My husband and I are just back from eight days in Positano. It is a beautiful small town clinging to the Amalfi Coast of Italy, about 80 km south of Naples. In the photo above, look to the right in the sea; those black dots in the water are boats, and those orange lines are parasols on the beach. This gives you an idea of how far down it is.
This is an aerial view of Positano, looking down from the tiny village Nocelle. There are little villages and houses perched everywhere along the coast. Urban planning here is vertical, not horizontal. If you're acrophobic, you don't want to live here.
Only one narrow, one-way road loops through Positano (you see it in the photo above) and there is NO road to the very center down to the beach. Which means the transportation method not of choice, but of necessity, is your own two feet and stairs (it is a good way to work off the pasta though). The stairs have names just like streets (well, in this case they are streets).
Positano is famous for women's clothing. In the 1950s, Positano shook up European fashion and broke with the fitted, structured norm, opting for colorful, flowing looks in linen and cotton. It's said the bikini was first worn in Positano. Women's clothing boutiques seem to be everywhere, in varying degrees of quality.
Positano is now my favorite European beach. This is the Spiaggia Grande beach in the center of town.
Every bit of available space is utilized. Restaurants along the town's thoroughfare put their tables right on the road. The striped lines on the right are the 'sidewalk', which is normally covered by parked cars. Since it's a narrow road anyway, what with parked cars and pedestrians, drivers normally don't/can't drive too fast in Positano.
One day we took a boat from Positano to Amalfi town. It was faster and less stressful than driving. The road that hugs the Amalfi Coast is not as big as a two lane city street in the United States. It can be scary, especially on hairpin turns. Sometimes buses and cars are forced to back up so one of them can pass. There is no shoulder, just a long, long drop to the sea. See that white squiqqly line running down from the building above? Those are stairs.
Amalfi town was once a powerful maritime republic. The Byzantine façade of Saint Andrew's Cathedral, which dates back to the 11th century, dominates the Piazza Duomo in the town's center.
Lemon trees are everywhere along the Amalfi coast so it's no wonder lemons figure prominently in the area's cuisine. Limoncello is a popular liqueur made with lemons. It's quite tasty; a small glass after a meal is heavenly. We always keep a bottle in our frig. Pour a bit over a scoop of lemon sorbet and you have a quick, elegant summer dessert.
I decided to finish this post on a sweet note. Technically, cannoli is a specialty of Sicily, not Positano, still it is my favorite Italian dessert and no visit to Italy is complete without it.