by Margie Miklas
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most stunning places in Italy. I could describe this stretch of coastline in so many ways: beautiful, magnificent, captivating, appealing, alluring, gorgeous, and wonderful. As you know by now, the Amalfi Coast is my favorite place in Italy, hard as it is to decide on just one spot. Each time I have visited Italy, I have chosen to go to the Amalfi Coast, and I never tire of it. As you might expect, it is once again on my itinerary when I return to Italy this spring. Situated along Italy’s southwestern coastline in the region of Campania, the Amalfi Coast offers stupendous views, wonderful food, tempting shopping, and relaxation.Beginning at the southern end of the Sorrentine peninsula, and ending at Salerno, the Amalfi Coast offers some of the most beautiful scenes combining cliffs and the Mediterranean Sea below. It is truly a photographer’s dream. Each time I visit I learn something valuable to make travel there a little easier, and here are a few travel tips, based on my personal experience along the Amalfi Coast.
Take a bus ride along the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento to Amalfi. The SITA bus is accessible at the bus station next to the train station in Sorrento and makes a stop in Positano along the way to Amalfi. For the best views, sit on the right side of the bus for this hair-raising experience. You can board other buses from Amalfi if you choose to ride farther along the coast to the towns of Minori, Maiori and Salerno. • Be sure and taste some limoncello in Sorrento as this liqueur is made from the very large fresh lemons grown in this area. It is very refreshing especially on a hot day, and there is no problem finding it anywhere in Sorrrento. • Buy some hand-painted ceramics in the shops of Sorrento or Amalfi. The prices are lower than what you will find in Positano. • Get off the bus in Positano and walk down the winding streets to la spiaggia, the beach, to get a real feel for the town and the people of Positano. This was one of the filming locations for the movie Under the Tuscan Sun, and you can have lunch on the beach at the famous restaurant Buca di Bacco, just like Diane Lane did in the movie.
Take a day trip to the island of Capri on a hydrofoil or ferry boat from Amalfi. You will experience breathtaking views of Positano and Amalfi from another perspective. Capri can only be reached by boat and it is worth the trip. You can also get to Capri from Sorrento, Positano and Maiori as well. • Avoid visiting the Amalfi Coast in July and August as these months are the most crowded as well as having the hottest temperatures. Most Italians take a vacation in August and it’s next to impossible to navigate the roads. As one guide told me, the buses cannot even stop sometimes at their destinations because of the congestion, and what takes an hour and a half normally would take twice as much time driving the coast. • For a quieter experience, go to the hilltop town of Ravello which is situated five km above Amalfi. You can take a 20-minute bus ride there from Amalfi, and you will experience a complete change of pace and sound from the busier more touristy towns of Positano and Amalfi. The views are spectacular from this high, as Ravello overlooks the Amalfi coast towns of Maiori and Amalfi. I was able to capture stunning shots with my camera from this vantage point.
Art in Amalfi
Watch the experienced artisans in Sorrento as they create by hand the beautiful music boxes made of inlaid wood called Intarsia Sorrentina. You can purchase these at excellent prices in the shops here as well. The shop owners are happy to give you a deal, just for the asking, especially is you but more than one item. You have a choice of music to put inside the box you purchase. • Consider staying in one of the smaller towns of Minori or Maiori if you just want some relaxation. The pace is slow and the beach is inviting, not to mention the stunning views. Both towns are on the bus line for easy access to Positano, Amalfi or Sorrento. Once you go to the Amalfi Coast you’ll never forget it. When I’m there, I find myself wishing I could stay forever. It’s no wonder the Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular places in southern Italy. These travel tips are just a few suggestions based on my memorable experiences in this little piece of heaven called the Amalfi Coast.
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