"Costa Amalfi" Top 5 Page for this destination Positano by TRimer

Positano Travel Guide: 305 reviews and 633 photos

Overview

I have always been intrigued by the beauty of the Amalfi Coast. It has been depicted in countless movies. However, it was not until visiting did I come to truly appreciate how wonderful it is. Whether visiting the winding streets of Positano with the pastel houses and fushia flowers, taking in the white buildings against the mountains in Amalfi and Praino, or marveling at the spectacular villas in Ravello. It is all bellisimo!!!!

John Steinbeck once wrote of Positano: - ".When you discover a beautiful place like Positano the first impulse you have is not to tell to anybody else your discovery. You think: if I tell about this place to other people it will fill with tourists that will spoil it." Steinbeck came to Positano in 1957 to write an article for Harper's Bazaar. At that time, Positano was only known to the very rich.

History

The origins of Positano, like those of many other towns, are lost in the mists of time, so that it is difficult to distinguish between history and legend. As it often happen in the past, myths supplied for the lack of data: one of these myths tells us that Positano was founded by Poseidon - the Latin Neptune, the god of the sea - for the sake of the nymph Pasitea, whom he loved.

It is certain that Phoenicians and Greeks, travelling westwards, landed in Positano, which at that time, was inhabited by Oschi and Piceni. The Romans built near the 'great' beach a rich patrician villa, which has now been buried by gardens and by the church devoted to Our Lady of the Assumption.

With the fall of the Roman Empire Positano became a part of the Republic of Amalfi, the first maritime republic, and went through flourishing period, owing to the commerce with the other countries of the Mediterranean area. Unfortunately this period was followed by gloomy ones, particularly during the Angevin and Aragonese domination, when our village was more than once exposed to the offence of the Saracen pirates, first, and, then of the Turkmen.

A legend referring to that period says that the Saracen pirates, during an incursion, sacked the main Church and brought away, among other things, the Byzantine picture of Black Virgin, which was kept in the church and is now to be found in the apse over the high altar; they had just left the shore, when a voice was heard, that said: "Posa, posa". The pirates became aware of having committed a sacrilege, repented came back ashore and restored all the ill-gotten goods. To defend themselves from the very frequent raids of the pirates the inhabitants of Positano built three guard-towers, which can still be seen today in the quarters called "Fornillo", "La Trasita", "La Sponda" and some others in the inner part of the village.

The Unification of Italy forced many inhabitants of Positano, as it happened for so many other people of South Italy, to migrate to America, where fortune smiled on some of them. After the First World War - during which Positano also paid its great tribute of blood - this village, which was already the refuge of some Italian artists, like Vincenzo Caprile, harboured many Russian, German artists and men of letters, who chose it for its peace and quiet. Among others we can remember: Semenov, Zagoruiko, Essad Bey, Clavel, Escher, Massine, Kovaliska, Ghillausen, etc., who with their works maid this flat of land known all over the world. The tourism booming took place after the Second World War; but despite of an intense expansion our village preserve its characteristic vertical structure and its bright architecture with suggestive, panoramique corners.

Thanks to the innate sense of hospitality of its inhabitants Positano became one of the most famous tourist places all over the world. The village is also internationally known for its clothing production: many little, but elegant boutiques, which are almost everywhere on both sides of streets and lanes, can satisfy all the requests of a cosmopolitan clientele. Its favourable position put it in the center of a land rich of history and natural beauties.

During the summer a series of patronal feasts - among which we can remember that on the 2nd of July in Montepertuso and that on the 15th of August in Positano - and cultural events - like the International Award for the Art of Dancing to the memory of the great dancer-choreographer Leonide Massine - gladden the evenings, making the stay in this charming place, also called the "Gem of the divine coast", more pleasant and suggestive.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Spectacular scenery
  • Cons:Expensive food, lots of tourists
  • In a nutshell:A relaxing vacation destination
  • Last visit to Positano: Oct 2000
  • Intro Updated Jul 1, 2005
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Reviews (23)

Comments (16)

  • Jul 14, 2010 at 9:06 AM

    I Sapori di Positano has the most pretentious saleswomen I ever met. I've traveled extensively and have never been treated as rudely as I was treated there. In fact we left Positano after visiting their shop because it had left a sour taste in our mouths

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2009 at 1:13 AM

    I have to visit these places soon. Ciao!

  • Jun 20, 2008 at 7:24 PM

    What driver did you use? I am looking for a reputable driver to take a party of 4 from Naples along the amalfi coast for a day in July --to hit the off the beaten scenic and local spots.

  • May 5, 2007 at 8:32 AM

    I was in Positano and found a shop that sold chocolate lemon candy called "D'Amora Sorriso al limone" . I think the place "I Sapori" , maybe the place. Do they have a website Thank you. My name is Greg and my e-mail is greg@shoerepair.com.

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Jun 6, 2006 at 9:36 AM

    Hi Traci! Excellent page on Positano with beautiful photos! I truly enjoyed my virtual tour there. Happy birthday from Finland!

  • BarryAir's Profile Photo
    Aug 20, 2005 at 6:41 PM

    positano is fantastic! Spent the night there then on to Pompeii the next day...Barry in Louisiana

  • Oct 3, 2004 at 5:46 AM

    I agree. An unspoilt village but not the sort of place which will stand many tourist. Personally I would have kept quiet about it

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2004 at 2:49 AM

    A wonderful group of pages on Positano. Loved your hotel and restaurant tips. Brought back special memories of this astounding area.

  • Milan.Duvic's Profile Photo
    Oct 13, 2003 at 1:59 AM

    absolutely excellent job (I'm a Positano's inhabitants) but on "Off the Beaten Path" on Praiano you put an Atrani picture and on Atrani you put an Amalfi picture. Again, excellent ;)

  • barryg23's Profile Photo
    Jul 22, 2003 at 12:31 PM

    Excellent descriptions of the Amalfi coast. I saw Positano and Amalfi on a recent trip and I really want to come back to see more

TRimer

“Too many places to see, too little time (especially now that I have toddlers)”

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