Positano, Italy

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Positano, Italy: Everything You Need To Know

Reviewed by Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen is the Live and Invest Overseas Founding Publisher. She has more than 30 years of hands-on experience traveling, living, and buying property around the world.


Night view of a church in Positano, Italy.
iStock/Fani Kurti

Positano is located on the southern part of Italy on the Amalfi Coast. It’s a cliffside village with colorful houses overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea and breathtaking scenery.

Summer is particularly vibrant in Positano. The climate warms up, which means visitors can take full advantage of the beaches and all the outdoor activities this picturesque village has to offer such as hiking, boat tours, walking around the village, and more.

Positano is also known for its mouthwatering cuisine. In short, it’s a great place to visit for foodies. The place is famous for highlighting dishes with fresh seafood and locally sourced ingredients.

Therefore, when in Positano, you can’t miss out on trying their spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams), limoncello (lemon liqueur), and sfogliatella (a local pastry made of thin layers and a filling made of pastry cream, ricotta, and sometimes caramelized fruit).

But if you’re looking to retire someplace with a laidback atmosphere with scenery you’ve only read about in books, seen on magazines or on movie screens, Positano, Italy is the place for you.

Cost Of Living In Positano, Italy

One of the reasons retirees and other expats are attracted to Positano, Italy, is its low cost of living. For Europe, Positano is among the most affordable places to live.

A couple could live here quite comfortably on a budget of about US$1,500. Increase your budget to about US$2,000 and you and your spouse could be living a life of luxury.

Check live foreign currency exchange rates.

Apartment Or House Rental Budget (For A Couple)

ExpenseMonthly CostNotes
TOTALUS$1,500 
RentUS$600One-bedroom apartment outside of the city center.
TransportationUS$35US$1.40 per one-way bus ticket. US$35 for monthly pass.
UtilitiesUS$140Electricity, including air conditioning, water, garbage, heating, and cooling.
Cell PhoneUS$35Depends on the cell phone plan you choose.
InternetUS$40 
EntertainmentUS$250

Eating out once a week.

Drinks twice a week.

Movie theatre trip twice a month or a cultural event. 

GroceriesUS$400Monthly grocery haul for a couple.

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Things To Do In Positano, Italy

Clear blue waters in a Positano beach, in Italy.
iStock/Evgenii Nagatkin

Positano is a picturesque, movie worthy village located on the Amalfi Coast. Turquoise waters, beautiful beaches, dramatic cliffs, and colorful houses are what makes this village stand out.

During the summer, Positano’s beaches and streets liven up with crowds of visitors arriving to enjoy the weather along with all the outdoor activities that come along with it.

Here’s a list of things you cannot miss while in Positano, Italy.

1. Visit Positano’s Beaches

Positano is known for its beaches. So, if you’re in town during the summer make sure to take at least a day of your busy visitor’s schedule to head over to one of Positano’s many beaches and enjoy a day lounging in the sun and bathing in the crystal-clear water.

You can also take part in water activities such as kayaking, stand-up paddle, snorkeling, and more.

A couple of beaches to visit are Spiaggia Grande and Fronillo Beach.

2. Get To Know The Village On Foot

Positano on foot is one of the most enjoyable ways to take in this little village.Put on comfortable clothes, comfortable shoes, sunblock, sunglasses, fill your water bottle, and take a stroll through the narrow alleyways and streets.

Take in all the colorful buildings, boutique shops, cafés, bakeries, and stores you’ll pass by.Guided scooter tours in Positano are also available.

3. Explore Nearby Towns

Positano is a great place to use as a base if you wish to explore nearby towns.You could head over to Ravello, another hillside village about one hour away by car. It’s known gardens and music festivals.

The island of Capri is also near to Positano. You can get there by ferry in about 30 minutes. It’s known to be a glamorous island with quite a few grandiose villas.

And, if you’re interested in towns drenched in history, Amalfi is a great place for you to visit. It’s about 40 minutes away by car and it’s known for its distinctive architecture.

The Duomo di Amalfi is a famous medieval Roman Catholic cathedral in the Piazza del Duomo. It’s been remodeled a few times and has Romanesque, Byzantine, Gothic, and Baroque architectural elements.

4. Go Hiking

Positano in the summer is a great place to be if you’re an outdoor enthusiast and enjoy hiking.

Hikes to consider include walking along the Amalfi Coast and taking in the scenery, Path of Gods specifically offers breathtaking views of the coastline and the surrounding landscape.

Monte Pertuso, Vallone delle Ferriere, and Punta Campanella are other hiking trails you might enjoy.

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Retiring In Positano, Italy

Retiring in Positano offers the chance to change your life in the States for a picturesque village. In other words, you get to enjoy a Mediterranean climate, relaxed lifestyle, cultural richness, outdoor activities, gastronomic delights, and a lower cost of living.

But, retiring to Positano doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You could always use Positano as a part-time home. If for some reason you decide that Positano isn’t the place for you, you can always move back home or try a new destination.

Before packing up your whole life and moving to Positano, though, we recommend you spend time there.

Plan to be in Positano, Italy, both during the summer, when most tourists decide to visit, and during the quiet season. Get a real idea of what life there is like.

Vacationing someplace and living there are two very different things. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a clearer idea of what your lifestyle will be like, the good and the bad of life in Positano, and how to navigate everything in your new home better.

And, if you want to upgrade your life in Positano, it’s a good idea to learn some Italian. Having knowledge of Italian as a retiree will enhance your lifestyle by allowing you to communicate with locals.

Plus, it’ll help you integrate into the local community, you’ll be able to appreciate the local culture much more, and you’ll find it’ll be handy for practical matters such as banking, health care, dealing with administrative tasks, etc.

Safety In Positano, Italy

Like most EU countries, Italy in general is remarkably safe. Positano is no different. This is a popular tourist destination and benefits from a low crime rate.

Nevertheless, we always recommend you practice caution no matter where in the world you are.

Petty theft may occur from time to time. Make sure to keep your belongings on you or in sight whenever you’re out and about, whether you’re sightseeing or grocery shopping or at the bank or wherever.

But, when wandering around, try not to wear flashy jewelry and expensive watches that may attract unwanted attention. Additionally, make sure you lock your doors and windows when you leave the house and make sure your valuables aren’t visible (or better yet take them with you) and lock the car.

Road safety is a big thing in Positano, too. This village is built on a cliffside, be careful when walking up and down stairs as well as hills.

The roads here can be quite narrow, be very careful when walking or driving. Make sure you become familiar with local driving regulations, keep an eye out for pedestrians, and take care when driving on coastal roads.

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Health Care In Positano, Italy

Positano has medical services available. There are medical clinics where you may find doctors and other staff who speak English.

The health care in Italy in general is high quality. Local clinics are where you’ll want to go if you need a routine checkup or require some minor assistance.

For emergency care, you’ll need to travel to neighboring towns and cities. The closest hospital is Hospital Santa Maria della Misericordia in Sorrento, about 34 minutes by car. In case of an emergency, this is where you should go.

However, if you find yourself in critical condition, doctors at this hospital may transfer you to larger hospitals in Naples or other Italian cities with more advanced medical facilities.

Visa And Residency Information

If you’re from a visa exempt country like the United States or Canada, you can visit Italy without a visa for up to 90 days. Most importantly, you can’t stay in Italy long-term though. If you wish to retire here, there’s a process you must follow.

Let’s have a look at the permits and visas you should consider…

Permit Of Stay (Permesso Di Sogiorno)

This permesso di sogiorno is intended for citizens outside the Schengen area that wish to stay in Italy for more than three months. Depending on the case, you can get six months up to two years. It is renewable, and it can last for a maximum of five years.

After that, you must apply for a permanent visa.

The types of permits include:

  • Permesso di soggiorno per coesione familiare: A residency visa for spouses and children of an Italian citizen.
  • Permesso di soggiorno per lavoro: A work permit.
  • Permesso di soggiorno per lavoro autonomo/indipendente: For entrepreneurs businessmen, and free-lance workers.
  • Permesso di soggiorno per studio: A student visa.
  • Permesso di soggiorno per ricongiungimento familiare: For the reunion of spouse, children, and dependent parents of foreigners married to Italian citizens.
  • Permesso di soggiorno per dimora: For foreigners establishing residence in Italy who don’t intend to work or study. Mostly retirees.

If you have Italian ancestry, or meet other criteria, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship. This’ll grant you the right to live and work in Italy with no restrictions.

Make sure to contact the Italian embassy or consulate to get more information. You can visit their website here.

Weather In Positano, Italy

Weather in Positano
Weather-and-climate.com

Among the reasons retirees and other expats decide to move or spend time in Positano, Italy, is the weather. Positano enjoys a Mediterranean climate characterized by mild wet winters and dry warm summers.

Temperatures here rarely go below 50°F (10°C) or above 86°F (30°C).

The warm season in Positano starts in June and lasts until August. This is when you’ll most likely run into crowds of tourists. Temperatures usually stay between 79°F (26°C) and 86°F (30°C).

And, winter is from December to February with temperatures rarely going below 50°F (10°C). You can expect temperatures of about 59°F (15°C) during this season.

The rest of the year Positano, Italy, has average temperatures of about 59°F (15°C) and 72°F (22°C).

Positano, Italy, FAQs

Can You Walk Everywhere In Positano, Italy?

Yes. Positano is a cliffside village which creates a charming story-like atmosphere. Streets here are narrow and very pedestrian-friendly. You could walk the entire village in about 20 minutes, but the magic is in taking your time and getting “lost” in every narrow alleyway off the main road where you will likely discover cafés, bakeries, bookstores, or shops.

Is Positano, Italy, Safe?

Positano, Italy, enjoys low crime rate which means this is a super safe destination. We recommend you practice a bit of caution, though. But, like anywhere in the world, petty theft can happen so make sure to lock you home and car when out and about and always keep your belongings on you. Plus, try not to wear any flashy jewelry that may attract any unwanted attention.

Can You Drink The Tap Water In Positano, Italy?

Tap water in Italy in general is safe to drink. If you don’t feel comfortable, though, you can always buy bottled water when in a restaurant or café, and boil water when you’re at home to bring along with you when out and about.

Do People In Positano Speak English?

Because Positano is a popular tourist destination, English is widely spoken. However, if you’re planning on retiring here, we strongly suggest you learn enough Italian so that your day-to-day interactions can happen smoothly. It’s especially important when dealing with banks and attorneys.

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