon destination. After all, in 50 years I probably won’t remember what the centerpieces looked like or what side dishes were served, but I’m sure I’ll remember where we honeymooned.
After some quick Internet research, I discovered a place that seemed perfect – Positano, Italy. Positano is a small Italian town on the Mediterranean, just south of Naples and in a region known as the Amalfi Coast. Covered with hundreds of pastel colored houses cascading down steep cliffs, Positano offers gorgeous scenery, rich culture, good food and beautiful beaches.
I highly recommend booking your stay at a four-star hotel. By European standards, this basically means the hotel has a few extra amenities such as a pool and breakfast buffet and will usually have a better view as well.
The hotel I decided upon for our honeymoon was called Hotel Poseidon. Located near the top of Positano, the views of the surrounding town and beach are absolutely stunning. Our room came equipped with a large outdoor terrace which was nearly as big as the room itself. Each evening, just before dinner, we opened up a good bottle of Prosecco and toasted the good life!
One thing unique about Hotel Poseidon is that it owns a boat and gives its guests the opportunity to enjoy the open waters of the Mediterranean. The boat’s capacity is small (four to five max) meaning the utmost attention and romantic experience for you and your partner. Fortunately for us, we were the only ones with a reservation on the day we went so we ended up having a private boat tour along the Amalfi Coast.
A Day in Paradise
The Mediterranean is Positano’s primary attraction during the day and a place where many newlyweds and locals enjoy their mornings. Although the beaches consist of small pebbles and not your typical white sand, the crystal clear water and pastel colored houses above create a picturesque scene like no other in the world. When we weren’t enjoying our days on the beach, the Hotel Poseidon’s pool became our oasis. Less noisy than the beaches, plus the endless supply of tropical drinks made for a very agreeable alternative.
The Amalfi Coast region is known for its cultivation of lemon trees and the region has perfected a refreshing lemon liqueur called Limoncello. Just as the Vatican is to Rome, Limoncello is to the Amalfi Coast. Each day seemed to begin and end with a few sips of the drink and we found the best came from a restaurant near our hotel called Caffe Positano. The sweetness was just right and the flavour was invigorating.
To briefly step away from Positano, day excursions to nearby Capri, Pompeii, and the neighboring Amalfi Coast towns are very easy to do. The convenience of the train and boat make transportation to the cities readily accessible. Due to the relative ease of travel, we jumped on a boat and headed to Capri, a small island located to the southwest of Positano. An hour later and we were on the island snapping hundreds of photos and delving into Capri’s splendid shopping scene. Although our visit to Capri was short, there is much to see here and many people spend considerably more time exploring the island.
Positano does not have a sprawling nightlife but it does have La Zagara, an evening hot-spot that features a piano bar that fills up at night with tourists and locals looking for a good time. Live music accompanied by frequent dancing was always a favourite nightcap of ours and a very memorable experience we will never forget.
Prepare to be an Italian foodie
We ate like royal kings and queens in Positano. The food was absolutely to die for and the portions were always generous. The town is home to many top-notch family-owned restaurants. Our favourites included Caffe Positano, Ristorante Max, Chez Black, Le Terraze, and Ristorante Scirocco to highlight a few:
Ristorante Scirocco – A true diamond in the rough and provider of the best Italian food I have ever eaten. Located at the very top of the hillside, you would never know it existed. Word of mouth has been the restaurant’s primary marketing strategy for many years. To get to the top, the restaurant provides a complimentary shuttle service and will pick you up at your hotel. Try the renowned steak and truffle oil pasta – you will not be disappointed!
Caffe Positano – Phenomenal views and fresh seafood. This dual treat makes this restaurant hard to pass up. The best views are along the railing overlooking Positano and the Mediterranean so be sure to go early.
Le Terraze – Although I would rate the food average, the views are worth a reservation. Located along the beach at the very bottom of Positano, the scene at night overlooking the sea and town are what life is all about.
One key thing to remember is to make your reservations just before dusk. As you watch the sun’s slow descent into the Mediterranean, the lights of the town turn on one by one and Positano quickly transforms into a magical place – a place unlike anything I have ever seen. Each evening I had to pinch myself and be reminded it was not a dream.
So what are you waiting for? Positano is a treasure and the jewel of Italy. It offers a little bit of everything and will certainly leave you with a thousand fond memories that will last a lifetime!
Positano Car Service (car service that transported us from Naples to Positano – I highly recommend asking for a driver named Poppy)
Hotel Poseidon (our hotel)
Ristorante Scirocco (our favorite restaurant in Positano)
Marco is the author of the honeymoon planning website Discover Your Honeymoon.
For more information on travelling through Europe by rail, visit Rail Plus