Thanks to its beautiful climate and incredible landscapes, Positano has been a holiday resort ever since the Roman times. It is famous all over the world for the designs in clothing and ceramics, along with the beauty of its town center that has been attracting celebrities and artists for several decades. A number of scalinate (staircases) connect the town from top to bottom, all the way to the beach. The main beaches are the Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo, that can be reached on foot, while La Porta, Arienzo, and Laurito can be reached from the sea.
During the middle Ages numerous watchtowers were built against the Saracens, who were responsible for marauding the coastline and the local population.
There is a legend regarding the Duomo of Positano: a long time ago, around the 12th century AD, a ship carrying a byzantine style painting of the Madonna Assunta, was sailing the waters in front of the village. There was no wind and the ship could not move, when the sailors, who were Benedictine monks, heard a voice saying “Posa Posa” (which means “stop here”) almost coming from the portrait of the Virgin Mary. So they went ashore and the people of Positano brought the painting inside a church and left it there to protect it. But the next morning it had disappeared and was found close to the sea, in a field of flowers. Believing a miracle had happened, the people decided the construction of a new church right in that area, and dedicated it to Santa Maria Assunta, which is celebrated every august 15th with a ceremony followed by pictoresque fireworks. The church today is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy.
Amongst the abbots that operated in Positano we remember Cardinal Vincenzo Maria Orsini, who later became Pope Benedict XIII.