Positano is the coast’s most picturesque and photogenic town, with steeply-stacked houses tumbling down to the sea in a cascade of sun-bleached peach, pink and terracotta colours. No less colourful are its steep streets and steps lined with wisteria-draped hotels, smart restaurants and fashionable boutiques.
Look beyond the facades and the fashion, however, and you will find reassuring signs of everyday reality – crumbling stucco, streaked paintwork and even, on occasion, a faint whiff of drains. There’s still a southern Italian holiday feel about the place, with sunbathers eating pizza on the beach, kids pestering parents for gelati and chic women from Milan checking out the boutiques. The fashionista history runs deep – Moda Positano was born here in the '60s and the town was the first in Italy to import bikinis from France.
John Steinbeck visited in 1953 and wrote in an article for Harper’s Bazaar: ‘Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.'
There certainly is something special about the place and this is reflected, predictably, in the prices, which tend to be higher here than elsewhere on the coast.
Positano destination guides
Private Tour: Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello Day Trip from Naples
Explore the famous Amalfi Coast with your own driver to chauffeur you from town to town on this private full-day excursion from Naples. You'll discover Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, four of the most beautiful villages in the south of Italy.
Naples Shore Excursion: Private Tour to Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi
Explore the famous Amalfi Coast with your own driver to chauffeur you from town to town on this private full-day shore excursion from Naples. Departing from Naples Port, your private tour visits the beautiful southern towns of Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello.