You’ve seen the movie. An American woman travels to Italy and meets a suave and handsome Italian, dark hair combed straight back, curling over his collar.
“Why don’t we take a drive tomorrow and I‘ll show you my country,” he says with a smile. She agrees.
The next morning, Stephano pulls up in front of her hotel in a bright red Ferrari convertible with the top down. Our heroine jumps in and off they go.
Next, you see an aerial shot of the red convertible driving on a narrow winding road with rocky mountains on one side and a long drop to an impossibly blue ocean on the other.
This is the Amalfi Coast.
On the West coast of Italy, the Amalfi Coast stretches South of Naples. It is famous for its wonderful weather, marvelous ocean and the rich and famous people who live there. The area is named for the village of Amalfi, the largest of several villages along the coast. Total population along many miles of coast is about 15,000. For thousands of years, the villages could be reached only by sea, but after World War II, the Italian government built a very narrow and extremely winding road along the coast.
The Romans were the first people to use Amalfi as a vacation spot. Today, the coast is a UN World Heritage Site, which means that no further building is permitted, so luxury villas built in the 1970’s are interspersed with stone watchtowers built two thousand years earlier to provide an early warning against pirates so the villagers could flee up into the rugged mountains for safety.
The first two photos are of the village of Amalfi. The third is a wonderful entrance to a small house just off the village’s only street. The fourth and fifth photos are the Amalfi square, with its statue of St. Andrew, whose bones are buried in the village church. The sixth photo is an even smaller village up the coast, taken from the boat which showed us this marvelous part of Italy.
Click on the photos for a larger picture.
Tomorrow – Pompey, the village buried by an immense volcanic explosion in 79 AD.