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The Amalfi Coast is without a doubt the most spectacular and beautiful coastline in Italy. Moorish style villages cling to the dramatic jagged cliffs, perched over the rippling waves below. The air is scented with lemons and wild herbs, and of course the sea. The villages that string along The Amalfi Coast have cobblestoned streets lined with bougainvillea-covered villas, Arabic arches, and countless corners with million dollar views.The magic of the "Costa Amalfitana" is that while it is a magnet for jet-setters and home to a multitude of ultra luxury five star hotels, Michelin starred restaurants and yachts, what characterizes the region is its effortless Mediterranean simplicity. You can base an unforgettable weekend at a romantic small hotel in Positano.Food and wine are highlights of The Amalfi Coast, and should always be a focus on your tours. Fresh seafood, juicy vegetables drizzled in olive oil, aromatic local wines â this is the “materia prima” or raw material that the region is rightly famous for. Local gastronomic gems include creamy Mozzarella di Bufala, Limoncello made with ripe Sorrento lemons, and San Marzano tomatoes (known all over the world). Traditional dishes are simple and delicious such as Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (with tomato and basil), “pepata di cozze (spicy mussels) and the delicious Spaghetti alle vongole con pomodoro (spaghetti with clams and tomatoes). Vineyards are scattered through the sun baked coast and inland in the Sorrento Peninsula and greater Campania. Grapes were brought to Campania by the Ancient Greeks and fabulous wines are being made by cult producers with such noble grapes as the white Falanghina grape and the black Aglianico (which actually means “Hellenica”).This guide leads you in a drive in The Amalfi Coast, starting from Salerno and touching Vietri sul Mare, Cetara, Erchie, Minori, Ravello, Amalfi, the Emerald Grotto, Furore, Positano to arrive in Sorrento.It includes photos and descriptions of the attractions of all the localities touched.It contains many reviews for the best recommended restaurants that are at the location described.
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Copyright Enrico Massetti 2015
Published by Enrico Massetti
All Rights Reserved
The easiest access to the Amalfi Coast is from Salerno, easily reachable by car on the “autostrada” (highway) A3 and by train, including high speed service from the North - Naples, Rome and beyond. It takes around half an hour to go from Naples to Salerno using the high speed train.
There are two train companies that provide the service on the same tracks, they take the same time to get there, but they compete on service and price: Trenitalia is the state owned company that competes with the privately owned NTV. Check the schedules and prices online at http://trenitalia.com for Trenitalia, andhttp://italotreno.it for the NTV company.
SALERNO. An ancient town, probably founded by the Etruscans, Salerno became a Roman colony and was later under both Byzantine, Longobard, and Norman rule.
From the latter period dates the superb Cathedral, whose original Romanesque style is still preserved in the beautiful Atrium surrounded by 28 Roman columns.
We enter the church through a magnificent bronze Door (1099) which leads into the central nave, where there are two 12th century Pulpits, decorated with mosaics, the Tomb of Margherita di Durazzo and the mosaics in the Chapel of Pope Gregory VII.
The Cathedral Museum contains excellent paintings and a rich Treasury, including the famous 12th century Altar-frontal carved in ivory.
Restaurants in Salerno:
• La botte pazza vicolo Giovanni Ruggi 3 | piazza Portanova, +39 329 292 9013 Small, informal and cosy restaurant, 5 tables in ground floor, a few tables in floor above. A little hard to find, but well worth the experience. The chef comes to the table to explain the menu and to take your order. The free local house wine on tap is very appreciated, as is the appetiser fried vegetables to tempt your taste buds whilst waiting for your main meals.
• Botteghelle 65 Via Botteghelle 65, +39 089 232992 This is the place to eat and drink locally produced meats, cheeses, wines, breads, desserts and aperitifs. It can take you awhile to locate it, but it's worth it! This isn't a 'classic' restaurant and that they don't serve pasta etc, just the meats and cheese you see in the cabinet.
• L'Unico Largo San Giorgio, 14 (Via Duomo), +39 089 296 2671 Outstanding seafood, nice staff, absolutely not touristic, good quality/price ratio - a must go! The chalkboard-sign full of fish dishes is all written in Italian, but it doesn't matter, the staff comes to your table and explain every dish they make, and how they make it.
• Il Maestro Del Gusto Vicolo Piantanova 7 | Near Chiesa Del S. Crocefisso, +39 333 910 2296 This is an excellent restaurant with a truly thoughtful and delicious menu coupled with delightful service. Fresh ingredients that are uniquely prepared, if you are a 'foodie' you will appreciate the details in the meal.
• Osteria del Taglio Vicolo Ruggi d'Aragona 10, +39 089 924 3333 This is a modern but still very charming Italian restaurant in the old town. Osteria del Taglio is unlike many of the rustic settings at which you can we have dined. It is newly renovated. It features a bright and cheerful setting. The restaurants features a three course "chef menu" and a wide selection of wines from the Province of Salerno as well as other wines from Campania region.
Vietri sul mare
Close by Salerno, eastern door of the Divine Coast, Vietri sul Mare has had a tragic history, full of invasions and ravages.
The original settlement, named Marcina, was destroyed in 455 B.C. by Vandal barbaric hordes or, according to another version by violent civil riots. It was attacked again and sacked many times by the Longobards in the following centuries, then it was restored by descendants of the survivors of the slaughters.
The new town was significantly called Vetere (ancient), to underline the historical continuity of the different communities.
Vietri sul mare
Unfortunately, in the 17th century a French fleet headed by a prince of Savoia attacked again and despoiled the town.
Despite so much mourning, the inhabitants of Vietri have managed to keep the pride of their own individuality alive, so that today, even if they are so near a much larger city, Salerno, they still proudly claim their own identity.
Forever Vietri has been the destination of tourists from near (inhabitants of Salerno have chosen its beach called “della Crestarella” as their own bathing salon) and from far (the country gave hospitality to many German artists during the years between the two world wars).
Today Vietri is particularly famous for its artistic ceramic production to which the above-mentioned forcing artists (Richard Doelker, Irene Kowaliska and others), well-supported by famous ceramists like Guido Gambone, gave a substantial boost.
The ceramic industry began in the late Renaissance, thanks to Sanseverino Principles and since then has always been a symbol of Vietri sul Mare.
The production of the ceramic works is realized by craftsmen using techniques handed down over the centuries. The decoration is done by hand using figures and pattern that reflect the Mediterranean culture and way of life. The success of this craftsmanship makes each article produced a unique Work of Art.
Vietri sul mare
Vietri has various churches of remarkable architectonic interest: above all we point out the majolica dome of the Church of S. Giovanni and its octagonal tower; however, the real beauty of the town is represented by the common houses; all, more or less, are enriched by splendid majolica pieces, often made by famous artists.
A walk in the town also allows you to visit the numerous beautiful shops of the ceramic artisans.
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