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South Coast of Salerno,
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Salerno - Italy
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TOURS AND ESCURSIONS IN POSITANO ITALY HOTELS
The whole world is enchanted by the beauty of the Amalfi Coast and Positano.
The green terraces that overlook the blue sea, rich architecture, art treasures, the picturesque lanes. The beautiful Coast of Sirens is characterized by a charming landscape.
Cliffs that plunge into the sea, creeks and bays as the Fiord of Furore, the Emerald Grotto, Conca dei Marini, Positano Hotels . Among rocks, slopes and cliffs, you can enjoy a landscape where nature has remained untouched and unspoiled. Beautiful sea, breathtaking views, artistic and cultural events and nightlife, streets dotted with shops where revived arts and crafts of yesteryear.
This is certainly the ideal places for tours and excursions. Trekking, climbing, cycling, guided tours, walking or simple "shopping tours" through the streets of Capri and Positano fashion. To discover the lesser-known steps and corners of these wonderful towns that are nestled in the mountains and overlooking the sea, full of history.
From Positano to Amalfi, Ravello, Vietri, through Maiori Ravello, Erchie, Minori. Countless are paths to follow, to discover a world that still retains the magical atmosphere of a lost time. Particular attention then they deserve the famous Amalfi walks, places to live fully "secrets", the ravines crowded and least known, and for this very rich in a great charm. White stairs, steps on terraces above the sea, including beautiful views and the ruins of ancient churches. Until you reach the Duomo, attraction for tourists and art scholars from around the world.
Of particular charm of the port area, where at night you can have a picturesque view of the Amalfi lit. Thousand solutions, in short, for tours and excursions on the Amalfi Coast & Positano that will remain etched in the memories of all visitors.
Description of Positano:
Church Madonna delle Grazie
Built on the ruins of a temple dedicated to the God of the Son , this church houses some
Canvases which date back to the 18th and 19th Centuries, among which a painting of
San Antonio and Sant’Anna with the infant Virgin stands out. The valuable majolica
ceramic floor is one of the works of art carried out by the Chiajese brother of Naples
who also worked in the cloister of Santa Chiara in Naples .
The church overlooks the Fornillo district, the magnificent cascade of houses which
descends the cliff face from the peck of mount Comune right down to the sea , where
the Clavel Tower stands. Positano is a vertical town , and the only roadway is Via
Pasitea . The rest of the town is a secret labyrinth of steep winding steps: In Positano
You don’t walk , you climb. or rather you slide.. ( John Steinbeck) .
Pass to the right and keep going downhill until you get to the main road , take Via
Pasitea on the opposite side of the road and keep going until you reach the first bend,
Here you turn right into Via Pastiniello . This is where the long but pleasant descent
starts which , alternating between flights of steps and stretches of roadway , cut through
the entire Fornillo district and comes out on the beach of Positano .
In rapid succession you pass along Via Pastiniello , the roadway , Via San Giovanni ,
Via degli Oleandri , the roadway once more and finally Via Trara Genonimo . On the
last flight of steps , as soon as you come out into the open , it road are curved ;they
were the water cisterns of a Roman villa , upon whose ruins the mother church was
built in the 13th Century.
The first people to visit Positano were groups of Nomadic hunters who left their traces
In the La Porta grotto,on the eastern border of the village , during the Mesolithic Age.
Later the sporadic presence of the Phoenicians and Greeks came , and then the Romans
arrived in the 2nd Century A.D. and built two villas in Positano area. One stood on the
big isle of Li Galli , while the other was built on the beach and belonged to one of
Claudius Augustus freed men, Posides Spado .
It is from here , praedium posidetanum , or Posides settlement , that the original nucleus
of Positano derives . It expanded little by little during the 5th Century in order to offer
refuge to the people of the nearby Nocerino Sarnese plains which had been devastated
by the barbarians .
Within the Amalfi Republic , Positano’s remarkable fleet and its bolt sailors made it a
rich and powerful universitas ( town ) seat of the Schola Nautica ( Nautical School ).
That was until a number of catastrophic events reduced the town to a state of poverty
And neglect which suffocated it until the 18th Century .
The town lost its autonomous status of Dukedom , suffered a seaquake in 1343 and was
raided by the Ottoman pirates in 1440. However, during the 18th Centuty Positano was
favoured by the Bourbon Royal Family , its trade flourished and many luxurious
mansions were built , such as Murat Palace and many others . This splendour came to
an end once more in the 19th Century, when the trade axis moved to the Atlantic Ocean
and a new period of decay began. During the second half of the 19th Century Positano suffered from mass emigration , mainly to the United States. In just a few years the population dropped drastically , in fact the Liparlati neighbourhood was completely abandoned and became know as the “ghost town “. The building of the main road at the end of the century was the salvation of the town . Until them it had only been accessible by sea or through the arduous mountain tracks which separated, rather than linked ,the town from the rest of the world. The evocative “Path of the Gods”, nowadays walked by many hikers , was the only means of communication with the rest of the world beyond the mounts .The new road finally linked Positano to Salerno , Sorrento and Naples, allowing the first tourist of the 20th Century to go there .
These tourists were mainly Russian and German artists looking for inspiration: a small elite wave of immigration that grew ever more abundant after the Nazi and Socialist persecutions in Europe . Once the war was over , those artist begun spreading the fame of Positano all over Europe, While John Steinbeck made the revelation to the Americans with his article published in the famous magazine “ Harper’s Bazaar” in 1953.
The open-air lifestyle, walking barefoot and wearing bright colourful clothes , were the
elements that tickled the tourists’ fancy for this new way of life , the Moda Positano
(Positano Trend ) was born and its touristic adventure began… but let’s get back to our walk !
Few people know that this last stretch of Via Trara Genoino is the “scalinatella “, or the flight of steps , celebrated by the poet Salvatore di Giacomo . Once you get to Piazzadel Saracino ( Saracen’s Square), go to the right until you reach the beginnings of the quay .
Take the road to the right , Via Positanesi d’America , and continue until you reach the
Trait Tower, here you stop.
Some steps lead to the Marinella of Positano , and from there , passing through a narrow
passage , you will get to the Fornillo beach , with the Clavel Tower protecting it to the west . Beyond is Punta Germano and the stretch of coast which divided Positano
from Punta Campanella , the wildest and least well-known stretch of the whole Amalfi
Coast ; it is part of the Marine Reserve of Punta Campanella . Futher out to sea is the
small archipelago of Li Galli and the islets of Isca and Vetara ..
Azure, like the crystal clear waters they are reflected in , the Gallo Luongo, the Rotonda
And Castelluccia islets ( the latter is also know as “Brigands island “) are the ancient
Sirenuse islets; according to legend they are the corpses of the mermaids Ligea, Leucosia
And Parthenope who died after being humiliated by Ulysses and whose bodies were
transformed into the three rocks.
Whether they are goddesses or rocks , these tiny islands bewitched the Russian chore-graphed Lèonide Massime , who , during the first half of the 20th Century, founded a
“temple” of dance there . Some nights , when the sirocco wind blows , in the suffocating
summer heat , it almost seems as if you can hear the mermaids singing and the thudding of
the ships that the treacherous creatures sent crashing against the rocks . Nowadays this small archipelago is private property , on the main isle, The Gallo Lungo, there is a villa
a small chapel and a perfectly restored Angioini watchtower . Unfortunately it is impossible to land without an invitation …
At this point turn back the way you came and after passing the quay you can walk along the beach . Near the steps stands the Sirena di Positano ( Mermaid of Positano ), a bronze
statue by Raffaele D’Amato .
On the beach the restaurants’tables spread down to the sand amongst boats and fishing nets colourful boutiques and “open sea art galleries “
Keep going until you reach the steps with the stone lions , and just take a moment to look around . The bar-restaurant on the right of the steps is the oldest in Positano .
As soon as Nazism and Socialism started spreading though Europe , a group of German and Russian artists and intellectuals fled their countries and took refuge in Positano .
“A heterogeneous , free , eccentric and light –hearted group , bound together by art and wine … voluntary prisoners of this Mythological landscape “ (Siegfrid Kracauer ) .
Semenov , Zagorouiko, Essad Bey, Clavel, and others fonded a literary salon by the sea …
They wrote great literature , they had great ideas and loved drinking , the Russian writer
Miska Semenov on his deathbed left the inhabitants of Positano a rich legacy, to be spent
On wine ..
The stroll continues until the Sponda beach , named after the watchtower that over-looks it. Futher along are the other smaller beaches of La Porta , Fiumicello , Arienzo and San Pietro , which you can access both by sea and from the main road . Now the time has come to turn back , after passing the steps with the stone lions go left along a narrow lane full
of colourful clothes, you then ascend to the right and enter Piazza Flavio Gioia , at the foot of the Cathetral.
The art installations in the square are by Mimmo Palladino , while on the bell-tower there
is a plate representing the Pistrice , a mythological sea monster which is the fascinating
symbol of Positano . There is also a plaque in honour of Flavio Gioia ,the inventor of the compass, although historians maintain that this is only a legend and the compass was invented in China and was brought to the West by the inhabitants of Amalfi.
Nevertheless the inhabitants of Positano were know as good sailors and for their strong fleet with its flag showing the signum novum , insolitum, or rather , the compass…
Church Santa Maria Assunta
Built in the 13th Century on the remains of a Roman villa , the church was completely restored after the seaquake of the 15th Century.
Within you will find some baroque canvases; a painting by Santafede showing the Circumcision, the bust of Saint Vito, patron of Positano, and on the altar , the Black Madonna .
According to legend , the sacred icon came from the sea around the year 1000.But when the umpteenth Saracen attack and raid took place a provident sea storm impeded the raiders’ escape and the icon itself ordered the infidels “posa ,posa “( lay me down ) that is , to lay the icon on the beach , it is in that exact point that the sailors built the church , surrounded by the village, giving it the name of Positano which comes from the legendary posa posa .
On the left of the altar stands the statue of the Madonna Assunta , which the Sailor of Positano carry in procession to the beach each year on August 15. It is here that the blessing of the boats and the quay take place , and also of the pebbles of the sea-shore , but only those with a hole in the middle , which the local children collect as they are thought to be a lucky talisman.
Upon leaving the square turn left into via dei Mulini and keep going until you reach Murat Palace, once the residence of Gioacchino Murat , King of Naples . In the summertime its gardens are opened for several events , such as” Positano ..sea , sun and culture “,a cultural
mundane book festival, and the “Leonide Massine Positano Dance Award” named after the great Russian choreographer who lived for some time on the islet of Li Galli …
The road ends in Piazza dei Mulini, where the church of the Madonna del Rosario stands.
Inside there is a beautiful fresco of the Madonna del Carmine and on the high altar stands a painting of the Madonna del Rosario…
Upon leaving the church, look up at the stone tower overlooking the small square ;it is what remains of an ancient vertical watermill ,Positano was already famous for its flour in Roman times . When the Emperor Tiberius moved to Capri as result of the hatred he was shown in Rome,he trusted no one . He was afraid that everyone was trying to position him
And he was probably right . He feared eating bread made with the local flour , so his row boat sailed along the coast of Positano in order to bring him the flour of the mill which still stands besides the hill . ( John Steinberck )
According to historical sources, the mill stood on the beach of Arizono and the miller , Arienzo, was one of the Emperors’freed men. During the last century the Azerbaijani writer Essad Bey bought it and turned it into a magnificent villa . The mill overhanging the square looks just like it and the whole quarter is named after it .
On 7 march 1847 John Ruskin noted: “Crown of farmers go up and down the valley – with handsome lineaments and fine bones : girl, fourteen or fifteen years of age , the fairest face I have seen since begin in Italy – a perfect sea nymph . Peculiarly dressed: a handkerchief askew on her chest , brightly coloured , an open corset , shot petticoats and large sandals at her feet… but the international baptism was to come at the end of the 1950’s when, on the sands of Fornillo, one of the first bikinis was flaunted in Italy.. and the American tourists
Became its ambassadors world wide…
Since then there has been a constant procession of colourful collections; sarong, baggy shirts , bags, bathing costumes , evening wear and even wedding dresses , with matching
brightly coloured sandals which transmit all of the sun and the love of life of Positano...
Piazza dei Mulini ( Mill Square) is the main junction of the Positano road yellow buses go through the township every twenty minutes. To get back to the “New Church “take the first bus . While you are waiting for it, if you are lucky, you might come across Raffaele
Who goes around with his cart selling delicious sorbets .
Sorbets has Arabian origin and its name comes from the Arabic word sherbet, in the desert the Sheiks used the snow collected from the African mountains to cool down and amaze the Christian merchants. This custom was introduced in the West , where people kept the snow collected in the winter in deep caves or wells until the summer . Since then you will often come across a “Vicolo della Neve “ (alleyway of Snow ) in many seaside towns.
Once back in the car you can either drive along the main road avoiding the village , which is probably the best option , or drive through Positano.
Those who choose the second option have to turn right at the crossroad of Via Pasitea and then drive straight on until you get back to Piazza dei Mulini .From here you carry on along Via Cristoforo Colombo until reaching the Sponda crossroads , where you get back onto the “Amalfitana “main road (SS), at Km 14.7. We suggest you stop after two Km at the San Pietro hotel , in the Laurito hamlet . Here , there is a beautiful romantic chapel surrounded by flowers with a crucifix standing out against the blue sea. The perfect spot to say goodbye to Positano .