Positano is probably the most characteristic place on the entire Amalfi Coast, starting with its conformation. It is impossible to confuse it with another municipality in the same area: it is the only vertical town, a cascade of colorful houses climbing along a rocky ridge of the Lattari mountains. An image that, if you have been our guest, you keep clear in your mind, since Hotel Le Agavi too blooms from the heart of the Positano mountains.
The town is very pleasant to visit throughout the year, thanks to the gentle climate of the Amalfi Coast, but at the end of the summer, with the empty alleys and beaches turned into quiet oasis, a tour to Positano is highly recommended.
The Church of Santa Maria dell’Assunta, between legends and mysteries
The undisputed symbol of Positano is the Church of Santa Maria dell’Assunta, with its dome in iridescent majolica to the reflections of the Mediterranean sun. The church dates back to the 10th century and, in contrast to the opulent exterior, offers a classic and delicate interior environment, with elegant details such as golden capitals. Above the altar is the Byzantine icon of the Black Madonna with Child, protector of Positano and reason of the name of the town, according to legend. In fact, it is said that the sacred image was part of the cargo of a sailing ship that sailed these seas in the 12th century. The ship found itself in a difficult moment while in front of our seaside village. Here the crew heard a voice inviting them to drop anchor (“pose, pose” that is “firm, firm”). The phenomenon was interpreted as a divine sign and the icon was given to the people of Positano, who built a church dedicated to the Madonna depicted.
This church is therefore surrounded by an aura of mysticism and mystery, confirmed by the discovery, under its foundations, of the remains of a Roman villa, overwhelmed by the destructive fury of Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. C. The aristocratic complex, characterized by splendid and colorful frescoes and finds from a remote everyday life, can now be visited within a tour of the Roman Archaeological Museum of Positano.
Beaches and towers full of charm
On the Amalfi Coast one can enjoy sunny days and refreshing swims until mid-October and in any case beyond the deadlines set by the calendar. In Positano the beaches are expanses of rounded pebbles that slope down to the turquoise sea. The Spiaggia Grande is our main beach, well equipped and overlooking the Li Galli Islands. All around there are ice cream parlors, fish restaurants and clubs of all kinds, to satisfy every desire a stone’s throw from the shore. Fornillo is more intimate and secluded, but equally charming.
Fornillo beach also hosts one of the Saracen towers erected in 1500 to prevent and counter any enemy or pirate attacks. These outposts were raised along the entire coast to alert the people of imminent dangers, so that citizens could take refuge on the surrounding mountains. The most important were Fornillo, Sponda and Trasita, still intact today as a reminder of a difficult era for the people of Positano.
Shopping and flavors in the city center
The center of Positano is a delight for the eyes: mazes of alleys adorned with bougainvillea, squares hidden behind a hairpin bend, flowery pergolas to shield the sun on sultry days. Such a glimpse by itself deserves a carefree stroll in the town. The center is also streaked with artisan shops and the latest fashion boutiques: here you can buy special souvenirs from Positano, with solutions for all budgets. From iconic Positano-style garments to woven leather sandals, from multicolored Vietri ceramics to handcrafted paper, to jewel accessories and local food and wine excellences.
There are many restaurants with typical cuisine, pastry shops and ovens that pass down ancient and very tasty traditions. Among the specialties worthy of (more than) a taste, there are mozzarella in lemon leaves, fresh fish cooked in every way, spaghetti with clams, preparations with octopus and mussels, pasta with anchovy sauce from Cetara. For dessert lovers, we highly recommend the chocolate eggplant and the delizia al limone (lemon delight), a fragrant local dessert. And at the end of the meal, how can you not be tempted by a glass of limoncello, the ideal digestive in any season?