The SS 163 road in Italy is perhaps the most scenic, the most picturesque, the most dramatic, and certainly the most thrilling. SS 163 is also known as The Amalfi Drive. And it’s the road that connects all the towns on the Amalfi Coast.
Kissed by the sun and like a balcony overlooking the turquoise sea, the Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s top destinations, and for good reasons. Adored by the celebrities and commoners alike, the picture perfect destination boasts seas and mountains, delicious cuisine and scenes like none others, even for beautiful Italy.
Attracting artists from across the globe, the Amalfi Coast is easily Italy’s most scenic stretch of coastline and has been pulling in the creative types for centuries. A World Heritage Site since 1997, one look may make you believe that you have found heaven on earth. With some 5 million visitors annually, one look from above any of its many cliffs will easily stun even the most well-seasoned traveler.
Thirteen coastal towns make up what is known as the Amalfi Coast, each with unique characteristics of their own. Positano and Amalfi are easily the most recognized, but don’t miss towns such as Ravello, Atrani and Minori.
The coast, of course, is no longer a hamlet of humble fishermen it once used to be. It is, however, still extraordinarily fascinating, especially in the eyes of those who visit for the first time. The most captivating feature, in fact, is its prevalent vertical development. The houses cling on to one another, almost clinging to the rock that slopes gently down the sea.
For fame and frequency, Positano is second only to Capri as far as visitors go. A major tourist destination, crowded during the summer months, any of the towns in the Amalfi Coast are best visited during spring and fall, when the coast demonstrates its best to all the visitors, minus the thousands of visitors flocking to it during the summer months.
Positano is famous all over the world for the handcrafted production of sandals and clothes, and walking through its narrow streets full of boutiques and shops is truly a gratifying experience. Shopping in Positano is a must-do activity. The many shops range from local crafts to luxury boutiques, all overlooking the waterfront, of course. Also worth visiting is the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, with its dome soaring in the middle of the city.
Amalfi shares with Positano the reputation of the most important place on the Coast. Which of the two is most beautiful remains to be decided. You can be the judge of that for yourself when you visit. A small town rich in history and art, it has long been dominated by the long staircase to the Cathedral of Sant’ Andrea. Also not to be missed is the paper museum. Among the other things to do in Amalfi, we recommend sampling the local specialty: the limoncello, produced with the lemons of the Coast.
Immediately after Amalfi, Ravello is the ideal destination for those who want some time away from the crowds. Located more than 300 meters above sea level and offering magnificent views, Ravello boasts a cooler climate that is certainly welcomed during sightseeing and walking. As for the things to see, Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone are a must. The first, hosts a series of high-level musical events, especially during the Ravello Festival. Villa Cimbrone, on the other hand, is now a 5-star hotel, with an extraordinary panoramic garden. Defined as one of the most beautiful and evocative place in the world, the gardens of Villa Cimbrone are a must-see stop. Open all year round, you can enjoy a breathtaking view across the entire coast. The “Terrace of the Infinite” describes this incomparable natural balcony, adorned with eighteenth-century marble, from which sky and sea are so vividly blue that it is not possible to distinguish them. Also worth a visit is the Cathedral, which dominates the square of the same name.
The best season to visit the Amalfi coast is definitely spring. The advantage of April, May and June is that the days get longer, the climate becomes milder, everything blooms, and perhaps most importantly, there is no heat and the crowds of summer.
Are you ready to experience Amalfi for yourself? We’re going in May 2020 for a culinary & culture tour and want you to join us! See below link for tour info. Space is limited!
Images courtesy of iStock.
What to Pack for Italy
Cosa Mettere in Valigia per l'Italia
Everyone is always asking me what they should pack for Italy,
so I’ve created a quick reference guide that you can use for your next trip.
Hint: You don’t need nearly as much as you think you do!