Okay, hear me out here. Yes, you should totally go to the Amalfi Coast. As a matter of fact, I urge you to. It’s stunning, beautiful, incredible food, a trip of a lifetime. But I was definitely taken aback by how insanely overhyped Positano was. And it made me wonder if Positano in Italy isn’t worth the hype.
I think in the age of the internet and Instagram, travel has changed a lot. If there’s a blog post sharing the best things to do in Amalfi Coast that is stuck at the #1 spot on Google, guess what? Even if it’s not that great, it’s going to be packed.
So much of what we end up finding to do on our travels can come from online research. And if you’re not digging through dozens of blog posts looking for true gems, you may find yourself visiting the most touristy of tourist spots. The quality may not be all there.
And yes, tourist spots SHOULD be visited.
I don’t think you should skip the Eiffel Tower because it’s so touristy. But I think maybe you should go to a cool street that has a unique, less crowded perspective of the Eiffel Tower. If not, sure, go to the chaos. You should see the Eiffel Tower!
So while today’s post is not designed to tell you to skip tourist spots. I’m just hoping you take travel advice with a grain of salt and manage your expectations. While also maybe exploring more off the beaten path treasures.
After visiting Amalfi Coast in May of 2023, I was really shocked by how insanely packed certain areas were. Specifically, Positano. While we see photos on the internet from our favorite influencers sharing breathtaking photos of this coastal town, what they tend to leave out is the pure chaos at the ferries, the packed cobblestone walkways and the overpriced food.
And yes, hi, I shared beautiful images but also showed the sheer chaos that was the ferry line and crowded streets. I think it’s important to share both here.
Why Positano In Italy Isn’t Worth the Hype: Better Alternatives to Explore
Because this is such an incredibly gorgeous destination, there are serious crowds here. Even visiting in the shoulder months of April and May resulted in huge crowds. I can’t even imagine how packed it is in June, July and August during their peak season.
Expect lots of people throughout the tiny cobblestone streets. This coastal town is full of tiny paths weaving throughout the cliffs that the city sits on top. Be prepared for lots of crowds and visitors. You will not get a peaceful stroll to cute shops when you’re here.
This is especially the case at the ferries. It is total chaos finding which ferry line you need to get on. Give yourself ample time to figure out the right line and expect to be crammed in with people while you wait for your ferry to arrive.
Overpriced Accommodations and Food
The most expensive meal on our entire two-week trip in Italy, was in Positano. Capri was a close second. And while yes it was good, it was nothing mind-blowing. We had better meals in Sorrento that were half the price.
Positano restaurants and hotels are definitely taking advantage of their popularity with higher prices. And as they should I suppose! If you’re looking to save some money though, I’d suggest staying in Sorrento where we found things to be much more affordable.
The Beaches Can Be Underwhelming
The beaches on the coast of Italy are beautiful. But they are not going to be that crystal clear water and white powdery sand. They are their own vibe and one I personally love. But be prepared for rocky and rough sandy beaches.
You’ll likely need to reserve a chair on the beach if you want to guarantee a spot for the day. And be prepared to pay top dollar for Aperol Spritzes and pizza while you’re there.
Should You Visit Positano?
If you have the time, sure! I think it’s best to visit this area during the shoulder months to avoid all the crowds. And I think if you stayed at a nice hotel there, you may feel like you’re getting a different experience by having access to a private pool area. And also having the mornings and evenings free of the ferry crowds. Plus, if you’re prepared to spend some money, go for it!
I don’t regret going one bit. But I was just disappointed with our experience and knowing what I know now, I don’t think I need to go back. There are other places I’d love to explore in that area that I think give a more authentic experience.
Alternative Destinations For A More Authentic Italian Experience
There are a few other places you can explore that are a bit more authentic to the Italian experience. We were told by several locals to check out Ischia. It’s where the locals go to vacation.
A few other spots that you can explore are Ravello, Minori and Praiano. We also really loved staying in Sorrento. While touristy and busy, it was nothing like Positano and we really enjoyed having it as home base for our trip.
Don’t Get Me Wrong
Don’t get me wrong here. I loved seeing Positano. I just felt like seeing it from the water was best. And overlooking it from the mountain after walking Path Of The Gods was more breathtaking than being in the town itself.
I will always advocate for seeing the world, touristy or not. But if you’re planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast, you may want to reconsider where you spend most of your time (and money) to another more quaint town in the area.
PS If you’re visiting Amalfi Coast, be sure to check out what to pack for Amalfi Coast here.