The entire Amalfi Coast is on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1997.
The costiera Amalfitana is a stretch of coastline on the southern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula in the province of Salerno. If there is one place in the world which we can believe was created by a unique intelligent and creative being, then the Amalfi Coast is that place.
The coast is named after the town of Amalfi, the heart of the Amalfi Coast, not only geographically but also historically. There are a number of towns such as Amalfi and Ravello with architectural and artistic works of great significance.
The rural areas show the versatility of the inhabitants in adapting their use of the land to the diverse nature of the terrain, which ranges from terraced vineyards and orchards on the lower slopes to wide upland pastures.
Thirteen are the pearls of this land, all located along a stretch of road among the most scenic in the world, offering the tourist strong emotions, pleasant memories and a burning desire to return to this little piece of heaven.
From the height of the rocky cliff overlooking the sea, Sorrento is the preferred set by international filmmakers.
The Emerald Grotto near Amalfi, owes its name to the unique color of the sea water.
In fact this tiny strip of the Salerno region is made up of many individual elements living together in harmony, in an almost supernatural symbiosis that combines landscapes with evidence of art, history, culture and civilization.
Perhaps the origins are to be found in the protective spirit of the places: Amalfi, Ravello, Positano, Praiano, Minori, Maiori, without forgetting the other small towns and villages, would probably never have been able to create such an impression if, throughout the centuries, man himself had not been inspired to mold the land with respect, according to universal laws of ethics and esthetic that are universally recognized and shared.
How else can we explain the many literary descriptions which so many different authors and cultures have dedicated to the Amalfi Coast: from Ibsen to Steinbeck, from Bocaccio to Fubini and Gregorovius.
The 13 Pearls of the Amalfi Coast :
Amalfi - Atrani - Cetara - Conca dei Marini - Furore - Maiori - Minori
Positano - Praiano -Ravello - Scala - Tramonti - Vietri sul Mare .
Vietri sul Mare, and Albori, the gateway to the Amalfi Coast coming from the south (Salerno), famous throughout the world for the production of ceramics with bright intense colors and the beautiful hillside towns of Albori and Raito. The inhabitants like to call it “The First Pearl of the Amalfi,” claiming that the Amalfi Coast begins at Vietri.
The real highlight of the city is the Palazzo della Ceramica Solimene, designed by the architect Paolo Soleri, and based on the Guggenheim Museum in New York. It is the seat of one of the oldest and most prestigious ceramic workshops in southern Italy.
Amalfi, the first of the four Maritime Republics of Italy, with its imposing Duomo di Sant'Andrea (Cathedral of St. Andrew), preceded by an imposing staircase, the ancient Arsenali della Repubblica (Arsenals of the Republic), the Chiostro del Paradiso (Cloister of Paradise) and the Museo della carta (Paper Museum).
Atrani, enclosed between the steep walls of rock which flank the green funnel of the Dragone valley, Atrani is the coastal town which has best conserved its ancient topography. One of the smallest municipalities in southern Italy, with its picturesque square and the ancient Church of San Salvatore de 'Birecto (X century) in which took place the official investiture of the Dodges of the Ancient Maritime Republic of Amalfi.
Cetara, has always been a fishing village and it is no coincidence that its name is thought to derive from the ancient term cetaria which was a tuna-fishing net, or from cetari, sellers of big fish. It still retains an ancient tradition: the departure of the fishermen each March and April for Algeria and Morocco to fish for anchovies. The perfect seaside town, Cetara has three beaches which get very busy from spring onwards. The most beautiful beach is the one which starts at the gates of the town, Lagno beach, which has the regal watchtower at its entrance (now the town and maritime museum).
Praiano is located half way between Amalfi and Positano. Reflecting the characteristic "verticality" of the towns on the Amalfi Coast, the higher part of the town is referred to as 'Praiano Vettica' and the lower part, closest to the sea, as 'Praiano Inferiore'. The sunset visible from Praiano, the picturesque little fishing town located between Positano and Conca dei Marini, is considered to be one of the most romantic of all those on the Amalfi Coast. From Praiano, the panorama extends from the bay of Positano and the islets of Li Galli to Punta Campanella and the island of Capri.
Conca dei Marini, a village overlooking the deep blue sea, with the spectacular Emerald Grotto, a panoramic Church of San Pancrazio and the austere convent of Santa Rosa, clinging to the rock, where, according to tradition, the famous "sfogliatella di Santa Rosa" (puffy pastry) was first created.
Furore also known as "the town that is not", with its deep fjord of wild beauty, the murals "en plein air" and small hamlets scattered along the slope of the mountain.
Maiori, the ancient Reghinna Major, who, despite the wide promenade and the modern appearance it hides a very charming historical town center made up of narrow streets and alleys.The city was built in the 9th century on an ancient Etruscan site by Sicardo, prince of Salerno, and named ‘Reghinna Major’ so as to distinguish it from the smaller city of Minori, known as ‘Reghinna Minor’. The first place of worship we come across, before entering the town, is one of the oldest: the abbey of Santa Maria de Olearia, so called because of the nearby oil mill. A little further along is the Torre Normanna or Norman Tower, whose construction was started in 1535 and completed around 1590.The church of Santa Maria a Mare dates back to the 12th century: its large majolica cupola dominates the building.
Minori, A city of taste but above all a seaside town, Minori nestles at the foot of the Lattari mountains, with the remains of the Roman Maritime Villa from the first century AD, the magnificent Basilica of Santa Trofimena and the delicious hand made pasta, the town's own speciality. Minori is particularly rich in monuments, primarily of a religious nature of course. Before leaving Minori, treat yourself to a tour of its cake shops.
Many famous sweet specialties have been created by local artisans.
Terraces of lemon trees have also been traditionally cultivated here, providing raw materials for the delicious limoncello. Lemon cakes and desserts are particularly special, such as 'torta delizia', limoncello babà and lemon tiramisù.
Positano, the most photogenic of them all, the socialite pearl of the Amalfi coast, with craft shops of linen clothes and sandals typical of the famous Positano fashion, the charming palaces, the Church of the Assumption (near which were recently discovered the remains of a villa Roman) and the fascinating landscape of the islands "Li Galli" in the background. It is an unforgettable place of unique charm attended by the most important names of the international jet set.
Ravello is not located by the sea. Wonderfully aristocratic, devastatingly beautiful, Ravello patiently awaits the traveler who, from the Amalfi Coast's seaside fishing villages decides to make his way up to the town, perched on a great spur of rock, some 350meters above the sea. Its scenic location makes it a popular tourist destination, and earned it a listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
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