Vietri sul Mare Travel GuideIntroduction
Vietri sul Mare, which literally translates to “Vietri on the Sea,” is a small town in the Amalfi Coast area of Italy, in the province of Salerno in Campania. It is fondly called by many as the “First Pearl of Amalfi,” referring to the string of thirteen towns or “pearls” that line the Amalfi Coast, and is a well-known tourist hotspot. It is most renowned for its beautiful beaches as well as its flourishing traditional ceramics industry which has its roots as far back as the 15th century. It should be noted that thanks to this specialty in the art of making ceramics, many of the dishes, vases, tiles, and other similar items within the entire region, all come from this town.
Vietri sul Mare is actually an ancient town and mentions and references to it can be found even in the classical Greek myths. It was originally an Etruscan territory, until it was occupied by the Romans later on. It wasn’t until 1806, however, that it became its own independent township.
This quiet, postcard-perfect town also boasts some of the largest beaches in the area, and thus, tourists tend to flock here to enjoy the sun and sand during the summer months. The town has numerous resorts to choose from, and there is also no shortage of commercial establishments such as restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, along with the various ceramics factories and artisan shops that comprise the town.
What to See
As mentioned previously, VIetri sul Mare has some of the largest beaches in the Amalfi Coast, and the most popular ones are:
One of the few sandy beaches along the Amalfi Coast, it is also one of the longest at about 400 meters. It is easy to reach via public transport or car, and is a popular destination for vacationing families thanks to its well-equipped bathing and swimming facilities. It also catches sun for the majority of the day, so expect to see sun bathers around up until late.
Marina di Albori
Considered by many as one of the most beautiful town districts in the country, Albori is located atop a hill and is connected to the shore via a set of steep pathways and steps. The district itself offers great views of the waters, and it is easy enough to head on over to the waters below once you feel like going for a walk or swim.
Marina di Vietri
A relatively “new” beach, the Marina di Vietri is actually the result of a massive flood that caused mud and sand to settle in the area in the 1950s. Nowadays, part of this hundred-meter-long beach is occupied by various resorts and establishment, while the other half is a free beach.
For those who are looking to escape the crowds for a while and would like a bit of quiet, this is the beach to head to. A private resort with good facilities and parking can be found here, and the 16th century tower looming nearby adds to the quiet charm of this location. The tower itself can also be visited and climbed, and those who do are rewarded with fantastic views of the town’s famous sea stacks, the Due Fratelli.The Church of St. John the Baptist
A 17th century structure that is embellished in the late Renaissance style, this church has a beautiful dome that is covered in majolica tile, a lovely marble altar, a gold coffered ceiling, and various alabaster sculptures and statues.
All along Vietri sul Mare’s shoreline can be found a number of towers that can be visited. These were originally used as look out points to warn the town against invaders and pirates. Those who want to view lovely horizons and panoramas might want to check out these towers!
Museum of Ceramics of Vietri
As the name suggests, this museum highlights the local area’s specialty which is ceramics. Examples and displays of various types of pottery as well as the methods and tools that produced them can be found here. It also occasionally hosts various events and exhibitions.
If you’re really curious on how the world-famous Vietri ceramics are produced, stop by one of the many ceramics factories and artisan shops in the area. Besides the possibility of watching a master craftsman at work, some of these establishments also offer ceramics and pottery classes so that you can get a better understanding of the manufacturing process.
Tips and Advice
- Because of the popularity of the beaches in the area, expect heavy crowds, especially during the summer. If you wish to have a bit of peace and quiet, though , try dropping by during the early morning, or avoid the crowds altogether by visiting during the low season.
- For those who wish to further appreciate the area’s natural beauty, Vietri and its surroundings can be explored either by boat or by hiking on one of the many beach or mountain paths in and around the town.
- If you’re visiting during the summer, expect to catch many cultural events in the area, such as movie festivals, and concerts.