Positano, Neapolitan Riviera, Italy
Positano is a pretty little town with many beautiful coloured houses. There are a couple of gravelly beaches and a harbour which is lined with many little cafes and restaurants. The town can get very hot and very busy in the summer months. There is also lots to see in the surrounding area. As one of Italy's most romantic holiday destinations, Positano is ideal for couples.
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Positano is unusual in that it has a couple of dark and gravelly beaches. The town is alive and pleasant in the main holiday period, although bus and ferry services could be reduced in the off peak. If you want to avoid the crowds, October/November is a nice time to visit.
Map of Positano
Positano's main beach is one of the liveliest and most cosmopolitan on the Amalfi Coast and is picture postcard material. The beach is 300m long and running along the length of it there are many bars and restaurants and not forgetting the famous disco, Music on the Rocks. There is a free area, this is also where the boats depart to nearby bays.
If you are looking for somewhere a little less crowded, why not try Laurito Beach. This beach is a good bit smaller than the main beach and is divided into a free beach and a private beach which belongs to a small hotel. There are a couple of casual beach restaurants here too.
The south facing Arienzo beach enjoys the sun for longer than any other of Positano's beaches and is divided into private and free areas. The beach can be reached by walking down 300 steps but worth it when you get there.
Another popular beach is Fornillo beach which can be reached via a romantic walk between the sea and the cliffs. This beach is certainly a bit quieter than the main beach but can become quite busy in the summer season.
Things to Do
During your stay, you must take the time to visit the Church of Santa Maria. The church has a beautiful majolica dome which can be seen from afar. Inside the church, you will find an icon of the Black Madonna which was painted in the 13th century in Byzantine style. There are many other palatial buildings to be seen and also 8 defense towers that were built in the 16th century.
For those interested in walking, you will not be disappointed. There are many paths to be taken along the coastal route, among the lemon groves and vegetable paths, you may even pass the odd donkey or goat as you go on your travels. The views are to die for but maybe not advised if your don't like heights.
Take a trip to Montepertuso, a village perched 3km above Positano. It used to be accessible via 1500 stairs but there is now a road that will take you there is minutes. The next village along from Positano is Praiano which has it's own little church and beach and whilst it is not as charming as Positano, it is still very pretty.
Out and About
Whether you fancy dining at a restaurant right on the beach or somewhere tucked away in a little back street, you will find somewhere to your taste.
A lot of the bars stay open quite late but if you fancy partying the night away, you could visit Music On the Rocks which is one of the town's few nightclubs. The nightclub is carved into the tower at the Eastern end of the Spiaggia Grande, within steps of the sea.
Although there are a couple of trendy shops, most of them are geared towards tourists, with ceramics, trinkets, beachwear and holiday clothes.
There are several festivals held throughout the year, one of which is the festival of Our Lady of the Assumption which takes place around the 14th of August. There are various events going on such as a procession of illuminated boats and a fabulous firework display
On the last Saturday in September, there is a Fish Festival to mark the end of the summer season. A fleet of fishing boats will take locals and tourists to Fornillo beach where they can enjoy live music and sample some tasty dishes that have been made with the freshly caught fish. The evening ends with a concert and a demonstration of night fishing.
There are lots of places to visit whilst staying in Positano and Capri is one of them. Capri has many designer shops, nightclubs and of course many historical attractions so it's definitely worth hopping on a boat and making the 40 minute boat ride.
Another must see is the seaside town of Sorrento which despite the traffic and tourism, has managed to retain a lot of its old world charm. There are a lot of artists studios and craft shops which is ideal for those looking for souvenirs. This historic centre has plenty of things to see such as the Museo della Tarsia Lignea and the Museo Correale. Sorrento is just 20 minutes by bus or car.
Take a trip back in time and visit the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The historical sites are approx 1 hour away but well worth the journey. Pompeii can get busy so get there early to avoid the crowds. If you are feeling energetic, you could also climb Mount Vesuvius but make sure you have sturdy shoes on.
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