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To the Coast: Sorrento and Positano

I arrived in Sorrento after a good night’s rest in Pompeii. It was a bit of a shock to the system to arrive in a small ‘model village’ type town, especially after the hustle and bustle of Rome and Naples, but it was a welcome feeling nonetheless. I was casually taking my time to explore the small side streets and after a while it was evident that this place was serious about their lemons. Limoncello shops can be found at regular intervals and the lemon infused liquor is certainly worth raving about. It’s served ice cold and is sweet and sour with a feisty alcoholic punch. Most of the shops offer free tastings so you can ‘try before you buy’ – not a bad way to spend an afternoon. Aside from limoncello you’ll find lemon scented soaps, lemon scented candles, lemon flavoured sweets, lemon biscuits, lemon pasta, lemon infused chocolate – lemon everything! Fabrica Liquori was one of my favourite limoncello shops as you can also watch them prepare and make it at the back.

Fabrica Liquori   Limoncello

One thing that I had seen everywhere was rum baba. I had no idea what it was at the time but I eventually gave in to my curiosity in Sorrento. People reading this may think how can you never have seen or eaten this before? But I assure you this was all new to me. First of all I wasn’t expecting it to be soft and soggy in consistency and as it gave way in my mouth to a sticky, sweet alcohol infused explosion, I was regretting it as a simple breakfast choice. So while this experience was not a great success, I have since carried out a little research and like the look of the version with whipped cream (and sometimes fruit!). Who knows, I may decide to dedicate my next post to the many changing faces of rum baba.

Rum Baba

This wasn’t the first ice cream of the trip and it wouldn’t be the last, but it was definitely one of my favourites. You know when you walk past somewhere and you think this place looks like a big deal? That’s the feeling I got when I walked past Primavera. And I was right because once I got inside there were hundreds of pictures featuring satisfied celebrities enjoying a scoop or two of Primavera ice cream. I chose a scoop of Noel di Sorrento – I assume it means the birth or celebration of Sorrento but please correct me if I am wrong! The ice cream itself was deliciously nutty and creamy without being too sweet. As you can see from the picture, a glimpse of the lemon flavoured ice cream can be seen behind – unfortunately I was all ‘lemoned’ out by this point.

Gelateria Primavera     Noel di Sorrento  Ice Cream Sorrento

After an early-ish rise the next day, it was time to make my way to the station to catch the SITA bus (this it the same bus that you can ride all the way to Amalfi).  There was a long queue and after what seemed like a lot of waiting around and bus drivers disappearing, I was finally on a bus. The journey took around 50 minutes and I have to admit I’m not very good with winding roads. However, the view of the coast was amazing and if you can put your motion sickness to one side, it’s actually a really scenic drive.

When I arrived in Positano it was raining which was a shame but I managed to explore the small town which is so pretty and much less touristy than Sorrento. It was also a beautiful walk up to the apartment I was staying at with some magnificent views along the way (you can find more details about where I stayed here.)

As my apartment had such a great view and I had already spent quite a lot on the trip, I decided to get pizzas from a nearby pizza restaurant and eat them on the terrace. As you can see it was still quite cloudy but I was happy to be able to look out to the sea while enjoying some delicious pizza and wine.

Pizza Positano

The last night of the trip arrived and I was feeling reflective. To think I was in the absolute chaos of Naples and wandering around the ancient Colosseum just a few days ago was hard to fathom after ending up in this pretty town in the hills. After a day at the beach (the sun finally appeared), it was time to head out for the last supper. I had been keeping my eye on restaurants as I was walking to and from town and decided on Ristorant il Capitano which was defined by its captivating sea views.

Ristorante il Capitano   Restaurant View

A complimentary appetiser was brought over to the table (how cute are the plates?) I’m sure they had an Italian name but for now I shall just refer to them as herb infused dough balls which were delicious. I then ordered the Aubergine Parmigiano which I had been desperate to try. Baked aubergine with tomatoes and oozing mozzarella infused with Parmesan, garlic and herbs – a taste of absolute joy and it will definitely take some beating!

Dough Balls   Aubergine Parmigiana

There were two of us ordering mains and we had the monkfish pasta and seafood risotto. The monkfish was meaty yet delicate which was set off by an accompanying rich tomato sauce. The seafood risotto was packed full of prawns, shrimps, mussels and fish. The food was simply scrumptious and while the fresh sea air and breathtaking views added to the experience, the food definitely spoke for itself.

Monkfish Pasta   Seafood Risotto

Positano Wine

So that was it. A calm and tranquil end to a very busy and agenda-packed holiday. With every trip that involves travelling around, there are certain things to expect. Things like not having enough time to do absolutely everything and those handy tips that you wish you had known beforehand. But overall it was an incredible trip and I felt fortunate enough to have seen so much of Italy in a week. And with that it was time to bid goodnight to Positano and fly back to London to face the post-holiday blues and plan the next trip.

Positano Sunset


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