In Italy’s Campania region, along the Amalfi coast, rests a town that is both ancient in its foundations and picturesque in its vantages of the Mediterranean Sea – an ideal setting for photographers.
Indeed, Positano, Italy, ranks as one of the most photographed places in the world and is a known popular tourist destination.
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Positano was a port of the Amalfi Republic, its heyday being in the 16th and 17th centuries (also known as the Middle Ages in European history), and these ancient roots shine through in its layout and architecture.
The coastal Italian town was popularized by novelist John Steinbeck in his May, 1953 article for Harper’s Bazaar.
Steinbeck wrote, “It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone,” words that cemented Positano’s magical hold over tourists and photographers alike.
You can also imagine such a description acts as quite the lure for a professional photographer or videographer.
And the town has had its fill.
Photographers and videographers traveling to Positano for commercial purposes face a stiff €1000 tax (€2000 for videographers) that the municipality hopes will curb the number of professionals traveling to the medieval comune to capture shots of the sea and surrounding area.
From mid-November 2017 forward, commercial photographers will be required to submit a request for permission to shoot in Positano at least 30 days prior to arrival in the town according to DIY Photography.
Michele De Lucia, mayor of Positano, stressed to reporters at Republicca that this move on the part of the town was not in an effort to make more money, but rather to curtail photographers attaching their work to what he calls the Positano brand.
In addition, the impromptu photo shoots cause pedestrian foot traffic complications and mar the tourist experience in the town, an industry that contributes heavily to the local economy.
Luckily non-commercial photographers and amateurs with their smartphones will not be required to apply for the photography permit. In addition, media such as magazines, documentaries, news media, and newspapers will not be subject to the tax.
Interestingly, DIY Photography points out that the fine for noncompliance, €500, obviates the purpose of applying for the more expensive permit.