With its elegance, Positano is a favorite place for tourists coming from all over the world. Amidst the lush gardens of orange, lemon, and palm trees, white houses, and delicate pastel colors, stands out the Arabic tiled dome of the church of Santa Maria Assunta. So lovely and harmonious, colorful, and intriguing, Positano is the best starting point to discover and fully enjoy the wonders of the Amalfi Coast.
Not for nothing, Positano is considered to be the pearl of the beautiful Amalfi Coast. Nestled in the mountains and overlooking the turquoise sea, Positano is a luxorious tourist destination. It offers stunning views of the sea, and it is a place that seems specially designed to amaze and inspire emotion.
Positano is, therefore, a perfect place for a vacation with its small houses and steps where getting lost is a delightful experience, the narrow streets leading to historic mansions, fashionable boutiques, and breathtaking views.
Positano from weaving to fashion
For centuries, the weaving industry in Positano has been popular because of wedding dresses. Since the end of the 16th century, this little town became an important center for producing clothes from silk. In particular, the tailors of Positano became famous in fashion throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
Positano, already renowned for the traditional cloth weaving in the 19th century, around the 1950s managed to prevail in the textile industry with bikinis. Also, the manufacturing of beachwear and evening dresses started soon, both original and stylish in their patterns and fabrics. The use of lace and the variety of colors give Positano a unique “trademark” that makes it popular worldwide.
Today, tourists like to buy very trendy items are Positano’s leather sandals, crafted directly in local workshops. These are especially sandals for ladies, always very sophisticated and made with attention to detail, even custom made according to buyers’ taste.
Besides clothes, in Positano, you can enjoy another interesting event called Positano Prize for Dance, since 1969. The prize, which has an international reputation, is dedicated to Léonide Massine, American choreographer and dancer of Russian origin, who, in 1917, after a holiday in Positano, bought the archipelago Li Galli and there he built a splendid villa. The subsequent owner of the archipelago was, for 26 years, Rudolf Nureyev, who was unmatched talent for dance.
Sea, churches, and mountains
Near the center of the town stretches beautiful main beach, Spiaggia Grande. During the summer, the sand disappears and turns into the color of the rows of chairs and umbrellas that pamper the tourists. In winter, the beach seems much more “grande” (“large”). The other beach in Positano is named Fornillo. It is smaller and perfect to rest the body and spirit after walking on the Path of the Gods or the ups and downs of Positano.
Another attraction you should not miss is the spectacle of the sea caves accessible by boat, with trips also organized by local fishermen. The most famous caves of Positano include Grotta La Porta, Grotta del Generale, Grotta di Mezzogiorno and Grotta di Mirabella. In addition to the above mentioned Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo beaches, which can be easily reached on foot, other beaches in Positano, reachable only by sea, are La Porta beach, Arienzo, and San Pietro.
The Saracen towers that underpin all of the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento coastline are constructions dating back to the Middle Ages and used by the inhabitants as lookouts on the sea. At the time, indeed, many Saracen ships sailed the waters to raid and plunder villages. The towers raised the alarm signal, which warned people to move towards the hinterland to defend themselves easily.
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta, featuring a beautiful Moorish tiled dome, treasures on the altar, and a Byzantine-style panel dating back to the 13th century, depicting the Madonna. Legend has it that the sailors of a Saracen ship, carrying the stolen panel depicting the Madonna, were caught by a sudden storm and heard a mysterious voice inciting them “Pose, pose.” The sailors rushed to leave the Madonna on the first small beach they found, and ever since that place was named “Positano.”
In Piazzetta Dei Mulini, there is the Church of the Rosary, a former monastery dating back to the beginning of 1600. The church holds some tombstones and a Roman sarcophagus. Of particular value is the side door made of tufa and bearing several decorations in relief.
The steps towards the upper part of Positano cross the Path of the Gods, a gorgeous and scenic route perfect for those who love hiking and trekking. It links Nocelle, a small hamlet of Positano, to Agerola. This is a pleasant walk of about seven kilometers amid the Mediterranean scrub, with mountains on one side and the spectacular Gulf of Sorrento on the other. Who has walked it knows how beautiful it is. This hiking route is really hard to describe in words.
Positano has plenty of restaurants and bars where you can enjoy the best specialties of the Amalfi Coast. The local cuisine, vibrant and creative, is an interesting blend of seafood and farm foods. Many dishes based on fish and shellfish are an important part of the local cuisine, but there are also superb meat dishes, excellent cheeses, and especially sweets and desserts.
According to our very personal liking, a specialty you should not miss is fried mozzarella wrapped in lemon leaves. Lemon is virtually present in everything in Positano. Lemon groves are an important economic resource and a cultural heritage to the Amalfi Coast. It is the homeland of Limoncello.
The best occasions to enjoy Positano’s specialties are several traditional food festivals, mainly during the summer season. The main one is the Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption, held on the 14th and the 15th of August. Culinary events in Positano include the Fish Festival in October and the Zeppola Festival (typical dessert of southern Italy) in December.
If you want to find out what else you can do in Positano, you can read my new articles. Click here to check out what are things to do in Positano and how to get to Positano. Those who are looking for the best 5 star hotels in Positano should check this article.