Positano is a pearl of a town, and a perfect, oh-so-glamorous base for exploring Italy’s Amalfi Coast. You’ve probably already seen photos of the town, even if you didn’t realize it, and mentally added it to your travel bucket list. After all, with picture-perfect views of houses in pastel hues tumbling down a mountainside to meet a sparkling blue sea, reminiscent of Cinque Terre, what ‘s not to love? But if you’re thinking of basing yourself here, there’s probably a question on your mind: are there things to do in Positano?
Sometimes, you can visit a place that’s heartrendingly beautiful, and be disappointed when you realize that the only activity on offer is sitting on your hotel balcony whilst staring a crab scuttling across some sand. It’s all very relaxing, and it’s great for all you crab enthusiasts out there, but it’s good when you can get off the balcony and explore a little. Soak in some local life. See some awesome views. Eat all the local dishes (spoiler: you will definitely want to do this in Italy).
Rest assured: there are plenty of things to do in Positano which will tick all those boxes, and more!
Psst! Thinking of checking out Sorrento too? Then have a look at my ultimate guide to things to do in Sorrento!
Things to do in Positano: the ultimate guide
I’ve compiled an ultimate Positano guide for you, in order for you to make the most of your time in this gorgeous town, and find the very best things to do in Positano. In fact, I’ve used my own personal experience of the town to find a mighty 22 activities which will have you relaxing and having fun, whilst enjoying the local culture.
Plus! I also have all the information you’ll need for the rest of your trip, including the best restaurants and hotels in Positano, and even a virtual walking tour of the town so you can see what it’s like, and start planning your own adventures!
When to visit Positano
As you’d expect, the Amalfi Coast has a long tourist season – given that the weather is so kind in this part of the world, it means that there’s plenty of months in which you can expect warm, Italian sunshine! The season begins around Easter, and sees visitors until late September/October.
However, in my experience, May is the best month to visit Positano. The weather is getting lovely and warm, without being at “burn to a crisp and die of dehydration when you’re walking up all those steps” levels (and trust me, there’s some pretty hardcore flights of steps in Positano). In addition, it’s a lot quieter than July or August, and hotel prices are generally cheaper. May is also when the flowers are in full bloom, which is a definite consideration; the Amalfi Coast really shines when the flowers are out, and you’ll be walking under beautiful canopies of foliage and flowers on your way to the beach.
If you want to visit later in the year, September is your best best. The weather is still warm, the streets have quietened again, and the prices lower. The only thing that makes it less attractive a prospect than visiting in May is the lack of flowers, and a more unpredictable weather system.
How to get to Positano
The nearest airport to Positano is Naples Capodichino (NAP), but you’ll have to do a little bit of preparation for when you arrive. That’s because Positano is 50 kilometers away from Naples, and you’re going to have to arrange a transfer. How you do this is completely up to your budget, and how much time you want to take!
The easiest way to get to Positano is by arranging a private transfer. This is by far your most time-efficient option, as well as being a relaxing start for your trip – what could be better than putting your feet up, and watching Naples and Mt Vesuvius zip by! You could also rent a car, but it really depends on how confident you feel on taking on the Amalfi Coast’s roads – bear in mind that the coastal road is very tight and twisty, and you will come face to face with a large bus at some point. If that’s no problem, you can arrange a hire at Naples Airport.
If you’ve got some time on your hands, or you want to save the spending money for all that gelato, then you can get to Positano by public transport. The good news is that the journey isn’t complicated: it’s purely that it takes a few hours. But you’ll certainly be kept entertained by some stunning views!
The best way to get to Positano by public transport is to buy a ticket for the Sorrento shuttle bus, which is run by CurreriViaggi. It’ll cost you €10 to get to Sorrento (book a ticket via their website), which is an absolute bargain. They’re very comfy coaches, and regular departures will take you straight to Sorrento’s train/bus station.
Have a little wander around Sorrento if you like – and if you’re hungry, check out Franco’s Pizzeria just around the corner – then buy yourself an hourly bus ticket from the newsagents on the ground floor of the station. This is all you need to get to Positano: cross the road to where the buses are generally lurking, hop on one marked as going to Positano or Amalfi, validate your ticket in the small yellow machine located near the driver, and you’re sorted. Sit on the side opposite the driver for jaw-dropping views of the sea!
The best hotels in Positano
Positano is such a beautiful, relaxed place, and you’re going to want a hotel which takes that vibe and continues it. With that in mind, finding the right place for you and your budget is important! So let’s take a look at my top picks for the best hotels in Positano, for all price ranges!
If you’re looking for more options around the area, check out this guide to the best hotels on the Amalfi Coast for all budgets!
Regarded as nothing less than the best hotel in town, and widely regarded as one of the best hotels in Italy… if not the world. It’s been welcoming guests since 1951, and treating them like family. It overlooks the beach, with private terraces available to you. The beds have top-of-the-line mattresses for a perfect night’s sleep. The restaurant is out of this world. The hotel is Instagram-worthy from every angle. What more could you want?
With an eagle’s eye position in the hills over Positano, and offering exclusive rooms, outstanding 24-hour availability from the hotel’s staff, free room service, and a Turkish bath, the Villa Magia drips with luxury. This is a place to be seen!
In a perfect position overlooking the coast, this hotel is renowned for good value whilst still being stylish, modern, and having a hint of luxury- hot tub, anyone? It’s truly a place where you can appreciate the beauty of Positano!
Hello, lovely reader! Have a click on the above link to the Hotel Eden Roc, and have a look at that terrace. Now imagine yourself on there at sunset. Do I really need to say any more? But if that isn’t relaxing enough, check out the spa and the ultra-clean rooms!
Okay, so it may not have the spas and hot tubs of the more expensive hotels. But it does have absolutely stunning views, which are just as good as the ones in the posher places! Add clean rooms, friendly staff, and a price which is kinder on the wallet, and you’ve got a bargain hotel.
I’ll resist making a joke about being able to check out any time you like (Eagles reference!), but the Hotel California definitely has a lot to offer – the obligatory stunning views, a fantastic restaurant, and friendly staff who make you feel like royalty. You’ll never want to leave.
Things to do in Positano
Okay, you’ve made your way to Positano, and you’ve got your perfect place to stay. So without further ado, let’s look at the best things to do in Positano – the moments you’ll remember, the scenery you’ll photograph, and the souvenirs you’ll bring home!
1. Relax on Positano’s beach
Let’s face it – this is the first thing you’re going to want to do, especially as soon as you first set eyes on the sweep of sand nestled at the bottom of Positano’s valley!
Overlook the fact that the sand of the Spiaggia Grande isn’t the soft, golden variety that you might’ve been expecting: the real star here is the location. With peach, pink, and white houses as a beautiful backdrop, and a view out to the bluest seas, this is the heart of Positano. Rent out a sunbed for the day (which will cost a reasonable €18) and get a golden tan, or take endless selfies with which to wow/irritate your friends back home. The choice is yours, but Positano’s beach is bound to delight you either way!
2. Do some fashionable Positano shopping
Did you know that Positano is famous not only for being super-pretty, but for being super-fashionable too?
It’s true! Moda di Positano (“Positano style”) came about in the 1960s, and it’s still not showing any signs of slowing down, continuing to inspire the world’s best fashion designers. You’ll see the style everywhere in town: it can be classified as clothes which have an almost handcrafted linen look, usually in white, pale blues, or yellows, and often decorated with lace or even shells. Combine with a pair of sandals, or some white jeans and sunglasses, and you’ll instantly capture that Positano chic.
But where can you get some for yourself? You’ll see a huge variety of boutiques in town, which feature a huge variety of price tags, but two of my favourites are Antica Sartoria, which make beautiful Bohemian creations, and Idillio, whose dresses are to die for. Both stores can be found in the heart of Positano’s shopping streets (see the map further down this article for locations!), and have extremely friendly staff!
3. Create your own Positano photography tour
There’s no doubts about it; Positano is an ideal location for photographers.
Take it from me – you won’t want to put your camera down for a single moment when you’re walking around Positano. From the vertiginous mountainsides with their tiny houses, to the beachfront, there’s a beautiful capture waiting around every corner.
Start on the top road (Via Cristoforo Colombo) near the bus stop, and get the perfect picture of the hillside leading down to the sea, before heading into the town center. Snap a shot of the foliage-covered walkway heading down to the beach, before capturing the life down by the dock. Head across the beach, and turn backwards for the ideal envy-making shot, before taking some photos of the shade-dappled streets. But above all, enjoy discovering your own photography tour – there’s so much to see! It’ll end up being one of your favorite things to do in Positano.
Looking for some ideal photography locations? Click here to read my guide to the Amalfi Coast’s best Instagram spots!
4. Enjoy a traditional Positano home cooking experience
It’s impossible not to fall in love with the food on the Amalfi Coast – after all, you’ve got seafood pulled straight from clean, glittering waves, freshly-made pasta, and tomatoes grown in rich volcanic soil. That all adds up to producing some of the best dishes you’ll ever taste in your life.
So, what’s the best way to stave off those inevitable blue moods when you get home, that feeling that you’ll never taste anything as good again? The kind of mood that has you grumpily stabbing some tinned ravioli with a fork? The answer is simple: get a lesson on how to cook the Positano way!
For a bargain €60 – let’s face it, that’s the cost of a good meal in an Italian restaurant – you can learn the secrets of Amalfi Coast cooking, and have them forever. You’ll go to a private villa, learn how to get the best out of your ingredients, and then eat a three-course meal that you’ve watched being prepared. Not a bad way to spend a few hours!
5. Explore Fornillo beach
Does the Spiaggia Grande in the center of Positano feel a little too glam for you? Fancy somewhere a bit more low-key and less fashion-conscious? Well, Positano may be super chic, but it still understands that sometimes, you just want to let your hair down a bit.
The best part is that Fornillo Beach, the more relaxed counterpart of the main beach, is just around the corner! Simply head toward the dock at the right-hand side of Spiaggia Grande, and before you reach it, head up the flight of steps that are cut into the rocky wall to your right. Keep following the path round (don’t worry; there’s not too many steps, and it’s not particularly steep), and Fornillo Beach will come into view.
It’s a truly lovely spot: away from the crowds of Positano, and framed by a deep cobalt blue sea and a fringe of pine trees. Also, if you like a spot of nightlife, the beach bars get a great atmosphere after sundown!
6. Hike the Walk of the Gods
You may not think of yourself as a hiker, but by the end of your stay on the Amalfi Coast, you’ll love it. That’s because the area is so walkable (though do watch out for traffic if you take a stroll along the coastal road!), and you’ll enjoy getting out and seeing what you can discover.
The Walk of the Gods is the most famous walk on the Amalfi Coast, and it’s well-named. Aside from from heaven-sent views and divine scenery, the aspect which elevates it above all the others is exactly that – the elevation! The trail is high up in the hills above the coast, and therefore the views are plentiful, uninterrupted, and breathtaking. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Positano.
You can walk the trail by yourself, but to truly appreciate everything you’re seeing, consider going on a guided walk. Zia Lucy was born in the area, accordingly knows it like the back of her hand, and is regarded as the best hiking guide in Positano. If you’re interested in learning about what you’re seeing, give her a message!
7. Buy Positano lemon goodies
You’ll see lemons EVERYWHERE in Positano. Not just the actual, growing kind of lemon, either, though you’ll certainly see plenty of those!
Take a look around in the shops. Here’s some lemon-flavored candies. How about this dress with a lemon pattern? Or perhaps a ceramic bowl or tile with lemons on? What about some lemon perfume? Yep, Positano is famous for its lemons, and it’s not going to let you forget about it.
Don’t resist the lemons; embrace them! Positano’s plethora of lemon goodies are perfect to take home as souvenirs, whether it’s some lemon-flavored chocolate, or a bottle of limoncello. The king of all lemon emporiums is Sapori e Profumi di Positano (you’ll spot it by the large lemon candle outside) – if it’s lemon and it exists, they’ll have it there. You can get tablecloths with lemons embroidered on them, or lemon body care products: take them home as gifts, and tell your family that life has given them lemons.
Looking for some more things to take home? Click here for my guide on shopping in Italy, and the best Amalfi Coast souvenirs!
8. Buy a custom-made pair of sandals
When you’re visiting somewhere as fashionable as Positano, why not get the ultimate fashion statement? That’s right: a piece that’s been handmade especially for you!
Positano is the perfect venue for sandals. Between its two beaches, and a variety of top class restaurants, even your feet need to dazzle at all times. A custom-made pair of sandals is ideal for purpose, especially if they’re dripping in Swarovski crystals of your own choosing!
Take a look at Nana’ Positano and the glittering variety of designs you can choose – you can even have a crystal seahorse adorning your tootsies. They’re made to measure, and you can pop out and do a bit more shopping while you wait for them to be crafted. The shop’s two owners are absolutely lovely, and committed to their work. They’ll make a special point of showing you that the stones aren’t glued on, but are firmly and professionally attached to the leather!
When you pick them up, you’ll have a quality pair of sandals, and warm fuzzy feelings from owning a truly unique piece of Positano fashion!
9. Sample some Positano gelato
Here’s one for you, fact fans! Did you know that it’s illegal to visit Italy, and not eat gelato? The carabinieri will show no mercy for rule-breakers!
Okay, I lied, but it would be near-criminal not to sample the ice cream that Italy is so famous for, and it’s therefore one of the quintessential things to do in Positano. Don’t mistake this for the ice cream you can get back home: gelato is smoother, creamier, and just better. It’s like comparing a loaf of generic sliced bread from the supermarket, with one fresh from the bakery. They’re both a loaf of bread, but there’s a difference.
Plus, you need to try gelato just to marvel at the list of flavors available to you! You can try options as diverse as Ferrero Rocher, custard, lemon (of course), or pistachio. Even the standard strawberry and chocolate gelati are made with fresh ingredients which elevate them above the norm.
The best gelato in Positano can be found at Gelateria Buca di Bacco – it’s conveniently placed near the beach, but matches its location with high-quality ice cream! Buy one, head on to the beach, wriggle your toes in the sand, and enjoy a true Italian experience.
10. Visit the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta
You’ll spot the green-and-yellow onion dome of this church as soon as you arrive in Positano, and it’s well worth a visit.
The interior of the church is a delight. It’s a very classics-inspired design, with columns stretching up to the ceiling, and a 13th century Black Madonna and Child above the altar. The walls also reflect the same style, with white marble adorned with gold. A Romanesque style becomes even more appropriate when you realize that the church was built on the recently-discovered site of a Roman villa!
If you like a spot of people-watching (and who doesn’t?), then go outside and sit in the piazza. Aside from being a very effective sun-trap for working on that tan, you’ll often see weddings taking place here at the weekends. Though when I visited, I saw a model doing a photo shoot in a bikini just outside the church, which turned almost as many heads!
11. Go on a day trip to Capri
There’s only one Italian destination which matches the glamour of Positano, and that’s the beautiful island of Capri!
There’s so many reasons to visit this jewel in the Bay of Naples. Maybe you’re attracted by the history, it being the stomping ground of the Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius (and you can still visit Tiberius’ villa, where he used to enjoy himself by throwing people off cliffs). Perhaps the natural history is your thing, and you want to go one one of the many hikes around the island. Or perhaps you just want to do some serious damage to your credit card in the shops. Luckily, Capri can help you out with all of these!
You can reach Capri from Positano by catching a ferry, which will cost you in the region of €58. But if you want my top tip, take advantage of this tour of Capri by Blue Star Boat Tours. It’s not much more than the price of the regular ferry, you can take advantage of provided drinks and snorkeling equipment, and you get a guided tour from the captain. It’s extremely popular, so take advantage of the link above, and book it in advance.
If that gives you a hankering for a life on the ocean waves, then you’ll definitely also want to see Capri’s most famous sight. Take a tour of the Blue Grotto and see the luminescent caverns for yourself – a trip to Capri really isn’t complete unless you’ve seen it. Again, it’s well worth booking in advance, as you won’t find a better price in Capri’s harbor.
After all that pro sightseeing, make your way to Capri Town’s main piazza, and soak in both the sun and the heady scent of opulence!
12. Experience Positano nightlife at Music On The Rocks
Think you’ve experienced everything that nightclubs have to offer? Do you see a club when abroad, and think “naaah, what’s the point? How would it be any different to a club back at home?”
Well, Music On The Rocks begs to differ. Have you ever been to a nightclub that’s located in an actual cave? Now you can!
Aside from the novelty of being in a cave, Music On The Rocks can genuinely claim to be one of the best nightclubs on the Amalfi Coast, and the crowd is young, good looking, and ready to dance. It also sees a steady stream of top DJs doing their thing to a rapturous audience. Drinks are reasonably priced, so it won;t break the budget – queues to enter can be rather long though, so be sure to get in line near to its opening time of 10pm.
It’s definitely one of the most unique things to do in Positano, as well as being a whole heap of fun!
13. Eat a pizza on the beach
Sometimes simple pleasures are the best, and one of the best things to do in Positano holds true to this!
There’s just something about eating pizza on a beach which feels so right. I think it’s the combination of eating something that’s truly fresh, with the best ingredients (all pizzas in this area have an extra zing you just won’t find anywhere else; thank that volcanic soil!), whilst the sun beats down upon you. Positano, with its stunning beach, is surely the pinnacle of all seaside eating experiences.
Plus, when the pizza is that good, it’d be rude not to!
You’ll find plenty of pizza sellers near the beach – this is Italy, after all. But my pick for the ideal takeaway pizza is Collina Bakery; it’s a little further up the hill, but it’s a mere five minute walk down to the beach. Your pizza won’t even have time to go cold! They also sell some stunningly good desserts, just in case you want something sweet to follow it up.
Alternatively, how about a restaurant situated right on the beach, allowing you to enjoy that pizza without getting sand on your hands? If that sounds good to you, have a look at Le Tre Sorelle – you genuinely won’t get any closer to the beach without getting your flip flops on, and the pizza is outstanding!
14. Shop for Amalfi Coast ceramics
Aside from clothes and lemon paraphernalia, the other things you’ll see a lot of on the Amalfi Coast is ceramics. Including ceramics with lemons on, because Positano really doesn’t let go of this whole lemon thing.
Ceramics are a typically Amalfi Coast product – even throughout the whole of ceramic-loving Italy, those produced in this area are the best-regarded. It’s not just a recent phenomenon either; even the Romans thought that ceramics made with the local Amalfi clay were of the best quality. Who are we to argue with the Romans?
As a result, you’ll find a whole variety of ceramics in Positano. From single tiles to vast urns, plates and dishes to the simplest mug, you’re bound to find what you’re after. The variety of patterns is quite astounding too; it’s not just lemons! Floral, Moorish, and even seascapes will all find their way into a design.
You’re spoilt for choice for ceramic shops in Positano, but the best one is Emporio della Ceramica on Via Cristoforo Colombo. It truly lives up to its name, with a huge selection of pieces for you to choose from. The owner, Lorenzo, only stocks high quality ceramics, and is quite happy to ship them to your home address – no having to worry about putting it in your hand luggage! Expect anything you buy here to be handmade, reasonably priced, and an item you’ll treasure forever.
15. Rent a scooter, and drive the Amalfi Coast
Most people see roads as a means to an end when you’re travelling. After all, they’re just the conduit: the strip of tarmac that gets you to the place you want to be, where you stay in one place and soak in the views.
The Amalfi Coast scoffs at this concept!! In this part of Italy, the road is one of the highlights, just as much as the towns. The Amalfi Drive is famed for being one of the most scenic stretches of road in the world, where the views are as stunning as the turns are tight. You’re separated from fresh air and the crashing blue waves below by nothing more than a metal barrier – it may get your heart rate going, but it means that there’s nothing blocking your view of the gorgeous Bay of Salerno.
Of course, if you’re going to do the Amalfi Drive, you want to do it like an Italian does. You don’t want to stick out like a tourist; you want to look like you belong there, hair whipping in the wind, sunglasses on, looking uber-chic whilst you do it. You want to live La Dolce Vita.
This means that you must do it on a Vespa. There’s nothing more Italian, nothing more glamorous, nothing better for snapping a selfie and making all your Facebook friends insanely jealous. Head along to Positano Rent A Scooter, and Pepe will look after you! He’ll get the right Vespa for you, give you a tutorial, and a good deal. Then you can put on the sunglasses, and ride into the sunset. Or just pose in town with a gelato, natch.
16. Spot celebrities in Positano
This may seem like an off entry on a list of things to do in Positano. Can you be guaranteed to spot a celebrity? Well, no. But is there actually a fairly good chance of it? Yes!
Positano has long been a haunt for the rich and famous. John Steinbeck was merely a precursor when he wrote his “Positano bites deep” article for Harper’s Bazaar in 1953: since then, celebrities have flocked to this small town. Gwyneth Paltrow is a regular visitor, and Michael Jordan has been spotted partying in Music On The Rocks. Hugh Jackman has been spotted enjoyed the sun, whilst Bradley Cooper counts Positano as one of his favorites.
Want more? How about Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Taylor Swift, or Katy Perry?
But where should you go to hunt down these elusive celebs? The most likely bet is Chez Black, a celebrity hangout for decades. Not only can you gaze adoringly on the rich and famous, but you’ll get an outstanding meal to go with it!
If you do spot a celebrity, do bear in mind that they’re on vacation too. They’re not working – and at the end of the day, famous folks are no different from the rest of us, and deserve rest, relaxation, and time off. It’s enough to admire from afar. And if you don’t spot a celebrity… well, it’s still good fun to keep an eye out!
17. Eat a Positano lemon sorbet
The gelato in Positano is outstanding, but sometimes you want something even more refreshing. Something cold, yet more hydrating; something that’ll give you a true pick-me-up on those hot summer days. And something lemony, because Positano is absolutely determined that you will love lemons, dammit.
Fortunately, if you haven’t already fallen in love with Positano’s most popular citrus fruit, a granita will do the job! It’s one of the must-do things to do in Positano.
Granita is a semi-frozen dessert made with water, sugar, and lemon juice, and you’ll see them throughout the Amalfi Coast – though in my humble opinion, Positano has the best ones. It’s very similar to a slushy or slush puppy, and absolutely hits the spot after a hard day’s shopping or sunbathing.
A trip to Positano honestly isn’t complete without a granita, and so you’ll find this beloved snack even in the poshest restaurants. You’ll also often find it including limoncello for an alcoholic twist, and served in a hollowed-out lemon! Check out the examples at The Brasserie if you want your granita with a sit-down meal.
If you’re looking for just a quick granita to nibble on the street, head up Via Dei Mulini until you reach the branch of Antica Sartoria. Right next to it is a simple cart, which sells my absolute favorite granita – it’s zesty but not bitter, and hugely refreshing! Perch on one of the benches, and watch the world go by as you finally fall in love with lemons.
18. Catch a bus to Amalfi
As lovely as Positano is, you’d be missing out if you didn’t set foot outside its boundaries for your entire stay. A bus trip to Amalfi is the ideal way to see a bit more of the area, soak in some history, and get some awesome views at the same time!
Travelling to Amalfi by boat is an awesome option for sea lovers, as you can have a little extra time to explore the Emerald Grotto, and some of the smaller villages along the coast. But if you want to save a bit of spending money, consider taking the bus. It’s about an hour’s ride, and you can catch it from Via Cristoforo Colombo, opposite Collina Bakery, or outside the Bar Internazionale. It’s a great way to experience a slice of Amalfi Coast life – there’ll usually be a fair smattering of chatting locals on board – as well as the local driving skills! Trust me, there are no bus drivers more skilled, or more patient, than on the Amalfi Coast. Nonetheless, prepare yourself to hear lots of horn honking, as well as rapid streams of Italian directed at other bus drivers!
Amalfi is a delight to explore, whether it’s the historic cathedral with its holy relics, the attractive shopping streets, or heading around the corner to picturesque Atrani. It’s definitely worth a full day’s trip, and when you’re ready to head back to Positano, simply head down to the seafront and wait at the open-air bus station. If you fancy going further afield, you can also catch a bus to Ravello or Salerno from here!
Want to read more about Amalfi? Read about one day in Amalfi here!
19. Shop for Positano art and crafts
As well as the ubiquitous clothing and ceramic stores, Positano also has a good number of art galleries. What else would you expect in a town where celebrities visit by the bucket-load, and where the views are so pretty?
Fortunately for us mere mortals, a lot of the art galleries in Positano aren’t prohibitively expensive, and the owners really don’t mind if you just want to come in for a viewing. You’ll certainly find a good variety of subjects, though predictably, the local landscape takes up the lion’s share. One of my favorites is the well-named Art and Craft Gallery (hey, it does exactly what it says!), where you’ll find fairly-priced art which is just perfect for taking home for a souvenir. The gallery also supports young Italian artists, so you can be guaranteed to find something unique!
If you’re after something a bit more informal, walk down the foliage-covered walkway at the bottom of Via dei Mulini. Taking advantage of the scenic setting will be a myriad of arts and crafts sellers: you’ll see everything from hand painted watercolours pinned to the trellis, to inexpensive costume jewelry, to handmade cards and postcards. It has the feeling of a very refined bazaar, and it’s definitely one of my favorite spots in Positano for picking up gifts!
20. See the history of Positano at the Museo Archeologico Romano
Remember I mentioned above that the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta was constructed on the site of a Roman villa? Well, if you visit the Museo Archeologico Romano (MAR), you can have a little look at what was there!
It’s €15 to enter, but you do receive a guided tour as part of the price – this isn’t the kind of museum that you can wander in and out of at will, but a tour experience which lasts for about 30 minutes. You’re located directly underneath the church, which is a bit of a thrill in itself, but you’ll soon be distracted by the wonderful finds on display. If you’ve visited Pompeii, then everything will seem quite familiar; the villa was destroyed in the same eruption. Which is pretty impressive in itself, given that it’s a fair distance from Vesuvius!
The guides speak fantastic English and are extremely friendly, and the frescoes – which have been excavated over the past ten years – are just as impressive and vibrant as ones you’ll see in some of the more famous sites. This is a brilliant place to explore Positano’s history, and one which is constantly expanding; go check it out!
The museum is open from 10am to 4pm.
21. Rent a boat in Positano
Ahh, life in Positano is good. Sunbathing on the beach. Looking chic in the streets. Eating fine foods. What could possibly make it better?
How about sunbathing, looking chic, and eating fine foods on a motherflippin’ boat? What about sailing over crisp blue waves, exploring the coast, checking out the uninhabited islands? Or drinking champagne on calm seas at sunset, while the water turns a molten gold color, and seabirds wheel on the warm breeze?
Renting a boat is definitely one of the best things to do in Positano, and it’s an experience that’ll stay with you forever. There’s surely no better feeling of freedom than being able to explore at your leisure, and knowing that you’re getting envious glances from those on the land (hey, they don’t need to know that it’s not your boat!). You can even go all the way to Capri if you so wish, tying up at the harbor and enjoying a truly perfect day trip.
Even better, our old friends at Blue Star Boat Tours can rent you a boat – they’re probably the best boat rental company on the Amalfi Coast,and it really does pay to use a trusted name. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, and definitely something you should do!
22. Have a sundowner overlooking the beach
After an exhausting time experiencing things to do in Positano, you owe it to yourself to finish off with a little treat. So why not have a sundowner – an alcoholic drink to be enjoyed at sunset, with the last warm rays of the sun upon you. And what better place to enjoy it than that symbol of Positano, and where you started – the beach of Spiaggia Grande.
There’s no better place for a sunset tipple than Franco’s Bar, part of the ultra-luxurious Le Sirenuse hotel. It’s the al fresco bar to rule them all: a picture-perfect view of the beach and surrounding bay, nestled up above the hubbub of the streets. The view will take your breath away. The choice of drinks will impress you. The staff are attentive and friendly. Simply put, it’s just the perfect spot.
If you want to be guarenteed of the best views, arrive before opening at 5pm, and snag one of the tables closest to the balcony. It’ll be well worth the wait!
So, relax and feel welcome at Franco’s, and enjoy your sundowner. Bask in the atmosphere, and look over a town you’ll have come to love. And make a promise to yourself that one day, you’ll be back.
Virtual walking tour of Positano
Want to know even more about things to do in Positano? Well, how about I magically transport you there, via the power of the interwebs?
Yes, it’s possible! Click the video below, sit back in a comfy chair, and experience a relaxing virtual walking tour of Positano thanks to YouTube’s ProWalks! The walk is recorded in beautiful HD, and you’ll really feel like you’re there. Experience walking along the beach, listening to gentle waves, or eye up some shopping!
What if you’re not visiting Positano soon? Well, watch this anyway, and I guarantee that all your stresses will slip away!
Restaurants in Positano, and where to eat
Eating is important in Positano. Not just because if you don’t eat, you’ll probably fall over and become quite ill. Nope, the art of cooking has been elevated to more than just a basic human need.
You won’t find many regions of Italy that have better cuisine than the Amalfi Coast, and you won’t find many towns on the Amalfi Coast that have a better restaurant scene than Positano. If you want gourmet, Michelin-starred meals, you can certainly find them. But whilst the area has a reputation for being pricey, it’s not a case that everywhere is on the higher end. You can definitely find good meals without breaking the budget!
Let’s look at the best restaurants in Positano, for all budgets!
This is widely regarded as the best restaurant in Positano. Chef Raffaelle Mandara’s ultra-modern kitchen comes up with true delights. Everything is cooked to perfection, and a true blend of food which is both visually appealing and delicious in taste. That doesn’t mean that it’s stuffy; in fact there’s a good slice of fun evident in the dishes too, such as having additional candies to add to your dessert! The interior wall has “to eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art” painted on the wall, and you can’t really disagree with that. Use the link above to book a table!
You want Michelin-starred food? You got it! Want a location away from the crowds of Positano, overlooking the valley? You got it! Want food which is out of this world, the freshest pasta and seafood, served by attentive staff? You got that too! Il San Pietro di Positano restaurant is attached to the luxury hotel of the same name, and is well worth the trip out of town and into the hills. You definitely won’t regret a trip here!
The stunning food at Il Tridente has ensured that the restaurant has a reputation almost without comparison in Positano, but you’ll pay less than at the most exclusive restaurants. You’ll soon realize that you’re getting an absolute bargain! Check out the delicious pasta dishes, including a sumptuous ravioli, or fresh seafood dishes such as spaghetti alle vongole. The restaurant also has a beautiful outside terrace on which you can enjoy the views whilst you eat! Click the above link to book a table, because this puppy is popular.
This fresh, clean restaurant is a lovely place for some casual dining – no pressure to dress up for occasion! But the lack of formality certainly doesn’t mean a drop in quality; Casa e Bottega is very highly regarded in Positano’s restaurant scene. With its motto of “eat clean, feel fabulous”, you can expect to find some deliciously healthy treats on offer, including a wide variety of smoothies and fruit selections. Or you can pop in for a healthy breakfast – definitely give the omelette a try; you won;t find anything lighter or fresher!
Perfectly positioned right on the beach, Da Ferdinando will keep you well fed for less! In fact, you’ll be pretty impressed by what you can get for not very much – fresh lobster, anyone? If you’d prefer something a bit more simple, there’s a variety of pasta dishes, as well as a wonderful line in pizzas; perfect for beachside dining! For quality and price, it’s hard to match Da Ferdinando’s, and it certainly can’t be beaten on location!
Another quality, yet cheaply priced restaurant placed right on the beach. But F. Illi Grassi Beach Bar isn’t on Positano’s Spiaggia Grande – instead, you need to make the short trip around the corner to Fornillo. Don’t worry though, it’s well worth the trip!
In Positano’s seeming tradition of having excellent restaurants right on the beach, the food here certainly doesn’t seem like a budget option. The pasta dishes are second to none, especially the ravioli in a tangy tomato puree, coated in Parmesan shavings. Salads are also fresh and plentiful – you can’t go wrong with a choice here!
Want more choices? Take a look at this Positano guide which has some other culinary options!
The ultimate Positano packing list!
There are certain items you just can’t be without in Positano. Whether it’s finding the right clothes with which to blend in with the region’s most stylish, or just the little items that’ll save you a whole lot of inconvenience, these all need to be in your suitcase!
Comfy shoes: Amazon US | Amazon UK – trust me: this are a MUST. The hilly, cobbled streets of Positano may be stunningly beautiful, but if you attempt to explore them in your heels, you’re going to seriously feel it at the end of the day. These slip-on shoes are perfect; not only are they comfy and well-gripped, but they fit in perfectly with the Positano fashion of having lace-adorned garments. Who says that practical can’t be cute! If those aren’t your cup of tea, check out this guide to stylish walking shoes for travel, because you really do need the comfiest shoes you can find.
Sun dress: Amazon US | Amazon UK – Positano fashion is all about fresh, white-and-bright color combinations, and this adorable dress fits the bill. A sun dress is an essential on the Amalfi Coast (with all that warm Italian sunlight, it’d be a shame to waste it!): team up with the shoes above, or a pair of custom-made sandals, for a true fashion statement. Your Instagram will love you for it.
Packable hat: Amazon US | Amazon UK – my last trip to Positano totally converted me to the way of the packable hat. They’re perfect!! They’ll roll up or squish down in your suitcase, eliminating those worries about having a half-dead straw hat in all your photos, or having to take up valuable space in your hand luggage. Even better, the style of this one is perfectly suited to the sun dress/sandals combo, and it’ll match any Positano linen clothing you pick up while you’re there!
Sunglasses: Amazon US | Amazon UK – these adorable tortoiseshell sunglasses are the must-have item for evoking that feeling of Hollywood glamour, which is permanently soaked into the cobblestones of Positano. As well as giving you a cute Audrey Hepburn vibe, matching your oh-so-adorable outfit, they’re fully equipped to protect your eyes from UV rays. After a day’s shopping in the streets, you’ll definitely appreciate that. Put these on, look fabulous, and wait for George Peppard to whisk you away.
Bikini: Amazon US | Amazon UK – did you know that this area of Italy is one of the first places where the bikini was worn in public? What better way to celebrate this moment in swimwear history (lol) than with a lemon bikini! This bikini has the perfect amount of old-school glamour and Positano imagery, with a dash of sexiness thrown in for good measure. You’re sure to look like a Mediterranean goddess in this one.
Kaftan: Amazon US | Amazon UK – after you’ve splashed in the warm waves in your new bikini, it’s good to have a kaftan handy for when you dry out – you don’t want to get burnt! Similarly, they’re super handy for if you want to pop off the beach to pick up a pizza or gelato. These kaftans have the right amount of cover-up, combined with some fresh and funky patterns to make you stand out. They’re a seaside staple!
Flip Flop Sandals: Amazon US | Amazon UK – I am SUPER fussy about flip flops. If you get the wrong pair, they can cut badly into the skin between your toes, especially if you’re walking in the surf where the waves pull on them. Or even worse, they disappear into the sea, never to be seen again. Fortunately, I discovered Havianas, and I’ve never looked back! I’m in love with these ones; they’re rose gold (the most fashionable color right now), and match perfectly with the white clothes favored on the Amalfi Coast!
Romper: Amazon US | Amazon UK – Rompers (or jumpsuits, if you’re over here in Brit-land) are well-suited to the Amalfi Coast – they’re practical, they’re stylish, and they fit nicely into that nautical-but-nice vibe you’ll find all over the Amalfi Coast. They’re perfect for wearing on a boat, sipping champagne as you speed across the waves! Choose which colour suits you best, but stick to pastels for ultimate chic.
Linen scarf: Amazon US | Amazon UK – Linen scarves are SO useful if you’re visiting Positano! Not only can you use it practically if you’re starting to feel the burn, but you can also use it as a cover-up if you visit one of the region’s churches. Not to mention that it makes an awesome accessory to wear in the evening, with a simple white linen top or a sweater for cooler evenings. Again, pick a pastel shade, and blend in beautifully with the chic locals.
Perfume: Amazon US | Amazon UK – long-term readers of this blog will know of my love for Carthusia perfume, made just across the sea in Capri, and a quinessential scent of the Amalfi Coast. So what better scent to have on a trip to Positano than their Corallium perfume; a delicate fragrance which evokes the beautiful flower-fringed beaches of this area. It’s lovely and musky, yet with that fresh marine scent that you’ll soon be associating with Positano!
Bag: Amazon US | Amazon UK – you’ll find that you need something sturdy yet stylish to carry around your essentials, and this nautical-striped tote bag does the job nicely. With plenty of room, and even a sleeve so you can pop it over the handle of a wheeled suitcase, this is also a perfect carry-on bag! Chuck in your must-haves, sit back, and jet off to Positano.
Comfy shoes: Amazon US | Amazon UK – yes, chaps, you need comfy shoes too! It’s not just the ladies! Fortunately you too can take part in Positano style with these canvas shoes – you’ll see plenty of Italian guys wearing these. Light enough that you won;t get overheated, whilst durable enough to do some serious hiking in, these will do you a good turn.
Sweater: Amazon US | Amazon UK – If you’ve ever visited Italy, and the Amalfi Coast in particular, you’ll already know how to get that Italian chic look. It’s a simple formula: crisp shirt + a sweater casually draped over the shoulders = one cool dude. And you can’t go wrong with a sweater of Calvin Klein quality. Choose pastel colors or a bolder terracotta for ultimate Positano points.
Chinos: Amazon US | Amazon UK – What’s the other component of Italian male style? Nothing other than the humble chino. Pair up with the sweater and shoes above, and you’ll be able to pass for a local in no time. These are doubly guaranteed to serve you well, being made by Levi’s – there’s no better brand out there, guys – ensures that they have a stamp of quality. Why ruin a good outfit with inferior chinos?
Hat: Amazon US | Amazon UK – If you’re looking for a hat to keep your head protected from the sun – doubly advisable if you’re going on hikes such as the Walk of the Gods – consider these natty stetsons. They’re made of seagrass, giving them a vacation feel, whilst still being nicely masculine. Everyone loves a cowboy!
Speedos: Amazon US | Amazon UK – lads, if you’re going to be swimming on the Amalfi Coast (and you totally should, because splashing in crystal blue waters is one of the best things to do in Positano), there’s only one choice for you. It’s got to be Speedos, the quintessential male swimwear, and as popular here as they’ve ever been. The great news is that Speedos combine quality with affordability, so you’ll pay a fair price! Pick red or blue for ultimate Mediterranean-ness.
Flip Flops: Amazon US | Amazon UK – Havianas for you, Havianas for you, Havianas for everyone! Yes, my favorite brand isn’t just for the ladies; the Brazilian brand has been producing their man-made flip flops for men since 1962. The cool thing about this pair is that you can evoke that heritage: they feature a print of a surfer tackling the waves, which will give you some serious man-points when you’re chilling on the beach.
Cologne: Amazon US | Amazon UK – just like the ladies, you too can give off the warm, sun-kissed scent of the Amalfi Coast before you even get there. Tom Ford doesn’t produce inferior products, and this scent is no exception to that; it really is summer in a bottle, and any neck bearing this will be instantly kissable.
Sunscreen: Amazon US | Amazon UK – Shiseido sunscreen is regarded as one of the best, and this particular one is perfect for Positano. In a destination where you’ll quite likely be in the water or walking on the sand, you need a sunscreen which resists both, and that’s exactly what Shiseido Ultimate Protection offers. It’s an essential!
Winestopper: Amazon US | Amazon UK – trust me, friends, you’re gonna want a winestopper. Because you’re going to want to have a lovely chilled bottle of vino on your balcony or on the beach, and it would be too much of a shame to let any go to waste!
Camera: Amazon US | Amazon UK – never visit Positano without a camera! Sacrilege! Choosing a camera is very much a personal choice, but I’ve linked to the one that I took with me, and used for the photos in this article. If you like the look of them, and want to upgrade on using your iPhone, give it a click!
I truly hope that this guide helps you to find the best things to do in Positano, whether you want to hit the streets and explore, or take it easy at the beach! It really is a perfect location for a vacation; one that combines glamour, beautiful natural scenery, and warm, friendly locals. You may never return to Positano, or you may come here year after year, but it’s definitely a place that’ll be in your heart forever.
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