A Tale of Two Italies: Positano
The Amalfi Coast is a majestic balcony, suspended between the sapphire blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the feet of the emerald trees that adorn the Lattari Mountains. The 50-kilometer stretch of mesmerising coastline is so beautiful that it has been inserted on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The devastatingly rugged shoreline is dotted with intimate beaches, precariously perched pastel-coloured fishing villages and thriving cliffside lemon groves. Positano is one of the most sought-after villages with an incomparable romance, charm and historic glamour. It has enticed visitors for decades, including; Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards from The Rolling Stones, who wrote ‘Midnight Rambler’ whilst on holiday there.
Iconic American author John Steinbeck, visited Positano in 1953, he later wrote, ‘Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.”
Stay at Le Sirenuse
In 1951 four Neapolitan brothers transformed their summer retreat into a charming hotel. Today the 5-star hotel is considered as one of the most luxurious hotels in the country. It overlooks the magical bay of Positano and boasts arguably the most breathtaking view in the world.
Le Sirenuse is the definition of elegant simplicity. The rooms are 70 meteres above the sea and are bursting with simple pleasures. Most of the majolica-tiled rooms boast panoramic sea views, decadent marble bathrooms and are filled with handpicked museum-worthy antiques.
The hotel is home to Michelin-starred restaurant La Sponda. Its menu pays homage to the Mediterranean and is based on local traditions and fresh ingredients. It is one of the world’s most romantic restaurants; each evening the windows are thrown open and four hundred candles illuminate it.
Le Sirenuse offers some of the most incredible daily complimentary excursions, including; Pilates at sunrise that is designed for all levels to champagne sunset cruises on their private boat.
The staff are among some of the warmest and accommodating you will ever encounter, you are instantly made to feel like one of the family. Even after over 60 years, it has maintained the intimate, romantic and cultured atmosphere of a private home. As locals will tell you, ‘Positano is Le Sirenuse’.
Explore The Amalfi Coast by Boat
It is possible to visit the picturesque towns of Pompeii, Ravello and Amalfi on land but by far the most spectacular mode of transport is by boat. There are a number of places offering boat tours or private boats for rent dotted along the water but booking in advance is always recommended.
Guests of Le Sirenuse have the privilege of complimentary daily excursions on their magnificent private vessel, Sant’Antonio. Aboard the beautiful luxury wooden boat, you glide seamlessly along the devastatingly beautiful coastline to Amalfi. After an hour or so the boat anchors by a private beach and guests are encouraged to plunge into the cool, cobalt waters. Alternatively, you can just lie on the deck, listening to the sound of the waves lapping against the boat. Complimentary intoxicating cocktails are on offer, along with a platter of fresh olives and almonds to nibble. It is a truly unforgettable experience.
Eat at Carlino, Il San Pietro
Without doubt one of the most aesthetically mind-blowing restaurants in the world. Carlino is housed within the magnificent 5-star il San Pietro hotel, famous for its mesmerising panoramic views of the coastline and luscious deluxe secret gardens.
In under 45 seconds, an elevator takes you to the ground floor where Carlino is located. The elevator is carved into a cliff and resembles a Bond villain’s lair. In a few steps, you arrive at Carlino, next to the hotels luxurious sun-soaked private beach. The beach is a natural cove, framed by crystal clear waters. It has a sea of champagne parasols and tangerine loungers. Il San Pietro is the only hotel in Positano to have direct access to a private beach.
Carlino serves traditional, unpretentious and magnificent Mediterranean cuisine, using fresh produce from their legendary gardens. From its famous bittersweet lemonade to its signature lemon and chilli spaghetti; tart, tender and bursting with flavour, locals refer it to as ‘sunshine on a plate’.
The air is heavy with the salty scent of the sea and the uninterrupted view of the cove and the coastline at Carlino is devastatingly beautiful. The view of the ocean stretches as far as the eye can see, with only the distraction of the multi-million dollar luxury yachts anchored nearby.
Visit Il Gusto della Costa’s Limoncello Factoy
Limoncello is the second most popular liqueur in the whole of Italy and is said to have been founded in the Amalfi Coast over 100 years ago. The Amalfi Coast are famed for their gigantic lemons which are renown for being the most juicy and delicious in the world.
Guests of Le Sirenuse are offered a complimentary visit to Il Gusto della Costa’s Limoncello factory in nearby Praiano. The owner of the factory introduces guests to the world of the Amalfi Coast lemons, followed by the degustation of their products. Of course, there is also a chance to sample their world-famous limoncello.
Enjoy The Le Sirenuse Spa
The Le Sirenuse Spa is an Oasis of tranquillity at the very heart of the hotel. It was designed by renowned Italian architect, Gae Aulenti and is designed in rich teak wood, white marble and stainless steel. It is effortless and contemporary and boasts a sauna, bio-sauna and a granite steam bath. There is also a well-equipped gym with TechnoGym cardiovascular machines, weights and yoga mats.
For those that prefer to spend their time relaxing, The Le Sirenuse Spa offers a range of luxury treatments, such as their signature massage, which uses an intoxicating concoction of local lemon and cedarwood essential oils to relieve anxiety, insomnia and is also a powerful antispasmodic, helping to relax contracted muscles.
For 50 minutes, you lie on a soothing warm waterbed, positively melting under the skilled hands of the therapist. Following each treatment, you are encouraged to relax on the bed whilst sipping fresh ginger water, hot peppermint tea and nibbling on candied fruit. Absolute paradise.