Travel - The Amalfi Coast {part one}, lunch at Le Sirenuse and exploring Positano.

May 12, 2017


Oh Positano, where do I even begin? The Amalfi Coast has always been a travel dream and last week it came true. It was everything I imagined yet so much more. I've shared some photos {everything was so photogenic} and my travel tips/recommendations below if you'd like to see. I'll do a roundup at the end of it all with a list of restaurants and must visit places. This is part one, I've had to split these posts up because there really are that many photos oops. 
{new hat from Sunshine and Shade}

I booked this trip at the end of last summer. Positano is somewhere I've always wanted to visit so I read up and discovered that May is a good time to visit. The weather is mostly warm yet the crowds are low, the Amalfi Coast in peak summertime gets crazy everybody said. And we'd loved our trip through Italy last May with all the roses out and the start of the warm sunshine {blog posts on Rome, Tuscany and Venice here}.

So I booked us cheap flights {literally £30 a ticket each way, £120 total} out with Easyjet to Naples and back with Monarch. Because the airlines only fly on certain days we decided to go for a week, Monday to Monday. It's always hard to gauge how long you need in a place you haven't visited before but we had a few places we wanted to visit out there and we'd hoped the weather would be kind to us to have some time on the beach. I think two weeks may have been too long - food wise and the amount of steps you have to climb each day. A week for us was perfect. We chose to base ourselves in Positano. On the Amalfi Coast you've got places like Sorrento, Amalfi and Capri that are popular with tourists, along with Naples itself but I'd heard magical things about Positano - a little bit more off the beaten track and harder to get to but so worth it. A lot of people do a few nights in each but we prefer these days to base ourselves somewhere and do trips out rather than keep moving our bags around. So Positano it was. Now to find accommodation. 

I looked at Airbnb for a while, we like being able to cook and feel like a local sometimes, but there wasn't anything that looked that really took my fancy for this trip. We love boutiquey little places and in the end I discovered Casa Buonocore, a gorgeous little boutique B&B in a great location. I think it used to be a Mr & Mrs Smith property and I fell in love with their decor and all the extra little touches. We booked the smallest {cheapest} room but it was perfectly great, even with a small kitchen. It didn't have the facilities like a large hotel, we did sometimes miss having loungers or a pool to sit by. But the breakfasts were delicious and there was a large terrace to sit out on the afternoon or evening. Hotels can be £££ on the Amalfi Coast, this was about 180 euros a night {rooms with terraces were a lot more}. Overall, not cheap but definitely reasonable for the destination and it gave us the best of both worlds. 



On arrival at Naples we took the Curreri line bus to Sorrento. {A taxi direct would cost £120 each way to Positano. Which would work out OK if there was a group of you but for the two of us it made more sense to get the bus for £15 each way!} Also I should note that my lovely friend Amy has a Nonna that lives in Positano so she gave me some crucial tips before we left, I think it's the kind of place that you need some insider info on. It seemed quite hard to research and find out about the exact bus timetables/routes/how to buy tickets etc. We bought our tickets on the bus, it was 10 euros each to Sorrento. The journey normally takes about 2 hours total but we arrived on a public holiday so the roads were jammed, I think it took us about 3 hours. 


From Sorrento you then get the Sita bus towards Positano. You buy tickets for this at a tabbachi or there might be a man outside the bus before you get on. It was about £3 for this ticket. We passed through some gorgeous little towns and also you want to make sure you sit on the right hand side of the bus as you're looking out the front of the bus. That way you get sea views! Beware though it's not for the faint hearted, the roads are pretty hairy around the cliffs. 



I know that my Mum would have been having kittens travelling on these roads. In the summer, and even in May, the buses get packed and it can be a scram to get on. Sometimes you'll have to stand so expect to get thrown around a bit! Again you can get taxis but they're v expensive on this part of the coast.


Eventually we arrived to this view as we got off the bus! Hello Positano! 


We had lunch booked at Le Sirenuse, a famous hotel renowned for its service, style and views. We headed straight there, a treat to start our trip off. It didn't disappoint, we were wowed by the view from our table looking out over the Duomo across the whole of the town built on the cliffs and out to sea. Definitely the best view in the whole of Positano with class like no other. 









Alongside the restaurant is the hotel pool, surrounded by lemon trees. Le Sirenuse is almost an institution, you should definitely visit for a drink or for a special lunch/dinner.




These views! Coming here was the perfect start to our trip. All the stress of the busy journey instantly melted away. 




We were starving by the time we arrived so decided to go all out for our first Italian lunch. We had appetisers {aubergine parmiagana - our favourite} followed by a primi course of pasta for Ben and seafood risotto for me. And then secondi of meat/fish, we both went for fish. Followed by dessert. 😍



Such a dream. The Italian's sure can cook. And the service was really special too.






The Amalfi coast has two famous desserts that you must try. The lemon delice and the torta caprese chocolate cake - a flourless chocolate and almond cake.


If only I could beam myself right back there...


Also floor tile goals.. 


After a long lunch staring out at the view, we decided to explore a few more of the hotel's terraces to take some more photos.





Pose-itano... 




When I pictured the Amalfi Coast I'd always thought about the famous photos taken from above of the rows of sunbeds lined up against turquoise water. I couldn't believe that after all the photos I'd seen over the years, we were right here almost in the picture. Somebody said on my Instagram that it looked like we'd stepped into a painting. And it really truly did feel like that.



Everything in Positano is built into the cliffs so you should expect a lot of stairs! Even up to our hotel it was a seriously steep climb. But nearly all the stairs are lined with pretty flower pots or cactus, this was at Casa Bunocore - our hotel, such a pretty climb.








We were itching to explore so after dropping our bags off decided to walk our lunch off around town.



We quickly discovered just how huge and plentiful the lemons are out here. The Amalfi Coast is famous for them, the whole region being surrounded by lemon groves. There are huge trees with them hanging down wherever you go, the smell of blossom so delicious.



We walked down to the beach, the main path is down towards the church under vines and a huge wisteria. I love old towns and this one was all crumbly stone walls everywhere.



*That* famous beach! You'd see people literally wowing out loud here, both young and old. I think standing down on it and looking back up at all the buildings and cliffs surrounding it is really breathtaking. There were lots of selfie sticks out on this stretch of beach. We loved it for the views but our favourite beach was actually round to the right of this one.




If you take the path up around the cliff you'll reach Fornillo beach, a much quieter beach with some cute beach restaurants/bars.



The views walking around were so pretty too. Ben and I have this specific holiday smell when we're in Europe, we think it's being under cypress/pine trees and olive trees on a hot day. It was on this walk around to the beach that we both just looked at each other and said 'ahh holidays'. It's probably our favourite scent in the world, long hot summer days being away together. We need to try and bottle it up! 



We were told by a few people that the best pizza in Positano was from Covo dei Saranceni just by the main pier. We got a pizza to share on our first night and sat on the beach with it. 


SO good. I've been dreaming of those pizzas ever since.


More floor tiles... they were everywhere.


Positano was special by day but pure magic by night as the sky turned pink. You don't get sunsets here as it dips behind the cliffs but the sky was pretty every night.




Just before it gets dark the lights start to come on across the town.






And then we'd come back to Casa Buonocore and find it bathed in candlelight and lanterns.





Our trip pretty much centered around food, I mean just about everything in Italy tastes good. The breakfast every morning definitely set us up for the day. We had the very best mozzarella, ham, tomatoes and basil followed by fruit and croissants. I'm missing those breakfasts so much! Although by the end of a week in Italy with these breakfasts, aubergine parmiagana and then pizza/pasta for dinner I think we must have eaten a whole buffalo's worth of mozzarella... 



Our first proper day started off a bit cloudy. Being so high up and surrounded by mountains the weather can change really quickly. We decided to walk to the very top of town, our hotel was fairly near the bottom but there's lots more to see the higher you go.


I was surprised how tropical looking Positano is with all the palms and cactus everywhere. Plants of all types just seemed to thrive.


I squealed when we saw our first vintage old Fiat 500 driving around, we'd loved spotting them on our trip through Italy last year and I'd hoped that we'd see some on this trip. It became a bit of a game spotting them all in different colours.


I love the views as you climb higher and higher, the roads not too steep but constantly twisting around the mountain.




A black one! {Dress online here}




A red!


Cream!




All of the grocery stores were incredible out there, we found this one near the top of the town with such beautiful produce.






I have this thing with old doors...





In the afternoon the sun broke through the clouds so we headed for the beach!


Loungers and umbrellas cost about 25-30 euros to hire whether you hire them all day or for just an hour so most of the time when we were there for just half a day we just set up our towels on the pebbles instead.



Sometimes there would be a Thai lady offering back, neck and foot massages on the beach. We took her up on it on the first day - a welcome tonic on our aching feet and calves from all the steps around town!


We stopped in at the Palazzo hotel on our way back up one to our hotel one afternoon, the courtyard was incredible. It felt like we'd escaped to Barcelona. It has a different vibe to Le Sireneuse but I'd recommend stopping for a drink at both if you're in town.



Door goals...





So. Many. Photos.





Everyday we saw these lemons left on this same photo spot and by night they were gone, only to be replaced again in the morning. We still don't know who put them there, the tourist board maybe? 



Does anybody else love drying their hair naturally when on holiday? I never have the time/warmth back in England.


Dress is a couple of seasons back from Primache.


We'd had several restaurants recommended to us {I'll write them all down at the end of the last post} and so we chose one of them for our first proper night, Lo Guarrancino is on the walkway between the two beaches. Right on the coast and overlooking all the boats we LOVED it. And broke the holiday rules by going back there for a second night later in the week. The homemade pasta was incredible, you must order the aubergine and smoked mozzarella pasta. And the view was dreamy. Book a table in advance for the wooden pergola terrace.












Back with part two early next week, R <3 xx 

{with thanks to Le Sirenuse for hosting our lunch. All opinions are 100% my own}

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3 comments

  1. Looks such a gorgeous place, love your photo's x

    lifeinthefashionlanee.blogspot.com

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  2. Looks beautiful Rebecca. I visited Naples but didn't get the chance to go south from there only to Rome. You would love Cinque Terre too, we visited and I loved it.. The villages are really quaint...

    All things nice...

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  3. Oh, what a lovely post! Gorgeous photos!
    I stayed in Sorrento a couple of years back and briefly visited places on the Amalfi coast...this post has definitely made me want to go back and explore it properly!
    ...and yes, I too let my hair dry in the sun whilst abroad! :)

    Amanda Alston Blog

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