Positano According to the Guidebooks
Lonely Planet's writes that "Positano is the coast's most picturesque and photogenic town, with steeply-stacked houses tumbling down to the sea in a cascade of sun-bleached peach, pink and terracotta colors. No less colorful are its steep streets and steps lined with wisteria-draped hotels, smart restaurants and fashionable boutiques".
According to Frommer's, "hugging a semivertical rock formation, Positano is the quintessence of picturesque. Once one of the most exclusive retreats in Italy, its unique mix of seascapes, colors, art, and cultural life has fascinated famous artists, musicians, and writers from Picasso and Klee to Toscanini, Bernstein, and Steinbeck. This seaside resort has been thoroughly "discovered" but retains its character and charm in spite of a mass tourist invasion in the summer months, and it remains a delightful place to visit, although we do recommend coming off season if possible."
According to Michelin, "located on a vertical cliff overlooking the turquoise water below, Positano is a lovely town of bright white fishermen's houses clustered around the glazed tiled dome of its collegiate church. It’s not surprising that artists and intellectuals have been coming here for many years. Fortunately the challenging topography of the location has kept away property developers, and as a result the small resort has retained its idyllic appearance."
About.com writes that "Positano is one of Italy's most romantic and luxurious vacation spots. Built vertically on the face of a cliff, it started out as a fishing village and became popular with writers and artists in the 1950's. Today it's a fashionable resort yet still retains its charm".
Watch Rick Steves' video on Positano