On the southern shore of the Sorrentino Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast stretches from the Gulf of Naples to the Gulf of Salerno.
Here, the land is recognized for its towering mountains and pebbly shores that are connected to each other by a maze of narrow alleys and steep stairs. Composed of 13 towns and various sun-kissed beaches that overlook the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the Amalfi Coast has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
AmalfiLocated at the mouth of the Valle dei Mulini is the town of Amalfi. The village that gives the coast its name. With a long history of politics and trade, Amalfi is known for being the first of the Four Maritime Republics of Italy and, for a long time, claimed a monopoly on trade with the East. Composed of white houses that cling to the rocks on which it was built, the town is connected by narrow pathways and stairways. The grand Cathedral of Saint Andrew towers over the town’s main square, and situated next to the church is the bell-tower, designed to mimic the Arab-Norman style. A short walk from the church and bell-tower is the Cloister of Paradise, a white building marked by its narrow arches that line every wall. In the middle of the Cloister of Paradise is a small garden supporting large palm trees that tower above the building itself. However, these trees are short in comparison to the tower that marks the entrance of the Cloister of Paradise. Founded in 1969 by Nicola Milano, the Handmade Paper Museum can also be located in the town of Amalfi. The museum was once an ancient medieval paper-mill that now displays manuscripts, incisions, posters, documents and a specialized library.
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AtraniSituated at the opening of the Valle del Dragone is the town of Atrani. This town has been described as a “natural amphitheater on the sea” and offers a relaxing visit away from typical tourist traps. Atrani’s main square sits close to the beach. The 10th centruy Church of San Salvatore de’ Birecto was once used as the location were the investiture of the Doges took place. The church provides an historical and spiritual experience for visitors.
CetaraKnown for creating culinary specialties like anchovy sauce, the town of Cetara is a fishing village. Built around the town’s main church dedicated to Saint Peter, Cetara continues to be an active fishing port, focusing on the capture and storage of tuna and anchovies.
Conca dei MariniSeen as a natural balcony that overlooks the sea, Conca dei Marini provides a stunning view of the Mediterranean, as well as the surrounding vegetation. Most terraced gardens support the growth of the “Sfusato Amalfitano” lemon groves. Here, the Monastery of Santa Rosa clings to the steep, rocky cliffs that compose the town’s landscape. According to local lore, the monastery is home to the preparation of the sfogliatella Santa Rosa, a hard pastry filled with cream and sometimes fruit.
FuroreCharacterized as being the home of the Fjord, a deep scar in the rock that has been carved out by the Schiato river, is the town of Furore. Also known as “the town that doesn’t exist,” Furore is known by its scattered villages that are surrounded by terraced vineyards. Due to the “en plain air” murals that decorate the white washed houses, Furore has also earned the nickname “the painted village.” The town especially attracts visitors towards the end of June and beginning of July, when it hosts the MarMeeting – High Diving World Championship, a competition that takes place annually on the first Sunday of July.
MaioriThe ancient Reghinna Major is now known as the town of Maiori. Characterized by its wide promenade that separates the Norman Tower on its east side and marina and Miramare Castle on its west side, the town of Maiori became neo-realist director Roberto Rossellini’s favorite movie setting, after World War II. In the center of town, ancient vaulted houses represent the first settlements of this coastal town. Here, ancient history meets the mid-18th century, with Neoclassical buildings that stand in harmony with the homes of the foregone past. The Maiori town center is built around the medieval Fortress of Thoro-Plano, a castle that once served as a bulwark and refuge for the town’s population against attacks by the Lombardy outlaws and Barbary pirates. The Abbey of Santa Maria de Olearia can akso be found along the SS. 163 “Amalfitana,” in the town of Maiori. The 10th centruy church is held up on foundations that were dug into the rocky landscape. Originally built as a church, the Abbey of Santa Maria de Olearia gradually grew into a monastery. After years of multiple additions and construction, the church now holds three different chapels that are stacked on top of each other.
MinoriThe town of Minori was once an ancient village called Reghinna Minor. It is known for its culinary specialties, such as continuing a long tradition in the production of handmade pasta. The town also plays an important role in the processing the Amalfi Coast Lemon. This lemon is grown in orchards surrounding the town and lining the coast. Amongst the lush greenery are hidden treasures, such as the ruins of the 1st centruy Roman villa, the Basilica of Santa Trofimena and the Arab-Norman bell-tower of Annunziata.
PositanoCreating a vertical landscape built into the mountain, Positano is known for its whitewashed houses and narrow stair cases that have attracted international artists following World War II. Most of the town’s buildings were designed in the 19th and 20th centuries and follow the typical Mediterranean architectural style. The picturesque landscape views the Li Galli islands, three solitary islands off of the Positano shores. These islands were once recognized in mythological tales, such as Homer’s Odyssey, for being the home of the Sirens’, bird like creatures with human faces that would lure passing ships into crashing with their hypnotizing song. Positano’s main church is also featured on most postcards and can be recognized by its tiled dome. The town is also known for its fashion. Here, common goods would include hand-made leather sandals, as well as “Moda Positano,” or Positano Fashion, characterized by cotton and linen clothing.
PraianoFar from the reaches of mass tourism, the Praiano town is typical of most towns located on the Amalfi Coast. Here, narrow streets guide visitors and locals, alike, through the town’s vegetation and gardens directly to the beach. As the sun begins its descent from the sky, Praiano is the best place to view the purple sun as it vanishes behind the island of Capri.
RavelloPraised in Decameron by the Italian poet Boccaccio, the town of Ravello is known for its religious sanctuaries, ancient palaces and noble mansions, along with contemporary buildings like the Auditorium. This complex and picturesque landscape can be seen as an inspirational setting for artists and has attracted them for years. One artist that was inspired by this landscape is Richard Wagner, who based his magical gardens of Klingsor off of the Villa Rufolo gardens. Ravello is also home to one of the oldest music festivals in Italy. The Ravello Festival changes theme with each passing year and invites musicians from all disciplines.
ScalaSet in a dense grove of chestnut trees is the oldest town located in the Amalfi Coast, Scala. It is the birthplace of Fra ‘Gerardo Sasso, the founder of the Knights of Malta. Scala’s rich history is preserved in its quite serenity, with historical monuments scattered around the town. One of these monuments being the ruins of the Basilica of Saint Eustachio, which is the largest cathedral in the Duchy of Amalfi. The church looks over the village of Pontone, a hillside district that makes up part of the town. Restorations of the Basilica of Saint Eustachio have preserved the church’s apses, frescoes and skillful marble work.
TramontiSurrounded by the Lattari Mountains, the town of Tramonti is a hilly town, known for its lush vineyards and chestnut trees. This town is particularly known for its local cuisine and culinary traditions that date back to the Middle Ages. The vineyards produce full-bodied wines, known as Tintore Wine. Local dairy products are also particularly popular, as well as Tramonti’s bread and pizza. The pizza is typically prepared in rural ovens with rye, barley flour and seasonings, such as lard and spices.
Vietri sul MareWhen traveling from Salerno, the town of Vietri sul Mare is the first town making up the Amalfi Coast. In mythological tales, the town was founded by the Greek hero Jason, on his search for the Golden Fleece. In modern times, Vietri sul Mare is known for playing an important role in the production of brightly colored ceramics, a role that has dated back to the 15th century. Some of these ceramic pieces are displayed in the Provincial Museum of Ceramic, housed in the Belvedere Tower. The tower belongs to Villa Guariglia, a house designed by Paolo Soleri in the Neoclassical style.
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13 Most Beautiful Places on the Amalfi Coast
84011 Amalfi, SA, Italy