Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Positano

One of Positano’s most famous symbols: it’s hard to find postcards or souvenirs that don’t reproduce the enchanting dome covered in green and yellow ceramics that stand out against the blue background of the sea.

This church is one of Positano‘s oldest and best-known monuments. Dating back to the 10th century, the building stands on the site of a former Benedictine monastery and was extensively restored in the 18th century by the local clergy. The interior, divided into three naves, features several chapels housing religious objects of great historical and artistic value, such as the Byzantine icon of the Madonna and the shepherds in the crib dating from 1700, a classic of Neapolitan tradition.

Where to find

The church is close to Marina Grande beach and within walking distance of the old town, so it’s easy to spend a few hours on the beach or in the shopping streets after your visit.

Most of the steps from Marina Grande beach lead behind or across the square in front of the church. From here, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the church’s façade and 18th-century bell tower.

Thanks to its magnificent location in the center of Positano, the Church of Santa Maria Assunta is a favorite destination for weddings on the Amalfi Coast. Bridal couples from all over the world come here to say “I do” in this beautiful church and to be immortalized in their wedding album with Positano as a backdrop.

Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Positano, where to find


The history of the church of Santa Maria Assunta is closely linked to that of the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria, which, according to tradition, was built when the Byzantine icon of the Madonna arrived in Positano.

According to tradition, the Byzantine icon arrived in Positano in the 12th century thanks to the Benedictine monks who carried it aboard their ships as they traveled the trade and fishing routes along the coast of southern Italy, while popular tradition has it that the icon arrived in Positano by miracle. However, there are no documents to support this theory, with the exception of a small parchment recalling the dedication of the church in honor of the Virgin Mary by Giovanni II, Bishop of Amalfi. It is therefore more likely that the abbey was founded in the second half of the 10th century, since the first documented historical references date back to the end of the 11th century.

If you want to see the famous Byzantine icon, go straight from the high altar to the church apse: you’ll find it enclosed in an attractive little temple.

Once you’ve left, don’t forget to take a look at the bell tower, also rebuilt in the 1700s, where a small medieval bas-relief is preserved and figures recalling maritime traditions can be seen.


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