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Positano According to the Guidebooks

What travel guides say about the town that fascinated John Steinbeck in the '50s

By Amalfi Coasting


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".

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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."

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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."

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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".

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Watch Rick Steves' video on Positano

The Amalfi Coast’s most well-known towns are Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, three jewels, each with its own unique character and beauty and all world renowned. But at the heart of the Costiera is a fourth jewel, Praiano, a less hectic and more authentic town, where many discerning tourists have begun to stay, using it as a base for their Amalfi Coasting. Try Praiano, trust us!

Shopping Up and Down Positano

From the top of the town all the way down to the beach, you come across shops with colorful clothing and accessories

Where to Eat on the Amalfi Coast: Positano

Local gourmand and restaurant owner Baldassare Fiorentino gives his suggestions

The Best Pizzas on the Amalfi Coast - Positano

A local gourmand suggests where to go to eat pizza

Our Insider Guide to Positano

Where to go, what to visit in the town that enchanted Steinbeck

Be Aware: Positano Bites Deep

There is only one narrow street, everything else is stairs. So, you either climb or slide