AMALFI COAST

The charming features of the Amalfi coast.

The charming features of the Amalfi coast.

Furore.

Furore.

The Amalfi coast is suspended between the slopes of the Lattari Mountains (lit. milky mountains, for the good quality of goats' milk) and it is a unique scene.  Amalfi is the biggest, but also the other towns are rather charming and it worths a visit.  Furore, famous for its cultivation of vines and olive trees.  Here the fjord creates a unique and picturesque landscape.  The lovely beach of Praiano, residence of the Doge of Amalfi, Marina di Praia.  Nearby Conca dei Marini, a fishing village with a stunning view.  The two extremes of this wonderful bay are Capo Conca, dominated by Torre di Conca, and the Emerald Grotto.  Atrani, just after Amalfi, is famous to be, in ancient times and particullary during the Republican era, residence of noble families.  It was here where the Doges were crowned and buried. 

Conca dei Marini.

Conca dei Marini.

Another gem of the Amalfi coast is without any doubts, Ravello, 350 metres above the sea level, where the lights effects and magical architecture create a vision of rare intensity.  One of the places to visit here is the Cathedral, dated 11th century and dedicated to Saint Pantaleone.  Not far the real star of ravello, Villa Rufolo, an elegant structure of the 13th century with arab-siculian decorations and a impressive park with exotic and mediterranean flora.  The Villa, thanks to the breathtaking view on the terrace, hosts concerts and opera performances having the sea as a natural scenario in the background.  

It is possible to visit the Villa, which is open every day from 09.00 to 20.00.  The entry costs € 7 / concessions € 5 for under 12 and over 65 /  groups with more than 15 people € 6 /  Entry for the Villa + Guided Tour and Museum € 9. 
The Museum is open every day from 11.00 to 16.00.  From 09.15 to 11.00 and from 16.15 to 20.00 it is possible to book a visit on the Tower-Museum. 

Another charming village is Minori, famous to be a relaxing destination for the ancient Romans who left many important building, like Villa romana, an archeological complex with a garden with splendid mosaics, the Aquarium Museum, dated 1st century BC, and the Basilica of Santa Trofimena, dated 12th century. 

Maiori is another gem of the Amalfi coast, famous to have the best hotels of the area.  The origin of the name is Rheginna Maior to distinguish it from the neighbour Minori.  In Maiori there are still rests of the medieval castle and tower, when the village was a fortification point to the Mediterranean.  Here there is the Santa Maria a Mare church, the Sanctuary dedicated to the Madonna delle Grazie and the complex of Santa Maria Olearia.  It worths an excursion to the Grotta Sulfurea, a sulpfuric grotto with therapeutic proprieties, and the Grotta Pandora, with its emerald green colours, with stalactites and stalagmites. 

Going to south, there is the lovely Cetara, an ancient fisherman's village, from that takes the name from the Latin word of cetaria, the fishing net.  Just after Cetara, there is  Vietri sul Mare, a town suspended between the mountains and the sea, with its typical multicoloured houses, churches with majolica domes.  The town is internationally known for the production of ceramics, which since the medieval times was a very prolific business.  About the history of the ceramics it is possible to visit the Ceramics Museum.  

HOW TO GET AROUND THE AMALFI COAST

A good way to visit the Amalfi coast, is by a boat excursions.  There are many companies that operate daily trips, I suggest to ask your hotel for more info. I have been myself in an excursion and it was perfect if you want to see more than one place in one day.  It costed € 50 per person, the price included the cab from my place to the port in Sorrento, the excursion around the coast with a couple of hours stop in Positano and other two hours in Amalfi, a friendly captain explaining the history of the coast in Italian, English, Spanish and French.  In my opinion this is the best way to visit the coast, especially some villages that are quite difficult to access otherwise.  There are other companies where the lunch is included, but of course are more expensive.

You can also hire a car to visit others places around the Amalfi coast, which it might be the best solution to visit also the other towns.  Visit the official website here for more info and prices. 

For more info about Amalfi coast you can also visit the official website here