Hemmed by soaring mountains that plunge into sun-sparkled cerulean and teal green sea, AmalfiCoast never fails to astound its visitors. Surprisingly, despite the influx of tourists throughout the year, architectural wonders are kept intact, reason why it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Amalfi Coast is comprised of 13 towns blissfully nestled in the province of Salerno, Campania, south of Italy. It enjoys a balmy weather and wild winter just like most of the territories in the Mediterranean, a perfect spot for honeymoon escapades.
The legendary Amalfi is home to stunning villas and palaces standing to shoulder by the cliff. Known for its glorious past, the magnificent 11th century Saint Andrew’s Cathedral with Baroque-inspired interiors that looms over Piazza Duomo speaks volume of its golden age. The municipality of Amalfi was once the center of the maritime state in the olden days. Don’t leave without exploring the Moorish-inspired cloister with a verdant manicured garden, and of course, the stunning Capella del Crocefisso. The Arsenal of Maritime Republic and the Museo Della Carta (Museum of Handmade Paper) must also be included in your itinerary. Take a leisurely walk through Amalfi’s charming alleys and marvel at the out-of-ordinary shop works. At dusk, nab a spot by the window at one of the terraced restaurants and order the famous local liqueur and indulge on baby ravioli stuffed with potato and black truffle while enjoying the breathtaking Mediterranean scene. Take home a bottle of limoncello liqueur made of locally grown lemons known as sfusato amalfitano and bambagina, a hand-made paper.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, this archaic beauty is dotted with postcard-perfect villas clad by beautifully-manicured gardens, fabulous fountains and sculptures. The spacious Villa Rufolo which is owned originally by the wealthy Rufolo family is well-known for its iconic towering entrance, colossal courtyard and fascinating flower garden with a scenic view of the AmalfiCoast. The historic castle-like Villa Cimbrone was once owned by the English politician Ernest William and described by American writer Gore Vidal as the most beautiful place he has even seen in his travels. It has a sublime garden clad by blooming wisteria and Judas trees. Also not to miss is the 11th century San Giovanni del Toro known for its intricately designed Bove pulpit crafted with colorful mosaics, Arabic script and oriental pottery. The Cathedral of Ravello (Duomo), on the other hand prides itself for having the “Pulpit of the Gospels” crafted by Nicolo di Bartolomeo. Do visit the vibrant flea market every Tuesday morning and shop for local products such as mozzarella, olive oil and limoncello.
photo credit: CC Reza Ahmeds