UNESCO World Heritage Site and summer pleasure destination par excellence, the Costiera Amalfitana can lay claim to some of the most exquisite physical beauty and diversity in Italy. It all creeps up rather quickly too, a mere 50 km from Naples, a city not exactly synonymous with exterior allure at the moment (not as long as the garbage strike lasts).
To prepare you for the peerless Amalfi Coast, a place where art, architecture and agriculture converge in atypical fashion, check out the best destinations in the area.
Salerno – Photo credit
Though not technically part of the Amalfi Coast, the eponymous capital of Salerno province is a handsome, popular gateway. Architectural eye candy in the city of 140,00 people looms at every turn, from the Teatro Verdi to the Salerno Duomo.
Vietri sul Mare
The perpetual pole of the famous Sorrentine Peninsula Amalfi Drive is worth a look, especially if you like ceramics and frazioni where relative quiet rules.
Cetara is a tranquil Tyrrhenian Sea comune with a salty fishmonger heritage.
Maiori’s inherent cachet with sea-coast lovers dates back to Roman times. The town is home to the best unbroken span of beach on the Amalfi Coast.
The name tells part of the story. Tramonti is indeed “in the mountains” and, as a maritime power of yore, has many fine landmarks to discover.
Minori could very well be the most idyllic spot on the Amalfi Coast. The ancient traces of a Roman villa provide the town with a vital point of interest.
Ravello – Photo credit
Ravello’s enviable locale high over the coast makes it a hot tourist property throughout the year. Close to 2,500 people live in the villa and palazzo-laden town.
Scala, a small town of less than 1,500, is a tidy ensemble of picturesque hamlets that serves up some memorable Baroque and Romanesque attractions.
Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher was a notable fan of Atrani, the second-smallest comune in the entire country.
The namesake of the coast was a choice refuge of the uppercrust throughout the wanton Interwar period. Amalfi still has untold charm on hand, from Limoncello bars to boisterous, traditional festivals.
Conca dei Marini
A hillside gem, Conca dei Marini is home to the spectacular Grotta dello Smeraldo, or Emerald Cave.
Furore’s open-air mural museum is an unexpected discovery along the Amalfi Drive.
A thousand years ago, Praiano was a summer sanctuary for the wealthy doges of Amalfi. The Church of San Giovanni Battista is a significant landmark in the town of 2,000.
Positano – Photo credit
A cushy jet set and celeb haunt, Positano is the sleek show pony of the Amalfi Coast. Expensive, posh and pretty, with too many pop culture references to mention.