Amalfi Coast Honeymoon, Part 1: Positano
Finally, finally, finally, a travel post, which just so happens to be where I went on my honeymoon! My husband and I divided our honeymoon into 3 stops on the Amalfi Coast. We did 3 days in Positano, 3 days in Ravello, and 2 days in Capri. This post is Part 1 of my Amalfi adventures and it begins in Positano…. a romantic colorful town on the water, full of winding roads and hills, delicious fresh food, and lots of great shopping.
I did SO much research prior to this trip…I can research vacation spots for hours and not notice the time go by… but it was worth it, and I’m excited to share my experience and recommendations with you guys!
So, as you can probably tell by the title of this post, my husband and I went to the Amalfi Coast for our honeymoon.
Neither of us had ever been before and we wanted to go somewhere that would be new to the both of us. We also just wanted to relax, be in the sun, and eat great food.
It actually took us a really long time to decide where to go on our honeymoon. I knew that I wanted to get married in Ireland, but I never really had any idea of what to do after.
We did want to honeymoon in Europe, since this would be easy to fly to from our wedding destination.
The more I thought about our honeymoon, and where I would want to be with my new husband after all the wedding madness ended, and after living continents apart for 10 months, the more images of Italian food, wine, gelato, and the sun popped into my mind.
Ah Italian wine. 🙂
My husband and I had studied abroad in graduate school (he went to Germany, I went to France), and during this time we visited Rome and Tuscany, and really loved traveling Italy together… and really loved eating Italian food together. 🙂 So we figured Italy would be a great option.
But then some friends and family mentioned how we had already done Italy together and maybe we should do something a bit more exotic. Several people recommended to do a trip that we would NEVER do otherwise as our honeymoon trip.
Now, I know this is good advice and comes from a good place, but this really messed with my head! So I tried thinking hard about what would be super exotic… like Fiji or places really far away, but it just didn’t feel right.
So, I did one more internet search on places to honeymoon in Italy and the Amalfi Coast popped up. Ohhhh! I had heard of this place, and always wanted to go.
I had also heard about how expensive this area could be. But then I looked up photos and found that there were all sorts of prices available for hotels and B&Bs and that it could actually be done with all sorts of budgets. Done. Sold.
Having to choose what towns to stay in was a whole other story but we are very happy that we chose to stay in Positano, Ravello, and Capri. Though if we had to do it over again we’d just do Positano and Ravello and take a day trip to Capri. ( More on that in another post).
We spent 3 dreamy days in Positano. We LOVED this town and really recommend staying here instead of the town Amalfi itself. It is less touristy, has great shopping, is a great town to walk around, and feels so much more peaceful.
I know everyone has different tastes, but my feeling was that it was a better choice, and you could take a day trip to Amalfi.
When it comes to staying in Positano, my first big recommendation is all about timing!
- The Amalfi coast is kind of closed for 6 months of the year, who knew? It’s not that you can’t go, but some hotels and restaurants aren’t open. Even some taxi drivers do not work in the area during this time.
- We had an interesting convo with a taxi driver who said they have to make all of their money for the year in 6 months, and then they do nothing for 6 months. A hotel owner told us the same thing.
- The Amafli coast gets VERY crowded in the heart of summer. Buses of hundreds of tourists get dropped off in town after town along the Amalfi coast and the streets can become crazy!
- We went at the end of May/ Early June. This is a great time because you have good weather, but you are there before the big summer crowds arrive.
Figuring out how you are actually going to get to the Amalfi Coast is important. More likely than not, you will probably be flying into Naples, Italy. But then it’s still an hour and a half drive to Positano from there. There are four main modes of transportation to get you to Positano:
- Buses- there are public buses you can take that are pretty cheap in price. You can even take them to get from town to town on the Amalfi coast. We didn’t take any because we heard they can be too crowded, and may not always be on time etc etc. You can get more information on the buses here.
- Car Rental- You can rent a car directly from the airport. We have friends who did this and were happy to have a car at their disposal. We didn’t rent a car because there are a lot of windy roads on cliffs, and the price to park in town and at hotels was an added expense that we didn’t want to take on.
- Taxi- you can order a taxi or private car at a set price to get you from the Naples airport to your hotel. We used Positano Taxi. It was 95 euros for a 1.5 hour drive and it was so worth it! The car was air conditioned, clean, and big, and our taxi driver, Guiseppe, gave us information on the area and on historical sights during the whole drive up. He also recommended restaurants and things to do, which was great. If I were to go back, I’d do a taxi again or a ferry.
- Ferry- you can take the ferry from the Naples port (you will need to get from the airport to the port, it’s a quick taxi ride though). There are tons of ferry times during the summer, and you can find more information on the Naples Bay Ferry site or OkFerry. We used ferries to get us in between towns, and back to the airport on our way back. Tickets are anywhere from 9- 29 euros.
Accommodation is the main way that you can do Positano, and all of the Amalfi coast, on your own budget. I found everything from cute reasonable B&Bs, to more expensive places with honeymoon packages, to astronomical luxury prices… and everything in between.
We chose to have Positano be our “splurge” hotel during our honeymoon and, so we got a sea view room (room # 5) at the Hotel Palazzo Murat Positano.
For us, this was the most perfect honeymoon hotel in so many ways:
- Hotel Palazzo Murat was built by Napoleon’s brother in law, and you can see the history everywhere you look. With it’s central location, and amazing views, you are in the heart of it all.
- If you tell the hotel it is your honeymoon, they put champagne and fruit in your room. 🙂
- They have complimentary boat rides every day for their guests… I mean, when you are on the Amalfi coast, what better way is there to see your surroundings?
- They have a Michelin star restaurant, a pool, and tennis courts… and are a 5 min walk to the beach
- The views from our room were AMAZING!
- The staff at Palazzo Murat were the most happy, helpful, accommodating people that I have ever met. For any restaurant that we wanted to go to, they would make reservations and arrange transportation (lots of restaurants here provide free shuttles because they are up in the hills). They also helped us book a boat ride and gave recommendations for shopping.
- Lastly, their breakfast buffet is included with your stay and it was the BEST that I have ever had in Italy.
So, as I mentioned, we wanted to be in Italy for our honeymoon to enjoy the food. I mean, there is really nothing like fresh burrata, homemade gnocchi, oven fired pizza, or tomato basil pasta from Italy.
Especially when you are having this amazing food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
One thing that I noticed in Positano was that lemons seemed to be growing everywhere!
The bright vibrant color of the lemons just added an extra dash of happiness to the scenery. Just gorgeous.
And if that wasn’t good enough, all the lemons everywhere meant that there was lots of lemon inspired drinks and foods in the area.
So we of course tried limoncello, and the delizia al limone. The Delizia al Limone is a lemon cake that I read about prior to our honeymoon that is from the Amalfi Coast area.
I basically wrote in capital letters TRY THE DELIZIA AL LIMONE on our itinerary. This was top priority.
I wasn’t sure what it was, but I found out that it is a lemon cake covered in a light whipped lemon frosting. It is a delight, as the name suggests. 🙂
I need to make this one day…. and a Paleo version.
As for restaurants, I tried to make reservations in advance, but this proved almost impossible. Luckily, it seems to be the custom in Positano that hotels book restaurant reservations for you, so we were able to go to all the places on my list that I wanted to go. 🙂
(Though you may have to wait a day or two for really busy/popular places.. so keep that in mind. Also if there is any restaurant that you have to go to, make sure to have reservations)
The first place that we went for lunch was Da Vincenzo, a restaurant recommended to us by our hotel, that had great views of the sea and the town of Positano.
We got this delicious “fried” appetizer composed of a fried rice ball, a fried zucchini flower, and a fried ravioli. Ummmm can I eat this every single day of my life?
I then got a tomato mozzarella pasta dish topped with homemade burrata on top. There are no words to explain how delicious this was. No words.
My husband got a yummy caramelized onion beef ragu and based on how quickly it disappeared, I can safely say that it was delicious as well.
Our next lunch spot was at Da Adolfo, a cute restaurant on the ocean that you can only get to by boat. You can either get there by a water taxi or by a ferry that the restaurant sends to a dock in Positano.
I have seen this restaurant on several other blogs and knew that I had to go here one day.
We ordered the mozzarella grilled on lemon leaves, mussels covered in marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella and tomato spaghetti, and the green pepper almond pesto spaghetti.
It was all incredibly fresh and delicious. The flavors were unique and eating literally on the ocean like that was such a fun treat. Plus, the mussels were the freshest ones that I’ve probably ever had in my life.
Some people make Da Adolfo an all day thing… they rent chairs by the restaurant, lay out in the sun, and have drinks. It’s about 8 euros a chair to reserve, which you do have to do in advance.
We didn’t do this as it was raining and as we planned to do a boat ride. Which may not have been the best idea on a rainy day. But it was still awesome!
We had a wonderful dinner on our second night in Positano at Ristorante Da Constantino. It was hands-down the best Italian food we had in Positano….it was family made Italian food, and my husband and I regret not eating there twice while we were in town!
We had delicious homemade gnocchi in tomato sauce, penne with tomato sauce, mozzarella pizza and homemade tiramisu. It was honestly perfect and the type of food that we were hoping to have on our honeymoon.
Also, Da Constantino is in the hills of Positano, so the views are amazing, and the restaurant provides a courtesy shuttle, which makes getting to and from the location so much easier.
We went to Ristorante Saraceno d’Oro for lunch on the third day. You have to hike up a hill to get to it, but it is totally worth it … because you find so many cool hidden gems along the way, and because it felt good to move and to be rewarded by great food.
I need to give props to the spaghetti meat sauce dish here…it was one of the best that I have ever had! And the sausage pizza was delicious as well. We ate outside surrounded by trees and lemons and the whole experience felt very Mediterranean and peaceful. We also each got mini bottles of Champagne… just because. 🙂
Our last dinner was at La Tagliata, a family style restaurant where there is no menu… you just pay a set price per person.
Even though I wasn’t in love with the food, I do think that it was worth going to for the experience. The location is set so so high up in the hills; you feel like you are perched in the clouds in an Italian treehouse.
The food at La Tagliata is basically a multi-course meal with unlimited wine ( did anyone say unlimited wine?!). Just a warning though, do not fill up on food too quickly… because there is SO MUCH. It was really fun trying so many different cheese, vegetable, and meat dishes, but I just couldn’t eat anymore by the end.
You also end the meal in song… like literally musical instruments are passed around and all the staff is singing, it was quite the experience haha ( I added a boomerang that I took at dinner, which kind of captures how the night ended)
I also really recommend grabbing a drink at the Champagne Bar at le Sirineuse. Why? Well it’s probably the best view for a drink in Positano, the hotel is historic and classic and AMAZING. This is a must. We couldn’t afford to stay here, and so many people suggested just to get a drink here instead, which I thought was a great idea!
Honestly, most of the super fancy hotels in the area have restaurants and bars, so why not just grab a drink or a meal and enjoy what it has to offer?
Of all the towns we went to on the Amalfi Coast, Positano had the best shopping.
Seriously, my husband and I couldn’t get enough of the shopping! There were so many quaint local boutiques. I found some great sunglasses ( because I forgot mine at home!), and my husband found swim suits, a signet ring, and some shoes.
When you are in Positano, you need to get yourself some custom made sandals! There were lots of spots to get custom made shoes, but I loved mine La Botteguccia Positano ( I got 2 pairs 🙂 ). And my husband ended up finding a place, off the beaten path, that made them for men as well.
The Amalfi Coast is known for it’s beautiful ceramics. We obviously did go to many of these shops in Positano, though we found better deals on ceramics in Ravello, so I’ll focus on that in my next post.
One of my favorite shopping experiences in Positano was at a really cool antique shop. It was up a hill on a side street.
Some of the items were in the street, some of them were in a tiny crammed shop, and an old man, who was kind of able to see deep into our souls, helped us pick out certain pieces.
See that big head in the left corner? The guy that kind of looks like he is in pain? We ended up getting that.
I wanted to get two lion door stoppers as well, but the old man wouldn’t let us buy them! He actually refused to sell it to us because he knew it would be too heavy to carry and too expensive to ship to the USA. It was hilarious, but now that I see a photo of them, I kind of wish I bought them.
If there is one final recommendation that I could make for visiting Positano, it would be to take a boat ride to see the coast… whether you rent a boat or do this as a form of transportation to get from town to town, you need to see the Amalfi Coast by boat at least once!
It’s a way to see the Amalfi coast as it’s meant to be seen.
When I first heard that we could rent a boat my first thought was that it would be too difficult.
But there are SO many different ways to plan boat rides in Positano. Some hotels offer rides as part of your stay, there are boat taxis, and private companies that do tours. We found the prices to be way more reasonable and affordable than expected.
My husband basically had to jump off of all the cliffs possible.
( I don’t think the couple next to him were pleased that he chose the rock where the woman was laying out topless to jump off of… but he didn’t know until he got up there! LOL)
We actually took a 4 hour boat tour, which took us way past Amalfi and then we ended up getting stuck in a storm on our way home, which was kind of funny, kind of not, in a soaked clothes, ice rain on our face sort of way.
But then we got back to Positano and it looked like this:
It’s even romantic when it rains!
As you can tell, I loved Positano. I found it to be super romantic and a good mixture between the “glamour” that the Amalfi Coast is known for, while also being personable.
In my research on Positano, I had read many people complain about how many hills there were and how it was hard to get around, but my husband and I were not bothered by this at all. We actually enjoyed using our legs and getting a bit of a workout in in between stuffing our faces with pizza and gelato. However I could see how it would be difficult if you are unable or unwilling to walk up hill, just something to consider.
Ah, now I want to go back… and I can’t wait to share Part 2 of our Amalfi Coast Honeymoon which took place in Ravello.
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