Positano Italy: Your Complete Travel Guide (2023)
Last Updated on February 3, 2023 by Dana Berez
Table of Contents
If you’ve seen from my Instagram or Youtube, you know that I am obsessed with Positano Italy. This charming vertical village has been my favorite place to visit on the Amalfi Coast, and in the world.
I love the small charm feel, the gorgeous sea, the stunning views at every corner, shops, restaurants, you name it, I just can’t get enough.
On my blog, I have multiple posts on Positano Italy including Positano on a Budget, Positano Instagram Spots, and Positano Travel Tips, however, this post is an updated Positano Italy Travel Guide.
From visiting for the past three years, I gathered all of the travel tips and things to know in this post to make your trip to Positano Italy a breeze!
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Where is Positano Italy?
Positano Italy is located on the Amalfi Coast in the Campania region in Italy. It’s around 37 miles (57 KM) from Naples and 160 miles (270 km) from Rome.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Language: Italian. Be sure to learn a few phrases. You’ll get by with English, but it’s best to greet, say thank you, and goodbye in Italian.
- Some useful phrases: Bongiorno (good morning),
- Currency: Euros. Most businesses take credit cards, but it’s best to have euros on hand for small purchases.
- Weather: Positano faces all 4 seasons. In the Summer months from June-August expect hot temperatures. During shoulder season: Mid April-May & September-October you’ll have moderate temperatures with some chances of rain.
- Phone Service: If you are traveling from the USA and want better phone service, get a TIM sim card. You can opt for a tourist plan of 35€ for the sim card and plan for 200 minutes, 15GB LTE 4G & unlimited chat.
- Time Zone: GMT +2
- Outlets: You’ll need to pack a type C plug adaptor for your trip to Itlay. You can buy a 3 pack with USB adaptors on Amazon. Having a few adaptors helps when you need to charge multiple devices at once.
Watch my Positano Italy Vlog on Youtube
What Airport to Fly into for Positano Italy?
The best airports to fly for Positano Italy are Naples Capodichino International or Rome Fiumicino International airport. The closest airport is Naples Capodichino, but there are more direct flights from the USA to Rome Fiumicino, so if you prefer direct flights, Rome Fiumicino is your best bet.
Flying into Rome Fiumicino International Airport (FCO)
If you are flying from the USA, you’ll find more affordable & direct flights to Rome (FCO) airport.
The distance from Rome to Naples is only around a 1 hour and a 30-minute drive or a 1-hour train ride. So, adding a connecting flight to Naples isn’t necessary.
If you can find a direct flight to Rome, I would book that route.
Flying into Naples Capodichino International Airport (NAP)
The other airport to fly into is Naples Capodichino International Airport. While this airport is closer to the Amalfi Coast, you won’t find too many direct flights from the United States.
This route will most likely require a layover, and depending on how long the layover is, it might be better to take the direct route to Rome FCO.
However, if you are flying from other destinations with the option for a direct flight to Naples, that will be the closest option to get to Positano.
How to get to Positano Italy?
There 3 ways you can reach Positano Italy from Rome or Naples: private car, a shuttle van, or public transport (trains, SITA bus, or ferries).
With public transportation, it gets a bit confusing because transferring to different trains/ busses is inevitable.
However, what it really comes down to is how much you are willing to pay to get there.
Your journey from Rome will cost you anywhere from 60€ to 250€ per person. Here are your options below:
The fastest and most expensive way to get to Positano is to book a private car transfer.
Rates will vary depending company and where you are being picked up (expect Rome to Positano to be more expensive than Naples). Plus, some companies charge per person vs per car.
Expect to pay around $500+ for a private car transfer from Rome to Positano for 2 people.
A private car is a way to go if you are limited on time, and want the quickest possible way to the Amalfi Coast.
Another option is to book a shared shuttle van. This is a nonprivate ride, where you’ll be riding with other passengers to similar destinations along the Amalfi Coast.
Because shared vans can stop to drop off other guests in other towns before Positano like Naples, Sorrento, etc, your journey to Positano can get a bit longer.
Rather than a fast 3-hour drive with a private car, a shared van can take up anywhere from 3 to 5 hours depending on how many stops the van has to make.
However, this option is less expensive than a private car with a price of around $100 per person.
Some shared van companies to book:
The other way to get to Positano is by public transportation which includes trains, busses, or ferries.
While this is the least expensive way to go, this option will take you the most time, over 5 hours from Rome.
From Rome FCO Airport: From Rome FCO Airport you’ll have to go through a series of 4 steps.
- Take the Leonardo Express train to Rome Termini Station. Runs every 30 minutes(14€ per person / 30 minutes)
- Transfer trains at Rome Termini Station to get on another train to Naples. Take the fast 1-hour “Frecciarossa Train”. Runs often. (From 40€ per person / 1 hour)
- Once in Naples, you can either take a Ferry (20€ per person / 40 minutes) or the Circumvesuviana local train (3.60€ / 1 hour 15 minutes) to Sorrento.
- Once in Sorrento, you’ll have to get to the SITA bus stop, directly across from the Circumvesuviana Train station. Take the SITA bus to Positano (2€ / 50 minutes) The Last bus departs at 8 PM.
Sound exhausting? Plus you’ll have your luggage with you, and the Circumvesuviana is known for pickpockets. I personally won’t ride it again with luggage as you are an easy target.
So, from my personal experience from taking public transport route for two years, I highly recommend putting money aside for a shared shuttle van. You will reach your destination faster and stress-free. Plus you can always get more shut-eye in after a long red-eye flight.
Pro Tip: Set money aside for either a shuttle van or private car transfer. Trust me, it’s absolutely worth it.
Where to Stay in Positano Italy
Positano is a vertical village, and there is no denying that there are a lot of steps from the beach to any of the main roads. So keep that in mind when booking your accommodation in Positano, steps are inevitable.
There are two roads in Positano: Amalfi Drive (Via G. Marconi) and Viale Pasitea. Any accommodation around Viale Pasitea to the beach is in a great location that is easily accessible to the beach and main square.
Accommodations near Amalfi Drive will require an extra set of steps to reach the beach and main square.
Things to know about booking your accommodation:
- Positano is home to many boutique hotels, quaint beds & breakfasts, and villas suited for large groups. You won’t find any large chain brands on the Amalfi Coast, so your stay will feel unique.
- Most luxury rooms will have a balcony or private terrace with a view.
- Rooms go up in price during the high season. It’s best to book in advance to lock in the best rooms & rates!
Hotel Poseidon is a family-owned luxury boutique hotel with 50 unique guestrooms and suites, and it’s home to the first-ever elevator in Positano! The hotel is in a central location, within walking distance to everything to see and do in Positano.
All rooms have a private terrace with most having an iconic view of Positano itself. The guestrooms feature hand-painted tiles and gorgeous antiques.
Hotel Poseidon also has a panoramic pool, cocktail bar & restaurant Il Tridente (my personal favorite place in Positano to get a drink), and a beauty center L’Onda, featuring massages & treatments.
If you are looking for a relaxing getaway, Hotel Poseidon is perfect for you.
How to Get Around Positano Italy
Since there are only two roads in Positano accessible by car, the only way you can reach the main beach and town square is by walking.
There are a number of ways you can reach the beach throughout Positano. All of them involve steps to a certain extent. Just look for signs that say Spiaggia and follow them down.
Positano is a small village, so after a day you’ll have pretty much figured out the town and how to get around. From one end to Positano to the other end is around a 20-minute walk!
Tip: To avoid as many steps as possible, walk along Via Paistea until you reach Piazza di Mulini, right across from Colina Bakery. From Piazza di Mulini you’ll find minimal steps to the main square and beach and plenty of shopping.
Via Pasitea is a driving road, and it’s all downhill to Piazza di Mulini, so you’ll be walking downhill rather than stepping. (A great way to get back to your hotel!)
Get ready to climb lots of steps in Positano. They are unavoidable, but that makes eating pizza and pasta guilt free!
There is a local Mobility Bus that runs throughout Positano & Priano that is different than the SITA bus which runs throughout the towns on the Amalfi Coast.
If you are staying higher up in Positano, or in Praiano, this bus will make it easier to get to the town center, Piazza Di Mulini. It runs around every thirty minutes and tickets can be purchased on the bus (a bit more expensive) or in advance at a local Tabbachi.
Because Positano has many pedestrian-only streets with stairs, the bus might not come in handy as you would have to get to the main road to catch the bus. However, it’s a great option to keep in mind if you don’t feel like walking.
Do I need a Car in Positano?
You do not need a car in Positano. There is very limited parking, and the parking lots charge cars by the hour which can get pretty expensive for more than a day’s stay.
You’ll find yourself walking to everything rather than driving, so it is best to arrive car-free!
Is Uber in Positano Italy?
Uber is not in Positano Italy, or the Amalfi Coast. Uber is only available in Rome and Milan.
Things to do in Positano Italy
To be honest, there aren’t too many activities to do in Positano other than relaxing at the beach, walking the streets, taking in the views, and shopping.
Positano is a relaxed holiday destination and is meant to just be enjoyed. However, here are some things you can do in Positano.
For my ultimate list of things to do read: 15 Best Things To Do in Positano Italy
Positano is lined with streets selling all kinds of gorgeous items from locally made clothing, hand-painted ceramics, custom-made sandals, and lemon everything. Definitely put time aside to do some local shopping!
Shops to Check out in Positano:
- Luisa Positano: Shop for ‘Moda Positano’ or Positano Style. Items are made of quality linen and are made in-house with gorgeous patterns, and styles. A must stop by! Shop the styles here.
- Antica Sartoria: Fun bright Positano-styled pieces from white dresses to bold patterned outfits.
- Ceramica Assunta Positano:Hand crafted and hand painted ceramics made in Positano since 1948.
- Sapori e Profumi: For lemon things, candles, soaps, bags, & even homemade Limoncello.
- Custom Made Leather Sandals: You’ll find plenty of shops offering custom-made sandals.
- Casa E Bottega: This cute eatery & boutique sources locally made handcrafted items for its shop. You’ll find unique souvenirs here. I bought hand-printed linen kitchen towels and they are beautiful.
- Linomania: Handcrafted linen clothing. Linen and clothes are made in-house, and you can even get your item tailored or customized.
Visit a Beach Club
While there are 2 beaches in Positano: Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo Beach (more details on those below in this post), you could also spend a day at one of the beach clubs in Positano.
These beach clubs are located along the coast and most are only accessible by boat. Typically, you’ll have lunch and relax on a sun chair afterward. Here are some beach clubs near Positano:
- Da Adolfo: This popular restaurant and beach club is known for delicious food and a relaxed environment. You’ll find a free boat to the beach from Positano if you have reservations. Reservations are only made by phone.
- Arienzo Beach Club: A relaxing beach club to get away from it all. You can book packages in advance to secure your spot and your free boat transfer to the beach.
- One Fire Beach: The most lively beach club out of the three. One Fire is located in Praiano and can be reached from the road or boat. Expect fun music and an upbeat vibe.
Go on a Boat Excursion
There is no better way to really see the Amalfi Coast than by boat. Bluestar Positano offers different packages for your needs including sunset excursions, small group tours, and more.
It’s best to book your tour in advance and you can inquire about rates by filling out the online contact form.
Take a Cooking Class
Get your inner chef on and learn from the locals how to cook local Italian Cuisine. Cooking classes are a great way to learn cooking skills and take those principles back home with you.
There are a few cooking classes you can take in Positano:
- Bucca di Bacco: 2 hours long, starting at 3:30 afterward you taste what you prepared in class.
- Pizza Cooking Experience: Learn how to make pizza in a family home
- La Tagliata Cooking Class: Learn to make Italian specialties in a Villa with a view.
Read Next: 15 Best Things To Do in Positano Italy
Things to do in Positano
Beaches in Positano
There are two beaches in Positano: Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo Beach.
The Spiaggia Grande is Positano’s largest beach and is the center of the town’s square. Two sections make up this beach: renting a chair & umbrella, or bringing your own towel to enjoy on the ‘free side’.
I’ve done both and honestly, had a good time on both days. But if you plan on having a full beach day for many hours in the sun, I would recommend renting a chair.
Renting a Chair at Spiaggia Grande:
L’Incanto is the only operator to rent chairs and umbrellas at Spiaggia Grande. They are a bit pricy, so choose your beach days accordingly.
You can also order food and drinks to your chair through a QR code. Surprisingly, the food and drink menu was quite reasonably priced with Aperol Spritz at 10€ and sandwiches around 7€.
2022 Rates Price Per Chair (umbrella included)
- 35€ 1st Row
- 30€ 2nd row and back
Another beach you can visit in Positano is Fornillo Beach. This beach is tucked away on the other side of Positano and can be reached by a 10/15 minute walk from Spiaggia Grande.
Fornillo has a more local vibe and is less expensive than Spiaggia Grande. Here you will find many vendors offering beach chairs, umbrellas, and beach restaurants.
We opted to sit at Da Ferdinando Beach and enjoyed a full day in the sun there. (P.S. Da Ferdinando Beach Restaurant is a great option for lunch and gets very busy, see Best Restaurants in Positano below)
2022 Price per Chair (umbrella included)
- 25€ 1st row
- 20€ 2nd row and back
Note: The beach is made up of small rocks that get extremely hot in summer, rather than soft cool sand. Pack a pair of rubber sandals or water shoes if you plan on swimming- your feet will thank you.
Best Positano Bars
Il Tridente a serene cocktail lounge and Restaurant apart of Hotel Poseidon. It’s my personal favorite place in Positano to watch the sunset, and enjoy apertivo.
On some nights you’ll find live music, and a beautiful setting to relax and unwind from the day. Service is top-notch and friendly, and I’ve been going every year since I’ve been to Positano.
Unlike other bars in Positano, you won’t have to wait for a great table as all of them have a beautiful view and comfortable chairs. Drink prices are reasonable, and you can order shared plates for a more hearty meal. It’s a must-stop on your visit.
Franco’s Bar is probably one of the most popular bars in Positano to watch the sunset, and for a good reason, it’s gorgeous. This Apertivo Bar is a part of Le Sirenuse hotel and offers an iconic view overlooking Positano.
But here’s my personal opinion on Franco’s Bar. I would only recommend going if it is your first time in Positano and want to see a beautiful view, or if you’re visiting during shoulder season when you’re able to get a front-row table with a minimum wait.
But, there are only 4 tables that have a front-row view. They are sat on a first come first serve basis with a lengthy waiting list of people trying to sit there.
Franco’s Bar does not take reservations, so you’ll either have to arrive when it opens, expect a line queuing 30+ minutes before opening hours, or wait for a few rounds to finally sit there.
Keep in mind, that almost everyone there wants that front-row seat- so it’s not out of the ordinary that people will grab the front-row tables as people check out.
With drinks starting around 20€ to 25€ for a martini (that’s $29.50!) and no view if you’re not in the front row, I’d rather drink elsewhere.
The hidden gem goes to Paradise Bar! This casual walk-up spot directly above Chez Black offers your classic Italian Apertivo drinks like Aperol Spritz & Negronis, and a nice view overlooking the main square of Positano and the beach.
Paradise Bar isn’t fancy, but if you’re looking for a quick bite and nice drink definitely stop by. It’s a grab-and-go spot so it’s first come first serve to get a table.
P.S. they have a delicious flatbread sandwich with ham & tuna for 6€, and it was the best sandwich I had in Positano. Great for take-away to the beach.
Music on the Rocks
Music on the Rocks is the only nightclub in Positano and is located in a truly unique setting: a cave. I personally have not been, but I heard it’s the place to be for a fun night of music and dancing.
Best Positano Restaurants
If you are looking for a romantic evening out with a view then you’ll have to make a reservation for Il Tridente. This gorgeous rooftop restaurant is situated above Hotel Poseidon underneath the beautiful bougainvillea and offers a unique menu with modern twists on classic Italian Cuisine.
This restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner, and reservations are required –> Book Here
After debating eating here for years, we finally made a reservation for Next2 in 2022! After all those years we missed out on a great dining experience.
This is a Michelin-starred restaurant and it’s on the more expensive side of things (welcome to Positano); however, the service, environment, and menu all exceeded my expectations. If you’re looking for an elevated/ special occasion dining experience I would recommend a table here.
Don’t expect your traditional Italian food here- which is hard to come by in Positano. Instead, you’ll find a unique blend of Mediterranean flavors. I loved the tuna tartare trio served as bruschetta, a taco, and Crudo. Plus, you’ll find an inventive cocktail menu.
Next2 is one of my new favorite go-to restaurants in Positano.
Da Vincenzo is a Michelin-Starred restaurant that offers classic home Italian cooking using fresh ingredients and fresh seafood. You’ll find both cozy outdoor and indoor seating overlooking Positano.
Reservations are highly recommended. You can make a reservation up to a day in advance by email. Last-minute reservations made the day of must be made by telephone +39 089875128.
A must-stop if you are looking for delicious pizza in a laid-back, yet nice environment. There is ample sidewalk seating with soft candle-lit tables, and seating inside.
While Saraceno D’Oro is known for its wood-fired pizzas, don’t be afraid to try other items on the menu like homemade pasta and house wine.
Dinner at La Tagliata is a must-experience when in Positano. Located high in Montrepuso, La Tagliata offers stunning views and delicious home-cooked Italian cuisine.
Every diner is served a pre-fixe menu that includes 5 to 6 courses and as much house wine as you’d like. Definitely come here hungry as the food literally keeps coming out.
It is best to make a reservation, which includes a free shuttle pick-up in Positano to and from the restaurant!
€45 per person
Located on Fornillo Beach in Positano, this laid-back lunch spot is buzzing. You do not need to rent a chair to dine here, and anyone who is eating at the restaurant can take the free boat shuttle from the port in Positano to this restaurant.
If you miss the boat shuttle, you can always walk- just a 15-minute walk from Spiaggia Grande.
Lunch specials include fresh pasta, fish, and delicious cheeses. It’s a definite must-stop when in Positano.
Casa e Bottega
If you are looking for some cuisine that is not Italian, head to Casa e Bottega. This adorable cafe & shop filled with plants and attentive service offers healthy dining options and is open for breakfast and lunch.
Menu items include fresh juices, sweet breakfast, salads, sandwiches, raw fish plates, pasta, and more!
Lo Guarracino offers a romantic dining setting with a scenic view away from the crowds. You’ll have a relaxed dining experience overlooking the water with a great view of the sunset.
The menu features southern Italian dishes with a focus on fresh fish, starters, and fresh pasta.
You can book a table online using the form on the website.
Positano Day Trips
Positano to Capri
You can easily take a day trip to Capri Italy from Positano by ferry. Ferries leave in the morning and return back to Positano in the late afternoon. For more time in Capri, catch the first ferry out at 9:00 AM.
The price per ferry ticket ranges from 20€ to 22.50€ each way. Tickets can be purchased right next to the ferry port in Positano.
Positano to Amalfi
Another popular day trip option from Positano is visiting Amalfi. Amalfi is the buzzing town that the Amalfi Coast is named after. Visit the Duomo Di Amalfi church, have a sweet treat at Pansa, and enjoy the scenery.
You can reach Amalfi by ferry or by the SITA bus. Going by ferry is a more scenic way to get to Amalfi, even though it costs more money. It’s like getting a mini-tour as you get to your destination.
Positano to Ravello
Ravello is another popular choice to get away from the bustle of the Amalfi Coast. Situated high in the mountain, you’ll find serene gardens like Villa Ruffolo & Villa Cimbrone and a quiet relaxing getaway.
Catch the SITA bus in Amalfi to Reach Ravello. You’ll have to transfer in Amalfi from Positano to a new bus to get to Ravello.
Things to Pack for Positano
When packing for Positano there are some key pieces you’ll want to bring along. Overall, you’ll see people more dressed up here.
- Comfortable Shoes: bring a pair of comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking a lot! I love these stylish espadrilles because they’re not too high and are super comfortable to wear. Seriously, I have them in 3 colors!
- Water Shoes: The beaches in Positano are made up of small pebbles, so to save your feet when you want to go for a dip is bringing some water shoes.
- Sunscreen: During the summer months it gets very sunny in Positano, and sunscreen can get pricy when bought locally. Bring your own and protect your skin.
- Tote Bag: Because there are so many steps in Positano when you leave your hotel for the day, you might not make it back. Having a comfortable bag you can carry the things you need for the day is essential.
- Cute Bikini: If you are traveling during the summer months, a cute bikini is a must!
P.S. Save room in your suitcase for local fashion finds. You’ll find quailty handmade items in high-quailty natrual fibers.
Shop my favorite looks here:
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Watch My Positano Italy Vlog:
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Hi Dana, I read your blog about Positano with great interest as we are about to head there in a couple weeks. I was wondering, based on your past trips there, if you found that the number of tourists there this summer is the same or less than previous years?
Thanks again for the great information.
Hi Jessica, apologies for the late reply! Last summer wasn’t as busy as usual! But visiting during shoulder season always is a good idea to avoid most crowds!
Hi,I’m looking for some New Year events in Positano. Do you have any recommendations?