When you begin to plan your trip, you will begin to realize that the Amalfi Coast is actually very large with many areas to choose from. We will be focusing on the area Positano, which is the most picturesque. When you see photos of Amalfi, they are almost always from Positano.
This Travel Writer’s Guide To Amalfi Coast focuses not only on a guide to travel but specifically with the needs of a writer in mind. A traveling writer needs to know the history, where to find inspiration, a great place to write, and a great place to lay their head. That way all your energy can funnel into creating!
It is said that Positano has been inhabited since 6000 BC. Legend has it that Poseidon founded this town in honor of the Greek Nymph Pasitea. The Romans began settling in Positano in 100 BC, however, they were destroyed by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
It was not until the 15th to 17th century that Positano became a wealthy market port. However, by the mid-1800s Positano fell on hard times when most of the population moved to America, mainly New York City.
Later on, it was artists that revived Positano. After John Steinbeck wrote an article in the Harper’s Bazaar magazine titled “Positano Bites Deep” in the 1950s, it started to become a prime vacation destination for decades to come.
It’s difficult not to be inspired while you’re inside of a place that resembles a postcard. When you can hear echoes of Italian through the windows, and dine in cafes that stumble over the cliffside.
From gigantic lemons that could only be found in the Garden of Eden, to winding precarious streets where cyclists have fallen to death- Positano can conjure ideas of any category. It must have been what prompted Steinbeck to inspire generations of travelers to visit.
For the easiest inspiration, simply walk through the picturesque streets, or lounge within the grid of colorful umbrellas on a beach that is eerily reminiscent of The Talented Mr. Ripley.
This is a great restaurant to spend some time without feeling rushed. The view is also unmatched. If you get here just as they open lunch you’ll have your pick of seats overlooking the cliffs and sea. They even have small private balcony table seats!
This cafe is a bit more casual, but also has a view of the water. It is more geared towards a work cafe than other restaurants.
While this may require pen and paper, you might feel most inspired to write at the beach where you can lounge all day. You can even take a writing break to read a book.
This is one of the most elegant and relaxed places in Positano. You can come in just for a coffee or a cocktail, with plenty of relaxed places to sit. Just be aware that earlier in the day they may reserve the seating area for guests of the hotel, but they are very accommodating and can be persuaded!
Where to stay: Anywhere you stay in Positano will result in very exhausting walks. The decision is either to stay at the top or to stay at the bottom of the hill. You will definitely have the best experience if you stay in a hotel with a view, however, they can be pricey.
If you know that you will love to spend your days at the beach, then your best bet is to stay on lower ground. However, if you’d much prefer a view then you can stay higher up.
There is a bus that you can catch to take you back up to the top, however, if you prefer not to wait then you will have a long and very steep walk. The steps in Positano are not like a usual staircase. Instead, as in most of Europe, the steps are very steep and very shallow. If you’re in good shape then you will be fine. It certainly helps burn up calories from pasta and limoncello. If you have bad knees, however, then just beware!
This hotel I highly recommend, as it has an incredible restaurant overlooking the cliffside. The restaurant is just across from the hotel but belongs to it. They serve complimentary breakfast which you can enjoy with an amazing view, and you can even come back for dinner or for lunch. This is an amazing option because you would not have to walk many flights of stairs from your hotel to your meal.
Getting there: Getting into Positano can be a bit of a trek. You can either come from the airport in Naples, or you can take a ferry from Naples to Sorrentino or from Capri. A ferry might be a nicer option if you do not want to take public transportation, although you can arrange private transportation to your hotel. Be aware that the drive itself is a bit precarious and there can be quite a bit of traffic getting in.
When to go: May might be your best time to go to Positano, as the weather is beautiful. In later months the heat begins to rise to quite uncomfortable levels for the amount of walking that must be done. Also, August is when most Europeans tend to take their vacation, and many Italians flee to seaside destinations like Amalfi.