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The beach at Positano

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Villas and Apartments in Positano

View of Positano

View of Positano

This is Positano
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: 3,862
Official website: 

Webcam: Positano

If you visit 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.

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 sea power.

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 well-to-do gentry.

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 stairways.

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 are spectacular.

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 Sea.

John Steinbeck, the American author, wrote a short essay about Positano, which you can read online if you click here.




Amalfi Coast


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Hotels in Positano

View over Positano

Piazzas in Positano



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