Amalfi Coast Travel Guide
The Amalfi Coast isn’t just one town or city, but is actually the entire area comprised of the southern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula. It is a part of the province of Salerno and can be found south of the city of Naples. It is one of the most naturally beautiful and historically significant parts of Italy, and the whole area has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In fact, the beauty of the region, with its breathtaking cliffs and gorgeous vistas, has inspired a great number of writers, musicians, and artists, including the likes of Pablo Picasso, Richard Wagner, and Giovanni Boccaccio.
The main towns of the Amalfi Coast are Positano, Ravello, Atrani, the region’s namesake, Amalfi, as well as the glamorous island of Capri. Besides those, other nearby places worth visiting would be Herculaneum and Pompeii which are both favorites among many tourists, artists, and archaeology buffs, drawing in visitors from all over the globe.
Once a major port and a maritime power in the Middle Ages, the Amalfi Coast Area has since taken on a much slower and idyllic pace of life, particularly in the early 19th century when it was first established as a haven for tourists looking to get away from the more frequented and populated cities. From that point on, the Amalfi Coast has continued to attract the romantics and the affluent, becoming a popular playground for VIPs, celebrities, and jet-setters.
Take note that the Amalfi Coast gets the bulk of its visitors in the summer, so the best time to visit may be during spring or early autumn. However, also keep in mind that in winter, the area slows down significantly and a majority of the establishments shut down as the nearby seas become too cold to swim in and attract visitors.
There are many, many points of interest in this area, both natural and manmade, and first and foremost among the places to visit would be the town of Positano, a picturesque seaside location that is easily recognizable in pictures due to the colorful houses and buildings that are stacked along its cliffs. It also boasts of lovely beaches that people trek to each summer, and the numerous hotels and establishments there are ready to accommodate the town’s visitors.
Meanwhile, there’s the town of Amalfi itself that features beautiful architecture, particularly the Duomo. Built in the 12th century and dedicated to Saint Andrew, it is located right in the middle of the town, in the main piazza. Not too far away and sitting just east of Amalfi is another town, Atrani, which also has its own impressive buildings that are well worth the visit and admiration.
Ravello is another place worth seeing despite the fact that it can be a little more difficult to get to as it is situated even higher than Amalfi. However, upon reaching it, one is rewarded with truly breathtaking panoramas of the sea and the surrounding areas, and it is a perfect spot for photography, or for just simply basking in the beauty of the place. It also has many interesting buildings and structures that showcase medieval eastern influences.
Next would be Vietri sul Mare which is renowned for its handcrafted ceramics industry. This is the town where the entire Amalfi Coast’s supply of tiles, dishes, vases, and other ceramic products come from, as they are manufactured by local artisans whose workshops continue to flourish. Vietri ceramics are known for its high quality and colorful looks, and many tourists opt to purchase a piece or two to take back home with them.
Last but not least would be the town of Sorrento, which is a transportation hub, and can therefore serve as a good base for people who are interested in exploring the surrounding areas. Though it lacks its own beach, this isn’t a problem since the boats at its marinas can easily shuttle visitors to nearby beaches as well as to Capri. It is also a popular shopping venue where one can purchase local specialties, and most of all, this is the best place to grab the area’s specialty drink, limoncello.
And then, of course, there’s the island of Capri itself. Another famous stomping ground for the rich and famous, it has gorgeous beaches, natural reserves, as well as a good number of churches, monuments, and museums that are also a good choice for a daytrip. This is also where the famous Blue Grotto can be found. Meanwhile, other spots worth checking out would be the charming and ancient town of Scala, Furore with its fjord, and Conca dei Marini where one can find the enchanting Emerald Grotto.
So if it’s sun, sand, and lazy beach afternoons that you’re after, the Amalfi Coast is the place to be.