Why Visiting Positano On Italy's Popular Amalfi Coast May Not Be Worth It

If you're vacationing in Italy this summer, there's a good chance you're considering visiting the infamous Amalfi Coast. Within the Amalfi Coast are 13 towns, yet coastal Positano remains the focal interest area for tourists. Positano is home to one of the world's most famous beaches, Spiaggia Grande. The town is one of the most popular destinations not only on the Amalfi Coast but also in the country, with its picturesque coastlines, oversized lemons, and bustling beaches. Summer is the most popular time to visit. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that the area is prone to many of the pitfalls a popular destination can face. These include overpriced food with mediocre quality, limited hotel availability due to high demand (which results in costly rooms), and perhaps the worst of them all, an influx of crowds.

We understand the strong desire to go to a sought-after place. With photos of Positano flooding social media feeds each summer, you can feel left out if you haven't been yet. However, there are a few things you'll want to consider before visiting such a popular destination. These should serve as a friendly reminder that all that glitters is not gold.

Positano is costly and crowded

According to Rick Steves, an estimated 12,000 people visit Positano daily during the high season — late spring and early fall tourist numbers included. While this number might not be staggering for major cities like Rome and Milan, small-town Positano is home to less than 4,000 residents (via City Population). Therefore, an additional 12,000 people daily (mostly day trippers) make for one crowded seaside town.

Reaching Positano starts by flying into Naples or Rome. Then, a ferry, bus, or a private car to complete your trip. Busses are somewhat limited from around nearby areas, though Sorrento (a popular sister town 30 minutes away) offers a shuttle every hour. Of course, you can hire a private driver or book a tour, but driving is often stressful because of the narrow, windy roads. Hiring a private driver is possible, but that means paying at least $200 and finding a tour for less than $150 is unlikely.

Unlike those staying in Rome and visiting this place on a day trip, you might need accommodation. If you opt for a hotel, you will pay a lot more than you would compared to other areas in the country. The average hotel room in Positano is $290. You'll likely want to spend some time on the beach in Positano; if you do, be prepared to pay between €30 and €40 simply to secure a beach chair.

Where to go instead of Positano

If you want to experience the beauty of the Amalfi Coast, but perhaps in a less chaotic and more serene nature, you're not out of luck. There are plenty of options for other nearby towns from Positano that are still a total paradise without the crowds. Praiano is a fantastic option. It's only 6 miles from Positano, so you'll still get those dramatic cliffside views. It is much quieter than its popular neighbor, making for a more peaceful Amalfi Coast vacation for those who prefer crowd-free, dupe destinations.

Music lovers will want to consider Ravello. Why is that? Well, the small Amalfi Coast town is dubbed the "City of Music" since several musicians, including but not limited to Rostropovich, Wagner, and Toscanini, have spent ample time here. Ravello is further inland but still along the coastline. You're in Italy, so it's safe to say you're on the hunt for some good food. Minori is home to one of the area's best pastry shops. Sal De Riso is home to top-quality gelato, lemon granita, and savory delicacies like fried pizza and gnocchi.