WHICH ARE THE 10 REASONS TO VISIT THE AMALFI COAST? 

Which are the top 10 reasons to visit the Amalfi Coast?  Starting from its history reflected in the architecture characterizing buildings and villas, traditions, food and wine to its beautiful landscapes featuring green hills falling into crystal-clear sea water, the Amalfi Coast offers plenty of attractions for tourists, who want to enjoy more than a relaxing beach holiday.

THE HYSTORY OF THE AMALFI COAST 

When you visit the Amalfi Coast, the first feeling is the desire to get to know the traditions behind the beautiful landscapes.  Only if you travel to the Amalfi Coast you will experience the Italian traditions.

Legends 

Back in Greek mythology, a legend deriving from Homer’s Odyssey, talks about the creation of the Amalfi Coast when Odysseus, king of the Greek island Ithaka, while sailing near the bay, heard the beautiful song of the sirens, to which he could not resist. He ordered his crew to plug their ears to not hear the singing and had himself tied to the mast of the ship. This way, he became the first one to survive the sirens’ song. The Gods of Olympus trying prevent him shipwrecking, landed on the pristine coast instead, breaking up the rocks and creating the rugged cliffs of the Amalfi Coast.

Real historic evidence is more difficult to reconstruct due to Mount Vesuvius’ eruption in 79 AD, which destroyed everything in the area, including Pompeii and Herculaneum, today’s most famous archaeological sites.

Roman Times 

In Minori an ancient Villa Romana, built in the 1st century AD, was recovered in the 1950’s. This and other villas were used by Patricians as vacation houses, while the interior of the region was used for agricultural purposes. Vesuvius’ eruption destroyed and covered up most buildings, but its volcanic deposits sedimented on the soil, making it very fertile.

Middles Ages 

In Medieval times, Tramonti, inland from the Amalfi Coast, was once called Transmonti, meaning “between the mountains”. In 500-550 AD, roman populations were found settling between the Monti Lattari and the forested mountains where Tramonti lies. Their name, translating “Milky Mountains”, was given by the Romans due to the milk production, where many cheese varieties come from, due to the many goats and sheep’s pastures.

Maritime Republics 

While most of Italy’s economic system still worked with exchanging goods in the 9th century, Amalfitans used gold coins, deriving from the trade of Byzantine empire’s silks. During that time, Tramonti was characterized not only by forests, but also by agriculture, used to cultivate wine (which had been introduced by the Romans), fruits and vegetables.

Being a major sea power, Amalfi got into conflict with Pisa and Genoa and its wealth attracted pirates, who the army could rout instantly. After a long series of attacks, it was annexed to the Kingdom of Sicily in 1131, though still retaining a certain autonomy in managing maritime commercial affairs.

MARKET STALL AMALFI COAST - LONGOBARDI TRAVEL

THE LANDSCAPE OF THE AMALFI COAST 

When you visit the Amalfi Coast you will notice the terraced hills, agricultural system which took place in the 12th and 13th century, initiated by monasteries. The Duchy of Amalfi was able to make huge investments in this development.

Until the 1800s, accessibility from one part to another of the coast was only possible by mule. For this reason, the region’s traditions and products were preserved better than in other zones that were already globalized.

In 1997, the territory was declared a UNESCO world heritage site because of its terraced landscape. But not only the UNESCO realized its uniqueness, also tourists did. The Amalfi Coast became a famous and well-visited area, appreciated for its picturesque landscape.

The typical Landscape from the AMALFI COAST can be viewed from the bendy road which connects all the villages, looking down onto the sea.  The road runs though the green hills enriched by the Mediterranean vegetation at times interrupted by a conglomerate of beautiful coloured villas and small houses making up the centre of a town, perched on the top of the hill.  The hills continue down into the sea, which shines of many shades of blue, under the warm summer sun.  At the bottom of the hills many secret alcoves hide beyond the maritime town centres and their glorious beaches.

Not to be missed is “Sentiero degli Dei” (or “Path of the Gods”), which links the towns of Agerola, Praiano and Positano, at an average height of about 1,650 feet above sea level. From there you can enjoy stunning views, including Mt. Vesuvius and Capri!

SFOGLIATELLE AMALFI COAST - LONGOBARDI TRAVEL

THE LOCAL FOOD 

Besides growing various plants, the monasteries in the 13th century also brewed beer and created culinary products like the Neapolitan sfogliatella, a sweet pastry, which is very popular today.

Tramonti provided dehydrated bread for the sailors that could be stored for months on the sea and eaten after dipping it into some sea water. The bakers also prepared a dough consisting of rye, millet and barley flavoured with spices and lard to bake in the oven. This was the origin of today’s pizza, exported to Napoli at the end of the 15th century. Nearly every family had their own oven to prepare pizza.  Later tomatoes and mozzarella were added, as most families produced their own cheese.

In the year 1955, the Tramontain Luigi Giordano exported mozzarella and eventually pizza to Northern Italy. His success brought many others to follow him and open pizzerias in the North.

When you visit the Amalfi Coast, keep in mind that today every town on the AMALFI COAST has a variety of restaurants offering dishes from the tradition of the area.  The most typical food of the Amalfi Coast today is seafood, freshly fished daily in the Mediterranean Sea!

THE SUMMER EVENTS 

As well as drop-dead gorgeous, the Amalfi Coast town of Ravello is a music-lover’s paradise. One of its biggest events, the Ravello Festival, runs major concerts, interviews with artists, dances, performances, and literary readings throughout the summer. Many take place inside the stunning gardens of Villa Rufolo, in an open-air amphitheatre.

In the summer several events are organized in the main squares of the various towns. If you visit the Amalfi Coast, just ask when you arrive!

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 THE MONUMENTS 

As already mentioned above, Villa Romana in Minori and Villa Rufolo in Ravello, are not to be missed , when you visit the Amalfi Coast. As well as Villa Cimbrone, with its garden boasting gorgeous flowers and spectacular views over the sea.

Also, the 13th century, Duomo of Amalfi, incorporated its earlier 9th-century structure, making it one of the most historic cathedrals in Campania. St. Andrew, the apostle and fisherman, is Amalfi’s patron saint.  In the 13th century, his remains were stolen from Constantinople and brought to the crypt of this duomo, where they remain today! As well as holy and historic, the cathedral is stunning, complete with a lovely, Moorish-style medieval cloister.

Ravello coral Museum was founded in 1986 by Giorgio Filocamo to preserve the precious wealth of antiques handed down from his family, which was the root of his great vocation of Corallaro, a family with Sicilian-Neapolitan origins.

Looking up you will see the brilliant majolica domes of the churches of the Amalfi Coast: simply wonderful! Do not miss the domes of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Positano, San Gennaro in Praiano, Santa Maria a Mare in Maiori and San Giovanni Battista in Vietri sul Mare.

CERAMICS AMALFI COAST - LONGOBARDI TRAVEL

SHOPPING FOR HAND-MADE CERAMICS 

Shopping on the AMALFI COAST can be an amazing experience, when you visit the Amalfi Coast, thanks to the local arts & crafts produce.

Some historians say that ceramics in the AMALFI COAST trace their origins back to the Etruscans. They occupied what is now southern-central Italy and pre-dated the Roman Empire from around the 7th to early 5th century BC. The Romans integrated most of their customs into the Roman culture. Ceramics were once used by all people equally in ancient times. It didn’t matter if you were a slave or an emperor, pottery was a fundamental craft for household items in everyday use.

In terms of ceramics style, you’ll find rich blues that mimic the sea, and bold yellows that highlight the Italian sun. Reds, greens and oranges adorn the shop walls packed full of pottery pleasures. Many stores advertise that their ceramics are HAND MADE & HAND PAINTED. You’ll see the shop signs and the inscriptions on the actual ceramics themselves that certify this.

When you visit the Amalfi Coast, perhaps in one of these family-owned shops you’ll find your perfect, one-of-a-kind piece.

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VESPA TOURS 

Amalfi Coast travel can be difficult to plan ahead, because of the lack of knowledge of the area.  For this reason, one of the best ways to visit the AMALFI COAST is by joining a vespa tour.  You can opt for a Sharing Vespa Tour, organized in a group, or a Private Tour, at your convenience, both options with the guidance of a local guide, who will take you to the best locations, following the the Amalfi Coast itinerary.

Tours generally start from Amalfi and include visits to Ravello, Atrani, Conca de Marini, Fjord of Furore and Praiano.

Wine Tasting Tours normally include a visit to wineries in Tramonti for a unique wine tasting experience.

One of the best stops of a VESPA TOUR is the Emerald Grotto (La Grotta di Smeraldo), which you can reach by boat or trekking to it. Well-known in the 19th century, the grotto was somehow forgotten and only re-discovered in 1932 by a local sailor, Luigi Buonocore.  The grotto was named “Emerald” for the incredible colours that filter from an underground opening and fill the cave with intense tone of green. The inside of the cavern is filled with amazing stalagmites and stalactites.

If you decide to visit the Amalfi Coast, check out Longobardi Travel and its great VESPA TOURS!

GROTTA DELLO SMERALDO .- LONGOBARDI TRAVEL 6

BEACHES 

Beaches and coves are famous for their crystal-clear sea water.  When you visit the Amalfi Coast, there you will have the opportunity to take a refreshing dive during a hot summer day.

Do not miss the iconic beach “Spiaggia Grande” in Positano and the Fjord of Furore, one of the most picturesque beaches of the Amalfi Coast.

BEACH AMALFI COAST - LONGOBARDI TRAVEL

SUNSETS 

The sundown that you can admire from Piazza San Gennaro in Praiano is considered one of the most evocative sunsets of the entire Amalfi Coast.

When you visit the Amalfi Coast and you are choosing an hotel, keep in mind that the best hotels are the ones perched on the edge of a hill, overlooking the sea.  From your hotel room you will be able to enjoy the most breathtaking views of colourful sunsets and, if you are a early bird, dawns are not too bad too!

These types of hotels have direct access to the beach or terraces built on top of the water, where you will be able to sunbathe whenever you feel like.

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SPECIALITIES OF THE AMALFI COAST 

The unique landscapes, filled with vines, olives and lemon trees, attracted a lot of men from the upper class, who were travelling through Europe in the years between 1700-1900. Goethe, who came to Italy in 1786, wrote about “the land where the lemon-trees blossom”.  Very well know, in fact, is the drink LIMONCELLO, a sweet spirit made with lemons, which has origins from the AMALFI COAST.

The local wines, with their historical origins, are “NOT TO BE MISSED” while you enjoy a local dish in one of the restaurants overlooking the sea front.

Let’s not forget ICE CREAM!  Of course, a Lemon Sorbetto would be the most delicious one you’ll ever have a chance to try in your life!

COOKING CLASS TOUR - LONGOBARDI TRAVEL

WHY VISIT THE AMALFI COAST? 

The above 10 reasons summarize the main reasons to visit the AMALFI COAST but, only by being there, you will understand how wonderful this place really is.

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