It’s been over 7 months since we got back from Positano and I can’t get that place out of my mind. It is one of those places that just stays with you. The views, the people, the food. It’s hard to capture the magic of this place in words or even pictures, but I’m going to try. Here are the five things to do in Positano Italy.
5 Things to Do in Positano Italy
1. Walk Along the Path of the Gods
These centuries-old stairs are referred to as the Path of the Gods. It’s a lot of stairs, but the views are so worth it! Even if you don’t walk down the whole stair case, you can walk part of the way and then catch a bus to reach the beaches.
To be honest with you, the stairs weren’t so bad on the way down, but walking up them is really hard. We ended up walking part of the way up and then we grabbed a bus to get to our BNB high up in the mountains. The day after (and several more days later) my calf muscles still hadn’t recovered!
Just so you know I’m not exaggerating, this article speaks the truth. They referred to Positano as the ‘land of a thousand fucking steps’. It’s true, there are a lot of steps. I believe our host told us there are close to 2000 steps to get from our BNB down to the beach. But despite the serious workout, the views are so worth it. Plus, I loved passing all the charming Italian homes and people as we walked down the trail. Many people said ‘boungiorno’ to us as we walked down.
2. Visit the Local Shops
Prior to arriving in Positano, I had read about all the great handmade sandals I would find. Besides all the leather shops, I was especially excited by all the beautiful pottery stores. I didn’t buy anything large, but I did get a couple of handmade pottery pieces that just felt like Positano, colorful and classic. I also ogled all of the gorgeous leather sandals I saw. Although I considered buying a pair, I decided against it because 1) I overpacked and didn’t want to buy too much in only our second city of a four city trip; 2) I already own way too many shoes, so I opted to get something I didn’t already have (a handcrafted Positano pottery wine bottle stopper).
If you’re in Positano and not sure where to shop, check out Conde Nast Traveller for a list of shops you must check out.
3. Stay in a Room with a View
When you start planning your trip to Positano, you might feel some sticker shock when you see how much the hotels cost. I almost scratched Positano off of our itinerary when I saw just how expensive one night in a hotel was going to run me. I’m so glad I didn’t give up so quickly. Instead, I started investigating other housing options. I quickly realized you get a lot more bang for your buck with BNBs than with hotels. (I wrote about our BNB experience in Italy here).
The absolute best part about Positano for me was the view. The people were also extremely friendly and helpful, but those views are everything. I ended up finding a charming BNB tucked away very high up in the mountains. It had the most spectacular view from our balcony. I also loved this BNB because it housed several other couples and they offered different opportunities to get to know the other guests.
For example, they offered a 5 course dinner 3-4 nights a week for only 40 Euros per person. The wine was unlimited and the food was delicious. The majority of the food they made was grown right in their own garden. Plus, it was a lot of fun to get to know our ‘neighbors’ and it was even more ironic that one of the people staying there worked at the same company as one of my friends so we technically knew the same person! Talk about a small world.
If you’re looking at housing options in Positano, I highly suggest you pay attention to your view. I can’t even explain to you how much I enjoyed sitting out on our balcony taking in the glorious views of Postino and the Almafi coastline. It is not an overstatement to say it is one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen in my life.
4. Rent a Beach Chair
Whether or not you’re a beach-goer, one of the must-do things in Positano is to rent a beach chair. It is so fun to lounge by the Tyrrhenian Sea and watch all the tourists romp about. I think I saw one too many speedos on that trip, but it was still a lot of fun to relax and enjoy the gorgeous coastline view.
Not only does Positano have a spectacular view from up above, it is equally gorgeous to look up at the city on the cliffs. Positano has a really beautiful church called the Santa Maria Assunta. You can go inside of the church to enjoy the view, but it is also stunning to look at from down on the beach.
5. Eat Dinner at Il Ritrovo
If you only have time for one meal in Positano, I highly suggest you visit Il Ritrovo. It is not an understatement to say it was one of the best meals of my life. Just look at this charcuterie board! We ordred the 5 course meal option and it was spectacular. Beyond the delicious food (homemade pasta, freshly made bread, delicious veggies and meats and cheeses) they also provided the best customer service. Every staff member we talked to at Il Ritrovo treated us so nicely. They went out of their way to give us the best dining experience, and it really was.
I do suggest you make a reservation, as this place fills up. Our BNB host offered to make the reservation for us (you know, since we don’t speak much Italian), so that was great. Everyone spoke English to us in the restaurant, but it was helpful to have the reservation all set to avoid some of the potential language issues.
Overall, Positano is one of my favorite vacation destinations to-date. I still can’t get over the views and the absolute beauty of the place. I feel so lucky to have gotten to experience Positano, so close to where my grandparents were from. My only wish is that my entire family could have been there to enjoy it with us.