Thursday, April 16, 2015

{Vacation ReCap} Amalfi Coast: Positano Bites Deep

After leaving our tour guide, we barely made it back to the apartment in time to grab our bags and get to the train station.  Our next stop was Positano which was an absolute dream.

We took the train to Naples and were greeted by our private driver, Tony from Sorrento 1st Choice which I highly recommend. Lemme tell you, that was a good call. As this somewhat macho looking guy seemed very nervous to be in this particular train station (he would later tell us that it wasn't the safest) we were very happy to have a nice safe Mercedes to hop into!  The station actually looked really clean and bright, but what do we know?  He's local to the area so we trust his judgement.

Another reason I was so glad we hired someone?  Sleep. Almost as soon as we got going, I zonked out and was happy to let someone who knew what they were doing take over.  I think Tom was most appreciative because let's be honest - he would have been the one driving.

Anyone who has been to the coast or even just researched getting to the Amalfi Coast, knows that the drive is NOT for the faint of heart.  These are extremely narrow roads that you sometimes find yourself sharing with large buses.  Plus, I have a feeling that if we were driving, we wouldn't have had a chance to enjoy the view.  Thankfully Tom woke me up so I didn't miss it!

(Not my pictures- I was too busy soaking it in to get the camera out! SourceSource)

Positano is such a dreamy place.  The driver took us the farthest we could go and then had to stop. The roads just do not make it all the way into the village.  You can hire porters to carry your luggage back and forth, but we decided to walk almost to very bottom of the hill to the Hotel Bucca di Bacco where we would be staying since we were ready to stretch our legs.

I had no idea what to expect with this hotel.  We scored an amazing deal - securing the last oceanview room at that rate! - but even so, it was a splurge.  However, we purposesly choose the apartments in the busier cities and used hotel points when possible to make this place work for us (hotels in Positano are not a part of any major hotel chain).  I really love having the "splurge" come at the very end of a trip!  I am realizing now that I failed to take pictures of our actual room!  I tried to find pictures online but couldn't find our particular suite.  Oh well.  The view is the star, so there you go :)

This was a popular destiniation for stars during the "Dolce Vita" years. Everyone from Grace Kelly to Elizabeth Taylor and every artist in between vacationed at this hotel.  I can see why they flocked here!

One of the things we would come to love about Positano is how many hand crafted goods there were throughout the village (it would make me regret not saving more funds for shopping!).  It's especially well known for its hand-painted tiles and they were featured all over the hotel.  From our floors to the tiles in our bathroom.  Because of this, every room is unique.   Beyond it being charming, clean and adorable though, we were stunned when we got a load of our view.

There was somewhat of dramatics involved in the unveiling of the balcony - you could tell they loved this part of tour and I don't blame them!  After entering a somewhat dark room, they throw open the heavy drapes, unlock the wooden doors, then the glass doors....

and your jaw hits the floor...I can't imagine that gets old for them!

We especially loved that they would bring the complimentary breakfast to our room in the morning so we could enjoy coffee on the balcony.

We also enjoyed drinks every evening here and left the doors open at night so we could listen to the waves. Magic.

I spent way too much time on that balcony taking photos.
To the right:

To the left:

As a welcome to the hotel, we were offered complimentary drinks on their terrace which we quickly accepted!  What a great start to the evening!  We were delighted to see that our Chicago friends from the Roman Restaurant were already here along with us!  Too fun!

After soaking in the views we relaxed in our room for a bit to enjoy sunset and take even more pics before dinner....sigh....

Pinch me...I still can't get over that this was the view from our room. It just doesn't get better than that!

Because there are no roads, we found oursleves walking everywhere which was lovely and a great way to work off all of that delicious Italian food and wine (and limincello)!  We received a recommendation from Tony for a good place to grab a bite so set out to find it, figuring that as a local, he'd have the inside scoop.  I say "local" loosely, because Positano is definitely a resort town (I believe he lived in Sorrento).

We definitely enjoyed the stroll.  It was just too beautiful and adorable to believe and the weather was gorgeous.

Still getting a kick about the lack of cars...

After walking a bit, we looked back and could make out our hotel at the very bottom of this cliff. We were pinching ourselves because it was just soooo gorgeous.  Is this real life?

We spent quite a lot of time stopping to soak in the views so didn't make it very far. We decided to try his recommendation the next night instead since we were hungry. We went into what seemed to be a hopping place: Caffe Positano.

We enjoyed dinner and dessert...

...and while the view was certainly nice, I don't know that we'd go out of our way to go back there.  The restaurants on the following evenings just hit it out of the park so I'd recommend them before anything else.

We called it a night, and made our way back down to our hotel.

We had such a great introduction into Positano and were beyond excited about our daytrip to Capri planned for the following day.  I can't wait to tell you about it!

I'll sign off with this beyond appropriate quote from John Steinbeck.  It comes from an Old Harper Bazaar interview and is featured in the hotel room book:

 “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you are gone”.   



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