We made our first visit to Positano in May 2004 and have been coming back every year since. This impossibly picturesque seaside town is not an obvious destination for family holidays — with its stone houses and terraces balanced precariously over the Med and interconnected by thousands of stairs—but we love it. I’ve mentioned our favourite Positano accommodation, restaurants and activities in in a few articles (including this piece for Cup of Jo). Having just spent a month there it seemed like the perfect time for an updated list of our best Positano recommendations.
We consider ourselves fairly adventurous travellers, always keen to explore somewhere new, yet Positano pulls us back year after year. I suppose it’s the reliable Italian sunshine, the warm blue sea, the delicious food and the friendly locals. There is also something comforting about returning to a familiar place. It’s wonderful to be welcomed back by the locals who know us and have watched our children grow up over the years. It’s also nice to form a special attachment to a place together as a family. We’ve been to Positano so many times now it feels like a second home.
Here is a list of the best restaurants, beaches, activities and accommodation in Positano:
- Da Vincenzo – specialising in regional cuisine, this Da Vicenzo is not just our favourite, it’s the first restaurant mentioned by every local when you ask for their favourite. The owners, Marcello, Giosue’ and their son Vincenzo, warmly welcome our family back every year and we always leave wishing we could have squeezed in one more visit.
- L’Incanto – another locals’ recommendation, this restaurant and pizzeria is located at the far end of Spiaggia Grande (the main beach) with a huge outdoor seating area and a super friendly staff. L’Incanto has a full menu with all the best regional seafood and specialties, like Spaghetti Vongole, Schalatielli con Frutta di Mare and a couple dishes with Paccheri (a local pasta). We often joke that the ‘beach does the babysitting here’ as our kids are content to play for hours on it while we finish a leisurely dinner and glass of local wine.
- Le Tres Sorelle – one of the best-known restaurants in the middle of the bustling stretch on Spiaggia Grande, Les Tres Sorelle has all of the regional favourites and seafood, but is a bit more glamorous (and expensive) than L’Incanto. We only come here after a shower and change of clothes, for a special night out.
- Pizza from Brasserie Covo dei Saraceni – another locals’ recommendation for the best pizza in Positano. With its friendly staff, delightful food and view of the boats coming and going from the pier, Covo dei Saraceni is a regular stop for us.
- Gelato from Buca di Bacco – for years we have frequented the bar in Piazza dei Mulini for gelato, but this year they were eclipsed by Buca di Baco. With a huge selection of locally made gelato and interesting flavours, this spot is hard to beat. Try the ‘sfogliatelle’ flavour, a local concoction named after the famous pastry.
- Lunch from Pupetto (on Spiaggia Fornillo) – It’s possible that we’ve had more lunches at Pupetto than any other restaurant in the world (even at home in London!). Some years we would enjoy the Caponata salad, Bruschetta or Prosciutto e Melone every day of our holiday. This year Pupetto added pizza to the lunch menu with an excellent Pizza Marinara and unique combinations like the Pizza Positano, with ricotta, mozzarella, lemon and a hint of fresh mint. It’s safe to say you’ll find us here for 7 out of 10 lunches.
- Lunch from Da Adolfo (on Spiaggia Laurito)– hands-down the tastiest beach restaurant in the area (and probably all of the Amalfi coast), Da Adolfo is a treat we look forward to every year. Our favourite dishes include the mozzarella grilled on lemon leaves, the Zuppa di Cozze (mussels) and the Spaghetti con Zucchine e Totani (zucchini and squid). Oh yeah, and then there’s the pitches of local wine with peaches and the tiramisu’!
- Pizza from Criscito’s in Praiano – our local friends, Giovanni and Luigi Collina, introduced us to pizza in their hometown of Positano. This year their friend, the former pizza chef at Le Brace, opened his own establishment called Criscito’s. Specialising in pizza and using an age-old sour dough starter, the pizza here is sensational. It’s clear from the crowds of locals and the wait, that we’re not the only ones onto this place.
- Bruno – about halfway up the hill from Piazza dei Mulini to Sponda, is Bar Bruno, another classic Positano restaurant with all of the expected pastas and seafood, not to mention one of the best views of the town of Positano from any restaurant.
- Lo Guarracino – another recommendation from locals, this hidden gem is on the path from Spiaggia Grande to Fornillo. Its excellent selection of local antipasti, tasty pizza and local pastas, will be calling us back every year. Plus the view at night of the boats and bay beyond Fornillo is entrancing.
- Fornillo beach – if you have more than a couple days in Positano, you’ll want to venture beyond Spiaggia Grande. Spiaggia Fornillo beach is a favourite with locals and has four or five restaurants along it to choose from. We always opt for sun chairs and lunch at Pupetto. The beach itself is less crowded and has far less boat traffic than Spiaggia Grande, but it is a good 15 minute walk up and around the mountain from town.
- Arienzo beach – Catch the boat from the main pier to this beautiful beach with sun chairs, clean water and a great restaurant. We think Arienzo is probably prettier and better equipped than Laurito, but Da Adolfo tops it for food. Say hi to Giorgio from the ‘Adamos!’
- Laurito beach (Da Adolfo) – There are two beach clubs/restaurants on this small stretch of beach, Da Adolfo and Villa Tre Ville. If you can get a booking or finagle your way onto their boat, Da Adolfo is the spot to be. You can catch either boat from the main pier but you are normally expected to eat at the restaurant of the boat you take.
- Boat ride down the Amalfi Coast – along the pier are many boat hire stands, however this year we organised a daylong cruise for 12 people through Fabio Guida at Pupetto. Fabio’s cousin, Mauro, has a wonderful, classic Italian motorboat and a friendly disposition. He’ll take you any direction you want to go, stopping at grottos for a swim or one of the many beachside restaurants along the way.
- Boat ride to Capri – if you’ve never been to Capri, it’s worth taking the boat to this beautiful island. Again, you can hire a private boat tour or take one of the many commercial boats from the stands on the pier. Personally, we wouldn’t do this during the high season (June through August) as it’s just too busy. If you’re lucky enough to visit in October or May you’ll be able to enjoy the sights, shops and restaurants of this former home of Roman Emperors without the throngs of fellow tourists.
- Il Sentiero degli Dei (The Path of the Gods)—another recommendation from the locals, this mountain hike runs from Bomerano to Nocelle. We opted for the leg between Praiano and Nocelle. Though strenuous at points and precarious in others, we loved this walk. The views are breath-taking and you’re rewarded along the way with homemade lemonade at the Convent of San Domenico and at the end of the path in Nocelle.
- Kayaking along the coast – you can rent kayaks from any of the beaches. We rented them from the Marina di Praia beach in Praiano and headed toward the beach at the Furore Fiord (just under the tall, dramatic bridge).
- Day trip to Conca dei Marini (beach and restaurant) – this is a longish boat ride from Positano but the boat trip is a treat in itself. Overlooked by the former villa of Sofia Loren, Conca dei Marini is a real locals’ beach with a couple authentic restaurants and beach clubs to choose from.
- We’ve stayed at several places over the years. In the beginning we stayed in a hotel, Villa Gabrisa, a lovely spot high up in Fornillo, but as our family grew we started renting apartments with kitchens so we could do some cooking at home. In recent years we’ve stayed at the Residence Alcione. They have one room in particular that has an enormous terrace (our favourite in Positano), a little kitchen and a washing machine for laundry. Also, the fresh cornetto delivered for breakfast every morning is such a treat. Tell Katia we sent you.
- This year, because we stayed for so long, we rented the apartment of Residence Alcione, one of two further up the road in the Sponda area of Positano. The apartment didn’t have views of Positano, but instead faced south east down the Amalfi Coast with views of Arienzo beach and Praiano in the distance. We enjoyed staying here and took advantage of being close enough to walk to Arienzo and to take the bus easily to Laurito beach and Praiano.
- To find other Positano rentals check out http://www.summerinitaly.com or even Airbnb. Some favourite hotels of our family and friends are Hotel Savoia, Albergo California, Le Sirenuse (the most expensive!), Palazzo Murat (also expensive) and Hotel Poseidon.
- Positano Taxi Service – We’ve been ferried to and from the Naples airport every year by Positano Taxi Service. Our friends and regular drivers, Sergio and Ottavio (two brothers), have excellent cars and vans, plus other drivers during peak times. They are local to Positano so you can also book them for trips to Pompei, Praiano, Amalfi, Sorrento, just around town or as far away as Rome. We think they have the best prices too. Say ‘ciao’ from the Adamos! Ottavio’s number is: +39 3392013482.
46 thoughts on “Positano, Italy: our recommendations”
Good recommendations. I was there 3 years ago, and did many of these same things. But I am adding others to my list because I might return next summer. 😍
Oh! What perfect timing! We are going to Positano in two weeks and are staying at Residence Alcione! I will have to see if I can get through all of your suggestions in the five days we will be in town! Can I ask how you know which boat to take to Arienzo beach?
Thank you so much!
How wonderful that you’re heading to Positano! You’ll love it! The Arienzo boat picks up from the main cement pier – it’s a little wooden boat with a wooden compass atop the mast. It says ‘Arienzo’ so you can’t miss it. Enjoy! x
Who did you book the accommodation through? I am looking to stay there also for over a month? Where is the best place to book this?
I just emailed Residence Alcione and spoke to Katia and asked for the apartment with the large terrace. Katia replied quickly and had excellent English.
Hey Courtney, we are leaving for the Amalfi Coast next week and your article really made me looking forward to it even more! Can’t wait to check out your recommendations. x
Thank you for sharing these recommendations Courtney! Your Positano article on Cup of Jo was how I first found about about you and your beautiful family.
May I ask you a couple of questions about the Path of the Gods?
– Approximately long did it take you to hike from Praiano to Nocelle?
– How did your kids find it? I’m planning to pack my Ergo for my 2 year old but I’m wondering how my 5 and 4 year old will fare (we will be there in May).
Also, do you have a favourite spot for grocery shopping?
Many thanks xx
Thanks for your comment, and how exciting that you’re planning a trip to Positano next May!
To answer your questions, the walk took Michael and our bigger kids about 2.5 hours, with a couple stops along the way. (I stayed home with Marlow because we didn’t want to carry her, and I was battling a sinus infection that day.) Our kids loved it, but Michael was happy that Marlow stayed behind as there are a few places where the path is narrow and the cliffs steep, and it was a hot, sunny day. If you’re bringing young kids, be sure they stay close to you during these stretches. (And you probably won’t have such intense heat in May, so you don’t have to worry so much about that.)
Grocery stores – our favourite is the one down at the bottom of the stairs of the main church. (If you’re walking down to the beach and turn right at the church and walk down to the right, the grocery store will be on your right. It’s owned by a husband and wife team who are super friendly and knowledgeable.) Otherwise, we have another favourite one but it’s up much higher. It will depend on where you stay. If you let me know where you’re staying, I can tell you which local grocery store is the best one.
I second that grocery store. We bought lovely tomatoes and burrata there and I stocked up on Marvis toothpaste!
Hi Courtney. We leave on our trip tomorrow, how quickly a year has passed! I am just going through my notes and realized I never replied to you – thank you for your response! We are renting an apartment near Fornillo beach. If you happen to know a local grocery store in that area, please let me know. I’m sure it’s changed a bit since we were there for our honeymoon 10 years ago! And it will be fun to explore with our kids this time. Thanks again for sharing your recommendations!
I know you from Cup of Jo three years ago and been following your journey ever since. Thank you for sharing. Xx
Hi we are looking to stay in the same residence and am wondering is it best to book via their website or somewhere else?
For the apartment we rented, you can book it through the Residence Alcione. Katia speaks perfect English. You can explain that you would like the apartment the Adamo family stayed in, and she will help you. Hopefully it’s available! Here is the website for the Alcione: http://www.alcioneresidence.com
Sorry to bother you again but I was just wondering if you had any tips for a day trip to Pompeii? Have you been before? Is it worth the trip?, would you suggest a taxi to get there and back? would you pay for a tour guide or just explore on your own? My husband is dying to go so it would be great to get some insider tips if you have been before?
Thank you so much,
We visited Pompeii during last year’s visit to Positano. We actually arrived to the airport in Naples and went directly to Pompeii before heading to Positano. (Our driver picked us up, brought us directly to Pompeii and waited for us while we were there.) We spent three hours walking around and exploring Pompeii, which turned out to be the perfect amount of time for the kids to stay interested. We didn’t have a tour guide with us and never missed it — there’s enough to see and read on your own. I think it was definitely worth it. The kids still reference Pompeii — I think it made quite an impression on them. (You can find our driver’s details at the bottom of this post. You can also hire him to take you from Positano to Pompeii and back, if that works better for your schedule.)
Hope this helps!
Thank you so much Courtney! That is so so helpful! xx
Hello! Wish I had seen this post a week ago…we just returned from Positano! I think we must have missed you all by a day or two as we flew in Saturday after a week in Mallorca visiting family. But, I bookmarked your post for our next visit, because we are already dreaming of going back. We had takeout from Bruno’s nearly every night on the balcony while our two year old slept. Looking out over the city and watching the full moon rise will stick with me forever. We called it the balcony the best restaurant in Positano:)
I’m so happy to have found your post. I’m heading there for the first time next month and really appreciate all the info!
We’re traveling around Italy for 6 weeks this summer, we also have four children. Heading to Rome, Naples and then the Amalfi Coast tomorrow for the week and this has been So helpful. Thank you for all the great info.
Oh I’m so glad I could help. Enjoy your upcoming adventure. It sounds incredible! x
So lovely to finally have some time to catch up on your blog! I went straight to the Positano post as I am having what can only be described as Amalfi Coast Withdrawals since we returned home! I just thought I would add that our family caught a ferry from Naples to Sorrento, had lunch and a wander, then caught the next ferry to Positano about three hours later. A very relaxing and picturesque way to arrive, especially if your children get carsick as one of ours does sometimes; but I would only recommend this if you are traveling light. In Sorrento a sweet maitre’d at a port side restaurant took pity on us and offered to store our luggage in their office while we explored the town – I felt nervous handing over all our stuff to a complete stranger but it was just another example of how incredibly kind the italians are, especially when they see a family!
We came back from one week at Residence Alcione a few days ago. We were in Positano with our 3 children (10, 8 and 2) and had a fantastic week, often returning to your write-up when we needed tips on where to go and what to do. I told Stephanie at wonderful Pupetto that your blog led me to Fornillo beach, and she burst out “Ah! The Adamos! We love the Adamo family!”
So many thanks from all of us,
Liv & family, Oslo
This makes me so happy! Thank you for sharing. And thank you for telling Stephanie at Pupetto that our blog led you to them. That’s our special place! Those guys are so sweet. I can imagine you had a wonderful week in beautiful Positano.
Thanks for your kind comment. xx
I hope to visit Europe in the next two years with my daughter. We’ve mostly travelled around Southeast Asia and will visit South America next year. I’ve been following you on Instagram.
What a wonderful and helpful post, I love the pictures too.
Thank you for all these lovely recommendations. I am going to Positano later this year and I was wondering if you could tell me how to make a booking at Da Adolfo. They never seem to pick up the phone.
It will be greatly appreciated.
P.S I hope that you are loving Byron bay. I simply adore that region and cannot wait to go back
Haha! This is so typical. I think they purposely don’t answer the phone! (They won’t be there right now anyway, so you can’t call to make a reservation. Beach restaurants in Positano will open back up in April/May I would think… and even then, you might have a difficult time getting through.) I think they make it tough on purpose! But you can always get down to the pier early and try to get on the first boat over to Da Adolfo. If they don’t let you in then, you can make a reservation and go back another day. Sorry I can’t be a better help! x
Hi, I am planning a trip to Positano and was searching for some restaurant recommendations. Your comment on Bruno interests me. I am sure the food is good, but how is the price relative to other restaurants in the area? Would it be considered medium range?
Hi there! Thought of you and your family this morning.. will you be going to Positano again this year? The locals will certainly be tickled over the fact that you have another sweet babe ☺️
You’re so sweet to think of us! Unfortunately we won’t make it to Positano this year, but really hoping to start planning our trip to Europe next summer. I can’t wait for everyone to meet Wilkie (and get all five kids up on the bar at Pupetto!). x
Thanks for all of your recommendations(-:
We are planing a vacation during the beginning of October. Have you been to Positano that time of year?
We are a bit concerned of the whether.
Hmmm… I think the weather in October could be a bit iffy. We have been to Positano in September and it was still really warm, but it might be cooler by October. Though beginning of October could still be nice. And the benefit will be that the crowds will be much thinner!
Thanks so much for your response(-:
Do you have a recommended website for flight booking?
Usually I order threw a fly agent… and I thing that is totally old fashioned 😳
My fiance and I are traveling to Positano next month for our honeymoon. I recalled your blog post and just refreshed my memory on some of the details – how helpful your information is! We will be traveling to Positano from Florence, and will need to travel from Positano to Rome to catch our flight home.
We were told to take the train from Florence to Napoli Centrale (and vice versa from Napoli Centrale back to Rome). Do you have an email or website for the car company your family uses? I am interested in reaching out to them to try to set up transportation.
Any guidance is much appreciated!
We are starting to plan a trip to Italy next summer with our 5 and 8 year old kiddos and are thinking about spending a few days Positano (inspired by your family!). Do you recommend staying in a certain area? I was looking at places near Fornillo beach. Is everything fairly central? Thank you!
How exciting to plan a trip to Positano!! Yes, everything is really central. The thing you have to be aware of is that some places are quite high up on the hill, which means a lot of uphill walking back from the beach. Fornillo Beach is a favourite of ours and less crowded than the main beach. You can also easily walk over to the main part of town from there. x
Wonderful! Thanks so much; I truly appreciate it!
I just wanted to say a thank you for all of your brilliant recommendations. My husband and I have just spent the most magical week here in Positano and following all your advice and little tips has made everyday so easy and enjoyable 🙂 thanks again, we wouldn’t have had such a lovely holiday without you! X
What a sweet comment, Amy. Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed your time in magical Positano. And slightly jealous too! 🙂 So wonderful! xx
Hi, Courtney. I was curious if you have ever used a babysitting service or have a local contact to inquire about a sitter. We are heading there soon and would love one “date night” evening while we’re there but am, of course, hesitant contact someone without a direct referral. Thank you in advance.
We have used babysitters before, but I don’t have their details anymore. Usually Katya, who manages the Residence Alcione, helps us with this. You could call and speak with her? Otherwise, I could call some of our friends who live there and ask them to refer someone. Let me know if you’d like me to do that! x
If it would not be too much trouble that would be very much appreciated. I feel bad reaching out to Katya since we are not staying at that hotel (we’ve rented an Airbnb, otherwise I’d work with a concierge) but if you don’t think she’d mind I can reach out to her and mention you. I’m also going to ask the couple we’re using for a boat trip one day, Nicole & Danielle from Being Abroad.
Warm regards & many thanks,
Courtney, disregard! Nicole is hooking me up so I’m all set. Thank you so much for this helpful guide to Positano. Cannot wait to see it in person very soon.
Okay, awesome! Have the most wonderful time! Secretly jealous. 🙂 xx
Hello! Thank you for sharing all your tips. I’m looking to plan a trip with my husband and 2 year old boy to Positano this year. Thinking the Residence Alcione sounds perfect. What was your favorite time of year to visit? Any other cities you hit up when you’re there (like Rome or Naples), or do you just stay in Positano for your trip?