Womanista has been on a bit of a summer vacation (I’ve tried my best to enjoy the first summer in a LOOOONG time that my husband hasn’t been touring! Well, it’s the first summer he hasn’t been touring since I’ve known him, so there’s that…) so I packed up the computer and lived life a little bit – and I apologize to you fabulous people for the extended break from the blog – but boy have I done some living this summer and no place has captured my heart more than Positano, Italy. Womanistas, there are simply no words. Positano is the best place I’ve ever been in my life.
Positano is one of those places where you don’t want to blink because there is too much beauty, fabulousness, and happy in every corner. We stayed at Le Sirenuse (PURE FAB!!), which ranks in my top 3 hotels of all time (more on that later). But truly, womanistas, Positano is magical, romantic, and I cried when I left (seriously. that good.) Here is my guide to living la dolce vita in my favorite village on Italy’s Amalfi Coast.
Where to Stay:
Le Sirenuse: When John Steinbeck visited Le Sirenuse in the 1950s he wrote, “It bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you’re there, and becomes beckoningly real after you’ve gone.” He captured the essence of the hotel perfectly. It really is that dreamy. The interiors of the hotel are whitewashed and filled with luxurious antique furniture, hand-painted tiles, and gorgeous art. It’s all sophisticated and chic, but not in any way stuffy.
Nothing though, compares the exterior spaces of the hotel – sun-soaked terraces with bougainvillea and expansive views over the mediterranean accompany every guest room and the restaurant terrace glows with the light of over 400 candles at night. Pure magic. During the day you can relax by the pool on a plush lounger under the shade of lemon trees, and then sip a glass of Dom Perignon at the hotel’s champagne & oyster bar as the sun sinks into the sea in the evening.
Everything Le Sirenuse does is perfection – from the friendly check-in, to the service of the tuxedoed waiters, the relaxing treatments at the boutique Aveda spa, and of course the essence of romance. This kind of luxury definitely doesn’t come cheap, though. Rates start around $700/night during high season.
Hotel Palazzo Murat: Just steps away from the Le Sirenuse and in the heart of Positano is the gorgeous 18th century palace, Palazzo Murat. The hotel is tucked away in botanical gardens and features a pool overlooking the duomo of the famous Santa Maria Assunta. Stunning bougainvillea surrounds the peaceful courtyard nestled inside the hotel – a perfect place to sip an evening cocktail.
Where to Eat & Drink:
La Sponda: The 5-star restaurant at Le Sirenuse features fresh seafood dishes, handmade pasta with local ingredients, a perfectly curated wine list, and friendly waiters who are happy to serve your every whim – with all of that said, the view over positano from your candlelit table pretty much surpasses every other reason to go there. If you are looking for a memorable, romantic meal you must try La Sponda.
Ristorante Max: You can find this charming restaurant through one of the many winding stair cooridors in the heart of Positano. Though it doesn’t offer sea views, this restaurant doesn’t lose on atmosphere – it’s set in a cozy art gallery filled with gorgeous works and elegant antiques. Not only are the classic italian dishes delicious, but Max offers the best wine list in town.
Champagne & Oyster Bar at Le Sirenuse: For me, it doesn’t get better than sipping a handcrafted cocktail & noshing on fresh oysters while a sea breeze gently wafts through the air. Multiply that fabulous by 3485349857 when it’s combined with incredibly beautiful views, a DJ with a penchant for the perfect cocktail hour playlist, expert service, and great people-watching – and there you have the champagne & oyster bar at Le Sirenuse. Quite possibly my new favorite bar/cocktail lounge in the world.
Where to Shop:
La Cantina delle Tre Sorelle: This market outpost of one of Positano’s famed beach restaurants, Le Tre Sorelle, features high quality wines, olive oils, pastas, and other Italian delights. It’s the perfect pit-stop for picking up treats to take home. And trust me, once you get a taste of some incredibly decadent pasta & olive oil from the Amalfi coast, you won’t be able to fully enjoy what comes from your local grocery store…consider yourself warned!
Maria Lampo: This bespoke designer creates made-to-measure linen and cotton pieces for men and women. The fabric & fit are luxurious and well-crafted and exactly what you want to wear in Positano during a leisurely stroll through the streets. This is an Amalfi coast staple!
Emporio Le Sirenuse: This curio of a boutique is filled with fabulously selected beachwear, hats, casual evening dresses, venetian glassware, and of course the exclusive perfume & body care product lines of Le Sirenuse. I picked up a bottle of “un bateau pour capri” eau de parfum that I am in love with – every time I give myself a spritz, the scent takes me back immediately to Positano – heaven.
What to Do:
Charter a boat to explore the Amalfi Coast & Capri by water: Let me preface this by saying that I’m not really a boat person. My first “glamorous” boat experience was when my husband and I took a boat from Marina del Ray, CA to Catalina Island for a “romantic” afternoon that was nothing but seasickness and choppy waters – so needless to say I was hesitant to take this excursion in Positano. But THANKFULLY I decided to give boating one more try & boarded the “Amore” for an afternoon & early evening trip. This was amaze. Our boat picked us up right on the Positano dock and the captain immediately poured us a glass of white wine and told us to sit back and enjoy the journey. We toured around the Li Galli Islands and saw all of the famous grottos around the island of Capri before docking for a snack and some shopping. (we also rented a scooter to jet around Capri which was both hysterical & awesome…) This was truly one of the highlights of the trip. Seeing the Amalfi Coast from the sea opens your eyes to even more of its beauty!
Walk the MANY steps of Positano & explore the village: This goes without saying, but simply immersing yourself in the village adds so much depth to a vacation. Sometimes it’s hard for me to peel myself off of a poolside lounger, but in Positano, you must. The country of Italy in general, and especially the Amalfi Coast is filled with the most generous, friendly, kind & wonderful people. Walk around. Chat with the locals. Buy something special. Enjoy an Apertivi. You will get lost in the fab & love every second.
…and I know my tone in this post was a little bit more whimsical & lyrical than usual, but that’s just how magical this place was for me. It was a trip of a lifetime, and if you ever have the chance to visit, you must. Don’t hesitate, just say “Arrivederci!” and go.
Ciao! The Womanista
PS – if you are planning a trip, feel free to tweet me @WomanistaStyle or message me from the “Ask Womanista” link and I’ll be happy to give you some further tips! xo