Welcome to the Amalfi Coast!

One look at the Amalfi Coast and you may believe that you've found heaven on earth. That's the kind of spellbinding effect this stretch of Italian coastline tends to have on the 5 million annual visitors who cross its mesmerizing paths. Located in the Campania region of Italy, this UNESCO World Heritage Site covers 34 miles of majestic terrain; sky-high costal cliffs display vibrant vegetation and multicolored towns live side by side with the disarming turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, creating a scene that has the power to stop even the most seasoned of travelers dead in their tracks.

The coast and the 13 seaside towns that call it home are all connected via the SS163 highway, considered one of the most scenic drives in the world. Each town comes equipped with signature Amalfi topography, as well as standout attributes of its own. The pastel-colored Positano draws in the rich and famous for its luxurious cliffside resorts and fine Italian dining, while the town of Amalfi is Italy's oldest maritime republic, once serving as a big commercial and technical hub in the Mediterranean. The alpine town of Ravello may not be for the faint of heart, but its ancient villas and stunning ocean views will be etched in your memory for years to come. Maiori, home to one of the oldest pastas in the world, is a mecca for foodies. And if you plan on passing through Cetara, you can stop at an ancient Norman tower, which according to legend, was founded by Hercules himself. And then, Sorrento, the Island of Capri, Pompeii and its Mount Vesuvius and vast archaeological site, Vietri, very famous for its colorful ceramics. However you decide to explore the Amalfi Coast, its glory is guaranteed to leave you completely gaga long after you've gone.

From CNN Travel
The undiscovered Amalfi Coast
Colorful towns cling to cliff faces, restaurant terraces offer breathtaking views, and blue waters sparkle into the distance. Vespas weave through cars on narrow mountain roads and the heady tang of lemons fills the warm air.
After Italy’s big-city trilogy of Rome, Florence and Venice, the Amalfi Coast remains the most popular destination for visitors to the boot-shaped nation of Italy. Hugging the northern shore of the Gulf of Salerno, this curvaceous coastline boasts some of the most jaw-dropping settings in the world. It all adds up to a postcard-perfect Italian summer escape in an area so special that it’s UNESCO-protected. But while the often over-crowded Amalfi and Positano are well established on the mainstream tourist path, one Amalfi Coast town remains less known and offers an intriguing mix of sea views, artistry, beauty and simplicity.
White-washed buildings, clothes hanging to dry, arched doorways and colorful ceramics abound – meet Vietri sul Mare, the gateway to the Amalfi Coast. Vietri sul Mare, just west of Salerno, marks the beginning of Amalfi’s coastal road and is the ceramics capital of Campania. Vietri’s pottery production dates back to Roman times, and back in the day the royal court of Naples was its most important client.

The small town center is full of decorative tile shopfronts selling ceramics of all shapes and sizes, while every establishment is chock-full of them. Vietri’s vicoli (small streets) stretch out from the main landmark, the Neapolitan Renaissance Church of Saint John the Baptist (dating back to 1732) with its colorful bell tower and ceramic-covered dome, which stands out like a beacon on the approach from Salerno. Unlike their more popular neighbors, Vietri and even nearby Cetara have never really relied on tourism for their livelihoods.

As fishing towns, they’ve historically been reasonably self-sufficient, but they’ve sparked a little more international curiosity of late – Vietri for its quiet humility and ceramics trade; and Cetara for its anchovy and tuna prowess and now world-famous colatura di alici – an exquisite extract of fermented anchovies referred to by locals as “liquid gold.”
The whole stretch of coast has an abundance of lemons and is therefore known for its limoncello and lemon sweets – the ubiquitous delizie al limone is a limoncello-soaked sponge cake lathered in lemon-flavored cream.

Yet, the Amalfi Coast's reputation extends far beyond lemons alone! This picturesque region is celebrated for its ancient tradition of cultivating extra virgin olive oil, a heritage dating back three millennia before Christ. This golden elixir, with its deep hue and unparalleled fruity essence, truly captivates the senses, transporting one to the very essence of time and terroir.