Once a wealthy maritime power few regions of Italy are as gorgeous as the corner of Campania that is home to the hilly Sorrentine Peninsula and the Amalfi Coast. This is also the home of Naples, and the Islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida. Smack dab in the middle of the Mediterranean the sea is the most alluring blue green color and if that doesn’t win your heart the warmth of the sun and the people certainly will. From the Sorrento Coast to Salerno the views don’t disappoint. They take you to Mount Vesuvius across the bay of Naples and then across the sea to the Island of Capri. It is a world made up of stairs! Thousand and thousands of them so bring your most comfortable walking shoes. This is no time ladies for fancy high heels that will only get caught in the cobblestones!
Cultural highlights are everywhere from the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum to the ancient history in Sorrento and Naples with sights and adventures that take you back to Roman times. The Amalfi coast is a UNESCO World Heritage site which hopefully will help preserve its charm and history. The landscape is dotted with alluring, charming towns and the most beautiful churches.
The food is “bellissima”! Make sure if you go to have the pizza! The pasta extruded using bronze dies creates a rough texture better supporting the sauce tastes nothing like ours here in the US and the mozzarella, gelato and limoncello are divinely delicious! The vine-ripened tomatoes beckon at every meal and the lemons and olives… well you get the idea! The hills are terraced with lemons, oranges, olives and grapes with Sorrento itself being known for its lemon production. They all thrive in this volcanic soil. Did someone say “Limoncello”! Be prepared for lots of seafood, desserts and more desserts!
All that walking though will let you eat and drink your way around. Did I mention the wine!!!!! Divine!!! Hang out and relax and enjoy the wine and the sunsets. Savor the slow pace and forget all those “To Do” lists, if even just for a little while.
What would a coastline be without the hidden coves and beaches that will try to lure you away from your intentions. These are not the beaches of the Caribbean however! First and foremost, you must plan to see the coast from the water, especially on Capri!
Of course, for those so inclined there are plenty of hiking adventures to be had. (coming in an upcoming post)
For those more adventurous, the cliff hugging Amalfi coast road, one of the world’s most beautiful scenic roads, with its 1,001 hairpin turns and breathtaking views will test even the most accomplished driver. If you love roller-coasters then this is for you. Luckily there are taxis, private cars and buses that make travel easy and convenient because of course, you don’t want to miss the scenery because you had to concentrate on the road!
Sorrento is known as one of the world’s most charming and a old towns with it’s many cafes, shops and historic sites. (see upcoming blogs) Ravello is most famous for its extraordinary gardens and the Ravello Music Festival. Amalfi is the main coastal town and port. Positano is the jewel of the coastline with shops and houses cascading down the ravine to the sea. Don’t miss Capri or one of the other islands to the west of Sorrento in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Tourism is the major industry on this coast.
I am debating on the best way to tackle this blog so you don’t miss a second of my trips to the Amalfi coast so I think I will cover a few towns in separate blogs as there is too much to be said. Are you ready to continue on to Part 2 in this series? “Positano Bites Deep”
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See you next time! Ciao!