Nestled in the stunning region of Positano, the Church of St Maria Assunta is truly a worthwhile site to see.
Set right in the heart of the seaside town, the church is the local’s proudest attractions, contrasting beautifully with the colourful houses and sapphire waters nearby. Significant for the area’s cultural, religious and architectural history of the building. According to myth, the church was built in honour of a Byzantine icon which represented the Virgin Mary. It was originally constructed around 1480, with the bell tower built later in the 1500s.
Why it’s worth seeing
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta has always been a highlight in Positano, blending in perfectly with the region’s romantic allure. It has been featured throughout history, seen in famous paintings, photographs, and poems, the Church is truly one of the greatest attractions along the Amalfi Coast.
All of the staircases stretching from the Marina Grand beach stroll past the Church, letting visitors view the building from behind or in front. It is one of the biggest stops in Positano, with many visitors strolling up to the ancient building after a day lounging on the beach. Many people even take their wedding shots on these staircases, as it is said to be one of the prettiest spots in town.
The church is just as stunning inside its doors, with a beautiful white and gold interior that dates back to the late 18th-century. The design is Neoclassical design, inspiring visitors for hundreds of years. The Virgin Mary is very closely linked to the church since the 12 centuries when the Byzantine icon arrived. It is still featured here today, sitting in the central nave to the front of the church above the altar.
The Byzantine icon isn’t just a stunning sight but is the key to many popular traditions in Positano. This all began during its arrival to the seaside town when the icon was aboard a cargo ship that began stuck off the coast when the winds died down. The sailors were heard calling, ‘Posa, posa’ which translates to put me down, and immediately the winds picked up again, bringing both the icon and sailors to shore. During the Assumption of the Virgin Festival, the town celebrates their patron saint by recreating the arrival of the statue, shouting this phrase from the seas.