Last Updated on August 24, 2023
Positano on the Amalfi Coast, one of the most beautiful places in Italy…
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
By Jim Ferri
Positano on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, is one of the top places to visit in Italy. In fact, it’s one of the best places to visit in all of Europe.
It’s on the 30-mile long Amalfi Drive (formally the Strada Statale), running along the west coast of Italy near Salerno. It’s a narrow ribbon of highway that twists and turns as it runs through a villages clinging to the cliffs.
Positano and the Amalfi Coast
Along with the sea, it links these coastal towns, jointly known as the Amalfi Coast. It’s one of the most picturesque and popular seaside resorts in Italy. Seeing it for the first time you can’t help but think it’s been plucked from an old PanAm travel poster.
Ever since this area of Italy first landed on those posters, the Amalfi Coast town of Positano has been famous. It’s still the best known of the string of little towns along the coast and a magnet for American travelers. Despite our numbers, we blend in well among the throngs of Italians and other tourists who come from all over Europe.
Back in the 1980s I knew a producer of the TV show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, who one day flew off to Positano with her boyfriend to be married by the mayor. They had been here a year earlier and had fallen in love with the place.
Positano, and the entire Amalfi coast in Italy, for that matter, is an easy place to fall in love with. Seen from afar the town looks like a bunch of little pastel blocks tumbling down a lush green hillside into the azure sea. It’s enchanting.
For many years it was a top spot for jetsetters and, for some, still is today. But it’s become so popular that hotel costs have gone up dramatically over the years. Even with the high prices, in high season it can now sometimes be near impossible to find a hotel room.
Hidden Hotels High Above Positano
Despite the crowds that arrive during the summer high season, it’s still an exciting place to be. All of the seaside resort towns are warrens of thousands of little shops and restaurants with stepped streets and narrow alleyways leading off in all directions. Bougainvillea cascades down just about everywhere, giving everything a colorful, festive atmosphere from morning to well after midnight. At times it can fell like la dolce vita on steroids.
Not long ago, when I was online planning a few days on Italy’s Amalfi Coast for four of us in high season, I saw two rooms in a Positano pensione that were relatively inexpensive and I booked them quickly. Although the website had said the pensione was in Positano, when we arrived in our rental car we found that it was actually quite high up the hillside in one of the secret villages high above Positano and the coast.
At first I was disappointed, thinking it could ruin our vacation. After a day there though, I found that it really made it our vacation even more special since we were nestled away in a little village high up on the mountainside, high above the tourist din of the town below. And the view from our terraces was fantastic.
We quickly realized also that if you come here by car it’s best to just leave it parked somewhere and take the buses and ferries that link all of the towns along the coast. After all, there’s no rush to go anywhere on the Amalfi Coast since it’s not a place to go sightseeing.
Order an espresso or glass of wine and just sit back and absorb the ambiance.
If You Go:
Italian Government Tourist Board
630 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1565
New York NY 10111
Tel: (212) 245-4822