Positano is the village along the Amalfi Coast which is both closest and easiest to reach from Sorrento... luckily it is also the most beautiful and famous of all the coastal villages and shouldn't be missed if you are staying for more than a day or two in Sorrento.
Getting to Sorrento from Positano:
- Public buses (see Sita Bus schedules)
- Coast to Coast Bus (departures from Piazza Lauro throughout the day, tickets EUR 15)
- Ferry (see ferry schedules Sorrento - Positano)
- Scooter (rental from EUR 30/day)
- Car (parking EUR 4/hour)
- See also Amalfi Coast tours
Parking in Positano
There is no free parking in Positano, unless you are willing to leave your car a number of kilometers (and staircases) from the center of town. There are numerous paid parking garages along the road; the closest to the pedestrian area of Positano are Mandara and De Gennaro, both of which charge around EUR 4/hour. Be aware if you are arriving by scooter that most scooter parking places are reserved for residents.
If you are arriving by bus or car, your walk through town will begin on Viale Pasitea, a wide pedestrian lane that winds down the cliffside towards the water's edge, lined by boutiques selling iconic Positano-style dresses, handcrafted leather sandals, and original art.
The lane ends in a small square which overlooks the sea across from the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, famous for its colorful ceramic-tiled cupola pictured on countless postcards. Inside the church, you can see the Madonna Nera icon, done in a Byzantine style and dating fromthe 13th century.
According to legend, the painting of the Madonna Nera was being carried on a Turkish vessel which ran aground near Positano. The Captain heard the words "Posa, posa" (Put it down, put it down) coming from the canvas and decided to throw it into the sea. The residents of Positano found it washed up on the beach where the church now stands, and the name “Positano” is said to have its roots in this legend.
After visiting the church, continue down the stairs to the Spiaggia Grande beach, where you can enjoy the beautiful view of the colorful town clinging to the cliffside behind you. There are a number of cafès, restaurants, beach clubs, and bars where you can relax by the sea after your walk.
If you'd like to continue your walk, you can take the trail to the right known as the “Sentiero degli Innamorati” which leads to the Fornillo Beach. There is a historic Saracen tower along the way, built on the furthest point of the coast to guard against pirates.
Montepertuso and Nocelle
If you are travelling by car or scooter, it's worth the effort to take a side trip up the cliffside to the village of Montepertuso and the hamlet of Nocelle. These two spots were once only accessible on foot along the Sentiero degli Dei trail from Agerola or the long staircase which climbed up the hillside from Positano. Today you can easily reach the villages by car, but the charm of these spots seem untouched by time. Take a minute to stop and admire the view from the small square, which stretches across the Mediterranean to the shores of Capri.