You will find the idyllic town of Positano nestled into the cliffs along the Amalfi Coast. This quaint town, with its vibrantly colored buildings is a true jewel of this already stunning stretch of Italy’s coastline. Its winding roads and tiny side streets create a tranquil, serene, but also enthralling atmosphere that is unforgettable to all who visit. Aside from its panoramic views, and its almost ineffable beauty, the warm ambiance that exudes from the town and its people is not to be missed!
In fact, even in Ancient times, visitors have recognised its priceless beauty. Its paradisal serenity enthralled the Romans, who built the very first villas along its borders. You can still visit some of the remains of these lavish buildings to this day. Of course, Positano had welcomed settlers long before this time. The town itself, however, originally started developing around a Benedictine Abbey in the 9th Century AD. The population also saw a great increase in size when the town housed the inhabitants of Paestum, after fleeing from the Saracens ravaging their home. In 1268 Positano suffered a vicious pillaging. After this attack, Positano became a fully fortified town, with steep and narrow roads, looming walls, and watch towers.
The name ‘Positano’, however, is surrounded less by history, and more by legend. The story starts with a beached Turkish ship, just off its shore. It is thought that a painting of the Virgin Mary aboard the ship whispered to a crew member “posa, posa”. This effectively translates as “set me down”. Accordingly, the man threw the painting overboard, and the boat miraculously began to float. A while later, the painting washed up on the shore. Out of gratitude, a church was built in its place. This is supposedly the origin of the church you can find in Positano’s bay.
When you visit Positano, you visit a place that many famous faces chose as their favorite throughout the 20th Century. Escher, Steinbeck, Picasso, Klee, Zeffirelli, and Liz Taylor all graced Positano’s shores. And you can see why. This delightful, tumbling town knows no comparison. Walking amongst its quaint side streets, you will come across eclectic boutiques selling typical Positano arts, designs, and clothing articles. Heading down into the bay, you can visit the Santa Maria Assunta church, with its gorgeous Majolia-tiled Dome. Inside, you can moreover marvel at the 18th-century, byzantine-inspired black Madonna. The Dome itself is visible from almost everywhere in Positano.
Positano’s most famous beach is the Spiaggia Grande. This is one of the Amalfi Coast’s largest beaches, at 300m long. It hosts a glamorous crowd of artists and actors, and is perhaps the most ‘Amalfi’ part of the otherwise gentle ambiance of the clifftown. Those looking for a more tranquil spot can follow a coastal path from here to the Spiaggia Fornillo, a more peaceful beach. In fact, why not take a sea taxi to one of the many bays and beaches around Positano. These you can only reach by sea, and thus offer some of the most secluded sunbathing spots in the region. Some of our favorites include Remmese, Clavel, and Cavone.
Where to stay in Positano
Because of its tiny nature, much of Positano’s best accommodation is hard to find. However, with some careful research, you can enjoy unique properties, each with attractions of their own right. Be it swimming pools, charming terraces, or seafront views, Positano can cater to all wishes. A great benefit of such a small town-space is that wherever you stay, you will be within easy walking distance of the town center, making it incredibly simple to wander in and explore at your leisure. There is nothing better than relaxing in your own home after discovering such a delightful little town for the day. Moreover, with you own apartment you can create your own delicious meals, using the fresh and local produce you can find within the town center. Unlike hotels, villas and apartments will give you your own slice of Positano serenity, allowing you to relax and absorb the local mentality, rather than simply skimming the surface of this unique town!
Where to Eat in Positano
Whilst in Positano, you can also enjoy a variety of exquisitely delicious eateries. A true Positano institution can be found in Buca di Bacco. You will find it on the main beach, and can enjoy their arancini di riso right at the heart of Positano’s infectious atmosphere. For a romantic dinner for two, head to the Michelin-starred La Sponda. Their romantic terrace often provides guitar and mandolin accompaniment, whilst their food offers clean flavours, and modern twists on Amalfi classics. Why not try their chef, Matteo Temperini’s, delightfully tasteful risotto with courgette pesto and tuna roe.
Alternatively, a 20 minute drive will take you to the elegant La Terra, in Montepertuso. Their dishes are as delicious as their sweeping views over the ocean and Amalfi Coast are stunning. For a light yet sumptuous lunch, head to Da Adolfo. Its shabby-chic, bright atmosphere provides the perfect setting for the delicious lunch-style dishes they serve. Everything is made with fresh and local produce. Anyone wishing to partake in a traditional siesta afterwards can even hire one of the restaurant’s sun-loungers!
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