I find myself daydreaming about Positano sometimes. I’ve been there many times, but this past summer was the first time that I stayed there. And now I yearn to return. Positano seems to cast that magical spell on those who have had the good fortune to experience her charm, and I am certainly one of them.
If you are one to believe in legends, the story goes that Positano was founded by the Neptune, God of water and the sea. It was here that Neptune fell in love with the nymph, Pasitea.
For those who enjoy history, the award-winning author John Steinbeck lived in Positano for a while, as did other writers. In the May 1953 edition of Harper’s Bazaar, Steinbeck wrote an essay titled Positano. Here he describes the Jewel of the Amalfi Coast in a perfect way.
“Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone. Its houses climb a hill so steep it would be a cliff except that stairs are cut in it. I believe that whereas most house foundations are vertical, in Positano they are horizontal. The small curving bay of unbelievably blue and green water lips gently on a beach of small pebbles. There is only one narrow street and it does not come down to the water. Everything else is stairs, some of them as steep as ladders. You do not walk to visit a friend, you either climb or slide. “
He appropriately called Positano the most perpendicular village in the world. And his words are accurate since the houses and hotels are accessible only long, winding stairways from sea level to a rod high above the city.
If you’re not fond of exercise, then you’ll curse all the staircases and inclines you have to traverse to reach anywhere in this town. Yet, the tremendous views along the way are so completely worth it.
I almost cannot explain how mesmerizing this town is. You really have to experience it for yourself to fully understand its magnetic pull on your heart.
You can be assured that I will go back sometime soon to this slice of Paradise on the Amalfi Coast. And until then I will keep dreaming.
Have you been to Positano? Have you traveled anywhere where you felt this need to always go back? I’m interested in your story. I love feedback so please leave a comment.
Grazie and ciao.
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If you like this post you may be interested in my latest book, Colors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast, with original photography, available on Amazon.com