During our six-month stay in Umbria each year, we try and plan quick trips around Italy if we have any breaks between guests. We enjoy visiting other regions and find a few nights away from our quiet, country life is invigorating, and makes us appreciate what we have at home. After our family left in July, we had two weeks before our next guests arrived, so we recently decided to head down to the Amalfi coast to spend four nights in Positano. We have been to this region number of times in the past, but for some reason have not visited the area for over ten years. We had known before we planned our trip that it was peak tourist season in Amalfi, and being July it was going to be hot. After experiencing the hottest July in the past one hundred and fifty years we figured we could handle it, but we were not quite prepared for the humidity down south.
One of the benefits of living in central Italy is that everything you are close to so many other regions, and we were surprised to find that the drive to Positano was just over four hours. Of course, once you hit the coastal highway, all bets are off because the highway is so narrow with many tight curves, that traffic often slows down to a crawl. We reached Positano just in time for lunch our first day, so we had four full days to explore. One day we drove to Cetara, a small fishing village famous for its anchovies and tuna and where colatura di alici (essence of anchovy) was created. This amazing condiment is made from the liquid that drains from the anchovies when they are packed in salt in barrels, and can be used in pasta and to flavor many seafood dishes. We also explored the town of Amalfi which is the busiest town on the Amalfi coast, took a boat ride to Capri for a day, and simply relaxed in Positano, exploring the town on foot.
Traveling with a small dog, I always have to consider him when choosing hotels because not all hotels except pets. I ended up choosing Villa Gabrisa, a small nine-room hotel that sits up above the center of Positano. The hotel and its staff were great, and the hotel restaurant was very enjoyable, and we had a nice sized room with an amazing balcony that overlooked the sea. (See photo above) However, the walk to and from the center up and down the hills and steep stairways did become a bit much in the July heat and humidity after four days. Overall, our trip was very enjoyable, as we always have a great time when we can get away and experience another region. We love seafood, and apart from the occasional pizza, we ate amazing seafood meals each and every day. Unfortunately, I have to say, that even though I was prepared for it, the crowds and the heat and humidity found on the Amalfi coast (and in Capri) in July do make travel less enjoyable. Our next trip back to this region will be in off season when the temperatures are cooler and the towns less congested with tourists. Along with photos of our trip, I am posting information for the hotel we stayed at along with the names and addresses of restaurants where we enjoyed some of our favorite meals.
Via Pasitea, 223
84017 Positano (SA)
Ph – (+39) 089 811498
Tratoria Pizzeria Chez Black
Via del Brigantino, 19
Ph – (+39) 089 875036
Ristorante Marina Grande
Viale della Regione, 4,
84011 Amalfi (SA)
(On The Beach)
Ph – (+39) 089 871129
Via Terramare, 84010 Praiano (SA)
Marina di Praiano
View of Positano walking down to the beach from our hotel.
The center of Positano with dome of Duomo.
The beach at Positano.
View from our hotel balcony.
The fishing village of Cetara.
The beach at Cetara.
Marina at Cetara.
No frills beach at Cetara. Beach chairs and umbrellas only cost 4 euros a day compared to Amalfi & Positano where they cost 12 to 15 euros per day.
View along the coastal highway.
The harrowing drive along the coast. This supposedly is two lanes!
We learned returning from our drive one day that the best way to get through is to follow a local bus. These drivers are very comfortable on these narrow roads so they take the curves quickly, andrarely slow down.
Coastal town on the cliffs.
The bustling town of Amalfi.
Beautiful white washed buildings on the narrow shopping streets in Amalfi.
Lots of shopping in Amalfi!
The Duomo in Amalfi.
Our lunch view in Amalfi. I loved the colored umbrellas while that yacht out in water caught my husband’s eye.
Packed beaches in Amalfi.
Stunning views from Capri.
Lunch view from our restaurant in Capri.
Main Piazza in Capri.
Crowded streets in Capri.
High end shopping street in Capri.
Fragolini – Famous rock formations off the coast.
Flower lined streets.
Flowers everywhere in Capri.
Harbor in Capri.
Beach at Marina di Praiano.
Rocky beach at Marina di Praiano.
Gorgeous waters at Praiano.
Ristorante Pirata at Marina di Praiano.
Gorgeous jewel colored water that was so clear you could see right to the bottom.
View of Positano coming back from Capri.
Roadside stand selling everything lemon!
And I have to share some of the amazing food we enjoyed along the Amalfi coast because for us, its always about the food!