POSITANO BITES DEEP
I first heard of Positano from Alberto Moravia. It was a very hot day in Rome. He said, “Why don’t you go down to Positano on the Amalfi Coast? It is one of the fine places of Italy”. Later John McKnight of United States Information Service told me the same thing. He had spent a year there working on a book. Half a dozen people echoed this as well. Positano kind of moved in on us and we found ourselves driving down to Naples on our way,” so wrote John Steinbeck for Harper’s Bazaar, May 1953.
Italy has long been a dream destination for so many, the art, history, endless sights, and incredible food and drink make Italy the most favored destination of millions of travelers each and every year.
If you are headed on a vacation to Positano, one of Italy’s most favored seaside towns, it’s likely you’ll be driving in some form or the other, whether you are driving yourself down from Rome, or you’ve hired a driver to take you there, or you may be one of many arriving on one of the blue Cita Local Buses driven by the world’s best bus drivers. If so, you will be starting in Sorrento. Whether in a car or one of those blue buses, once you cross over the peninsula of Sorrento from the Gulf of Naples to the Gulf of Salerno, the jaw-dropping beauty of the Amalfi Drive begins to unfold. The 15- kilometer stretch from Sorrento to Positano includes a dramatic succession of curves, sheer cliffs, rocky twists and the most beautiful panoramic vistas you are likely to see in your entire lifetime. This section of the road, known as via Nastro Azzurro, the “Blue Ribbon” climaxes with Positano.
The coastal drive between Positano and Amalfi delivers 10 miles of picture-perfect vistas that combine brilliant sea views with the dramatic jaggedness of the coastline, you’ll see colors of Azure Blue, bright yellows, pinks, greens, and colors of every spectrum of the Rainbow. It’s all quite stunningl.
When you finally arrive in Positano you will be greeted by colorfully white and pastel painted buildings that are filled with vibrant Purple Bougainvillea plants pouring generously over their walls. The town is a former fishing village that has been turned into a sort of La Dolce Vita playground. Though the entire coastline is absolutely gorgeous, Positano is arguably the most alluring gem of them all.
The romance of this pretty little town makes for a jewel of vacation and one you shall always cherish. It’s most assured you will never forget time spent in Positano. When traveling to Positano you immediately notice its abundance of natural beauty and the drama of rugged cliffs that shoot straight up out the blue sea below. These sights are sure to grab you with each and every turn on this, the world’s most beautiful road. You arrive and immediately notice the intoxicating smell of Jasmine that fills the air with its heady aroma.
“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,” author John Steinbeck stated in an article he wrote about Positano for the May 1953 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.
Steinbeck describes the terror of winding through the Amalfi Coast on a road that “corkscrewed on the edge of nothing”, clutched in his wife’s arms who was “weeping hysterically”. The road to Positano is barely wider than a car and the journey has become no less perilous. With the ocean pinching at you on one side and the mountains cradling you on the other, you spiral down past hordes of scooters that buzz like angry mosquitoes.
Although Positano has lost its status as a secret known to a select few (myself since 1985), it still remains a gem of a place, with large crowds or not, Positano is still impresses.
Excerpted from Daniel Bellino Zwicke ‘s New Forthcoming Book : POSITANO