“The land is rich in citrus & the sea is the most incredible shade of cerulean blue –
Amalfi is like the palette of Mediterranean flavour.“
Amalfi was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its undisputed beauty and the uniqueness of its natural landscape; a coastline characterised by the oxymoronic combination of mountain and sea. The city of Amalfi is the first of the four Maritime Republics in Italy and has many historical points of interest such as the imposing Cathedral ‘St. Andrew’, the Campanile (bell tower), the Cloister of Paradise and the Paper Museum. Cruise towards Sorrento for swimming and dinner. The Sorrento peninsula is a cosmopolitan combination of colours and flavours, with secluded coves offering breath-taking views overlooking the sea. Sorrento town is perched atop the cliff’s edge, with some properties built into the rock, facing the sea. This charming town has a medieval and classical history, much of which is still evident in the Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
Il mare (the sea) plays a major role in Amalfi town. It is the mirror of the city, where all the sunrises, sunsets & clear days of sunshine are reflected, where colours change from turquoise to emerald green.
Amalfi has always been a fishing village, from centuries ago and still today, legend has it that it is such a place of happiness and positivity because it is protected by the happy souls of the sailors.
It is also legend that the word Amalfi comes from the nymph loved by Hercules. She was buried here as a desire of the gods. It is well known also that Amalfi was actually where the compass was invented, some say by Giovanni Gioia whose statue can be found in the main piazza. Amalfi has always been a fishing village, and the sailors were able to expand their trade thanks to the compass.
“Despite being one of the world’s most fashionable destinations, where scores of jet-setters flock each year, it remains curiously unspoilt.”
Amalfi is the capital of the Amalfi Coast, the fulcrum on which life revolves between Vietri sul Mare and Positano. Each resort along the Coast has its own peculiarities, unique strengths and small weaknesses, as it always happens. Amalfi welcomes them all, good and bad things, it shapes them and makes them unique. Within its shops, tourists find handicrafts from all over the Coast; in its clubs they breathe the glamour of Positano, the African-style Praiano and the wonderful Conca dei Marini; along the steps and the paths between the houses, they enjoy landscapes and horizons then found in every small town, creek or terrace. Amalfi is all about this, it is the theological compendium of the wonders, welfare, sensitivity, and joy of life that characterizes the Amalfi Coast, the “Divine Coast”.
Four miles (6km) down the coast from Positano is the quaint town of Praiano, framed by caves, castles and sharp cliffs. A stroll from here towards Amalfi will take you to a ramp leading to Marina di Praia, a 400-year-old fishing village nestled in the embrace of a tiny ravine. Another notable stop between Praiano and Amalfi is the Grotto dello Smeraldo.
The busy seaside town of Amalfi basks in the glory of its longevity as the first Sea Republic of Italy, and as the hometown of Flavio Gioja, the inventor of the compass. It is referred to as the ‘pearl of the coast’ and has a bit of everything for the weary traveller. A pebble’s throw away from here is the quiet village of Atrani. Its tranquil beach rests languidly on the water’s edge against a superb backdrop of mountains.
Further down the coast is Minori, notable for its lemon exports, a gentle place with villas and beaches to explore. The quiet town of Ravello retains the charm prized by Bocaccio who dedicated part of his famous work, the Decameron, to the town. The coastal road that twists its way between the rocks affords glimpses of small villages, bays and inlets, and a journey along this southern route will take travellers to towns of worldwide fame as well as to lesser-known spots of equally enchanting beauty.
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