The Spectacular Amalfi Coast in Italy
Stretching along Italy's coastline from the town of Sorrento to Amalfi village, the Amalfi Coast offers fifty kilometers of spectacular sightseeing. Rocky cliffs are dotted with precariously perched villages and lemon groves, while masses of flowering plants add splashes of color to the scenery. The roadway twists and turns as it hugs the cliffs, and with safety barriers featuring only in the most risky areas of the road, drivers need to be alert to any potential hazards, but fortunately there are plenty of places to stop off and enjoy the view and fresh sea air.
Towns to stop off at along the Amalfi Coast include Positano, with its terraces of houses washed in pastel pinks and terracotta reached by near-vertical streets and networks of staircases. As one of the coast's most photogenic towns, it has also earned the reputation of being the coast's most expensive. Nevertheless, travelers on a budget are sure to find bargains in the many shops lining the streets, and a reasonably priced meal at one of the restaurants or cafés – the spectacular view and vibrant atmosphere are thrown in at no extra charge.
Salerno is more of a commercial town than a tourist attraction, but those who choose to stop off here will find medieval churches, friendly trattorias and a picturesque seafront offering the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.
Located in the hills above the village of Amalfi, Ravello has played host to a number of well-known literary figures, musicians and artists – Gore Vidal, Virginia Woolf and DH Lawrence to mention but a few - and has a definite bohemian vibe. Its lush and colorful gardens and breathtaking views, along with the hair-raising trip to get there, all contribute to the charm of Ravello.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the village of Amalfi is a real treat, with hidden alleyways, ceramic and trinket shops, beachside restaurants and a laid-back atmosphere that is hard to resist. While Amalfi has been populated for centuries, there are very few historic buildings to explore. This is due to the fact that most of the original village, and sadly most of its inhabitants, slid into the sea in 1343 as a result of an earthquake and tsunami. This did not stop the remaining villagers from rebuilding Amalfi and the current permanent population is around 70,000 with tourists swelling those numbers virtually all year around as they flock to one of Europe's most spectacular coastlines.