Sunday, 12 September 2010

InteRailing for Glampackers

September 9th Naples to Positano

There are no rail links to the Amalfi coast so we hired a car and drove the famous film star route along the beautiful Amalfi coast. Of course, the first obstacle was to negotiate the Naples traffic, which is a true test of driving skill believe me. Scooters fly at you from all directions, and other drivers seem to take no notice of any form of road etiquette. It’s a dog eat dog world and we rose to the challenge unscathed.
Just after the port, the autostrada beckoned and we gleefully accepted with both hands so to speak, and in no time we were out of the city and into the Italian countryside. It’s only a few miles further on past Vesuvius and you’ll get to the turn off for the Amalfi scenic route. It’s about now that the true majesty of the coastline kicks in with jaw dropping scenery just about everywhere you look. The route winds around the coastal cliffs and soon you get to see familiar names: Sorrento, Ravelo, Amalfi and our destination, Positano.
Tucked snugly against the cliff face, Positano rises from the crystal blue sea with properties packed tightly together like a magnet rising up the mountainside. It is truly a glorious sight to behold. Thankfully the narrow road is one way through the town, with hotels and restaurants seemingly perched impossibly against the rock face.
We were staying in the aubergo of Casa Albertina a privately owned hotel high up the bluff with stunning views across the town and the Med below. This is without doubt one of the most romantic places on earth.
The town itself has narrow streets lined with designer shops and restaurants and down at the small beach, the old church still stands proud, oblivious to all the tourist trappings around it.
Yes Positano is very commercial, and expensive, and there is more Prada than Carbonara, but there is no mistaking its charm. The famous coast road is stunning and Amalfi and Ravelo are only a few kilometres away. There are trips to Capri or to the Emerald Grotto, a naturally colourful cave system, but for me a couple of nights were more than enough.
The highlight was lunch at a rustic and traditional restaurant called la Trigliata in the mountain village of Montepesuto just a 10 minute bus ride up and around the cliffs. No menu on offer, just four courses of traditional food with wine, water and coffee all included for €35 and a fabulous view all the way down to Capri to boot. Mama in the kitchen and kids serving, a real family business.


Hotel: Casa Albertina
Restaurant: la Trigliata