Why I don’t like Positano

  • 2
  • February 3, 2016
Duomo, Positano, Amalfi coast

I must be the only person alive who doesn’t love Positano.

Call me a freak, but Postiano’s supposed charms have not revealed themselves to me, and I just don’t understand the fuss.

I went because how could you be in that neck of the woods and not go, right?

But once there I found myself so underwhelmed, annoyed even. I lasted a whole two hours and then I just had to get out of there. We ran to catch the next ferry back to Amalfi (NB I’m not known for running anywhere).

Sure it’s pretty and all, but no prettier than any of the other villages along the Amalfi coast.


Our first glimpse of Positano from the ferry. So far so good …


It’s chokkers full of tourists, so much so it’s difficult to even walk through the streets. I only wish I’d thought to take a few photos of the crowds to show you.

We had no definite plans while there apart from seeing the Black Madonna (more on that later) and were carried along by the crush of people, eventually finding ourselves up high above the main part of the village where things were thankfully a bit less frantic.

Positano, Amalfi coast

The beach is really ordinary, and right next to where the ferries come in.

Positano beach

And there’s absolutely nothing to do except go shopping. I’ve mentioned before I’m not fond of shopping while travelling – it takes up too much valuable time that could otherwise be spent exploring. And in any case, they just weren’t my type of shops.

Although I did happily stumble upon one dusty old antique shop at the top of the village and this quaint petrol station.

Positano petrol station

I stalked a nun.

nun, Positano

I’d heard there’s a black madonna in a church here (I’m quite fond of the black madonna and will go out of my way to visit her), but even that was disappointing, being a painting rather than a statue.

Black Madonna, Positano

We had some lovely lemon granita.

We saw some nice but very overpriced ceramics.

We bought some gin and some giant lemons for our G&T’s back on our beautiful balcony in Atrani.

I think to really enjoy Positano you need to stay in a fancy resort, lounge around the pool and eat in the Michelin starred restaurants. Call me strange but that’s not my idea of travelling fun.

Have you been to Positano? What did you think of it? Please fill me in on why it’s so popular!

Until next time, safe travels,

The Travelling Pantaloni

Passport stamp for Travelling Pantaloni

If you enjoyed this post you can read more about my Amalfi Coast adventures here: Atrani, Ravello, Capri

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  • Paula says:

    I have visited the Amalfi Coast 3 times now and even though I love it, I can certainly understand your experiences here. The first time we rented an apartment in Praiano, and the other 2 times we stayed in small B & B’s in Montepertuso and in Positano. The key here is to stay in lovely quiet areas and then explore as many parts of the coast as possible. All the major areas like Positano, Amalfi and Capri are crazy at times , overun with tourists, but when you stay there for an extended period, you get to walk everywhere and also find great little places to eat in the evenings when the tourists have gone. I suspect you did the same thing in Atrani. I guess its when you visit a place for a day you don’t get to experience the quiet times. We walked up the mountains, along the walk of the gods, boating around the small bays and enjoying evening drinks in Positano. We also used it as a base to see Capri, Ischia, Ravello, Amalfi etc.
    I have felt the same as you when landing in the middle of tourists in Capri and Amalfi as well as Positano and definitely have to get away from them as quickly as possible! Thankfully there are plenty of quiet areas in all the towns to enjoy.
    Being an Aussie I definitely dont go there for the beach but more for the village atmosphere. I did notice last September though, that the number of tourists has increased! When I go to Italy now I try to balance out the tourist packed areas like Venice, Rome, Florence etc with the quieter spots like Umbria and Tuscany and this year Puglia. I guess beautiful spots have to be shared! ❤️ Italy!

    • Robyn Hayes says:

      Hi Paula, yes I agree I think that’s the trick and I was certainly very happy to come back to quiet little Atrani at night! I went to Puglia for the first time last year and will be writing more posts about it soon (so far only one on Gallipoli), so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I think my heart is really in the deep south of Italy, Sicily in particular – have you been?

      • Paula says:

        I have not yet been any further south than Salerno but will be going to Puglia this October and yes Sicily has been a dream for awhile now. I can only spend one month each year in Italy and don’t like to rush around, but prefer staying in only 3, maybe 4 places and then going on day trips from there. I usually get ideas of where I want to go about 2 years ahead of time and then go crazy waiting! For example everything is already booked and paid for this year and now I am researching where I want to go next year. I think maybe I am a little obsessed! I think Sicily would be best travelled for a few weeks. The trouble is there are so many new places to see and also some places you want to return to as well.

        • Robyn Hayes says:

          Hi Paula, Puglia is a lovely region, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I must write more posts on my Puglia trip!
          I travel the same way you do: I don’t like rushing around either. There’s so much to see in such a small space.
          I’ve spent about 6 weeks in Sicily over 3 trips and I still haven’t seen it all, and I can’t wait to go back. So I completely agree that you need a few weeks there to really appreciate it. If you haven’t already read them, I’ve written a few posts about Sicily.
          Have a great trip and let me know what you liked best in Puglia when you come back


  • Stephanie says:

    I travelled to Positano this past September after spending 6 days in Rome. My boyfriend (now fiance) completely surprised me and proposed to me there, which is why Positano will always hold a special place in our hearts, but after just a couple days, we really missed Rome. We stayed at a quaint B&B in Positano, Casa Teresa, and we absolutely loved our room and lovely Teresa (and her husband), but we felt more at home in Rome. I agree about the crowds and shopping. We felt lost there, and even though we were also new to Rome, there was so much more to explore and we would find ourselves getting lost and loving it! Cant deny how picturesque Positano is though.

    • Robyn Hayes says:

      Hi Stephanie, well Positano’s always going to be a very special place for you!I agree it’s a really pretty place when you get the right angle and are away from the crowds. I love Rome too. Happy travels!


  • Cristina says:

    Ciao Robyn. I go to Italia every year but have not been to Positano. The way you described it sounds like Capri. So full of tourists it’s not enjoyable and the culture is so ‘watered down’ for the tourists it doesn’t even seem like the right country. I’ve been to many other touristy places that were still enjoyable (San Gimignano, Alberobello, Lucca) but Capri 2 years ago was out of control. Guess I won’t go out of my way to get to Positano-but I do need to get back to Paestum! Ciao, Cristina

    • Robyn Hayes says:

      Ciao Christina! I actually enjoyed Capri more than Positano because at least there you can get away from the crowds to the quiet places, so if that’s any indication I don’t think you’d enjoy Positano at all! I put up with the crowds at Alberobello because well it’s just so amazing.
      Paestum on the other hand – it’s one of the places that made me gasp out loud when I turned the corner and saw that first temple. So incredibly beautiful! I’d go back there any day. And when I visited there was hardly any one else there.
      Lucky you to visit Italy every year! Happy travels


  • Cristina says:

    I think the fact that I went to Capri when I was 16 and then a few other times had a lot to do with my disgusted reaction 2years ago! I was 11 when I visited Paestum and have wanted to go back ever since-it just didn’t work out. Will make it there soon. Ciao, Cristina

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