7 Reasons to visit Positano, Italy in autumn/winter
BY Imogen Green
15th Oct 2023 Travel
4 min read
When the crowds have gone is the perfect time to visit the stunning Positano on Italy's Amalfi Coast for some autumn/winter sun
Positano, a jewel of Italy's Amalfi Coast and a location for dolce vita is a place that still shines even in autumn and winter. While many traverse to the spot in the mid-summer, this vision of beauty blooms in the off-season.
Though legend has it that Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, founded the town, it is believed to have been properly established in the ninth century around a Benedictine abbey. More recently, in 1953, John Steinbeck described the Amalfi coast as a “dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” This quote perfectly captures the magic of this town, which is palpable all year round but even more so when the crowds have gone home.
"The magic of this town is palpable, even more so when the crowds have gone home"
When you choose to go in the later months of the year it offers a unique opportunity. A chance to see a snippet of the Costiera Amalfitana (Unesco World Heritage site), the dramatic limestone cliffs and closely knit villas stripped back and the raw beauty, all on their own.
With ever-increasing numbers of tourists choosing this town as their summer destination, how can we best visit while still respecting the locals and those living there? Choosing a more sustainable way to explore the narrow and winding roads and alleyways that weave around the houses like a labyrinth could be the answer.
1. Stay and restore at the authentic, family-run Hotel Poseidon
One of the best ways to learn about the town is from locals, and even better, from a local family. Hotel Poseidon offers the perfect balance of tradition and modernity. A former villa turned boutique hotel which is currently run by the second and third generations of the original founding Aonzo family. The hotel’s L'Onda spa, restaurant and bar offer guests the opportunity to experience the best of luxury and relaxation, with eye-catching views of the intricate coastline.
"The hotel’s spa, restaurant and bar offer guests the best of luxury and relaxation, with eye-catching views of the intricate coastline"
Additionally, if you need information, recommendations or want to learn more about the area, several family members live and work onsite, so who better to learn from than them?
2. Make a local traditional drink—limoncello
The amalfi lemon may be the poster child of the region, but only when you see it in action do you understand its history. The lemon is the star in the world-renowned limoncello, a sharp Italian liqueur.
At Valenti, Positano you can take part in a limoncello workshop and lemon marmalade class, sharing the exact methods and recipes used by their mothers. Taking place in the factory or the Pergola over Positano Bay, the workshop offers an opportunity to sample this authentic local delicacy first hand.
3. Walk the Path of Gods (Sentiero degli Dei)
The Path of Gods walk is one of the best ways to take in the local area, without using additional transport. As the name suggests, this mountainous route packs a punch, offering views over Positano and the surrounding Sorrento peninsula.
The route offers an insight into the beginnings and totals at approximately 4.35 miles in total (so be sure to hydrate throughout the route as there are several steep steps to ascend).
4. Try the local seasonal seafood
A simple way to enjoy an authentic experience is to eat inline with the locals and their regional produce. And it goes without saying that the Tyrrhenian Sea offers a wide range of seafood, but many varieties can be overfished so it's important to eat the varieties that aren’t.
"A simple way to enjoy an authentic experience is to eat inline with the locals and their regional produce"
Think mussels, mackerel, squid over salmon, red tuna or hake, which are more commonly overfished.
5. Dine at Il Tridente
Dining at a traditional restaurant offers an insight into local cuisine away from the touristic haunts. Il Tridente is Hotel Poseidon’s onsite restaurant, which is an equal destination in its own right. As you approach the restaurant, a wide open pergola is draped in pink bougainvilleas foliage and offers a respite for any late season sun offering panoramic views in every direction. From early morning breakfast, lunch (think traditional caprese salads, sandwiches and pastas such as homemade basil Scialatielli pasta, a traditional short yet thick pasta with aubergine and provolone italian cheese) and Sunday brunch as the perfect way to to cap off any weekend.
But perhaps what they are best known for is dinner, as the daylight fades, the restaurant offers a viewpoint to beat over the coastline below. On the menu, they fuse the traditional classics with modernity, think roasted octopus, served on a warm potato cream with matcha tea and tomatoes alongside more classic recipes such as rigatoni with sundried tomato and almond pesto. In addition, the onsite bar offers up both the classic cocktails for an aperitivo, with local live music nights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
6. Mar Positano
One of the more forgotten places to visit is Mar Positano (Roman Archeological Museum of Positano). Mar Positano offers visitors an insight into the rich artistic and cultural heritage of the town.
" Reopened in 2021, Mar Positano shows what a Roman villa from the first century AD was like"
Carefully preserved and reopened in 2021, it is an archaeological museum which shares a detailed insight into a Roman villa dating back to the first century AD, which the rest of the museum has been built around. Additionally, the museum is also home to a variety of artefacts that they have found during their excavations.
7. Fornillo Beach in Positano
While most may head to Spiaggia Grande (the main beach in the town), for a quieter and lesser known spot to enjoy the Tyrrhenian Sea, Fornillo is an ideal choice. To reach the beach it’s a quick 15-minute walk from Spiaggia Grande, going west or from the top of town.
What makes this spot special are the ancient Torres, which date back to the 15th and 16th century and acted as guard towers over the coast from invaders. In addition to the beach, there are also several beach clubs where you can reserve a spot for the day and restaurants where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch.
Banner photo: Hotel Poseidon Positano
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