La Nuova Dolce Vita
Choose your Mood
On a warm summer’s evening in Positano, as dusk throws shapes and shades over the glassy Mediterranean, there’s a buzz in the air. People are dressing up, draping soft linen over sun-warmed, salt-dusted skin. A breeze rises gentle from the sea, voices and glasses begin to tinkle and chime. It’s aperitivo time.
“A breeze rises gentle from the sea, voices and glasses begin to tinkle and chime.”
Decisions, decisions. Will it be cool, glamorous Franco’s, magical, intimate Aldo’s, or shall we cocoon in a snug corner of the Don’t Worry Bar and watch the barmen do their thing, shaking that shaker, jigging that jigger, muddling that muddler?
What a nice problem to have.
Aldo’s Cocktail Bar & Seafood Grill
Aldo’s is, to quote Cole Porter, a delightful, delicious and even (dare we say it) delovely place to while away an evening with friends or that special other. It’s a candlelit terrace that projects like a raft above the town and beach, but it’s also a sheltered al fresco salotto shaded by verdant greenery, where champagne winks, wine glints, cocktails clink, conversation flows, ambient music lulls and lifts, and light Mediterranean dishes mean there’s no need to move on for dinner when you’re having such a good time right where you are.
Dedicated to Aldo Sersale, one of Le Sirenuse’s founders, and a man who loved life, food, women and wine with pari passu passion, it’s both welcoming and intimate, a sociable meeting spot and a place for a hushed romantic tête-à-tête. As for the menu… well, you know those times when dinner beckons but you feel like something fresh, easy and seasonal, not necessarily a full four-course meal? That’s Aldo’s. Oysters, fresh-off-the-boat seafood, Neapolitan classics, healthy vegetarian and vegan salads and sides, followed perhaps by the last word in tiramisù – Aldo’s is all about how simple the good things in life can be. If that’s not la nuova dolce vita, we don’t know what is.
“Aldo’s is both welcoming and intimate, a sociable meeting spot and a place for a hushed romantic tête-à-tête”
Don’t Worry Bar
Hiding in plain sight, Le Sirenuse’s original hotel bar nestles in a discreet corner of the suite of living rooms at the heart of the Sersale family home that became a hotel in 1951. It’s a real insiders’ bar, one of those tucked-away shrines to classic cocktail culture that inspire such affection among aficionados of the genre. The bar area itself is a jewel case in gold leaf, walnut, brass and precious onyx, sensitively restored and restyled in 2020 by interior designer Annalisa Bellettati. At its centre is a precious antique acquired by Franco Sersale – the walnut-veneer workdesk of an 18th century Neapolitan jeweller, bearing on its intarsio facade personifications of Europe, America, Asia and Africa.
“The Don’t Worry Bar is one of those shrines to classic cocktail culture that inspire such affection among aficionados of the genre.”
Dedicated to those who have spent a liftetime chasing the ultimate Old Fashioned or the non plus ultra Negroni, the bar’s name pays tribute to a more recent work of art that hangs from the ceiling of the adjacent room: British artist Martin Creed’s neon installation Don’t Worry.
Most nights in high season, there’s an excited line of people waiting to be admitted to Positano’s coolest streetside bar. An al fresco lounge that seems to float above the town’s rooftops and its sparkle-hued church dome, Franco’s is a little haven for lovers of good things, good views, good music, an aerial perch from which to admire a coastline of mystic beauty.
“Franco’s is a little haven for lovers of good things, good views, good music.”
But this glamorous aperitivo and nightcap spot is also a hymn to quality craftsmanship. To the craft of Le Sirenuse’s deft, expert cocktail mixers, and the craft of the artisans and artists whose work is showcased here, artists like Giuseppe Ducrot, whose vibrant maiolica fountain makes the place dance with energy and colour. Franco Sersale – the globetrotting aesthete, bon viveur, photographer and art collector who did so much to create the style and ambience of Le Sirenuse as we see it today – would have loved it.
“It’s a hymn to quality craftsmanship… and a true, old-school cocktail bar.”
He would also have appreciated the fact that the imbibery that bears his name is a true, old-school cocktail bar, not a restaurant masquerading as a cocktail bar. When dinner beckons, we would be overjoyed to welcome you at Aldo’s or La Sponda.