Sunshine and Lemons – The Amalfi Coast

Make the Amalfi Coast a must-see destination! A day’s excursion to this beautiful coastal area of scattered seaside towns that stretch between Naples and Salerno on the arm of the Sorrento peninsula. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site for a reason.

Gigantic cliffs, the face of the Lattari Mounts, border the sea and shape the roads and the town landscapes. Approach from Sorrento, a port town on the “edge” of the region and serves as a great starting or ending point, though not officially part of the Amalfi Coast. Trains from Rome and other major cities end in Naples, and a private transfer will drive you to Sorrento. There are two ways to see the Amalfi Coast in all her beauty. The first is a private car with English speaking driver and guide, and the second is a boat tour to see the Cliffside towns from a vantage point of pure beauty.

The Amalfi Coast is a popular tourist area that caters to the well-heeled and famous. However, there is so much to see and do here: historic churches and villas, quaint towns with steep alleys and stairways to explore, tasty meals of local seafood, pasta, and limoncello*, and stunning photographic moments. You will want to bring a camera, sturdy and comfortable footwear for all the hills and cobblestones, and a sweater for the evening chill.

Here are a few of the towns you may encounter along the Amalfi Coast and what you will find. There are thirteen localities in this region.

Seaside Towns

Amalfi. More locals live in the town of Amalfi than seasonal visitors as opposed to Positano. Stroll the Piazza Flavio Gioia named for the inventor of the compass or climb the sixty-two steps to the top of the Duomo (cathedral) from the piazza of the same name. Amalfi’s symbol is the Maltese Cross so you may find souvenirs with this symbol just as one does in Malta itself.

Cetara. This is now as Amalfi was before the tourists invaded. It is a charming little fishing town where you can observe fishermen and their colorful fishing boats. Enjoy local seafood dishes in a perfect setting.

Positano. Colorful houses stretch up the hillside from the beach. Enjoy the bars, seaside restaurants, and shops. Climb the steps to the top of the town but your best view of the town is from offshore so perhaps take a boat ride. Visit in the off or shoulder seasons as it can be a very busy and crowded place in the height of summer.

Praiano. Escape from the crowds of Positano and Amalfi into Praiano. Built similarly to Positano with brightly colored buildings terraced up the hillsides, it provides one of the best views of the Amalfi Coast.

Maiori and Minori. One doesn’t visit this area for the beaches as they pale in comparison to actual “beach destinations” but if there is one place where one might enjoy taking in a day relaxing in the sun on the sands, it would be here below the town of Maiori. Its main street has a myriad of shops and restaurants. A short distance away is the similar town of Minori.

Furore. Situated centrally along this coast is Furore, worth a visit for the murals on the walls of the buildings depicting scenes of every day life in this area. The town is surrounding by terraces of vineyards, limestone cliffs, and of course the beautiful Mediterranean waters.

Atrani. This quiet spot is at the mouth of the Valle del Dragone. Visit its main square and the historic Church of San Salvatore de’ Birecto. Spectacular views of the sea, cliffs, and town make this a great spot to relax, take in the scenery, sip a limoncello* or enjoy a gelatto.


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Image: Andischatz on Paxabay


Image: Bigstock


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Image: Bigstock

Towns On the Cliffs

Away from the sea, there are more towns worthy of a visit. Ravello offers one of the best views along this coast. Visit Villa Rufuolo, a Roman villa, for the best views. Scala is the region’s oldest town with points of interest, including historical monuments and the Basilica of Sant’Eustachio ruins. Tramonti is the place to go for traditional food and wine. Vineyards and chestnut groves surround it. Here, you can feast on local bread and pizza prepared in traditional and century-old recipes.

Off the Coast

Counted within the Amalfi coast is the archipelago of the four Sirenuse islands and the island of Capri. You cannot actually visit the Sirenuse Islands, but they are worth a boat ride and afford good snorkeling opportunities offshore. Capri on the other hand, you can visit and is not to be missed. It has regular ferry service from various points on shore including Naples. Shopping is a must, and dining in the main square. Enjoy a limoncello from a street stand as you stroll the many alley ways. Take boat tours around the island, a highly recommended way of seeing the highlights. If you have many hours to spend, a visit to the Blue Grotto (a sea level cave) is a treat.

AAs you can probably tell from this listing of towns, you cannot visit the Amalfi Coast in-depth in one day. Allow several days to do this area justice. With this said, even a day is well worth your time as you will discover that the Amalfi Coast is a truly magical place that you will want to return to again and again.

*Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur produced mainly in this area of southern Italy.

This article first appeared on Real Travel Experts. Feature image of Positano courtesy of  Silvia Triago on UnSplash. Header image of the view from Capri courtesy of Bigstock.

*Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur produced mainly in this area of southern Italy.