Amalfi coastline

costiera amalfitana 770x162

The Amalfi coastline, the great beauty

An endless row of rocky bastions plunging down into the sea, steep slopes and olive trees mixed with citrus groves and vineyards. The Costiera Amalfitana is all this and much more, crossed by the famous state highway 163 called  “Amalfitana”, that connects all the villages of this paradise of Campania: fifty kilometres of bends looking out on the sea spaced out by a number of places clinging on the rocks. Let’s start with Amalfi, the oldest Maritime Republic of Italy featured by a choreographic staircase that goes down towards the Cathedral. Amalfi is a white lace of houses that decline towards the Mediterranean Sea, there are the villas, the gardens, the towers, the palaces. The Cathedral, the cloister of Paradise and the former monastery of Cappuccini deserve to be seen while the cave of the emerald in the middle of the sea must not be missed, it is called like that because of the colour of water that is given by the light that gets into it and is filtered by the sea water.

Another gem of the Amalfi coastline is Ravello where your sight will be captured by the blue silver sea and your ears will hear the tunes from Parsifal. Yes, Richard Wagner discovered this park – the garden of Klingsor - of Villa Ruffolo in Ravello, choosing it as the best set for his work. The whole town of Ravello alternates its simple streets to the elegance of its works of art, the melancholic ruins of its palaces in the Arabic style and the magic of its scented gardens. Besides Villa Ruffolo and its gardens – among the most choreographic in Italy – the Cathedral deserves a visit, it was ordered in 1086 by the first Bishop of Ravello, Orso Papirio then it was rebuilt in the XIIth century. Another amazing place to visit is villa Cimbrone, including a building with two towers, a courtyard build with ancient pieces and an open crypt that looks like a loggia on the sea. The “belvedere” of Cimbrone is lined by ornamental statues, it is the highest panoramic point of Ravello and you can enjoy an amazing breathless view from there. Your sight can go from Atrani to the gulf of Salerno, from the plane of Paestum up to Punta Licosa. 

There are other small gems along the coastline that must not be missed: Vietri sul Mare, Maiori, Minori and Atrani, more quiet than the bigger towns but very charming as well. Vietri sul Mare is famous for the handicraft of pottery and the very near Raito is beautiful too since from the square before the church of S. Maria delle Grazie you can enjoy an amazing view. Maiori is famous for its long beaches that are spotted among the steep cliffs and the very small hidden beaches. The favourite place of the ancient Roman Patrizi is Minori – the Roman villa dates back to the period of the Augustian Empire -, it is a place surrounded by green hills. Atrani, closed between two rocky walls, shows its houses around the characteristic bell tower of the Collegiata – that was built on a cliff that pushes out on the sea and from its beach in the evening the fishing lamps fly in the sky and offer an amazing show of lights dancing like fireflies.

Luciana Francesca Rebonato

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