Positano… with kids?
Updated: Oct 1, 2021
Have you always wanted to visit Positano, but now you have kids and feel like maybe that ship has sailed? We ignored a lot of advice and took our toddler and baby, and you know what? We had the most amazing time! Hopefully reading this will inspire you to head there and experience this beautiful town for yourselves, kids and all!
I have wanted to visit Positano for years so when we started planning our trip to Europe when the boys were 3 and almost 1, it was top of my list.
I started researching, reading blogs and forums, and was overwhelmed with the number of people who said not to take children to Positano...
“It is too hot, too many stairs, the restaurants aren’t child-friendly, so many stairs, it’s too expensive and don’t forget all those stairs!”
But I wasn’t about to let 500,000 negative opinions stop me from going to my dream town!
Too hot? We are from Australia, we can handle the heat!
No child-friendly restaurants? We don't really want our kids eating nuggets and chips in one of the food capitals of the world!
Too expensive? Ok, this was a concern, but I was willing to stretch our budget out a little for a week in Positano.
And the stairs? Well, Positano wouldn’t be Positano if it was flat!
Positano is a small village built into the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast. It is one of the most beautiful places we have been - the pebbly beaches of the Mediterranean Sea below and the mountains rising high up above.
It is home to less than 4,000 people who live in beautiful rustic pastel colours houses perched on the side of the cliff. It really feels like nothing much here has changed for centuries.
Except the tourists - there were many, many tourists - but by staying there for a week (most visitors seem to be daytrippers) I feel like we got to know the town and fall in love with it even more than I thought possible.
We decided not to hire a car and to just base ourselves in Positano for the week. We thought we’d catch local buses and ferries around to explore the area, but honestly, once we got there we didn’t want to leave!
That long list of activities I’d prepared would just have to wait for our next trip...
We came from Rome - catching the train to Naples (1 hour 10 mins) where we were picked up by a driver in a van with child seats and taken right to our apartment in Positano. Amalfi Coast drivers are bonkers, so we were more than happy to have a seasoned professional do the driving for us!
The drive was so beautiful, first heading past the huge Mt Vesuvius before winding our way along the coast. It was nice to be able to sit back and enjoy it and not have to worry about how on earth we’d fit past a bus on a road that despite looking too narrow for even one car, was a the main two-way road connecting Naples with the Amalfi coast.
We stayed in this apartment. At about €170 per night it was the most expensive place we stayed for our whole trip, but for Positano it was one of the cheapest and honestly, it was worth every eurocent.
Our main criteria were:
* not too far to walk to the beach
* a kitchen
* a washing machine
* two sleeping areas (our boys are noisy sleepers!)
* and most importantly, it must have a balcony with a mind blowing view!
And boy did it deliver - check out that view:
Our days quickly fell into a routine and we had the most lovely, relaxing week.
We’d wake up and wander into town for breakfast (I know most people would have breakfast in the apartment, but we are serious caffeine addicts and our need for coffee in the morning trumps all else!). From our apartment it was an easy walk down pretty much the only driveable road through town so we were able to put the boys in the stroller and not worry about navigating any stairs.
We’d then sit on the lovely terrace at La Zagara Patisserie, drinking coffee, eating pastries and looking at the view, while the boys ran about playing, chatting to the staff and other customers and looking at sculptures and the beautiful orange trees that surround the restaurant.
In Italy, you buy baby supplies like nappies and baby food from pharmacies, so it was handy to walk right past Farmacia Ottica Rizzo which had a pretty decent selection of everything that our baby needed during our stay.
As he was still having two naps a day, after breakfast I’d take the baby back to the apartment for a snooze and the other two would head to the beach. Afterwards we would walk down the stairs to the beach to meet them at Marina Grande, the main beach in town.
We bought the Phil and Ted’s Escape baby carrier to use this trip as we knew it would be hot and wanted the baby to sit off our backs, and it was awesome! It has a sunshade, so much storage space and is so easy to carry that we could walk long distances in the heat with no problem.
Our days would then go one of two ways - we’d stay at Marina Grande for the day, having lunch in one of the many restaurants in town (don’t listen to the reviews that say they aren’t child-friendly!) or we’d catch one of the tiny boats to Spiaggia Fornillo, the next beach along the coast.
Spiaggia Fornillo is a smaller beach than Marina Grande and we found it to be much less crowded. You can walk along the coast, which we did the first time we went - it took us about half an hour with little legs - but then we discovered the boats! Fornillo has several restaurants along it, each with their own piece of the beach.
You pay to use their sun chairs and umbrellas (I can’t remember exactly, but it was less than €10 each - we didn't get them for the kids) which lets you use the chairs and umbrellas all day, access their toilets and change rooms, waiters come to you and take your food and drink orders, and they take you back to Marina Grande in their boats at the end of the day (and pick you up in the morning). For us, this was definitely worth the money!
Both Fornillo and Marina Grande were very child-friendly beaches. We’d spend the day paddling, swimming and looking for rocks, shells and the amazing pieces of tile and glass that have been worn smooth by the sea.
At the end of each day we’d stop at Brasserie Covo dei Saraceni for some of their delicious gelato, which we’d eat perched along the seawall, watching the boats leave. Then we would slowly wander back to our apartment, up all the stairs, fuelled by gelato!
We went out for dinner once while we were in Positano, but to be honest, one of the best parts of the day for me was once the boys were showered and fed (we bought groceries from a deli a few doors down from our apartment - I was happy to get some veg into them!), we’d sit on our balcony, crack open a bottle of wine and read their bedtime stories.
We’d then take it in turns to either put the boys to bed, or to sort out our dinner.
The deli sold an amazing selection of take-away food, homemade fresh every day, like lasagne, arancini, moussaka. Every day was different and every day was delicious!
If we were feeling energetic, one of us would instead walk back down to Marina Grande to get take away pizzas from Brasserie Covo dei Saraceni. They were unbelievably good!
We then spent the rest of the evening on our balcony, eating and drinking, watching the sun go down as the hordes of tourists left and people much classier than ourselves headed out for dinner.
Sitting up high, watching the light change and the town come to life as the sun went down was always a perfect end to a perfect day in Positano.
* Don’t let all the stairs put you off visiting Positano! Our 3-year-old was able to walk around, with plenty of stopping (to be honest, we’d be stopping to catch our breath anyway!) and with the baby in a baby carrier it really wasn’t that hard. But you will earn that balcony beer when you get back to your apartment! Although routes around town are mainly via stairs, there is a road which has a footpath that you can use your stroller on - Via Guglielmo Marconi. You will need to carry your stroller down a few stairs to get to the beach though. We never did this, but if you have a baby who is happy to nap in their stroller, it may be worth doing.
* Buy your baby food and nappies at the pharmacy.
* Although many restaurants are not “child-friendly” in the ways you’d expect back home (no change tables, kids menus, crayons etc) our children were always welcomed and doted on. Several places did have high chairs and everywhere was happy to make child sized meals for our boys.
* We went in July, and it was hot, but not as hot as the internet will have you fear! We did work up a sweat walking, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed by a swim, a gelato, a beer, or even just sitting somewhere in the shade with a cool sea breeze for a while.
* Pack everything that you need for your day at the beach - it is a long walk back to the apartment to collect anything that has been forgotten!
* Don’t try and fit too much into your day if you are travelling with little ones. I loved that we just took it easy, did the same thing every day and that the locals all knew us - in the patisserie, the deli, the gelato shop - everyone was happy to see our bambinos every day!