“The Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful coastal regions in Italy – and indeed in all of Europe. Whether you choose to explore it by hire car or bus, it’s definitely worth a trip along the winding road between Sorrento and Salerno. The journey itself is an adventure, since the road is so narrow that there’s often room for only one car. On one side is a sheer cliff edge falling straight into the sea below, while on the other side are more cliffs rising high into the air, and both in front and behind are crazy Southern Italian drivers, slaloming mopeds and continual lines of tourist buses, all honking their horns. In spite of this, the charming towns built at the top of seaside cliffs and on steeply sloping hillsides, the lush Mediterranean vegetation and the lemon trees thick with their ripe yellow fruit are sure to captivate any visitor’s heart.
The colorful houses, majolica-domed churches and huge bushes of bougainvillea in Postiano, which is built on a terraced hillside, lend the town a truly picturesque appearance. This town is the high point of the whole Amalfi coast, and anyone visiting the area should at least make time to stop off here. From the road, you can get down to the seafront by descending a lot of steps. The bad news, of course, is that unless you’re continuing by boat, you’ll eventually have to climb back up all those steps. Those aching muscles are, however, more than compensated for by the magical experience which Portofino offers. Another pearl of this Amalfi Coast is Ravello, though this settlement is located a little way back from the coast, on a hillside.
Ravello’s two main attractions are the Villa Rufolo and the Villa Cimbrone, both of which are surrounded by captivating gardens. The panoramic view from the terrace of the Villa Cimbrone may be the most beautiful in all of Italy, while a music festival is held annually in the gardens of the Villa Rufolo.
The ’Fiordo di Furore’ or Furore Fjord is a unique place on this coast – after all, visitors to this part of Europe aren’t exactly expecting fjords. This very special geological formation is located next to the village of Furore. The fjord meets the sea in a tiny bay, which also has the most charming beach in the region. It is difficult to find the turn-off on the road, and few non-locals know about it. The road takes you across a high bridge, where if you stop and get out you can admire the view of the hidden bay. It’s also worth descending the steps next to the bridge, and taking a dip in the crystal-clear waters. I can guarantee that you won’t have to contend with crowds of tourists.
Nor will lovers of gastronomy be disappointed: the seafood in the beachfront trattorias is always fresh, while vegetarians will love the variety of local eggplant recipes, and at the end of a meal the house will often offer a free, ice-cold glass of the local lemon liqueur, limoncello.