This is Positano
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy
If you visit Italy...do not under any
circumstances miss the opportunity to
drive the Amalfi Coast. And if you
drive the Amalfi Coast, do not drive by
Positano. Talk about a must see!
Make your way to Sorrento, then travel
south, climbing the road toward the
Colli San Pietro, which then descends
into the town of Positano, whose houses
and hotels, set in faboulous gardens,
perch on the steep hillsides, down to
the beautiful beach of Marina Grande.
Not very long ago, Positano, now a town
of about 3700 inhabitants, was a quiet
fishing village, but no more. But,
the transformation of the town into a
major summer tourist center is a long
and interesting one.
Like so many other places along the
Tyrrhenian Sea, the Greeks were familiar
with Positano. Just off the coast
in front of the town is a small
archipelago of islands called Li
Galli - or The Cocks. These
are the now privately owned Sirenuse
Islands, the islands where Odysseus and
his sailors, in Homer's Oddyssey,
fell pray to the beautiful sirens.
A metaphor, perhaps, for the beauty of
Positano, built in the Moorish style,
was founded by the survivors of the
destruction of the Greek town of Paestum
by the Saracens. The original
village was built near an abbey which
had already been established there.
Ultimately, Positano, fell within the
once very powerful Republic of the
Amalfis, which, in the 10th Century,
rivalled the Venice as a Mediterranean
Over the centuries, the elites of Roman
and Medieval Italian Society enjoyed the
pleasures of Positano. The
tradition continued til recent times.
In the 19th Century Positano was one of
the stops on the Grand Tour, a ritual
journey taken by English nobility and
The Americans "discovered" Positano
during the second world war, after
driving the Germans out of Italy.
Their base near Salerno made it easy for
soldiers and officers to take their R&R
in the town.
It is said that when the US army drove
the Germans from Italy, they established
a base near Salerno, and it wasn't long
before soldiers "discovered" the town.
The modern town, which falls down the
slopes of Mounts Comune and Sant’Angelo
a Tre Pizzi, is criss-crossed by narrow
streets, alleyways and impossible
stairways, is dominated still by the
Church of Santa Maria Assunta with its
polychromatic majolica roof.
Wherever a street widens, you can be
sure to encounter a cafe, with tourists
or locals taking time to gather their
energy as they climb the hillside
A local bus travels from the bottom to
the top. At the last stop at the
top, you can get off the beaten track by
climbing the stairs up to Nocella, a
village carved into the side of the
mountain, where the views over the water
There are over 72 hotels in Positano,
offering over 2000 beds to tourists and
travelers. In addition to the beach of
the Marina Grande, there are 10 other
private and pubic beaches strung along
the contiguous shore of the Tyrrhenian
John Steinbeck, the American
author, wrote a short essay
about Positano, which you
can read online if you click
Contact us about your upcoming trip to
Positano on the Amalfi coast. We can
offer villas, hotels, apartments, boat
rentals, tours and excursions. If
you could ask an expert, why wouldn't you?
Hotels in Positano
View over Positano
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