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On the Amalfi Coast and particularly in Positano, many Italian and international directors have set their films, attracted by the beauty of the landscape that becomes the perfect movie set. 

by Roberta Cascone

As early as the 1950s, the Amalfi Coast was enshrined on the stage of international cinema, thanks to the work of the likes of Roberto Rossellini, Anna Magnani and Federico Fellini. In particular, Positano is probably the most popular location of the Coast for Italian and foreign filmmakers. Many have decided to set their stories here, taking advantage of the beauty of the area and the unique landscapes it offers. For this reason, the town has been chosen many times as the backdrop for unforgettable films: let's discover some of the most famous movies shot precisely in Positano!

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Photo by Sander Crombach su Unsplash 

1. Leoni al sole - 1961

By director Vittorio Caprioli, the film recounts the summer of some young Positano residents (the "lions" referred to in the title) who meet and woo visiting female tourists. A very young Franca Valeri stands out among the cast, and Mina's music accompanies some scenes. Among the various locations filmed, the Spiaggia Grande often appears along with other characteristic places such as the Scalinatella and the famous ceramic stores. The film was included in the list of "100 Italian movies to be saved" because it is considered important for the country's collective memory and its film culture. 

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2. Goodbye Mr. Chips - 1969

"Goodbye Mr Chips" is a film musical directed by Herbert Ross. The main character is a professor, Mr. Chipping, played by Peter O'Toole, who meets soubrette Katherine Bridges while on summer vacation in Italy. The two fall in love right on the Coast and marry, but their marriage will not be well seen by their colleagues and the head of Mr. Chips' school, a nickname given to the teacher by his own wife. The movie also focuses on the fine relationship the professor builds with his pupils, from whom he is able to learn a great deal. For this film Peter O'Toole won a David di Donatello for best foreign actor and a Golden Globe

3. Only you - 1994

Director Norman Jewison's film tells the story of Faith (Marisa Tomei) who chases the love of her life around Italy with the help of Peter, played by a young Robert Downey Jr. Among the various cities traversed by the young woman in her mad quest is Positano with its breathtaking views. In particular, Hotel “le Sirenuse” and Hotel “Covo dei Saraceni” are home to some of the most iconic scenes from the film. 

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4. A spasso nel tempo - 1997

This list could not miss a film featuring the classic Boldi - De Sica comedy duo. In this sci-fi comedy, the protagonists find themselves jumping from one era to another, and an entire mini-episode is set right in Positano. Actually some of the scenes in the movie, the interior ones, were also shot in Atrani, but the exterior scenes show the unmistakable panorama of Positano.

5. Under the tuscan sun - 2003

A romantic comedy directed by Audrey Wells, "Under the Tuscan Sun" tells the story of Frances, played by Diane Lane, who decides to change her life and buys a villa in Tuscany, where she meets the handsome Marcello (Raoul Bova). Here, too, Positano is the backdrop for a love story full of twists and turns, which takes place in some characteristic locations such as the harbor, the center and L'Incanto restaurant. 

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6. Nine - 2010

Among the film-musicals in which Positano appears is Nine, directed by Rob Marshal. Actors of the caliber of Daniel Day Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard and Nicole Kidman took part in this film, along with a number of Italian personalities, among them Sophia Loren. Although it was not filmed entirely in Positano, the scenes capturing the magnificent belvedere and the Amalfi highway leave the viewer breathless. 

7. War - 2019

War is the film that brought Bollywood to the Amalfi Coast. It stars the two actors Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff, who are involved in Hollywood-style chases and action scenes. Positano here appears in flashbacks and serves as the backdrop for the love story between the protagonist and the beloved woman, in a sequence of scenes from the Mother Church to the beach, where the two dance to Bollywood music.

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In short, in Positano you can also breathe the atmosphere of great cinema; so what are you waiting for? Come and retrace the steps of famous Hollywood stars!

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  • Not only have many feature films been filmed in Positano, but also many TV shows! Younger people will remember one of Netflix's latest hits, Sense8, in which some kids discover that they have powers and are mentally connected. Positano itself appears in the second season, serving as the backdrop for the main characters' extraordinary adventures!

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