Positano is one of the highlights to visit when you come to Italy. With all its chic hotels, apartments and fancy restaurants it's managed to maintain its traditional character. The stunning coastline from Capo di Sorrento to Positano is an adventure on itself. Not many people know that Positano is originally not a fishermans village, but a mountain village. During the 14th and 15th century the little villages along the Amalfi Coast acted as an independent country. To protect themselves they built their houses and churches high on and inside the mountain rocks.
Between the 16th century and the beginning of the 19th century the Italian people, forgot this beautiful village and in place, the intellectuals and artists rediscovered the magic of Positano.
Now Positano is one of Italy's most exclusive resorts, attracting celebrities, artists, musicians and writers for many decades. Such renown has led to the presence of chic boutiques; craft workshops, antique dealers, smart cafes and restaurants, and a reputation for fashion confirmed by it being, in 1959, the first Italian resort to see the bikini.
The town's Moorish origins are betrayed by its picturesque clustered maze of white and pastel-coloured cubic dwellings with their arches, occasional domed roofs, tiny gardens laden with flowers and citrus trees, cobbled alleys, colourful narrow lanes and stepped streets. Dominating all is the distinctive patterned tiled dome of the cathedral.
Exploration is strenuous, as the alternative to long, sloping, serpentine streets are steep, stepped streets and old, romantic, whitewashed passages. It's a relief to arrive at sea level by the Piazza Amerigo Vespucci and collapse on the beach or in a café. A place to visit is the famous Bar Internazionale at the entrance of the village. A little bar that offers basically everything one can ask for; international newspaper, good wines by glass and bottle and really good cappuccino.
If you stroll along the Viale Pasitea you will pass some very nice hotels and apartments and typical restaurants. The best places to eat are a little bit outside the historical centre, but these places offer magnificent views and good traditional food. The first place is Da Constantino, just at the beginning on the road that leads to Montepertuso and Nocelle. The second one is called La Tagliata and specializes in meat and fish from the grill. Herr Schroder is a regular costumer here.
You should definitely visit the little village called Nocelle. This is still part of Positano, 7 km away high on the mountain. Some private villas with swimming pool, some authentic houses caved out of the rocks and a little church make this a perfect place to get away from the tourists and enjoy the spectacular coastline and magnificent sunset.
Back in Positano, after many steps, you can take a swim at one of the two beaches; the Spiaggia Grande or the more intimate Fornillo. The micro-climate protects Positano from cold weather. The average temperature is around 20-25 Celsius. Welcome to a different Italy!