Positano seems to tumble into the sea. Spending time traversing it's serpentine-like roads and paths slows your entire countenance. In Positano the air seems clearer, the food takes on additional flavors and life feels wonderful.
Up until the 1950s, Positano's main income came from fishing until it began attracting tourists, including John Steinbeck, who wrote in Harper's that "it is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone." Articles like this greatly increased the popularity and renown of the island, bringing the future tourists that would become its major industry.
Once a bustling port of the Amalfi Republic, Positano was one of the most important commercial centers in the Mediterrannean, competing even with Venice for dominance as an international trade center that brought together wares from the near and Middle East and from western and Central Europe. However, By the 1850s the economy of the town was so far in decline that over half of the population immigrated (largely to the United States ).
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