Positano is one of Italy's most romantic and luxurious vacation spots. Built vertically on the face of a cliff, it started out as a fishing village and became popular with writers and artists in the 1950's. Today it's a fashionable resort yet still retains its charm. Positano is a pedestrian town (with many stairs) and its pretty pastel colored houses and flowers make it very picturesque. Because of its mild climate, it can be visited year round although high season is April - October.
Positano is at the center of the famous Amalfi Coast south of Naples (see Amalfi Coast Map). Just across from the town are Le Galli islands, three islets believed to be the residence of the mythical Sirens from Homer's Odyssey.
Getting to Positano:
The closest airport is Naples (see Italy Airport Map). The best ways to get to Positano are by boat or by bus. The road leading to Positano is difficult to drive and parking, available above town, is very limited, although some hotels offer parking. Positano can be reached by bus from either Sorrento or Salerno, both of which can be reached by train from Naples. For train or driving details, see How to get from Rome to Amalfi Coast.
Ferries to Positano leave from Sorrento, Amalfi and Salerno although less frequently outside summer season (see TravelMar for schedules).
Transportation and Orientation:
The best way to get around is by foot as most of the town is a pedestrian zone. If you arrive by bus, you'll be near Chiesa Nuova at the top of Positano. Winding stairs, called the Thousand Steps, and the main street lead down through town to the beach. There's a bus along the one main street that you can take up or down the hill. Porters are available at the start of the pedestrian zone to help with luggage. From Positano it's possible to visit some villages, beaches, and countryside on foot. There are also car and water taxis for transport to nearby villages and beaches.
Positano has many high-end fashion boutiques and Moda Positano is a recognized fashion label. It's also a great place to buy sandals and footwear. Shoemakers can make shoes on request while you wait. Limoncello, a lemon alcoholic drink, is popular all over the Amalfi Coast. As there are many lemon trees on the Amalfi Coast, you'll find lots of things with lemons, including pottery decorated with lemons.
Where to Stay in Positano:
Palazzo Murat Hotel (book direct) is one of Positano's most romantic hotels. The 4-star hotel is in a historic building in the center of Positano and has views of town and the sea. For a lower price option, try the Hotel Pensione Casa Guadagno (book direct), very highly rated by users on Venere. For more Positano hotel choices with user reviews and photos see Positano Hotels on Venere (book direct).
For a look at the sites, see James Martin's Positano Picture Gallery on Europe Travel.
- Swimming in the crystal clear waters and catching some sun on the beaches, both pebble and sand, are tops on the Positano to do list.
- By the seaside, you can shop or have a fantastic seafood meal along the Spiaggia Grande.
- Stroll along Via Cristoforo Colombo and enjoy the shops, luxury hotels, cafes, and fantastic views. The Scalinatella connects Punta Reginella on the shore with the highest part of Positano.
- The Church of Santa Maria Assunta has a beautiful majolica dome, visible from many places. Inside is an icon of the Black Madonna, painted in the 13th century in Byzantine style. Positano has many beautiful villas and palatial buildings and eight defense towers built in the 16th century.
- The island of Capri can be visited by ferry or on a tour boat.
- The Grotta la Porta cave where prehistoric remains were found is near Positano.
- There are good hiking opportunities from Positano, both along the coast and inland.
- From Positano you can visit other towns along the Amalfi Coast on the narrow but very scenic Amalfi Drive. Take a bus or taxi. Or take a boat ride along the coast if you prefer to travel by water.
- Positano is a good starting point for many Amalfi Coast guided tours including boat excursions, driving tours, and visits to archeological sites.