Positano has rightly been described as a town of cliff dwellers because it seems to defy the laws of gravity, with buildings connected via stairway after staircase. There are no flat roads. In the 1950s author John Steinbeck, who is more generally associated with Monterey, Salinas, East of Eden, and The Grapes of Wrath, wrote a travel article for Harpers Bazaar magazine that included this memorable line: “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.”
We are here on the cusp of autumn. Most of the hotels and restaurants are already closed for the season. But the warm and sunny Sunday weather has brought crowds from Sorrento and Naples, and for me a swim on the beach along side of kids kicking balls, and couples enjoying a last snuggle in the sun before winter sets in.
As Steinbeck wrote, this place is like a waking dream, and I expect to cherish my time in Positano through the days of winter that lie ahead.
About the church and photo: Made from the balcony of my room just after sunset, this image shows the church of Santa Maria of Assunta from behind. The church features a black icon of Mary from the 1200s, supposedly stolen from Byzantium by pirates. A terrible storm came up, and the pirates heard the icon moaning and saying “Put me down, put me down”—“Posa, posa!”
The pirates landed the icon and settled in Positano, which took its name from the words of the statue. E.g., “Posa” became “Positano.” Or so they say.
Made with my Nikon D810, 28mm, 30 seconds at f/9 and ISO 200, tripod mounted, and minimally processed in Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop.