Celebrity at the Amalfi coast
"The only perpendicular village in the world" – that is what Nobel Prize laureate John Steinbeck once called the village of Positano. Visitors to this probably best known and at the same time most mundane town at the Amalfi coast will surely confirm that: pastel-coloured houses nestling one upon the other against the slope and the turquoise blue sea form a magnificent setting. For centuries, visitors have been fascinated by this unique sight.
A contemplative fishing village at the beginning of the 20th century, Positano was slowly discovered by painters, writers and musicians in the 1920s. Its gradually increasing popularity came to a climax in the 60s when the international jet set moved into the gem at the Amalfi coast. At times, Positano was regarded as the most mundane place in Italy.
Up to the present day, the coastal town is a popular holiday resort for VIPs from the movie-making scene and from politics; normal tourists can meanwhile find alternatives for the luxurious hotels and expensive restaurants. If you go looking around a bit, you will find one or two typical restaurants or hotels offering reasonable prices.
Charming town centre
It is mainly flocks of day-trippers who are out and about in the centre of Positano. So you would be ill-advised to venture into the centre by car: besides the many terraced alleys, there is only SS163 bypassing the town and there is Viale Pasitea winding through town in tight turns. You are better off exploring the picturesque centre on foot or using the regularly scheduled orange coloured city busses „Interno Positano“.
Within the town centre, you are attracted by lovely alleys lined with small stores and boutiques. The green and yellow majolica cupola of S. Maria Assunta, the parish church, is visible from afar and absolutely worth a visit.
Positano has two beaches, „Spiaggia Grande“ and „Spiaggia Fornillo“. In summer, locals as well as tourists enjoy their days at the gravel beach. The fact that Positano used to be a sleepy fishing village comes back to mind when you watch the fishing boats offshore as they form a picturesque foreground for the coastal town emerging beyond.
Destination for hikers
Hiking enthusiasts will, sooner or later, end up at Positano during their tours at the Amalfi coast: it is the trail end of the best known and probably the most beautiful hiking trail at the Costiera, the Sentiero degli Dei. From its trailhead at Agerola it runs past typically Mediterranean macchie, through the mountain villages of Montepertuso and Monte Gambero to its trail end at Positano. Hikers are rewarded with wonderful views of the Costiera Amalfitana and Capri.
Nearest train station: Meta di Sorrento (take Circumvesuviana from Napoli Garibaldi), then on by bus to Positano