Positano is a small town on Italy’s stunning Amalfi coast, just south of Naples. It’s easy to reach Positano from Naples by bus or taxi. When you get there, you’ll discover a town that is truly an engineering marvel as it clings precariously onto the almost vertical slopes of the massive mountains that seemingly plunge dramatically into the sea. The colourful pastel houses are stacked atop each other and the views of the town and the sea from these houses are simply breathtaking. It truly is amazing when you think that Positano was built centuries ago and had its heyday in the 16th century. Positano has been featured in various American movies such as ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’, ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ and ‘Only You’. Most people visit on a day trip but stick around and you’ll discover many relaxing things to do in Positano.
What to do in Positano
Navigating the often narrow steep stairs of Positano will also literally take your breath away! Don’t let it deter you as you’ll be rewarded with amazing vistas. The quaint and colourful shops that line the alleys are also absolutely worth exploring. Small high-end boutiques mingle with local souvenir and limoncello shops, art galleries, bakeries and delis. The colourful tiles, ceramics and limoncello make for great souvenirs.
Positano is also loaded with excellent restaurants. My favourites were La Pergola and Le Tre Sorelle near the beach area, and Bruno and El Capitano up in the hills (the views from these restaurants’ terraces are simply astounding).
The town is a popular day-trip for tourists visiting Naples or the Amalfi coast. However, a visitor can easily spend at least several days here. For a small town with very little attractions (the main sight is the Santa Maria Assunta church, with its gorgeous tiled dome), it offers a wide variety of easy-going activities to keep the casual visitor stuck for days.
You could laze on the grey-sand/pebble beach – it isn’t Italy’s best but the view of Positano is spectacular. Or you could lounge at one of the cafés and watch the world go by – the people-watching here is unparalleled! The Amalfi coast is one of the European vacation spots for the well-heeled and it shows. I found it fascinating to watch passers-by flaunt the latest fashions and ‘bling’, and camera-toting tourists in shorts and ‘I love Cancun’ t-shirts, while the locals put on a loud and animated show, arms flailing in the air – the Italian way! Lunches and dinners are long affairs full of exquisite food, magnificent local vinos, followed by an espresso shot and a heavenly limoncello.
Wherever you are in the town, Positano’s charm will keep you enthralled while the sweeping views will absolutely mesmerise.
How to get to Positano
Getting to Positano from the neighbouring towns or from Naples and Capri is no problem. If you’re arriving in Naples, you could take the train to Sorrento (about an hour) followed by the bus to Positano (50 minutes). During the tourist season, ferries also link Positano with Naples. You could also opt to take a taxi which would set you back about EUR 100.
If it’s your first visit, I do not recommend hiring a car as the winding (often narrow) road that curls its way along the Amalfi coast can be nerve-wracking. In addition, you’ll be so focused on the road, you’ll miss the best part: the stunning views! Opt instead for a private transfer from Naples to Positano. There are also frequent ferries to Amalfi (as well as buses) and Capri (several times a day). Day trips from Positano to Naples, Capri (a 35-minute boat ride), Amalfi, Ravello and Pompeii (take the bus to Sorrento, then the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii; 1.5 hours in total) are easy to do on your own.
Search for hotels in Positano (Booking.com).