Campania Things to Do Tips by deecat Top 5 Page for this destination
Campania Things to Do: 67 reviews and 70 photos
Butcher shop in Sorrento
When we visited the Amalfi Coast, our home base was Sorrento. It's a famous, well established resort town about 30 miles from Naples. It is high on a cliff and overlooks the Bay of Naples.
I'm amazed that it's a resort town because the beaches are not that great because they have pebbles instead of sand. However, when on the beach, the view UP the cliff to Sorrento is unique, and the view OUT to the Bay of Naples is spectacular.
What Sorrento has is the best shopping along the coast. It is not as expensive as Amalfi and Positano, but the quality and choices are great.
It's famous for its beautiful inlaid wood pieces. We have a small bedside table that opens up and has a music box inside. The inlay work is incredible.
The narrow lanes, antique shops, butcher shops with raw meat hanging, the lemon liquer shops, and the wonderful restaurants make it a worthwhile place to visit.
Address: 30 miles south of Naples on the Amalfi Coast
Typical Ceramics Indicating the Type of Shop
The first thing you notice when you arrive in Vietri is the beautiful ceramics produced by the Solimene factory and other producers. You know it because there are shops that line piazza Matteotti.
This is a marvelous place where the houses seem to "cling" to the cliff. The landmark structure is the Church of San Giovanni which was built in 1732. The city now has mostly modern buildings that line the promenade. This promenade is awesome.
Vietri was originally a fishing village, and it is interesting to note that the fishermen used what is called falanghe (stilts set up all the the beach used to slide their boats into the waves.)
The pottery and ceramics industry seems to dominate the town. Colorful tiles are everywhere, including on the cupola of the Church of San Giovanni. There is still fishing in this village, but ceramics has been more economically productive.
Directions: Two kilometers north of Salerno
Fishermen Boats in Cetara
In the small village of Cetara, the first thing that I noticed was the tower that was looming over the village. Research tells me that the tower was from the period of Saracen occupation at the end of the first century A.D.
Cetara attracts sunbathers each season, but the locals are dedicated to fishing.
They are particularly interested in the production of the local anchovies. Octopi are also plentiful in the waters off of Cetara. The locals use the Octopi in casseroles!
The beaches are quite different from the ones I am used to here in the USA. Instead of fine, sugary sand, in Cetara, the beaches are pebble beaches.
I was fascinated by the endless lengths of fishing nets that were spread along the "jetty" to dry out. Then, once the sun goes down, the old fishermen assemble to repair the holes in their nets.
In the ancient town, anchovies rule! These, I'm told, are very special anchovies and are in high demand all over the world.
Every once in awhile, I could smell the aroma of the huge lemons that are grown on terraced lemon groves.
Lemon Groves Terraced into the Mountains
In the village of Maiori, with its traditional whitewashed "cube-shaped stone houses", these homes seem to march up the mountainside until they meet the lemon groves that are grown in a terraced set up.
They use every inch of land, and I don't know how, but the lemons are the largest I have ever seen anywhere. But, what is really neat is the finished product: renowned Limoncello Liqueur!
At the town's end, you see a modern lugomare that is decorated with tile-lined fountains; there is a beach below. Along the promenade, you will see the colorful boats just waiting for the fishermen.
This is such a quaint, quiet village, but it is one that I am certainly glad I experienced.
The Amalfi Coast
Click this photo because it is a PANORAMIC
ust a few kilometers west of Maiori is the lovely village called Minori. It has a wonderful seafront with an old Cathedral.
The Cathedral has an alabaster urn shaped by Gennaro Ragozzini which supposedly contain the ashes of Saint Trofimena who is the patron saint of Amalfi.
Interestingly, at the beginning of the 20th Century, a 1st Century Roman villa was discovered that was from the era of Julius Claudius! The only thing left of it is its facade, so the walls and decorative elements are all that tell us anything about its original structure.
Today, most of the enterprises have to do with tourism. There are charming hotels which tourists have discovered; yet, the locals still farm the mountainside and use those terraces to grow the lemons, the olive trees, and the grapes. Thus, the people produce lemonella, wine, and olive oil.
But, it's the narrow winding footpaths that connect to the sea that make this place so unique.
It is the way to the sea, and the mule (which is called ciuccio) is the only possible means of transportation on the paths!
These paths became famous because some of the monks made hermitages in these hills, and you can still see parts of their mountain churches today.
Santa Maria Maddalena
Click to see the PANORAMIC PHOTO
Atrani is a tiny village that attracts tourists because of its ceramics. Its charm is because of its narrow alleys, steep stairways, whitewashed houses, seaside arches, & friendly cafes & taverns.
Long ago, the nobility lived in Atrani and, like in Venice, there were Doges.
From a rock beside Mary Magdalen Church, you can see the sea from many angles. The church has a bell tower with an octagonal design.
It seems as though Atrani has not changed for centuries, and that is delightful.
A Statue of Ceres at Villa Cimbrone
Another PANORAMIC SO CLICK
About five kilometers uphill from Atrani, on a very steep and curving road, is the lovely town called Ravello.
What I remember most, of course, is the famous Villa Cimbrone which is located just outside the center of town. The architecture of this fantastic villa amazed me. It seems to be a combination of both classical and medieval architecture. It's located on a cliff that literally is suspended above the rocks!
Loving gardening as I do, I was enchanted by the large gardens with exotic plants, camelias, & thousands of roses. Some people call this terrace terrace to infinity because it overlooks an astounding panorama of the entire Amalfi Coast! I loved the Statue of Ceres who was the Goddess of Agriculture (Cereal was named after her).
Ravello is suspended about 300 meters above the Tyrrhenean Sea, and it is situated on a ridge. Villa Cimbrone has a wonderful portico and colonnade for viewing the sea; thus, travelers and artistic souls gather here for inspiration. I certainly felt inspired by that scene.
I also enjoyed the Duomo of Ravello which is filled with wonderful statues and an incredible pulpit that was donated by Bishop Rogadeo. We were told that is a real rarity in this part of Italy!
Across from this duomo is Villa Rufolo with interesting Moorish origins. It, too, has lovely gardens, and these gardens host an annual classical music festival.
All-in-all, we loved the day that we spent in Ravello.
Amalfi certainly lives up to its name. It has everything: Religious Monuments, Beautiful Natural Environment, Interesting History, and Perfect Climate.
The duomo is, indeed, its principal landmark.
And that staircase that leads up to the church is really something. We saw a wedding party having their photos taken on that amazing staircase with the imposing Duomo behind.
When you read the history of Amalfi, you know that its existence is due to its resistance to invasions from the Goths and the Lords of Salerno.
I think that Amalfi has the busiest waterfront, and its main street, via Genova climbs from piazza Duomo to the heights of the town.
Tourism is more evident in Amalfi, but I loved the tiny staircases, all the flowering baconies, and the whitewashed houses and courtyards.
There is a paper factory above the town with a smal museum. The paper from this factory is beautiful and world famous.
The photo is of the duomo or cathedral of Amalfi. It's really a complex with two basilicas that are united by an atrium. The facade is colorful with interlaced, curved archivolts & ogival window openings. It's the perfect setting for the many festivities and religious processions that occur here.
Praiano's Duomo called Cathedral of San Luca
Praiano is such a tiny town, but it's worth a visit if you can manage to take a sunset photo. (I could not).
It's located along the steep sides of the Monte Comune & the mountain Sant' Angelo a Tre Pizzi.There are wonderful towers that are perched on rocky crags.
I loved the Cathedral of San Luca, and my photo is a portion of it with the sun lighting it up. San Luca was founded in about 1123 A.D., but it was restored in 1588.
It's still basically a fishing village with warm, kind people.
Positano is the most famous and most popular of all the places along the Amalfi Coast. The best view of Positano is from the sea. From that angle, you can see how extremely close the houses are packed together; they are arranged into tiers and those tiers form an "amphitheatre" around the church.
Speaking of the church...there is a sculpted relief above the entrance to Santa Maria Assunta's bell tower. This was once inside the church. The relief depicts the head of a dog, the breasts of a woman, clawed paws, dophin tail, and the body of a fish!
Most people think that it is reminding the church goers that evil often prevails over good. The Benedictine Monks founded this church.
Years ago a first-century Roman villa was discovered below the bell tower. They found mosaics, mural paintings & columns.
The movies and some books have painted a picture of "passion" associated with Positano. Young girls want to meet one of the "beautiful young men". Some do come for a "fling" and leave with just memories; others simply stay.
Not only are the sights beautiful and unforgettable but the culinary creations are memory worthy!
I especially liked what they call Scialiatielli which is a fresh pasta that is made with flour, milk, parmesan cheese, parsley or basil and covered with tomatoes and a mozzarella-like cheese. Some of our best meals were right here.
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