Post by Enrico
Southern Italy is a treasure chest that every traveller must open: in my opinion, one of the best nature jewels is the Amalfi Coast in Campania. I went there after reading the description of this site provided by UNESCO Committee, who listed Costiera Amalfitana in World Heritage Sites list, declaring that is “an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape, with exceptional cultural and natural scenic values”.
My travel experience there was very fulfilling thanks to Lloyd’s Baia Hotel, a charming accommodation in Vietri Sul Mare, a town renowned as the “first pearl” of this wonderful coastline.
I picked the must-see sights that you can visit on a weekend on the Amalfi Coast.
How to get to Amalfi Coast
The closest airport is Capodichino in Naples, once arrived there you can take the Alibus (that runs every 20 minutes) to Naples railway station, then take a train to Salerno. Salerno is one of the main cultural centres in Campania and is located at the beginning of the Amalfi Coast; due to its position I decided to explore this city during my first day on the coastline.
Going to Salerno to see the Lights!
The major tourist attraction in town is the Cathedral, dated back to XI century; a church built in Romanesque style and dedicated to Saint Matthew. Despite that, the interior was remodelled in 1688 by the architect Ferdinando Sanfelice following the Neapolitan Baroque and Rococo styles. The Duomo of Salerno, in fact, is now considered a symbol of Italian Renaissance.
Furthermore, in its crypt, there is the tomb of Saint Matthew the Evangelist. The Arechi Castle is an imposing fortress where to enjoy a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Salerno. The Castle, built in the VIII century by the Lombard duke of Benevento, Arechi II, now hosts exhibitions and events.If you are wondering when to visit Salerno, I suggest booking a holiday between November and January, because takes place the main event in town, the Festival of Lights, also known as Salerno Christmas Lights. It’s a light art exhibition that involves artists from all around the world, realizing art installations in the main squares and streets of Salerno.
It’s very nice to stroll around the centre and see falling stars, flying carpets or magic lanterns: these are some of the creations of lightning designers!
Amalfi, a sought-after destination by demanding tourists
If you are looking for places where to take amazing photos and admire the landscape from above, Amalfi is the ideal choice. Situated at the foot of Monte Cerreto, perched over the sea, Amalfi is well-known also by foodies, due to the production of Limoncello liqueur. The local lemons, in fact, are called “sfusato amalfitano”, have a double size compared to other lemons and it is easy to see these fruits growing in the terraced gardens along the coast. Among the places I visited during a tour of the town, I recommend the Chiostro del Paradiso (“Cloister of Paradise”), because the white columns of the cloister recall the Arab architecture, a strong influence in Southern Italy’s history. Now the cloister is an open-air museum that houses five sarcophagi dated back to the Roman age. If you come here in Summer I suggest booking a boat trip along the Amalfi Coast, the easiest way to discover the small fishing villages that contribute to the uniqueness of this romantic scenery.
Vietri Sul Mare: all the colours of the sea in one place
The local craftsmanship tradition of Vietri Sul Mare reflects the beauty of nature: I found all the colours of Amalfi Coast in its ceramics, produced here since 1600. The deep blue of the sea, the stunning green of Mediterranean scrub and the golden orange of citrus groves are perfectly matched in dishes, flowerpots and vases made in Vietri. Thanks to the convenient position of my hotel, I reached Vietri Sul Mare with a short walk and I met some artisans working in their shops, a very common event in some Italian small towns. To know more about this tradition I went to the Fabbrica di Ceramiche Solimene, which produces handmade ceramics using traditional methods.
This is a great place for souvenirs, too!
At the end of my stay I made a wish: I hope to come back soon on the Amalfi Coast, an enchanting destination where the dreams of a traveller come true.
You can find the UNESCO description of Amalfi Coast here: whc.unesco.org/en/list/830
Post by Enrico