From Vietri sul Mare to Positano along the road that marks one of the most beautiful and suggestive stretches of coastline of the Tyrrhenian Sea exploring the Amalfi Coast, a World Heritage Site. Without never losing sight of the sea, we will cross some real pearls of Campania, in the most famous places to get lost in their streets or admire breathtaking views. This route can be traveled in both directions.
Vietri sul Mare
Salerno, especially during summer months, experiences a real explosion of colors, from its promenade we can almost grasp with the hands the Amalfi Coast, a World Heritage Site, and in fact has as a starting point the nearby Vietri sul Mare, known and also appreciated for the uniqueness and beauty of the ceramics that are produced here. The coastal town houses an interesting museum dedicated to ceramics. While not to be missed is the Cathedral dedicated to San Giovanni. Then we take the SS 163, or Coast road, follow it all so we could go through all the countries of this beautiful coast.
The first village we find is Cetara whose houses populate a valley at the foot of Mount Falerio, in the Regional Park of the Lattari Mountains. This fishing village offers visitors the beauty of its harbor, but walking through the narrow streets of the old town you can breathe a magical atmosphere. Worth a visit the ancient Church of St. Peter the Apostle, admirable in all its baroque splendor, and the Church of San Francesco, dating less remote, which houses the two wonderful works of Marco Benincasa, Deposition and Heaven and the Trinity. You can not regardless, however, from tasting one of its gastronomic products: the anchovies, prepared with a traditional method handed down from generation to generation and today inserted between Slow Food Presidium.
Continuing our journey along the SS 163 we reach Maiori, which is located in the valley of the river Reginna. The heart of the city is Corso Reginna, overlooked by the nineteenth-century Town Hall, with its beautiful gardens, and the church of San Rocco. On one side the main street comes out on the Lungomare Amendola, who gives the opportunity to admire the beautiful scenery of the coastline and small grouped houses overlooking the sea. At short distance from here, also, you can visit the Church of Santa Maria a Mare, which takes its name from the statue of the Madonna found on the beach of the village in the thirteenth century and which houses many valuable artworks.
In a single solution of continuity we will reach the nearby Minori, with its large sandy beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations and equipped for reception. It is in this village that it is kept the body of Santa Trofimena, the first patron of the Duchy of Amalfi. Today the relics are preserved in the Basilica of Santa Trofimena, bishopric until 1818, whose current building dates back to 1700. Other religious place that retains a close link with the history of Minoriis the Church of the Arciconfraternita of the Blessed Sacrament; in particular the ancient congregation is the protagonist of the rites of Holy Week with the "procession of the doors", during which the members, girded with a rope, run through the streets of the village singing religious songs with intense mysticism of the fourteenth century. For the sweet tooth we suggest to taste the famous ricotta cheese and pear.
Proceeding westwards we are ready to see another of the pearls of the Amalfi Coast, namely Ravello. This beautiful resort is located on a spur between the valleys of the rivers Dragone and Reginna. The city over the years has "bewitched" Italian and international artists and celebrities such as Richard Wagner, Arturo Toscanini, Virginia Woolf and William Turner, who have chosen it as a place to stay. Home to the famous Ravello Festival a visit to this town can not ignore the visit of its many wonders as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Church of Santa Maria in Gradillo, with remarkable mosaic floor, Villa Rufolo, of the XII-XIV century , with the wide panorama that you can enjoy from the viewpoint of the garden. Two other buildings that represent the culture of the city, are of contemporary period: one is the Diocesan Museum, opened in 1983, which houses a vast collection of precious artifacts and classic sacred vessels; the other one is the Auditorium Oscar Niemeyer, made in order to enhance the role of Ravello as Music City.
Going back to the SS 163, where driving becomes a real pleasure thanks to the many bends that alternate without ever losing sight of the Gulf of Salerno, we continue to Amalfi. In the ancient Maritime Republic is certainly worth to do a short stop to visit the cathedral dedicated to St. Andrew and search through the various shops of local products, the best place to taste and buy the limoncello, made with lemons IGP. For history lovers, it can also be interesting to visit the area of the marina, near the marina, the Arsenal Museum which tells the story of the ancient Maritime Republic of Amalfi.
Conca dei Marini
The delightful village of Conca dei Marini, is the next stop on our itinerary, the name already indicates the jagged nature of its coastline and the activities of maritime tradition of its population. Conca dei Marini is today a popular tourist destination, which allows visiting it to get lost among the narrow streets perched along the sea and to get inebriated between the colors and fragrances of the living nature. Near you can also reach the beautiful Emerald Cave, discovered by a fisherman in 1932 and in which it was made a beautiful ceramic nativity scene. Among the monuments and buildings that can be admired in Conca dei Marini, there are the Church of San Pancrazio Martire, the Tower, the former Convent of Santa Rosa, with the adjoining church which houses the relic of the head of St. Barnabas the Apostle. Delicious typical sweet of the place: the sfogliatella of Santa Rosa: it is said that around 1681 the nuns of the Convent on holidays donated bread to the poor and with the dough leftover prepared the delicious cake.
Second to last stop on our itinerary is Praiano, dominated from the top of Mount Sant'Angelo a Tre Pizzi, and extends to the beach of Marina di Praia. A tour to the discovery of this village can begin with the beautiful and baroque Church of San Luca Evangelista, dedicated to the patron. Inside you can admire such as the beautiful tiled floor and the precious reliquary bust. A sixteenth century the Church of Santa Maria a Castro, with the adjoining Convent of San Domenico, which houses an image of the Madonna delle Grazie object of great devotion, and the Church of San Gennaro in Vettica. Founded most ancient is instead the Church of San Giovanni Battista, with the prized terracotta tiled floor. Preferring instead a walk through nature, certainly you can not miss the stop at Cala della Gavitella, with a wonderful view of Capri and the perfect exposure to the sun throughout the day.
Our last stop is one of the most famous on the Amalfi coast: Positano. Here you must leave your car at the parking arranged in the upper part of the town and walk down getting lost in the narrow streets in the heart of Positano, you cannot miss the beautiful Church of Santa Maria Assunta, then you reach the historic square to discover many shops ranging from local to luxury boutiques and a beautiful view on the waterfront. Laboriously built on terraced land, Positano offers its tourists a beautiful landscape, full of bright colors of the dense vegetation of citrus groves, the houses, the waters of a clear blue sea. Authentic happy end of a great tour.