Amalfi coast

The Amalfi Coast is one of the many fabulous places in Italy that must be visited. The charming combination of sea, colorful towns and mountains has turned the area into a preferred tourist destination. The coastal strip is located on the southern side of the Sorrento peninsula, the cape of which closes the Gulf of Naples from the south.

shutterstock_263653214Description: the town of Amalfi /source: Shutterstock/;

The road that leads there runs along the coast and is extremely scenic. There are several stops along it that we would recommend.

One of them is the city of Positano. It is still relatively secluded and removed from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world. Positano is the westernmost town on the Amalfi Coast, located 50 km. from Naples. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was a run-down fishing village. Its appearance began to change after 1950, when crowds of tourists began to visit it. Positano gained popularity thanks to the American writer John Steinbeck, who praised its beauty. He remains mesmerized by the heavenly view and the sense of timelessness that prevails to this day. What is stunning at first sight is the verticality of the city. The yellow-green colors of the lemon and olive groves intertwine with those of the colorful houses descending to the seashore. The population of Positano is about 4,000 people. The homes of its inhabitants are scattered over the hill from top to bottom. The upper and lower parts of the city are connected by stairs……..lots of stairs. However, this should not put you off because the views are definitely worth the effort.

shutterstock_453413752Description: the town of Positano /source: Shutterstock/;

Amalfi was once the capital of the oldest and one of the most powerful Italian maritime republics. In the 9th century, this micro port at the mouth of a deep gorge dominated trade with the Orient, which explains both the Moroccan influence and the importance of the city’s duomo, the Cathedral of St. Andrew. Planned and built during the zenith of republican independence, it rises atop a steep flight of steps. The Baroque interior is accessed through 11th-century bronze doors forged in Constantinople. The 13th-century Chiostro del Paradiso is a pleasant Byzantine and Moroccan-style vaulted cloister whose evocative aura of Arabian fantasy once influenced much of the city’s and coastal architecture.

shutterstock_302412116Description: the town of Ravello /source: Shutterstock/;

Another must-stop along the coast is Ravello. Ravello, like Amalfi, owes its prosperity to the intensive trade carried out in the Mediterranean region, as well as to the production of cotton and wool. Most architectural monuments were built in the Arab-Sicilian style in the 11th-13th centuries. Among the sights of the city, the most famous are Villa “Cimbrone” and Villa “Ruffolo”.

Villa Cimbrone is a historic building rising on an exposed rock known as “Cimbronium”, hence its name. The original building dates from the 11th century, but only a small part of it has been preserved. It was expanded and modified significantly by the English politician Ernest William Beckett. Beckett bought the villa in 1904. and began an ambitious project of its renewal, which included terraces, cloisters and battlements, relying on Gothic, Venetian and Moorish architectural styles. In 1917, however, the Englishman died in London. After his death, the villa became the property of his son. It was also home to Beckett’s daughter, Lucy, who was an avid gardener and planted roses in the gardens. The villa has now been converted into a hotel, but its gardens are open to the public. The most beautiful part of them is undoubtedly the “Infinity Terrace”, from which a magnificent view of the Gulf of Salerno is revealed. Marble statues from the 18th century are placed along the edge of the terrace. Not far away rises the temple of Bacchus, surrounded by cypress trees.

shutterstock_90061453Description: Amalfi cathedral /source: Shutterstock/;

In the square where the cathedral of Ravello stands, the tower of the majestic Villa Ruffolo also rises. The original building dates back to the 13th century. It was then owned by the Ruffolo family, hence its name. The atmosphere of this place is strongly influenced by the long-standing Arab presence here. The main building consists of a vaulted chapel and a reception room, which is divided by massive columns. It has three levels. On its left side rises the observation tower, reaching a height of 30 meters. Still further to the left is the Moorish chapel, a true architectural jewel, flanked by an arcade of pointed arches. The real magic of the villa captivates its visitors the moment they step out onto the famous terrace overhanging the bay. The music festival of Ravello takes place here every year.

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