Why – and How — Should You Explore the Amalfi Coast? Not exactly sure where the Amalfi Coast is or why you would want to go there? Excellent. That means there is more for you to discover about this ideal destination. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997, the 11,231 hectares of Amalfi extend from the Gulf of Positano in the east and to the Gulf of Naples in the west of southern Italy. The only way to get there by land is via the 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Positano to Vietri sui Mare. Take a ferry as it is far more “exotic.”
What can you expect to find on an Amalfi Coast tour?
The short answer is indulgence: luxury hotels, private beaches, delicious restaurants, fine wines, classic pizza. The long answer is everything you have ever dreamed of experiencing in Italy.
Where do you start?
Careful. There are so many options that you will have to make informed decisions as to how to best spend your time on the Amalfi Coast. Pick a base and go from there. Vietri sui Mare – Campanian Vietre in Italian– is known as the “gateway’ to the coast. Consider Sorrento. Herculaneum, Pompei, and Naples are all within batting distance of this central location.
What can you do?
Decisions, decisions, decisions. How about a boat tour? A cooking class? A hike? An afternoon of people-watching? A day-trip to a nearby town? Review your interests and decide what you want to do.
Which other places can you visit?
Sneak off to Ravello and experience the mountain views that have captured the imaginations of artists through the ages. Hope on a ferry and check out Capri Island. Another choice for those who have boat-skills is to rent one in Marina Grande. Visit Mount Vesuvius – the most dangerous volcano in the world. It is only nine kilometres (5.6 miles) east of Naples. The volcanic eruption of 79AD killed over 1,000 people.
Explore Furore, the Italian “village that doesn’t exist.” It wasn’t until the mayor ordered the locals to paint their houses with bright colors so they could be seen from the river that people began to notice it. With a population of about 800, this village is still relatively undiscovered. Check out the longest stretch of unbroken beach at Maiori. It is a town of churches: Church of San Francesco, Santa Maira de Loearia, Falerzio Mount and Avvocata.
Discover Praiano. This fishing village is in the mid-way point of the Amalfi Coast and well served by buses and ferries. Santa Caterina Amalfi is a village that hugs the coast. For those reluctant to trudge up the steep stairs, there is a glassed-in elevator that offers panoramic views.