Wednesday, April 16

While searching around the blogosphere I came across a post entitled "do people actually live in Positano". I read it, quite incredulously, and tried to forget about such a silly question. But I can't. I feel that I have to reply, and in my own charming way of course..

Dear Curious,

You ask, "Is this a place where people actually live or is Positano only here for the tourists?"

Do you really think that the Italians built a whole town just for the enjoyment of a bunch of tourists?
Do you think, maybe, that it is a sort of alternative Disneyworld, created for the amusement of people such as yourself, so that you can return home with some pretty photos and a fun story to tell about all the steps?

Did you, perhaps notice that there were people working in the bars, restaurants and shops around town? Maybe you were even served by somebody when you stopped for a drink? How would you feel if I told you that a lot of those people were real life residents of Positano, not animated robots or workers shipped in from some nearby 'real' town that fits in with your idea of what a town should look like.

You mention that you climbed and climbed lots of steps, finally arriving at the church to "realize we had essentially seen all there is to see in Positano." Sadly, my friend, you are wrong again. The church is a mere 5 minute walk from the beach where you arrived by ferry, amusingly 'zooming through the blue Mediterranean'. If you had walked a further five minutes you would have arrived at the main road, where yet more people who actually live in Positano mix with the day trippers, doing the daily shopping, running businesses, stopping for a drink at the bar and other real life activities.

But, well done by the way for getting the Mediterranean right, the other day I overheard a man from California telling his wife that Posi was on the Albanian Sea.

I agree with you that there is a load of tourist tat to sift through in the lower part of town, but I am upset that you think that this is all our town has to offer. Let me enlighten you:

Would you be surprised to learn that Positano has 4 schools, a police station, a gas station, a post office, a selection of grocery, hardware and electronic stores and a selection of bars that are frequented more by residents than by tourists? There is even a tennis court and a football pitch, where the children that actually live in Positano go to play after school. Rock climbing, yoga, frequent exhibitions and concerts, canoeing, scuba diving and a nightclub, yep, we've got them too.
The town is divided into about ten different zones , each worthy of exploring, each with its own history. There are about six different beaches to choose from, some accesible only by boat and plenty of areas to sit without paying.
I hope that from this information you realize that essentially you had seen hardly anything there is to see in Positano.

You mention that 'Positano is only accessible by road or by sea', um, as opposed to what, may I ask?

You say that you 'had hoped to find a little more life here, but everything in Positano seemed to cater almost exclusively to tourists'. but shortly after you mention that you only stayed for half a day.
Well, my friend, seeing as you were only in town for a few hours and didn't even seen to manage to get past the church, I am not surprised that you were disappointed with the touristy side of the town, you didn't really go very far from the beach and then left in a hurry to find somewhere better.

'Now that I have seen it once I don't think I would be all too eager to make the time to see it again.' That's OK, no loss there. I hope your next vacation is a bit more eye-opening for you, wherever you go... May I suggest Disneyworld in Florida?

Oh, and just for future reference there are roughly 4000 people actually living in Positano.


  1. That guy obviously is a tourist and not a traveller and you are right: it's his loss! Your post makes me want to come to Pos again! I love it there!

  2. Your right, its his loss, I have never been there but it seems like a great place :-)

  3. Brava Niki!!!!You told him/her!
    If I came to Positano I would stay for two weeks and still wouldn't see all of it or experience all of it from what you've described. A couple hours, how could anyone leave such beauty after a couple hours!

  4. Nell said.. Sock it to them Niki you told them, you know some people cannot and will not ever see past their own noses. Like any Italian town, the passing through do not receive and are not privy to the enchantment that is there for those who choose to make a life there.

  5. somebody got told...with a finger snap :)

  6. Go Nicki!

    I guess I'm different than most "tourists". Yes, I do some of the tourist stuff, but my favorite moments are buying food for dinner, cooking at "home", hanging clothes on the clothesline, and even taking out the trash.

    Of course, being there for such a short time doesn't allow me to truly comprehend what it's like to live there, but I have such tremendous respect for the residents of Positano, who graciously open up their town to me each year. :-)

  7. Admittedly, when we we went to Positano it was only a day trip, but what made our trip more memorable was the fact we got off at the "wrong" bus stop way up at the top and so had to take the stairs down to the beach getting a good look at some of the sights along the way.

    Personally, I would pay money to watch tourists air dropped onto the beach.

  8. Nice post! But I would like to ask a similar (but more serious) question: do disabled people actually live in Positano? I'm thinking more of people in wheelchairs - Italy isn't that wheelchair friendly and I wondered how anybody in a wheelchair would manage Pos!

  9. What an utterly brilliant response to such a rude inquiry!

  10. Un bacio sul fronte. Very charming.

  11. ...but you should have commented on his rude, poor, insulting blog.
    What a joke this guy...

  12. Bravo Nikki!! My family in Caribbean have to deal with folks like this all the time.

    Jessica is Rome is right. There is a big difference between being a tourist and a traveller.

    p.s. it was great to see you yesterday.

  13. Niki, a half day's visit anywhere is insufficient to form judgements. We never do the tourist "day trip" plans for this reason. We love to find a destination, the more off-the-beaten-path the better, and settle in to get to know the people, food, traditions, history. Positano sounds like a wonderful place to settle in for a week or so!

  14. This blog is coming from a guy who seems to have a negative outlook on any place he travels, even within the US. In his blog on his trip to San Francisco he claims that few people live in the city of San Francisco because it is 'too unusual to call home'. Tell that to the 700,00+ people that call SF home! He should stay in Milwaukee.

    Let's just hope he doesn't travel to Positano again and spoil it for everyone.

  15. Love it, love it, love it. Some folks have absolutely no idea. Last summer we over heard a guy in Cortona telling his 'Mrs' that Frances Mayes (Under the Tuscan sun) was, quote"The whole point of Cortona".

    Great to meet you on Sat, until we meet again in real life I'll see you in the comment section. Ciao Amanda

  16. Brava! Reading through this guy's other posts have been comic relief and blood-boiling at the same time... I hope you posted that to him... even if he'll never have the guts to approve it for his page!

  17. While your criticisms of the tourist weren't completely inaccurate, your response confirmed my initial impression of the apparently seasonal foreign (British) residents of Positano--that is, that they are largely rich, elitist and convinced that they live some sort of more 'authentic' life than the tourists. I say hogwash. Positano, while absolutely beautiful, is not a real community. Few normal folks can afford to participate in the manufactured authenticity of such places.


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