Wednesday, July 1, 2009

La mia Italia: Positano

Welcome to my new little segment titled: La mia Italia (My Italy). I figured I would share with you (or at the very least, document my travels) all my favorite things about the country that I so love. I thought it fitting that my first post in this category be about Positano. Not only is this the place that I visiting 10 years ago today on my honeymoon, but it is the location that started my love affair with Italy. Thanks to the movie Only You, I had been captivated my this magical location. I had no doubt that it was going to be the most romantic spot I could spend my honeymoon and that it would be every bit of what I imagined it to be from seeing the movie.

We only spent about 3 days in this town perched on the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean along the Amalfi coast. I in no way claim to be an expert. I have not eaten at all the restaurants, I have not stayed in all the hotels, and I have not shopped in every shop, but I will say, that my little taste of Italian heaven was just about as good as I could have expected.

We arrived by car from Naples. We took the scenic route by taking the Autostrada down to Salerno and traveling along the cliffs of the Amalfi coast north to reach our destination. This is the longer route. From Naples you can go straight south along the Amalfi coast and get there much quicker. Because we took the more scenic route, it took a little longer than expected. The roads are very tight and very windy. The large tour buses you meet at almost every corner do not make the trip any less apprehensive. We arrived mid-afternoon (after hoping to arrive in time for lunch). This was our only snafu the whole time. We were starving for lunch and the town was shut down for the afternoon! We had to settled for bananas and a box of Pringles we got a a local gas station. We then headed to our hotel. The Hotel Poseidon. What a gorgeous place. I had dreams of staying at the Le Sirenuse, because that is where the group stayed in the film Only You, but due to the large price tag associated with that hotel, we "settled" on the Poseidon. Settle, we did not. It was so nice. We had a gorgeous room with a view of the ocean and the mountainside. We had a great dinner on the terrace at the restaurant (see photo) and we enjoyed lounging by the pool. When we go back, this is where I will want to stay again. Le Sirenuse will be a place we visit for a cocktail or something, but I loved the Poseidon.

The walk down to the rocky beach is a bit of a trek (especially on the way up), but there are all sorts of shops along the way and the beautiful scenery to take your mind off the hike. If there are 2 things I love it is bougainvilleas and lemons. Bougainvilleas grow wildly in Positano and are the most perfect pink color you can imagine, and lemons grace every piece of hand painted pottery in all the shops. I literally thought it could not get any prettier. We ate at a couple of restaurants that were great. We had a great lunch on the beach at a place called Bucca di Bacco and a nice dinner at the restaurant Covo dei Saraceni. We ate at this last place because it was where Marisa Tomei had dinner with her "Damon Bradley" the night they were in Positano (a scene from Only You). It was our first real experience with having to decipher a menu in Italian with not much help form the waiter, but we did pretty good.

Aside from seeing the sights, shopping, and relaxing at out hotel, we did do a day trip to Capri. Boats leave on a regular basis from Positano, but I will save that story for another installment of La Mia Italia! Positano is a dream location to visit and I dream of going back there one day!

Don't we look like typical tourists! Us 10 years ago getting ready to depart Positano for the Isle of Capri!

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