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Stunning Positano: Jewel of the Amalfi Coast

Traveling has always been one of my passions. It exposes us to new cultures and experiences and makes the world a more tolerant place.

Stunning Positano

Stunning Positano

Mention Italy’s Amalfi Coast and one’s thoughts immediately turn to the stunning scenic views that materialize around every bend along this heart-stopping, winding mountain road. Every new vista reveals a unique view of one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline found anywhere in the world. At the western-most end of the Amalfi Coast sits Positano, perhaps the most sought-after destination in a region of Italy known for idyllic destinations.

Positano

Positano

If you are coming to the Amalfi Coast from Naples or Sorrento, then undoubtedly Positano will be your first destination. Positano is the quintessential definition of a dramatic Italian cliffside village.

It clings precariously to the Lattari Mountains that form the backdrop of this picturesque community. Whether you are arriving via the road or by sea, it’s hard to ignore the seducing call of Positano.

Positano from Marina Grande Beach

Positano from Marina Grande Beach

Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.

— John Steinbeck

Colorful Positano

Colorful Positano

What to See in Positano

You will find that your time in Positano does not need to be structured or spent visiting museums or other attractions. The main sites here are the incredible scenic and colorful views of this community hugging the mountains that plunge into the Mediterranean. To fully appreciate its beauty, Positano must be seen from the hills above as well as below along the shore.

The Bell Tower

The Bell Tower

Church of Santa Maria Assunta

As with most Italian communities, there is always an ancient church to visit and Positano is no different. While there are numerous churches here the one that will certainly catch your eye is the Church of Santa Maria Assunta.

The green- and yellow-tiled dome and adjacent Bell Tower are clearly visible from almost anywhere in Positano. First constructed in the 10th-century and renovated centuries later, don’t miss a glimpse of its Byzantine Black Madonna and Child located above the main altar.

The dome of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta

The dome of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta

The Beach

If you started your visit up along the Via G. Marconi, also known as the Amalfi Drive, then you have an easy route ahead of you all the way down to the Marina Grande Beach, Positano’s most happening beach. Spread out along 300 meters of pebble-strewn shore, this is the place to come to experience Positano’s liveliest beach scene and perhaps spot a celebrity or two.

Heading out to sea from Marina Grande Beach

Heading out to sea from Marina Grande Beach

While down along the shore you might as well explore a little, as this will be your last level ground before you start the crawl back up the hill. There are other beaches down here, and if you’re looking for something a little quieter than the Marina Grande, you can follow the path to your right while facing the sea. After a few minutes following the path that hugs the jagged cliff, you will come to Fornillo Beach, which should provide a less crowded experience.

Fornillo Beach

Fornillo Beach

I love places that have an incredible history. I love the Italian way of life. I love the food. I love the people. I love the attitudes of Italians.

— Elton John

Fornillo Beach

Fornillo Beach

Take a Boat Tour or Day Trip to Capri

If you’d like to see the coast from the sea, this would be a great place to check out a boat tour. There are numerous party boats that leave from here, or if you took the bus from Sorrento, consider taking the ferry back for a different perspective.

If you’re spending a few days in Positano, it’s also a great place from which to take the ferry to Capri. A quick 40-minute ride on the hi-speed ferry ride will have you exploring the quaint cobblestone lanes of Capri, exploring amazing grottos, walking the villas of Italy’s ancient royalty, and soaring to the top of Mount Salerno for breathtaking scenery.

The ferry coming in

The ferry coming in

Shopping

I don’t think anyone comes to Positano without doing some shopping. Leather goods abound, but you can certainly find just about anything your heart desires here, and chatting with the local store owners is a great way to immerse yourself into the soul of Positano. From jewelry and ceramics to shoes and clothing, you could easily fill your closest with enough apparel to keep you dreaming of Positano for ages.

My wife, Theresa, shopping at Teresa’s Boutique

My wife, Theresa, shopping at Teresa’s Boutique

If beaching and shopping are not your things, you could spend plenty of time simply exploring the narrow alleyways that snake their way all along the hillside. With an abundance of interesting shops and cafes, this is a wonderful place to just sit and chillax while taking in the splendid beauty of this remarkable place.

Try a Limoncello or a Fragoline. The lemons here are super-sized, which explains why the Limoncello is so popular. For a sweeter taste, try the Fragoline that is made from local strawberries.

stunning-positano-jewel-of-the-amalfi-coast

Sample the Local Food

When it’s time to eat, find one of the small, out-of-the-way restaurants or cafés with a great view and try some of the local specialties. Whether its seafood, homemade pasta, pizza or just a tasty Italian pastry, everything tastes better when it’s washed down with a glass of local wine while taking in a great view.

It really doesn’t take much to make your day in Positano a memorable experience. It’s just one of those magical places that exudes positive vibes, and once you visit, you can’t get it out of your head. You will also leave wondering how in the world they managed to build this community into the side of this mountain. I know my wife and I think of our visit often, and dream of our next opportunity to return. The beauty of this very special region of Italy never gets old.

Beautiful Positano

Beautiful Positano

Getting There

Given its somewhat secluded location along the coast, there are limited methods of getting yourself to Positano, and most of them will involve a combination of transportation methods. The closest airport is in Naples, but many visitors head to Positano from other areas of Italy.

If you do fly into Naples, you can take the train to Sorrento and then either drive, take a ferry, or take the SITA bus to Positano.

There is no direct ferry service from Naples to Positano, but you can take the ferry to Sorrento and then on to Positano. This service operates during the high season, so check the ferry schedule. The trip from Sorrento to Positano alone takes about 50 minutes.

There is no train service that goes to Positano, and the closest you can get via the train is Sorrento.

The bus is a popular way to get to Positano, and you can catch the SITA bus from either Sorrento or Salerno. From Sorrento, it takes approximately 45 minutes.

I dreamed of driving the Amalfi Coast but ultimately decided to take the bus. It was probably a good decision as the road was clogged with traffic and scooters darting in and out, and it would have been impossible to look at the beautiful scenery while driving.

A private driver is another option, but this is also going to be the most expensive way to get there. If money is of no concern, then perhaps this is the method for you.

stunning-positano-jewel-of-the-amalfi-coast

© 2020 Bill De Giulio

Comments

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on May 11, 2020:

Thank you, Adrienne. Positano is the kind of place that keeps people dreaming of returning. I think we all wished we had more time to spend there. Perhaps when things return to normal in the world we will have the opportunity. Have a great day.

Adrienne Farricelli on May 11, 2020:

I was in Positano a couple of years ago and had a great time. I was impressed by the amount of Positano-style clothing sold in stores. I wished I had more time to spend there. Now you made me nostalgic! Will be back one day.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 17, 2020:

It’s difficult to see it all in a single trip to Italy. But, Positano and the Amalfi Coast are definitely worth seeing on a return visit. Thanks for stopping by, have a great day.

Tiarna Georghiou from Brisbane, Australia on April 17, 2020:

Great article and beautiful photos!! I absolutely love Italy but unfortunately didn't visit Positano due to time restraints. I must go back!

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 05, 2020:

Thank you, James. Glad you enjoyed the tour. Positano is about as beautiful as it gets.

James A Watkins from Chicago on April 05, 2020:

What a gorgeous town. Thank you for the journey. I enjoyed it.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 05, 2020:

Thank you, Peggy. With the world at a standstill, it does make me realize how fortunate we were to be able to visit some of these places when we did. Hopefully, things return to normal soon. Stay safe.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 05, 2020:

Thank you, Flourish. We do miss being able to travel but hopefully, this crisis passes and the world returns to normal. For a country like Italy that depends so much on tourism, this had been devastating. Stay safe.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 04, 2020:

Those views are stunning! I am happy that you and your wife got to visit there before the pandemic hit. So many people in Italy have been affected. Of course, now it is affecting most of the world, including us. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. Stay safe! I would relish doing more armchair traveling with you!

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 04, 2020:

Stunning is absolutely right. Your photos are really spectacular. You must really miss traveling and Italy in particular. This location has so much to offer with its shopping, food, and vistas. I hope when the world emerges from this crisis that Italian tourist destinations like this rebound.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 04, 2020:

Thank you, Heidi. It’s very sad what’s happening here, in Italy, and around the world. With such a reliance on tourism, I’m sure this is devastating not just for Positano but all of Italy. Once we get through this crisis hopefully people will start traveling again.

We are well, thank you. Hopefully, you and your family are staying safe.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on April 04, 2020:

Certainly a beautiful part of the country that is no doubt struggling with the coronavirus issues. If not due to any people who are ill, from the decrease in tourism for sure. Hope they'll weather this crisis and welcome people again soon.

Hope you and your are staying well! Cheers!

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 04, 2020:

Thank you, Liz. Yes, being cooped up in the house just writing the article and looking at the photos was a nice break. These are trying times. Until we can travel again it’s nice to dream.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 04, 2020:

I've missed reading your travel articles. As ever, this is well-illustrated and packed with useful information. Thank you. It's a real tonic at this strange time.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 04, 2020:

It certainly is, Pam. It’s a stunning coastline and it still amazes me how they built this community into the side of the mountains. Glad you enjoyed the tour, have a great weekend.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 04, 2020:

What a beautiful coastline! I thin this couls be the most bautiful place in the world to see. I really enjoyed this article s this is a place I have always wanted to visit. Everything about this coastline is beautiful. Thanks for sharing all of this beauiful area of the world.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 04, 2020:

Thank you, Bill. Positano is a pretty special place. It still amazes me how they build these communities into the sides of mountains. We are safe, working remotely from home for the foreseeable future. I hope you, Bev, and the pups are well.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 04, 2020:

It's a stunning view, those homes going straight up the hill, seemingly built on top of each other. Man's ingenuity is pretty awesome.

Good to see you writing. I hope this finds you and your family safe and healthy.