For beachside glamour and relaxation, you need look no further than Positano. Quiet beaches, bustling boutiques and the amazing food of the Amalfi coast make this a must-visit destination for anyone searching for the perfect Italian adventure. Since her first visit to Positano while a student in Milan, Jessika Allen has visited the historic haven twice, returning for the history, culture and vibrant atmosphere. The Jets by Jessika Allen owner and designer shares her love of Positano, including her must-visit destinations, where to indulge in the most divine food and how the town has influenced her design ethos.
RESCU: Tell us about how and when you first came to Positano and why you love it there?
Jessika Allen: I fell in love with Positano the first time I got a taste of the Amalfi Coast! I was studying in Milan and my mother came to visit me, we travelled to Sorrento, Capri and Positano just to name a few. I adore everything about Positano; the pristine Mediterranean, the fresh food, the locals, panoramic views, and the pastel colours of the houses that border the cliffside town. What makes Positano especially charming is that there are no cars, so everyone is by foot. It adds a sense of old-style Italy and I love it, everywhere you turn is completely stunning. I’ve been lucky to travel to Positano three times; my most recent trip was last year with my husband and daughter.
RESCU: What are your three must visit places in Positano?
Jessika Allen: My must-have places to visit in Positano include spending the day at Grotta dello Smeraldo, a partly submerged cave that resembles postcard perfection. You can travel by boat and dive into the surrounding emerald green water and swim; it’s truly amazing!
Next is experiencing the shopping and fashions that Positano is renowned for; think white dresses, embellished sandals, beautiful handcrafted cameo jewellery and intricately detailed tiles and other porcelains. Whether in the main town or tucked-away down alleyways, it’s always a thrill stumbling across a little boutique!
Lastly is making the short trip to Ravello for a concert or live recording and embracing the irresistible allure of the towns love for art and music.
RESCU: What is your favourite place for breakfast?
Jessika Allen: My favourite place for breakfast is in the hotel courtyard, both low key and relaxed. I’ve stayed at Hotel Palazzo Murat twice; sitting in the sunshine of the palace-themed hotel with the water at our doorstep is the perfect start to the day! A traditional Italian breakfast is always on the menu; coffee, fresh juice, fruit, pastry and a banquet of local cheeses and cold meats.
RESCU: What is your favourite restaurant for a casual long lunch or dinner with friends?
Jessika Allen: The Romeo and Juliet inspired balcony of Caffe Positano Ristorante Bar is a lunch or dinner experience to remember. Defining Italian romance with a view of the pristine coastline below, you’ll feast on fresh seafood, traditional Italian pizzas and salads and taste local wines both rich and exotic. Perched up high in the colourful cliffs, it really is a dining experience to remember!
RESCU: Where is your favourite beach to swim and relax?
Jessika Allen: The main beach of Positano, Spiaggia Grande, has small boats available that can take you to the more secluded pebble beaches, which are perfect for laying seaside with a good book and swimming. With deck chairs and mismatched umbrellas lining the shore, you’ll be mesmerised by the colours. I love people watching; the locals make even the most normal day-to-day activity look so sophisticated!
RESCU: What’s the best thing to do for under $50?
Jessika Allen: Positano is one of the most beautiful towns in the world and is known for its breathtaking walking trips. Visit the grocery store and pack a picnic of fresh produce and maybe even a bottle of wine then venture out and discover even more hidden secrets tucked away in the coastal alleyways! Sit down and have an ice cream near the sea or a limoncello, it’s so easy to just be in awe of your surroundings.
If you don’t feel comfortable going on your own then there are walking tours with guides that will help you discover all that Positano has to offer off-the-track!
RESCU: How’s the local shopping? Do you have a favourite boutique for fashion, homewards or food?
Jessika Allen: The shopping is amazing; from making your own sandals, jewellery boutiques
for special treasures like cameo rings, three-dimensional portrait necklaces and charms.
The ultimate souvenir for every woman is a pair of leather sandals that are made on the spot and designed just the way you like it – strappy, embellished with gems… you can make them completely unique! Positano is also known for beautiful ceramics ranging from table top tiles to hand painted plates in an assortment of designs and colours; a must-visit for eclectic home ware souvenirs!
RESCU: Where can we go to get a real feel for local life?
Jessika Allen: For a real feel of the local life getting lost in the alleyways is perfect! Spending the morning at a local café where the locals dine is a thrilling start to your day, not to mention a delicious way to experience the real tastes of Positano. Another inspiring way to experience the local life is to participate in a cooking class using regional ingredients and recipes so you can take a little bit of Positano home.
RESCU: Anything else we absolutely must do when visiting the Positano?
Jessika Allen: Explore, discover and fall in love! Taking it all in by getting lost in alley ways, experiencing the locals, taking a boat trip up and down the coast so you can see all the villages… if you heat up you can jump off the boat for a swim, you may even find your own grotto!
The best type of trip is one you make your own… and I think that special Positano breeze that you can’t find anywhere else will have you creating your own special love story!
RESCU: Does Positano inspire your designs?
Jessika Allen: I’m inspired by beautiful places, history, texture, landscapes, colour and the daily paradises we come across in life. Visiting Positano influences and urges me with creative thought – it is one of the world’s most scenic backdrops with contrasting pastel and bright highlights that make-up the coastline. It truly is a vision!
RESCU: What do you wear when you are staying there?
Jessika Allen: You can’t help but dress like a Positano glamour while holidaying on the Amalfi Coast! Think bohemian luxury with splashes of jewels, embellishments and chic white cotton.
For me this includes gorgeous sandals worn with floating dresses and kaftans, a sophisticated hat and tote bag in tow filled with my holiday must-haves!
It goes without saying that you live in swimwear! My favourite look is a glamorous one-piece teamed back with silk kaftan or floaty dress with tassels.
RESCU: Which three swimsuits from this collection will you pack when you visit Positano this year?
Jessika Allen: The sleek and sexy plunged one-piece from the Vision story in a bright new season colour – it’s supremely stylish and moulds the silhouette perfectly. The low back design will give you that sun goddess look!
For a bikini look I would choose the underwire plunged Alchemy bra and matching hipster pant in Seamist. The greens, blues and gold trimmings in this print are the epitome of Mediterranean glamour. To take my look from seaside to lunch, I would wear the matching Kimono-style kaftan over the top.
To make a high-fashion impact the White Label Zenith moulded plunged underwire swimsuit is the ultimate one-piece. With a modern monochrome palette of black and white, cut-outs in all the right places and origami-inspire shape… it is the ultimate statement maker!
Jets by Jessika Allen Oceanic 50’s Gathered One Piece $149.00
Jets by Jessika Allen Black/White Plunge Tab Front One-Piece $149.00
Bombay Fire Underwire Balconette $129
Bombay Fire Gathered Mid Pant $74.95
For more Jets by Jessika Allen visit jets.com.au