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Positano had been on my bucket list for quite some time. It’s one of those places that cropped up in my Instagram feed almost daily and I’ll admit, I was totally influenced by all the influencers!
Since I was short on time I only had one day to visit Positano, so I decided to look into all the options for how to get to Positano from Rome.
While there are numerous ways you can get there, I feel like the way I did it was the absolute best way to get to Positano. I’ll share more with you later in this post!
But first, a little intro to this beautiful place on the Amalfi Coast…
Where is Positano?
Positano is located on the Amalfi Coast, about 31km south of Naples. The town is nestled in a hillside in the Campania region of Italy and offers beautiful views of the Mediterranean sea.
What’s So Amazing About Positano?
Positano is one of the most picturesque places in Italy, if not the world! It’s a truly special place. Since the town is set in a steep hillside, the views from the hotels and restaurants are breathtaking. The turquoise water is so clear you can see right to the bottom and while the beach is rather pebbly, it’s incredibly picturesque.
The entire Amalfi Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular places to visit in Italy. The nearby towns of Amalfi and Ravello are also worth a visit!
Positano is famous for its colorful buildings, narrow lanes, steep cliffs and sweeping views; no matter how many pictures you’ve seen of it, nothing will prepare you for how pretty it looks in real life!
One thing to note though is that walking around Positano is an intense workout and you’ll need comfy shoes. The town is pretty much vertical and the hills and stairs are very steep. You definitely won’t be skipping leg day here! You’ll need to bring plenty of water with you and stop for breaks every so often so you can catch your breath.
How to Get to Positano from Rome: 6 Options
Train + Ferry from Salerno
The best way to get to Positano from Rome is to take the train to Salerno from Rome Termini station, then catch the ferry to Positano.
The journey time from Rome to Salerno varies depending on which train you take but you can expect it to take anywhere from 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours 20 minutes. The Frecciargento is the fast train and the Frecciarossa is the slower train.
The main ferry companies operating from Salerno are the NLG and Travelmar. There’s also Positano Jet. Travelmar will get you to Positano in 1 hour 15 minutes while the NLG hydrofoil will get you there in 50 minutes.
The Travelmar ferry operates out of the Molo Concordia ferry terminal and there are multiple crossings per day. From Salerno train station it’s roughly a 5-10 minute walk to get to the Travelmar ferry terminal. NLG operates out of the Molo Manfredi ferry terminal which is a 30 minute walk from the train station or a 10 minute taxi. This is why I’d suggest going with Travelmar to make your life easier.
During the summer months the Travelmar ferries depart regularly from Salerno, stopping in Amalfi and then onwards to Positano. They do the same way back.
Ferries run from March to October, so you can only use the ferry if you’re visiting during these months, but this is definitely the easiest (and the most scenic) way to get to Positano. A one-way ticket costs around €14-€15. You can book online directly with NLG and Travelmar but Ferryhopper makes it super easy to book.
When you book online with Travelmar you’ll get an e-ticket with a bar code so there’s no need to print out tickets. Alternatively you can buy a ticket directly from the ticket office at the ferry stop.
The ferry takes you past a truly stunning stretch of coastline so it’s like having a boat tour, but at a fraction of the cost. Instead of sitting inside a car, train or bus, you can soak up the sun on deck with the wind in your hair.
Make sure you have your camera ready when the ferry approaches Positano because the view of the colorful town from the water is like something out of a postcard. Ferries drop you off to the left of the beach, right in the heart of Positano, so it’s incredibly easy to remember how to get back to the dock.
A quick note about this route: I actually traveled down to Salerno the night before and stayed overnight at the Hotel Bruman, which is right next to Salerno train station. The reason I did this was that I was really short on time and only had one day to spend in Positano.
I wanted to take an early ferry to maximize my time at the beach, but the first train from Rome wasn’t quite early enough to get me to the ferry. So I traveled down to Salerno the night before instead on an evening train. This worked out really well, because the hotel was practically in the train station and all I had to do was roll out of bed in the morning and cross the street to the Travelmar ferry terminal.
If you’re short on time and want to plan a day trip to Positano from Rome then there are several tours you can book online through Get Your Guide and Viator.
This Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Positano Day Trip from Rome bookable through Get Your Guide lasts 13 hours and takes you to Pompeii via air-conditioned coach.
Once in Pompeii, you’ll skip the line with your Skip the Line ticket and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site with an English speaking guide.
After exploring the ruins of Pompeii the coach will take you to Positano, where you’ll have time to shop in the boutique stores, purchase some local limoncello liqueur, visit the Church of Santa Maria Assunta or soak up the views from a restaurant terrace.
If you want to get to Positano as quickly as possible and money’s no object, you can get either an Uber, a taxi or a private car service to take you there. Expect to pay around €400 one-way for a taxi – it’s expensive! The journey time takes roughly 3 hours 30 minutes as long as the traffic isn’t too bad.
Another option is to use a company called DayTrip. With DayTrip you can book transfers online and you have the option to add stops at various sites along the way for an extra cost. Optional stops include Tivoli, Abbey of Monte Cassino, Royal Palace of Caserta, Herculaneum Archaeological Area, Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii.
Cars are clean and comfortable, with air-conditioning and English speaking drivers. You can also cancel your booking up to 24 hours before departure and get a full refund.
Another easy way to get to Positano from Rome is by bus. Buses are operated by Autolinee Marozzi and depart from Autostazione Tiburtina train station in Rome at 7am. The journey time takes around 4 hours 30 minutes and you’ll be dropped off at Chiesa Nuova bus stop in Positano, which is on top of the hill on the main road. A standard one-way ticket should cost around 23 euros.
Coaches are air-conditioned and comfortable and if you sit on the right hand side of the coach you’ll be rewarded with stellar views of the coastline. Just remember though, buses only run from June through September, so if you visit outside of these months you’ll have to figure out another way to get to Positano.
If you take the bus back the same day, you’ll have to leave Positano at 3pm. That only gives you around 3.5 hours to enjoy Positano. You may be better off staying overnight in Positano or taking another transportation option back.
The bus back to Rome takes 5 hours due to traffic and gets in at 8pm.
Train + Bus
There are no direct trains from Rome to Positano, but you can take the train to Sorrento, via Naples.
First you’ll head to Roma Termini train station, where you’ll need to catch a train to the Napoli Stazione Centrale station in Naples. Both the Frecciarossa and Italo high-speed trains cover this route and there are usually several trains per hour. The journey takes around 1 hour 10 minutes.
At Napoli Centrale, walk down the stairs to the lower levels and you’ll find Napoli Garibaldi, where you can catch a regional train to Sorrento. The Circumvesuviana train covers the route to Sorrento in around 1 hour and 10 minutes, unless you get on an DD express train, which takes around 50 minutes. The fare is pretty cheap, costing around €3.60.
Between mid-March and the end of October you can also catch the Campania Express Train, which will get you to Sorrento in 40 minutes. Tickets are more expensive (around €8) but the trains are air-conditioned and allow seat reservations.
Tickets can be purchased online through the official EAV Campania website or at the Circumvesuviana ticket office before departure.
Once you arrive in Sorrento, you can catch the local SITA bus from outside the train station. You can purchase tickets at the ticket stand near the bus or at the newspaper stand in the station.
Be warned, however, that the bus can be packed and so you may not be able to get a seat during high season. If you can, try to get a seat on the right side of the bus so you can enjoy he views of the coastline and the Mediterranean through the window.
One of the most convenient ways to get to Positano is by rental car, but parking in Positano is hard to come by. If you’ve booked a hotel or Airbnb that has parking then great, but if not you’ll have to pay for one of the public parking lots.
The distance from Rome to Positano is roughly 273 kilometers and takes around 3.5 hours without traffic. You’ll first take the A1 Autostrada, then the A3 Autostrada, eventually reaching the mountain roads of the Amalfi coast.
The roads are narrow with lots of curves and corkscrew bends, snaking their way along the mountainside. In the summer months the roads are full of cars and buses, so you’ll often run into traffic. The journey is very scenic but you’ll definitely need to rent a small car if you want to navigate all the twists and turns.
When booking rental cars, check out Rentalcars.com, Kayak or Booking.com for the best deals.
Things to Do in Positano
The main things to do in Positano mainly center around eating, drinking and shopping. Positano is a place to relax, indulge and soak up the views. Definitely try to hit up a restaurant with a terrace and spend some time walking around the town’s narrow streets. Spend some time at the beach and perhaps even take a boat trip out on the water.
A Final Word…
I’d seen so many pictures on Instagram but nothing prepared me for how it felt when I saw those gorgeous views in real life! Positano is breathtaking and definitely worth a visit if you plan on heading to southern Italy.
Accommodation in the town is very expensive during the summer months but you don’t have to stay there overnight! You can plan a day trip from Rome or Naples, or stay overnight in a nearby town like Salerno or Sorrento. Positano may be a bit of a trek to get to, but it’s definitely worth the trip!
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