An important port of the Amalfi Republic in the past, Positano is today a sophisticated resort set amidst the rocks on the central Amalfi coast in Campania, Italy. It is a small picturesque village with splendid coastal views. The coast’s most photogenic town is a magical world with peach, pink and terracotta coloured steeply stacked houses tumbling down into the sea. A relatively poor fishing village of the past, Positano caught the attention of millions after John Steinbeck’s article on Positano came published in Harper’s Bazaar. He called Positano ‘a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone’. One of the most romantic and luxurious spots of Italy, Positano is today every traveller’s dream.
If you’re driving from the west, eastbound, Positano is the first town you will come across on the Amalfi Coast. Taking a Sita bus from Sorrento or Salerno also drops you at the top of the town. You can also book a private airport transfer from Naples or even rent a car. The town is approximately a 75 minute drive away from Naples and twenty minutes from Sorrento. Though expensive, by taking the ferry especially during the summer months you can get some truly amazing views of the cliffs on the Amalfi Coast. Getting around Positano, however, is not difficult. There are a number of stairs and lanes connecting places. If you are a nature lover you can walk the entire distance and ravish in the glory that Positano never fails to promise. Others who would love to save time stair climbing can take the local bus that runs services back and forth; up and down the hill. The nearest airports are the Napoli-Capodichino and the Salerno-Pontecagnano airport.
Like the legendary Sirens of Li Galli, Positano is to sea voyagers an incredibly amazing panorama of colours. According to legends, Positano was founded in the 9th century. It was the ancient Romans who built a number of sumptuous villas on the coast of Positano. The steep narrow roads, massive fortified walls and the series of watch towers that mark the present Positano were built only after the town was pillaged by Pisa in 1268. Positano enjoyed a period of prosperity during the 18th century as a major port and a trading hub. However, it was the construction of the road that connected the town to Sorrento and Naples that allowed the first tourists to reach Positano.
The town also has a lot of amazing sights in store for the tourists. The Moorish-style architecture of the houses by itself is a pleasant sight to the visitors. The Santa Maria Assunta church is also always frequented by visitors because of its majolica tiled dome and a 13th century Byzantine icon of a Black Madonna. Positano is also famous for its pebbled beaches. The glamorous Spiaggia Grande is the heart of sea edge Positano. This 300 metres long beach is one of the largest on the Amalfi Coast. The Fornillo Beach on the other hand offers a peaceful spot for visit to bask in the Mediterranean sun. The sea taxi services running from the Marina Grande beach takes the tourists to magnificent bays like Remmese, Clavel and Cavone. The three islets of Li Galli that were inhabited by the Sirens in the past is also a popular destination.
Taking a boat trip to Capri (which includes visiting the famous Blue Grotto) and Paestum during the summer months is a common leisure activity. You can also enjoy the splendour of Italy’s heritage by going on private excursions under the guidance of a tourist guide. Taking one of the paths leading to the little mountain districts above Positano is also a great way of exploring the area. The Montepertuso footpath which leads to the ‘Oasis of Vallone Porto’ is rich in waterfalls and rare plant and animal species. Just beneath the Montepertuso summit is the hamlet of Nocelle, a fraction of Positano. Nocelle, until recently was reachable only by a flight of 1500 steps from the beach of Arienzo. The spot also offers one of the most beautiful views from the Amalfi Coast.
Grottino Azzurro is a reasonable local restaurant in Positano offering local food. Da Constantino on the other hand is located on the summit and also offers a mystical view of Positano in addition to providing delicacies like cheese crepes, gnocchi and Bolognese. For those who would like dinner on a candlelit yard, I would suggest Al Palazzo, a reasonable outdoor restaurant surrounded by the cliffs. The place is also famous for its lemon alcoholic drink, Lemoncello. However, stay at Positano can be a little costly as Brikette is the only low budget hotel in the area. Some mid-range hotels include Mamma Rosa Bed, Nocelle and Casa Celeste. Positano is also the land of high-end fashion boutiques. It is also famous for its sandals and footwear.
This magnificent place has a lot to offer to its visitors. Every Positano tourist can take back home memories of a mesmerising day at the paradise on earth. There is certainly something special about this place which keeps the travellers wanting to take a second journey to the land of Neapolitan nativity!