Discover Positano: Italy's Enchanting Coastal Village

Take a photographic tour of one of the country's most picturesque destinations.

By: Ryan Reed
Panorama of Positano.

Positano, Italy

Panorama of Positano.

Photo by: ©


There's no shortage of beautiful places to visit in Italy. From the sprawling fields of Tuscany to the capital city of Rome, travelers can experience it all in a country known for amazing food, world class museums and historic architecture.

One destination that should definitely be on your bucket list is located along the Amalfi Coast and combines old-Italian charm with plenty of Instagram-worthy vignettes. Or, as John Steinbeck wrote in a Harper's Bazaar essay in 1953, "It is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone."

Approximately 4,000 people call Positano home, but tourists flock to the area every summer for its postcard views, high-end shopping (famous for their made-to-measure sandals) and world-class beaches. For those thinking about booking a trip, do so well in advance and consider visiting during late spring when the air is full with the aroma of fresh flowers and wisteria sprouts from seemingly every colorful villa in town.

Positano: Where Linen is the Look
Loading Video...

The history of Positano is an interesting one. It was once a proud trading hub in the 18th century and flourished until other trade routes opened around Italy. With fewer ships coming to its shores and the town's importance dwindling, many locals emigrated to the United States. When Steinbeck wrote his essay, Positano was simply a small fishing village frequented by elite tourists, including M. C. Escher, Liz Taylor and Steinbeck, of course.

The coastal village has come a long way since those days. No longer a hidden hotspot for the select few, Positano is now home to a booming tourism industry while still maintaining its unique characteristics. Photographer Olivia Rae James Suarez recently traveled to the region to experience the allure of Positano, and as you can see from her images below, it's as dreamy as ever.

Italy's Best Beaches

See All Photos

Amalfi Coast

Positano on the Amalfi Coast has been a welcome beach retreat since the days of Roman nobility and the ancient Greeks.

Photo By: Karl Blackwell/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images


Most tourists don't make it all the way down the spur and heel of this boot-shaped country, but they're missing out. Southern Italy's Puglia region has not only over 400 miles of stunning coastline, but seafood specialities that alone are worth a trip. 

Photo By: Peter Adams/AWL Images/Getty Images

Cinque Terre

Visitors flock to Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera for great hiking, pretty beaches and romantic cliffside villages.

Photo By: Poike/iStock/Getty Images


Located off the Sorrento peninsula, Capri is a rocky, mountainous island beloved by starlets and jet-setters.

Photo By: David Soanes Photography/Moment Open/Getty Images


Sunbathers and fancy yachts compete with the beach's natural beauty along Sardinia's Costa Smeralda, or Emerald Coast.

Photo By:


Tuscany is known for its rolling hills, great wine and superb scuba diving in Monte Argentario's coves and bays.

Photo By:


Sicily's many beaches include sandy white shores and exotic black sands, making for a unique island getaway.

Photo By: Federico Scotto/Moment/Getty Images


The best beaches in Venice are found on Lido, a 7-mile long sandbar sitting in the Venice Lagoon and Adriatic Sea.

Photo By: Holger Leue/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

The Tremiti Islands

The Tremiti Islands, often called the pearls of the Adriatic Sea, are a string of islands including San Domino, San Nicola and Caprara. San Domino is the largest and most developed of the 3 and is known as the "green pearl" with its lush vegetation.

Photo By:


Tuscany's largest beach town, Viareggio is one of the farthest points south on the Italian Riviera. Viareggio is a classic resort town with art nouveau buildings, bustling nightlife and endless food, but it's best known for its wild Carnival festival, a tradition since 1873.

Photo By:

Next Up

What to Know About Moving to France

Are you about to pack your bags and move to France? Get the information you need before you make the move.

7 Days in Sorrento and Rome

From the Bay of Naples to Rome’s ancient Colosseum, experience some of the best Italy has to offer with this 7-day itinerary.

10 Days in London, Paris and Rome

Start in London, take the train to Paris, then fly to Rome on this 10-day itinerary by Monograms.

10 Days in Rome, Florence and Venice

Prepare to be captivated by Rome’s Sistine Chapel, Florence’s Cathedral Square, the canals of Venice and more on this 10-day itinerary for Italy.

Italy's Most Charming Small Towns

Dive into Italy's off-the-beaten-path destinations.

5 Ways to Conquer Europe’s Most Active Volcano

Mount Etna towers over the island of Sicily, spewing fumes, ash and lava in a constant reminder that our planet is still untamed. Here’s how you can visit it.

14 Things to Do in Ireland

Add these 14 things to do in Ireland to your "To Do" list.

Best Castles in Ireland

Emerald Isle's top 5 castles.

Ireland's Top 5 Bed and Breakfasts

Travel Channel's picks for the best bed and breakfasts in Ireland.

Greek Islands Weekend Guide

See the caldera for yourself and enjoy the local food, culture and picture-perfect sights during a weekend getaway to Santorini.

Trending Now

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.