AMALFI COAST

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Boasting 31 miles along the southern side of the Sorrentine Peninsula, extending from Positano in the west to Vietri sul Mare in the east, and most famous for the town of Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana) is one of Europe’s most breathtaking places to visit. Once a maritime superpower, now a top vacation destination in Italy, enjoy the views of the slopes peppered with whitewashed villas, and the ocean that seems to melt into the horizon.

With a typical climate of the southern regions of Italy, the Amalfi Coast offers warm Mediterranean summers and mild winters. Though, the best times to visit if you want to avoid the inflated prices and crowds are spring and autumn, summer will be the best time to enjoy the sea breezes while soaking in the sun and romantic atmosphere. The winter is an option as well, though much of the coast shuts down.

As a part of the world that still has untouched areas of lush gardens and vegetation, this part of Italy, with its rich history, culture and folklore, popular sayings, and gastronomical traditions, will be sure to leave anyone seeking shelter from the hustle and bustle of busy city life, feeling inspired, appreciative, and rejuvenated.

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ACTIVITIES AND TOURS

Coastal Driving and Water Taxis: To experience the Amalfi Coast in all its glory, renting a car is the best option. Take a drive on the wild side and cruise, with the top down, of course, down the dramatically twisting cornice road that follows the coastline. Or chart a water taxi from one of the knowledgeable local sailors, and travel along the Praiano, Positano, the Amalfi Coast, Capri or Sorrento. Discover the mythical and infamous coastline from the sea.

Group Driving Tours: Meet at the Achille Lauro Parking Area in Sorrento, board a smaller coach bus, and tour the fascinating landscape of the Amalfi Coast. With stops, and an hour of free time in Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello you’ll be sure to see the best this area has to offer. Unlike larger coaches, this excursion is a more intimate experience, with drives along the coastal routes to each destination. Please note, as a region made of hills, walking downhill and back uphill in Positano will be required.

Or, if exploring the ruins of the once glorious Pompeii holds your interest, climb aboard this coach and venture forward. Our guide will take you slowly through some of the ancient streets of Pompeii where you can see Baths, Forums, and Villas with preserved frescos that adorn the wall and floors. Built by the prosperous Romans in the year 80 B.C. this is a true historical and archaeological landmark sure to satiate any interest. Please note, entrance fees into Pompeii are not included (approximately 11 Euros per person).

Private Driving Tour: If you’re looking for a more intimate touring experience, then one of our private driving tours is the tour to book. Our private, full-day driving tour takes you through some of the best sights the Amalfi Coast has to offer. On this tour you’ll visit Sorrento, Amalfi, and Ravello. You’ll depart your hotel and start your tour around Sorrento. Then continue on to Amalfi where you’ll visit the beautiful Cathedral and it’s architectonical complex made by two connected churches, a crypt, a stair, an atrium, a church tower and a cloister called Chiostro del Paradiso. From Amalfi you’ll drive to Ravello to visit two magnificent villas: Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone, where famous artists received inspirations for many of their works. Finally, return to Sorrento. Please note, itineraries may change, and private guides are not included.

Hiking: Does hiking up a path called, Path of Gods, sound like a challenge? Then Positano is the place to be. Trek up the renowned 7 mile trail, Sentiero degli Dei (Path of Gods), and reach the top of the aw-inspiring peaks that reach towards the sky.

Nightlife: If looking for a night out on the town, The Amalfi Coast and Sorrento have a posh and vibrant nightlife not to be missed. Dance the night away at the European Starlet clad Music on the Rocks, a two-story-high dance club carved into the face of the cliffs in Positano. Don’t forget to dress to impress.

Another well-known celebrity hotspot, and possibly the most famous on the Amalfi Coast, is L’Africana.  Venture into this underground cave, complete with stalagmites overhead, and a glass dance floor. L’Africana offers live, international music performances as well as a solid dance scene.

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PLACES TO SEE

Amalfi: As the main town and center of the Amalfi Coast, Amalfi is a picturesque seaside town that has a vibrant, typical Italian atmosphere, an ideal climate, inspiring views, and unique untainted natural beauties. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Amalfi’s history is filled with fascinating tales and historical monuments, including the Amalfi Cathedral, the old dockyards, and the Museo della Carta (Museum of Handmade Paper), which was one of the first centers of paper production in Europe. The museum is set inside the paper mill, which, today, is still creating the Amalfi paper known as bambagina.

Maiori: Boasting the longest uninterrupted sandy beach on the Amalfi coastline, Maiori is a lively tourist attraction with a bountiful history, culture, and atmosphere.
Visit the Palazzo Mezzacapo, the seat of the town hall, the church of Santa Maria a Mare, with its unmistakable dome covered by majolica tiles, and the Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano, a massive, broad fortress covering over 80,000 square feet.

Praiano: Also one of the centers of the Amalfi Coast, Praiano separates the Amalfi and Positano bays, while boasting its own beautiful beach of Marin di Praia. Praiano is a peninsula that allows visitors to see both the sunrise and sunset— a feature the town is most notably famous for. Visit the parish church of San Luca Evangelista, built in the baroque style, or the many sighting towers: the Torre a Mare, Torre de Lo Grado, Torre della Gavitella, and Torre Asciola.

Ravello: Often referred to as ‘the most beautiful town in Italy,’ Ravello is known for its refinement, lush medieval gardens, Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo, and its unmatched cerulean blue vistas.

MUST SEES

Positano: Built mostly in an enclave of the hill leading down the shore, Positano is one of the most well known holiday places in the world. Known for their distinctive ‘Positano style,’ and beautiful surroundings, this a fun place if you’re looking for a hip atmosphere.
Visit the church of Santa Maria Assunta, with a dome made of majolica tiles, the Torri Saracene, sighting towers built to defend the area from pirate raids, and the beautiful beaches of Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo, which can only be reached on foot.

Grotta dello Smeraldo: A partially flooded cave, Grotta dello Smeraldo is known for its luminous shades of blue and emerald light that cascades down the walls. Unlike the Blue Grotto in Capri, the Grotta dello Smeraldo has no natural outlet above the waterline. The only opening is just below the water level. Refracted sunlight entering the cavern through the opening gives the water its characteristic emerald glow during daylight hours.

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FOOD SPECIALTIES

Scialatielli: Originating from the Amalfi Coast, Scialatielli is similar to fettuccine and linguine. What makes this pasta unique is how it’s prepared— flour, eggs, milk, grated Parmigiano, and parsley, then shaped into stout strands. This pasta is usually served with seafood and flavorful cherry tomatoes.

Limoncello: A byproduct of the lemon groves that runs along the entire coast, Limoncello is a traditional liqueur distilled from the peel of lemons (sfusato amalfitano). It’s a natural liqueur served best as a digestivo (after dinner drink that aids in digestion) when it comes served in a cold glass.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Luminaria di San Domenico: A religious holiday in honor of Saint Domenico, Luminaria di San Domenico is similar to the Pisa event, Luminaria di Saint Ranieri. It is a magical night that takes place annually on the first through the fourth of August. Evenings are spent lighting the central San Gennaro Square with the light of 3,000 candles. Additionally, all terraces, windows, and balconies of private homes are decorated with oil and wax lamps, and huge bonfires are lit.

Ravello Festival: A summer music festival also known as the Wagner Festival that began in 1953 to stimulate tourism and to honor Richard Wagner, a German composer, who signed the guestbook of his local hotel with the words ‘The magical garden of Klingsor is found,’ suggesting that it was in Ravello that the composer found the inspiration for his Parsifal.