Positano, Perfect For Shopping and Pretty As A Picture

So close, yet worlds away from Naples, is picturesque Positano.

Situated on the Amalfi Coast, where dramatic cliffs hug the sea, this is a playground for Italians and tourists alike.

It is easy to see why. The Med lapping at the shores of volcanic beaches (this is black sand and pebble land), rows of colourful umbrellas and beach chairs just waiting to be filled.

Oh, and then there’s the shopping!

We chose to stay in the small town of Montepertuso, a short bus ride up into the hills, with views to die for.

Our gorgeous 2 room guest house “Mama Rosa BnB“, run by the beautiful Melania, husband Roberto and sweet daughter Eden, was the perfect choice. Some of the best restaurants are located here, with shuttle services ferrying people to and from their hotels, if needed.

Melania, being born and bred in this quaint paradise, was full of information, and her recommendations were spot on. Always ask a local before using the guide books, it’s usually a safe bet.

I must say, the 200 plus stairs we needed to climb before getting to our accommodation were a little daunting, but once we had reached our destination it was all worth it. You couldn’t get a more stunning vista.

We asked her to book us a different restaurant for each of our 3 nights, and each provided spectacular food.

One of Australian designer Collette Dinigans favourite places in the world is Positano, so I thought it only fitting to wear one of her designs to dinner. I can see how she gains inspiration from the landscape and the colours of the region.

Ristorante Il Ritrovo was a wonderful start to our food journey in Montepertuso. Complimentary prosecco, stuffed zucchini flowers and bruscetta arrived, even before we had ordered!

I decided on the proscuttio and figs followed by fish and Ross, my husband started with a traditional meatball pasta followed by fish also.

The meal was finished with an amazing flourless chocolate cake accompanied by complimentary homemade Limoncello! Such generosity, and so delicious. We decided, we needed all those stairs if we were going to continue to eat like kings!

After a fabulous sleep on a very comfortable bed, it was time to explore Amalfi. Buses are the main mode of transport connecting the coastal towns.

Hairpin bends on a 1 1/2 lane road are not for the fainthearted, so I would suggest leaving the driving to the locals!

On arriving in Amalfi, we had a lovely lunch at Gran Caffe, overlooking the beach. The generous salads we ordered were perfect, great value and the view divine.

The cathedral in Amalfi is a must see, containing many well preserved frescos and beautiful artefacts.

There is a lot of shopping here, especially shoes!

Jewelled sandals abound and linen is everywhere. There are also a few good leather shops in the main square that are worth look.

We took another bus up to Ravello. What a magnificent place. The shopping divine!

I bought lovely table linen from La Bottega delle Arti, located at Via Roma 7. The shop assistant was so happy to help, showing me her beautiful wares. Highly recommended.

On the must see list when in Ravello, is the “Villa Rufolo“. It bears the name of the family which created it, and at the height of its importance in the 13th century it could boast “more rooms than there are days in the year”.

Each year a stage is erected in the lower gardens, for the Ravello Festival.

Projecting over the sea, it has a matchless panorama (see us below). It would be so special to experience a concert in these surrounds.

Dinner on night 2 was at Scirocco, and it certainly didn’t disappoint!

Complimentary Bruschetta, followed by a shared Risotto.

Then out came the big guns! A 1kg, perfectly seasoned Bistecca Fiorentina for 2, which is possibly the best piece of steak we have ever eaten.

Unbelievable! No dessert tonight.

A lazy morning soaking up our view was the perfect way to start the day.

Lunch was at the Internazionale Cafe, bambini rolls were bite size taste sensations.

This is the bar where you can purchase tickets for the Amalfi bus. Not glamorous, just delicious and an institution since the 1930’s.

A winding walk down lead us to some beautiful boutiques, but first a refreshing ice block. The best in Positano, for me is “Il Vicoletto” on Via del Saraceno. Fresh gelato and ice blocks in all flavours, raspberry, melon, forest fruits, traditional lemon and more! Perfect on hot summers day.

Next door is ” D’ANNA” and it’s divine! Mens and womens wear, featuring labels such as Prada, Roberto Cavalli and Pinko.

Chatting to the very handsome and helpful staff, I found out they prefer to stock only Italian brands.

Their range of new season Fendi bags was sensational and the shop world class.

I loved “Pezzi Pazzi” Stocking women’s and children’s wear. A very impressive range.

An angelic children’s label “Black Bunny” is a must to get your hands on. Sumptuous Italian made fabrics make this label unique.

Teresa” is another gem. Filled with a kaleidoscope of colour and fabrics, they stock Missoni and our very own “Camilla”, to name a few. A lovely range of jewellery rounds out the collection.

As usual, in town there is the touristy stuff, but also some nice costume jewellery at reasonable prices, and again lots of sandals.

Dinner was at “Donna Rosa“, an establishment that has been in the same family for 3 generations. Wonderful service, beautiful decor and food to match.

This is a class act. Scrumptious Calamari and Chicken Marsala for me, while Ross enjoyed Pasta Pomodoro and a meat dish he loved. Chocolate cake for dessert.

What a well rounded day!

You may remember our last stop was set to be Capri. Unfortunately bad weather rolled in and all ferries were off, so no Chanel pop up store for me!

So Roberto kindly took us to Sorrento where we put plan B into action. It was off to Bologna and an adventure we didn’t expect to have, but sometimes the unexpected is the best!

Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor The Culture Concept Circle 2012

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