Monday, October 3, 2022

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is a 50-kilometer stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, in the Campania region. It’s a popular holiday destination, with sheer cliffs and a rugged shoreline dotted with small beaches and pastel-colored fishing villages. The coastal road between the port city of Salerno and clifftop Sorrento winds past grand villas, terraced vineyards and cliffside lemon groves

What is the Amalfi coast famous for?The Amalfi Coast is known for its production of limoncello liqueur, made from lemon (known as sfusato amalfitano in Italian) grown in terraced gardens along the entire coastline between February and October.

Amalfi Coast’s culture lies in every town along the coastline. Each has a unique history to explore with churches, Roman villas, and hilltop gardens. It’s a place that has been frequented by Wagner, DH Lawrence, and film stars of Hollywood’s golden age. However, one of the Amalfi Coast’s main draws is its proximity to Sorrento, Pompeii, Capri, and Naples. The old town of Sorrento is filled with lively markets and piazzas, a marina, and shops selling all things limoncello. The archaeological site of Pompeii is easily accessible too. In the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, which caused the city’s demise, you can discover highlights such as the House of the Faun, the Lupanar of Pompeii, and an Amphitheatre dating back to 80 B.C.

Many Amalfi Coast resorts are seasonal. Therefore many places close between early November and mid-April. In the summertime, main beaches offer sun loungers and parasols which can be rented for the day, although there are more secluded beaches where you can take a towel and sunbathe for free. Positano Beach is popular with Italians and tourists. There are amenities available including bars, shops, restaurants, and water sports. Several beaches worth consideration are Maiori Beach, Vietri Sul Mare, and Marina Grande.

One highlight of the Amalfi Coast for outdoor enthusiasts is trekking the Path of the Gods. This panoramic footpath lies above Positano and takes around 4 hours to hike with lunch stops! It offers incredible coastal views and you can discover Campania’s flora and fauna en route. Alternatively, learn how to dive inside Marine National Park of Punta Campanella, with its diverse marine life and coral species. Or charter a boat and sail along the coastline, stopping at picturesque towns or islands of the Amalfi Coast. This Ischida and Procida island tour takes you to two of the coast’s most gorgeous islands. Foodies will enjoy taking a private cooking class to learn how to create local cuisine in Positano.

Food & Drink

Amalfi Coast

Many staples of Italian cuisine derive from the Neapolitan region. Dishes served in the area will contain plump locally-grown tomatoes, handmade pasta, fresh mozzarella, and copious amounts of seafood. Seasonal goodness and freshness is key, so you can expect to feast on delicious Gnocci alla Sorrentina, Insalata Caprese, and Scialatielli ai Fruitti di Mare topped with the catch of the day. Zesty lemons thrive in this climate! Therefore, in addition to drinking limoncello produced in Campania, you’ll also find several popular desserts made with the citrus fruit. And of course, there is the Neapolitan Pizza which you can learn to craft with a professional pizzaiolo in its hometown of Naples. Or discover the unique wines grown in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius near Pompeii with this unique tour.

If you’re trying to decide between visiting the Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre, it can be quite difficult! Both destinations are easily in the category of most beautiful places to visit in Italy! The Amalfi Coast is home to lavish 5-star hotels and international jet-setters. Plus it’s possible to reach the beautiful island of Capri, sample pizza in its home of Naples, and visit Pompeii. Cinque Terre is more laid-back, suited to those who adore hiking and photography. You can walk coastal paths between all five villages. Additionally, Cinque Terre is on the train line to Pisa – with its famous leaning tower and basilica. Both destinations are equally worthy of any Italy Bucket List! But if you can only visit one, follow our guide to determine which one is best for you!

Geography

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast lies in the region of Campania close to Sorrento and Naples in southwest Italy. Most areas are easily accessible via car, train, or bus. What’s more, it’s easy to take a trip to Sorrento, Naples, and Pompeii from here, and vice versa. Our Highlights of Amalfi Coast tour departs from Naples and takes you to the region’s most beautiful spots in one day. There are also regular boat trips to the island of Capri, a popular haunt of celebrities filled with designer shops, fine restaurants, the famous Blue Grotto, and sculpted gardens. The most popular towns are Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. Each offers its own unique charm, Roman villas, galleries, and lively piazzas where you can drink and dine on Neapolitan cuisine until your heart’s content.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is located at the opposite end of Italy’s west coast – the north to Amalfi’s south. The region contains five beautiful villages, some serene, others bustling with markets, seafood restaurants, and ancient castles and churches. You can walk, sail, or catch a train between the villages. This way, you can access all five locations in one week’s stay or simply a day! It’s also possible to reach colorful Portovenere, the upscale town of Portofino, Pisa, and Florence from here. Discover all the ways to explore the stunning region with our Liguria and Cinque Terre tours.

Culture

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast culture

Amalfi Coast’s culture lies in every town along the coastline. Each has a unique history to explore with churches, Roman villas, and hilltop gardens. It’s a place that has been frequented by Wagner, DH Lawrence, and film stars of Hollywood’s golden age. However, one of the Amalfi Coast’s main draws is its proximity to Sorrento, Pompeii, Capri, and Naples. The old town of Sorrento is filled with lively markets and piazzas, a marina, and shops selling all things limoncello. The archaeological site of Pompeii is easily accessible too. In the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, which caused the city’s demise, you can discover highlights such as the House of the Faun, the Lupanar of Pompeii, and an Amphitheatre dating back to 80 B.C. Our tours of the region combine one or more of these experiences, coupled with the priceless expertise of a local guide.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre culture

Cinque Terre’s rich history is tucked away in village side streets, hilltop fortresses, monasteries, and in stories told by charming locals. If you’re seeking opulent art galleries, intricate architecture, cathedrals, and museums, you’ll have to travel a little further to La Spezia, Pisa, or Florence. Just over an hour by train, Pisa offers insight into the lives of Galileo, Puccini, and the Medici family. The city is home to an ancient basilica, bustling piazzas, and the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. If you make it to Florence – and you should – you can enjoy the city’s impressive Duomo Cathedral, Uffizi Gallery, and a plethora of artwork by Italian masters like Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, and Botticelli.

Beaches

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast beach

Many Amalfi Coast resorts are seasonal. Therefore many places close between early November and mid-April. In the summertime, main beaches offer sun loungers and parasols which can be rented for the day, although there are more secluded beaches where you can take a towel and sunbathe for free. Positano Beach is popular with Italians and tourists. There are amenities available including bars, shops, restaurants, and water sports. Several beaches worth consideration are Maiori Beach, Vietri Sul Mare, and Marina Grande.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre beach

Cinque Terre isn’t world-renowned for its beaches but they are exquisite. Monterosso Al Mare, the largest village, has one of the best beaches of the five villages. It’s lined with a boardwalk and sparkling turquoise water. It’s possible to hire water sports equipment such as snorkels, kayaks, and paddle-boards. One of Cinque Terre’s best kept secrets is Canneto beach near Riomaggiore. It’s only accessible by sea, therefore you may have this secluded pebbled beach all to yourself! If you don’t mind a short drive or train ride, venture to Sestri Levante. The shoreline is framed with pretty Ligurian houses and you can watch local fishermen bringing in their daily catch as you swim or sunbathe.

Activities

Amalfi Coast

Path of the Gods, Amalfi Coast

One highlight of the Amalfi Coast for outdoor enthusiasts is trekking the Path of the Gods. This panoramic footpath lies above Positano and takes around 4 hours to hike with lunch stops! It offers incredible coastal views and you can discover Campania’s flora and fauna en route. Alternatively, learn how to dive inside Marine National Park of Punta Campanella, with its diverse marine life and coral species. Or charter a boat and sail along the coastline, stopping at picturesque towns or islands of the Amalfi Coast. This Ischida and Procida island tour takes you to two of the coast’s most gorgeous islands. Foodies will enjoy taking a private cooking class to learn how to create local cuisine in Positano.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre Trail

No visit to Liguria would be complete without hiking the picturesque Cinque Terre Trail. Set on the hillside above the five villages, the trail links all of them together taking between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours to hike between each one. Start early to avoid crowds and bring good walking shoes as the trail is rocky – flip-flops and sandals just won’t cut it! You can also hire a boat for the day, enjoy snorkeling and swimming offshore, or even partake in a spot of fishing or a romantic dinner cruise. A Sunset Kayak Tour & Aperitif from Monterosso is the perfect way to discover the joy of boating in the region. If you wish to learn how to cook Ligurian style, the area is famous for its pesto! Take a pesto making class or sip wines directly from the source on a sunset vineyard tour near Riomaggiore.

Amalfi Coast

Nightlife at the Amalfi Coast

Nightlife on the Amalfi Coast mainly revolves around fine dining on hotel terraces or feasting on Neapolitan cuisine in lively piazzas with locals. There are outdoor music performances, colorful festivals, and chic bars where you can sip cocktails as the sunsets along the coast. You’ll find most wine bars and discos around Positano and Amalfi are open until the early hours of the morning.

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