Positano

Positano bites deep.
It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there
and becomes beckoningly real after you are gone.

John Steinbeck

Positano dal mare

For a photographer, there could not be a better subject. Those touring Italy should make this a required stop: Positano is a picture post card from almost every angle, thanks to its characteristic pastels and blocky architecture.

Positano, once a sleepy fishing village, is now a trendy destination popular with the jet set and common travelers alike. It began to attract large numbers of tourists in the 1950s, especially after John Steinbeck published his essay about Positano in Harper’s Bazaar in May, 1953: “Positano bites deep”, Steinbeck wrote. “It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.”

The origins of this charming place are a mix of history and legend. As often happened in the past, the lack of actual data was obviated with myths, one of them tells that Positano was founded by Poseidon, god of the sea, for the love of the nymph Pasitea.

Positano is an almost impossible town: clutching the cliffs of Monti Lattari, a pastel-dabbled landscape on the Mediterranean Sea, with views that sweep over the sea to the islands and coastal towns; it is itself a sight to see on its steep perch. Here, the “streets” take the form of passageways among the houses and steep sets of stairs that interlink the alleys. Only one road traverses the town, Viale Pasitea, while the access to the alleys is only by foot, among shops, cafes, hotels and bouganville flowers.

 


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