None of my photos can do Positano justice, you’ll need to go there to experience it for yourselves. The panorama was almost enough to make me cry.
Getting to Positano was to be our first major train journey, and it could have been a bit of a juggle. As it was, we cheated a little — we caught a train from Roma Termini to Salerno, then jumped into a taxi for the remaining distance. Hefty price, yes, but we avoided connection complications, and was able to see some amazing scenery along the way. I liken it to Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, twisting and turning along the coastline, only with very ancient homes and bridges clinging precariously to the rocky hill-side.
Where to stay
We stayed at Casa Albertina, which is quite high up on the hill, overlooking the town and sea. Approximately three times a day we made the trek from bottom to top, with countless stairs in between. Whilst it was hard-going (probably not recommended if you’re elderly and not in good shape), I wouldn’t have it any other way — the view from our window was breathtaking. The first time we entered our room and I opened the curtains and shutters, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was so beautiful. And eating breakfast out on the balcony each morning was what dreams are made of. The accommodation was simple, clean and good value. The staff were friendly, too. Mind you, I dare say the front desk attendant had a chuckle at my expense — I didn’t count the stairs leading from the road to our hotel, but there were many. By the time I got to the top and had to ask for our room key, each sentence was broken with huffs and puffs: “Buongiorno! Room. Three. Twenty. Six. Grazie. Ciao”. Oh and don’t get me started on the breakfast buffet. The croissants were to die for, easily the best I’ve ever tasted. We got up early on our final morning, and the they were still warm. Flaky outside, soft and buttery on the inside. Slap on a little raspberry jam and I am in heaven. Here is Casa Albertina on Trip Advisor.
Where to eat
Just outside our accommodation was Caffè Positano Ristorante Bar. It was here, on our first night, that I devoured an entree of ricotta and prosciutto stuffed courgette flowers, fried and sprinkled with parmesan, so light and so delicious — to which every courgette flower will always be compared (the subsequent dishes haven’t fared well by comparison). Positano begun life as a little fishing village, and there is still great seafood on offer. We also shared a Grigliata mista — seafood mixed grill, with every delight from the sea you can think of — swordfish, mussels, calamari, prawns and scampi. We followed that up with profiteroles and a chocolate fondant, soft and oozing in the centre, served with ice-cream.
Also close to Casa Albertina, is Da Vincenzo (we seemed to have scored well on the locale). Here we enjoyed a large tube pasta (rigatoni or paccheri) with cherry tomatoes and fish sauce (amazingly good) and a Bistecca alla Fiorentina — a beef steak served with olive oil, parsley and chilli flakes, and grilled zucchini.
A couple of things I’ve learnt in Italy thus far:
- There is a town called Latina — we passed it on our train to and from Roma. We didn’t try their pasta.
- It’s true what they say about the European sun — it is gentle. But, it is still possible to get burnt while reading for hours on the beach, if you misapply your sunscreen.
- It is possible for places in the world to be as pretty as a postcard — no photo manipulation required!
- The sea surrounding Italy is especially salty. I could float all day. As I air-dried in the sunshine, the salt formed white sparkly crystals on my skin.