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The Amalfi Coast is located in the Province of Salerno in Southern Italy and is one of Europe’s most breath-taking gems. Cliffs are terraced and scented lemon groves are common as are the whitewashed villas. Meanwhile sea and sky seem to merge in sublime unison. It is a popular destination for the region and Italy as a whole, attracting thousands annually from Italians, international tourists or couples on honeymoon. However, many secret places and non-touristic gems can still be found such as enchanted towers, and the fantastic masterpice of Oscar Niemeyer in the mountain village of Ravello. Of course there’s the aristocratic influence of its past (and the famous Duchess of Amalfi) which harks back to events that occurred between about 1508 and 1513. The Duchess was Giovanna d’Aragona, Duchess of Amalfi, whose father, Enrico d’Aragona, Marquis of Gerace, was an illegitimate son of Ferdinand I of Naples. As in Webster’s play, she secretly married Antonio Beccadelli di Bologna after the death of her first husband, the Duke of Amalfi. Her brothers exact revenge and this story remains a haunting story of family pride and thwarted love. The Amalfi coastline consists of many small villages, each with their own character and speciliaties such as Vietri sul Mare and its famous ceramics. The coast is known for its production of Limoncello liqueur – lemons are grown and harvested between February and October. If Limoncello is not a favourite tipple, the old time favorite Aperol spritz is also a regional delicacy.
Not to be missed are: Positano (touristy but photogenic), Amalfi town, Ravello town (high in the mountains), Maiori and Minori. The easiest way to arrive on the Amalfi Coast is via Salerno arriving by train or via plane to Napoli. While renting a car is essential, it will take time to adjust to the local driving; ignoring traffic signals is frequent and can make for some hair-raising experiences.
Don’t hesitate to visit Capri though it’s best to leave this until after sunset to avoid the daily throng of visitors during the day, especially in peak season.