Amalfi Coast - A Heavenly Coastal Landscape
The Amalfi Coast leaves many travellers speechless with its beautiful cliff coasts, scenic villages and deep blue seawater. The native and colourful landscape along the Gulf of Salerno unites with the Arab-Sicilian architecture and the steep hills of the Monti Lattari - a sight for sore eyes.
Geography - 50 kilometres of coast at the Gulf of Salerno
The Amalfi Coast is a coastal area in the west of Italy in the region of Campania. It is 50 kilometres long (from Positano to Vietri sul Mare), lies at the Gulf of Salerno and the Monti Lattari and constitutes the most southern area of the Sorrentine Peninsula. The town of Amalfi, which gave the Costiera Amalfitana its name, is the centre of the Amalfi Coast. The Mediterranean climate creates little rain and a lot of sun. Hot summers and mild winters are the rule.
Nature - A natural and colourful cultural landscape
The Amalfi Coast is a unique Mediterranean landscape, which has been part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1997. The natural and colourful vegetation covers the high mountains, steep and low hillsides and open pastures. Rocky stretches of coast run along the bright blue seawater and are characterised by wonderful beaches, dreamy bays and beautiful terraces, which are planted with citrus fruit, olive trees and vines. Typical Mediterranean plants such as juniper, genista and rosemary decorate the cultural landscape, which also displays a tropical flora (e.g. orchids, ferns). You can see these in the nature reserve of the Valle delle Ferriere, for example. The Riserva Statale Valle delle Ferriere accommodates many rare plants such as the chain fern or the carnivorous plant Pinguicula Hirtiflora. The nature reserve is located in the Parco Regionale dei Monti Lattari. In good weather, visitors can enjoy an impressive view of the Gulf of Salerno, Naples and Mount Vesuvius from the park's peaks.
Culture - Arab-Sicilian architecture
The town of Amalfi was founded by the Romans in the 4th century. As the former capital of a great maritime nation (Repubblica Marinara, 9th to 11th century), the centre of the coastal region could only be reached by boat. It was not until the 19th century that Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies ordered the Amalfitana (the street along the coast) to be built, which connected the most important towns at the Amalfi Coast. Among these towns you find Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, Viertri sul Mare, Minori, Maiori and Sorrent. These and other towns are characterised by Mediterranean architecture, which blends in with the natural surroundings. The houses also display an oriental influence because Amalfi's architecture is of Arab-Sicilian origin. Many buildings are linked by small alleys and lie at steep hillsides. This is true of the fishermen's village of Positano, for example. Amalfi's main attraction is Amalfi Cathedral (Cattedrale di Sant'Andrea), which was built in Arab-Sicilian style in the 11th century.
Experience - Colourful ceramic ware and lemon liqueur
Although the towns at the Amalfi Coast are not far apart, every place has its own traditions and handicraft products from lemon liqueur and ceramic ware to anchovies. The town of Vietri sul mare, which is located at the end of the Amalfitana, is known for its hand-painted ceramic ware. Its inhabitants have been producing tiles, vases, plates and other objects for centuries, which you can see in the Ceramic Museum (Museo della ceramica) in the Villa Guariglia in Raito. The ceramic ware from Vietri is also a popular souvenir. Another speciality from the Amalfi Coast is the lemon liqueur limoncello. It is served icy cold and is a permanent feature of the Costiera Amalfitana. Other delicacies are fish, seafood, fresh vegetables and cheese.
Activities - Hiking on the Monti Lattari and bathing at Positano Beach
The Amalfi Coast makes beachgoers' and hikers' hearts leap for joy. Due to the Mediterranean climate with only a few rainy but many sunny days, the bathing season is particularly long at this Italian coastal region. Popular beaches are Positano Beach and the beach of Conca dei Marini, for example. Near the latter you find a magical emerald grotto, an impressive natural spectacle. Hikers will enjoy the trails in the Monti Lattari. On a hike along the lemon groves and wine terraces you have a spectacular view of the Gulf of Salerno. A particularly popular hiking trail is the Sentiero degli Dei ("path of the gods").
The best time for beach holidays at the Amalfi Coast is the summer, although you can also spend days at the beach in the months of spring and autumn. Visitors who want to explore the coastal area by using the hiking trails should arrive in spring or summer because it can get quite hot and stuffy in the summer months.
The Amalfi Coast is the ideal holiday destination for beachgoers and water sports fans. While hikers enjoy the nature at the Costiera Amalfitana, lovers of culture are fascinated by the Arab-Sicilian architecture and the Mediterranean towns.