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Hugging a semi-vertical rock formation, Positano is the very essence of picturesque. In mid summer, appreciative admirers can seem like an invading horde that might have attacked the little seaside kingdom back when it was part of the powerful Republic of the Amalfis (9th–11th c.) and rival to Venice as a sea power. You might take solace in the still-true words of American novelist John Steinbeck, who was much taken with Positano during a visit in 1953, “It is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone. . . . The small curving bay of unbelievably blue and green water laps 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.”

 

The tourist office (www.aziendaturismopositano.it; (tel) 089-875067) is at Via del Saracino 4. It is open Monday to Saturday 8:30am to 2pm, with additional hours (3:30–8pm) in July and August.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.