Postcard from Italy

Our stay in Positano was going to be fleeting- 3 days, including the shoot, so we wanted to make sure everything was booked before we went to optimise our time there. Francesca asked our Instagram followers for recommendations ... and I am so glad she did, we had tonnes of great advise and options from you guys! 

Our first fabulous find was our hotel- Casa Buonocore. We wanted to be in the centre of Positano, and this hotel is in a great location, opposite the steps that lead down to the beach and in amongst the shops and restaurants. Having said that it was also utterly peaceful, like a quite heaven amongst the busy streets. Sara greeted us and showed us to our room- we had a 2 bedroom suite, each room had a balcony overlooking the picture postcard views of Positano. The decor is chic and fresh, with traditional Italian tiles and sea shell finishing touches- it really was the perfect boutique hotel for us. Sara and the staff were wonderful, greeting us each morning wth a smile and offering advice for the day ahead. Sara arranged our transport for the trip and was very accommodating throughout our stay.

 

Breakfast and the view from our bedrooms.

 

Fresh and chic decor throughout the hotel.

For our first lunch we decided to go to Chez Black. This restaurant is a bit of an institution in Positano, so a meal here is a must. We sat on the front row overlooking the beach and watching the world go by. I had the most amazing sea urchin spaghetti (which came in a sea urchin shaped bowl), this dish is a must while on the Amalfi coast- it tasted like the sea- its possibly one of my favourite dishes of all time.  Washed down by Aperol Spritz, THE classic drink of the Amalfi.

 

Lunch at Chez Black.

We had a wonder around the shops in Positano, there are lots of porcelain and majolica shops (to be expected), traditional souvenirs, clothing and generally all sorts of beautiful little shops selling unusual and tempting things. Our favourite majolica shop was a few doors up from our hotel. We brought a couple of pieces each and the staff were very helpful. It is all made in Italy (to our surprise, our driver told us that some of the majolica shops sell pieces made in China! So its best to ask before you buy).

 

The pieces that came home with us. 

We went back to our room to do some last minute preparations for the photo shoot, which was the next day. The shoot day was sunny and it went better that we could have hoped. Part of our shoot took place in Praiano, where there is a small pebble beach that is a must to visit. It's quiet and unassuming, traditional with the colourful fishing boats dotted around and a small restaurant there sells simple, good Italian food. We also shot at a fruit stall just outside Positano- at the top of the hill overlooking the Il San Pietro Di Positano Hotel. You choose your fruit and the seller will squeeze you a fresh juice, we choose strawberry and orange and had a break while looking over the incredible views.  

 

 

View from the fruit seller stand.

Our evening was spent at the hotel that the fruit seller overlooks- the Il San Pietro Di Positano. While looking down at the hotel for the viewpoint you can see all of the land they have to grow the fresh fruit and vegetables that they use in the restaurant at the hotel. We had a drink on the large terrace which is encircled with majolica benches and tables overlooking the view (you can't escape the amazing view on the Amalif coast- its everywhere, thats why its such a magical place). We then went inside for a delicious meal in their Michelin starred restaurant. Back in Positano, we had a nightcap at Franco's Bar- a cool and happening bar next to Le Sirenuse Hotel (also part of the hotel- just a few meters up the road). I loved this little bar, the music was good, it was bustling, but not overcrowded, and the decor is beautiful. It opens from 6pm so its a must for pre or after dinner drinks.

 

On the terrace of Il Pietro Di Positano.

 

The next day was- a free day! With the shoot complete we could relax and do what we wanted, we had some lovely lunches and dinners booked and were looking forward to a stroll around Ravello. We got a car to Ravello, which was a good idea because the driver was very knowledgeable about the coast. He pointed out areas of interest on the way, such as the large old turret on the edge of Praiano where a sculpture now lives in (couldn't think of a more inspiring place for an artist to live) and a huge church high up in the hills near Ravello- the back part in ruins as it was bombed by the Americans during the WW2. It took about 50 minuets to arrive to Ravello, we decided to walk up to Villa Cimbrone first, which is a beautiful villa surrounded by gardens, cloisters and ruins of the roman temple of Bacchus. It also has the most stunning views (probably the most photographed) on the Amalfi coastline. It's a 10 minute walk from the main square in Ravello and clearly signposted. We spent a while wondering around, taking in all of it's beauty, and then stopped off at Villa Maria for lunch on our way back down. This restaurant is part of a hotel and is halfway between Villa Cimbrone and the main square- so a perfect lunch spot. The restaurant is known for using all of its own grown produce, and I have to say this was my favourite meal. The menu is so tempting- it's healthy and simple- but still the dishes are interesting. The food was so fresh and delicious, and the views (again) are incredible as Ravello is one of the highest points on the coast. Before leaving Ravello we went to a majolica shop that sells an array of traditional pieces- it was like the Aladdins cave of majolica- needless to say we spent a while in there!

 

Villa Cimbrone.

 

  

Lunch at Villa Maria.

 

We were super excited about our evening - drinks at La Sirunese and dinner at Villa Treville.  La Sirenuse is only a few metres from our hotel. We had drinks on the terrace- which has the best view of Positano. The famous domed church is just below, it's the prefect spot for THAT Positano picture. The hotel itself is just stunning, full of lemon trees and flowers, traditional majolica and friendly staff. It truly is a special hotel. Next we took a short taxi ride to Villa Treville. Greeted by the staff in reception, who gave us a little tour of the hotel (including the kitchen which is completely tiled in majolica, it was incredible) and showed us to the terrace for a cocktail. The terrace is Moroccan inspired, with cosy cushions and beautiful drapes, overlooking Positano from a distance, just stunning. I could have spent all night here sipping my cocktail. We went through to the restaurant after about an hour of enjoying our surroundings, the restaurant, set on a terrace with candles dotted around- another wonderfully special setting and great food. Villa Treville is a magical place, possibly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

 

La Sirenuse Positano.

 

 Table with a view- Villa Treville.

Our third and final day was here. After breakfast we decided on a bit of retail therapy. Our first stop was the clothing shop opposite Le Sirenuse, this boutique houses La Sirenuse's own clothing brand - Le Sirenuse Positano (the brand is also available on matches.com). They really know their stuff- the merchandising of the store is inviting and the decor is fresh and beautiful. We tried on several dresses and were spoilt for choice, we ended up buying one piece each to remind us of our wonderful trip. We then walked down the hill and found another great clothing boutique called Positano Boutique. We spent a while in here trying resort wear- lots of linen dresses, shorts and kaftans in pale white washed colours, simple and elegant. 

 

La Sirunese Di Positano.       Positano Couture.

Our last meal? La Sirenuse. A simple salad amongst the lemon trees before we departed for the airport. Our tip was unforgettable, it's one one my favourite places in the world, we are so lucky here in the UK that its only a 3 hour plane journey away. I will be back soon!

 

Our last lunch at La Sirenuse.

 

Mari & Cesca Xx

 

 


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