Church Santa Maria Assunta Positano
Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta
Church Santa Maria Assunta Positano is located just above the Spiaggia Grande Beach Positano, packed with restaurants, shops and small hotels. Situated in a piazza where cars are not permitted. So, if you are arriving from the main road by Sita bus or car, then you will have to walk down the hill for about 10-15 minutes. Please be aware it could be a little challenging for people with restricted mobility.
Wherever you are in Positano, you can see the church roof and 18th century bell tower dominating the Italian skyline. The outside facade is pretty simple. However, the church’s colorful tiled dome is Positano’s iconic symbol. With its ornate pattern of yellow, green and blue majolica tiles gleaming.
Church Santa Maria Assunta Positano was establish in the 10th century as a Benedictine Abbey devoted to San Vito, who was the early patron saint of Positano.
Church Santa Maria Assunta Positano is famous for having a 12th century Byzantine icon of a 'Black Madonna'. It is situated behind the main alter. A Byzantine painting which was said to be brought in the Middle Ages by ship, and then finished here. Legend has it that the Madonna was stolen many centuries ago. While on board the ship, a terrible sea storm suddenly arose and it became stranded off Positano’s coast. The sailors believed they heard it calling out "posa, posa" (put down). The captain interpreted that the Icon wanted to stay in the seaside town. As soon as he placed the Madonna on the sand, the storm stopped and the ship moved on with its voyage. The church was then devoted in honor of the Virgin. The town developed around it, and took the name of Positano. The locals, now refer to it as the Byzantine Madonna.
There is also a wonderful collection of important works of art, by Fabrizio Santafede. He was painter (from the early 1600's) of the late-Renaissance and early-Baroque periods.
Around the back of the church you can also view the Medieval crypt, which is open at certain times.
Church Santa Maria Assunta Positano is open daily, and admission is free.