Magical Positano, arguably the most popular holiday destination on the Amalfi coast has its origins in Greek mythology, with the three Le Galli islands just off the coast supposedly the abode of the bewitching Sirens who tried to lure Odysseus to his death off the rocks. Its turbulent history of raids throughout the Middle Ages led to the construction of the distinctive guard towers for defence, in strategic areas, three of which still stand on the coast here.
During the 16th and 17th century, Positano prospered as a port, and many of the sumptuous Baroque villas, in evidence today, were built, one of which we have available to rent.
It wasn’t until after the First World War that this idyllic fishing village started to attract various artists and writers who came here for the peace and quiet, and wonderful scenery, and then after the Second World War, that it became the popular, fashionable resort it is today. Throughout the years, Positano has been an inspirational retreat for film directors , film stars, artists, and writers, including John Steinbeck, who famously published his essay summing up the eternal magic of Positano in Harper’s Bazaar in May, 1953: “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.”
Recommended Beaches and Restaurants
Spiaggia Grande is the main beach here, and accessed via stairs and cobbled alleyways, down through the picturesque from town centre. Lined with cafes and restaurants, it is one of the largest beaches on the Amalfi Coast. A more peaceful option is Fornillo beach, which can be reached via a coastal path from the Spiaggia Grande. From the main pier, a sea taxi service of small boats can take visitors to tranquil little bays, such as Remmese, Clavel and Cavone, which can only be accessed from the sea. An absolute must, however, is a visit to the small beach at Laurito, which has its own shuttle boat from the main pier (a 10 minute trip). The beach can also be reached via a pathway by the San Pietro Hotel. Here you will find the delightful Da Adolfo, an unpretentious, casual little restaurant serving specialities, such as fresh seafood and pasta, and jugs of ice cold local wine. The owner and staff here are friendly and the atmosphere so relaxing, it is hard to prise yourself off one of the deck chairs on the beach afterwards to catch the last boat back to Positano.
Il Pirata - Another Not to be Missed Restaurant Experience
While viewing a villa in the village of Praiano last month on an uncharacteristically wet windy day, we made our way down the steep steps from the village to the coastal path, leading around to the restaurant Il Pirata. It is a stunning location, set amongst the rocks right on the edge of the sea, and with a lovely terrace. As well as a warm and friendly ambience, the food is delicious (we had freshly caught fish of the day and local wine … and the complimentary glass of limoncello). We can’t wait to return!
The view alone makes this one of the most magical properties to stay in Positano. Accessed via many steps, it is quite a walk, although a porter will meet you at the bottom to carry your luggage. The villa is surrounded by terraces to take full advantage of the magnificent views, with a stunning swimming pool on a lower level. There is also an open-air jacuzzi to relax after a long day walking up and down steps. During high season, Villa Giacaranda is available for exclusive weekly rental for 10 – 12 guests. From September to June, individual rooms can be rented, for a minimum of 2 nights. Breakfast is included and a cook is available to prepare other meals on request.
This stunning villa is situated on the coast, 5 minutes walk from the picturesque little fishing town of Praiano, about 10 kms from Positano on the way to Amalfi. Set right on the cliff edge overlooking the sea, the interiors are very luxurious with a touch of eccentricity i.e. a large sunken mosaic tiled, heated ‘emotional’ pool on the lower ground floor, lit with romantic subdued purple lighting.
A Pampering Massage
If the views aren’t enough and you need more soothing of the senses in the form of a spa treatment, we recommend a visit to the Spa at the luxurious Le Sirenuse Hotel. There is a suite for couples to enjoy simultaneous treatments and the Ayurvedic body massage is unbelievably therapeutic and relaxing.
There are numerous ceramic shops to choose from, but a good choice would be Ceramiche Casola, a family business, which has been in operation for three generations. Using traditional methods, every piece of ceramic they sell has been made and painted by hand. They also arrange shipping.
Where to Buy the Limoncello
As you enter the shop Sapori & Profumi di Positano, the scent is overwhelmingly of lemons with an enticing collection of beautiful bottles of limoncello, lemon scented candles, room spray, and soaps. A great place to buy gifts and they do arrange shipping as well.