To the right is land, to the left is the sea. Our itinerary along the Amalfi Coast begins at Vietri sul Mare and reaches Amalfi, then heads to Furore and a trekking trail that ascends 400 meters above sea level from Agerola to Positano. Final destination: the enchanting island of Capri!
It’s ideal for…
This tour has been designed to unite the charm of the sea with lesser-known inland spots where you can admire the panorama from a unique viewpoint. A slow-paced and relaxing excursion, it allows plenty of time to stop and sunbathe on the beach or savor the flavors of Amalfi under the shade of its lemon trees.
Day 1 – The Amalfi Coast, from the beginning
Vietri sul Mare is where the long, winding and very panoramic Amalfi Coast road begins. Dug into the cliffs, it was built in the 1800s with the intent of connecting all the towns scattered along the coast up to Sorrento. From that moment, it became a destination of great allure for tourists and artists who fell in love with the beauty of its sweeping sea views, deep ravines, bold colors and fragrant scents.
Like the majority of towns along the coast, Vietri sul Mare is a small village of a few thousand inhabitants set atop cliffs that plunge into the sea. It's well-known for the production of artistic ceramics, and you can get a behind-the-scenes look at the intricate detail which goes into this ancient trade by visiting the Solimene ceramics factory. Designed by architect Paolo Soleri, it extends along a ridge and is built out of alternating clay and ceramic pillars with large triangular windows that recall the craftsmanship of the 1400s.
Stop to admire the majolica-tiled dome of the Church of San Giovanni Battista. It has a tall bell tower and inside there is a single nave in Neapolitan Renaissance style. Before leaving Vietri sul Mare, we suggest visiting the grottoes of San Cesareo. They can be reached by following a trail that begins at Dragonea (a section of Vietri). The approximately 30-minute walk takes you to the network of grottoes where peculiar geological formations have been formed over time by water erosion. In one of them you’ll find the ruins of a small ancient church where a saint once lived.
Continuing along the coast, past terraced vineyards, olive groves and the marvelous scents of citrus trees, you’ll reach Cetara, an ancient hamlet of fishermen and sailors. Just beyond, you’ll come to the romantic town of Erchie with its picturesque little beach on the bright blue sea.
Despite its unusual name, the beach Cavallo Morto (Dead Horse) shouldn’t be missed. It’s the first stretch of beach after a long succession of jagged coastline, and can be reached from the sea by private boat (we suggest going in the afternoon when the sun is high). A dive into the water amongst the large masses of rock and then… off to the next stop!
Before reaching Amalfi, stop at Maiori and Minori, two towns located at the mouth of the same stream - the Reginna. The effort of walking up 180 steps from Maiori to Collegiata di Santa Maria al Mare on Mount Torina will be rewarded by the fantastic view of the coast’s longest beach and infinite azure sea. The church, with its ancient coffered ceiling, pays homage to a statue found on the beach in 1204. The Museum of Sacred Art located in the crypt hosts precious sanctuary finds. Maiori was chosen as the film set for some movies directed by Rossellini.
The undisputed main attraction of the coast remains Amalfi. Founded by the Romans, it was once a bustling center of trade and one of the four Marine Republics in Italy. Although it has attracted many tourists over the years, Amalfi has kept its uniqueness intact. Picture-perfect homes painted in pastel colors, charming narrow streets, terraces overlooking the brilliant blue sea … you’ll want to photograph every angle!
The Basilica, with its striking entrance, is located at the top of a staircase overlooking the main piazza. Dedicated to Saint Andrew, it unites two ancient churches with three naves. Nearby, one of the most historic cafes in Amalfi tempts the traveler with homemade confections like amalfitani (cookies made with lemon rind), ricotta and chocolate desserts, zeppole of San Giuseppe, andmany other tantalizing treats displayed in the shop window.