Traveling from Florence to Positano—a distance of 324 miles (523 km)—will take you on a journey through Italy as you go south past Rome and Naples. Renting a car or going by private transfer is the easiest and most direct way to go. Arriving by train with a transfer to a bus or boat to reach the village of Positano is another option. 

Keep in mind that with driving, you may hit traffic as you head south, especially during the summer. If you prefer to break up your travel time, you can see Venice, Tuscany, Rome, and Amalfi with a 13-day itinerary including train travel and private transfers.

By Rental Car

Duration: 5.5 to 6 hours, or more with stops

If you start your road trip from the center of Florence, a few blocks from the train station there are several rental car companies to choose from. It is possible to rent an automatic transmission car in Italy, however, manuals are more prevalent, and will be less expensive to hire. You’ll also want to factor in the cost of gas (prices are by liters, not gallons) for your road trip down Italy. 

Having wheels will give you a chance to appreciate the countryside and the varied landscape of Italy as you make your way to Positano, as you pass through the regions of Tuscany, Lazio, and Campania. Traveling inland on the A1 autostrada, you could take a detour to sip wine in Montepulciano (known for its red wines known as Vino Nobile) which is about 1.5 hours south of Florence. 

Another option is to go coastal, following European route E45, which will add about one hour. You might see Siena, a medieval town that is famous for its annual Palio horse race in its central square—Piazza del Campo. 

You might even opt to stop in Rome or Naples along the way, depending on how many days you want to spend on the road before arriving in Positano. 

By Private Transfer

Duration: 5.5 to 6 hours, or more with stops

Hiring a private driver is a luxurious way to see Italy while making your way down south. Once you arrive in Positano, you’ll find that it’s easy to travel by ferry, bus, motorbike, or hiring another private car service to explore the Gulf of Naples.

By Train and Bus or Ferry

Duration: 6.5 hours

While you'll need to transfer a couple of times, traveling by train and then bus or ferry can give you the freedom to explore the Gulf of Naples by boat or motorbike once you get to Positano. From Firenze Santa Maria Novella station you can catch a high-speed train to Napoli Centrale on either Italo or the Italian National Railway system, Trenitalia, for the 3-hour ride. Both companies run trains several times a day with fares at different comfort levels from early morning until about 8 pm.

From Napoli Centrale, you will walk 5 minutes (300 meters) to Napoli Garibaldi station to catch the local Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento, which will take about one hour and runs about every 30 minutes from early morning until about 9:30 pm. From there, you can catch a bus to Positano from the train station, or head to the port to catch a ferry. Both options take about one hour and the frequency varies depending on the season. 

Map

Map of How to Get from Florence to Positano
Map of How to Get from Florence to Positano