Amalfi Coast is a natural paradise. Its position makes it similar to a balcony suspended halfway over the blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the blue sky. An enchanted place, recognized by UNESCO as a “World Heritage Site” since 1997.
Amalfi Coast is known for being the land of lemons, wonderful beaches, and the wildest Mediterranean scrub.
The area extends between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno and has 14 municipalities: Amalfi, Atrani, Cetara, Conca dei Marini, Furore, Maiori, Minori, Positano, Praiano, Ravello, Scala, Tramonti, Vietri sul Mare and Agerola. These towns are connected by the Strada Statale 163 Amalfitana, considered one of the most beautiful roads in Italy.
Those who prefer green, on the other hand, can walk along the many paths that overlook the coast: in recent years, trekking has experienced a remarkable development thanks to routes such as the “Path of the Gods”.
Best Things to Do in Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast takes its name from this town which was the first of the four maritime republics. Amalfi is made up of white houses set in the rock, connected to each other by suggestive stairways. It is worth taking a walk through the alleys of the historic center and on the stairs leading to the upper districts, where you can admire unforgettable views. The most important place is the square where the Sant’Andrea cathedral is located with the bell tower and the Cloister of Paradise.
At the foot of the steps of the cathedral is the fountain of S. Andrea Apostolo built in 1760.
Near Amalfi there is also the “Emerald Grotto”, easily reachable by public transport from the city centre and a destination, every year, for excursions by tourists from all over the world.
From Amalfi some splendid hiking trails start, which cross beautiful lemon gardens and workshops that produce limoncello.
Atrani is one of the most beautiful towns in Italy and is the smallest municipality by area. The central square directly overlooks the sea with breathtaking views, all in complete silence as it is not found in mass tourism itineraries. Squeezed between daring rocky peaks and the picturesque bay below, Atrani is the coastal centre that has best preserved its typically medieval structure.
The Piazzetta (little square) is the heart of the town, a wonderful meeting place for locals and tourists from all over the world among the tables of bars and restaurants. The town of Atrani has developed around the many churches in the municipality; its churches are still today the most beautiful places to visit, both for the artistic works and, above all, for the charm and the panorama of the places where they were built.
To visit the 10th century Church of San Salvatore de ‘Birecto and the Collegiate Church of S. Maria Maddalena founded in 1274. The Collegiate Church is located on the promontory overlooking the town, with an extraordinary view of the Gulf of Salerno, one of the most beautiful points of Amalfi Coast.
It is a picturesque fishing town that still maintains its ancient maritime traditions intact, whose main activity is the fishing of tuna and anchovies. The processing produces highly appreciated products, such as “anchovy sauce”. The houses are grouped around the Church of San Pietro. There is also a fascinating Saracen tower that rises on the small beach and a small port where fishermen’s fishing boats are moored.
Cetara is the favorite destination for those who want to immerse themselves in marine life and taste the best fish from Amalfi Coast. A tradition still alive that strongly characterizes its economic and tourist activity, based mainly on fishing. The blue fish is in fact expertly worked and preserved, in salt or in oil, by the small local conservation industries. Especially famous is the “anchovy sauce”, a reworking of the ancient Roman Garum, which characterizes much of the local catering.
Conca Dei Marini
Immersed in a wonderful garden among olive, lemon and carob trees, inserted in a panoramic glimpse of suggestive beauty, Conca dei Marini is a small seafaring center perched on a rocky hill between Capo di Conca and the Emerald Grotto.
From here you have splendid views of Capri and the Tyrrhenian Sea and you can walk along the many paths or immerse yourself in the clear waters of the numerous beaches.
In Conca Dei Marini there is the Convent of Santa Rosa; it is here that in the eighteenth century the sfogliatella was born, a typical dessert of the Neapolitan tradition.
Furore is one of the most suggestive towns of Amalfi Coast. It is particularly striking for its landscape aspect: the houses sprout among the terraces of vines. Known above all for its suggestive “Fiordo” (it can only be reached by sea or on foot) which, every year, becomes a destination for the greatest divers in the world, it is also home to one of the most appreciated wines in the world: Fiorduva .
Walking through the streets of Furore, you can admire the seaside town, the old paper mill, the church in the rock, the stairways, the fantastic author murals that make Furore an authentic open-air museum.
There are many sites of historical and architectural interest: the Hermitage of Santa Barbara; the Church of San Giacomo Apostolo, dating back to the 11th century; the Church of Sant’Elia, from the 13th century; the Church of San Michele Arcangelo and the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà.
It is a pretty town and important seaside resort, with a promenade that is much wider than the other towns on Amalfi Coast. In the marina you can admire the Miramare castle, while the center has beautiful neoclassical buildings.
The town is full of things to see and hosts a large number of hotels and B & Bs: the nearby towns on the coast can be easily reached by public transport and with your own means in a few minutes.
One of the main monuments to visit is the abbey of Santa Maria de Olearia, dating back to the thirteenth century. Then we have the Church of the Most Holy Rosary, from the second half of the 17th century, in Baroque style and with a single large nave. Finally, along the marine side of the Maiori territory, numerous coastal watchtowers were built during the sixteenth century to defend the towns. Today the tower of Milo and the tower of Vecite are still visible.
Minori still retains the charm of the seaside town and along its slopes, small colored houses adapt to the terraces with the lush lemon groves.
The inhabited area blends with the enchanting landscape, enriched by valuable monuments and medieval works of art.
Surely the jewel of Minori is the Roman Villa of the first century. d. C., a splendid example of an imperial villa preserved in its structures and in part with its rich decorations. Another symbol of the city is the Basilica of Santa Trofimena, which preserves the relics of the holy martyr.
How to Get to Amalfi Coast
The cheapest service to get to Amalfi Coast is the public transport of SITA buses. Amalfi is the terminus of several routes. SITA guarantees regular trips from Salerno, Sorrento, and Agerola as well as some direct lines from Naples. For those arriving from Naples, in the absence of the direct line, it is recommended to reach Salerno and from here change the means to Amalfi.
Amalfi, from April to the end of October, is also served by sea lines, with departures from the ports of Positano, Salerno, and Capri.
You will also find many cars for taxi service. Finally, there are several car rental companies with driver and without, or as a last but no less pleasant possibility, scooter rental.