Positano is one of the top destinations on the Amalfi Coast. Located in the Mainland Coast of Italy it is a charming spot for yacht charters from all around the Mediterranean. Similar to the island of Capri, this is a destination where people come to relax, eat, shop and explore the coast. Easily recognizable by the lines of colourful houses and hotels built in an amphitheatre-like shape on the hill overlooking the sea, Positano has been an inspiration for artists, writers and actors for decades. While yacht charters will be reaching the town by sea, the preferred way for a dramatic and cinematic experience is to drive along the windy coastline.
Everywhere you turn, this picturesque setting resembles a real-life postcard.
Positano is an open anchorage that is only suitable during calm weather. It is also quite narrow with not a lot of space for boats. Water taxis come and go during the day for pick up and drop off. Visitors will need to use water taxis to reach the shore. It is not possible to approach with a dinghy. Prices for the water taxi can be near equal to that of mooring; cost is determined according to the length of your charter. The nearby ports of Amalfi and Salerno are considered better options for recreational yacht charters and overnight stays.
Despite its popularity for yacht charters, Positano is not well-suited as a provisioning spot. The Grassi Junior Positano Buoys offers 30 mooring buoys opposite Fornillo beach with 24 h landing and boarding service that needs to be booked ahead. There is access to water and electricity.
Due to its position and mild climate, Positano has been a preferred holiday spot for international and domestic visitors. There is no shortage of beautiful beaches like Spiaggia Grande, Fornillo or the wide pebbly beach of La Porta. Positano has also featured in countless well-known movies like Under the Tuscan Sun and was the inspiration for The Talented Mr Ripley starring Jude Law, Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Easy to reach by sea and perfect for yacht charters that want to enjoy the views without worrying about the crowds on the shore. A typical day in Positano starts at the beach and is followed by an afternoon siesta. After the sun mellows, it is time for a stroll around the charming cobblestone alleyways, a bit of shopping, then dinner and a glass of Limoncello before the party continues.
History of Positano
The earliest evidence of civilization in Positano dates back to the Upper Palaeolithic times. Small caves like the “Grotto La Porta” are believed to have been used by hunter-gatherers.
The name of the city is linked to various legends, including the tale of the stolen relic from Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta. According to another version, the Greek Olympian god Poseidon founded Positano to honour his love for the nymph Pasitea.
The Romans were most active here and contributed to its development, soon establishing it as a wealthy and prosperous city. Unfortunately, most of the Roman villas built before 79 A.D were damaged by the catastrophic eruption that destroyed Pompeii.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Positano became part of the Republic of Amalfi and boasted a powerful fleet in addition to immense wealth. Around this period, to defend itself from frequent pirate raids, the city was fortified with watchtowers and massive walls. Until the 18th century, Positano operated as a major trading hub when the unification of Italy diminished its importance and brought an end to the golden era. Most of the population immigrated to the United States and Positano became a humble fishing village.
The rebirth of Positano came in the 1950s when the American author John Steinbeck wrote, “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” Soon, famous artists, writers and singers followed suit and cemented the popularity of Positano as a place for the rich and famous Nowadays, it is impossible to miss Positano on the list of most popular destinations in Italy and the Mediterranean.
Places of Interest in Positano
One of the most easily recognized beaches in Positano that you will find southeast of the main town. Marina Grande has all the amenities visitors can expect, including sunbeds, umbrellas and plenty of options for restaurants, bars and cafes. This is a great spot if you are looking for the vibrant and cosmopolitan feel of Positano.
Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta
A beautiful church with an impressive dome and a great view of the bay below. According to local legend, the famous relic of the “Black Madonna” now housed in the church was stolen by Saracen pirates in the 12th century. Suddenly, a terrible storm came their way and a voice was heard urging them to “put it down”. The pirates swiftly made their way back to the nearest port to return it, where it has remained ever since.
A fantastic spot with a more laid back and romantic feel than nearby Marina Grande that adequately caters to visitors. The name dates back to the Roman years when the area was known for its production of bread.
The Emerald Grotto
Discovered in 1932, after a local fisherman named Luigi Buonocore happened to come across it, the Grotta dello Smeraldo, as it is known in Italian, is a beautiful cave with dozens of stalactite and stalagmite formations. It is located further down the Amalfi coast just outside Amalfi and makes for a pleasant and refreshing day trip from Positano.
Sentiero degli Dei
Known as the “Path of the Gods”, this is a hiking trail that traces the Amalfi coastline offering unparalleled views of the area and wild lush vegetation. Best on a sunny day for maximum visibility, this trail can take anywhere from 3-5 hours to complete in its entirety. Ideally, you will want to start in Agerola and follow the path towards Nocelle for a more pleasant downhill route.