Positano: just say the name and you can feel yourself already wandering the windy, narrow streets perched along the hillside, one side leading to places yet unexplored, through multicolored courtyards and Moorish churches, and the other side leading down to the sea, to the clear beaches and small outdoor restaurants offering only the freshest fish of the day.
As your capable hosts, we will do everything we can to help you explore every corner of this town. You’ll no longer feel like a tourist, but a real habitué.
Before you leave…
If you want to feel sure you’ll fit in, dress right. Shirts and long white tunics in lace, light cotton, linen and macramé. For the feet, leather sandals with pearls, precious stones, and other trinkets that echo the sea, or light moccasins. And finally, for her, a wide-brimmed straw hat with leaves and flowers, and a simple hat for him. This is Positano Style, that cheerful mix of simplicity and hippy-chic style born in the 1960s that won over celebrities from around the world, from Jackie Kennedy to Gwyneth Paltrow. There’s no particular place to stop and buy these, because every shop has a tailor that produces unique garments: just let yourself be guided by your own instinct and infallible taste.
Shops and boutiques
Shopping in Positano really is simple, because every corner and square, each street and turn are crowded with artisanal shops, street vendors, artists, and boutiques where you can buy the most beautiful products of the Amalfi coast. Original paintings, colored ceramics from Vietri, jewels with pearls and coral, woven straw bags with bells, sweets and pastries made from ricotta and citrus, bottles of limoncello, and hand-cut paper.
Churches and legends
Looking out from your room or the garden of Palazzo Murat, you’ll easily notice the wonderful green-gold majolica dome of the Church of Santa Maria dell’Assunta. Just a few steps away from the hotel, it’s easy to visit it. This tenth century building houses an important Byzantine icon of the Madonna, an icon of enormous significance to the town of Positano. According to legend, the sacred image was part of the cargo of a ship coming from the East. When the ship arrived close to Positano, a sudden calm fell on the sea and prevented the ship from continuing. The captain and crew heard a voice that urged them to throw the anchor and thought it was a divine sign. So they landed in Positano and handed the icon over to the townspeople, who erected a place of worship in its honor.
The mysterious Roman villa
In 2000 archeologists uncovered a surprise: below Positano lies a very ancient Roman villa, which was buried by volcano ash during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, the same eruption that made time stand still in Pompeii and Herculaneum. The villa was enormous, the same size as Positano. Today, one can see a room of the villa under the Church of Santa Maria dell’Assunta, beautifully frescoed with scenes of sea horses, griffins, winged horses, a finely-crafted mosaic floor, and countless objects from daily use which testify to the wealthy families who lived in the area.
If you say beach in Positano, say Spiaggia Grande, the real social center of the town and one of the most beautiful sea views along the Amalfi Coast. In front of you the shoreline of small white pebbles fade into the turquoise water and the Li Galli Islands emerge from the sea. Behind you, the cascade of roofs, steps, and terraces of Positano, clinging to the coast like an old Neapolitan nativity scene. Not only can you sunbathe and swim here, but also have a gelato, a sunset drink, or share a dinner with champagne and oysters.
A little indulgence
The cuisine of Positano is a real triumph of tastes that accompany you throughout your vacation. While you explore Positano, you must stop and try the local dishes. The real hero here is fish and seafood: spaghetti with real clams, linguine with lobster, risotto with fish, squid and potatoes, sautéed mussels, and spaghetti with anchovy sauce from Cetara are all to be tried. For those with a sweeter tooth there is artisanal gelato and sorbet made from citrus fruits of the Amalfi Coast, and the traditional delizia al limone, an inviting dome of sponge cake soaked in limoncello and covered with a thin layer of lemon cream.
Wherever you stop in Positano, the scene before you far exceeds what you might have seen in tourist guides and postcards. Among the most beautiful scenic routes is the one from the harbor, along the sea to Fornillo. The walk of about 15 minutes is a succession of views that range from the sea to the mountains before Fornillo, a small lido beach which is very popular but manages to maintain its local feel.