Built vertically on the face of a steep cliff above the sea, Positano is one of Italy’s most picturesque holiday destinations. It started out as a small fishing village and became hugely popular with artists, writers and painters in the mid-1950s.
With its pastel colored houses tumbling down to the blue sea, its steep walkways and winding staircases lined with ultra-luxe hotels, world-class restaurants and fashionable boutiques, its church’s majolica-tiled gleaming dome and its stunning views, Positano has charmed affluent visitors from all over the world for decades.
Seen from below, the houses spilling down the hillsides toward the sea seem to have been stacked one on top of another and their characteristic pastel colours give Positano a theatrical aspect that can’t be mistaken for anywhere else in the world. One of the most photogenic towns in the world, Positano is every photographer’s dream, with a new picturesque setting around every corner.
The best way to get around is by foot, as most of the town is a pedestrian zone. Positano is the perfect walking city.
Shopping in Positano
Hugely popular since the Sixties, Positano fashion is characterized by handcrafted dresses, tops, and pants made of light materials, especially linen. Stroll through the winding pedestrian-only roads of the village and you will find no shortage of ceramic shops, little art galleries and high-end clothing boutiques showcasing Positano fashion. This is a great place to buy handmade leather sandals. Artisan shoemakers can make shoes on request.
As there are many lemon trees here, you will find lots of things with lemons, including lemon soap, lemon scented perfume, lemon candies, lemon sorbets, ceramics decorated with lemons, available in a gorgeous assortment of designs, and limoncello, an alcoholic drink which is very popular all over the Amalfi Coast.
Positano is home to two breathtaking pebbly sand beaches nestled along the Amalfi Coast, with beautiful, crystal clear waters and a spectacular setting. Explore the beach path that embraces the mountainside. A 90-minute drive south of Naples, Positano’s VIP beach Spiaggia Grande serves as the center of the town’s social life.
Spiaggia Grande is Positano’s largest and longest beach, lined with gourmet restaurants, bars and a nightclub, where you can watch the sunset over the Mediterranean.
For those seeking a quieter, pristine and more laid-back environment, Spiaggia di Fornillo is only a 10-minute walk along Via dei Positanesi d’America. With its crystal clear waters, Fornillo Beach was a favorite of Spanish painter Pablo Picasso and French artist Jean Cocteau.
Where to stay in Positano
To live up to its reputation as a dream place and one of the most glamorous vacation spots in the world, Positano is certainly not short of luxury hotels.
Luxury private motor-yacht charters are also available for daily or weekly itineraries down the coast to Amalfi and Capri Island, with qualified English-speaking captains and crew, to discover the hidden gems of one of Italy’s most spectacular stretches of coastline.
Positano is superb and the towns above it, especially Nocelle and Montepertuso, are also well worth exploring. The Path of the Gods is a fantastic 5-miles walking trail on the Amalfi Coast that ends precisely in the town of Nocelle.