‘Nearly always when you find a place as beautiful as Positano, your impulse is to conceal it,’ wrote the American Nobelist John Steinbeck in May 1953 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, expressing himself about the village on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Is a visual feast of colorful houses (orange, pink, and from terracotta cladding) hanging from the steep slopes of the Lattari Mountains and above the sea. He went on to say: “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone”. Writing about the area, Steinbeck was staying at Le Sirenuse, an 18th-century summer villa that had just been converted into a hotel by brothers Aldo, Anna, Franco, and Paolo Sersale – an aristocratic family from Naples.
Filled with antique furniture and original artwork; the red palazzo has managed to combine the glamorous charm of the old world with a more intimate character, attracting tourists from the first moment that the city began to welcome since the 1950s. Indeed, the pleasures of sitting on a balcony outside one’s bedroom, admiring the view over Positano’s rooftops, or lounging by the pool, lulled by the scent of lemon trees, roses, and bougainvillea. But that would be a shame, because Positano is a place that begs to be explored on foot, with plenty of time to get lost in its labyrinthine maze of pathways. Positano was a fishing village whose inhabitants were engaged in agriculture and fishing. Since then and with the area’s growing popularity the hotel has been transformed from an 8-room boutique hotel into a 58-room luxury resort.
After one year of travel limitations, due to covid, Le Sirenuse completes 70 years of operation and celebrates it with the opening of a new bar called “Don’t Worry Bar” and a new seasonal menu in the restaurant “La Sponda”. Highlighting the best tips in the hotel is the good hospitality and even after so many years is still run by the Sersale family and more specifically by Franco’s son, Antonio, and Carla’s wife. The hotel outstands as a true example of having truly generous and warm hospitality and for still being run by the same family, after so many years; the Sersale family and specifically Franco’s son, Antonio, and Carla’s wife. Having a well-rounded observation of both the interior and the view in front, we can admit that Steinbeck’s words have perfectly spoken the truth about “Le Sirenuse”.
Photography by Brechenmacher & Baumann