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Holidays to Positano give you the perfect introduction to Italy’s glorious Amalfi Coast. Be prepared to be seduced by this lovely town, with its vertiginous houses of pastel pink, peach and warm terracotta spilling in disorderly fashion from the slopes of the Monti Lattari to the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
In romantic Positano, hand holding couples negotiate narrow rock cut streets which meander past local shops and little cafés. Duck into an a gallery or boutique selling the best of Positano’s luxury goods, before stopping to take in the view from one of the little bars selling spritzers and epicurean nibbles. Alternatively, simply relax on the beach and take a moment to listen carefully for the legendary call of the Sirens of Li Galli.
If you’re feeling energetic and in search of the best views, head to the Path of the Gods, which is a marked trail that runs from Bomerano to Nocelle. Positano is not just about today, look closely and there are reminders of Roman soldiers, of Benedictine monks and of a time when Ottoman pirates cast a covetous eye over the Amalfi coastline.
History lovers will find plenty to explore on holidays in Positano. As if more colour could possibly be added to an already kaleidoscopic scene, the majolica tiled dome of the Santa Maria Assunta adds gold, green and blue. The church, popular with locals getting married, is best known for a Byzantine Black Madonna and child painting over the main altar. It’s a lovely place full of history and perfect for quiet reflection.
One of Positano’s great surprises are the underground remains of a Roman Villa complete with astonishingly well preserved paintings of winged cherubs, sea serpents and leopards. The entrance to the Museo Archeologico Romano lies close to the church.
History aside, the main attractions of Positano are shopping and just relaxing on one of a number of beaches, some private and some public. With lots of bars and restaurants and even a night club, the Marina Grande Beach is the focus of much of the town’s social life. Shopping in this town is a true experience, with local designers prominently displayed. You’ll find ladies’ fashion, linen, leather products, particularly sandals, and ceramics, often with the ubiquitous lemon motif.
Using the hydrofoil and local transport, it’s easy and fun to get around the area surrounding the Amalfi coast. Expand your holiday horizons and look beyond Positano to some of the other coastal towns.
Visit lovely Sorrento on its perch above the Bay of Naples. Start your exploration on the flower filled Piazza Tasso, a central square ringed with shops, bars and restaurants. Then throw caution to the wind and plunge into the narrow streets that lead from it, where you’ll find hidden cafés, shops, bars and restaurants as well as historic sites.
Alternatively, Salerno, the City of Hippocrates, has a charming centro storica, with the Cathedral of San Matteo and a host of other buildings and monuments to appreciate. As its epithet suggests the town was the site of Europe’s first medical school, dating from the 10th Century.
The closest airport to Positano is Naples (NAP), which is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes from Positano. Direct flights to Naples airport (NAP) are available from Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle and take approximately 2 hours 45 minutes.
Positano is open during the summer months from April to October. July and August are popular months for this seaside town but those travelling earlier or later in the season can still enjoy the warm weather and fewer crowds.
Eating out in Positano is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Of course, the town caters to its international visitors, however, much like other Italian regions, the Amalfi coast has some of its own specialities. High on that list is seafood, locally grown vegetables, cheese and a multitude of different kinds of pasta. So be adventurous and think local. One well known Positano restaurant, for example, serves spaghetti with sea urchin and a delicious fish soup which varies depending on what the fishermen bring in that day.
A particular Amalfi Coast favourite is scialatielli ai frutti di mare, which you’ll find in trattorias up and down the coast. Scialatielli is a thicker, broader pasta made with a hint of basil and pecorino cheese. Add seafood, such as a combination of prawns, mussels and clams, and serve with a delicious tomato sauce flavoured with garlic, white wine and other ingredients.
Say cheese on the Amalfi Coast. If you’re a turophile (a connoisseur of cheese), you’re in for a treat but it’s difficult to know where to start. Try wonderful herb infused ricotta fior di latte and provola cheeses, which are still made in some of the small mountain dairies. For pizza lovers there are a number of different mozzarellas available. One that’s a little different is fior di latte, which is softer and milkier than others you might have tried at home.
To pre-book one of our specially selected excursions, please call our Italy Experts on 01293 762410*.