Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast

Sorrento and the Bay of Naples

From Sorrento to Vietri Sul Mare, it’s an immersion of architectural and gastronomic beauties of one of the most famous coasts of Italy. And of the world

 

Few places in the world can also boast such exciting tracks. The state road 163, which connects all the small towns of the Amalfi Coast, is a chase of curves: you drive tight between the hilly walls and the overhanging sea.

 

For trekkers, the whole coast is a paradise: there are excursions for every level and place, such as the Bay of Ieranto and the Path of the Gods, which are worth the trip.

Sorrento, beautiful and lively all year round

 

The beautiful town of Sorrento is located on the Gulf of Naples, and is one of the most famous places in the Bay of Naples. Its importance as a tourist destination has been known since ancient times, and there are quite a few paintings immortalizing its beauty, from the splendid views of the sea to the emblematic image of Vesuvius that dominates in the distance.

 

Sorrento is a lively and pulsating city that enchants travellers 365 days a year, today as in the past. In the wake of the notebooks of the romantic Grand Tour and the echo of Caruso’s melodies, his myth continues and is intertwined with an all-contemporary vivacity that gives life to new addresses of art and design, elegant Maison d’Hôtes and colourful boutique hotels.

The terrace of Maison La Minervetta in Sorrento

Pompeii and Herculaneum: travel through time

 

Of the numerous archaeological sites in world, Pompeii and Herculaneum are undoubtedly among the most famous. Pliny the Younger had already left evidence of the tragic eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. from which the two cities were buried.

 

Their uniqueness is due precisely to their rapid and sudden end: the eruption has crystallized the urban fabric and buildings (especially in Herculaneum) over the centuries, preserving them in a state that has no equal.

Pompeii

Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi, the town poised between two seas

 

Its name translates as “on the two gulfs”. In fact, it rises between the gulfs of Salerno and Naples. Therefore, it offers a belvedere from which it is possible to admire the two enchanting Gulfs of Campania simultaneously. Truly beautiful, this area also stands out for its cultural as well as social activities.

 

In addition, the Monastery built on the Desert Hill, which can also be reached directly on foot from the historic centre, is worth a visit. From here, you can enjoy a beautiful panorama.

 

This small hamlet of Massa Lubrense encloses a millenary history, a centuries-old devotion and a natural beauty that has survived intact over time.

Terrace of the Oasi Olimpia Relais in Sant'Agata sui due Golfi

The Bay of Ieranto: the abode of the sirens in front of the stacks of Capri

 

A small cove right in front of the stacks of Capri, is the place where Ulysses, returning to Ithaca, met the sirens. Go there to take a dip, the seabed is part of the protected marine natural area Punta Campanella.

 

To reach the bay, take a path from the Piazzetta di Nerano, where a stop at the MozArt Eco Bar by Franco Cioffi, a 70-year-old artist and philosopher, forerunner of the art-cafes with this tiny 1960s-style venue, is a must: on the ceiling, on the tables and on the walls works of art and sculptures made with what the sea gives back; at the bar counter, lemon granita and liqueurs prepared with the herbs of Punta Campanella.

View of Punta Campanella along the Ieranto path

Positano: sea and boutiques

 

Positano is a postcard that remains in the heart. Very steep stairways and picturesque descents trace its development between the sea and that road, which, in a delirium of exciting curves and overhangs, runs along the entire coast.

 

What to do in Positano? Obviously shopping, buying typical products, such as clothes designed according to the “Positano fashion”, with light and fresh fabrics, or handmade sandals or limoncello, typical handicrafts of this area, or even majolica objects, to bring the colored ceramics of the Amalfi Coast with you.

Positano

Norway? No, Furore on the Amalfi Coast!

 

In Furore, nature has drawn a deep crack in the rock crossed by a stream, the Schiato, which slides down from the Lattari Mountains. Just like in the coves of Northern Europe, in Furore, the water has drawn an authentic wonder, with typically Mediterranean flavors and atmospheres.

 

And so the Fjord, among scents of lemons, romantic boat rides and cheerful walks, is an excellent point to enjoy the best of the Amalfi coast.

Praiano: life is better in slow m-ocean

 

Less known and more reserved than its neighbour Positano, Praiano has always been the favourite destination for those looking for a more private setting.

 

It is the point with the most beautiful sunset on the entire Amalfi Coast, with a view that flies to Positano and the Faraglioni of Capri, on the horizon line. The most vertical village, with a dense network of houses, stairs, alleys and even stairs that climb from the sea, between vineyards and lemon groves.

 

From some cafes overlooking the sea (such as Cafè Mirante) you can see the promontory that frames the coast and the sun that plunges into the water.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Cafe Mirante (@cafe_mirante)

Path of Gods: the most beautiful path in the world

 

The coast seen from up there is even more beautiful and then it feels so good that it seems to be in paradise: it is no coincidence that here the path that from Agerola (a village on the hills of the coast) reaches Nocelle is called “of the Gods” (fraction of Positano). And few people walk it because it is for true lovers of long walks in nature.

 

But the Salvatore Di Giacomo Astronomical Observatory is also worth a visit, where you gaze at the stars with experts, and then the planets in a spectacular planetarium.

Amalfi: life is beautiful

 

Amalfi shares with Positano the palm of the most famous town of the Amalfi Coast. On which of the two, however, is the most beautiful, the judgment remains suspended even if Amalfi undoubtedly has a glorious history on its side.

 

Noble, illustrious, rich, opulent, it was the first of the maritime republics and still unmissable for the promenade, one of the most evocative of the coast, and for the Cathedral, symbol of the town, with the imposing staircase and its Cloister of Paradise. Walking along via dei Mercanti, you can stop for a fried seafood cone (€ 7) washed down with a glass of wine.

 

La Sfogliatella

A special mention must be done for the Sfogliatella. If you are in Amalfi, you cannot fail to bite into this tender pastry with ancient origins. In fact, it was born in the monastery of Santa Rosa, where the nuns, using fragrant herbs and oranges from their garden, gave life to a unique recipe. Try it at Pasticceria Pansa, Piazza Duomo 40.

Atrani: Italy’s smallest town

 

If you are looking for the soul of the Amalfi Coast, Atrani is a stop you cannot give up: here, in one of the smallest municipalities in Italy by surface, resides the maritime identity of a fishing village with houses perched on the hill, in an apparently difficult strip of land that descends rapidly from rocky peaks to a breathtaking bay. To do: get lost in its alleys, then find the compass towards the extraordinary square dominated by the Church of San Salvatore.

 

From the square, cross an arch to immediately arrive on the small beach of Atrani.

Atrani's Piazzetta

Ravello: on the coast suspended between sky and sea

 

Did you know? If the gardens of Ravello are the most beautiful on the coast (and beyond), it is all thanks to the English. Because, after the ancient Romans, the lords came here for the Grand Tour, bringing with them their passion for gardening, and in particular for roses.

 

It is to Ernest William Beckett that we owe the splendour of Villa Cimbrone and it is above all thanks to him that the peasants of Ravello, to revive the huge park then in decline, have become skilled gardeners.

 

The garden of Villa Cimbrone is also famous for its Infinity Terrace, built in the most protruding point of the town. A tip: it is worth having a coffee in the little bar next to the belvedere, sitting on the tiny balcony from which you can admire the beauty of so much panorama in solitude. The other visit not to miss is the Villa Rufolo with evocative features of clear Islamic influence. But the highlight is certainly the Summer Ravello Music Festival, which earned Ravello the title of “City of Music”.

Infinity Terrace of Villa Cimbrone in Ravello

Cetara: the fishing village of the Amalfi Coast

 

From Ravello, the coast continues with its intimate dialogue between the sea and the mountains. After passing the villages of Minori and Maiori, we arrive in Cetara, intimate and cosy, coloured by boats for fishing anchovies, a Slow Food presidium.

 

Cetara, a small fishing village, is famous for the precious and exquisite production of anchovy sauce, an amber-coloured liquid sauce, obtained by putting anchovies in salt and pressed in barrels. A long and delicate process that takes five to six months and justifies the price, it must be said, very salty.

 

In any case, it is not easy to find the original product (and not watered down), but the taste of spaghetti seasoned with colatura is a pleasure for the palate. In Cetara, there are several food shops that sell it, such as Delfino Battista.

Anchovies sauce

Vietri and its ceramics: artisan excellence Made in Italy

 

City of Ceramics, known all over the world, offers tourists hundreds of craft shops to shop, excellent cuisine, sun and sea almost all year round. The alleys of the historic centre, overlooking the sea, are a real open-air museum, where the tiles set in the walls of the houses and the works of potters make a fine show.

 

Among the historical addresses, the Solimene Artistic Ceramics, opened since 1947, with a vast and highly qualified range of products: from tiles for floors and tables to plate sets, from vases to jugs, to lamps. In the colours blue, yellow and turquoise, typical of the tradition.

 

In the Raito hamlet (2.5 km from Vietri), the Vietri Ceramics Museum (free admission), set up on the Villa Guariglia estate, illustrates the history of this craft from 1600 to the 1950s.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Solimene (@solimeneceramicartistica)

Tags :