Beautiful Positano in Italy is a picturesque cliffside village on the Amalfi Coast that has attracted visitors for decades. With its colorful buildings, stunning beaches, and delicious food, it’s no wonder why Positano has become a popular destination for travelers worldwide.
From views to food to shopping to seafood to boat trips to more food there are some fantastic and tasty things to do in Positano. Here are my top 15.
15 Interesting Things to do in Positano Italy
Table of Contents
- 15 Interesting Things to do in Positano Italy
- 1. Take in the View
- My favorite views of Positano:
- 2. Take the boat to Da Adolfo for lunch
- 3. Eat Lemon Sorbet in a Lemon
- 4. Go Shopping
- 5. Take a boat trip to Capri
- 6. Drink a Lemon Slushie
- 7. Enjoy the local wine
- 8. Visit Spiaggia Grande
- 9. Relax at Fornillo Beach
- 10. Drink Limoncello
- 11. Visit the Art Galleries
- 12. Walk the Path of the Gods
- 13. Santa Maria Asunto Church
- 14. Take a day trip
- 15. End the night on the dance floor at Music on the Rocks
- Where to Eat in Positano
- Where to Stay in Positano
- How to Get to Positano and Get Around
- Best Things to do in Positano Italy FAQs
- What is the best time of year to visit Positano?
- What are the must-try dishes in Positano?
- Is Positano expensive?
- Is Positano a good place for families?
- What is the nightlife like in Positano?
1. Take in the View
One of the top things to do in Positano Italy is marvel at the views. The view from Positano over the Amalfi Coast is spectacular and the view of Positano from the water is also wonderful. You must experience both of these views multiple times and then try to choose a favorite.
If you have not been to Positano before, I must warn you that this town is steep. The city climbs a hill, and you must do that too to get from the water to the main road. If you have issues with mobility, I would think twice about staying in Positano – you may be more comfortable in nearby Sorrento.
If you choose to stay in Positano, take the time to really explore where your hotel is located in the town. On a map, it may look like your hotel is quite close to the water. However, you may well discover that the path to the water is extremely steep. Many of the hotels do sit higher up in the town as this affords them a great view of the town and the water.
And do remember that Positano is on Italy’s west coast, so you will likely experience some fantastic sunsets during your visit.
My favorite views of Positano:
-From my balcony at my hotel Conca D’Oro (more about the hotel later in this article)
-Next to Latteria – this great little store is ideal for picking up some wine and snacks and next to it is also a fantastic view of Positano and the water. This view includes the beautiful tiled dome of the Santa Maria Assunta church. It is great for sunset and in the evening and really most times of the day
-from a boat leaving the dock at Positano. This view takes the entire town from the bottom up and generally includes some aquamarine blue water in the foreground.
2. Take the boat to Da Adolfo for lunch
Ristorante Da Adolfo is only minutes from the Positano dock and you will see its complimentary boat arriving regularly. The restaurant is located on the small pebble-filled Laurito Beach. It is the perfect spot for a long lazy lunch on a sunny day and you can swim before or after your meal.
The restaurant is casual in appearance and very comfortable with wooden seats and large wooden tables. The food is heavy on pasta and seafood, unsurprisingly. Its signature dishes include mozzarella grilled on lemon leaves, mussel soup, fresh octopus, and anchovies. Try the spaghetti with pepper pesto sauce, a specialty of the area.
3. Eat Lemon Sorbet in a Lemon
Covo dei Saraceni is a hotel that sits virtually on the beach in Positano. It is one of the most upmarket hotels in town. And it has a fantastic gelato shop next door that sells an outstanding lemon sorbet served in an actual lemon. This is not the only place in town to sell lemon sorbet in a lemon, but it may well be the tastiest version. There are also plenty of other flavors on offer for non-lemon lovers.
4. Go Shopping
There are a lot of stores in Positano to suit every taste. The town is known for its handmade leather sandals and you will see several stores advertising these. Nana has a good name and a good range. There are also numerous stores selling beach and resort wares.
In addition to being next door to a great view, Latteria has been selling wine, cheese and tasty snacks since 1955 and is the perfect place to grab some things for pre-dinner drinks on the balcony.
Unsurprisingly there are numerous souvenir shops selling all types of ceramics and items featuring the cheerful colors of Positano.
5. Take a boat trip to Capri
Driving from Positano to Capri (including a boat ride at the end) takes over three hours. But a fast boat from Positano to Capri takes just 40 minutes. However, I wouldn’t recommend taking a super fast boat to Capri as you would miss the stunning Amalfi coastline and its grottos and small statues keeping sailors safe.
There are multiple places along the way (weather dependent) where your boat can lay anchor and you can jump in and enjoy the water.
Capri can be a great day trip from Positano. Spend the day in the luxurious town of Capri. Or do what we did: take a slow sail to the island and then pull in for lunch at Bagni Tiberio. This beach club is located on the former site of Palazzo a Mare, Emperor Tiberius’summer villa. It is possible to see the ruins of the imperial villa overlooking the bay.
Established in 1926, Bagni Tiberio was Capri’s first beach club. Chairs and boats can be hired or head straight to the club’s charming seaside restaurant. The restaurant is famous for its seafood pastas and with good reason. The spaghetti with clams (vongole) is perhaps its most well known dish. It goes very well with the restaurant’s signature drink, white wine with soaked peaches.
We were a big group, so I think I managed to try most things on the menu. The fresh grilled fish was as good as you would expect and I was also a big fan of everything I ate with courgettes. The restaurant is comfortable and buzzy with friendly staff and feels like the place to be!
6. Drink a Lemon Slushie
As you hike up or down Positano, you will inevitably come across several lemon slush stands that all claim to be the best in Positano. I think they are all pretty good. A lemon slush is essentially a traditional lemonade drink with crushed ice and it is the perfect complement to the climb up and down the town.
7. Enjoy the local wine
Fiano, Falanghina and Greco are the signature white grapes of the Campania wine region, encompassing the Amalfi Coast. Red grapes are Aglianico, and Piedirosso. I knew nothing about Campania wines before visiting Positano. I was delighted to discover the Fiano grape, which can be chardonnay-like. I enjoyed the Fiano from San Salvatore 1988 a couple of times during my stay and recommend trying it.
8. Visit Spiaggia Grande
Spiaggia Grande is Positano’s main beach and sits at the foot of the town. It is only 300 metres long so it is busy busy busy! This is the place to go if you want to hire a boat or a kayak. It is possible to rent a lounge chair here and you will be near loads of restaurants but it won’t be the most peaceful experience.
9. Relax at Fornillo Beach
One of the paths from my hotel took me directly down to Fornillo Beach. It is less touristy than Spiagga Grande. There are beach clubs with stripey lounge chairs, parasols, beach activities and restaurants. It is a beautiful 15 minute walk along the cliff from Spiaggia Grande.
10. Drink Limoncello
This lemon liqueur is the second most popular liqueur in Italy and the Amalfi Coast is its home. It is traditionally served chilled after dinner as a digestif.
11. Visit the Art Galleries
As you wind your way through town, you’ll come across several beautiful art galleries. Some, of course, are catering to tourists with “Positano” art but quite a few others had a broader range.
12. Walk the Path of the Gods
This 6.5 kilometre path runs from Bomerano to Nocelle and is filled with spectacular views. You’ll need to take the bus from Positano to Amalfi and then another bus to the Bomerano top in Agerola. Nocelle is the small hamlet above Positano.
Or make life a bit easier and hire a guide to take you to the Path of the Gods.
13. Santa Maria Asunto Church
This beautiful church is located in the heart of Positano and is known for its stunning Byzantine-style dome. Inside, you’ll find a number of impressive works of art, including a 13th-century Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary.
14. Take a day trip
In addition to Capri, Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius can be visited as day trips from Positano, as can Sorrento and Ravello. Join an organized tour that can pick you up at your hotel, hire a car or jump on the local bus.
15. End the night on the dance floor at Music on the Rocks
Located virtually on Positano’s main beach, this cave turns into a disco at night and is the place to dance and drink the night away in Positano.
Where to Eat in Positano
I was lucky enough to visit Positano with some friends who have been going there annually for the last twenty years. They have a fantastic black book of restaurants. I was able to visit several, which I will share with you. I will then let you know the restaurants they recommended that I didn’t get to visit. Check them out and let me know what you think.
Do make sure that you make reservations ahead of time in Positano, particularly if you are visiting at a busy time. Positano is very popular with Americans; they love making reservations so the best restaurants will fill up fast.
Chez Black is the quintessential Positano seafood restaurant with a fantastic location just off the seafront. Don’t miss the zucchini flowers and I enjoyed some amazing monkfish.
Buca di Bacco is located on a sea-view terrace in the four-star Hotel Buca di Bacco. It serves the typical items of the Amalfi Coast, including some delicious zucchini flowers and pasta with zucchini.
Here are the restaurants that our Positano experts ate at before I arrived:
L’Incanto – great on the beach location slightly farther south than Chez Black
Max – located in an art gallery in the lower heart of the town of Positano
Tre Sorelle – seafood on the Spiaggia Grande.
Le Sirenuse – enjoy dinner at Positano’s most exclusive hotel
Where to Stay in Positano
I stayed at Hotel Conca D’ Oro, a charming hotel with some amazing views of Positano. It is located near the top of town and the only access to the hotel is through some narrow and winding lanes.
My room was simply but elegantly furnished with a blue and green tiled floor and white walls. The double bed had a simple cast iron frame and there was a desk and television. The cheerful bathroom was decorated in a blue and white color scheme and had a walk-in shower and a bidet.
The room itself was more than comfortable but its highlight was the view and my small balcony with a table and two chairs. Even the bathroom has a fantastic view.
Breakfast was another highlight. There is something about waking up to such a stunning view. Get there early to grab a table at the edge of the terrace. A large buffet is spread out in an adjoining room and eggs can be ordered as you like. There were meats, cheeses, many pastries, fresh fruit and a large selection of juices.
The hotel also has a large terrace with several loungers, some chairs and tables and a small jacuzzi if you fancy a dip.
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My friends stayed at Hotel Covo Dei Saraceni which is a 5 star hotel located just to the side of Spiaggia Grande. It has an amazing location on the water and somehow manages to stay quiet.
If you want true decadence, Le Sirenuse is Positano’s most famous and exclusive hotel. Even if you don’t stay do head to Le Sireneuse for at least one drink whilst in Positano.
How to Get to Positano and Get Around
Naples is the closest airport to Positano. It takes about one hour by road to get between the two. I would highly recommend pre-booking a transfer from the airport to your hotel (this is what I did). Buses also run quite regularly between Naples Airport and Positano.
Or take the Alibus from Naples Airport, which takes 20 minutes to get to Naples train station. A train service runs between Naples and Sorrento and Pompeii is one of the stops along the way. However, Sorrento is the end of the train line, so you’ll need to get to Positano by boat, road or bus.
We took the boat from Positano to Sorrento on our return trip. We bought our tickets on the dock the day before we planned to travel and this was in July.
A big factor in making the transport decision is the location of your hotel. If you are near the top of Positano you are closer to the road and may not want to drag your luggage down to the dock to get a boat. And vice versa if you are staying close to the water.
The winding roads and limited parking spaces can make getting around the Amalfi Coast tricky. Moving between places by water is often the best option. Most hotels have devised a way for guests to get their luggage in and out without major coronary attacks!
Taxis are generally quite expensive and can be difficult to get during peak times. Car hire is of course an option but you will be dealing with skinny windy roads and Italian drivers so make sure you are confident if you jump behind the wheel!
Best Things to do in Positano Italy FAQs
What is the best time of year to visit Positano?
The best time to visit Positano is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April-May) and fall (September-October). The weather is mild, the crowds are smaller, and the prices are lower. However, if you want to experience the town’s lively atmosphere and warm weather, the summer months (June-August) are also a great time to visit.
What are the must-try dishes in Positano?
Positano is known for its seafood dishes, such as spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams), scialatielli ai frutti di mare (fresh pasta with seafood), and pesce spada alla sorrentina (swordfish with tomato sauce and capers).
Is Positano expensive?
Yes, Positano can be quite expensive, especially during peak season. However, there are ways to save money, such as staying in a nearby town and taking day trips to Positano.
Is Positano a good place for families?
Yes, Positano is a great place for families. There are plenty of activities to keep kids entertained, such as boat tours, beach days, and hiking. Many restaurants are also family-friendly and offer children’s menus.
What is the nightlife like in Positano?
Positano is not known for its nightlife, but there are a few bars and clubs that stay open late. Most of the action centers around the beachfront bars, where you can enjoy a cocktail while watching the sunset over the sea.
I hope you enjoyed this article on what to do in Positano Italy,.