See Italy’s Romantic Southern Coast in Style with SIT ITALY

Posted on by in 60-Second Geography

Escape from Rome and revel in Italy’s southern coastline dotted with tiny, colorful villages clinging to cliffs perched high above the dazzling sea. The area is ablaze with citrus orchards, vineyards and olive groves, making a perfect introduction to Sorrento, Naples, Capri, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, and to the more casual charms of Maiori, Praiano and Conca dei Marini.  The mild Mediterranean climate invites tourists to visit all year round.

60-Second Geography

Southern Italy

Villa Della Corte, Anacapri

Villa Della Corte, Anacapri

Villa Moira, Positano

Villa Moira, Positano

Villa Carola, Capri

Villa Carola, Capri

  • The Amalfi Coast is a stretch of coastline between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno.  It was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 for its cultural landscape.  Thirteen municipalities are located on the Amalfi Coast, many focusing on tourism for their livelihood. Due to the steepness of the Sorrentine coastline, there is limited agriculture.  However,  traveling in Italy is treating yourself to an extraordinary vacation of taste and smell sensations from another world. Juicy red tomatoes flavor local dishes as in the Pizza Margherita, and locally crafted Buffalo mozzarella accompanies pasta, calzone and salads. The Amalfi Coast is a known producer of lemons and famous for their limoncello liqueur, an after-dinner drink.  When in season, bursts of yellow hug the terraced cliffs and the air is filled with the intoxicating fragrance of lemons everywhere.  Other popular products from this area are Cetara’s salted anchovies and handmade ceramics from the town of Vietri.The famous road, originally built by the Romans, that runs along the coast is called the Amalfi Drive. This road carved out of the side of towering coastal cliffs offers spectacular vistas and passes through popular towns such the charming resort town of Positano, the once Maritime Republic of Amalfi, and picturesque Ravello.
  • Ravello, suspended between sky and sea, is just a short drive from Amalfi.  Its location and expansive ocean views have been an inspiration to musicians, artists and writers for centuries. Visit the cultural center of Villa Rufolo, and learn how its beautiful Moorish architecture and elevated location inspired Boccaccio, one of the earliest authors of the Italian renaissance; and the famous German composer, Richard Wagner who finally completed his opera, Parsifal, during his stay.  Visit the gardens (open to the public) of Villa Cimbrone, a historical building dating back to at least 11 AD, once an aristocratic residence and is now a Hotels de Charme. Take in the breathtaking views from the statue lined, Terrace of Infinity (Terrazza dell’Infinito).
  • Positano, once a sleepy fishing village, is now a leading vacation destination.  Featured in films such as “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley”, the vertically built village of pastel colored buildings is best seen by foot.
    Positano Highlights:

    • The Church of Santa Maria Assunta – featuring a Byzantine style Black Madonna. The church’s architecture features an iconic majolica dome.
    • Wonderful seaside restaurants with incredible views and mouth-watering seafood dishes
    • Luxury hotels, shops and cafes
    • Hiking trails – including “Walk of the Gods”
    • Access to the magical island of Capri
      • Capri is a Mediterranean island of calcareous origin that has been visited over the centuries by Roman Rulers, intellectuals, artists and writers. No other island can compete with the fame and beauty of Capri. A mix of history, nature, worldliness, culture and events that blend together daily. There are only two towns on the island: Capri just above the marina and the higher town of Anacapri.
      • Discover Faraglioni – See the famous faraglioni (sea stacks), enormous and uniquely-shaped boulders jutting out of the azure sea.
      • Tour the Blue Grotto – the island’s most popular attraction. Take a small rowboat into a seacave and witness the most brilliant color blue water.
  • Naples – one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Naples’ historic city center is the largest in Europe, covering 4,200 acres, and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Over the course of its long history, Naples has been the capital of duchies, kingdoms, and one Empire, and has consistently been a major cultural center with a global sphere of influence, particularly during the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras.  Naples is also the homeland of Italian spaghetti. The sauces are numerous and all very tasty, but what matters the most is that the pasta is perfectly cooked (al-dente). Near Naples are numerous sites of great historical significance, including the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.  In 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried both towns in ash. Visitors can get a glimpse of Roman life 2,000 years ago by visiting a number of excavated sites.

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