You all know by now that I love traveling to Italy. I just recently travelled to the Amalfi Coast for the second time and before I tell you all my stories and travel tips about this beautiful area in Italy, I would like to orient you first about it with a map of the Amalfi Coast.
Why? Because it can be a bit confusing for first-time travellers.. The Amalfi Coast is actually made up of 13 villages, or what they call the “13 Pearls of the Amalfi”. The most popular among them are Positano (which I visited back in 2011), Ravello and Amalfi.
Related Post: Amalfi Coast Travel Guide and Photos
So if you look closely at the map (feel free to click on the map to expand it), the Amalfi coast is basically the area from Vietri sul Mare at the right near Salerno all the way to Positano on the left. All the other villages of the Amalfi coast are scattered along the way and I highly recommend driving along the entire coast. The views are breathtaking although it can be a bit dizzying with the winding roads.
But the question is: Where should you base yourself on the Amalfi coast? Well it depends what you like.
The 13 Villages of the Amalfi coast
The thirteen villages of the Amalfi Coast are as follows, each one different from each other – romantic, classic, quixotic or charming. There’s a village for everyone.
Vietri sul Mare – usually called the gateway to the Amalfi Coast from Salerno, it is famous for its vibrant and colorful ceramics.
Positano – the most impressive town along the entire Amalfi Coast. This is the Amalfi that you see in photos and postcards. There’s the sea, the sun, the beaches and the extraordinary landscape. What more could you ask for? Don’t forget to eat Delizie al limone (soft pastry served with a delicious lemon-flavored cream). So so so good and so light.
Cetara – this small fishing village is the perfect place for you if you like anchovy and red tuna like me. They have the best and freshest seafood!
Maiori – it has the longest, unbroken stretch of beach along the coastline. It has an old world charm with its network of narrow streets and alleyways. It’s not very touristy here and this is the Italy you’ve wanted to see.
Minori – famous for the underground ruins at the Villa Romana is neighbor to Maiori. Be sure to try its amazing hand-made pasta.
Atrani – apparently one of the smallest municipalities in Europe built high on the mountain which affords great views of the entire Amalfi Coast.
Ravello – visited by the likes of JFK to Gore Vidal to Virginia Wolf, this town is simply spectacular. It has some of the best views of the Amalfi coast as seen from Villa Cimbrone. I love this place.
Amalfi – often called the heart of the Amalfi Coast built on a valley up the coastline. Visit the imposing Cathedral that enshrines St. Andrew, the Cloister of Paradise and the ancient Republican arsenals. Or wander its narrow streets.
Conca dei Marini – you must visit this town for the astonishing Grotta dello Smeraldo or the Emerald Cave. It is one of several caves worldwide that is flooded with a brilliant blue or emerald light. This town is also famous for its sfogliatalle, a shell-shaped filled Italian pastry that is native to this area.
Furore – famous for its fjord, this village is also referred to as ‘the town that does not exist’ because it has no real centre, just a sporadic dispersal of houses around the cliff.
Praiano – famous for its narrow streets with scents of geraniums and panoramic views from the Torre a Mare (Tower in the Sea), this could be the best place for watching the sunset in the Amalfi coast
Tramonti – a group of villages away from the coast well known for its excellent wine and dairy
Scala – is one of the oldest villages on the Amalfi coast rich with history, heritage and landmarks.
So which town is for you? I’ll be writing next about the Amalfi and Cilento coast which I visited as part of the #SalernoC2C trip!