Renting a car or going by private transfer is the easiest and most direct way to travel. Arriving by train with a transfer to a bus or boat to reach the village of Positano is another option.
Keep in mind that 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 in a 13-day itinerary, including train travel and private transfers.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 8 hours, or more with stops
If you start your road trip from Venezia Santa Lucia train station or Marco Polo airport, you'll have 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.
Being in a car will give you a chance to stop as many times as you want as you make your way to Positano, as you pass through the regions of Veneto, Tuscany, Lazio, and Campania. Traveling inland on the A1 autostrada, you could make detours to some of Italy's best-loved cities, for a few hours or a few days. Bologna is full of culinary delights, Florence is known for its Renaissance masterworks, and you'll find plenty of ancient marvels and legendary pizza in Rome.
Hiring a private driver is another option, making it easier for you to enjoy your time without having to navigate the roads as you travel south through much of Italy.
By Train and Bus or Ferry
Duration: 8.5 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 Venezia Santa Lucia station you can catch a high-speed train to Napoli Centrale on either Italo or the Italian National Railway system, Trenitalia, for the five-hour ride. Both companies run trains several times a day with fares at different comfort levels from early morning until about 6 pm.
From Napoli Centrale, you will make the five-minute walk 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.