The Amalfi Coast, or Costiera Amalfitana, in Southern Italy, is inscribed in its entirety as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its breathtaking scenery and the rich heritage of its ancient towns and villages. Amalfi Coast resorts tempt you to stay put in a single delightful locale, but to truly experience the coast, a road trip along the precipitous, 25-mile coastal Strada Statale is a must. Take your time, and take lots of photos!
The natural beauty of the Amalfi Coast, with its steep cliffs, rugged coves, and sparkling waters, is augmented by the Sicilian-Arabesque architecture of its 13 historic municipalities. The cultivated terraces, citrus and olive groves, and vineyards of the countryside complete the stunning scene. Costiera Amalfitana packages offer the chance to visit beautiful churches and cathedrals, among them the Cathedral of Amalfi and the Majolica-tiled churches of Vietri sul Mare. Other landmarks within reach of Amalfi Coast hotels include the Abbey of Santa Maria Maddalena in Armillis, and the 13th-century Via Rufolo with its beautiful gardens in Ravello. The "painted village" of Furore, and the 16th-century white-roofed buildings of Conca Dei Marini are also worth visiting. A number of Amalfi Coast towns, including Positano, offer beach access, but be prepared for a steep climb up and down cliff-side staircases.
There's no reason not to eat like a local when you're in such a world-class culinary destination as the Amalfi Coast. You're unlikely to find better pasta, pizza, cheeses, and wines as those served at restaurants large and small, nor better views. Locally produced cheeses, olives, and citrus fruits are showcased, along with season specialties like summer tomatoes, fall mushrooms, and apples. Dine in Southern Italian style with espresso and a sweet pastry for breakfast, a leisurely lunch for the main meal of the day, and a lighter, later dinner. In the late afternoon, indulge in aperitivo, such as the locally produced liqueur limoncello, served with some light bites.
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