Travel

The Dramatic Amalfi Coast

Amalfi

The colorful seaside villages of the Amalfi Coast, perched along the Tyrrhenian Sea in Southern Italy’s Gulf of Salerno, provide the beauty and drama of an idyllic painting. Lucky for us, it’s a real destination. The charm of this desirable vacation destination and UNESCO World Heritage site is unparalleled from its fascinating grottos and craggy hills that seemingly tumble towards the glistening sea below. Thirteen beguiling towns are located on the Amalfi Coast, each known to offer a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors from near and far. Though you can’t go wrong visiting other towns on the coast, here two favorites:

Positano – Enjoy the agreeable Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and warm sunny summers refreshed by cool sea breezes. Slip into a swimsuit and dig your heels in the sand at one of Positano’s beautiful beaches, where you’ll find a mix of local residents, tourists, and celebrities alike. Soak up the rays and enjoy a swim, then slip out of the sun to indulge in an icy beverage under a shaded canopy. Shop in Positano’s artsy boutiques and dine on the terrace of a restaurant overlooking the sea. Learn the dramatic history of Positano from its establishment in the ninth century. Historically, the pastel-colored town faced both hardships and prosperity. Pisa pillaged it in 1268 (hence its fortified walls), faced destruction from a tsunami in 1343, was attacked by Ottoman pirates in the 15th century, became an 18th-century major port and trading hub, and once was a quiet fishing town, all markers of its vibrant history. To explore the history of Positano, head to the Museo Archeologico Romano to see Roman ruins, well-preserved art, old crypts, artifacts, and more. Adventurers will enjoy walking along winding and sometimes steep paths, exploring history relics, taking shuttle boats to nearby bays to go exploring, and enjoying the vibrant nightlife at nearby bars, restaurants, and discotheques. Those seeking to relax can simply watch the shining blue sea from their luxurious hotel balcony.

Amalfi– Explore this beautiful town. Like Positano, Amalfi is steeped in history. As the largest town along the coast, Amalfi is best known for its past role as an important trading center from the mid-9th to the 13th century. Today, it drips of historic charm, and visitors flock to stay at its lovely resorts that offer a softer vibe than Positano. From its pebbled and sandy beaches to its magnificent medieval buildings, Amalfi has something for everyone to enjoy. One of the town’s main attractions is the Amalfi Cathedral, a medieval Roman Catholic Cathedral in the Piazza del Duomo. The cathedral is dedicated to the Apostle Saint Andrew, whose relics are kept there. The stunning cathedral was redecorated numerous times, and the front façade was rebuilt in the late 19th century. Thus, the cathedral embraces numerous architectural styles to include Romanesque, Byzantine, Gothic, and Baroque elements. Sixty-two steps that are often described as a wide and steep lead up to the doors. Atop the cathedral sits a Romanesque style bell tower, surrounded by a cluster of smaller towers decorated in colorful majolica tiles. During war times, the bell tower was used for defense. One of Amalfi’s main draws is the delicious seafood and restaurant views overlooking the arm of the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to its medieval history, this central town is known for its terraced gardens where bountiful lemons grow, for its production of limoncello liqueur, and for its undisputed beauty that entices visitors to come exploring. The location is ideal as it provides easy access to other coastal towns. As a bonus, the ferry from Amalfi to the island of Capri takes roughly 50 minutes, making it the ideal jumping point to explore the island that lies off the Sorrentine Peninsula.

For decades, as part of its claim to fame, artists, poets, and musicians have sought both respite and inspiration along the soaring sea cliffs that extend and tumble towards the majestic blue sea. Whether you plan a trip to Amalfi or visit another coastal town nestled in the bluffs such as Atrani, the smallest of all in Italy, without a doubt, you will experience the warm and welcoming nature of the people along the most colorful and enchanting coastlines of the world.

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