One of my favorite days during our trip to Italy, and perhaps one of my favorite days ever, was our day trip to Arienzo Beach off of the coast of Positano. I knew I would have to share my experiences on the blog, as I wanted to commit every detail to writing and never forget the feeling of being in this magical place.
After stuffing ourselves on omelettes, capucinnos and nutella at our hotel’s breakfast (Hotel Margherita – you must stay there!) that morning, we hopped on the bus to Positano. We stayed in the neighboring, sleepier Praiano, and a creaky orange bus conveniently rambles along the winding cliff road that connects all of the coastal towns. After a treacherous short ride through narrow streets, packed with fellow, sweaty tourists, we arrived at the center of bustling Positano, right on the beach. Not a bad reward at the end of our trip.
Our journey had just begun, however, and we patiently awaited for our little water taxi to arrive and take us to our beach club, reachable only by boat or hundreds of steps down the cliffside. Americans that we are and with my track record of clumsiness, we chose the boat option.
Without much to-do, we climbed onto our jetty helped by tan, shirtless Italian men (you become very good at leaping into boats when staying on the Amalfi Coast). The views of Positano from the sea are spectacular – you really can’t get a bad photo, and I probably took hundreds, including a selfie (or ten)!
Our steadfast captain led us past the picturesque coastline dotted with almost fake looking colorful houses, and just around a bend to our destination – Arienzo Beach. Or Bagni d’Arienzo if you’re a local.
We arrived to the welcoming site of the most aqua sea water meeting black shoreline, dotted with bright orange umbrellas and lounge chairs. For only 10 euro, the chair, umbrella and service are yours to soak up the Mediterranean sun all day long. I loved how most beach clubs in Italy had chairs with face shades attached to them. Perfect for us pale folk who need protection or bookworms who don’t want to strain their eyes.
Our fellow sunbathers we’re a little more scantily clad in speedos and bikinis; it’s pretty empowering how almost all Italian women will rock a bikini, even if they’re not in great shape. I’m also proud to say we were only a few of the handful of Americans at the club. Patting myself on the back, I thought it must be a good sign if you’re outnumbered by locals. The lazy crowd was a mix of couples sipping on prosecco, schoolchildren playing hooky to play water polo, and families cooling themselves in the crisp, turquoise water.
Upon becoming properly crispy in the high noon glare, our stomachs began to rumble. We decided to make our trek on the rocky shore to the club’s restaurant, nestled on stilts above the beach. The black rocks were “hotter than the surface of the sun” according to my dad, and I definitely recommend you bring a pair of flip flops for a barrier.We of course had forgotten to pack ours, so we raced across the stones to our lunch.
Properly shaded under umbrellas, our friendly Italian waiters brought out fresh al dente linguine, decorated with succulent clams and mussels. Funnily enough, our waiter was from Praiano, the town where we were staying, and was friendly with our hotel owners. Instances like these make the Amalfi Coast have this cozy, familial feel, and we definitely felt more welcome and at home here than in busy Rome. Slurping down the delicious pasta and seafood, I made sure to wash it down with a watermelon Mojito.
Freshly buzzed on rum and sunshine, we took in the beach from our birds eye view. The restaurant was the perfect spot to practice my best Gray Malin and snap away at the photogenic sherbet toned umbrellas.
Returning to our chairs for a few more hours we alternated between sunbathing and dipping in the sea. The ocean floor was also blanketed with rocks, but the buoyant, salty Mediterranean makes it easy to lean back and float away. I’ll never forget these little moments spent bobbing away in the Italian sea with my parents, simply savoring each other’s company and the enchanting surroundings.
Sadly, the time to leave eventually arrived with the waning sun. Our accommodating hosts arranged for a private water taxi to take us directly back to Praiano, allowing us to skip the bumpy bus ride home. The ocean interstate was an immensely more pleasurable mode of transport, but I was sad to say goodbye to our little dream beach, our “Avalon” on the sea.
You can find more info about Bagni d’Arienzo or reserve a chair here.
It came highly recommended from locals as a more authentic alternative to the popular Da Adolfo, and it far outshone my high expectations.
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