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.



Eleonora Baldwin said...

Beautiful, informative, comprehensive and downright nostalgia-inducing post! Positano beckons, I may have to indulge... And finally hug you.

Ele xx

Laura said...

Ciao Rosa!
Wonderful tips and gorgeous photos ... I think I'll be spending more time in Positano this summer!

Grazie mille!

The Food Hunter said...

These are wonderful ideas...looking forward to my next trip back even more now.

Tuula said...

Great post! I'd love to do, well, just about anything in Positano...but never considered canoeing or a trip to the top for the view - wonderful suggestions! Now if I can only get down there...sigh :)

Cathi said...

Wonderful ideas and gorgeous photos!! I will definitely remember this post should I ever get to Positano (which hopefully I will someday soon!) xxoo :)

LindyLouMac said...

Wonderful wonderful Amalfi coast. All these blog posts I keep reading make me wonder if we should have moved there instead of Lazio. The problem is I love it here on Lago di bolsena as well :)

Anait said...

This post made my heart ache for Positano. I stayed in Praiano last time and managed to explore a little, but those underwater caves and hidden beaches are calling my name!

Saretta said...

such a beautiful place!

100 Places In Italy Every Woman Should Go said...

Why I LOVE your BLOG--these gorgeous photos are a wonderful thing for winter--Grazie!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Such a fab post , beautiful photos .. I cannot add really to all the wonderful comments here, You just paint a picture of enjoyment, Italian life , festas and friendliness :-)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Very informative and I hope I get there one day! Love the holed mountain.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

What a dreamy place. How I'd love to be there doing all the things you posted instead of in dreary, snowy New Jersey.

villa javea said...

Good post !!!
Place appears to be awesome by reviewing post.Hopefully visit it during future travel.

joe@italyville said...

Wish I had this list last year! I'm going to have to come back now.:)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

bello post.

I miss Positano so much. I hope to make it down this year.

Suzy said...

Great tips I wish I read before visiting this summer. I do love Praiano's walk down to the beach. There is also a good restaurant on the other side of the main beach there (at least it was good 10 years ago). Next time I will take advantage of all of the hiking in the area.

Andrew said...

Wow what a neat view. Really the only thing I know about Positano is from watching Under a Tuscan Sun. The town in pictures looks amazing and all the extra stuff makes me want to get down there. I have yet to be south of Pisa, but I have seen a lot of Northern Italy and liked it.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Lots and lots of super tips ..Rosa .. I really hope I do visit there one day .. and when you are there too... make a fab guide .. and Laura too.

Clasyl01 said...

Thanks for the great reminder of how beautiful Positano and the Amalfi coast are. It's always a pleasure visit and a treat to remember.