From cliffside towns and fishing villages to mini-metropolises hidden on mountaintops, here are the best and most beautiful towns and villages along Italy’s amorous Amalfi Coast.
The Amalfi Coast is a wonderland of pastel-hued villages that tumble from craggy mountains into a cobalt sea.
It’s dramatic and gracious, sophisticated in a Sophia Loren kind of way, constantly tempting you to indulge in the finer things in life.
The streets are scented by perpetually drooping lemon trees. Locals laze on sun terraces with gelato cooled tongues. Restaurants rumble as diners feast on fresh fish and perfect pizza (Naples is just up the road after all!).
And the glamorous Isle of Capri throbs in the distance, inviting you to jump on a boat and join the rich and famous for a day of hedonism, while the ancient city of Pompeii and its volcanic Mount Vesuvius provides a double dose of history and culture.
There’s no doubt about it, the Amalfi Coast is the epitome of “La Dolce Vita”. A destination guaranteed to steal your heart. Here are the must-see villages and towns.
Positano is quaint little fishing village you dream of when you imagine the Amalfi Coast. Its tranquil Spiaggia del Formillo beach is a soothingly seductive strip of sand and the higgledy-piggledy streets are awash with pretty cafe terraces and restaurants draped in fragrant wisteria.
You could quite happily spend your whole trip in Positano, getting lost and discovering magical little nooks.
Don’t miss a visit to Vini & Panini, a little wine shop and grocery store where you can stock up on panini sandwiches, strawberries and chilled wine to enjoy on the beach.
Small and colourful, this historic maritime town is surrounded by sky-piercing cliffs and boasts its own beach and restaurant-lined promenade. You can easily walk the entire town in less than 30 minutes, although the many shops, cafes, restaurants and gelaterias (ice-cream parlours) are certain to slow you down.
Don’t miss the Duomo di Sant’Andrea Apostolo, a 9th century Roman Catholic cathedral towers over the sunny Piazza dei Dogi. Stop for a cappuccino and soak up the atmosphere — you’ve arrived.
Nuzzled away just around the headland from Amalfi, Atrani is an old fishermen’s town characterised by the handsome houses that creep up the cliffside. They were built here as family residences and holiday homes by wealthy Italians and still hold an air of grandiosity.
Densely packed and overlooking a small beach cove, the town’s main landmark is the Collegiata di Santa Maria Maddalena, which was founded in 1274 and features an ornate bell tower.
Don’t miss the pretty Piazza Umberto I. Located just steps away from the sea, under the town’s iconic arches, this is the perfect place to slurp on a lemon granita, a sort of icy, citrusy slush puppy.
One of the biggest and busiest towns on the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is a refined cliffside resort offering excellent shopping and dining opportunities. The warren of ancient streets are filled with flowers during the summer months and the sweeping views out to the island of Capri and Mount Vesuvius add an extra element of romance.
Don’t miss Piazza Tasso, a lively, restaurant-lined square ideal for indulging in a spot of people watching whilst sipping on a glass of prosecco.
Praiano is a tiny little town nestled halfway between Amalfi and Positano, making it a peaceful place to stay during the busy high-season.
The views of the Bay of Positano and Capri are really quite spectacular, and there are big rewards for those brave enough to traverse the 350+ steps down to La Gavitella beach. Despite its diminutive size, Praiano harbour no less than nine churches and 14 religious shrines.
The largest and most impressive is the domed Baroque San Gennaro church, which is suspended from the cliffside and looms perilously over the bay.
Don’t miss the famous Sentiero degli Dei (The Path of the Gods), which is an 8 km, vertigo-inducing hiking trail that connects Praiano with the tiny town of Nocelle, near Positano.
This remote village is hidden away in an elevated mountaintop location overlooking the sea and the surrounding towns. Perched at over 350 metres above sea level, the vistas are quite simply breathtaking, and its remoteness means it’s a great place to go and escape the crowds of the towns below.
The town itself has a charming feel of faded-grandeur, with a clutch of once-regal palazzi, ritzy villas, and enchanting gardens that throb with colourful flowers and drooping lemon trees.
Don’t miss the 11th-century Duomo di Ravello, one the most beautiful churches on the Amalfi Coast.
Where to Stay on Italy’s Amalfi Coast