Positano – The Pearl of Italy’s Amalfi Coast

Positano is an enchanting town on the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. This small town, with its unusual vertical landscape, is dramatically – almost precariously – perched in tiers on the rugged cliffs of Lattari Mountains as if about to tumble into the Tyrrhenian Sea below.

This picturesque town’s small whitewashed baroque houses with orange roof tiles and mosaic domes look stunning against the riot of colors created by bougainvillea bushes and bright colored flowering trees lovingly nurtured by their owners.

Reaching here is a wonderful experience. The nearest airport is at Naples. Then an hour’s drive through a beautiful landscape of verdant Mediterranean flora and wonderful views of the sea.  You can also come here by boat during the summer season. Positano is a pedestrian-friendly town. Abandon your hired car at Piazza dei Mulini where porters are available. Head towards your hotel walking down one of the flower-decked pathways.

There are many good hotels here. Le Sirenuse is very elegant but reservations are extremely difficult during high season. Palazzo Murat is another prestigious hotel, housed in an 18th century palace that was once the residence of the King of Naples who also happened to be Napoleon’s brother-in-law. Bedrooms and suites are furnished with exquisite antiques and from the balconies guests can get breathtaking views of the sea.

There are also many comfortable hotels, villas and apartments – less expensive and devoid of royal pedigree – but their windows or balconies also offer stunning views of the coastline. Browse through the Internet and select a place where you would like to stay. Like most other Italian towns, Positano also has its share of a few historical buildings such as the 16th century Villa Romana with eight defense towers, the Cathedral of St Maria Assunta with its imposing majolica dome visible from various places of the town.

Positano is famous for quality tailoring. During your walks through the narrow pathways you will come across many quaint shops and boutiques selling trendy beachwear, wraparound skirts, formal afternoon clothes, elegant evening dresses, wedding trousseau and hand-made leather sandals. A wonderful way to spend a day is to hire a boat and sail along the coast as far as Amalfi. You may also take a taxi and spend another day at Pompeii which was completely devastated almost 2000 years ago by the fury of Mt Vesuvius. Some of its mosaics, paintings and villas have survived.

Fornillo and Spiaggio Grande beaches are at the foot of the town and both are within easy walking distance where you will find many bars and restaurants. For equally good food and drinks with better views of the waterfront move a little up to the Via Positanesi d’America and the elevated Via Montepertuso.

Positano’s vibrant nightlife begins after the nightfall and extends to the early morning hours. There are many bars and nightclubs with music for all ages. They serve excellent seafood and superb wines. The interiors of some clubs are illuminated and decorated with columns and urns to create the illusion of Roman ruins. Come to Positano for a few days then return home after visiting a few more wonderful towns on the Amalfi coast.

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aniruddha