Amalfi Coast, Italy is truly a dream! From the architecture to the natural beauty which surrounds this coast line, there’s a reason why so many of us flock to the Amalfi Coast! This popular tourist destination is a little slice of heaven. In this blog, I’ll be sharing a few recommendations and tips for your next trip!!!
WHERE TO STAY
To be honest, before doing my research, I thought Positano and Amalfi were the same place and used the names interchangeably! However, what I’ve come to find is that Amalfi Coast is a stretch of coastline in southern Italy overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Gulf of Salerno. Positano is just one of many towns located in the Amalfi Coast. Other more notable towns include: Amalfi, Ravello, and Sorrento and there are also smaller towns such as: Atrani, Minori, and Praiano.
My husband and I chose to stay in Positano because of the picturesque colorful buildings, which are spectacularly built on the steep cliffs! Some buildings even utilize the cliff as a wall or structural foundation, blending man with nature. The beauty of Positano is one of a kind. From wandering through the narrow streets (which comes with a warning, you are sharing these narrow streets with cars, so be careful!) and random stairways, to the incredible shopping and dining options, I definitely feel like we made the right choice in choosing Positano!
Positano has a sweet charm and even though it is crowded, it does not feel as busy as Amalfi; there’s this quaintness and romance to the town. We stayed at La Bizantina Luxury Villas in the Garden and Sea View Room and we absolutely loved it! La Bizantina is newly renovated in 2020 and our room, the terrace, the bathroom, everything was beautiful! It was such a treat to have our breakfast delivered to our garden terrace every morning. The location was perfect, walking distance to dining, shopping, beaches- couldn’t have asked for more! Highly recommend checking out La Bizantina!!!
I wanted to touch on Amalfi and Sorrento as well because we did visit both towns! Amalfi would be a great place to stay if you’re looking for a busier little town, maybe to meet people with more options when it comes to night life. Amalfi has TONS of shopping, dining and water activities. The streets of Amalfi reminded me of Florence, charming but definitely more crowded than Positano. Amalfi is also more walkable! Less climbing up and down stairways compared to Positano!! If you’re traveling with little ones, Amalfi might be an easier, more accessible place to stay.
Sorrento, on the other hand, feels calmer and more laid back compared to both Amalfi and Positano (at lease in the day time! we did not explore the night life in Sorrento). Even though Sorrento is a bigger town, because it is more wide spread, it felt less busy- perhaps less tourists in one small concentrated area. Sorrento is probably the most convenient place to stay if you’re looking to take day trips to other towns on the Amalfi Coast either via bus or boat! If you’re not particularly seeking the picturesque architecture but still want to experience the Amalfi Coast with amazing food and shopping, Sorrento is a great choice, especially if you’re looking to stick to a budget!
WHAT TO DO
Exploring Positano by foot is definitely the best way to immerse yourself in its beauty. I’ll focus on things to do in Positano first and branch out into exploration of the Amalfi Coast!
Positano Beaches (the two we visited)
- Spiaggia Grande (the main beach) is definitely the most popular beach in Positano. There are plenty of dining options, shopping and beach clubs. This is the iconic beach photographed in many Positano images with the colorful umbrellas and beach chairs, which you can rent (typically 20 euro per person)! My biggest tip here is visiting Spiaggia Grande around golden hour/during sunset because that’s when you get to enjoy the place to yourself with less crowds!
- Spiaggia Fornillo is the second largest beach of Positano; it’s a more intimate beach, quieter and the water is cleaner compared to Spiaggia Grande! We preferred Spiaggia Fornillo over the main beach and enjoyed an amazing meal on the sand after swimming in the cooling sea. The walk down and climb up from both beaches will burn your booties but it is worth the trek! You will discover amazing views while walking up and down the stairways and find yourself admiring all the colorful buildings up close. Also so many photo opportunities for the gram!!!
- Linen, linen, linen – absolutely stunning and fashionable boutiques in Positano! I believe most clothing items are locally made in Positano and the linen pieces are so chic, beautiful and luxurious!!! Not going to lie, I did have a little bit of sticker shock when I saw the prices of some of the items; a linen dress typically ranged from 180-280+ euros! But on vacation, sometimes you just gotta splurge!! (especially if they are investment pieces)
- Items for the house – there were also home good stores, kitchen dining ware, dining table linens, and unique ceramics!
- Customized sandals – one of the most unique things to shop for in Positano/the Amalfi Coast in general, is getting a pair of personalized sandals! I got to pick the colors of the leather straps and which designs I wanted and they make it for you on the spot! You get to see the entire process and the straps are fitted to the width of your foot for the perfect fit!
- Overall, the shopping in Positano is unique and fun! You get to experience a more curated selection of locally made goods!
The Drive Along the Coast
- My husband and I rented a car during our time in Italy so we were able to take a scenic drive along the Amalfi Coast! We drove south from Positano all the way down to Salerno (which is port city in southern Italy)! This has been rated one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world and yes, it is in fact breathtaking! However, I believe most people do not rent a car because it is quite pricey and driving in Positano is difficult. The streets are narrow, parking is extremely pricey and driving in a foreign country can be an added level of stress! If you do not have a car, you’re in luck because there is public transport via bus or you can look into hiring a semi- private/private shuttle. We saw so many people utilize the bus, which I believe stops at every town along the Amalfi Coast. So if you’re staying in Positano, take the bus to Amalfi or Sorrento!
Amalfi and Sorrento
- Amalfi is definitely worth the visit; the town is rich in history and was very successful for a long time during the Middle Ages. In Amalfi, you can visit Duomo di Sant’Andrea, a magnificent cathedral located in the main square built in the 10th century and redesigned in the 13th century in the Arab-Norman style. You can also enjoy the shopping there as well- less curated than Positano but still unique and great for souvenirs! The dining options are endless and you can also enjoy some time under the sun, take a dip in the sea! Both Amalfi and Sorrento have great boating options as well, whether you’re wishing to get from one town to another or visit Capri!
- Sorrento is north west of Positano but it’s still part of the Amalfi Coast. We noticed that more local Italians visited Sorrento compared to Positano! Walking on the streets of Positano, the main language I heard was English whereas in Sorrento, a lot more Italian was spoken. Sorrento feels more casual and easy going! The seafood in Sorrento was spectacular and affordable. Our favorite part about visiting Sorrento was exploring Bagni Regina Giovanna. This place is magical and contains ruins of a famous Roman Villa which dates back to the first century BC. It felt like a nature made swimming pool, romantic and charming – one of those places you have to be there physically, to feel its charm. Photos do not do it justice! My husband cliff jumped there and we swam through the arched cliff out to the open sea!!! We saw many boats stopping by Bagni Regina Giovanna as well as venturing kayakers! If you visit Sorrento, DO NOT MISS THIS PLACE!
Explore on the Sea
- One thing my husband and I plan to do the next time we visit is to explore the Amalfi Coast on a boat and take a day trip to the island of Capri! Taking a day trip to Capri is highly recommended by travelers who have visited the Amalfi Coast. I believe most boat tours also stop at various grottos on the way to or back from Capri and from the photos I’ve seen online, it looks spectacular! Also, I can only imagine how incredible it would be to see the views of Positano from the sea! (Another gram moment for sure!) One advice I have here is booking the boat tour sooner rather than later because we thought we’d be able to book a tour when we were in Positano but everything was already sold out!
Book a Photoshoot
- Yes, perhaps this is a bit extra but honestly, WHY NOT?!? Why not take advantage of the beauty, ambiance and romance and book a photoshoot for yourself, with friends, your partner, or family! My husband and I had so much fun during our shoot and we had the best photographer, David! We even rented a vintage Fiat for our shoot and drove along the coast!!! (Warning, it is stick shift!) We felt like celebrities in the vintage Fiat because so many tourists were taking photos of us and the car! haha I truly believe photoshoots are worth the investment because there is a reason you are hiring a professional! It’s about capturing a memory at a special place or on a special trip so you can relive it over and over again! We are in LOVE with our photos and cannot wait to frame them in our home!
WHERE TO EAT
I’ll be sharing a few places we dined at and would recommend! We did not make any reservations besides at Adamo ed Eva and most of the restaurants did not have long waits (less than 1 hour). However, please keep in mind, during prime dining hours, there will definitely be at least a 30 minute wait so it’s probably best to make a few reservations if you hate waiting!!! I’ll also include the Michelin Guide here because if you want to dine at any of the Michelin star restaurants, reservations must be made months in advance!!!
- Ristorante Mediterraneo – our first dinner in Positano! It was the most welcoming dinner we could have ask for! Live music, singing, and they even passed around shaker instruments to everyone, which made the experience extremely interactive! Delicious seafood and quality ingredients!
- Ristorante Saraceno d’Oro – delicious wood fire oven pizza! We ordered take out TWICE from this restaurant because we wanted to enjoy our villa! Flavorful, fresh ingredients and not too heavy!!! After eating pizza in the states, I always feel gross but these pizzas are something else!!
- Adamo ed Eva by Eden Roc – the ambiance and views here are out of this world!!! So, so, incredible! The food was also delicious, definitely more gourmet, a curated wine list, and amazing service! A romantic treat for sure.
- Da Ferdinando – we ate here after swimming at Spiaggia Fornillo beach! Extremely fresh delicious seafood!!! Good vibes, beach front, you can’t go wrong!
- Other more notable restaurants based on my research are listed here:
- La Sponda
- Il San Pietro di Positano
- Terrazza Celè
- Il Tridente Cocktail Bar and Restaurant
Honestly, no matter where you go, you probably can’t go wrong when it comes to food in the Amalfi Coast. Every meal we had contained FRESH ingredients and that in itself made everything taste good!!! Definitely take advantage of the seafood there- from lobster to bowls of clams/mussels, the seafood was divine! Buon Appetito!
Hope you found this blog to be helpful and inspires you to book a trip to the Amalfi Coast!!!