Travelling in Positano: Tales From Our Trip Part 2

DSCF1489

DSCF1499

****

“I love you like this.”

“Like what?”

“Inspired. Alive. YOU. It’s awesome.”

My man was right. Ever since we’d come around that treacherous Amalfi Coast bend to Positano (if you’ve ever visited, you’ll know what I’m talking about – let’s just say HAIRY is a pretty apt description) and I’d caught a glimpse of the glittering seas below, I’d felt myself slipping back into my body. I could feel the energy. The spark was… sparking. The switch: back on, bay-beh.

Before we left for the trip, I’d been feeling a little jagged. There had been some delayed emotions around leaving the corporate world – not in the sense of missing the work, more in the sense of diving straight into my biz without time to recalibrate, and going at it hammer-and-tong – and it was most definitely time to “chill my balls*” as my beautiful (funny) friend Mel would say.

In Positano, I felt my cells expand again. 

I’ve written in my journal from the day Ramai declared I was “back:”

I feel like today was the massive mental shift I’ve been waiting for. The tap has been turned back on. The inspiration is flowing. I can feel with every fibre of my being – not just my head that thinks I should feel inspired 24/7, 365, but ALL layers of me – that I’m ready to:

Shine brighter. Recognise, then release what doesn’t work for me. Make an effort, style-wise – there doesn’t need to be an occasion for dressing up. Do it for me, purely ’cause it feels good. Set audacious, big-ass goals. Write. Write. Write. Get my butt out of retreat mode and reconnect. Be in the world. Move more throughout the day – walk outside. Breathe in. Do that often. Read fiction to lose myself in stories, for fun. Embrace adventure and weird stuff. Love every minute of it.  

I credit Positano and its 1000’s of steps, turquoise waters and gorgeous, chilled vibe for reigniting that flame o’ inspiration in me.

Read all about it below.

* FYI, I don’t have balls. Ha! 

****

IMG_8135

IMG_8156

IMG_8143

IMG_8295

IMG_8297

DSCF1505

IMG_8208

IMG_8299

DSCF1495

DSCF1466

IMG_8290

****

Colour. Positano: you’re doin’ it right. From the over-sized lemons (the region proudly champions its Limoncello), the pastel hotels carved into the hillside, the flowers and the looks-Photoshopped-in-real-life ocean, there’s no denying this town is a spectacular place to snap a few gazillion photos. It looks different every day.

I think John Steinbeck said it best in the 50’s when he described Positano as “a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone”. I wholeheartedly agree with that. She’s a total charmer, and I know we’ll be back.

A few recs for you from this time ’round:

We stayed at Palazzo Marzoli, which was a fab boutique-y hotel, and given it was quite high up, had awesome views (awesome views = lots of stairs to walk, so take note if you’re looking for somewhere to stay and you’re not a fan of steep steps. Seriously though, your butt will thank you!)

On the eating front, our best find was the gorgeous cafe Casa e Bottega. I’d been craving a smoothie and a salad and this place delivered, not only with great food but with stunning decor and super-friendly owners. Oh… and I can’t go past mentioning the gluten-free choc mud cake. Divine.

me

We also had a lovely dinner at Ristorante Mediterraneo where the gregariousness we hadn’t come across in (who we found to be) the more reserved Romans was ever-present.

The place was pumping and the manager brought Prosecco to our table as we arrived and bid us farewell with a shot of Limoncello. A lively muso belted out Italian love songs as we ate, the atmosphere was light ‘n’ right, and we spent most of our dinner laughing with (and… kinda, at) the ultra-tanned, super-OTT Candy and Bruce from Texas who were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. Bruce looked like he was straight out of Miami Vice and Candy, Studio 54. Picture it. Yesssss.

****

Delicious food and bold colours aside, our favourite part of the stay in Positano was definitely walking The Path of the Gods. 

IMG_8198

IMG_8216

IMG_8211

We decided to catch the bus to Praiano to start our walk because we wanted to finish back in Positano, and once we were on the track, we knew we’d made the right choice as the views facing back towards town were seriously incredible.

The Path of the Gods hike is BREATHTAKING for two reasons:

(1) The jaw-dropping views.

(2) It’s straight up. Stairs, a vertical path. You will puff in parts. You will get high in ze sky.

This ancient pathway dates back to the Middle Ages and was used by mules to transport goods between villages. Halfway up you’ll find yourself at the abandoned 16th century Convent of St Domenico, where the caretaker supplies fresh lemonade and you take a breather. Continuing on towards Positano, you’re literally ‘in the clouds’ as the mist zooms quickly up the side of the mountain from the valley below.

You actually can’t capture this kind of magic on camera. None of the shots you see above and below do it justice, so if you go to the Amalfi Coast, I highly recommend taking a day out to do it. You won’t be disappointed.

On the way home, we were meant to stop at Nocelle and get a bus back to Positano, but somehow missed the sign which meant descending 1700+ steps, and another hour walk around the sides of the bendy road (there is barely enough room for cars, and no such thing as a “pedestrian lane”)

We arrived at the hotel tired and hot, but deliriously happy.

****

IMG_8224

IMG_8237

IMG_8248

IMG_8246

IMG_8235

IMG_8238

IMG_8250

IMG_8259

IMG_8264

IMG_8267

IMG_8269

****

As I lay in bed that night, somewhere in the abyss between fully present and dreaming deep, I kept feeling myself walking the trail. I was up very, very high and everything was magnified. Huge. Much bigger than reality actually, a ginormous expanse. It was not dissimilar to that feeling you get when you’ve been at a theme park riding rollercoasters all day, and when you get home and you’re lying in bed, you feel like you’re still on that rollercoaster (know what I mean?)

Freaking loved it. There’s just something about mountains.

****

IMG_8359

IMG_8342

We caught a bus to Sorrento on day four. Here’s how it went, in short form.

Lemons on steroids.

Lots to see with no shortage of shops to pick up a a kitschy souvenir (or a designer something).

Loads of Aussies.

Great restaurants.

It was raining the day we went, so hard to make a fair comparison but I think would be the perfect place to base yourself if you wanted to “be more in the action” but we thought Positano was the more picturesque of the two.

For those that have visited, what do you think? 

****

IMG_8275

****

I’d been wanting to try stand-up paddleboarding for ages.

“Experienced?” the lady from the hire company asked with an arched eyebrow.

“Oh yeah. Yep. Totally,” we both nodded, although, in truth, I’d never attempted SUP before and Ramai had only given it a crack once (granted, he surfs) but on the scale of ‘challenging activities’ it ranked pretty far down the list. Piece of cake, no?

Uh, yeah. We found out why she asked when we got down to shore. Massive. Dumping. Sucky. Shorey-wave. And choppy seas. FUN!

The first humourous thing: trying to get out into the water without being chewed up and spat out by the shorebreak. Look natural, Rach. Just glide into it ever-so-casually… Errr.

The second humourous thing: trying to, y’know, stand up (we gave up eventually and perfected the art of “sit down/ knee-boarding-with-a-paddle” instead because the water was too freaking cold to fall in to time and time again).

Last (and least) humourous thing: getting back to shore while 5 local surfy looking dudes watched the ‘experienced’ Aussies wrangle massive stand-up boards, paddles and that hideous dumping wave with aplomb. Or not. Grateful my bikini top didn’t go flying off and hit one of them in the face, just to add to the hilarity of the whole experience.

****

IMG_8322

IMG_8325

DSCF1681

IMG_8379

IMG_8380

IMG_8388

IMG_8391

****

Dolce Far Neinte. The sweetness of doing nothing.

One day, I spent from early morning to night reading (two) books in bed (when I’m onto a good thing, there’s no stopping me). Another I sat silently watching the marching band from the balcony, and that night, marvelling at fireworks with a wine in my hand and my man by my side.

When you’ve been living from to-do list to to-do list, there is something so extraordinary about slowing down the pace and practicing the ‘sweetness of doing nothing.’

Thank you Positano for reminding me how powerful that can be.

****

There you have it! And now it’s your turn – have you been to the Amalfi Coast/ Positano? Thoughts, experiences, fun times? Share below! 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

20 Comments to “Travelling in Positano: Tales From Our Trip Part 2”

  1. Gorgeous Rach!!

    Evan and I had that exact same feeling as our bus wrapped around the cliff into Positano! We had been backpacking through Europe (mostly big cities!) for about 6 weeks and we were desperately seeking the coast and a reminder of home. As soon as we turned the corner and saw the water we looked at each other and our shoulders relaxed, we smiled and said, ok this is it, this is our time to chill out and just be. A feeling I will never ever forget! We also did (conquered!) the walk – AMAZING!! We’d love to head back one day too! An amazing part of the world.

    Kate xxx

  2. Hi Rachel I have been a longtime reader but never commented. But felt like I had to finally say that I love your blog and appreciate all the wisdom you share on it. I am so grateful for all the effort you put into every post and I especially enjoyed your recent video on manifesting (so helpful!) :)
    Also what camera did you use while you were away? beautiful pictures.

  3. Those lemons?! Holy Moly!

    One of my favourite parts of the world. When I visited Italy I was 18, immature and on a party bus (Contiki) – and while I loved it back then, I am desperate to return to truly appreciate it for what it is.

    The sweetness of doing nothing – something I need to apply to life a lot more… I’m glad Positano brought your sparkle back.

    Beautiful beautiful beautiful post hun. Such magical photos. xx

  4. Kate: There’s just something about water, isn’t there? Magical properties.

    Angela: Thank you!

    Georgia: Thanks so much lovely. Re the camera: the answer is 3 different ones, actually! The humble iPhone, a Canon 5D Mark II and a Fujifilm x 100. We found the Fuji to be awesome to carry around on this trip, particularly on the hikes (because the SLR is kinda huge/ chunky).

    Amelia: I think we could all definitely apply that to life a little more (and not just during “allocated holiday time.”)

    Jessie: Grazia, bella!

  5. Aaaah, the Path of the Gods! That might be the most beautiful hike I’ve ever done (although I did have a few moments of absolutely freaking out when there was no handrail and the path was ridiculously thin and I was, you know, fearing for my life!).
    Did you make it to the Dominican monastery overlooking Praiano? It was a fair way along the path, but it was so stunning, spiritual, amazing…

    Literally just last week, I made a photo of Positano my computer screen background, and have since found myself staring longingly at it far too frequently! Thanks for more travel porn! xo

  6. Jess: Ramai had a moment of vertigo up there too – it IS rather sketchy isn’t it?! Yep we went to St Domenico, was gorgeous. Definitely a place to return to again (and again!) x

  7. Ahhhh I love Positano, I even grew to love the treacherous stairs, it made me feel just that little more appreciative for being on the beach and became almost a meditation or ritual for me every morning as the sun was rising. This post really takes me back, a nice escape from city life in Brisbane :) thanks so much for sharing xo

  8. What a beautiful place and post. I always referred to that feeling you talk about as discovering a soul home. A place that connects deep into the very fiber of your being. I will have to go there myself one day :)

  9. Love it Rach! As I told you before you left, Italy is so calling my name. These photo’s are inspiring me even more. Now to just make it a reality :) P.S Those lemons are freaking huge!

  10. Rachel, I’ve been following your post for several months now but have never commented until now. So, I’m Kate. Hi. (shakes hands all ’round)

    Okay, so maybe that was a little weird, but I really wanted to comment to say how much I appreciated this post. Its honesty and insight along with the beautiful photos and travel thoughts are just exactly what I needed to read today. I’m drawing to a close a very long and challenging year and feel like I have lost a bit of that creative spark and energy along the way. I’m on my way to Mombasa, Kenya for a bit, and though far from Positano, I feel, after reading this post, that this may be my chance to find that spark again before moving on to the next phase of my life this fall. Something about being in beautiful spaces and taking the time to enjoy that “sweetness of doing nothing” you describe may be exactly what I need.

    So, what I’m saying is thank you for the insight and honesty and for sharing it with us, your readers.

    All the best,
    Kate

  11. What a glorious post – the Amalfi Coast has been on my wishlist for a while (and recently added to my visualisation board after your last video!). I can feel the energy and inspiration pumping from you in this post – welcome back!

  12. Amazing photos gooch, they are so captivating… i felt like i was back there. Love your big lemons too by the way. Looks like you both had the trip of a lifetime. xxx

  13. I absolutely loved this post. I just recently returned home from Greece and felt so many of these exact feelings. I left a bit of my heart there. Sounds like you did too! Thanks for sharing. :)

  14. Hi Rach,

    Loved your post. We are planning to spend 4-5 nights in Positano this summer (middle of July) and would love to know your thoughts on whether you were happy based out of Positano or whether you wished you stayed in Sorrento for ease of daytrips? Did you go in high season? I was wondering whether you found it really busy or if you were still able to enjoy the beach/water.

    Thanks so much! Great pictures!

  15. Gorgeous photos, what an amazing trip :)

    I visited Positano in the middle of Winter with lots of thunderstorms and hail along the coast road! It was still such a gorgeous and vibrant place though. We went to Sorrento for the day but when I got home I discovered there’s an abandoned flour mill which was just down the road from us….a beautiful spot which I’ve now added to my bucket list. I’ll have to go back one day now, hehe. http://www.escapebuttonblog.com/home/escape-button-july-25th

    Jess
    x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *