The Amalfi Coast seriously challenges anyone who sets out to describe it in original language, without resorting to what has already been said or written, or to the usual clichés. A holiday in Amalfi is an almost indescribable experience because of the magic and extraordinary beauty of its sites. Headlands, fjords, coves, caves and breathtaking views form a backdrop to what Henry Wadsworth Longfellow described as the "land beyond the sea, Where the waves and mountains meet". Holidays in Amalfi are the perfect way to experience the real beauty of the Amalfi Coast and enjoy every aspect.
There are actually many different facets to this tiny strip of land near Salerno, all coexisting harmoniously, in an almost supernatural symbiosis that combines landscapes with works of art, history, culture and civilisation. There is diversity both in the natural environment and in the local traditions, handed down through the generations and perfectly displayed - to give just two examples - in products like the typical Amalfi lemon and the artistic ceramics of Vietri sul Mare. All these unique charms create the real mystery of the Amalfi Coast, which has remained unfathomable for centuries. Of course, sun, sea and enchanting scenery aren't enough to fully capture the pure, authentic soul of this land.
Whether you arrive from Sorrento or Salerno, Amalfi presents a thrilling spectacle. White houses clinging to the rocky hillsides contrast with the grandeur of Amalfi's Cathedral in the town centre. The entrance to the beautiful Cathedral, dedicated to the apostle Saint Andrew, is at the top of a 57-step staircase. On the right side of the Cathedral stands the twelfth century bell tower, beneath which is the Paradise cloister, with the adjoining Church of the Crucifix, where visitors can follow a brief trail to discover the religious soul of Amalfi. From the atrium of the Cathedral, which dominates the square surrounding the statue of Amalfi's patron saint, you'll glimpse the corners of the old stately buildings, now used as hotels, and the narrow winding streets and alleys you can follow to discover Amalfi.
Strolling along Amalfi's streets, you'll discover Piazza dei Dogi, once known as Piazza dei Ferrari, or Blacksmiths' Square, on account of the traditional blacksmiths' workshops that once were here. From this spot, other lanes lead off in every direction. Going one way you'll come to the sea, passing by the entrance to the old Republican Arsenals, while in the opposite direction you'll reach Vagliendola, a neighbourhood where turreted aristocratic homes still stand. Moving on, you'll come to the western gate of the town, where the road carries on to the Cappuccini Hotel, once the Convent of Saint Peter Rectory, founded in the 13th century.
Another alley leads towards the centre of Amalfi as far as Piazza dello Spirito Santo. But Amalfi definitely doesn't end here. Continuing along the main road you'll come to the northern gate of the old town, beyond which lies the Valley of the Mills. Here stands the Paper Museum, which houses the equipment and tools once used to hand down the tradition of paper-making in Amalfi, now largely taken over by Cartiera Amatruda. Another interesting museum is the Museum of Country Life, which exhibits the characteristic local farming tools used to cultivate the famously fragrant and sought-after coastal lemon known as the "Sfusato Amalfitano".
Whether you seek quiet and secluded beaches or well-equipped, easy-to-reach bathing establishments, you'll find a beach for you between Amalfi and the surrounding area. The Spiaggia Grande beach in Amalfi is definitely the most lively on the Amalfi Coast, while the one in Atrani is usually visited by families with small children. The Spiagga del Duoglio beach is great for sports, while boats leaving from Amalfi's dock take you to the unique spectacular coves, which are only accessible by sea.
From Amalfi to Positano, Praiano to Minori: thirty-seven kilometres of coastline for an unforgettable adventure. Holiday packages to Amalfi are the combination you need to open your eyes to this new world.