The Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana), a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a stretch of coastline in the Gulf of Salerno. This beautiful site consists of 13 small villages, animated by the crowds the whole year long. The main towns along the coast that most tourists visit are: Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. The road that unifies these cities is also known as the Road of 1000 bends (the name says it all!), where visitors drive through lemon groves while enjoying the coastal view as they make their way into the heart of the region.
With its fishing port, shingle beach and crowded streets, Amalfi is a charming destination. In the past, Amalfi was a large maritime republic competing with big, naval trading hubs like Venice, Genoa and Pisa. Today this city is well known for its stunning architecture, ceramics and of course, limoncello. The centre of the town is Piazza del Duomo, which is dominated by a striped Norman-Arab style cathedral – the Duomo di Sant’andrea. 62 steps will separate you from the main entrance, but be careful on the ascent! It is said it is bad luck to climb the stairs while holding hands. We highly recommend exploring the cloisters and their tropical gardens; a moment of peace in the midst of this chaotic city. Continue your journey by visiting the most charming fountain of Amalfi: the Piazza dello Spirito Santo Fountain. Made from volcanic stone, the fountain represents a Christmas nativity scene, hosting hundreds of intricate figurines.
If you have some spare time, take the footpath that leads over the hill to Atrani, an authentic Italian fishing village famous for its tiny population (only 885!).
The well-known Ravello is, unsurprisingly, a mecca for tourists. Coming alive especially during the months of June – September, it is the home to one of the most celebrated music festivals, The Ravello Festival, calling musicians from all over the world. During this time, most of its centre becomes a stage.
This tiny village, which is considered to be a real jewel of the Amalfi Coast, is situated at the top of Amalfi, high above sea level, providing tourists with a truly spectacular view over the bay. Throughout its history, many considered Ravello an intellectual and cultural city. This is why important figures of the time have built magnificent villas and gardens here. There are two famous gardens that most tourists visit in Ravello: Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone. The beauty of these two palazzos will captivate you and be a highlight of your visit.
Positano is probably one of the most famous towns around the Amalfi coast, and an Instagram dream. With romantic alleys decorated by typical Southern Italian shops, churches and colourful homes perched on the mountain, this is a village you should definitely visit. With the added bonus of a large main beach here, Positano is the perfect village to visit in a day.
With only about 4000 locals living here, this teeny city is full of tourists during the Summer season. There is not much to do in Positano besides getting lost around the many small alleyways or going shopping for locally made linen and sandals. If you can, take a boat to explore the coves along the coast and head to Li Galli, an archipelago made of three tiny islands. Here the water is crystal clear and the visibility is great for some good snorkelling. And to conclude your day, don’t forget to pop into “La Zagara” to have a taste of the best granita in town!
If you would like to extend your trip for a few more days, you should definitely spend them on this rocky island located off the bay of Naples. Famous for its rugged landscape, Capri is a magnet for tourists, who usually come for a day-visit, but it is at night, when all the tour boats have left, that Capri blossoms into one of the most beautiful places.
Villa San Michele di Axel Munthe & Anacapri
This beautiful villa was once home to the famous Swedish doctor Axel Munthe. Only few steps away from Anacapri city centre, this site is built on the site of a Roman villa. Every room in the house is like a well-kept jewel, but it is the garden that is the crowning gem of Villa San Michele, offering astonishing views over the cove. Ironically, Axel Munthe didn’t live at the villa for long, as the bright sunlight was too much for his sensitive eyes. We would have invested in a good pair of sunglasses and got on with it, but each to their own!
The Blue Grotto
A must-do in Capri, The Blue Grotto is a magnificent natural cave only accessible by small boats. The best time to swim in the cave is after 5pm, when the last round of boats has finished their tours. The sun reflects light into the cave creating a blue reflection that no picture can properly portray.
A visit to Capri is incomplete without a taste of the best gelato on the island. Buonocore is a family business, running for more than 60 years. Everything is made fresh, but there’s usually a long queue for the gelato so be prepared to wait – especially during the warmer seasons.
Fancy a visit to the beautiful Amalfi coast? Now is the best time of year to go, when all the summer crowds have left and you can have the place all to yourself!