It’s not really cheating on your husband if you spend your honeymoon with your first love – at least, not when your first love is a town named Positano. Given that even Google agrees that this is one of the most romantic places in Italy, I think I can be forgiven…
I’ve been to Positano three times in my life, and my infatuation isn’t wearing off. The first time was twenty-eight years ago, when I was living in Rome and a colleague at the English school where we both taught suggested a day trip to the Amalfi Coast on his motorcycle. Seeing that famous coastline on the back of a motorcycle is probably the best introduction to one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline you’ll ever see.
Winding your way along the edge of the ocean cliffs on what feels more like an asphalt goat path than a highway, you round a corner and a breathtakingly beautiful vista opens up: Positano. Spilling down the cliff in front of you lies a picturesque tumble of multi-coloured houses hugging the mountainside and seemingly built one on top of another. Where the town finally ends, on the shores of a sandy beach, the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean begin. It’s no wonder this town is one of the most romantic places in Italy!
Smitten, I went back to Positano the next year, eager to show the town to a visiting friend, only this time staying a couple of days. If Positano is charming by day, it is breathtakingly enchanting by night, when the lights in the windows twinkle like Christmas tree lights on the black backdrop of the hills and sky.
So it’s no surprise that when Henk and I were choosing where to go on our honeymoon years later, I sorta-kinda-insisted that Positano be on the top of the list. Being new to the whole married thing, he agreed. He also agreed, once he saw Positano, that it was the right choice.
Time seems to stand still in Positano, especially when you meet some of the residents. Climbing down the 1500 or so steps to one of the beach restaurants one day, we talked with the owner whose grandfather was over 100 and still going strong. Maybe it’s the fresh seafood diet, maybe it’s those stairs that you climb as you wind your way through the city, but whatever it is, the residents of Positano seem to have discovered the fountain of youth.
Or maybe it’s simply the romance that is in the air: one night, while having dinner overlooking the ocean at an outdoor restaurant patio, a sudden cloudburst chased all of us diners into the tiny restaurant that was clearly too small to hold us all. Squeezed into such tight quarters, we met a young American/New Zealand couple who had just been married hours before and were celebrating with their family from around the world. When we asked why they had chosen Positano, they explained that they had Googled ‘most romantic places in Italy to get married’ and Positano had come up first.
It was love at first sight for me when I first laid eyes on Positano, and it may have been our honeymoon that brought Henk and I there in 2006. But when it comes to romantic spontaneity, this couple’s story really takes the cake. The wedding cake, in fact.
All thanks to a little village called Positano.
TIP: Positano is tricky to get to and involves a combination of metro/train and bus from Naples which can be a pain with luggage. So you might want to consider renting a car. But parking is scarce, so check with your hotel so they can advise you where you can leave it, since you won’t be driving in Positano itself. For getting around Positano itself you’ll want a good pair of walking shoes (and maybe a little training on the Stairmaster). There’s also a local shuttle bus from the square at the bottom that will take you back uptown.
Jane Canapini is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada and the North American Travel Journalists Association. She established GrownupTravels.com in 2014 to share information and tips based on personal experience so her readers could get the most out of their travels.
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