"Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone. Its houses climb a hill so steep it would be a cliff except that stairs are cut in it. I believe that whereas most house foundations are vertical, in Positano they are horizontal. The small curving bay of unbelievably blue and green water laps gently on a beach of small pebbles. There is only one narrow street and it does not come down to the water. Everything else is stairs, some of them as steep as ladders. You do not walk to visit a friend, you either climb or slide"
The first test we did on our suits ( and each other?) was a trip together to Italy for our 30th birthdays. We ate all the pasta and pizza, jumped off boats, drank rose in the sun, climbed all the stairs, and took all the pictures.
We learned a few things in terms of Italian travel (the ferry to Capri is not always reliable, and just pay the 20 euro to climb the stairs with your luggage) and a lot about each other and how we work together. Lots more content trips to come, and happy to share any of our tips and tricks along the way.
First thing I would advise, is in whatever airport you start from- read John Steinbacks poem, "Positano Cuts Deep"
We got in around 130 pm on the red eye from Toronto to Rome (via Air Transat), I am absolutely miserable on these overnight flights and will never get any quality sleep in so I always try to account for the fact I’ll have to sleep when I arrive. So, I did that, and explored Rome at 6 am the next day.
We went for a run to St Peters Basillica first thing in the morning to check out the Vatican and try to get in a workout to beat the heat. It's pretty cool, but honestly, like many landmarks, didn’t spend too much time poking around. Too many lines and tourists, and even at 7 am the lines were massive to get in.
Rooftop patios seem slightly annoying in that you seem always need a reservation. We went to The Terrace, at Hotel Rafael without a reservation for an easy drink with a view. Carling took me for a birthday dinner at La Carbonara and it was the most insanely good Carbonara I’ve had in my life (as someone who would typically never order Carbonara). Also, the power kept going out, and everyone signs the wall here which added to the charm. There were also locals eating there, complaining about Rome which is key to me to find when travelling.
The next day around 2 pm we hit up the Spanish Steps (and also the McDonalds there….I am a monster and always hit up McDonalds at least once on long trips, but it was pretty fascinating in there) and Trevi Fountain which were both absolute tourist hell, and I’d probably never go back. Around sunset we went to the Colosseum.
Getting to Capri:
Step 1 - hire a driver for 1000 euro from Rome (or something along those lines)
Step 2 - If you cannot complete step 1, what we did was take the train to Naples, and caught a ferry to Capri. This was mayhem. The winds were high which cancelled all the ferry's making it impossible to catch a quick one or get a ticket as they moved anyone over who had pre-booked tickets to the later ones. (If the pre-booked ones were cancelled it appeared you were also out of luck so it seemed to be a lose lose situation for most) We eventually caught a slow ferry which was fine, and cost about 30 euro.
We stayed at Hotel La Residenza and loved it. The room was dated but we weren't in it much, and had a huge patio that we did our workouts on in the morning.
We took the ferry here from Capri. 10/10 do not recommend this approach if you have luggage. It was a pain to catch the ferry via streetcar in time as we had to backtrack twice to go pay for our bags (always ask if you need a ticket for your bag – lesson learned)
We also had to haul ass through town with bags but I suppose could have paid another 20 euro to hire porters and take your bags up the 200 stairs or whatever. Basically, anything can be solved by throwing 20 euro at the problem.
We stayed at Hotel Bourgainville, it was about 200 euro a night, was incredible clean, very central, and honestly had the perfect view for the price. It was just down the street from Franco's Bar. The key is to get there as soon as it opens around 5 pm, catch the sunset and take in the vibe. Its busy, young, and the drinks/olives/popcorn were perfect. I think it can be pretty hard to get in if you come later than this.
ps, this is the view from Francos!
Some postcards of Carling & I on the trip- xoxo CIAO