With a siren call that has lured travelers since ancient times, it’s no surprise that the Amalfi Coast tops the list of the most popular destinations in Italy.
The 40-kilometer (25-mile) Amalfi Coast road weaves in and out of the rugged coastline, clinging to cliffs with sheer drops down to the sea to connect a series of towns, tiny villages and rocky beach coves. Driving along this twisty road is an unforgettable adventure – and not just for the views! The intense beauty of the Amalfi Coast is what captures the imagination and hearts of travelers. After visiting Positano in 1953, John Steinbeck famously wrote that, “It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” Be prepared to fall in love with the Amalfi Coast, because it’s an enchanting place that sticks with you long after you depart.
Amalfi – From Medieval Glory to Modern Day Charm
Nestled in a valley and surrounded by soaring mountains, it’s hard to imagine that the quaint town of Amalfi was a great maritime Republic in the Middle Ages, with a fleet of trading ships that crisscrossed the Mediterranean and vied with the likes of Venice, Pisa and Genoa. In the Piazza Duomo, the heart of Amalfi, the colorful Cathedral of St. Andrew sits atop a sweeping staircase. It is one of southern Italy’s most spectacular churches, so plan time to visit the cathedral’s museum, the Cloister of Paradise and a glimmering crypt dedicated to St. Andrew. The mountain valley provided the perfect setting for papermaking, and the ruins of paper mills high above Amalfi are testament to a once thriving industry. isit the Museo della Carta set in an ancient paper mill to learn more about the history of paper making in Amalfi (www.museodellacarta.it). Stop in La Scuderia del Duca to find locally produced paper transformed into fine stationary and gifts to take home a piece of history. (www.carta-amalfi.com).