Your dreams of life on the Mediterranean likely borrow heavily from the scenery on Italy’s Amalfi coast. Colorful villas set amid picturesque hills sloping down to turquoise-blue waters sounds like an ideal vacation destination — and it is. One of the most famed villages along the Amalfi coast, glamorous Positano, can serve as the perfect base for your explorations of the area and as a luxurious destination in its own right.
Positano’s roots lie in the medieval Amalfi Republic, where it was a well-known port town. But in the 1800s, poverty and rough times consigned Positano to little more than a fishing enclave. It wasn’t until the 1950s, when writer John Steinbeck of “Grapes of Wrath” fame penned a travelogue about his time there, that the city began its ascent to its present-day renown.
For the past few decades, celebrities and the well-to-do have made Positano a “must visit” village with a modern edge. The area depends on high-end tourism and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the finer things in life while staying, dining and touring.
Planning Your Trip
Positano is busiest in the summer months, so you may enjoy the hustle and bustle that comes with many visitors. For most of us, though, late spring or fall is the best time to visit this region of Italy, where temperatures are more moderate. Plus, the last Saturday in September is typically when the Feast of the Fish is held, marking the very end of summer — it’s a great time to be in the region.
Many visitors to Positano arrive in Naples first, then take a taxi or hire a car to whisk them to the coast. A high-end coach, available only in the mornings, or the speedy hydrofoil boat can also bring you from Naples.
While Positano is well known for its beautiful beaches, the atmosphere in the city is like that of a fashionable resort. You’ll likely feel most comfortable in business casual clothing while walking around, so pack accordingly.
Places to Visit
Santa Maria Assunta
The church dates back to the 12th century and features an elaborately tiled dome, a medieval-era crypt and a rare black Madonna. Legend has it that pirates had stolen the Madonna from Byzantium and were making their way around the Italian coast when a storm arose and a voice thundered, “Posa!” (“Put it down!”). The pirates left the Madonna at the church and the storm abated. Each August, Positano holds a festival to celebrate.
Before visiting the church, look up the hours — sometimes the door will be locked mid-day for no obvious reason. You may also wish to walk by in the evening, when you may be lucky enough to hear the choir practicing. Note that the church holds active worship and you may feel most welcome in long pants.
You may be familiar with nearby Capri‘s Blue Grotto, but Positano has a notable cavern of its own, with sunlight shading the water various tints of jewel-like greens and blues. You can hire a boat to take you on a private tour of the Emerald Grotto; you may prefer this option to the short, public tour. You can also access the grotto via an elevator, or you can swim or kayak in after paying a small admission fee.
Miniaci Art Gallery
Art lovers should stop in this small but unique art gallery to peruse the offerings of local artists. Should you wish to make a purchase, the friendly shop owner will arrange to have it shipped to your home.
If you’re pining for a getaway to the Amalfi coast, especially including ritzy Positano, we can help. With our deep experience in the Mediterranean, we can custom design a special trip centered on your interests. Whether you need suggestions for where to stay or want your entire itinerary planned to the day, contact us for the latest information on what makes Positano an excellent vacation destination.