As road trips go this must be one of the most visually stunning while at the same time one of the most unnerving. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Amalfi Coast in the Province of Salerno, Southern Italy is a popular tourist destination and is as well known for its breathtakingly beautiful Mediterranean landscape as it is for its hairpin bends! Listed below are the top 5 ‘must stops’ along the Amalfi Coast that should definitely be on your itinerary if you are heading through this spectacular holiday destination!
Positano will be forever in my heart as it is where I spent a wonderful few romantic nights with my husband a few years ago. Full of colourful houses, quaint restaurants, stylish boutiques and cool art galleries, I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to spend my birthday. Positano has been featured in many noteworthy films and this in turn makes it the most photographed but also the most touristy towns along the Amalfi coast. The scenic drive to Positano from Naples will take you along many other famous Italian tourist destinations such as Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius and Sorrento!
Tickle your gastronomic taste buds by visiting Cetara, (meaning tuna-fishing nets) a fishing village that dates back to the medieval era. The white architecture of this picturesque village is set along the beachside making it a real gem along the Amalfi Coast, especially the centuries old church of St Peter which stands tall among the small white cubic houses that are a trademark of this enchanting Italian village. Don’t forget to taste the local ‘colatura di alici’, (a strong anchovy essence which is believed to be the descendant of garum, the Roman fish seasoning) which will add a bit of Va Va Voom to pasta dishes or grilled vegetables…. buon appetito!
Take your pick from beautiful locally crafted ceramics, lacework and intarsio (marquetry items) from the lovely resort town of Sorrento that overlooks the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Close to the ancient town of Pompeii and the exclusive island of Capri, Sorrento makes a perfect base for exploring the region including other lesser known archaeological sites. The exquisite Cathedral of Sorrento, (step inside to see its fabulous frescoes and dramatic altar) the Piazza Tasso and the old Sorrento village are a few of the spots that should not be missed! Make sure that you taste the lemons and limoncello that this village is famous for!
The small but perfectly formed beachside town of Amalfi overlooking the Bay of Salerno is a tourist’s delight! Dating back to the 9th century this one time centre of maritime power was previously brimming with historical buildings and had a population of more than 70,000 – that was until in 1343 an earthquake struck and most of the old city plus its populace, simply slid into the sea! It still has a lot to offer its visitor though including the Emerald Grotto cavern with its underwater stalactites and stalagmites. You can also plan a day trip to Atrani which is located close by and is known for its happening beach and whitewashed architecture.
Last but definitely not least is the resort town of Ravello. Dubbed “the most beautiful town in Italy” this artist’s sanctuary is perched high on the cliffs overlooking the sea and is interspersed with beautiful gardens and ancient stone pathways which add to its historic charm. Some of the most celebrated novels such Lady Chatterley’s Lover was penned by D. H. Lawrence here. This beautiful destination is known as the City of Music and the annual summer Ravello festival held here is a major tourist attraction.