If you fancy following in the footsteps of film stars and artists, and taking a break in a part of the world that perfectly strikes the balance between nature and culture, take your holidays to Amalfi. This destination has long been famous for its stunning coastline, scooped-out valleys, jagged mountains and beautiful beaches. However, you’ll also find outstanding art galleries, fascinating museums, pastel-coloured villages, and the glamour and glitz of Positano.
During the summer, the lemon groves add a gentle hint of citrus to the air and you’ll find colourful festivals exploding into life almost every other day! Littered with secret bays, secluded coves and outstanding beaches, Amalfi holidays are ideal for sun-seekers. Perched on a cliff overlooking the azure blue sea, Amalfi town is a maze of cobbled streets and sun-drenched piazzas.
Things to do
Start the day with an espresso and a sfogliatella (sweet Italian pastry) in a café overlooking the main piazza. The Cattedrale di Sant’ Andrea is the town’s centrepiece. Sitting at the top of a flight of steps, it’s a grand, 12th century cathedral with a unique black and white striped exterior. The narrow streets are filled with family-run shops selling everything from limoncello to traditional Italian ceramics. One of the most popular places to visit is the Grotta dello Smeraldo (Emerald Grotto). The sunlight reflects against the water, creating vivid tones of green and blue.
History and celebrities
It’s easy to delve into local history in a place like this. You can’t miss the sense of the past when you stroll along Amalfi’s narrow old streets, and the cathedral (or Duomo) at the town’s heart is an attractive combination of Arabic and Norman styles. There are also historic coastal watchtowers along the coast, including one above Amalfi, while the beautiful gardens of the nearby Villa Rufolo have long attracted some of our most celebrated creative people, like Virginia Woolf. Modern celebrities still love to visit Amalfi and nearby Capri, so keep your eyes peeled for famous faces.
The scenery around Amalfi is spectacular. You could hike through a valley lined with waterfalls one day (the Valle delle Ferriere), take a boat trip into an impressive sea cave the next, and relax on a sunny beach the day after that. There are wild lemon trees in the countryside, and the seaside cliffs give way to mountains as you move inland. A boat trip’s highly recommended so you can get the full effect.
Exploring and sightseeing
If you love to explore, Amalfi’s the place for you. Not only can you spend hours wandering around the town’s cobbled streets, you can also go off on an adventure along the coast road to Salerno (make sure you visit the Duomo di Salerno and the beautiful Villa Communale gardens), or further afield to the ancient ruins at Paestum. The island of Capri is in very easy reach, too, with ferries and hydrofoils available to get you to its glamorous shores.