FEW locations in the world can rival the outstanding scenery found on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Charming pastel townships cling to the rocky hills and look out over the sparkling turquoise water – even the highest resolution images don’t do the Amalfi Coast justice.
Stretching along the northern coastline of the Salerno Gulf on the Tyrrhenian Sea, the region is often frequented by high society, and for good reason. Here are four of the Amalfi Coast’s most picturesque towns:
The town from which the coastline gets its name, Amalfi sits at the foot of Monte Cerreto and is famous for the Duomo di Sant’Andrea, a superb 9th-century Roman Catholic cathedral that dominates the Piazza del Duomo. Perhaps the town whose imagery is most synonymous with this stunning coastline, white, orange and yellow buildings hang from the green hillside and are met by the shimmering ocean.
Amalfi is littered with cafés and shops – coral jewellery, painted ceramics and all sorts of little trinkets can be found along the narrow streets. The UNESCO World Heritage Site was formally the capital of a maritime republic between 839 and 1200, and its fascinating history as a major paper producer can be studied at the Museo Della Carta.
Best high-end hotels — Hotel Santa Caterina • Hotel Luna Convento
Best midrange hotels — Albergo Sant’Andrea • Residenza del Duca
Another town whose sun-kissed buildings cascade down the steep hillside right up to the shore. Positano is well-known for its multitude of bars, restaurants, and clubs, and is considered the best town on the Amalfi Coast for nightlife.
Upscale shopping can be done here as well, making it popular with the rich and famous. While this adds a certain sophistication and prestige to the area, it also hikes the price of everything way up. Accommodation here is plentiful but there’s usually a high demand and rates are universally high.
Best luxury hotels — Il San Pietro di Positano • Hotel Palazzo Murat
Best midrange hotels — Hotel Reginella • Casa Teresa
This tiny village sits above the coastline and perhaps offers some of the best views out of any of the Amalfi Coast towns. It’s much quieter than say Positano or Amalfi and is best-known for the breath-taking panoramic views and romantic retreats.
There isn’t any direct access to the sea, which is why it’s a little less crowded, but that isolation makes it the perfect place on the coast for honeymooners. Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone are two of the main sights in Ravello that both have lush gardens to walk through. A highlight of the year at Ravello is the popular summer festival held from July to September.
Best luxury hotels — Belmond Hotel Caruso • Villa Cimbrone
Best midrange hotel — Villa Casale
One of the smallest settlements along the Amalfi Coast, Atrani is nestled between two cliffs just around the corner from Amalfi town and can be accessed by taking the Via Delle Signore footpath. You wouldn’t know it though, as this quaint little fishing village feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life.
The Amalfi Coast is not famous for its sandy beaches, but Atrani has one of the best against a gorgeous backdrop of stone archways and whitewashed buildings. The village square, Piazza Umberto I, is where most of the action is – historic churches, twisting alleyways lined with flowery balconies, and serene cafes and bistros serving an array of refreshing beverages and authentic Italian fare.
Best luxury hotels — Vicolo 23 House • Maika House
Best midrange hotel — Lae Domus
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