Positano

This is an excerpt from the book “The Amalfi Coast“.

Positano – Photo © djoser5
Positano – Photo © djoser5

The best way to really enjoy the Amalfi Coast is touring by car. Driving south from Sorrento, the road climbs toward the Colli di San Pietro, then descends into Positano.

Once a sleepy little fishing village and the secret of painters and writers, its “fatal gift of beauty” has been discovered.

However, Positano’s charms are still evident; square, white Moorish-style houses set in luxurious gardens, descend in steep steps down the mountain side to the bay where, off-shore lay the Galli Islands, legendary home of sirens who lured sailors to their doom.

Positano – Photo © De Maio Agostino
Positano – Photo © De Maio Agostino

Today the scene is equally alluring. Positano can rightfully be called one of the most picturesque towns on the Campania coast.

From afar it appears to be enclosed by the beautiful beach of Marina Grande and crowned by the green slopes of Mounts Comune and Sant’Angelo a Tre Pizzi.


Tidily lined up on the terraces sloping down towards the blue sea, are the typical Moorish style white and pink houses.

Positano is embroidered by the narrow and often winding lanes and steps which cross it and is dominated by the splendid dome covered in polychrome majolica of the church of S. Maria Assunta.

Positano – Photo © De Maio Agostino
Positano – Photo © De Maio Agostino

Where a wide enough space can be found, there is always a piazzetta and cafe’ with a gathering of people pausing from the climb on the hundreds of steps which lead up the hillside. According to tradition, the name of the town originates from “Paestum”, whose inhabitants, after the destruction of their town by the Saracens, founded Positano near an abbey already standing there.

Within a few years the new settlement assumed a certain degree of importance in maritime trade, even competing with the much more powerful Amalfi.

A holiday resort favored by the elite at the end of the 19th century, Positano has responded adequately to the tourism demand, and is today one of the most popular seaside and holiday resorts throughout Italy.

Where to stay in Positano

Hotels, villas, B&Bs and apartments: search and make reservations here.

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Text courtesy of Hotel Onda Verde – Amalfi Coast