Positano The Amalfi Coast Italy

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Positano

WELCOME to BEAUTIFUL POSITANO

And The ULTIMATE GUIDE to EVERYTHING POSITANO

EAT – DRINK – SLEEP – EXPLORE – SWIM – PLAY – GET AROUND

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The MAIN Beach at Positano

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Pulling Into POSITANO

This is a Great Car … But it’s Best to Leave the Car at Home

GETTING to POSITANO

The BEST WAY

There are several ways to get to Positano, either by Bus, Car, or Boat, and some ways are much better than other ones. 

If you are FLYING into the AIRPORT in Naples, you can get Affordable Ground Transportation , directly from the Airport to Sorrento, where you can take a spectacular Bus Ride, or Ferry Boat directly from Sorrento right to the center of Positano. 

REMINDER :  Don’t Forget Your WORLD TRAVEL POWER ADPTER When You’re Packing Your BAGS  …. If you don’t have one. We HIGHLY RECOMMEND Ceptics World Traveler Kit , on AMAZON.com

JetRADARrrr

FLYING to ROME –NAPLES

The WORLD

Use JetRadar for the BEST AIRFARES WORLDWIDE “We DO” !

DREAM VACATION – COOKING CLASSES -FOOD – WINE & SIGHTSEEING

Of NAPLES POSITANO The AMALFI COAST …  “Vacation of a Lifetime.”

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Le SIRENUSE

A DREAM PLACE to STAY

If You Can’t Afford to Stay Here

You’ve Got to Hang Out Here at Least Once on Stay

FRANCO’S BAR si a Great Spot for Late Afternoon or Early Evening APERTIVO

With The Most Amazing View 

Other Hotels

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POSITANO

Wish You Were There ???

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Positano Getting There

Recipes

NAPOLI DAY TOURS to POSITANO

The AMALFI COAST

ITALY

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View of Positano

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How to Get There

Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. arrive by FERRARI

in “ONLY YOU”

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WHERE to STAY

This is Where Billy Zane, Marisa Tomei , and Robert Downey Jr. Stayed

Le SIRENUSE HOTEL

“ONLY YOU”

LaCAMBUSSa

WHERE to EAT

in POSITANO

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Best Beaches

In POSITANO

ITALY

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Lo SMERALDO

AMALFI

WHERE to EAT on The AMALFI COAST

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MAPS of POSITANO

The AMALFI COAST

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SUNDAY SAUCE

Cooking Like

The You’re in Positano

The AMALFI COAST

Daniel Bellino “Z”

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Visit POMPEII – POSITANO – AMALFI COAST SIGHTSEEING TOUR

With PIZZA CLASS  / LUNCH in SORRENTO

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Clark Gable with Sophia Loren

Movie’s Set on Capri

Naples and The AMALFI COAST

ITALY

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The Path of The Gods

POSITANO

The AMLFI COAST

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Cheapest Budget  Hotels

In POSITANO

The AMLFI COAST

ITALY

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VIEW From Le SIRENUSE

Thee PLACE to STAY in POSITANO

Book It !

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CASA ALBERTINA  … Positano

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Look at This View ??? !!!!

How’d You like to Have Your Breakfast Here ?

One of Our ALL-TIME FAVORITES CASA ALBERTINA

POSITANO

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Casa Albertina

LUXYURY For LESS

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Beautifully Appointed Rooms 

Casa Albertina is a wonderful 1st Class little family run Hotel that is perfectly situated so you get a nice view of the town from just a little way up, yet a short easy teen minute walk to the Beach and Center of Positano. 

I first discovered Casa Albertina way back in 1986 and had 3 glorious days staying there. The son Lorenzo gave me a special rate, seeing I was a young man (22) and probably didn’t have much cash. This hotel is beautifully appointed and the entire staff provides the most friendly service. Casa Albertina is an Absolute Gem.

Note : The first time I stayed at CASA ALBERTINA was the Summer of 1986. The owners sone Lorenzo gave me a special rate of $79 a night, and I had an absolutely wonderful time. The next year when I came back, the price had gone up to $119 a night. When I checked the prices in May of 2018, the rate was $279 a night, and actually a reasonable rate for the quality of this hotel, which is not super deluxe, but does make it in to the luxury category of hotels.

CASA ALBERTINA … Via Tavolozza 3  … POSITANO , ITALY  … Reserve a Room

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Me at Casa Albertina

Breakfast with Nicoletta

Summer 1986

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BUCA di BACCO …. Positano

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View From a Room

HOTEL BUCA di BACCO

HOTEL BUCA di BACC  … Via Rama Teglia 4 … Positano, Italy …  tel. 39 081 1892 2289

Click to Book a Room at Buca di Bacco

….

Le SIRENUSE

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Le SIRENUSE

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The POOL

Le SIRENUSE

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A Room at Le Sirenuse

Book It

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View From Terrace Bar at Le Sirenuse

Le SIRENUSE HOTEL … Via C. Colombo 30 , Positano, Italy .. tel. 39 0862 060556

Click Here to Book a Room at Le SIRENUSE HOTEL

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View from the SANPIETRO

One of The Worlds Most Renowned Hotels

Stay There

For The DREAM VACATION of a LIFETIME

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One of The SAN PIETRO’S FABULOUS Rooms

Your Own Private Balcony

Book It !

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SUNDAY SAUCE

CLICK

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Find Your Room

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HOTEL ART PASTEA

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View from the Terrazzo at Hotel Art Pastea

POSITANO

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Lounge at HOTEL ART PASITEA

Free Wifi, Free Breakfast, Beautiful Views, afforadble Prices …

HOTEL ART PASITEA  …. Via Pasitea   207, Positano, Italy 

FIND a Room

HOTEL DIMORA FORNILLO

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View from the Terrazzo at Hotel Dimora Fornillo

POSITANO

A Room with a VIEW

Hotel Dimora Fornillo

HOTEL DIMORA FORNILLO … Via Fornillo 27 , POSITANO

About 200 Steps up to the Hotel from the Beach and Center of town.

AC Free Wifi … Free BREAKFAST    Reserve a Room

VILLA MARIA ANTONIETTA

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View From VILLA MARIA ANTONIETTA

If You’re on a Budget, Villa Maria Antonietta is on of The Best Options in Town …

Posiitano has to be one of the hardest place in the World to find a hotel room, and in the Budget Category, almost but not Impossible. Villa Maria Antonietta is one of your best options if you want to pay less than $150 US Dollars a night. It’s almost impossible finding a room here in the high season (April to Mid October).  You have a much better chance getting a room here in the off-season when you can get a room for about $96 a night (US Dollars).

I first stayed here in the Summer of 1985, and was recommended this place by the late Poet RENE RICARD. At the time I paid $40 a night, so considering the way things have skyrocketed here in Positano, that you can get a room for about double the price in 2018, that’s pretty reasonable.

The accommodations are basic, but most important, they are clean, the location is Fantastic, you are in Positano and it’s relatively Cheap.

If you want to stay in in Summer, Book Far in Advance !!!

Just 1,900 Feet from the Main Beach and Marina to catch Boats (Ferries) coming and going to Positano. 

VILLA MARIA ANTONIETTA … Via C. Colombo 41 , POSITANO , ITALY 

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Click Here

HOTEL CONCA D’ ORO

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Hotel Conca D’ Oro

Positano

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View From Balcony

HOTEL CONCA D’ ORO

POSITANO

Afforadable with Average Room Rate of $145 a Night US Dollars

150 Steps Up, about a 15 Minute Walk to The Main Beach

HOTEL CONCA D’ ORO  …. Via Boscariello 16 ,   POSITANO , ITALY   Info

BookingsPOSITANO

Find Your Hotel

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TIPS on GETTING a ROOM in POSITANO and The AMALFI COAST

Positano has to be without question one of the hardest places in the World for the Budget minded to get a hotel room. There are not many options, as most hotels, the prices are astronomical priced. Seriously! This being said, it’s not impossible and there are some options available.

We have Compiled a List of Several Affordable (Cheapest Hotel Rooms in POSITANO) Options for the Budget Minded. It wasn’t easy, but we did it.

It goes without sayint that’s it’s markedly more dificult to find a reasonably priced room here during the high season which runs from mid April to mid September, with mid May to the first weel of Septemeber being super busy.

This all being said, if it’s possible for you to go in October or April, these two months might be your best possible option. If you have plenty of cash and can afford to pay $300 or more a night for a hotel room, then you won’t have as much as a problem.

The other alternative to see Positano if you want to go during the High Season, is to stay in another town like, Paiano right next door to Positano, or Minori, Sorrento or other town near by, and take a bus or Boat to visit Positano, have a nice lunch and do some sightseeing.

Good Luck!

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MANGIA ITALIANO

MEMORIES of POSITANO

EATING on THE AMALFI COAST

CLICK

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Booking.com

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At BUCA di BACCO

Positano , Italy

Yes a Wonderful Ristornate Amazing View Great Food Excellet Service … This Hotel and Restaurant is a mainstay of the hugely popular town of Positano on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Everythin about the place is First Class, the hotel of course , the restaurant and a friendly professional staff of waiter, BBs, host, Chef, cooks, and all who work at this establishment. I’ve eaten here numerous times since 1985, and it’s always been a great experience including my latest trip this past May with my cousin Tony. We went for lunch, this was my cousin Tony’s first time, and he loved as I always have. I think I created a Monster when my cousin Tony said let’s get a bottle of Champagne and a suggested we might get a good quality Italian Sparkling Wine. A few days before we were at Lo Smeraldino Ristorante right on the water in Amalfi. I ordered the Ferrari “Perle” Brut 2007. It was wonderful and Tony was hooked, he loved it, and wanted to get it at almostevry restaurant we went to for the rest of the trip. Now back to Buco di Bacco. Tony scanned the Wine List at Buco, he found the Ferrari “Perle” and ordered another bottle (Vintage 2010). We started drinking it and as with the 5 or so bottles of this wine we had on te trip, it was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed. Now when it came to ordering, for Antipasto we got an order of Melanzane Parmigiano (Eggplant Parm) and some grilled vegetables. Now, though we both love eating Seafood when down on the Amalfi Coast, when we saw Meatballs (Polpette) on the menu, we both ordered some. I ordered a plate of Spaghetti Meatballs while Tony ordered just Meatballs minus any pasta.

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The BAR at BUCO Di BACCO

The service as usual was excellent, it was a absolutley gorgeous day in Positano and we were both a couple of Happy Campers outside on the lower Terrazzo of Buca Di Bacco. We both commented on how relaxing and peaceful it felt sitting there on the deck and we both sat back and thorughly enjoyed the whole experience and good fortune to having lunch there at such a nice restaurant in the beautiful town of Positano n the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Yes, we knew we were lucky and we were most certainly greatful to be sharing such a memorable meal together, two Italian-American cosuins in Italy in Positano, The Amalfi Coast. Basta !

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The WINE LIST

BUCA Di BACCO

Since 1916

POSITANO

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PESCE MISTI di Mare

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BUCO di BACCO

POSITANO  … I won’t give you the adress, as you can’t miss it. The Hotel and Ristorante BUCA di BACCO is front and center, right at the main beach in the center of town in Positano. If by some insane reason you have a problem finding it, just ask, it’s right down near the water.  telephone :  39 081 837 0723

PS … If you can Affor It? The Hotel is Wonderful.

Da VINCENZO

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A Great View of POSITANO from a outdoor table at Da VINCENZO

That’s the terrazzo of Caffe Positano where all the people are stiing outside, which if you started going to Positano long ago, you may know that spot as the old BAR DeMARTINO, one of my favorite places ever in Positano, but sadly no longer there. Anyway, this is a spectacular spot to get an Apertivo, have lunch or dinner, and just injoy the moment and the beauty before you, and just how “Lucky” you are to be in this Gorgeous Place, known as Positano. Enjoy!

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Italian Cookbook Author (Me)

Daniel Bellino Zwicke, Enjoying Lunch

at Da VINCENZO

Been Going there Since 1985

Positano

Yes, I started going to Da Vincenzo way back in 1985. Ever Since my first trip to the lovely little Seaside Town on The Amalfi Coast, that was yet to be discover by the masses all around the World. Yes, there were people who had heard about this gorgeous place, but not nearly as many as do now. Yes, Positano for the most part was still relatively un-known back then. That’s before Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. made the movie ONLY YOU that brought the town to the attention of so many more Millions of people then had ever even heard of the palce before. Anyway Cei la Vie.

Now back to Rene Ricard and myself and how I discovered and went to Da Vincenzo way back in the Summer of 1985 (Bar DeMartino also). It was just a few days befor my long awaited first trip to Italy, Spain, and the South of France when as I waas walking down 2nd Avenue one night I ran into my friend Alma who was with the Poet RENE RICARD. We were all chatting on the street when I emntioned my trip. When I said I was going to Rome, Venice, and positano, Rene got quite excited and told me the best places to go to in Rome, Venice and Positano. So besides all the info Rene gave me on Rome and Venice, he told me all about Positano and where to stay and where to eat which included going to Da Vincenzo where Rene told me I’d get the Best Plate of SPAGHETTI VONGOLE that Id’ ever have in my entire life.

La CAMBUSA

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La CAMBUSA

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View From a Table at La CAMBUSA

La CAMBUSA … Piazza A. Vespucci / Spiaggi Grande  POSITANO … tel # 39 089 812051

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Linguine Frutta di Mare , La CAMBUSA

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La CAMBUSA

PIAZZA A. VESPUCCI

POSITANO

La CAMBUSA

Out of most of the places we went in Positano this was easily best. They are so friendly and the food was perfect while overlooking the beach. Our first night they were about to close and stayed open for us to get a light bite and a great bottle of wine and we told them we would be back and they didn’t not disappoint. The seafood pasta was amazing and once again the staff was accommodating. I couldn’t recommend this place more. Enjoy Positano and really get to know the people because it’s a great place.

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Le PERGOLA

La CAMBUSA

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La CAMBUSA and The Piazza Amerigo Vespucci

POSITANO

LATTERIA

“Alimentari”  … Via Pastea   , POSITANO

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LATTERRIA

“Some of The BEST FOOD in All of POSITANO”

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FRITTATA FORMAGIA ARANCINI PANINI MELANZANE SALUMI e FRUTTA

The Selection at “LATTERIA” is AMAZING

And You Can Take it out and Eat on Their Lovely Little Terrazzo

“I Did”

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The Terrazzo at “LATTERIA ALIMENTARI”

We just lucked out and stumbled into this place for sandwiches while we waited for check in time at our hotel. We took them down to the beach and ate them on benches. Several people came up and asked where we got them! They were delicious and SO reasonably priced. Fantastic!

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The GIRLS at Latteria Positano

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Eat out on The Terrace or Take Out to Your Hotel Room or Apartment

or for Your BEACH LUNCH

They’ve got everything you need : Water, Wine, Sandwiches, Fruit, Rice Balls, Cheese, Salami, Eggplant Parmigiano, Frittata, Olives, Sweets, evrything.

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Daily Specials at LATERIA POSITANO

DELIKATESSAN

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Delikatessan

Yes another deli  (Salumeria). Beleive it or not, Salumerias / Rosticcerias have some of the best food in almost every city in Italy, and so is the case in Positano with Latteria Deli and here at Delikatessen. We decided to grab some food to take back some food to enjoy on our balcony. The food was of great quality and very reasonably priced. We bought some Pasta, Panini, and Eggplant, Arancini (Rice Balls) . Everyhtng was super tasty. They make greay Sandwiches (Panini) taht a great to take along with some Fruit and Arancini for an awesome Beach Lunch. If you are staying in Positano for a while and don’t want to eat out all the time then this is a great option. They have a great wine selection if you like to do as we do and keep a bottle or two back at our room , as well asfruit and  bottled water which you always need.

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In The KITCHEN at DELIKATESSEN

POSITANO

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Look at This Awesome Panino

Eggplant, Salami, Mozzarella, Peppers

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One of the Girls at DELICATESSEN

DEICATESSEN …. Via Mulini 5 , POSITANO

PIZZA

PizzaLoGUARRACINoPOSITANO

POMPEII & PIZZA

AMALFI SIGHTSEEING TOUR

With PIZZA CLASS LUNCH iN SORRENTO

CLICK for INFO

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View from Beach Club at Music on The Rocks

POSITANO

“My own personal Favorite Beach in Positano”

ITALY

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Arienzo Beach

POSITANO

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Spiaggi Grande

The Main Beach of Positano

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Fornillo Beach is a Great Spot with Several Nice Bars and Restaurants

POSITANO

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3D BEACH MAP

of POSITANO

The AMALFI COAST 

INSIDER TIP

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Insider Tip

Are You Looking for a Reasonably Price Drink with a Great View?

Go to The PARADISE LOUNGE .. Good Drink w/ a World Class View

For LESS !

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The Boat to Da ALDOLFO

POSITANO

at LAURITO BEACH

ITALY

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Map of Positano and its Beaches

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BEST of NAPLES

PIZZA SIGHTSEEING TOUR

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TAKE a DREAM VACATION

COOKING CLASS -WINE – SIGHTSEEING

ALL INCLUSIVE VACATION of NAPLES and The AMALFI COAST

7 DAY TOUR INCLUDES 6 NIGHTS ACCOMMODATIONS

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MEMORIES of ITALIAN FOOD

in POSITANO – CAPRI -NAPOLI

NEW YORK – ROME – VENICE

And ????

The BEST PIZZA in NAPLES

The BEST of The AMALFI COAST ITALY

CAMPANIA DREAM VACATION

Info

CookingClassAMALFIie

COOKING The AMALFI COAST VACATION

Learn to COOK on THE AMALFI COAST ITALY

7 DAYS COOKING SCHOOL CLASSES

EATING & SIGHTSEEING VACATION VACATION

Of THE AMALFI COAST ITALY

Including : SORRENTO – NAPLES – CAPRI

POSITANO & AMALFI

STARTING YOUR TRIP in ROME ?

ROME to POSITANO

DOOR to DOOR LUXURY TRANSPORT

PRIVATE CAR (Mercedes)

From YOUR HOTEL or The AIRPORT in ROME

DOOR to DOOR to YOUR HOTEL on The AMALFI COAST

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RELAX on YOUR RIDE DOWN

With a PROFESSIONAL DRIVER

ROME to POSITANO

POSITANO – AMALFI COAST to ROME

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Hotel Poseidon

POSITANO

Door to Door

Direct From ROME

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SWISS GEAR

LUGGAGE

REMEMBER ! The Electrical Current in Europe (Italy) is 220 Volts. In the USA we use 120 Volts … If you Want to Use your Computer, CHARGE Your Camera and Phone, you’ll need a TRAVEL POWER ADAPTER KIT ..

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It’s The HIGHEST RATED on AMAZON

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POSITANO BITES DEEP

 

   I first heard of Positano from Alberto Moravia. It was a very hot day in Rome. He said, “Why don’t you go down to Positano on the Amalfi Coast? It is one of the fine places of Italy”. Later John McKnight of United States Information Service told me the same thing. He had spent a year there working on a book. Half a dozen people echoed this as well. Positano kind of moved in on us and we found ourselves driving down to Naples on our way,” so wrote John Steinbeck for Harper’s Bazaar, May 1953.

   Italy has long been a dream destination for so many, the art, history, endless sights, and incredible food and drink make Italy the most favored destination of millions of travelers each and every year.

    If you are headed to Positano, one of Italy’s most favored seaside towns, on your final approach, you will either arrive by boat or in a car or by bus. Whether you are driving yourself down from Rome, taking a train to Naples, you can take; a boat, private car or bus to reach Positano. If you happen to take one of the local buses driven by the world’s best bus drivers, you’re in for quite a treat. So if you have arrive to Sorrento by train to Sorrento, and you are not taking a boat, you most likely will hop on either a Blue Cita Bus, or the Red Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus from Sorrento to get to Positano, or anywhere on the Amalfi Coast. Now whether you are in a car or a bus, once you cross over the peninsula of Sorrento from the Gulf of Naples to the Gulf of Salerno, the jaw-dropping beauty of the Amalfi Drive begins to unfold. The 15- kilometer stretch from Sorrento to Positano includes a dramatic succession of curves, sheer cliffs, rocky twists and the most beautiful panoramic vistas you are likely to see in your entire lifetime. This section of the road, known as via Nastro Azzurro, the Blue Ribbon climaxes when you first see, then enter Positano.

   When you finally arrive in Positano you will be greeted by colorful pastel or white painted buildings that are filled with vibrant Purple Bougainvillea plants pouring generously over their walls. The town is a former fishing village that has been turned into a sort of La Dolce Vita playground, that has become one of the World’s most renowned Bucket List Dream Vacation destinations on the Planet Earth. So much so, that well-to-do-people from every corner of the globe make it the chosen place to consummate their wedding vows, that are complete with lavish Amalfi Coast festivities to follow. Though the entire coastline is absolutely gorgeous, Positano is arguably the most alluring gem of them all, and the preferred place to stay. And this should not diminish in any way, the beauty and charms of other towns like, Praiano, Ravello, or Amalfi, or the outer lying islands of Capri and Ischia.

   The romance of the pretty little town of Positano makes for a jewel of vacation and one you shall always cherish. It’s most assured you will never forget your time spent in Positano. When traveling to Positano you immediately notice its abundance of natural beauty and the drama of rugged cliffs that shoot straight up out the blue sea below. These sights as you drive along the Amalfi Drive, are sure to grab you with each-and-every turn on this, the World’s most beautiful road. When you arrive, you will immediately notice the intoxicating smell of Jasmine that fills the air. The aroma is quite heady, “intoxicating,” actually. And this is only the beginning.

   Yes, “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,” author John Steinbeck stated in that Harper’s Bazaar article he wrote way back in the 1950s.

    Steinbeck describes the terror of winding through the Amalfi Coast on a road that “corkscrewed on the edge of nothing”, clutched in his wife’s arms who was weeping hysterically. The road to Positano is barely wider than a car and the journey has become no less perilous than it was in Steinbeck’s time. With the ocean pinching at you on one side, and the mountains cradling you on the other, “yes, it is all quite intoxicating.”

    Although Positano has lost some of its status as a secret known to a select few (myself since 1985), it still remains a gem of a place. Yes, you may be tempted to say, that the place is a bit crowded. No matter, Positano has not lost one iota of its endless beauty. And as far as the crowds go, you only run into them when in Positano, down at the very center of town. The minute you start walking a little way up, either the Via Pasitea or Via Cristoforo Colombo, the crowds quickly diminish, so that takes care of that. Do you have any idea how Lucky you are, you’re in Positano, don’t sweat the small stuff. You’ve got so very much to be grateful for. Enjoy it!

 

Excerpted from POSITANO The AMALFI COAST ITALY

by Daniel Bellino Zwicke …. Coming Soon

 

Due for June 2019 Publication … Broadway Fifth Press

 

THINKING of POSITANO

   I was 23 when I first visited Positano and the Devine Coast, and that first trip I shall never forget, from that first approach sitting aboard the Blue Cita Bus as it wound its way from Meta on to Positano, that whole ride on that bus, each and every turn opened a new and most spectacular view. The sights of which I shall never forget.

    Whether you look in magazines, in a guidebook, or a thousand beautiful pictures of every corner of this coast, you will marvel, but there is nothing quite like being there. You have to see it for yourself. Positano captivates, and once there, you my friends will be hooked for the rest of your lives.

   What first led me to Positano? It was my boss Nick and his wife Valtentina who spoke of this area as if it was the greatest most beautiful place they had ever seen. So I went, and guess what? They were right. Positano was, without question, the most beautiful place I’d ever seen. And still, it is to this very day. I would find this out in the Summer of 1985. Yes, after hearing stories of Positano, “I just had to go.” I was compelled. And when I did go, I realized what they were talking about, and how passionate they were in their description of the place. I was completely, and utterly captivated.

   The Amalfi Coast is now one of the world’s top Bucket List contender of the World’s most cherished travel destinations, an at this point in time, at the dawn of the 21st Century, Positano and The Amalfi Coast now holds almost equal importance as such famed vacation destinations as; Rome, Paris, Venice, and the Grand Canyon. And just like these famous destinations, “Positano and the Amalfi Coast are “not to be missed.”

    One night when I was walking home from work at John’s Italian Restaurant, I ran into some friends. It was just one week before my first European trip to Italy, France, and Spain. I ran into my friend Alma who was with her friend, the poet Rene Ricard. I said “Hello,” and Alma introduced me to Rene, and the three of us were chatting there on 2nd Avenue when I happened to mention that I was going to Italy. Rene asked me, “where in Italy?” I told Rene I was going to Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Venice, and Positano. Rene got quite excited and wanted to tell me all the good places to go to. He told me I should stay at the Hotel Locarno in Rome near the Piazza di Popolo and that I had to visit the twin churches of Santa Maria Montesanto and Santa Maria Mircoli, and that I had to go for a Campari at Rosati’s across the piazza from the churches. Rene recommended a hotel in Venice that I can’t remember the name of, and he said that I had to have a Bellini at Harry’s Bar and a Cappuccino at Florian’s in the Piazza San Marco, which of course I did.

   Rene told me that I should stay at the nice little hotel Villa Maria Antonietta in Positano where Rene had stayed with his mother the previous Summer. He wrote me a note to give to la Signora Carmen stating that I was a friend of his and for them to take good care of me. Rene told me that I should have my morning espresso and my early evening Apertivo (a Negroni) at Bar DeMartino, and that I just had to have the Spaghetti Vongole at Da Vincenzo’s which he said, was “the World’s Best.”

   So, with all of my friends suggestions and advice, and my new copy of Frommer’s Europe on $40 a day, my American Express Travelers Checks, and my two bags of luggage, I was on my way to Italy, with Spain, and the French Riviera in-between.

   On Saturday June 15th, 1985, I made mThe flight over to was good. I got my bags and made my way from the airport, into Rome. I took a bus to the central satation, then walked to my pensione (hotel) a couple bloacks away.

   That day when I made my first foray into the Eternal City, I went absolutely nuts for this glorious city of Ancient Rome, the Empire, the Colosseum, and everything that followed. The things that followed, were; Felini, The Trevi Fountain, the Piazza Navona, Campo di Fiori, Bucatini Carbonara, Amatriciana, Trastevere, and everything Roman! I stayed in Rome for 5 days and fully adored it. After Rome, it was off to see my High School friend JoAnna in Florence for a few days.

   While in Florence, staying with my friend JoAnn and her husband Leo, they took me to Fiesole, San Miniato, and one Sunday to the glorious town of San Gimgiano where we ate Wild Boar Salami and drank Vernaccia Wine. JoAnn and Leo bought some Olive Oil for their house as well as a supply of wine. Our day in San Gimignano was capped off by seeing the most spectacular Rainbow I’ve ever seen in entire my life. As we drove away from San Gimignano and were surrounded by Olive Trees and grapevines, that big beautiful Rainbow spread its arch across the Tuscan Sky next to the medieval town of San Gimignano. That Rainbow in Tuscany was a most wonderful sight, and a thing I have never forgotten, these 33 years later. I will always remember it, a day in Tuscany with an old high school chum.

   After six great days in Tuscany, I boarded another train, this time on my way to Barcelona to meet up with my friends Efram and Cristina. I had a most wonderful time in Barcelona, eating Tapas, drinking Spanish Wine, seeing the Sagrada Familia, and swimming in Mediterranean on the Costa Brava before eating the tastiest grilled Shrimp ever, as I sipped Sangria, as the romantic music of Julio Inglesias played on the stereo. I sat in bliss on the terrace behind the little beachside restaurant in Blanes, Spain, and it was all so marvelous.

   Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I was with my friend Lisa Lipitski who I just happened to run into on the Ramblas in Barcelona one day, strictly and without plan, “Out of The Blue.” Crazy!

    Well a few days in Spain and I was off to The French Riviera, Nice, and Monaco. It’s needless to say that, “I just loved it,” over there. I rented a scooter one day and drove along the Grand Corniche from Nice to Monaco. I was in absolute 7th Heaven as I had a nice little Romantic Tryst with a beautiful French girl I met in Nice. I had the time of my life, so as they say, “Nice is Nice.” Actually for me, it far exceeded being nice. Much more!

   After the French Riviera, it was off to Venice. I had a nice couple days in Venice, but would see more on 3 subsequent trips in years that followed. But for now, it was on to a train heading south to Rome, and then on to Naples to get to Positano and the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Finally.

   On my first trip to Positano I took the route that I thought was best at the time. It turned out it wasn’t. I read about it in my Frommer’s Guide Book, so I hopped on a train in Rome that was headed to Naples. Once at the train station in Naples, I had to go downstairs to the local train for my next leg to get to Positano. The train in question is quite wonderful. It’s called the Circumvesuviana, and the train does just what the name implies, it circumvents Mount Vesuvius, making its way around the famous volcano.  This train travels along the coast from Napoli to Sorrento, stopping at Erculano, and the Roman Ruins of Pompeii, Vico Equense, Castelamare, and all the coastal towns from Naples to Sorrento.  The train only cost about 3.5 Euro (2018), and back in 1985, it was about one dollar. It is a beautiful train ride, with many interesting things to see along the way, like; Olive Tree Groves, grape vineyards, fruit and vegetable gardens, Lemon and Orange Groves, and all those towns you pass through along the way. You have many spectacular views of the sea, the countryside, and just about everything. Yes, I love seeing Lemons and Oranges growing, and I marveled at all these things, including the almost black soil that had just been turned over in the many small farms and gardens the train passes through along the way. Looking at the rich soils, I think of Tomatoes, Eggplants, fruits & vegetables that grow there and eventually wind up on people’s dinner plates. Yes, the train ride is quite delightful and an absolute bargain for what you get, which is transportation from Naples to Sorrento, which in the year 2018 would cost you 100 Euro or more by taxi or any private car, compared to the 3.5 Euro on this train.

   Once you are in Sorrento, you will catch a bus to Amalfi that rides the Amalfi Drive and passes through all the towns, and ending up at the main square in Amalfi, but not before passing through Positano along the way. You can also take a ferry boat if you prefer it to the bus, but “believe it or not,” traveling along the famous Amalfi Drive in a bus or car is even more spectacular than going by boat. “Trust me.” Both modes of transportation are delightful, so I recommend trying both while on your trip. And if you are in a hurry, and or don’t wish to be in traffic, taking a boat from point-to-point is without question your best bet.

    So now let’s get back to my first trip to Positano, and the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Someone told me to get off at Meta and catch the Sita Blue Bus to get to Positano. I did just that. I got off the Circumvesuviano Train at the station at Meta. The I needed to get onto a Blue Bus from in Meta, that would take me directly into Positano. I had to wait, if I remember correctly for about 30 or 40 minutes before the bus came, so I waited at the little caffe by the train station. I had a fresh Orange Juice and some Gelato as I waited. The bus finally came, and I jumped on and sat back, and got what would turn out to be the most magnificently breathtakingly bus ride of my entire life. Certainly, up to that point in my life at 23 years of age at the time. As it turns out, it still is after all these years, and traveling the World three times over. That bus ride is still the most spectacular ride of ever had.

    After pulling out of the caffe bus-stop at Meta, the bus made its way high up above the sea, on a road that quite literally straddles steep sheer cliffs. The bus twisted its way from Meta on its way to Positano, and then would continue to Praiano, and finally on to the town of Amalfi. The views of the sea, the cliffs, and the towns that we passed, were beyond wonderful. Riding the bus was a bit scary at first, as the bus navigated through tight hairpin turns beeping its loud horn as it made those tight turns it, looked to me as if the bus’s front-end was going to go over the edge of the cliff of the road, each-and-every one of about 100 or so of them. I truly felt as though the bus would drive off the road and crash on to the cliffs below. Which would have been a fall of some 1,000 feet to the sea beneath us. Yes, this was a Wild Ride, and I was filled with mixed emotions of the incredible beauty, and it seemed the danger of the ride, both at the same time, the ride was exhilarating. This supposed danger of the drive mixed with the unbelievable beauty made for quite the emotional roller coaster. If you take this ride, you will never forget it. “I never have.”   

    As the bus makes its way and whether you are on a bus or driving in a car, the combination of the Sea against the blue sky, the cliffs, the Saracen Watch Towers, hotels and little towns, and everything else there, “you will be completely captivated.” You peer into the distance at small towns that jut out into the Azur Sea, with the backdrop of a lovely Deep Blue Summer Sky, along with bright colored Mediterranean Flowers of every type, this is what you’ll see on the Amalfi Drive, widely consider the World’s Most Beautiful Road. “I dare you to find a challenger.”

    If you’re coming from Sorrento on your way to Positano and Amalfi, make sure to get a seat on the right side of the bus for the best views and the ability to snap some memorable photos and take some video footage of this most spectacular bus ride of your life. If you are heading from the town of Amalfi or Positano towards Sorrento, do the opposite and get a seat on the left side of the bus. Sit back and enjoy the ride, for it’s the most beautiful you will ever see.

 

Excerpted from POSITANO The AMALFI COAST  

Daniel Bellino Zwicke

 

 

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