10 things to do and see in Positano to discover the beauty of this ancient seaside village
Positano is an ancient fishing village on the Amalfi Coast. With its houses overlooking the sea, which seem set in the rock giving the place the appearance of a nativity scene, this town knows how to enchant visitors thanks to the many points of interest that characterize it.
Also called “vertical city”, due to the way in which the houses are developed, the village deserves to be visited for many reasons, starting from the breath-taking landscapes it can offer and the places of historical and naturalistic character that can be admired. In fact, in addition to the beaches and the sea, where you can relax and take a dip in the blue waters, Positano is particularly loved by those who want to immerse themselves in nature: destinations such as the famous Path of the Gods or the nearby Emerald Grotto certainly know how to amaze and fascinate.
Of course, there are a lot of things to see in Positano and in this article we will guide you to discover the main attractions not to be missed during a visit to this beautiful place.
Di certo, le cose da vedere a Positano non mancano e in questo articolo vi guideremo alla scoperta delle principali attrazioni da non perdere durante una visita in questo splendido paese.
All the things to see and do during a holiday in Positano
By continuing to read you will discover the 10 things to do and see in Positano, an unmissable stop on the Amalfi Coast.
Also famous for the fashion, handcrafted clothes and footwear that can be found in local shops, the town will capture you at first glance, as well as all the towns of the coast, which boast a truly special charm.
From the historic centre to the beautiful beaches, you just have to take note of the wonders not to be missed in this magical place.
The historic centre
Our guide on the attractions not to be missed in Positano could only start from its characteristic historic centre, collected and characteristic.
You will be enchanted by the alleys, the narrow streets, the small stairways that climb along the ridge of the mountain and lead to the sea.
In the centre you will also find many small shops, craft shops, small clubs and restaurants, and you cannot fail to admire the magnificent landscapes that open up before your eyes during this walk.
Church of Santa Maria Assunta
Among the things to see in Positano there is, without any doubts, the church of Santa Maria Assunta, which rises in the heart of the town. The building probably dates to the second half of the 10th century and the first document confirming its existence is from the end of the 11th century.
This religious place is strongly linked to the Byzantine icon of the Madonna, still venerated in the church today and which, according to popular legend, arrived in Positano aboard a sailing ship. Tradition says that this ship, having arrived off the village, was blocked by the calm. While they were working hard to ensure that the boat continued the navigation, the sailors would then hear a voice saying “Pose, pose!”, Which was interpreted as the desire of the Madonna to stay in that place: this was the reason why the boat was directed towards the coast and the sacred icon left to the inhabitants of Positano.
The building, which has a light-coloured facade, characterized by a small rose window at the top, is divided into three naves. The famous icon of the Madonna is located in a small temple above the main altar, while in the side chapels it is possible to admire artistic treasures, including a nativity scene with original eighteenth-century shepherds.
Roman Archaeological Museum
Just below the church of Santa Maria Assunta there is the Roman Archaeological Museum, where you can see the remains of an ancient Roman villa.
The villa, buried due to the eruption of Vesuvius which in 79 AD involved Pompeii and Herculaneum, has been the subject of long restoration works.
Open to the public in 2018, it allows you to admire the numerous artifacts found and the splendid frescoes. For information on timetables and tickets you can consult the museum website.
Shopping and local crafts
As anticipated, along the streets of the historic centre it is possible to find many shops selling local handcraft products. In fact, shopping is also one of the experiences to do in Positano: for sure you will find something unique and original to take home as a souvenir of the holiday, or as a gift to give to friends and relatives.
From clothing to ceramics, passing through local specialties, there are a lot of proposal.
The local fashion style, famous since the 1960s, will captivate you and we are sure that you will not resist the temptation to purchase the splendid and handcrafted dresses and swimwear. It is also difficult not to be conquered by handmade and tailored sandals, another tradition for which Positano is famous, a unique opportunity to buy high quality shoes, customized according to your specifications.
And what about the art of ceramics? Even these items, in fact, can be excellent souvenirs with which to decorate the house and remember forever the holiday in Positano. If, on the other hand, you want to let yourself be carried away by the scents and flavours of this land, the ideal is to opt for a bottle of limoncello, rigorously produced according to tradition.
The beaches of Positano
Among the things to see in Positano we cannot avoid mentioning the beaches, where you can spend a relaxing day and immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters for a refreshing swim.
The main one is certainly Spiaggia Grande, a true landmark of the country, but there are other wonderful places to spend a wonderful day. Among these are the Fornillo beach, especially suitable for those looking for a little quiet away from the crowds, and the smaller and wilder Laurito beach, named for the strong presence of laurel plants in the area.
Also splendid are the small beaches of Clavel, Rammese and Cavone, reachable only by sea starting from Spiaggia Grande, and the beach of Arienzo, also known as “of 300 steps” because it can be reached via a long staircase. Thanks to its location, the sun shines here for most of the day.
The Path of the Gods
As anticipated, Positano offers tourists the opportunity to admire many unspoiled places. Trekking lovers, in particular, can venture along the Path of the Gods, a nature trail that starts from the municipality of Agerola and ends in the upper area of Positano, the village of Nocelle.
The walk is about 9 kilometres long (round trip) and offers hikers breath-taking landscapes and views. It is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, in a place where human intervention is still limited.
Along the way (which, even if is feasible for most people, is quite demanding and requires some equipment) you will find panoramic terraces, wooden benches on which to rest and have a snack, sources of fresh and drinking water to quench your thirst.
The Saracen Towers
The landscape of Positano will also fascinate you for the presence of the Saracen Towers, built in ancient times with a defensive or sighting function.
Similar fortifications are present throughout the Amalfi Coast and some of them are now used for tourist activities. In Positano, in particular, we can find Torre Sponda, Torre Fornillo and Torre Trasita.
If you want to have an excursion not far from Positano, you can visit the splendid Emerald Grotto, which is about ten kilometres from the village.
This place – which, according to tradition, was discovered in 1932 by the fisherman Luigi Buonocore – can be explored aboard special boats during a guided tour.
The show it offers to tourists is truly breath-taking: its name, in fact, derives from the particular reflections and colours that can be admired inside. Furthermore, in this natural cavity, the presence of stalactites and stalagmites has given rise to columns and other rather suggestive formations. On the seabed, then, you can also admire an underwater nativity scene: in short, a sight not to be missed!
Visit the surroundings of Positano
Moving towards the north-western side, moreover, you could venture towards Sorrento, without forgetting the possibility of organizing a boat tour to Capri or to the splendid Ischia: in short, if you decide to stop on the Amalfi coast for several days, in addition to Positano, the things to do and see are so many!
What to eat in Positano
Even the cuisine of this town will amaze you with its aromas and flavours. During your stay you can enjoy many fish-based dishes in one of the excellent local restaurants, perhaps choosing a location overlooking the splendid panorama.
Tasting the typical specialties of the place, including “scialatielli” with seafood, mussel soup, tasty seafood salads, you will be able to immerse yourself further in the atmosphere of this ancient village.
Rent a scooter or a car to visit Positano and its surroundings
To visit Positano and other nearby destinations, the ideal is to rent a scooter. On two wheels, in fact, you can quickly reach the main points of interest of this country, avoiding above all the problems of parking, most of which are on payment and with a really high cost.
To rent a scooter, you can rely on Sorrento Trips, a tour operator specialized in the rental of scooters, boats and convertible cars.
The cost of the service changes depending on the chosen scooter and the number of hours and days for which it is rented. The price also includes 24-hour assistance, available for any need.
For more information, you can visit the page dedicated to the scooter rental service or contact the Sorrento Trips staff directly, who will be happy to answer all your questions.
If the scooter is the ideal solution for getting around Positano and its surroundings, you may instead prefer four wheels if you need to reach more distant destinations from this town. So why not rely on the Sorrento Trips convertible car rental service? The car, in fact, is an excellent solution for exploring the length and breadth of the Amalfi Coast, and also reach cities a little further away such as Naples.
Do you need some travel ideas? You can discover the best itineraries to travel on the Amalfi Coast by scooter or the most beautiful stops if you travel by car!