Positano was an important port for the ancient Greeks and Phoenicians, and prospered under the Amalfi Republic during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, unlike other nearby towns, Positano wasn't a hot holiday destination for 19th century intellectuals. Rather, it was an essay by John Steinbeck for Harper's Bazaar that brought the poor fishing village to the attention of the world's jet setters. A maze of steep lanes and stairs wind their way past pastel colored houses, cafes, galleries, and upscale boutiques down to Positano's renowned Marina Grande beach. Nearby, is the unmissable Church of Santa Maria Assunta, with its colorful majolica tile dome, lavish Rococo interior, and legendary 13th century Byzantine black Madonna icon.
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