The Amalfi Coast, in the Campania region, is one of the real treasures of Italy.The coastline is sprinkled with small golden beaches against a backdrop of idyllic fishing villages. When you add luxurious hotels and villas, and steep beachside cliffs, its popularity among international vacationers is understandable. The Amalfi Coast has lush hiking trails, exotic resorts and beaches. Picturesque towns, fascinating culture and out-of-this-world food--so many ways to add splendor to your trip. The magic and the romance of this region of Italy are something that you simply must experience. Here we discuss several unique features that make Amalfi special.
Limoncello -- The Famous Liqueur of Italy
Limoncello is the beloved after-dinner lemon liqueur that has its origins in southern Italy, especially the Sorrentine Peninsula. It contains 35 percent alcohol by volume and is enjoyed as a dessert liqueur or mixed with cocktails. This incomparable libation is an absolute must when visiting the Amalfi Coast.
You can tour factories where limoncello is made to witness the unique process. Like specialty vodkas, there are many flavored variations such as pistachio, strawberry, cherry and rhubarb. Be sure to try original limoncello and its variations after an Italian meal at one of the many regional restaurants.
Heavenly Pastries and Pastas of the Region
We know that Italy is famous for its food and drink, and each region is fiercely--and justifiably--proud of it regional wines, foods and delicacies.
The Amalfi Coast also has an abundance of splendid local foods, including fine pasta from the small markets and shops in many towns. The maritime nature of this region means you’ll have no trouble finding seafood-inspired pasta dishes. If you love seafood, sample the local cooked squid, mussels in garlic brew, and of course, anchovies. The tomato is a staple food here, and underlies much of the local cuisine. Local cheeses abound as well, including the famous mozzarella, provolone and ricotta.
Typically, you’ll find pasta tossed with clams, shellfish and other seafood. Just look for it in local restaurants and even town markets for a delectable experience for your taste buds.
Pastries are also popular here. A local pastry to sample is sfogliatelle. This dessert is stuffed with thin layers of dough with sprinkles of sugar. Also don’t miss the cornetto, an Italian-style croissant. There’s the famous baba rum cake, and the ever-popular Napoleon. Begun as an Easter tradition, the Napoleon is made with cooked grains, candied fruits, eggs and spices. All the local confectioners have them and jealously guard their own recipes. You may need to sample them all.
The Italian passion for art is exemplified in the ceramics of the Amalfi Coast. Hand-painted and glazed, magnificent vases, plates and pottery are eye-catching delights. Bright, colorful tiles and frescoes with sea themes are common.
Ceramics are unique here and have long been a longstanding part of the culture. You’ll see this reflected in the many vivid hues, intense blues and vibrant greens, everywhere. Many streets are festooned with colorful handmade ceramics, making for an unforgettable sight and experience. Nearly every town will have something to catch your eye.
The Vietri Sul Mare is a must.
You can find ceramics of all sizes from small pots and bowls to large sized vases. Consider bringing home a decoration for your backyard pergola, living room or dining area.
Island Paradise Of Capri
Capri is an island masterpiece in the Gulf of Naples that can be reached very easily by ferry from Sorrento to Marina Grande. It has a pretty but also rugged landscape, beach resorts and small boutiques that sell handmade leather products and of course, limoncello. Capri’s enchanting natural beauty bathes the visitor in light and color.
Mount Solara is the highest point on the island and is famous with painters. It affords extensive views of the harbor. Take a walking tour through the Gardens of Augustus or go to the edge of the breathtaking Cliffs of Faraglioni.
Capri contains high-end boutique stores and beach resorts. Grand villas dot the island set amid bougainvillea blooms and lush greenery. It’s also home to many caves and grottos, the most timeless being the Blue Grotto.
Blue Grotto is an underwater cave that glows electric blue because of the way the sun’s rays pass through several entrance holes. This creates a dazzling blue or emerald glow in the water as if it has been lit up by electricity. This rare natural wonder will be with you forever.
Sorrento overlooks the Bay of Naples and is easily reached from Naples or Pompei. It boasts cliffs and a majestic view of the still active Mount Vesuvius. Its luxury hotels have hosted famous Italian singers like Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti.
You can scuba dive in the azure waters, hike bucolic trails or take a boat cruise. It is also famous for Holy Week in which the Passion of the Christ is re-created and performed.
The old town here is a major attraction with its narrow streets and the cafe-lined Piazza Tasso. There’s a resort area abundant in extravagant restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops. You’ll find many beautiful old shops here that sell laceworks, homemade ceramics, and other arts and crafts pieces.
Sorrento is a great place for relaxing and winding down from your travels. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to sit at an outdoor cafe in the old town to savor life with an espresso and watch the world go by.
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