I can't say enough about the Amalfi Coast. It's what you see in the movies. And when you're there, you're a celebrity...
I'm intrigued by how many people haven't heard of it in my circle. A confused nod, or a blunt, "Where is that?" typically follow my adoration for the sparkling stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula.
If you know it, you KNOW it though.
Getting there from Naples...
Getting there ain't easy, folks, but it sure is worth it.
If you're making it a one-stop trip, fly into Naples. If you're planning on coming from Venice, Florence, Rome, or anywhere from the north, take the train to Naples.
There are a few options once you've landed in Naples: rent a car, hop on a bus, or take the ferry.
I found the ferry to be pretty hassle free, incredibly beautiful, and fairly quick!
The bus and car situation is going to be LONG.
The only setback is that, from the Naples train station, you have to find a way to lug your bags a few blocks down cobblestoned streets to the dock. If you're like me, you ate the taxi money and got there without a sweat.
TIP: KNOW THE TRAIN AND FERRY SCHEDULES, OR BOOK IN ADVANCE.
There's literally nothing worse than taking a later train only to find out you missed the last ferry.
Train schedule ➜ www2.raileurope.com/place/napoli-centrale
Ferry schedule ➜ www.positano.com/en/ferry-schedule
Here's a photo from the top deck of the ferry, pulling into Positano:
Where to go... POSITANO!
I spoke to a lot of people about their time in the Amalfi Coast, and Positano was their favorite. People stay in other cliffside villages in Italy's Amalfi Coast, but they come here for the glitz, glam, AND the laid-back vibes. I suggest going here if you just want a little bit of everything without the fuss of getting back on a ferry or wasting precious time in the car.
Positano is colorful. The stacked pastel-hued homes, hotels, restaurants and boutiques are situated among steep, narrow streets with people shuffling by you in their finest beach garb.
What to wear...
Beach fashion is everything here. Flowy caftans, sleek swimsuits, over-sized straw hats, espadrilles, and tassled-totes are the norm. It's that right-off-the-beach and onto a sidewalk cafe for a spritz type of look.
It's what I would wear every single day if I could (and certainly do in the summer).
Where to eat...
I was really set on avoiding tourist traps when I stepped foot in Italy, but when you're thirsty and servers are swarming you to sit at their rickety chairs on cobblestoned streets, and fresh bread and olive oil are passing by, you just kind of go with it.
I had a lot of fun places planned to go to, and I will get to that, but let's be real: a spritz is a spritz; a fresh basket of bread and olive oil in Italy is fantastic anywhere. The touristy plate of pasta is damn good. It's not like the overpriced restaurant at the end of the pier in a beach town in the U.S., where the food is bland and the drinks are weak.
I fear calling Chez Black a tourist trap because it's too hip. I read online over and over that this was a must for dining among the stars (the ones in the sky and the George Clooney to your left). We tried some intriguing dishes, but it was this on-the-house pizza that stole our hearts (pun intended):
If you want fine dining in a cool, calm and collected atmosphere, hike up to Li Galli. It's the type of "haute cuisine" that's pretty on the plate and pleasing to the palate. If you get there before the sun sets, you can enjoy the breathtaking background of the Mediterranean from your table. Sitting outside, the glass balcony creates a seamless view.
Where to stay...
I really can't imagine staying anywhere else but Hotel Villa Franca. It is top notch. Wake up in the morning in a room that pays homage to the sea with a tastefully presented nautical essence in a crisp, white suite. Walk out to your own private terrace where picturesque views enchant, and enjoy a stunning buffet of prosecco, smoked salmon, a table of cheeses and bread, fresh fruit, and made-to-order ANYTHING in the restaurant.
What to do...
You simply can’t go to Positano and not frolick in the Mediterranean’s turquoise waters. I felt like the ultimate mermaid here: the water is SO salty, you find yourself just floating without effort, drifting out to sea and then easily making your way back to shore after what feels like eternity floating on your back with the sun's rays beating down on you.
The beaches lay beneath jutting cliffs, and require a beach chair or sun lounger due to the lack of sand and the overwhelming amount of pebbles.
Marina Grande Beach is the most famous and the most central, situated at the base of town. However, I highly suggest checking out Arienzo Beach Club for a truly secluded experience.
Head to Positano's main dock, hail down a water taxi with the beach club logo, and you’ll be whisked off just around the bend to your own private haven.
A spritz and a sun lounger await. But it won't be long before the heat has you diving into the water. End the experience eating branzino caught that day alongside a caprese salad and a cold glass of white wine at the club's rustic restaurant.
When you’re not sunbathing on the beach, walk up and down the narrow alleys of Positano, checking out the boutiques and trattorias.
For evening fun, Music on the Rocks, a swanky nightclub, is your best bet.
WHAT'S LEX BEEN UP TO LATELY?