Known for its cities built into huge rocks, seaside atmosphere, colourful buildings and historical heritage, Amalfi is one of the most popular places in Italy. In addition to its beaches, the once-huge maritime empire is also famous for its natural beauty. The area is also known for producing lemons and wine.
While you're here, let's visit all the fishing villages and try the local dishes. The picturesque countryside is a worthy challenger to the Italian Riviera, where Cinque Terre can be found.
The region is named after the town of Amalfi, which is the centre of the area. The coast stretches for 50 kilometres, which includes several small and large coastal villages and towns.
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Map - Where is Amalfi?
Amalfi is located in the Campania region on the southwestern coast of Italy. The coast stretches 50 kilometres along the coastline of the Sorrento peninsula, between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno. You are south of Naples. Attractions such as Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii are about an hour's drive from here.
The nearest international airport is Naples International Airport, approximately an hour's drive away. It can be also reached from the Croatian coast by ferry.
- Distance from Naples: 70 km / 1.5 hours
- Distance from Rome: 270 km / 3.5 hours
- Distance from Pompeii: 40 km / 1 hour
- Distance from Vesuvius: 60 km / 1.5 hours
The area is located on the narrow Sorrento Peninsula, which extends into the Tyrrhenian Sea, separating the Gulf of Naples from the Gulf of Salerno. Its coastline is known for its dramatic beauty, with cliffs rising from the sea and covered with lush vegetation, including olive trees, citrus groves and vineyards.
In addition to the rocky coast, several mountain ranges, including the Lattari Mountains, form a natural barrier between the coast and the rest of the Campania region. It is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers. Jagged peaks, deep gorges and dense forests characterize the area.
The unique geographical features of the area also contribute to the mild Mediterranean climate, characterized by mild winters and warm summers, with temperatures typically 10-15°C in winter and 25-30°C in summer. It is also known for its abundant sunshine, making it a popular destination for those looking for warmth and beachgoers.
The coast has many small beaches perfect for sunbathing and swimming. The most popular is Marina Grande Beach, just a short walk from the city centre and offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and coastline.
Amalfi (the town)
Amalfi is a charming and picturesque town that offers many attractions for visitors. Here are some popular attractions in the city:
- St. Andrew's Cathedral: The Cathedral is an impressive 9th-century church in the city's heart. It has beautiful Byzantine-style architecture, intricate mosaics and a bronze door that dates back to the 11th century.
- Cloister of Paradise: The Cloister of Paradise is a medieval monastery next to the cathedral. It has elegant columns, intricate carvings and a peaceful garden that offers a respite from the city's busy streets.
- Piazza del Duomo: This lively square is in the city's centre. Historical buildings, including the Cathedral and the Paradise Monastery, surround it.
- Museo della Carta: The Museo della Carta, or Paper Museum, is housed in an 18th-century paper factory renovated and converted into a museum. The museum presents the history and techniques of paper production, an important industry in the countryside in the Middle Ages. This is one of the oldest paper factories in Europe; its history goes back to the 13th century. The paper produced here was of such good quality that it was exported to other parts of Europe.
The towns in the area were built on cliffs overlooking the sea. A winding coastal road connects them with stunning views of the coast.
The charming village is famous for its steep streets, colourful buildings and magnificent scenery. This one is our favourite, as it is home to several beaches, including Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo Beach.
The hilltop village is about 7 kilometres northeast of Amalfi. The town is known for its stunning coastal views, beautiful gardens and rich cultural heritage. Notable sights include Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone, which are worth a visit during your stay.
Praiano is a quiet and peaceful village about 6 kilometres east of Positano. The two beaches of the village are Marina di Praia and La Gavitella.
Atrani is a small and charming village known for its narrow streets, colourful buildings and picturesque beach. One of the most secluded and peaceful places on the coast.
Maiori is located approximately 8 km east of Amalfi. The village is known for its long sandy beach, one of the largest on the coast, and its historical attractions, including the Church of Santa Maria a Mare and the Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano.
The area is home to many scenic trails and nature reserves, including the Sentiero degli Dei (Path of the Gods), which offers stunning views of the coast and surrounding mountains. There are more than 100 km of hiking trails, including the famous Path of the Gods.
The local cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients and strong Mediterranean influence. The area's cuisine is based on seafood, locally grown produce and traditional ingredients such as olive oil, lemons and herbs. Here are some popular dishes and ingredients in the local cuisine of the Amalfi Coast:
- Seafood: Due to its location on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, it is no surprise that seafood plays a prominent role in the local cuisine. Some popular seafood dishes include grilled fish, clam pasta, and seafood risotto.
- Lemon: The region is famous for its lemons, which are worth tasting because of their large size and intense flavour. Lemons are used in many dishes, including chicken, pasta, and desserts like lemon sorbet.
- Pasta: Some popular pasta dishes in the area are spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams), linguine ai frutti di mare (linguine with mixed seafood) and spaghetti con le zucchini (spaghetti with zucchini).
- Pizza: There are many pizzerias on the beach. Some popular toppings include fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil.
- Wine: The region is also known for its wine, made from grapes grown in the area's vineyards. Popular local wines include Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino and Taurasi.
Amalfi Coast's rich and fascinating history dates back over a thousand years. It was once a powerful maritime republic that played a significant role in Mediterranean trade in the Middle Ages.
- According to legend, it was founded by Hercules, who was said to have been attracted to the area by its natural beauty and favourable climate. However, the city's origins are shrouded in mystery, and little is known about its early history.
- By the 9th century, it had become a major centre of maritime trade, thanks to its strategic location on the Mediterranean coast. The city's merchants and sailors traded a wide variety of goods, including spices, silks, precious metals, and ceramics, and their ships reached as far as North Africa, the Middle East, and even Asia. It became an important cultural and intellectual centre with a thriving artistic and literary scene. It was home to many famous writers, poets and scientists, including Flavio Gioia, the inventor of the compass.
- In the 11th century, the city's power began to decline due to various factors, including competition from other maritime republics, wars with neighbouring powers, and the decline of Mediterranean trade. The Normans conquered the city in the 12th century, and its glory ended.
Despite its decline, it remained an important cultural and religious centre, and many of its historical landmarks, including St. Andrew's Cathedral, date from this period. Today it is a popular resort known for its rich history, stunning natural beauty and charming Mediterranean atmosphere.
- The Amalfi Coast was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 for its unique beauty, cultural significance and architectural heritage.
- One of Italy's finest limoncello drinks is made in the countryside, a traditional Italian liqueur made from lemon peel, alcohol and sugar.
- It has been a popular destination for artists and writers, including composer Richard Wagner, poet Pablo Neruda and author John Steinbeck.
- The Amalfi Coast is a popular filming location and has been featured in many movies and TV shows, including "The Talented Mr Ripley" and "Under the Tuscan Sun."
- A popular destination for weddings and honeymoons. 7,000 weddings are held every year.
- It is known for its traditional festivals and celebrations, including the Feast of Saint Andrew, which takes place on November 30 and includes a procession through the town.
- The countryside has several traditional crafts, including pottery firing, embroidery and lace making. You can buy these handmade products at local markets and shops.
- Sailing and boating are popular. Many visitors choose to explore the area by boat. Of course, you don't have to rent a boat for this; you can also participate in boat tours.
- There are an average of 2,500 hours of sunshine per year.
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