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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrAmalfi Coast, Southern Italy's famous coastline with beautiful cliff-side houses jut into the sea, runs from Sorrento to Salerno and includes several picturesque, hilltop towns.
The UNESCO-listed coastline in the Italian region of Campania is more than just a pretty landscape. Only an hour's drive south of Naples, you'll find one of Italy’s top regions for hiking, with well-marked trails. The excellent food is another reason to visit.
There aren't that many beaches on the Amalfi Coast in the proper sense of the term since the coast is riddled with rocky cliffs. For a dip, head to Amalfi, Minori, or Maiori.
The best time to visit the Amalfi Coast is during off-season. So if you can, head there in spring or early autumn as in the summer, temperatures are high and parking can be a challenge. Visiting in winter can also be an appealing option because the climate is mild and hotel rates are at their lowest. However, be aware that most of facilities really do shut down between November and mid-March.
You can also visit the nearby island of Capri , with its designer boutiques and famous Piazzetta Square.
What to See
Villa CimbroneThe early 20th-century Villa Cimbrone, located in the town of Ravello, is worth a visit. Take a 15-minute walk along Via San Francesco to Villa Cimbrone and pause for the heart-stopping views of the Gulf of Sorrento from the Terrace of Infinity. It was built in 1905 by England's Lord Grimthorpe and made world-famous when Greta Garbo and her lover, Leopold Stokowski, found a secret hideaway there. Villa Cimbrone's gardens, which are a wonderful blend of English and Italian landscaping traditions, will charm you for sure.
Marina GrandeIn Sorrento's fishing port you will feel like you've stepped back in time. Marina Grande is a tiny fishing village with colored houses, brightly painted boats, and small, family-run restaurants serving fish from the morning's catch.
Chiesa di Santa Maria AssuntaChiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, a domed church, is Positano's only major sight. The church is located right in the center of Positano, in the small Flavio Gioia Square. Inside the church, the highlight is a 13th-century, Byzantine icon of the Black Madonna with a child. The church is open daily from 8 AM to noon and from 4 PM to 8 PM.
CapriThe famous picturesque island of Capri is only a 40-minute ferry ride from Sorrento. The island's top attraction is the famous Grotta Azzurra. There are only two towns on the island – Capri and Anacapri. Visit the beautiful, cliff-side, Roman ruins with some of the best views of the Amalfi Coast.
Food & DrinkThe Amalfi Coast boasts a wide range of restaurants to suit most tastes and budgets, from family-run eateries to seven Michelin-starred restaurants. Be aware, in the evening, Italians rarely sit down to eat before 9 PM.
There are many must-eats, from scialatielli ai frutti di mare; a dish made with seafood and fresh pasta, ndunderi; a type of gnocchi, risotto alla Pescatora; a classic seafood risotto, parmigiana melanzane; slices of eggplant, fried and layered with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil, fritto misto di mare; a mix of fried seafood to delicious pizza.
After a meal, treat yourself to limoncello - a delicious lemon liqueur. If you love cheese, make sure you taste the Provolone del Monaco, also called ‘mantello’, because of its shape. Those with a sweet tooth should not miss out on a visit to Dolceria dell'Antico Portico which offers a wide choice of delicious handmade desserts.
AccommodationAccommodation depends largely on your priorities and budget. If you intend to do a lot of exploring, choose your lodging in the towns of Positano and Amalfi.
If you're looking for a peaceful location and all you really want to do is relax, the towns of Ravello, Praiano, and the small fishing village of Conca dei Marini would be your best choice.
Cetara Sant'Agata, Nerano, and Vietri sul Mare are perfect for a seaside holiday and discovering the flavors of the Amalfi Coast.
Getting AroundMost of the towns on the Amalfi Coast are well connected by ferries. Getting around by ferry is a real pleasure and tickets are best purchased locally. However, note that the ferries are more expensive than the bus. There are several buses operated by the SITA bus company that run between all the towns and villages on the Amalfi Coast. Bus schedules change throughout the year, but you can easily pick up a current schedule wherever you're staying.
If you like driving, the scenic “Road of 1,000 Bends” should be on your to-do list.
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Author: Ayda. Last updated: May 31, 2015