Composed of thirteen villages ringed along the panoramic and winding road that connects the Gulf of Naples to Salerno, the Amalfi Coast, World Heritage Site since 1997, is one of the most beautiful places of Italy, renowned worldwide for its wealth of enchanted views, earthy products and traditional foods and wine.
Thirteen beautiful locations, each with its own peculiarities and characteristics, but all rich in history and culture and framed by a charming and arrogant nature, will satisfy the most varied needs.
The ideal route starts from Salerno.
Dominated by the imposing castle Arechi, Salerno maintains the structure of the old Lombard city, the streets of its Old Town meet tangible signs of dominations that, over the centuries, have followed: the Romanesque Cathedral, the Baroque church of San Giorgio, the masterful architecture of churches and palaces that crowd the downtown alleys tell of a past glory and prosperity.
That same old town, in recent years, has undergone a long and gradual restoration that has helped turning it into the heart of a bustling city life, also thanks to features shops and clubs that animate it until late at night.
Leaving Salerno one meets Vietri sul Mare, known worldwide for its pottery with typical Mediterranean colors.
Rising from the blue waters of the sea, with its white buildings topped by multicolored dome of the cathedral, the town climbs along the side of the mountain, giving even the most casual visitor a gasp of wonder hard to contain.
Whether you want to buy unique handmade ceramics, or satisfy the curiosity by visiting one of the many craft workshops which can be found in the alleys of the town, or if simply looking for the refreshment of the sea, Vietri does not disappoint.
Continuing along the coastal road, squeezed between the blue sea and the mountains, is Cetara: small fishing village nestled between vineyards and citrus groves, with a watchtower overlooking the sea, still maintains a unique charm.
Also renowned for its gastronomy based on fish, Cetara is home to one of the most typical dishes of the entire coastline, the spaghetti with anchovies, an event not to be missed by those who want to satisfy the taste along with all other senses .
Proceeding along the winding coastal road, dominated by the majesty of nature is Maiori with its wide beach (the largest of the entire coastline).
On the 15th of August takes place the traditional procession of Santa Maria a Mare, starting at sunrise, ends with the "race of the Madonna": the statue of the Virgin is rushed down the 127 steps of the staircase that separates D’Amato square from the Collegiate, to symbolize Mary's assumption into heaven.
Immediately after is Minori, former summer residence of Roman times: it is possible to visit the ruins of an ancient Roman villa which came to light less than a century ago.
An ancient fishing village first important production center of the dough then, today it is one of the most precious pearls of the coast. Inevitable here too the gastronomic event that includes a stop at De Riso pastry to taste, washed down with a glass of wine, pastries famous all over the world.
“By leaving the coastal road to climb the hill one reaches Ravello, city of music,”
which has a unique charm thanks to its breathtaking views, the architecture of its famous Villas and the irresistible appeal of the intellectual exercise, rejuvenated each year by the Festival taking place in the summer. International tourist destination, Ravello has a rich list of prestigious guests, who, yesterday as today are left bewitched by its timeless charm. Alongside the famous historical buildings and architecture around the world, was recently inaugurated the controversial amphitheater designed by Oscar Niemeyer: a candid construction, with a huge panoramic window leaning toward the infinite.
The center of the Amalfi coast
The route proceeds to Scala, the oldest center of the Amalfi Coast from which neighborhood of Pontone begins the path that leads to the Torre dello Ziro, whose history is intertwined with that of “Giovanna d’Aragona”, illegitimate daughter of “Ferdinando I d’Aragona”, who was killed here around 1510.
The tower, with its cylindrical shape for the similarity with traditional containers for oil and cereals once used by local people, has earned the Arabic name of Torre dello Ziro.
Taking the route along the coastal road we arrive at Atrani, one of the smallest municipalities in Europe. The village lies below the coastal road, at sea level, and together with its beach form a beautiful natural backdrop.
Amalfi, with its glorious history of maritime republic and the power of tradition has it that here was invented the compass, and gives its name to the entire coast.
Beautiful town famous throughout the world, surprising for its natural beauty, its sea, its beaches reachable by boat, its perfumes, and its architectural gems: the inevitable visit to the Cathedral, Arab-style Sicilian, resulting from overlap and adjoining of churches of different styles and eras, including a Christian church, and the incredible Cloister of Paradise, true and unexpected corner of the East began as a cemetery for the illustrious citizens of Amalfi.
Amalfi is at the bottom of the valley of the Mills and Ferriere: along the path that comes from Scala to Amalfi, along the Canneto stream, you can see the ruins of old paper factories and mills which , using the power of water, used to produce the energy required for their operation. It was here that once produced the valuable paper which Amalfi is famous throughout the world, still the Amalfi paper, produced in only two mills still in operation, is uniquely known for its quality and beauty. To celebrate the glorious history of this tradition Coast, was established the Paper Museum where you can also see the creation of precious sheets of paper.
Leaving Amalfi heading towards Positano, Conca dei Marini is encountered, the ancient village of support to maritime activities of the nearby Amalfi. Do not miss a visit to the spectacular Emerald Cave which is accessible by sea as well as via a lift directly from the state road SS163: partly invaded by the sea, the cave is named after the emerald reflections that the water takes when sunlight filters through a submarine slit, which connects the open sea.
Moving beyond Conca dei Marini one arrives at what was included in its own right among the most beautiful villages of Italy Furore, a tiny village overlooking a beautiful fjord, scenery of the already troubled love affair between Roberto Rossellini and Anna Magnani. The fjord is dominated by a bridge 30 meters high from which, each year, the most skilled divers compete in what is a run in the World Championship Diving from great height.
Next is Praiano, Amalfi’s Doge favorite places to spend the summer. With the medieval tower and its typical stairways, which are often the only means to reach a destination, is the typical village of the Amalfi Coast. In Praiano is one of the few beaches on the coast, the Gavitella, where, thanks to a special exposure, the sun shines all day. Praiano is the extreme point of the Path of the Gods, nature trail of extraordinary beauty and the unique panoramic views, which overlooking the coast reaches Bomerano, in the municipality of Agerola.
After Praiano is Positano, the pearl of the Amalfi Coast is famous for its vibrant nightlife and his style renowned all over the world. The structure of the town is designed around a maze of steps, starting from the sea, back down the mountain until you reach the highway, then continue on towards the calm and the coolness of its hilly surroundings. Along the narrow streets throng the shops with traditional garments, fabrics decorated by local artists to create unique and trendy sun dresses, and custom made shoes to suit any aesthetic requirements expressed by the client. The restaurants on the beach, the trails leading to hidden beaches, the steps to get lost in Positano make this the dream destination for all lovers. From Positano is just visible Punta Campanella, which separates the Gulf of Naples to Salerno.
Last village Coast, not directly facing the sea, once upon a time traffic hub of the Amalfi Republic, and today known for its forests (it was the site of the Mountain Community Peninsula Coast until its dissolution) is Tramonti. Today this also the area where one can enjoy one of over a hundred pizzerias in the area.
Other nearby places that are definitely worth a visit are the very fancy island of Capri, located opposite to the romantic Sorrento. Pompei, with its ancient and timeless ruins, Paestum and its temples and long beaches, as well as Velia and Sapri.