Perfect Positano

Positano – you’ve heard about it, read about it, seen it in the movies. But where exactly is it? How do you get there? Where do you stay? What do you do there, just walk around taking pictures?Pretty much, and it is heavenly.Positano is one of the most famous towns on one of the most famous coastlines in the world – the Amalfi Coast. I’ve been writing about it a lot recently because I went on a dreamy tour of the area with my Aunt Jen and Aunt Sue a few weeks ago. Positano was a day trip from our hotel in Sorrento, which is one way to see it. Another way to see it is to stay there for a few days, making day trips to the other towns on your list (like Amalfi and Ravello). The point is, no matter where you sleep on the Amalfi Coast, you can see all of these towns easily. Positano is one of themThis village looks more like a pirate treasure chest, overflowing with pearls, gold, and jewels in saturated colors, than a fishing village. But until fairly recently, that’s all it was. And a poor one, too, after it lost half of its population to early 20th-Century emigration. I bet some of those folks wish they had hung onto their real estate! By the second half of the 20th Century, it had already started to pick up steam with visitors who were blinded from the sun and intoxicated from the limoncello.

“Positano bites deep”, John Steinbeck wrote in 1953. “It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.”

There is nothing I could ever say on any topic that would be better than what Steinbeck said.

So I’ll rely on my photographs to convince you if you aren’t already, with some practical info below:


Shopping, if you’re into that sort of thing, is readily available

Positano boats

Rich people own a few of these, but even normal people can rent them for a few hours. With captain!

Positano View

When you can tear yourself away from the view, there is a charming Byzantine church to visit (and photograph).

Positano View

Pathways hugging the coastline stretch up and up and overlook this living sculpture.

Positano town

Ceramics, linens and textiles, limoncello, and postcards, all for browsing and buying.

Positano town

Besides the view, there’s a town to explore

Positano View

The only thing blocking the view – yards and yards of fuchsia.

Positano View

The view of this craggy, flowery, sunny coastline.

Positano View

The sea changes color with distinct lines from one blue to the next.


Oh to be on one of those boats!!


Positano under a bright sun.

An exceptionally special thing to do is have a meal at the Hotel San Pietro. I mean, by all means stay there if you can, but it is very expensive. If you can swing it (honeymoon? anniversary?) I am quite sure you will be thrilled with it. Lunch is very doable, though, and if you’re in Positano for a special occasion (going to Positano is its own special occasion), head up the hill to Il San Pietro. My aunts and I honestly loved every bite of every plate we tried, the service was attentive and friendly, not snobby, and the view was worth the drive and cost.

Positano Hotel San Pietro

The entrance to the Hotel San Pietro, with seamless sea and sky.

Hotel San Pietro Positano

These little paths at the Hotel San Pietro are everywhere, and you’ll want to explore all of them.

Hotel San Pietro Positano Lunch

My lunch. Risotto, monkfish, bits of truffle. Wanted about three bowls of this.

Hotel San Pietro lunch

My aunt’s lunch. Tartar and caviar.

Hotel San Pietro Positano

Everything in Positano has a silver lining! Even the sweets.

Positano Hotel San Pietro

The pastry chef at the Hotel San Pietro prepared an orange juice-infused crepe at our table… just for me!

Hotel San Pietro, Positano

The pool, and sea, at the Hotel San Pietro.

GETTING THERE: By plane, train, or automobile! No, sorry, there is no train. People are surprised by this, but now you know. Get a private car from Sorrento (or Naples), or take the bus from Sorrento (very convenient), or even a ferry from Naples in the summer months. There is also a bus that goes all the way from Rome’s Tiburtina station to Positano. The best website I’ve found on GETTING TO POSITANO IS HERE. The bus from Rome to Positano is the same one I took from Rome to Sorrento last year. Read more here.

Sorrento to Positano

A short drive from Sorrento to Positano, via bus or taxi.

WHERE TO STAY: Save up your lunch money, friends, and stay at the Hotel San Pietro, or the Hotel Poseidon. These are the only two I have personal experiences with, and I only recommend based on personal experience. I am sure there are lots of other worthy options. What I have also done several times is stay in Sorrento, where there is really a huge variety of hotels and budgets, and go to Positano on a day trip. Also possible from Amalfi.

WHAT TO DO: Walk around. Eat ice cream. Visit the cathedral. Go down to the waterfront and book an excursion on a boat.  Have lunch at Il San Pietro. Take pictures. Buy ceramics. Fall in love. Laugh with your aunts.

I can personally recommend this tour company. I know them, have done several tours with them, and everyone I know thinks they’re top notch:

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