Hotel Buca di Bacco Positano

History of the hotel Buca di Bacco

The hotel is situated at the heart of Positano, on the “Marina Grande” beach, on the site where there once, 2000 years ago, stood a grand Roman Villa.

The name “Buca di Bacco” has a fascinating origin steeped in tradition: born from the imagination of a group of artists who first discovered Positano as a holiday location. They created a romantic rendez-vous spot for luxurious candle lit dinners out of a wine cellar.

It was Gilbert Clavel together with the artist Lubbers and journalist Italo Tavolato who invented the “Buca di Bacco” where “Buca”, literally meaning ‘hole’ in Italian, referred to the cellar and “Bacco” refers to the Greek mythological God of wine.

This small taste of Paradise has inspired countless artists: the Neapolitan Caprile, the Dutch Gerard Hodyk, the German Richard Oelze, Picasso and Carra’ as well as writers such as John Steinbeck, Corrado Alvaro, Alberto Moravia, Riccardo Bacchelli and others who have resided here.

These artists, with their rich, colourful and soulful masterpieces encapsulating the unique character of life here in Positano, have helped mould the history of the small, quiet coastal town they once knew.

In the 1950s, the epic “Dolce Vita” years, Positano went from being a quiet getaway to the chosen destination of the international jet set. The big change became obvious when important personalities from the world of entertainment such as Vittorio de Sica, Richard Burton and Liz Taylor, Franco Zeffirelli, Sir Laurence Olivier, Alberto Sordi amongst others, made Positano into a rival hotspot to contend with places such as Portofino and St Tropez.

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It is in these years that the Buca di Bacco became the social hub of Positano where for over 20 years the carefree generation, brilliantly described in Raffaele la Capria’s book and depicted in the Vittorio Caprioli film “Leoni al Sole” (1961), gravitated here to revel in their freedom.


The hotel looks very different today to how it looked post-war both in services offered and size, to cater for modern holidaymakers. However, one thing that has not changed is the passion that has been passed on through the generations of this family owned hotel, which allows it to maintain the warm, welcoming atmosphere so beloved by our guests.

Anybody wanting to spend a holiday steeped in local tradition, surrounded by tranquillity and spoilt by the welcoming staff in an architecturally and historically beautiful building, will find the Buca di Bacco hotel the ideal place to stay.

The jewel in the crown of our hotel is our restaurant, which offers great Mediterranean cuisine, continuing the healthy tradition of freshly cooked food, celebrating simple, natural and exquisite flavours from Positano.

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Grace Kelly

Hotel Buca di Bacco - Via Rampa Teglia, 4 84017 - Positano (SA) - Italy - Tel: 089.875699 - Fax: 089.875731 - E-mail: info@bucadibacco.it
--- The Hotel closes the 1st November until the 30th March ---

P.Iva: 00183900653

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