Amalfi Coast, Italy

The Amalfi Coast in southwestern Italy is one of the most beautiful coasts in Europe. One picturesque town after another nestles amidst lavish nature on the steep coast on the Mediterranean Sea.

The Amalfi Coast, in the local language "Costiera Amalfitana", is located in the southwest of Italy. It is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world and is on our list of the top 10 sights of Italy. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.


PICTURES: Amalfi Coast

Photo gallery: Amalfi Coast

Course of the Amalfi Coast

The coastal road SS 163 along the gorgeous Amalfi Coast, in the background Mount Vesuvius, Italy - © Rechitan Sorin / Shutterstock
© Rechitan Sorin / Shutterstock

The pretty villages of the Amalfi Coast are strung together like pearls on a string. In addition to the main town of Amalfi, Atrani, Maiori, Minori, Vietri sul Mare and Positano are located directly on the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, the villages of Ravello, Scala, Cetara, Furore, Conca dei Marini, Praiano, Tramonti and Sant'Agata sui due Golfi are counted among the Amalfi Coast.

All the villages are connected for 50 km by the beautiful panoramic road Strada Statale 163 Amalfitana (SS 163).

Some of the small settlements, such as Positano or Praiano are located below the Amalfitana and can only be reached on foot via narrow paths and stairs. Also above the SS 163 numerous mule tracks and hiking trails lead through the dreamlike landscape north of Italy's "boot tip".

Challenging route: The coastal road is closed to large buses, with the exception of regular buses and local tourist buses, due to the tight curves and overhanging rocks. Minibuses and campers are allowed to drive between Viertri sul Mare and Positano only between midnight and 6:30 am.

Tip: The public transport network is well developed on the Amalfi Coast and highly recommended due to the narrow roads and lack of parking. The approach to the Amalfi Coast is via the A3 highway via Rome and Naples. From Naples there is also the Circumvesuviana suburban train to Sorrento, from there you can continue by bus to Positano and Amalfi to Vietri sul Mare and Salerno.

The 3 most beautiful places of the Amalfi Coast

View of the Amalfi Coast coastal road with its tight curves and overhanging cliffs, Italy - © Freesurf / Fotolia
© Freesurf / Fotolia

Looking at the spectacular scenery of the Amalfi Coast, with its steep cliffs nestled with colorful houses, it is easy to guess that tourism is the main source of income on the Amalfi Coast. The omnipresent scent of flowers to lemons, the fairy-tale landscape with lush vegetation and sapphire blue sea, plus spaghetti napolitana and a glass of wine are like balm for any stressed soul.

The Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy - © Rechitan Sorin / Shutterstock
© Rechitan Sorin / Shutterstock


The coastal town of Positano is considered the "Pearl of the AmalfiCoast". Coming from the north, Positano is the first town on the SS 163. The former fishing village with its steep narrow streets and countless steps has already been called the "only vertical place in the world".


In summer, the population of Positano increases tenfold when tourists crowd the pastel-colored hotels, guesthouses and vacation domiciles of the idyllic seaside resort. Because yes, on the Amalfi Coast, of course, a swimming vacation is also possible! The picturesque pebble beach completes the enchanting alleys lined with boutiques and cafes. Worth seeing, in addition to the Marina Grande beach, is the 12th century church of Maria Assunta, which houses a Black Madonna.


Amalfi, the Mediterranean village that gave its name to the Amalfi Coast in Italy - © leoks / Shutterstock
© leoks / Shutterstock

The once important maritime trading town of Amalfi represents the main town of the Amalfi Coast. Besides the idyllic surroundings, the magnificent 10th century Amalfi Cathedral, the once most famous shipyards of the Mediterranean, the Valley of the Ironworks and the Paper Museum act as tourist magnets.

Just a few kilometers west of Amalfi is the Grotta dello Smeraldo ("Emerald Grotto"), a water-filled cave that can be visited by boat. During the day, the sun draws fantastic plays of light on the surface of the water, which shimmers in all shades of green.


The "Terrazza dell'infinito" ("Terrace of Infinity") of Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, Amalfi Coast, Italy - © JeniFoto / Shutterstock
© JeniFoto / Shutterstock

Ravello is located a little further inland on the way to Minori and delights visitors with its fantastic 11th and 13th century buildings Villa Cimbore and Villa Rufolo. They have a breathtaking view of the sea and beautiful gardens to offer.

The beautiful houses and small churches of Ravello have also been a major attraction for a number of artists. Among others, Richard Wagner, Greta Garbo, Truman Capote, Graham Greene and Sara Teasdale were inspired by the picturesque town on the Amalfi Coast. Even today, the annual Wagner Festival commemorates Ravello's famous composer friend.

Picturesque Ravello bathed in soft glow from the setting sun, Amalfi Coast, Italy - © Andrey Bayda / Shutterstock
© Andrey Bayda / Shutterstock

Typical Amalfi Coast: Popular Amalfi Coast souvenirs include the delicious limoncello, a liqueur made from the fruit of the ubiquitous lemon trees, a piece of lace-trimmed Positano fashion, handmade paper called "Bambagina" from Amalfi, and artfully crafted ceramics from Vietri sul Mare.