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The structure of Positano consists of terraces, little narrow winding roads, and houses climbing the hill side. It is a synthesis of Moresque and Byzantine style.
The oldest quarters show an architecture characterized by lapillus concrete pavements, the typical lime plasters, the small cupolas which once collected water for reservoirs, opposing themselves to the majestic dome of the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, the only white colour of the houses and the bright colours of ceramic tiles.
Thanks to its trade with the Middle East and to the ships sailing the Mediterranean Sea, Positano enriched itself so much that it was named “Golden Mountain”. At that time its beautiful seventeeth century residences date back, they are real jewels in Baroque style.
Positano is probably the oldest place on the Coast of Amalfi, with anthropological settlements dating back to the upper Paleolithic age, its origin is lost between myth and history.
The name of this coast village, which probably derives from the Phoenician word Pesitan meaning Neptune, is also linked to the legend telling that during a storm some fugitives sailing on a sailer coming from the East and transporting a sacred icon, heard a voice saying “posa posa (put down put down)” and interpreted those words as being the will of the Virgin Mary who wanted them to land at that place where then a Church devoted to her was built. The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption which today opens on piazza Flavio Gioia, and is decorated by precious mosaics by Mimmo Paladino, boasts a picturesque yellow and green majolica tile dome. Inside it the famous Black Madonna with Child of Byzantine origin can be admired, as well as the reliquary bust of St.Vito, one of the most important works of the Neapolitan goldsmith’s art. After being a big rival of the Sea Republic of Amalfi for the supremacy of sea trade in the Mediterranean and after having overcome the dark period of the Norman, Swabian and Angevin domination, during the 18th century and the Bourbon domination, Positano conquered the commercial supremacy in the Reign of the Two Sicilies.
As a very famous tourist resort, Positano has been, since the Nineteenth century, country of adoption of Italian and foreign artists belonging to the world of ballet, literature, painting and music.