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Three Perfect Days in Positano, Italy

Getting there isn't easy, but like most great things in life, it's worth the labor.  I took a train from Rome to Naples, then a car service from Naples to Positano (http://www.johnnystourservice.com/).  Other options are ferries and hydroplanes (http://www.coopsantandrea.com/), busses (http://www.sitabus.it/wps/portal/OrariCampania), car rental (you'll probably have to park in the public lot and take a bus or walk to your hotel-this is a walking town with roads that are sized for horses) and car services that will pick you up in Rome.

Those who get motion sickness must take precautions: the road to Positano is a swervy, cliff-side, horizontal roller coaster.  The hydroplane across the Bay of Naples isn't much smoother.  There is no train.

Staying there is very easy.  Before you've even unpacked your toiletry kit, as you gaze out at the green sea framed with jagged, rocky cliffs, you'll be calculating how much you can get for your house back in the states and whether or not your boss will let you telecommute from Italy.   The town is small, you'll have walked it from end to end by the time you leave, and yet the hotel options range from $30 hostels with sea views (http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Hostel-Brikette/Positano/7763) to $300 intimate hotels with pools and sea views (http://www.villafrancahotel.it/) to the ultra-luxurious La Sirenuse (http://www.sirenuse.it/) with sea views.  Since everything is neatly tucked into the cliff, most windows have a prime view of the Amalfi Coast.

Planning your three days is the easiest of all.  Day One: nothing. Day Two: niente.  Day Three: niente ancora!  There is no doing in Positano.  This place is all about being.

You will feel fully alive when you walk down the narrow stone staircases that are carved into the cliffs and run from the top of the village to the bottom.  The process of walking down is as rewarding as what you get at the bottom, so don't worry about rushing or pushing yourself to keep up with the twelve-year old who just whipped by.  There are resting platforms every couple flights for those who need to sit for a while.  Additionally, buses run up and down the town and stop wherever you ask.

When you make it to the shore-side "downtown," rent a lounge chair on the beach where you can sunbathe until lunch.  Shoppers will enjoy the open markets where there is everything from handmade wooden toys to leather purses.  The boutiques are more expensive and carry, exquisite leather shoes, designer clothes, and jewelry.

Of course, eating is easy!  Most hotels serve breakfast in sea-view dining rooms.  Don't feel guilty about indulging in a fruit tart with coffee and cream.  The walk into town will burn it off in minutes.

For lunch and dinner, the water-side restaurants are fine, but the more exquisite meals are up the cliff or in the hotels.  Seafood is always fresh and the homemade pasta makes the stuff we have at home seem like cardboard.  Try Buca di Bacco (http://www.bucadibacco.it/ristorante.html) or Saraceno d'Oro (http://www.saracenodoro.com/sd/index.htm).  Or catch a free boat to the charming, beachy Da Adolfo (http://www.daadolfo.com/).  Bring your suit as they have changing rooms and loungers so you can sleep off your wine, seafood and pasta. 

The best meal I had in Positano was at the family-run La Tagliata (http://www.latagliata.com/).  The restaurant is perched on the cliffs like an aerie overlooking the sea.  A small bus picks up diners and delivers them to La Tagliata.  Picky eaters be forewarned, there is no menu, you are served whatever "Mama" prepares along with meats grilled by "Uncle."  The atmosphere is lively, almost party-like as "Uncle" shouts each time a slab of meat is ready and the waiter, the son, feels free to do things like join the table (as he did with us) for shots of limoncello during the dessert course.

Prepare yourself for the ride back down in the dark of the night.  Our bus cheered with relief when the driver successfully backed up the treacherous cliff in order to let an on-coming driver pass.

Leaving Positano is extraordinarily hard.  From the moment you check out of your hotel, you'll be plotting ways to get back!