Positano is a stunningly situated town at the western end of the scenic Amalfi Coast and just south of Sorrento. Dating from the middle ages, the original role of Positano as a quiet fishing village struggling to make a living from the sea has been completely transformed by the impact of tourism.
The first thing you will notice as you explore Positano - apart from the great natural beauty - is the steepness. The town has been crowded onto a very steep slope that leads to the sea. If nothing else you will build up a good appetite exploring up and down the hill with endless steep staircases and streets!
The town has long been established as one of the top destinations on the Italian coast and has a reputation for attracting the jet-set crowd. There are many expensive restaurants, shops and boutiques that cater to the wealthier crowd here, with shops selling clothes, shoes and local handicrafts something of local speciality.
We found restaurant prices in Positano to be a bit higher than in Sorrento, a few kilometres away.
That of course is the price for visiting somewhere so 'picture postcard' perfect - which Positano certainly is. The steep streets lined with colourfully painted houses are as pretty as any to be found along the coast, albeit with rather too many tourists taking pictures if you visit in high season!
There is a beach right in the village centre called the Spiaggia Grande, which is also where the fishers leave their boats, and another at Spiaggia del Fornillo, a few minutes walk to the west - the beach is bigger than the one in Positano itself. Both beaches have both free areas and paid areas although the free areas are quite small and quickly get crowded in summer.
Even if you aren't planning to spend time on the beach be sure to follow the lovely coastal walk around the headland between the two beaches for more chances to admire the impressive scenery.
Highlights and places to visit in Positano
The only historical monument of importance in Positano is the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. Towards the lower end of the main town, the church has a shiny porcelain domed roof and contains a statue of the Black Madonna.
Of course the whole of the Amalfi Coast attracts many visitors and is exceptionally beautiful - it really is as lovely as its reputation suggests! The resort of Sorrento is also a bustling and popular place to visit.
Positano is also used as a common departure point for ferries to the island of Capri, just off the coast and one of the most scenic islands to be found anywhere on the Mediterranean.
Map of Positano and places to visit
Positano places to visit
See more places nearby in the Campania guide