The Amalfi Drive may be Southern Italy’s most popular excursion, and the twisting corniche road from Sorrento to Salerno attracts millions of tourists every year. Positano, the most vertically scenic of the villages along the coast, dates back to the 10th Century AD and was once an important seaport for the Middle East trade. In more recent times, Positano has made the transition from artists’ colony to upscale resort to Hollywood movie set. (It was featured in Norman Jewison’s 1994 romantic Comedy, Only You, starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey, Jr.)

Positano is overrun by busloads of tour groups in the summer, but it’s delightful at other times of the year. The best all-around seasons are spring and early fall, although winter (December to March) is a pleasant time if you want to avoid crowds and don’t care about swimming.