The picturesque, world-famous Amalfi Coast is situated in Italy’s southwestern region of Campania and stretches for 30 miles along the southern side of the Sorrento Peninsula from the Gulf of Naples in the north down to Salerno in the south. The Amalfi coastline draws visitors with its small bays and beaches, terraced vineyards, lemon and olive groves, colourful villages and glitzy resorts all overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea with the craggy cliffs of the Lattari Mountains rising sharply upwards towards the clear blue sky. It is no wonder that the Amalfi Coast has been included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
Driving along the narrow, winding coast road passes through the lively and colourful towns of the Amalfi Coast
The road along the Amalfi Coast is well known for its hairpin bends which wind around the cliffs giving it a reputation of being slightly scary, but the fantastic views are well worth taking this drive. The towns along the Amalfi Coast are set steeply onto the sides of the mountains and the streets wind their way backwards and forwards, so be prepared for a steep walk if staying in one the the many hotels in these towns.
Public transport is a simple way to take in the views without the fear of driving. Look out for the blue SITA buses which connect the coastal towns. Another option is to take the ferry and see the view along the coast from the sea, information on ferry timetables are available at the ports.
Positano – the charming town of Positano has a reputation of being one of the most romantic towns of the Amalfi coast, it started life as a poor fishing village but became popular with tourists in the 1950’s. The author John Steinbeck wrote “Positano bites deep”, “It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.”
Praiano -During the 10th-11th centuries, Praiano was once the summer residence of the doges of the Duchy of Amalfi. Nowadays the town of Praiano is a beautiful, peaceful oasis on the Amalfi Coast with many hotels set into the side of the mountains offering spectacular views over the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Minori – Minori meaning small was originally named “Reghinna Minor” which set it apart from the nearby “Reghinna Major”, the current Maiori. Minori has history dating back to Roman times as is verified by the archaeological find of a villa from the 1st century Villa Marittima Romana.
Maiori is a lively tourist resort with the longest sandy beach of the Amalfi coast. Look out for : Palazzo Mezzacapo, Church of Santa Maria a Mare, Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano, Shrine of Madonna dell’Avvocata, Miramare Castle, ….
Alongside the wonderful scenery the variety of foods in this region are also truly stunning. Fresh seafood and fish from the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean give rise to tasty yet simple dishes, that sprinkled with the juice of freshly picked Amalfi lemons bring the dishes to life. The rich volcanic soil of Campania is ideal for the growing of some of Italy’s wonderful vegetables including the San Marzano tomato which is considered by chefs to be the best tomato in the world for producing tomato pastes and sauces.
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