Positano, Italy | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Positano

Positano is a village and comune on the Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana), in Campania, Italy, mainly in an enclave in the hills leading down to the coast.

History

Positano was a port of the Amalfi Republic in medieval times and prospered during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the town had fallen on hard times. More than half the population emigrated, mostly to America.

Positano was a relatively poor fishing village during the first half of the twentieth century. It began to attract large numbers of tourists in the 1950s, especially after John Steinbeck published his essay about Positano in Harper's Bazaar in May 1953: "Positano bites deep", Steinbeck wrote. "It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone."

Culture

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Positano

Destination:

Positano is a village and comune on the Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana), in Campania, Italy, mainly in an enclave in the hills leading down to the coast.

History

Positano was a port of the Amalfi Republic in medieval times and prospered during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the town had fallen on hard times. More than half the population emigrated, mostly to America.

Positano was a relatively poor fishing village during the first half of the twentieth century. It began to attract large numbers of tourists in the 1950s, especially after John Steinbeck published his essay about Positano in Harper's Bazaar in May 1953: "Positano bites deep", Steinbeck wrote. "It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone."

Culture

Positano has been featured in several films, including Only You (1994), and Under the Tuscan Sun (2003), as well as more recently in Kath & Kimderella (2012) and is mentioned in the 2009 musical film Nine in the song "Cinema Italiano". It also hosts the annual Cartoons on the Bay Festival, at which Pulcinella Awards for excellence in animation are presented.

From July 1967 and through most of the 1970s, Positano was home to singer-songwriter Shawn Phillips and where most of his best-known work was composed. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards from The Rolling Stones wrote the song "Midnight Rambler" in the cafes of Positano while on vacation.

Renowned director and producer Franco Zeffirelli owned the Villa Treville in Positano, where he took residence over a 35-year period and hosted a coterie of literati and stars of the stage and screen. He hired his friend, Renzo Mongiardino, who collaborated on many of his theater and opera projects, to design the exquisite interiors which reflect the local design sensibilities and craftsmanship. The Villa Treville has since been converted into a five-star boutique hotel.

German pianist Wilhelm Kempff made Positano his summer retreat and there he taught a summer course on the Beethoven piano sonatas and concerti. Since his death in 1991, the Beethoven Kurse has continued under the organization of the Wilhelm Kempff Kulturstiftung, having had as teachers Gerhard Oppitz and John O'Conor. Today tourism is by far the major industry. Positano is also very popular for Limoncello and "L'Albertissimo", an alcoholic tipple that can only be found at a small stall at the main harbor.


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Positano: Port Information


Cruise ships dock away from the coast, and passengers are transported ashore by the tenders. Tender boats bring travelers right to the center of the town.

Get around Positano


By bus

A local bus goes down and - especially - up the hill following the meandering always a congested road. On that bus no Unico Campania tickets are valid.

On foot

There are loads of little stairs leading from everywhere to everywhere straight. Alternatively, there is the one road meandering down to the harbor.

What to see in Positano


  • Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta. This is one of the most famous attractions in Positano. The old church, boasting of a majestic dome, was built in the 1920s and is the location of the famous 13th-century Byzantine icon, the Madonna di Positano.
  • The place itself.
  • The harbor.
  • The shops near the harbor.

What to do in Positano


  • Ferry trip to Paestum or Ischia and Capri (including the Blue Grotto) during summer months.
  • Or if you are after luxury, charter a private motor-boat with Charter La Dolce Vita and you can design your own itinerary with the captain. Suggested ideas include departing Positano for a full-day tour to Capri, circling island with the grottos or out to Ischia, or along the Sorrento Coast or just cruising along the Amalfi Coast.
  • Soak up the beauty on either of Positano's two beaches: Fornillo, the smaller, more secluded beach is accessible either by a set of stairs from the grotto above or via a path from Spiaggia Grande. Fornillo has a more laid back atmosphere with four beach bars lining the shore and no ferry traffic. Spiaggia Grande, the main beach, and ferry port, is the hub of activity in Positano. Don't miss it, but don't forget there is much more to Positano.
  • Water taxi & private excursions. Catch the splendor of one of Italy's World Heritage from a privileged point of observation and avoid your holiday being spoilt by local traffic.

What to eat and drink in Positano


Eat

  • Grottino Azzurro, Via Guglielmo Marconi 158, ☎ +39 089 875466. A cheap and nice local restaurant offering very tasty local food close to the first bus stop, Chiesa Nuova, coming from Sorrento. The owners are an old Italian couple that speaks only Italian but is not bothered if you can't. 
  • Da Costantino, Via Corvo, ☎ +39 089 875738. at the very top of Positano offers a spectacular view of the entire town and the sea. The pizza is divine and other specialties include cheese crepes, gnocchi, and bolognese. Prices are reasonable and this is a great place for those looking for good food on a budget. 
  • Da Vincenzo, Viale Pasitea 172, ☎ +39 089 875128. With bells hanging throughout the restaurant, maintains a high quality of service and unique style. Chefs offer cuisine ranging from grilled vegetable antipasti to fresh fish. Go hungry, as you will not want to pass up on appetizers, the main course, and a dessert. Marcella makes homemade desserts that are legendary in her family. Expect to pay a little more for a full dinner, but it is well worth it. Spaghetti alla vongole is a must. 
  • Next2, Viale Pasitea, ☎ +39 089 8123516. Locals flock here on weekends so that midnight on a Saturday feels like a large table-hopping family reunion at which outsiders are extremely welcome. Considering the fun of all this, the food is far more delicious than it needs to be, with ambitious dishes such as the supremely tender "Italian sushi," the fish and vegetable tempura, and traditional favorites like carpaccio di orata with pink pepper and mint and smoked tuna with zucchini and mozzarella. Rare local bottles fill out the wine list, and the graciously unobtrusive, unusually prompt service is in itself a find. Admire the slick all-white dining room and bar from a distance; the vine-covered courtyard, lit by bucket candles on every table and alive with happy chatter, is the place to be.
  • Al Palazzo, Via dei Mulini 23, ☎ +39 089 875 177, fax: +39 089 811 419, e-mail: info@palazzomurat.it. A fantastic outdoor restaurant in a torchlit courtyard featuring beautiful views of the surrounding cliffs. The atmosphere is quiet and relaxed, tables are seated a respectable distance from each other, the staff is exceedingly professional, and the food is simply delicious -- well worth the expense compared to other restaurants in the area that are more heavily frequented by tourists.
Mediterraneo and Saraceno D'Oro also offer local specialties for the budget conscious. Located next to each other, near the Grotto of Fornillo, Mediterraneo serves seafood and pasta and Saraceno D'Oro specializes in pizza.
  • Ristorante La Pergola (Buca di Bacco), Via del Brigantino 35/37 (Direct on the Sand), ☎ +39 089 812076.

Drink

  • Next2. Is one of Positano's newer additions is a relaxed wine and cocktail bar near the Grotto of Fornillo. During summer months they host DJs several times a week and this spot is a favorite of those looking to have a drink and relax without bumping and grinding with sweaty party-goers.
  • Music on the Rocks is the dance club in Positano. Check the schedule for the various DJs and theme nights. This club is located on the far side of Spiaggia Grande and has fantastic terraces and views of the sea. The crowd in the club varies from seasoned locals to international celebrities. Drinks are creative and strong but the price reflects both.

Shopping in Positano


  • Lemons, extra large.
  • All sorts of lemon products.
  • Colorfully painted tiles.
  • Colorful silks.
  • Limoncello (lemon liqueur produced mainly in the region around the Gulf of Naples and the coast of Amalfi and Islands of Ischia and Capri)

Safety in Positano


Be ready, watchful. Everywhere you go. Keep your valuables hidden on your person. Use a money belt or a woman can use a pouch on a thin cord (round her neck) hanging inside her shirt top or dress. If in the worst case that you are robbed: make and have copies of your ID and passport, carry them separately. Half the battle is won by being watchful and alert. The other half is won by hiding your money and ID. Travel light. Do not wear your flashy jewels and watch. You will be so much more relaxed if you take all these precautions. Be well. Carry your medicines and a small first aid kit. Always have moleskins for the occasional blisters.

Language spoken in Positano


Italian is the official language. English is widely understood in tourist places.

LOCAL TIME

7:11 am
September 18, 2019
Europe/Rome

CURRENT WEATHER

23.61 °C / 74.498 °F
sky is clear
Thu

24.27 °C/76 °F
light rain
Fri

24.75 °C/77 °F
few clouds
Sat

24.73 °C/77 °F
broken clouds
Sun

24.64 °C/76 °F
scattered clouds

LOCAL CURRENCY

EUR

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Positano shore excursions