Italy Part 4: Positano

IMG_3588As I’m sitting down to write this post, it occurs to me that this is less a post about Positano than a love letter to Le Sirenuse. Oh, how I love this hotel!

We arrived via boat to the view you see below. You can recognize Le Sirenuse as the red hotel, trimmed in white, just to the right of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, above Marina Grande Beach. It is quite a sight! Bustling, busy and full of life, this is the heart of Positano. A porter came to get our bags and we were off on the winding paths and staircases that led to our hotel. It was a wondeerful way to arrive, as we immediately got a feel for this quaint, seaside town.

Le Sirenuse just “gets” details. Everything from the ashtrays to the towels has their signature mermaids. Upon arrival, we enjoyed a delightful lunch on the poolside terrace, overlooking this view. Then, we were by the lemon tree lined pool. Mind you, it’s not a large pool, but it was a delightful temperature and the staff takes care of every need.

Shopping was not huge on my list, as we had done a little of that in Ravello and Capri, but I had to make a stop at the highly regarded Emporio Le Sirenuse. The designer and creative mind behind this trio of shops (one for men, one for women, one for home) is Carla Sersale, part of the owning family of Le Sirenuse. She has curated and designed a beautiful line of clothing and brought in accessories that you won’t see everywhere. Of course, I wanted everything!

Our welcome was incredible. From the warm greeting at the front desk and the refreshing welcome drink (lemon, of course)… to the champagne and gourmet goodies waiting in our room. We ate at their restaurants both nights – originally out of convenience and because we wanted to try both the formal dining and the Champagne & Lobster bar (no surprise there, right?). Every meal was amazing.

We ventured off on Day 2 on one of the hotel’s boats to the island of Nerano for lunch at the famed Conca del Sogno. Mentioned in an earlier post, this is the spot that 2 friends said we could not miss and I’m so glad we didn’t. Arriving by boat is half the fun and the zucchini spaghetti was out of this world! You can sunbathe if you like, but we just enjoyed lunch, so you could easily go just for that.IMG_3562IMG_3580IMG_3581 IMG_3607 IMG_3632IMG_3604 IMG_3610

IMG_3623 IMG_3612positanoIMG_3619IMG_3628 IMG_3733 IMG_3729IMG_3630IMG_3698IMG_3716IMG_3719We didn’t get to everything that we had hoped to. Which is a wonderful reason to return some day (which my husband says he might consider!). Here are the places that were highly recommended, but will have to wait on another visit.

Chez Black (for dinner), Restaurant Max (for dinner), Il San Pietro (for drinks or to stay) and Da Adolfo (for lunch).

Huge thanks go to my wonderful friend and travel advisor, Sandy Grodsky. I have no doubt that certain elements of our trip were made better because of her personal attention to detail! You can follow her love of travel at @youmaybewandering!

Positano, two days weren’t enough….we were just getting to know one another. I hope that we will meet again and get better acquainted!



Italy Part 3: La Fontelina Beach Club

IMG_3370Come. Sit. And, let me tell you about THE beach club in Capri….La Fontelina.

Originally founded in 1949 on a rocky spot, right by the Faraglioni rocks, La Fontelina has been host to numerous sun worshipers over the years, including many famous faces. You might wonder what makes a beach club set on a bunch of rocks so special. Is there sand? No…there’s no sand. Is it easy to get to? No, not really. Do people go for the food? No, not really…but it’s very good. That’s not why people come here.

People go to La Fontelina for the view and the vibe. It is a family business that has endured storms and destruction. There is a resilience in this beautiful spot. They’re protective of this space and it has become a beacon to those who visit Capri.

We spent two of our days here and it gave us a chance to see it from different vantage points. On the first day, we made the long trek down (and back up at the end of the day) a steep, winding path, so we were rewarded with the aerial view of all those blue and white umbrellas. On the second day, we arrived by boat (which was much more enjoyable) and left the same way. If you have a choice….I say…go by boat!
DSC_0337IMG_3884La Fontelina is run the old school way. Reservations, which are a MUST, are written down in a big book. They are most definitely not on Open Table. And, there is a pecking order. There are regulars who go multiple times a week, year over year. They will get priority. But, you might get lucky. We did on the second day. It most likely had to do with a request from our hotel. But, I think it helps to go more than once.

That said, there are a number of cool locations to get set up with a sunbed or chairs and umbrella. They have everything, including towels, so you can just bring your sunscreen and your favorite book.DSC_0338 DSC_0339DSC_0366 IMG_3366The sangria. What can I say? It really is THAT good. We weren’t sure if we would order it, but we knew someone there who went every year and when we saw they ordered it, we followed suit. Good call. It was light, delicious and refreshing. Definitely give it a try!IMG_3377IMG_3378DSC_0343DSC_0367 IMG_3363IMG_3368DSC_0365IMG_3371Sometimes a place just defies explanation. La Fontelina is just such a place. It’s a magical little spot, atop some rocks above the Mediterranean with a million dollar, make that a 10 million dollar view. If you ever have the chance to go, I hope you’ll love it!