Guide to Positano with useful visitor information and details about transport links to other destinations on the Amalfi Coast along with history and where the phrase "Posa Posa" comes from!
Positano is perhaps the most popular of all the towns along the Amalfi Coast with visitors drawn by its picturesque buildings clinging to the rock overlooking its beach.
Legend has it that the town's name comes from an incident at the end of the first millennium when some Saracen pirates stole the "Black Madonna", a valuable Byzantine icon which is these days housed in Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, Positano's main church with its beautiful dome. The story goes that the pirates were fleeing with their bounty when a terrible storm whipped up from nowhere and a mysterious voice called out to them "posa posa" which more or less translates as "put it down". The fearful pirates returned the icon to the nearest port and as soon as they had the storm abated and they wisely left empty-handed.
Apart from the church, the main features of the town are its two beaches. Just behind the long sandy beaches there's the amazing sight of the multi-coloured little buildings that rise up above the town. During the summer the area is thriving with visitors who spend their time sunbathing, eating and drinking at the many restaurants clustered around the beach or shopping in Positano's narrow alleyways.
Shoppers will find a good selection of boutiques and no shortage of shoe shops with hand-made shoes a local tradition along with clothes items made from cotton.
Of the two beaches, the first one that most visitors see is called Spiaggia Grande but if you walk around the path that hugs the cliff you arrive at a larger beach known as Spiaggia del Fornillo.
There are a number of ways to reach Positano. Perhaps the most romantic is to drive along the Amalfi Coast Road and stop at one of the car parks at the top of the village before walking down.
Alternatively there are buses that will take you to the edge of the main town and these buses will take you to all of the other main destinations along the Amalfi Coast. The majority of bus visitors come from nearby locations such as Praiano or Amalfi or from Sorrento which is further afield and just outside the Amalfi Coast.
Positano also receives a large amount of its visitors by sea with the town connected by hydrofoil to Amalfi, Capri and Salerno.