The Amalfi Coast has become one of the most popular destinations in Italy in recent decades. The beautiful vistas, picturesque villages and fantastic food make Amalfi and the rest of the coast an unmissable part of the country. Combine this with the many sights that can be found in the vicinity of the Amalfi Coast and you understand why more tourists come to Amalfi every year. Just over the mountains is Vesuvius, the excavations of Pompeii, the city of Naples and the idyllic islet of Capri.
According to Per Computer, Amalfi was once one of the most important republics in present-day Italy. The wealth that was amassed then has ensured that today many beautiful castles, churches and villas can be found on the Amalfi Coast. You have the best view of the Amalfi Coast from one of the higher villages such as Ravello and Scala or from the Gulf of Salerno.
Top 10 sights of the Amalfi Coast
Positano is one of the prettiest and most visited villages on the Amalfi Coast. In the summer months, the beach of Positano is full of tourists, just like the narrow cozy streets of the village. Unlike most villages in the area, most of Positano is car and scooter free. Not out of free will, but because the streets are simply too narrow. This means that you sometimes have to walk quite a bit before you arrive in the center of the village. The main attraction of the village is the chiesa Santa Maria Assunta.
#2. Grotta dello Smeraldo
The Grotta dello Smeraldo is, as its name suggests, a beautiful emerald green cave on the Amalfi Coast. It is one of the few caves in the world where you can see this special glow. This is due to the interplay of the light that enters the cave via the sea, the seabed and the location of the cave. On the nearby island of Capri, you can see a similar phenomenon in the Grotta Azzurra. The main difference between these two caves is that you cannot reach the Grotta dello Smeraldo from the sea.
#3. Duomo di Amalfi
The Cathedral of Amalfi was built in the ninth century and has withstood the test of time very well. The cathedral is still the centerpiece of the city of Amalfi. The cathedral is reached by a long staircase that leads to the porch of the church. The cathedral is open to the public, but you must buy a ticket. This includes a visit to the associated cloister and crypt of the cathedral. The relics of the Apostle Andrew are kept in the crypt.
Atrani is the somewhat lesser known neighboring village of Amalfi. Because the village is just a little less known, the historic streets of Atrani have far fewer tourists. The beach of Atrani, which is perhaps larger than that of Amalfi, is full of tourists in the summer months. Main attractions in the village are the chiesa Santa Maria Maddalena and the chiesa San Salvatore de’ Bireto. Nice to know about Atrani is that the Dutch artist MC Escher stayed there for a while and got inspiration for some of his works.
The village of Amalfi was once the heart of the Republic of Amalfi, but today it is one of the main tourist attractions of Italy. Anyone who has ever visited the village will understand why. The busy cozy main street of the village, the empty little streets and stairs around the main street and the Duomo de Amalfi in the middle of it all. Like the rest of the Amalfi Coast, the village is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The best view of Amalfi is from the village cemetery. To get there you can simply take the elevator.
Scala is the oldest village on the Amalfi Coast. According to some sources, the village already existed in the time of the Romans. No evidence for this has ever been found except for some notes in ancient writings. From Scala you have an impressive view of the neighboring village of Ravello. Unlike many other villages on the Amalfi Coast, Scala is not yet overrun by tourists. This is partly because the city is less known and there is less to do. From Scala you can descend four hundred meters down a staircase to the village of Amalfi. During this tour you will come across the remains of the basilica Sant’Eustachio.
The village of Ravello is one of the most beautiful villages in Amalfi and is perhaps the most beautiful off-coastal place in this region. In Ravello there are quite a few places of interest, such as the Duomo of Ravello, Villa Ruffolo and Villa Cimbrone. Ravello was founded in the fifth century AD and, like the rest of the Amalfi Coast, had its heyday during the time of the Republic of Amalfi. In this period beautiful villas, houses and churches were built in Ravello. Most of the sights still date from this period. To visit Ravello you have to conquer quite a few stairs and steep streets.
#8. Originally an Etruscan town, Maiori
Maiori is today one of the most popular seaside resorts on the Amalfi Coast. The village is dominated by the castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano that looks down on Maiori from the hill. Another important attraction in this seaside resort is the Church of Santa Maria a Mare. According to a legend, this church contains a statue that was found floating on the sea by villagers. The main reason that the tourists come to Maiori is the fact that the largest beach of the Amalfi Coast can be found in the village.
#9. Villa Rufolo
Villa Rufalo is one of the most beautiful sights on the Amalfi Coast. The historic villa was built in the thirteenth century, but was completely renovated in the nineteenth century. This was done by the Scot Francis Neville Reid. Today it is a most visited villa, the gardens offer beautiful views of the Amalfi Coast and are among the most beautiful in the region. You have the most beautiful view from the tower, in the tower a small museum has been set up about the origin and renovation of the villa. It is said that Richard Wagner wrote his opera Parsifal after visiting the villa. To celebrate this happy fact, a concert is given in the gardens every year.
#10. Li Galli
Li Gilli also known as Sirenuse is an archipelago that belongs to the municipality of Positano and lies off the Amalfi Coast. The archipelago consists of three islands, Gallo Lungo, La Rotonda and Dei Briganti. Gallo Lungo is the largest of the three and the only island permanently inhabited. The island has a small beach where usually a few boats are anchored in the summer months. Legend has it that the La Galli are the islands where Odysseus heard the sirens sing during his Ulysses. Odysseus is said to be one of the few who escaped the song of the Sirens and not smashed on the rocks of Li Galli.