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Why is the Amalfi Coast a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
written byPlay Italy

Why are you even wondering? No we’re kidding, we’re not doubting you. But if you had seen any of the Amalfi Coast’s pictures, even online, you’d probably have an answer already.

Thankfully we’re here to help you. You’re planning a trip to Italy and you still need convincing on why the Amalfi Coast should be on the top of the list of things you need to visit? Let us explain why this beauty of a coast is even a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Is the Amalfi Coast worth visiting?

Yes, yes and … yes! And we’re not just telling you because we’re promoting it. Nobody could lie about the obvious paradise-like features of the coast. But let’s start from the beginning.
UNESCO recognized the Amalfi Coast as one of its World Heritage Sites in 1997 as the prime example of the Mediterranean landscape in all of its versions: from the coast, to its vertiginous slopes and hilly countryside where vineyards and farms still reside. Not counting its historical value: the coast was inhabited since the Middle Ages and it was influenced by various cultures such as the Romans, the Greeks, the Saracens and the Arabs.
Thanks to its notable history, the architecture and art of these towns are full of art pieces that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Especially in Amalfi, since it was a powerful maritime republic from the 1st-4th Century, you can still see the traces of all the foreign merchants and visitors who contributed to the now fisherman villages.

But when we’re talking about the Amalfi Coast … what do we actually mean?

The Amalfi Coast is a stretch of land facing the Tyrrhenian Sea long 34 miles. It comprises 16 villages in total of which Positano, Amalfi and Ravello gained the most fame for their beauty.
This piece of land is nestled between the Lattari Mountains and the blue waters of two Gulfs: the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno.

Where does the Amalfi Coast start and end?

A classic Amalfi Coast tour follows these steps:
1. Sorrento is the first town where your Amalfi Coast will start, it looks over the Gulf of Naples and you can view the Vesuvius in the background;
2. Positano is next, the town of glamor and the Dolce Vita, where yachting is most popular;
3. Amalfi, on the Gulf of Salerno, now a fisherman village that still holds the glory of its past;
4. Ravello is a small village on the hill so … no beaches but, rest assured, it will compensate with its romantic gardens and views. 

As we said earlier, the Coast actually comprises 16 villages so if you have a lot of spare time you can take a look to all of them: Amalfi, Atrani, Cava de’ Tirreni, Cetara, Conca dei Marini, Furore, Maiori, Minori, Positano, Praiano, Raito, Ravello, Sant’Egidio del Monte Albino, Scala, Tramonti, Vietri sul Mare. 
They are all beautiful villages but … classics are classics for a reason right?
Let’s dive into a perfect Amalfi Coast tour.

Amalfi Coast Recommendation: what to visit?

Sorrento: the city of Lemons

Before going down rocky and prominent paths, relax a bit in the city of Sorrento that still sits on a plain land. Sorrento is famous for its fancy shops located on cobblestone streets and for its always crowded Piazza Tasso, the center of the town.
Don’t forget to try the famous Lemon of Sorrento PGI type, also called “Femminiello”, “Massa Lemon” or “Sorrento Oval”. This unique type of Lemon, grown only in Sorrento and nearby, is rich in Vitamin C and it’s very fragrant. You can try it in a sip of Limoncello (a special Lemon Liqueur) or even as Lemon Jam.
For a special view on the Gulf of Naples, head to the Museo Correale where cliff-top terraced walkways await you. 

Positano: the Dolce Vita

Positano might be the favorite town of old and modern celebrities coming from Hollywood in the ‘50s, the so-called Dolce Vita era. Between Positano and the nearby island of Capri, people had a lot to choose from.
But Positano is not only a luxury place. The town sits on a breathtaking downhill directly on the sea and it is famous for its colorful buildings as well as the “Marina Grande” beach where you can admire local artists painting and eat in small cafès and local restaurants. 
If you’re in for a more adventurous activity, give a chance to the marvelous hike along the Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei). The hike starts directly from Positano and finishes in Agerola at 164ft above sea level. If you’re one for climbs, the views that awaits you in the end will be all worth it. 

Amalfi: the once powerful Maritime Republic

This city, which could once compete with other famous maritime republics such as Pisa, Genoa and Venice, got destroyed by a Tsunami in the middle of the 14th century and it lost all of its trading power.
However not everything was lost. The town got rebuilt as a small fishing village and, even if now it doesn’t really hold any strategic power, it’s a sight to see.
The central square and its Duomo are all built with different artistic styles, a reflection of the cultures that passed through the town. 

Ravello: the unexpected gem of the Coast

This place is one for lovers, like literally, or even for lovers of art and literature.
Ravello was an inspiration for many writers and artists over the centuries. Probably the most famous opera that came out of Ravello is Richard Wagner’s Parsifal: while residing in Ravello, Wagner found inspiration in Villa Rufolo and the romantic gardens that surround it.
Aside from Villa Rufolo, there’s also the medieval Villa Cimbrone where you can immerse yourself in the perfume of wisteria on the Terrace of Infinity. Someone has even called them Italy’s most romantic gardens.

But … what about the food?

That’s the question everyone has when thinking about traveling to Italy. Well, don’t worry. The Amalfi Coast is a great place to taste the famous Mediterranean flavors.
You’ll be able to find restaurants, cafès and trattorias representing the traditional Amalfi Coast food pretty much everywhere. Even Michelin-starred restaurants are present in the areas, in fact it’s home to almost 30 of them.
The dish you most definitely have to try? The “Scialatielli ai Frutti di Mare” is the key dish of the land. Scialatielli is a local form of long pasta that goes very well with the local seafood like mussels, clams and prawns.
Do you want to make sure to order it in the correct way?
Then just repeat after us: Mi scusi, potrei per favore ordinare degli Scialatielli ai Frutti di Mare? I migliori che avete!
That’s our Italian tip of the day.

We hope that this article helped you. We think the Amalfi Coast is DEFINITELY worth trying!

Who’s Play Italy?

Another question you might have is … but why should we trust your word?
Well, not to brag but we know what we’re talking about.
We’re a travel company that designs exclusive trips to Italy for all those people like you that want to visit Italy and don’t really know where to start.
Do you want to travel to the Amalfi Coast? Feel free to see our offers and contact us for every question you may have.
And of course check our other itineraries as well!
Come Play with us and live your best Esperienza Italiana. 

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