Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blog Stains- Dare to be different in Positano

Blog Stains is a new series of posts designed to be useful references for people visiting the Amalfi Coast. I’ll try to bring you fun things to do which may not have been mentioned in the guide book.

10 top things to do in Positano

So you’ve been to Positano, crept up through the clothes store alleys, peeked into the Church and walked geriatric style (in summer) through the bougainvillea laden walkway to the Piazza Mulini.

What now?, you asked yourselves. Is this all that there is to do here?

Of course not! If you’ve tired of laying on the beach watching the world go by or sitting on your balcony admiring the view, Positano offers weird and wonderful activities in and out of season.

In summer:

1. Hire a canoe, paddle boat on any of the beaches or use a floating device and discover the inlets and caves lining the cliffs.


Sneak a look into the opening under the watch tower at Fornillo beach and discover a secret passage way used during the Saracen pirate era.

Head in the Praiano direction and glimpse luxurious villas and gardens from the water 


and swim in hidden caves through to the opening on the other side.


2.       In August, take a full moon walk along the Path of the Gods. The Association GEA offers guided walks with pick up from Positano, transport to Bomerano in Agerola   and a strictly ‘moonlit only’ walk across the mountain path all the way to Nocelle at the top of Positano.  A street party organized with real homemade food  and traditional tammurita dancing  waits to welcome  hikers back.         

Be warned: book early (posters are put up around town or it’s announced on the events page on Positano News)  because groups are kept to minimum  for safety reasons.

3.   Praiano, Positano’s neighbouring village holds the Light Festival for a week at San Gennaro Church at Vettica di Praiano coinciding with the beginning of August. Only a local bus ride away, the piazza is illuminated in a magical play of lights in the show.

(My tip: if you must eat at Praiano please don’t go to the restaurant S. Gennaro just above the piazza. Some places are memorable for the wrong reasons).

4.   In September the Positano Myth Festival kicks off  intermingling local culture and traditions with a series of ballets, concerts, expositions and traditional dances in the most evocative of places. My favourite has to be the traditional tarantellas, a sensual dance to tambourines and guitars. The evening concert on the path of the Gods is also a must see if you like lyrical music.

5.   Unsurprisingly Positano also offers a variety of cooking classes from top chefs in the local restaurants. I will not mention names here as I have not tried them out personally (traditional dishes are a mainstay in our home) but I suggest you stick to local chefs if you want to learn the basics of Neapolitan cuisine. Often notices are put in restaurant windows. Local dishes are very simple and if your budget doesn’t stretch to classes just savor restaurant meals slowly and you’ll soon work out how to reproduce them at home!                       

All Year Round:

6.  Have you ever thought of going to the very top of Positano for views?  Catch the bus to ‘Garritta’ and get off at the Belvedere for a sweeping view of the village. Even better go on a moonlit night to see the romantic sparkle of the lights and share a kiss with your partner.  Best spot for a romantic kiss in Positano!          



7.  Positano has it’s very own hole in a rock. Situated in Montepertuso (holed mountain), the village just above town, this hole is visible from town and can also be visited in a mountain walk.


8. Walk down to the Fornillo tower through the back way. Although it’s barred to visitors, the panorama of villas,their gardens and Fornillo beach from an angle you’ve never seen before is worth the walk. Take the path to the right in front of Hotel Vittoria (behind Pensione Maria Luisa) and continue to the very end of the residential alley till you come to the mountainside. Then just take the stairs down and admire the wild rosemary lining the path.  

Don’t be alarmed by the apparent wild state of the vegetation lining (and often carpeting) the stairs. This path is not well-trodden by any means and you are very likely to have it all to yourself. But if more people use it, maybe the Mayor will see fit to have the path cleared eventually!



9.  A beautiful mountain hike is that which takes you from Positano to S.Maria del Castello. Breathtaking views sweep over Positano and right across to the Golf of Naples  and the islands of Ischia and Procida.


10.   The Valley of  Il Porto is situated in the canyon near Arienzo beach. A shaded walk which has very little sun all year round grows amazing vegetation in it’s own eco-system and is the wildlife oasis to the rare little amphibian. Please tread carefully and be respectful of nature and those who live there.