Spaggia Grande, Positano and Ravello
For our last day in Positano, we started off enjoying morning cappuccinos and croissants at Casa Teresa before heading to the main beach, Spaggia Grande for some pictures and sunshine. We were lucky we went early as a few minutes after we strolled down the beach, the clouds rolled in and stayed put for the entire day.
Via Positanesi d'America
The rocky beach at Spaggia Grande
The main beach, while picturesque, is incredibly rocky and pretty small. There is a small area for beach goers to lay on the beach for free, but it may be more prudent to rent a bed and umbrella (the blue ones) to enjoy the sun. It was around 15-20 euros to rent an umbrella for the day. But we were satisfied to take photos and then make our way back up to town for a day trip to Amalfi and Ravello. These were taken around 9 am before the crowds and the ferries rolled in, so definitely go early if you want people-free photos.
Second breakfast, pizzas and drinks on the beach
After savoring one last meal on the beach, we set out to take the bus to Amalfi and Ravello. We climbed up the main road into town (buy tickets in newspaper or tobacco shop around the Collina bakery) and had to walk about half a mile up the road to find the bus stop for the Sita bus. The Sita public buses that shuttle tourists and locals up and down the Amalfi coast are infamous because although tickets are very cheap (around 2-4 euros per ride), they can be cramped and bumpy as they wind their way around the narrow roads and sharp turns. Side note, you can also take the bus from Sorrento to Positano, but it would be a hassle with luggage, so I would elect for a taxi or ferry. If you take the bus from Positano, definitely plan to go and return from Amalfi early as sometimes the buses get full, you don't get a seat, or worse, they don't even stop because they are so full. If you miss the bus, a taxi back would cost you around 40 euros as it takes about 45 minutes.
After successfully boarding the bus in Positano, we arrived in Amalfi, the namesake of the Amalfi coast. Amalfi serves as sort of the transportation hub of the Amalfi coast, and seems more of a "real" town where more normal Italians lived rather than the touristy hub of Positano. We didn't spend much time there as we wanted to visit the mountainside town of Ravello. We transferred buses in Amalfi very close to where we got off the bus (bought tickets around 2 euros at a nearby tobacco/newspaper shop), and then took another thrilling bus ride up to Ravello.
Ravello is a small, medieval-esque town with stunning views of the Mediterranean ocean. Located in the hills above Amalfi, it is most famous for its panoramic views and gardens from two villas, Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone. After disembarking the bus, we took an easy stroll through the main square and to the other end of town to visit Villa Cimbrone.
Entrance to Villa Cimbrone
Gates leading to stunning views of the MediterraneanAs I walked through the gardens, I was so touched by the beauty of the gardens and the views overlooking the ocean, I resolved I wanted to someday get married there (a fantasy as I'm not even dating anyone now lol).
After I came down from the high of visiting Villa Cimbrone, we walked back into town, did some shopping (I got a leather bag and some leather loafers), and then stopped at Villa Rufolo, which is located a little lower down on the mountain. Villa Rufolo had more elaborately manicured gardens but it didn't live up to the grandeur of Villa Cimbrone for me.
The main duomo in Amalfi town
I would wholeheartedly recommend Ravello as a day trip from Positano or even staying in Ravello for a night to feel like you've stepped back into time and enjoy a slower, quieter pace of life with breathtaking views above the Mediterranean ocean. What's more, Villa Cimbrone was probably my favorite place we visited along the Amalfi coast (barring Positano, where we stayed)!
We took the bus back down to Amalfi town, briefly walked around the touristy main town, and after a snafu where we got lost trying to look for the bus back to Positano, we had to wait around 45 minutes for the Sita bus back to Positano. The bus stop was basically in the parking lot near where you get off the bus from Ravello but was not clearly labelled, so we basically just congregated where some other people were waiting. The process of boarding the bus was pretty cringeworthy as some people weren't in the right line and then others tried to push their way on the bus. Fortunately for us, we got the last seats on the bus but others had to stand, and were very uncomfortable the whole way back. When we got back to Positano, we had to literally push our way off the bus as we were seated in the way back and people were crowded up and down the aisles. The people who tried to get on from Positano couldn't even get on as the bus was so crowded, so remember to go and return early from Positano! Or just splurge on a cab.
When we got off the bus, we were so exhilarated we had successfully made it back to Positano and then got these pictures at the perfect time to capture Positano at dusk.
We had a bit of a long walk ahead of us, but thankfully our dinner spot was just a few stairs away from our hotel. We headed straight to dinner from the bus, and splurged on a feast of Italian favorites at Saraceno d'Oro: a carafe of wine, bruschetta, pizza, and pasta, although it wasn't so much of a splurge as the prices were so reasonable. We loved "the red place" for its family friendly atmosphere, Italian music playing overhead, and modest prices. It was our favorite restaurant in Positano and although it doesn't have any views, the food and atmosphere made it a hidden gem.
Ravioli, pizza, and veal