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The Bite-Sized Baker’s Adventures : Positano, Italy

April 16, 2015

Last weekend, Tony, Louie, and I packed our bags and made the 6-hour journey from Florence to the Amalfi Coast. I have wanted to visit the Amalfi Coast ever since I first saw pictures of the colorful little town built on cliffs and overlooking the turquoise sea, but the drive was rather daunting and we always opted for shorter drives or flights elsewhere… So when Tony told me a few weeks ago that he had business outside of Naples, we made the most of it and planned a weekend in Positano.

 

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Typically travel blogs will tell you the best time to go is in September, when the weather is still nice and the tourists have cleared out, but we lucked out with beautiful weather and minimal crowds on our trip! The easiest way to travel from Florence to the Amalfi Coast is to take the train to Naples and then take a ferry to Positano, but since we were already driving to Naples, we chose to drive the entire 60 kilometer/37 mile strip of the Costiera Amalfitana to the little town of Positano, which was in a word, breathtaking… Well, if we’re being completely honest it was also nauseating… but I get carsick easily.

 

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We arrived in Positano at Hotel Marincanto two hours later after multiple stops along the coastline to take pictures and to dry-heave and catch my breath before I had to endure more twists and turns. I was at a loss for words when looking out over the town of Positano from our hotel. It was unreal… picture perfect! Literally, every single photo you take of Positano will be beautiful, which resulted in 600+ photos from our 3-day trip. We freshened up a bit and left our hotel to explore and enjoy the sunset over beers by the beach. If you’re near the seaside in Italy, always go with Nastro Azzuro, it just tastes like the ocean. For dinner we dined at Le Tre Sorelle, based off of the recommendation of our friends and we feasted on some delicious calamari, seafood, and pizza. Side Note: We have NEVER eaten pizza in Italy since moving to Florence. We had the best pizza of our lives in Naples at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele when we first visited in Italy in October 2012 and we have refused to eat pizza north of Naples ever since… Anyway, I’m a binge eater and I ate three pizzas in the total of three days… Everything in moderation, including moderation, right?!

 

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After dinner we stopped for gelato, where I discovered the best gelato combination ever… Pistachio, Stracciatella, and Cioccolato Bianco (which I also ate three times in three days and really wanted to recreate for the blog, but I’m taking a break from ice cream… wah) and then we drunkenly tried taking photos of the city at night without a tripod, which resulted in 50+ blurry photos. Next time, I will bring a tripod for dusk and dawn photos because the views are incredible!

 

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The next morning we woke up early and enjoyed coffee and croissants on the terrace overlooking the sea and got ready for our hike. We planned on venturing to one of the most famous trails in Positano, the “Sentiero degli Dei” (Path of the Gods), where you will come across amazing views of the Amalfi and freshly made lemonade stands. From Positano, the easiest way to get to the base of the trail is to take the local bus to Nocelle and then begin your hike, but since we were with Louie and unsure if dogs were allowed, we decided to take the 1,700 stairs from Positano and then begin our hike… At the base of the staircase, we met an older gentleman who graciously pointed us in the right direction, offered advice about our ascent, and offered to take our photo. We also met a local dog, Flipper, who runs free around Positano all day long, who also accompanied us on our journey.

 

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We regularly climb 83 steps to our apartment, but even we weren’t prepared for 1,700 steps!!! By the time we actually got to the trail, I was slightly less enthusiastic than when we first started, but I carried on for a solid 30 minutes before I decided I didn’t really want to spend all day in the mountains. And thank goodness we called it quits when we did because as we were heading back to Positano we passed through Montepertuso and stumbled across La Tagliata.

 

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I had done my typical research prior to visiting Positano and I knew about La Tagliata, but I wrote it off because it is slightly a trek from the center of town so when we walked past it after 3 hours of hiking, I was thrilled, to say the least. We arrived just as they were opening for lunch and luckily, they had space for us as every other table was reserved! We were hungry, but this meal was truly the best meal of our trip, quite possibly one of the best meals we’ve had in Italy! It is a family-operated restaurant and the menu depends on what’s available in the garden. It’s like eating at your Italian grandma’s house… Oh, and you also have the most amazing views of the coastline.

 

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We started our meal with a bottle of wine and bruschetta on this thick, toasted, grainy bread and then they brought out buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, olives, eggplant parmigiana, frittata, various vegetables, and beans and chickpeas cooked with pancetta… All of it was fresh and delightful. Our next course was a mix of pasta… There was a zucchini-ricotta gemelli, ravioli in a summer squash sauce, some lasagna type pasta in a red sauce, and gnocchi in red sauce. I was crazy about this gnocchi! I normally never eat gnocchi, because it’s always so heavy, but unlike the United States, gnocchi is made without eggs in Italy so they are light little fluffy clouds! Gosh, that gnocchi was amazing. After pasta we were pretty full, but they brought out a platter of grilled meats, where the chef was grilling over an open flame at the side of the restaurant, so we obviously had to try that too. Last but not least, they brought out dessert, which was a mix of pear and ricotta crostata, torta di Nonna, and cream puffs covered in chocolate and pistachio. Besides the delicious food and great views, the price was unbeatable, 79 euro for everything! We were pretty exhausted after our hike, lunch, and (second) hike back to Positano so we just relaxed at our hotel and went out for more gelato that night and then we enjoyed one last breakfast on the terrace the next morning before beginning our journey back to Florence.

 

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Overall, our first visit to Amalfi Coast was an absolute dream! I understand why it’s so popular in the summer because it truly does not disappoint and despite people foreboding not to visit in the summer months, we will actually be returning in July when my sister is visiting and I already can’t wait! Can you tell by how many times I said amazing??? Until next time, Positano!

Stay tuned for next week’s adventure… Lake Como, Italy! If you want to keep up to date with my daily happenings and adventures, follow me on Instagram, @thebitesizedbaker. #shamelessselfpromoting

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Pamela permalink
    April 16, 2015 8:44 am

    Thank you for relating your wonderful impressions of the Amalfi coast and, of course, Positano. I’m sorry you got car sick–one, two, three, HURL! (Forgive me, please.) While the passenger seat offers lovely panoramas of the sea and the mountains, which are breathtaking, it also affords views straight down to the water where you often feel you’ll end up as the road hugs so tightly to those shear cliffs. And, as you noted, the hairpin turns aren’t exactly that easy on the stomach. But the food is! And the people are! And the ‘Travel & Leisure’ picture-perfect vistas from every step you take are, as well. I’ve been to Positano and am always thrilled to get others’ impressions. Yes, everyone falls in love with the place and the food yet I never tire of hearing about love of any kind so it was a pleasure reading about your experience. And aren’t the gnocchi light? A savory confection if that makes sense. I look forward to hearing your report on Como. I’ve been there also and to the little lake towns and I’m eager to relive them through your eyes. And belly! Ha! If only Louie could write. Our dogs would like to hear his take on these trips, too. And that Flipper! What a cutie. Oh, the stories he could tell.

  2. April 16, 2015 12:59 pm

    Your trip looks amazing!!! I was just in Naples the other week, but I did not get to Positano. I think I have to plan another trip. The food and the views look equally stunning! I’ve been eating all afternoon, and your food pictures still made my mouth water 🙂

  3. Becky permalink
    April 16, 2015 1:09 pm

    Love the Amalfi coast! I too remember the ride – we took the bus from Sorrento to Positano and it was pretty scary!! Yes gnocchi in Italy is nothing like what we eat here – thankfully. Gnocchi alla sorrentina is quite good! We have eaten at the famous pizzeria in Naples as well – oh yum! But Florence has some restaurants that make great pizza as well. I’ve discovered that pizzas are very different in many of the places we ate. Try La Bussola and Ciro and Sons in Florence. Both are quite good! It’s like I never want to eat Italian food once I return to the states, because well it’s just not as good, but I know eventually I will because it’s one of my favorite cuisines. Enjoy the adventure!

  4. April 16, 2015 2:14 pm

    So enjoy your travel posts. Living vicariously. Been to Italy 2x but not yet to Amalfi. Looks wonderful!

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