I'm not the first to have fallen for this slice of heaven's charms. The names of former frequenters of Positano reads like a who's who of the greatest minds of the last few centuries. My hero John Steinbeck wrote a short story about the place in 1953 and he captures its many charms perfectly. Positano by John Steinbeck
Positano is a town of about 4000 souls who cling to the cliffs that rise out of the Mediterranean. It's a town nearly devoid of roads, everything's connected by walkways and staircases instead. When it comes to photography, I'm usually the micro guy. I like to take photos of smaller details. When I look back at my shots from Positano however, nearly all of them are panoramics and nearly all of them are shot looking up at the impossibility of the town.
Here's Positano. Every one of those homes is connected to its neighbors and the town seems to creep up the cliffs. It's mind-bending.
This is Pippo, the town dog. He's sleeping on a bench covered in beach towels and t-shirts that are for sale. If you want to buy something from this shop keeper you have to wake Pippo up and get him to move. Warning: he's pretty cranky when he first gets up.
This region of Italy is renowned for its majolica tile and flourishes of it are everywhere. This shot is a detail of a garden wall and what a cool pattern this is.
Another view looking up from the waterfront.
One of Positano's few roads is in the foreground in this shot.
This narrow passageway is more typical means of getting around Positano. The sheer verticality of this town and the amount of stair climbing involved in getting from point A to point B keep the Positanans (and their visitors) in great shape.
This is the 11th century cupola of the church of S. Maria Assunta. The exterior of that church looks the same today as it did when it was built nearly a thousand years ago.
The iron work on this balcony impressed me and its state of near-decay makes it all the more interesting.
John Steinbeck wrote "Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone."
This is what I call my money shot. Of the thousands of photos I've taken over the years, this one stands out as my hands-down favorite. This copper statue was in an antique store and I borrowed it for a second, sat it on a wall and took the shot. It was a complete seat of the pants thing and for me, it sums up the incredible town of Positano perfectly. As in this photo, the place is a perfect mixture of art, mythology and scenery. I still can't believe I was there sometimes yet at the same time, it haunts me still. John Steinbeck was right. I don't think I'll ever be satisfied until I go back again.
The Positanans have embraced the 20th century slowly and begrudgingly and I was surprised to see that they've set up a live webcam that looks down at their water front. Clicking on the link to that Positano webcam has become my new mini-vacation. Check it out.