Discover Positano
The most vertical town in Europe

A little paradise by the sea with a mild climate and fascinating houses

Map Positano


According to the 2010 data, 3983 people live in the town. The majority is Italians by ethnicity.


A mythic explanation of the town foundation is described in the local legend. Poseidon, the God of the seas, was captivated by the beauty of the nymph Pasitea. To make an impression on the beauty, he decided to give her a present — he founded a small but incredibly fascinating town and presented it to the nymph. The town was named after her. A great Ancient Greek poet Homer didn’t leave Positano behind. He described sweet-voiced Sirens, who lured ships on reefs, in his famous Odyssey. And according to Homer, they lived on the islands not far from Positano.

The town became a vacation spot for wealthy people back in the days of the Roman Empire in the 1 century. Merchants and patricians built stone mansions and villas here.

The heyday of the town came after the decline of the Roman Empire when Positano was included in the Amalfi Republic. Mansions were constructed, craft guilds and trading houses were opened, and coins were minted. 

In the 11th — 12th centuries, the town suffered from Saracens raids. During this period, watchtowers were brought up. You can see some of them nowadays.

In the 13th century, new houses of rich vacationers, luxury villas were built. 

But the golden age of the town came in the early 20th century. After the end of World War I, representatives of the European upper class began visiting the resort.

The best time to visit Positano

The town has a Mediterranean climate. It is surrounded by mountains from the North, and that's why high winds are rare. Winters are mild, with the average temperature from +9 ºС to +13 ºС. Summer is hot, with temperature increasing to +24 ºС…+28 ºС. Beach season starts in May and lasts till the middle of October. During the summer months, seawater warms to +22 ºС…+25 ºС.

You can get acquainted with the town in any season. Annually in early September, the ballet Festival named after L.Massine is held in Positano. During this time, performances of famous ballet-dancers take place in the town. Worshipers of their talent from all over the world come to see the performances. Best dancers are given the award — the Positano Award.

In the middle of August, the Madonna Assunta festival is celebrated in the town. Medieval battles, sports events, processions, and parades are organized. The event ends with magnificent fireworks.

Useful notes

What should a tourist do in Positano

  • Go up to a small grotto Grotta di Fornillo. It is famous for the Christmas cribs caved in it. During Christmas time, a figure of a baby Jesus is put in it. This place offers a breathtaking view of the town. Multi-layered terraced hills, with vibrant houses, fascinate by a unique beauty.
  • Go down from Grotta di Fornillo to the beach along winding stairs. A long way to the sea is full of surprises: picturesque houses with small cozy yards, lush greenery with bright fragrant flowers, incredible views. If you like extreme, you can rent a scooter and drive along narrow streets.
  • See the church of Santa Maria Assunta. The cathedral is located in the town center on Flavio Gioia square. It was erected in the 13th century but then reconstructed several times. The church boasts of a wonderful dome made of majolica tiles. Inside you can see an icon of a black Madonna and Child, unique fragments of ancient mosaic, a painting by a famous artist of the 16th century Fabrizio Santafede.
  • Go on a tour to Li Galli (Le Sirenuse) islands. According to the legend, the mystic Sirens lived there. The Aragonese Tower and a monastery, later a prison, are situated in Gallo Lungo, the main island of the archipelago. Another tourist attraction of the town is a villa in the Moorish style. It was constructed in the first half of the 20th century by a Russian choreographer Léonide Massine who owned this island. Now it is a private hotel.
  • Admire Murat palace. A magnificent building with molding was constructed at the beginning of the 19th century. It was a summer residence of the king of Naples — a husband of Napoleon’s sister. Nowadays, a splendid palace in Classic and Baroque styles is a private hotel with luxury rooms. A fascinating flower garden and a garden with ornamental and fruit trees are laid out near the hotel.
  • Spent a day by the sea. Main town beaches are located on either side of the dock. The most popular one, Spiaggia Grande, is on the right side. It has a well-developed infrastructure, a lot of cafes and bars, and a well-known night club set inside a cliff. For a quiet rest, you’d better visit Fornillo beach. It is on the left of the dock and is famous for two watchtowers of the Medieval period.
  • Try the local cuisine. Order Scialatielli (cooked with clams), pasta with a local sauce. You can buy fresh fish from fishermen, take it to any restaurant and ask to cook it there. You will get the most delicious meal as a result. Taste lemon Tiramisu or creme brulee with fresh berries for dessert. Make sure to try the local lemon liqueur — limoncello.

Hotels in Positano

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