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Visiting the Beautiful Amalfi Coast

Updated on October 20, 2016
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Traveling has always been one of my passions. It exposes us to new cultures, experiences, and makes the world a better, more tolerant place.

Colorful Positano
Colorful Positano | Source

Just mention the Amalfi Coast and it immediately brings to mind images of this stunningly beautiful coastal region of Italy. Located on the Sorrentine Peninsula in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, the Amalfi Coast stretches for some fifty miles from colorful Positano to its eastern hub in Salerno. Along the way you will encounter some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the world.

The Amalfi Drive, the only land route to the Amalfi Coast regularly ranks among the most scenic drives not just in Italy but throughout the world. In 1997, the Amalfi Coast was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites for its cultural and beautiful landscape.

Heading into Positano
Heading into Positano | Source

Would you consider driving the Amalfi Coast?

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For those of you brave enough to get behind the wheel, this is an exhilarating drive to say the least. For those who wish to sit back and enjoy the scenery, there are other means of transportation that will take you on this journey. SITA Buses regularly run up and down the Amalfi coast allowing visitors to get on/off at the destination of their choice.

You can also hire a private driver to do the driving for you although this is a pricey option. For a unique look at the coast there are also ferries that that will take you from Salerno to Positano and out to the islands of Capri and Ischia

Our view from Sorrento

The view from our place above Sorrento.  That's Mount Vesuvius.
The view from our place above Sorrento. That's Mount Vesuvius. | Source

There are thirteen coastal communities along the Amalfi Coast. We visited three of the more popular destinations; Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. We started our trek from our base in the hills above Sorrento. With an amazing view out over the Bay of Naples to wake up to every morning it was hard to fathom anything more beautiful than this view of the bay with Mount Vesuvius standing guard. Little did we know what awaited us?

We opted to take the SITA bus (look for the blue buses) that runs visitors up and down the Amalfi Coast in lieu of driving. We considered doing the drive ourselves but as this was our first visit to this coastal region we decided to save it for another time (hopefully) and hopped on the bus.

It was a short ride over the top of the hills above Sorrento and we quickly found ourselves on the narrow, twisting road that has become this legendary drive. As the bus twisted and turned its way along the coast we quickly understood why this can be a harrowing drive. To drive this route the driver must remain focused on the road at all times, which stinks for the driver as he’s missing all of the beautiful scenery.

If you are traveling east on the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento toward Positano and Amalfi be sure to grab a seat on the right hand side of the bus so you will have a better view. Conversely, if you are traveling west, take a seat on the left side.

Looking down on Positano.
Looking down on Positano. | Source

Positano

The first village you will come to if you are heading from Sorrento will be Positano. This picturesque community is literally built into the hills and makes its way down to the turquoise waters of the Bay of Salerno. Positano is a very popular stop on the Amalfi Coast and for good reason. This place is drop dead beautiful. The dramatic landscape here combined with the beautiful colors of this community makes it a great place to spend some time and do some exploring.

Looking back at Positano from the shoreline
Looking back at Positano from the shoreline | Source
The colorful dome of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta
The colorful dome of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta | Source

Probably the most famous attraction here in Positano is the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. Built in the 1920’s, the church’s magnificent tiled dome is the centerpiece of this community. While we were here there was a wedding going on in the church which was interesting to see.

Other than the church, Positano is just a great place to shop and walk its streets while taking in all its beauty. There are numerous restaurants, cafes and unique shops to help you wind away the day. For a different perspective take a walk down to the shoreline for a great view of the town up against the mountains. While you’re here take a dip into the warm waters of the Bay of Salerno. From the shoreline there is a path that leads you to the right up to where the old turrets are located. One of these is now a beautiful home but beyond here there is a gorgeous secluded beach if you are looking to do some sunbathing.

Beautiful secluded beach just west of Positano
Beautiful secluded beach just west of Positano | Source
The view from Positano looking east.
The view from Positano looking east. | Source

Amalfi

Our next stop on our way down the coast was the namesake community of this beautiful coast, Amalfi. Amalfi, while very scenic, is not as pretty as Positano. Much of the town is located at the foot of Monte Cerreto, which at 4,314 feet provides a dramatic backdrop.

The hub of Amalfi is the Piazza Duomo which sits literally at the foot of Saint Andrew’s Cathedral with its dramatic staircase. This late Baroque style cathedral dates to the 11th century and is worth a peak. If you need a break take a seat at the café across from the cathedral and watch the comings and goings of Amalfi.

Taking a break in Piazza Duomo, Amalfi
Taking a break in Piazza Duomo, Amalfi | Source
The Sfusato Amalfitano Lemon
The Sfusato Amalfitano Lemon | Source

This region of Italy is famous for it's Limoncello and the terraced gardens and groves along most of the Amalfi coast are dotted with lemon trees. These are not your ordinary lemons. The famous Sfusato Amalfitano Lemons of this region are very long and typically twice the size of other lemons. The Sfusato lemon is much less acidic and sweet enough that you can eat them like any other fruit without the typical pucker face that we are accustomed to when trying to eat a lemon. Be sure to try the Limoncello before you leave!

Ravello - The City of Music
Ravello - The City of Music | Source

Ravello

Farther down the coast is the small but quaint community of Ravello. Unlike Positano and Amalfi, Ravello is located high up in the hills above the Amalfi coast. With this unique vantage point there are great views of the coastline from the main square located just outside the entrance to Ravello. Once inside, you are greeted by the spectacular Cathedral of Ravello which was founded in 1086.

Ravello is also renowned for its beautiful gardens and both the Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo are worth a visit. If you are visiting Ravello during the summer, the community hosts the annual Ravello Music Festival. The festival, started in 1952, is an open-air concert series held at the Villa Rufolo.

The view from Ravello
The view from Ravello | Source

If you are looking for a scenic hike there are many trails that traverse the steep hillside here and take hikers from Ravello down to Pontone and eventually to the coastal communities of Amalfi and Atrani. Many visitors make the downhill trek and opt for the bus to get back up to Ravello. Allow a couple of hours to make the one way trip from Ravello all the way down to the coast. If you are leaving Ravello and heading back toward Positano or Sorrento why not make the hike from Ravello down to Amalfi and then hop on the bus for your return trip.

After visiting the Amalfi Coast it is obvious why this stretch of the Italian coastline is so popular with visitors. The scenic beauty here combined with these colorful and picturesque communities make this an ideal place to revel in the Italian lifestyle. Whether you’re here for some R&R, to hike, or to test you’re driving skills on this famous stretch of real-estate you will come away wowed by the spectacular scenery. Enjoy your visit to the Amalfi Coast.

Ciao for now.

Map of the Amalfi Coast

show route and directions
A markerSorrento, Italy -
Sorrento Province of Naples, Italy
get directions

B markerPositano, Italy -
Positano Province of Salerno, Italy
get directions

C markerAmalfi, Italy -
Amalfi Province of Salerno, Italy
get directions

D markerRavello, Italy -
Ravello, Province of Salerno, Italy
get directions

E markerSalerno, Italy -
Salerno Province of Salerno, Italy
get directions

© 2012 Bill De Giulio

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    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      You will love the Amalfi Coast. It really is one of the most beautiful areas in all of Italy. Many thanks for the vote, etc. Have a great day.

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 4 years ago from Southern Spain

      I love this hub with the beautiful photos & great tips ! I can't wait till we drive along this coast ! Voting you up ...

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Millionare Tips. Thanks for stopping by. I would love to go back also and spend more time in this area. It is certainly one of the most beautiful areas in all of Italy if not the world. That road is something else. Thanks for the Vote.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      These are gorgeous pictures, and you make me want to go back and spend even more time on the Amalfi coast. I would definitely want to use the bus again so I don't have to deal with driving on that narrow road, and so that I can keep my eyes on the view. Voted up.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Vox. Always wanted to go to Croatia also, I hear it's beautiful. Hopefully you get to the Amalfi Coast next year, it really is beautiful. Dublin sounds like fun also. Looks like you are going to be busy come 2013.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, have a great day.

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 4 years ago

      Breathtaking pictures! My husband has been there many times and we might go together next year. Our Italian family came to Croatia with us this summer so I'm not sure when we'll go Italy again. We're considering Dublin in March so Italy may be an option in May.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Suzette, you are well traveled through Italy. I'm sure you can understand my addiction with traveling to this beautiful country. Many thanks again, glad you enjoyed it.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker suzettetaos 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Beautiful and gorgeous! Again, your photos are wonderful! This really brings back wonderful memories for me! I have driven this several times and each time it seems to become more gorgeous. Thanks for the "virtual tour!" Well done and well written!

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Sheila. Thank you for the nice comments. I do feel fortunate to to able to travel and go to the places that we've been to. I never take it for granted. Hopefully you get to the Amalfi coast someday, it really is beautiful. We are going back to Italy in 3 weeks so I'll have plenty more to write about when we get back. Thank you for the vote and share. Have a wonderful day.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      What a wonderful hub! Very well written and your pictures are beautiful! What a wonderful trip that must have been. I would love to visit the Amalfi Coast some day. You are very lucky to be able to travel like you do. I always enjoy your travel hubs. Keep "em coming! Voted up and more! Sharing also. Have a beautiful day! :)

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Marie. I never tire of looking at the photos, brings back great memories. It's a beautiful part of the world, I also would recommend it to anyone. Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a great day.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Ah the beautiful Amalfi Coast, I never get sick of seeing photos from this beautiful part of the world. We did this drive many years ago when our children were quite young, it was the best family holiday we had. I'd recommend it to anyone. Thanks for sharing your experience bdegiulio.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi carter06. I think you would love the Amalfi Coast and hopefully you'll get there soon. I would love to go back someday but there are so many places to go and see. I really appreciate your kind comments and the votes and sharing. Have a great day. Ciao.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      So beautiful and excellent photos...I'm so going to get there...the thing I love about your hubs is that they are so practically useful if visiting Italy and apart from awesome your photos are so breathtaking...lots of votes & sharing...cheers

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Hawaiian Scribe. It really is paradise. We were told it was beautiful but nothing prepared us for what we saw, just stunning. Thanks again for the nice comments and the vote. Have a great day.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi rebekahELLE. Thank you so much for the nice comments and the tweet. I'll let you in on a secret, it's actually way more beautiful that photos can show. Add it to your list, you will not be disappointed. Thanks again and have a great day.

    • Hawaiian Scribe profile image

      Stephanie Launiu 4 years ago from Hawai'i

      What a gorgeous slice of the world! One of the best travel hubs I've read. Thank you for sharing this scenic paradise; the photos are wonderful. Voted up, beautiful, awesome.

    • rebekahELLE profile image

      rebekahELLE 4 years ago from Tampa Bay

      WOW! Stunningly beautiful. Just looking at the photos is relaxing. Some day I would love to visit this part of the world. Excellent travel hub, it's getting a tweet!

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Lesley. Thank you. I'm so glad that this brought back some nice memories. It did the same for me. Just a truly beautiful place with stunning scenery. Very much appreciate the comments and the vote up. Have a great day.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Bill, this bought back some wonderful memories of my holiday on the Amalfi coast with my sister.

      We stayed in Amalfi and visited Positano and Ravello - the scenery is stunning, a very beautiful place!

      An excellent article, I enjoyed reading very much, thank you and voted up.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Suzie. Thank you. This was one of our favorite parts of Italy also. It's just beautiful and the pictures don't do it justice. We also just loved Positano and I would love to go back there and spend a week just in that area. I'm so glad that you got to experience this amazing part of Italy. Thank you as always for the very nice comments, vote, and of course the sharing. Have a great day.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Bellissimo Bill!

      You have written on one of my all time favourite parts of Italia! We drove from Sorrento all the way along the Amalfi Coast stopping at all the places you mentioned, Positano I truly adore. I always love your travel hubs and this is now no1 spot! Congrats on a great hub with excellent info for all thinking of travelling here.The coastal drive is definitely not for the faint of heart, my partner did all the driving and even his many years of driving abroad was tested! Excellent work my friend, votes and sharing!!!

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Penelope. Thank you for the nice comments. It's a beautiful area and we would love to return someday. Thank you for linking, I will check out your Hub on Maremma Park. Have a great day.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Great Hub - so well written and pretty to look at and informative. I will link it to my Hub on the Maremma Park!

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi kathleen. Thank you, glad you enjoyed it. Just writing the Hub made me really want to go back. Very much appreciate the comments, vote and share. Have a great day

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey Alex. You know first hand just how beautiful it is! I would love to go back also. Sort of regret not driving the route but next time for sure. Thanks for the read and comment. have a great day.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi dreamdamodar. That really does sum it up. Pictures are great but until you go there you don't realize just how amazing it is. Thanks for the visit.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      You did this amazing region justice! What a wonderfully complete guide to one of the world"s most beautiful places. Thanks for the indepth research. Up and awesome. Sharing

    • AlexDrinkH2O profile image

      AlexDrinkH2O 4 years ago from Southern New England, USA

      Che bella! My wife and I did our honeymoon there - stayed at the Santa Caterina hotel right in Amalfi. It was expensive but it was worth every cent! We drove the coastal highway - what an experience! Love to go back . . . thanks for the great hub!

    • dreamdamodar profile image

      Raman Kuppuswamy 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      "Stunningly beautiful" is the right phrase.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Bill, you're a funny guy. Maybe someday you'll make it to Italy unless you've already been? It is beautiful. But, you do live in a wonderful spot out there so you now all about the natural beauty that surrounds us.

      As always I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Enjoy the weekend.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Glimmer Twin Fan. Thank you for the nice comments. Maybe someday you'll go back. It's worth a return trip! Have a great day.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Sandra. We really enjoyed Positano. It's just so beautiful. But, as you mentioned, the stairs and hills, whew is right.... I'm so glad this brought back some great memories. That's one of the great benefits of traveling for me, the great memories. Thank you for reading, commenting and the vote and share.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I need to drop a note to HubPages management and request that no more of these travel hubs be allowed. They are making me far too jealous and that is not good for my serenity.

      Of course this is beautiful and of course it is well written. I have come to expect both from you.

      Have a great weekend my friend.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Just beautiful and so well written. Was there when I was in high school so I did not appreciate it as much as I should have. Thanks for a great hub!

    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 4 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      bdegiulio, I so enjoyed this hub because it is so obviously your own experience, not taken from a guide book. The photos, too, are beautiful. I was in Positano a few years ago for a wedding, and this takes me back to all those wonderful memories. One of the not so wonderful ones was climbing 150 steps from our apartment up to a restaurant. Whew! Voted Up, across, and SHARED.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks Carol. If you ever get a chance to go, do it. It's just beautiful.

      Thanks for stopping by to read, comment and the vote. Have a great day.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      This is beautiful and well written to boot. I am going to share this around as well as vote UP.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Congratulations. You will not be disappointed. The Amalfi Coast is stunningly beautiful.

      Thank you for the read and comment. Have a great day and enjoy your honeymoon no matter where you go.

    • Modern Lady profile image

      Modern Lady 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      How stunning. We're trying to pick a honeymoon location. This is definitely going to be on the short list.

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