Get a taste of history in Paestum
Amalfi’s a great place for history buffs. If you’re also into hiking, you’ll love the Torre dello Ziro. The ruins of this medieval tower are perched high up above Amalfi so you’ll get an unbelievable view of the bay from there. No wonder, really, as it was built to watch out for Saracen pirates set to attack Amalfi.
Easier to get to is the Duomo di Sant’Andrea Apostolo, the cathedral in the centre of town. You’ll still have a little climbing to do, as it’s at the top of 62 steep steps, but the chance to discover Amalfi’s medieval history makes it worthwhile. If you only have time to visit one cathedral, skip this one and go to Salerno, whose Duomo is considered one of the finest churches in Italy. Its 12th century brick tower, grand entrance and peaceful courtyard are really impressive; you can also see frescoes, mosaics and a breathtaking vaulted crypt.
While you’re in Salerno, go for a wander in the Villa Comunale, the town’s famous botanic gardens. Filled with plants, fountains and statues, this lovely park is popular with families on long summer evenings. It’s also renowned for its artistic Christmas lights, which add festive cheer from November to January.
An absolute must-visit during your holiday is Paestum. This Greek-Roman city is an easy day trip from the Amalfi Coast and an incredible archaeological site. The Greek temples there are unbelievably well preserved, and you can also walk along the ancient streets, passing the ruins of the Roman forum, amphitheatre, houses and many other buildings.