Amalfi Coast: All of the Gems!

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Panoramic View of Italy's Amalfi Coast

Panoramic View of Italy’s Amalfi Coast

One of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy is the Amalfi Coast. This picturesque Southern Italian shoreline is so beautiful it resembles a painting set between sea and sky. Situated in the Southern part of the Italian ‘boot,’ a little less than 200 miles from Rome, the area enjoys a sunny climate, salty breezes from the Mediterranean Sea, and crisp air from the mountainous landscape.

The Amalfi Coast will tempt all of your senses, from swimming in crystal-blues coves to smelling fresh lemons in Sorrento and tasting the incredible seafood!

From Sorrento, the road winds down to the stunning village of Positano –a top spot for the jet set. Further down the coastal road lies Amalfi. This town was once a significant maritime power, boasting the 13th-century Chiostro del Paradiso and the Lombard-Norman style Duomo. In Ravello, travelers will find the best views on the coast and the beautiful gardens of Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo.

Beautiful view of Sorrento

Beautiful view of Sorrento

Sorrento

The origins are Roman, with earlier Greek influences. It was later under the control of the Byzantium empire. Later it was conquered by the French and Spanish. After a long period of stagnation, there was much cultural and economic rebirth in the 18th Century. This renaissance reached its peak during the “Grand Tour.” Famous artists and writers such as Byron, Keats, Goethe, Wagner, and Nietzsche came to Sorrento seeking inspiration and retreat

Not to Miss! 

  • St Francis’ Cloister, dedicated to the patron saint of Sorrento.
  • The ancient walled historic center.
  • The art Museum Correale for paintings, furniture, and ceramics.
  • Vallone Dei Mulini, where you will see an old an abandoned mill surrounding by nature.
  • The view from Sant’Agata over Sorrento and the two Gulfs of Naples and Salerno.
  • A visit to a wood carving workshop, one of the ancient arts alive in Sorrento.
  • The Caruso Suite and terrace at Grand Hotel excelsior Vittoria, dedicated to the famous singer.

Suggested Experiences

  • See how limoncello is made in a citrus grove, including tasting the liqueur and traditional lemon biscotti.
  • Savor Neapolitan pastries at Bar Fauno, in the central Piazza Tasso.
  • Relish the delicious ‘gnocchi alla Sorrentina,’ potato gnocchi with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil.
  • Trying fried zucchini flowers filled with mozzarella cheese.

Glorious Positano

Positano

Positano hugs the terraced mountain. The oldest houses high up on the hill are decorated in faded pink or Baroque stucco. 

Stroll along the traffic-free street going to the sea, Via Pasitea. This pedestrian avenue heads to the heart of the town. Enjoy the town’s narrow, stepped alleys, houses with vaulted roofs, and tiny gardens that climb the rockface. 

Near the beach is the small church of Santa Maria dell’Assunta, whose cupola is covered with yellow, blue, and green maiolica tiles.

Suggested Experiences

  • See the San Vito Martire cathedral, located in the lower part of the town. The church used to be a mosque built by the Saracens and then dedicated to the Byzantine Madonna.
  • The church of Santa Maria of the Assumption, with its beautiful “maiolica” ceramic tiled dome and bell tower.
  • Shopping! Positano is very famous for clothes shopping and tailored men’s fashion. Ladies’ shoes and accessories are also quite lovely!
Amalfi's Cloister of Paradise

Amalfi’s Cloister of Paradise

Amalfi

Amalfi is a charming, tranquil resort town. Once one of the four powerful Maritime Republics, Amalfi is filled with narrow alleyways that wind through the town. Here, you can observe the sea and the mountain.

Extraordinary examples of medieval architecture with Moorish influence are found in its 9th-century cathedral: the Duomo di Sant’ Andrea and the Cloister of Paradise.

Not to miss!

  • The Duomo di Sant’Andrea and Cloister of Paradise.
  • The ancient paper factory-Antica Cartiera (reservations are a must).
  • The Museo della Bussola is dedicated to Italian Flavio Gioia, the perfector of the compass.

Suggested Experiences

  • Stop by the Caffetteria Panza (facing the cathedral) for a teste of candied fruit (orange and lemon peel) dipped in dark chocolate.
  • Taste other sweets like the Amalfi ricotta and pear cake, and chocolate gelato. Don’t forget to try, Sfogliatelle di Santa Rosa filled with sour cherries and cream. The monks of the Santa Rosa monastery first created this delicious sweet.
Stunning view from Ravello's Villa Cimbrone

Stunning view from Ravello’s Villa Cimbrone

Ravello

Ravello lies high up in the hills above the coast, offering fantastic views up and down the rocky coastline. The town’s treasures include Villa Rufolo, an eclectic mix of Arabic, Sicilian, and Norman architecture. Don’t miss Villa Cimbrone with its stunning Italian and English-style gardens and the Infinity Terrace.

Not to Miss!

  • Villa Cimbrione and its scenic belvedere, the “Terrace of Infinity.”
  • Villa Rufolo is home to the Ravello Music Festival.
  • Santuario del Beato Bonaventura, where many pilgrims gather every year.

Suggested Experiences

  • Visiting the Museum of Coral with handmade coral jewelry, relics, and other pieces.
  • Enjoy the town, visiting bars, restaurants, and shops.
View of the Faraglioni from the island of Capri, off of the Amalfi Coast

View of the Faraglioni from the island of Capri, off of the Amalfi Coast

Capri: Island Gem off of Amalfi Coast

Off the Amalfi Coast is this beautiful island in the glimmering Gulf of Naples. Of Roman origins, it has been a resort ever since! 

Not to Miss!

  • The Marina Piccola called the little harbor is absolutely stunning!
  • Walk along the Belvedere of Tragara, one of the most beautiful promenades in Capri, lined with villas and resort hotels.
  • Take a photo with the limestone crags called sea stacks that project above the sea (the Faraglioni). Capri’s most iconic sight.
  • The Town of Anacapri, situated above Capri, is a beautiful whitewashed town on the slopes of the island’s peak.
  •  The Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra). For the best visit, be sure to reserve a private boat that will take you when the other tourists are not there!
  •  Visit the ruins of the Imperial Roman villas. Capri was a favorite retreat of the Roman Emporer Tiberius, who built many villas. 

Suggested Experiences

  • Take a boat tour to Capri (if you are not staying on the island)
  • Taste the Torta Caprese, the local cake made with chocolate and almond.
  • A private boat tour of The Grotta Azzurra (“Blue Grotto”), flooded with a brilliant blue or emerald light and only accessible by boat
  • Attend an art or music festival in the Spring or Summer.
Ischia's Castello Aragonese off of Amalfi Coast

Ischia’s Castello Aragonese off of Amalfi Coast

A Secret Island Off the Amalfi Coast Many Do Not Know!

One of the most beautiful places along the Amalfi Coast is the island of Ischia. Most North Americans do not know about this extraordinary place. I believe it is a secret on purpose! Click here to reach all about Ischia, Italy’s Island Starlet.  

Other Gems of the Amalfi Coast

Conca dei Marini: visit a family-run workshop where they make beautiful ceramics. Be sure to see the beautiful view of the “Emerald Grotto.”

Minori: you can visit the museum inside an ancient Roman villa dating back to the First Century.

Cetara: this fishing village is famous for an incredible fish sauce made with anchovies, “colatura di alici.” You can go on a tour with the fishermen and watch them as they prepare “colatura di alici.”

Vietri: the town is famous for its ceramic handicrafts.

Marina di Praia: Used by pirates is this beautiful small bay.

Hike along the Path of the Gods on the Amalfi Coast

Hike along the Path of the Gods on the Amalfi Coast

Enjoy the “Cammino degli Dei” (Path of Gods) hiking path connecting several towns and villages along the Amalfi Coast. In the past, the only way to reach these towns and other villages were by boat or from one of these clifftop paths.

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