48 Hours of Dining, Shopping & Fun in the Sun
eing the travel-obsessed foodies that we are here at Divine Living, we’ve found a serious soul-sister in Aida Mollenkamp—the globetrotting food expert behind one of our favorite lifestyle websites, Salt & Wind. On a mission to taste the world, the California-native has traveled to over 30 countries and 30 states, chronicling her best discoveries with gorgeous photography, chic travel guides and delicious, easy recipes.
Aida believes that everyday should have an air of vacay and of course we couldn’t agree more, so when we heard she was spending time in Positano this summer we just had to get the scoop. Not only has Aida created the ideal itinerary for a fab 48-hour getaway, she’s also shared her collection of Amalfi-inspired recipes so that you might bring a taste of Positano home to your kitchen.
“Positano is a place so dreamy that just thinking about it gives me the worst case of wanderlust. From colorful rooftops to steep walk-streets and a rugged coastline, it’s the ultimate in Italian beach-getaway glam. For my most recent trip there, I went all out, renting a cliffside villa for a week of much needed R&R. But even if you only have a few days, you can get to know the thimble-sized town and taste the best of what it has to offer. Here’s my guide to 48 hours of swimming, shopping, strolling and dining in picture-perfect Positano.”
Be The Ultimate
Positano’s main beach has a lively scene, but to really get a feel for the coast, you’ll want to head out on the water (where you’ll get spectacular Instagram opps, by the way). Start your day off with a little exercise—a sea kayak or a stand-up paddleboard is perfect for exploring the various coves, caves, and beaches up and down the coast. Some inlets simply offer a quiet place to unwind, while others (like the one near Torre Di Clavel) have amazing caves, grottos and snorkeling spots to add to your adventure.
If you’re like me, you’re going to want a purpose to your paddling—so head south to the cove that houses the Bagni Arienzo beach club. This private cove is the perfect place to sunbathe or to grab a mid-morning pick-me-up (say, a Caffe Shakerato or, if you’re in full vacation mode, an Aperol Spritz).
Pupetto Cafe on Fornillo Beach or Lucibello on the main beach will cover all your rental needs, from boards and kayaks to boat charters.
Go for lunch at the seaside seafood institution, Da Adolfo, tucked away on a cove just south of town. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could paddle there, but for the rest of us, there’s a free 5-minute shuttle that continuously operates from the main beach in Positano. Da Adolfo is a place where you eat whatever is freshest so trust in what the waiter recommends (though the swordfish pasta, grilled anchovies and lemon leaf mozzarella are standards).
After a full day on the water, you’re going to want to take it easy, but be sure to motivate for sunset drinks. Make a reservation at the Champagne & Oyster Bar at Le Sirenuse Hotel so you can sip on some bubbles and try seriously fresh local fish while the sun sets over the Mediterranean.
When it comes to eating locally and seasonally, the Italians have been doing it since forever. And one place in Positano that does it without pretense is Bar Bruno—what the place lacks in décor, it makes up for in its food. The restaurant is a bit more laidback than some of the other places in town and, like at Da Adolfo, a great way to order is to have them bring whatever is freshest. Some of the bites I loved were the marinated seafood, the Sorrento-style gnocchi and the Classic Caprese Salad.
Stroll, Shop & Dress
If you wake up before the heat hits (say, before 9AM), go for a morning walk. If you’re really motivated, you could trek from Positano to neighboring Praiano (and further) following the Hike Of The Gods trail. Otherwise, just winding up and down the walk-streets of Positano is plenty of exercise. While you’re walking about make sure to check out the historic church and stop anytime there are good views.
For some of the best pastries and coffee in Positano, you’ll want to head to the homey La Zagara. And what you cannot miss is their pizza by the slice (especially the zucchini with ricotta and the super spicy salami). Grab a few slices to go, stop by the nearby deli for some wine and a salad, and do an easy picnic lunch.
Positano is known for having some of the best shopping on the Amalfi Coast so be sure to take advantage, especially for treats like linen beachwear, limoncello and leather sandals. Skip the touristy shops with tchotchkes and head instead to local boutiques. Some that I really enjoyed were Safari for handmade sandals and La Bottega di Brunella for chic resort wear.
Positano is one of those places where the views just don’t quit—seemingly every turn of the road and every few feet of coastline gives you another jaw-dropping vista. For a more intimate aperitivo, head to Villa Tre Ville—it’s a tea cup-sized boutique property that’s historic and gorgeous and the perfect place to watch the sunset.
If Bar Bruno is on the homey, family-style side of the Positano dining spectrum, Next2 is on the chic end. The all-white restaurant has great service, a sophisticated scene that’s not too scene-y, and a creative menu that’s a mix of regional specialties and twists on classics.
Keep up with Aida’s adventures on Instagram and at Salt & Wind.