Positano by Vespa and Water Taxi

by  Jim Sherman | Sep 27, 2010
Amalfi Coast, Italy
Amalfi Coast, Italy / lina harb/iStock

For dinner on my first night on the Amalfi Coast, we did what most Napolitano people do in order to get around – we took a water taxi.  The 10-minute ride led us to a small beach town next-door to Praiano where we reserved an outdoor table at Da Armandino (www.trattoriadaarmandino.it). This restaurant looks very simple but the food is outstanding. While the homemade pastas and marinated sardines were my favorite, everything we tried was amazing.

The next day, my friend arranged Vespa rentals for our group. The bike company representative tested each of us before he would allow us to rent. I think they don't quite trust Americans on these vehicles. I am sympathetic since most of us didn't grow up with them, unlike Italians and other Europeans.

Fortunately, the others and I all passed the 10-minute test rides. We then arranged three Vespa motorscooters for six of us. Riding a Vespa on the Amalfi Coast was a spectacular experience. I felt immediately like a local, swerving from one curve to the next. (I admit that renting a Vespa won't be right for many people. It's easy to get from one town to the next by bus or taxi, and many hotels have shuttles.)

We rode to Positano and, on the approach, I marveled at just how gorgeous the town and mountains were. The town starts high up and descends down to the sea. We parked in one of the lots just near the pedestrian zone of town. Then it was time to walk. I soon realized why there aren't a lot of older people touring here. The inclines/declines will give anyone a nice workout.

Dotting the narrow streets is a plethora of charming shops, cafés, churches, and restaurants.  It's a tourist town yet it still boasts an elegance few others can match.

We walked around town for quite a while and built up a nice appetite for lunch. Surprisingly the beach of Positano is not particularly beautiful, so we chose to eat beachside at a neighboring cove. We took a short water taxi over to eat at Da Adolfo (www.daadolfo.com).  It's a simple beach cafe with fresh grilled fish, pasta, salads, and meats. Try the spicy small sautéed shrimp dish and pasta primavera.

We then returned to town where I picked up some gift items. Italy is known for fantastic shoes and other leather products. In Amalfi, of course there is limoncello, a sweet liqueur. But there is also mandarino, a less famous but, I think, nicer dessert wine.

By 6pm, it was time to hop back on our Vespas and return to Casa Angelina.

For general trip-planning information, see our Amalfi Coast Travel Guide.

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