Located on the picturesque Amalfi Coast, Positano is a charming Italian town where time seems to stand still. The colourful houses perched on the hillsides surrounding the town make for breathtaking views, and attract tourists from all over the world.
Positano went under the spotlight back in 1953 when author John Steinbeck published an essay about the town in Harper’s Bazaar, mentioning how “Positano bites deep” and “is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone”.
The preserved jewel of the Amalfi Coast then became the favourite destination of many celebrities, artists, singers, writers and other famous people. Today, it is a destination highly appreciated by couples for its romantic atmosphere! Positano is a perfect example of the finest things the Italian culture has to offer, among delicious food and traditional drinks, art, lovely shops and welcoming locals.
Are you planning a vacation in Positano or just curious about this famous destination? Have a look at my top 20 things to do in Positano on the Amalfi Coast!
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20 amazing things to do in Positano, Amalfi Coast
1. Stroll around the town of Positano
With its narrow streets and colourful houses, you can walk all day around Positano and still be amazed by the view at every new street corner. Enjoying the architecture and getting lost in the town was one of my favourite things when I was in Positano.
You can also follow a guide to learn about the secrets of Positano and the best addresses in town!
If you visit Positano in the summer, I would recommend strolling around the town early in the morning, to avoid the heat and the crowds of tourists, or late in the afternoon. There are many steps because of how Positano is built on a hill and it’s not very enjoyable when the sun is at its peak.
Have a look at these 25 stunning pictures of Positano for more inspiration!
2. Try Positano’s traditional sweets
Delizia al limone: made of a light, spongy cake with a thick layer of lemon cream on top.
Babà: you will find two types of babà, the fresh ones filled with cream or soaked ones, babà al rum (with rum) or babà al limoncello (with limoncello).
Sfogliatelle: this shell-shaped pastry has crispy layers and a delicious lemon cream filling, as well as a drop of cream on top!
Images from La Zagara
The best pastry shops in Positano are La Zagara, Angelo Pasticceria, and Collina Positano Bakery.
If you happen to visit the town of Amalfi, you should also stop at Pasticceria Andrea Pansa, one of the oldest pastry shops on the Amalfi Coast!
3. Go to the beach
When in Positano, it’s almost impossible not to go to the beach! With its turquoise water and warm temperature, the sea calls you. There are four beaches near Positano:
Marina Grande Beach: the main beach of Positano directly in front of the town. Most of the beach is private but there is a free area.
Fornillo Beach: accessible via a short path starting from Positano’s harbour, the atmosphere there is calmer and more peaceful than the Marina Grande!
Arienzo Beach: located a little outside of Positano (about 1km from the centre, a 20 min walk), this beach has the best orientation and enjoys the sun longer than the other beaches. There is a public space as well as a beach club!
Laurito Beach: a tiny beach further away than Arienzo Beach (about 3.5km from the centre). To reach it you must go by car or by boat from the Marina Grande. This beach is reachable via steps from the small square opposite Hotel San Pietro. Both free and private spaces and restaurants.
4. Visit an art gallery
The centre of Positano is home to many art galleries, with works inspired by the natural beauty of the Amalfi Coast. Among the most famous addresses are the Italian Fine Art Gallery, La Caravella Art Gallery which combines art and a Michelin starred restaurant, or the Liquid Art System. Many artists come to Positano to immortalize its landscapes!
5. Eat traditional food at incredible restaurants in Positano
What to eat in Positano
Seafood: many kinds of fishes, crabs, anchovies, octopus… One of the famous dishes is the Pesce alla acqua pazza: a simple preparation with fish, tomatoes, olive oil, Mediterranean herbs and white wine.
Pasta: Scialatielli with Sea Food, Spaghetti alla Nerano (with zucchini and provolone cheese), Spaghetti alle Vongole (with clams)
Pizza: I don’t really have a specific pizza to recommend here, all of them are amazing!
Cheese: not far away from Positano and the Amalfi Coast is a small chain of mountains call Monti Lattari, where most of the dairy products from the region come from! One of the most famous cheeses produced in Monti Lattari is the mozzarella Fior di Latte, made with cow milk, which you will find on most Margherita pizza. But it’s not the only one! The star product of the region is actually the Provolone del Monaco. You can also try some goat cheese.
Desserts: Delizia al limone, Torta Caprese, gelato!
Drinks: for wines, try any of the DOC Tramonti, DOC Ravello or DOC Furore, these wines are from the three vineyards of the Amalfi Coast. And of course, don’t miss the famous Limoncello!
You can also discover Positano’s authentic flavours by following this delicious food tour.
Where to eat in Positano: a selection of the best restaurants!
Capricci: a traditional trattoria perfect for takeaway and pizza!
Adamo e Eva: this restaurant offers a fine dining experience, serving mostly seafood-based dishes. The view is absolutely breathtaking.
Chez Black: Located on the seafront, this restaurant serves delicious fresh fish, pasta, and also a famous heart-shaped pizza!
Ristorante Mirage: With a breathtaking view and welcoming staff, this is a perfect place for a romantic dinner. Traditional dishes are really delicious!
La Tagliata: located high on the hills, expect to experience a really authentic Italian dinner! La Tagliata has no menu and you will be served whatever the chef feels like cooking, based on fresh ingredients from their garden. This restaurant is very well-known and because of its success and the number of people willing to have dinner there, it might be a better idea to eat there when the season is not at its peak if you want to enjoy high-quality dishes.
Casa e Bottega: a fresh atmosphere and tasty dishes! This restaurant has a large choice of excellent salads and is the perfect place whenever you need a break from pasta or pizza 😁
La Pergola: for delicious gelato!
Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar: for fancy drinks and lovely views. You can also have diner at the Hotel Le Sirenuse, they serve delicious spaghetti alle Vongole (Spaghetti with clams).
6. Visit the church of Santa Maria Assunta
The church of Santa Maria Assunta, also called the church of Our Lady of the Assumption in English, is a beautiful catholic church located at the heart of Positano, right next to the beach! It was once an abbey and actually dates back to the 10th century. It is worth visiting it for its beautiful interiors and peaceful atmosphere!
The church is open from 8 am to 12 pm and from 4 pm to 8 pm.
7. Follow a cooking class in Positano
Another way to discover delicious Italian food than going to the restaurant is by following a cooking class! Learn how traditional spaghetti is made by hand, make your own delizia al limone or sfogliatelle… Check out these classes below!
Best cooking classes in Positano, Amalfi Coast
8. Go for a hike
Positano is surrounded by hills, and is therefore the starting point of many hikes! Hiking on the Amalfi Coast is a unique experience, you will be amazed by the breathtaking landscapes and views the paths offer.
The best hikes around Positano are The Path of the Gods (Il Sentiero degli Dei), La Baia di Ieranto, Punta Campanella, Il Santuario dell’Avvocata and La Torre dello Ziro.
9. Shop in Positano
There are so many lovely shops in Positano, I am sure you will want to enter every one of them just like I did! So keep some time on your agenda for a little shopping.
The best things to shop for in Positano are local products, and more particularly, lemons! While you will find many shops selling products made from lemon, the best place to buy them is Sapori e Profumi di Positano, they have everything from the famous Lemon drop candies to lemon-scented candles, soaps, perfumes, limoncello, creams…
In Positano, you will also find many shops selling handmade leather sandals or hand-painted ceramics, and cute “beach style” clothing boutiques! Crochet tops and dresses, linen pants, swimsuits… These boutiques have everything someone addicted to the beach like I am ever wanted 😁
10. Take photos of Positano
The town is so pretty you will want to photograph every corner! From colourful houses to pretty doors, breathtaking views and turquoise sea, Positano can be photographed under every angle and will always look pretty. Take photos of moments that will remind you of nice memories and of the amazing time you are having!
11. Taste and learn how to make traditional limoncello
If you don’t know about it already, limoncello is a sweet liquor made from lemons’ peels that is very famous in Italy. Absolutely delicious! Well, since the Amalfi Coast has some of the best lemons in the country, it is easy to say they have one of the best limoncellos too.
And the best way to discover this traditional drink is by learning how it’s made! You can follow a workshop at Valenti Positano, a small traditional factory that produces fantastic limoncello, and take the recipe home with you to extend your Italian vacation indefinitely! Book their Limoncello & Marmelade experience on their website.
Valenti Positano is also a cute shop where you will find delicious lemon products and other seasonal products from the region.
12. Enjoy the view
When in Positano, you will get the feeling that time has stopped and that nothing else matters other than this little piece of paradise where you find yourself. So enjoy every minute of it! Sit down at a bench, and admire the view. Let your mind wander, while taking in the beauty of Positano.
13. Discover the coastline on a Vespa
Renting a scooter in Positano is the best way to discover the Amalfi Coast! It is cheap, fast and you won’t be bothered by traffic on the road! You can also enjoy the breathtaking views to the fullest. And what’s better than Italy’s iconic scooter, a Vespa, for that? Rent your Vespa in Positano now by clicking right here.
14. Follow an art class
Many painters come to Positano to capture its beauty. You will most likely spot some of them on Marina Grande Beach! So why not try it yourself?
You already are into art? Bring your tools with you! Positano is a great source of inspiration. If not, why not try watercolour? You can even follow a class for an afternoon to get acquainted with the techniques of local painters.
Check out this class that takes you on the Path of the Gods for a hike, during which you will stop and learn how to sketch the landscape with watercolour!
Planning a long stay in Positano? Check out this 8-day watercolour painting and cooking class!
15. Visit the Museo Archeologico Romano
This museum is located in a very old Roman villa, discovered and restored only in recent years. It is an amazing place, full of history, where you will be able to contemplate the 2000 years-old colourful frescos on the walls of the villa. You will also find there a display of ancient domestic items that will bring you back in time!
You can find more information about the museum on their website.
16. Stay at a luxury hotel
Positano is not only a popular destination, it is a luxury one. With so many celebrities coming into town every year, Positano has developed some of the most prestigious hotels on the Italian coast, famous for their incredible views, fantastic food and beautiful interior design. Spending a night or two at a luxury hotel in Positano is an incredible experience you won’t forget.
Here are some of the best luxury hotels in Positano:
17. Rent a boat
The best way to discover the Amalfi Coast is by the sea! While you can take a taxi boat to go from town to town, renting a private boat will allow you to discover the area at your own pace! And stop at any cute beach you find on the way. Also, one of the best places to admire the beauty of Positano is from the sea, so a boat trip is a must when visiting the area! Grab a few snack and a bottle of wine and get ready to spend a magical afternoon. The sunset is also an amazing time to be on a boat because, even though you can’t admire the sun itself since it sets behind the hill, the whole place is bathed in pink and orange hues.
Rent a boat in Positano!
18. Go on a wine tour at a local winery
Not many people know that on the Amalfi Coast, on top of delicious limoncello, there are also excellent local wines. There are three different areas where the wine is produced: Furore, Ravello and Tramonti. Going on a wine tour will make you discover even better the local culture and all its flavours! You can check some of the best vineyards right here or have a look at amazing wine tours right below!
Wine tours in Positano and the Amalfi Coast:
19. Go on a day trip
Positano is located in an amazing area in Italy. From there, you can discover the picturesque and beautiful towns and villages of the Amalfi Coast: Sorrento, Praiano, Amalfi, Ravello, Vietri sul Mare, Salerno at the very end of the coast… And incredible places along the coast such as the Conca dei Marini or Furore.
You can also visit the nearby islands. Li Galli, three tiny islands southwest of Positano, also called the Islands of the Sirens or Le Sirenuse in Italian, are privately owned islands but you can admire them on a boat trip. According to the legend, the islands were once home to sirens, and if you listen closely, you might still hear their call…
Then there is the island of Capri, well-known for its impressive rocks coming out of the water, where you can spend the day relaxing on the beach and shop at its luxury boutiques. Further away closer to Naples is the island of Ischia, famous for its breathtaking sceneries and natural springs.
About an hour away by car from Positano is also the archaeological site of Pompeii, where you can walk through the remains of ancient Roman villas. While the eruption of the Vesuvius in 79 A.D. destroyed the town at that time, its ashes preserved its remains quite well and this is why we know so much about the place and its civilization today!
The Vesuvius is inactive today and can be visited with a guide. I did the tour many years ago and I still remember being impressed by the smoke that is still coming out from several places in the crater!
Finally, you can go on a day trip to Napoli. It is easily accessible by car, by bus or even by train from the town of Salerno!
Day trip ideas from Positano:
20. Follow a ceramics workshop
Ceramics are an old tradition on the Amalfi Coast. When walking around Positano, you will most likely notice ceramics shops, but also find that ceramics are used a bit of everywhere in the streets! Whether it is for a street number, a store sign, benches, or simply a decoration on the wall, ceramics are all around Positano.
To learn about the history of this traditional art and how to paint ceramics or even make your own, you can follow this ceramics workshop given by Berenice and her daughter Giovanna!
That was my list of the top 20 things to do in Positano! Did you like it? Let me know in the comments if you did any of the activities above and if you enjoyed your stay! And if you have any activity to add to this list, I would love to know about it ☺️
Don’t forget to have a look at my article with 25 stunning pictures of Positano to travel immediately!
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