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The coast Amalfi, Italy

Updated on March 16, 2012
View of Positano from the road above
View of Positano from the road above

My wife and I made our first trip to Italy a few years ago. One trip, no matter how long you stay, is never enough to see the regional diversity of this old country. We went to Rome to see the usual sights, to Tuscany to experience the rural wine country, and to the Amalfi Coast. The Amalfi made the most lasting impression, and it was about as romantic as you can get.

We rented a villa in this beautiful white structure
We rented a villa in this beautiful white structure
The view from our villa patio
The view from our villa patio
Even the bus stop in Praiano is cute
Even the bus stop in Praiano is cute
Perhaps the best lunch I ever had.  But it cost $50.
Perhaps the best lunch I ever had. But it cost $50.
Taking a break in Ravello. What's Italy without gelato?
Taking a break in Ravello. What's Italy without gelato?
You tend to gain weight on a visit to Italy.  Not sure why.
You tend to gain weight on a visit to Italy. Not sure why.

Amalfi Coast

If you like beautiful vistas, gorgeous beaches, quaint towns that are centuries old, sunny climate, and fantastic food, then you want to visit Amalfi. If you don’t like those things, then you have lost at least three of your five senses. Every small town along the 28-mile coastline is beautiful and oozing with charm. From Positano, with its famous beach and artisan shops, to the hilltop castle-town of Ravello, no two villages are the same. I don’t think there is an ugly vista anywhere in the region, and I couldn’t get enough of rubber-necking at the coastline from the bus. But one practical suggestion: never go to Italy without a copy of Rick Steves' travel guide on the country. It is absolutely invaluable.

The villa

We stayed at a villa in Praiano, several miles up the coast from Positano. The villa had three bedrooms, two baths, a dining room, living room, and a kitchen. The view of the Mediterranean (actually, the Tyrrhenian Sea, to be exact) was incredible. We watched the fisherman go out at night in their small boats with their lanterns, working the water directly below our grassy patio. It was a strenuous hike into and out of the villa, but within a couple of days, we were ready for the local Ironman triathlon.

The pottery

One bit of artistry that I was not prepared to see was the hand-painted pottery found in the area. There are several shops that sell this very colorful earthenware, and you can watch the artisans work for as long as you like. We brought home several small bowls that we use for condiments on the dining room table. How is it that this incredible array of colors somehow mimics the feeling of this landscape? It can not be a coincidence.

Italian cuisine

Of course, no one can write about Italy without describing the food. I had a sumptuous seafood plate for lunch in the steep-sided town of Amalfi, just yards from the beach. It was possibly the best, and the most expensive, lunch I have ever had. In the evening, my wife and I would take a bus, which are free, up or down the road to another village and pick a spot for dinner. It is here that we fell in love with caprese . This hallmark Italian salad is comprised of slices of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese and basil leaves interlaced on a platter, and then drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Fresh, high-quality olive oil is essential. Every restaurant in which you eat has a variation on the basic theme, but it is always delicious. I now grow my garden in upstate New York every year primarily with this salad in mind.

O sole mio

One evening, we ate dinner on the veranda at a restaurant in Praiano with a full moon over the Mediterranean. After dinner, we retired to the piazza below us, next to the 500-year old San Gennaro cathedral, to join the locals who were socializing there on this warm August evening. Then, to our surprise, three famous baritones (or was it four tenors) who were touring Italy began an hour-long concert in the open air, free and open to the public. Can you say romantic?

All photos are by DrTom. For more,  see Life at DrTom's.

Romance on the beach, Italian style
Romance on the beach, Italian style

Too hot to handle.

Rick Steves' Italy 2011 with map
Rick Steves' Italy 2011 with map

You have to have this book to travel in Italy.



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    • Life at DrTom's profile imageAUTHOR

      Life at DrTom's 

      8 years ago from Ithaca, NY

      Sarasota: we were there in August. Very hot then, but I can't imagine a bad time to go there. I suppose you would not go swimming in the winter there, but any other season should be great.

    • sarasota-florida profile image


      8 years ago from Sarasota Florida

      This is a great hub. I can not wait to visit the Amalfi Coast, especially Positano. What time of the year did you visit?

    • knell63 profile image


      9 years ago from Umbria, Italy

      Such a beautiful part of the world, I went there on holiday ten years ago and as a result emigrated to Italy as I found it so lovely. Great hub

    • Life at DrTom's profile imageAUTHOR

      Life at DrTom's 

      9 years ago from Ithaca, NY

      Looks like I received more votes than my worthy competitors in the HugNugget contest. Thanks to all who voted for this article on the Amalfi. Bon appetit!

    • vox vocis profile image


      9 years ago

      After my country, I love Italy best. Great pics! It´s obvious you had a great vacation!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Nice travel hub.

    • Juliette Morgan profile image

      Juliette Morgan 

      9 years ago

      I love Italy and did a 3 week tour, including the Amalfi Coast over 15 yrs ago and your hub brings back wonderful memories for me. Great hub thanks.

    • Cassidella profile image


      9 years ago

      Beautiful photos in a wonderful hub! Amalfi Coast looks like an awesome place to visit. Kudos on your Hubnugget nomination too!

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 

      9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      We took our two kids to this region 4 years ago and we all loved it. In fact my family comes from a region hear here, Campagnia, about 30mins inland. Would love to go back some day. Beautiful photos DrTom.

    • Life at DrTom's profile imageAUTHOR

      Life at DrTom's 

      9 years ago from Ithaca, NY

      Thanks Dr. K. Coming from you, that means a lot.

    • profile image

      Dr. K. Lysik 

      9 years ago

      Love your article, Dr. Tom!!! A seeming effortless mastery of the persuasive essay. I'm totally ready to book the trip.

    • profile image


      9 years ago from Chennai

      Pitch-perfect hub Dr. Tom

      Well, the fact of the matter is that the article is so luring, and I feel the seeds of inclination sprouting in me!


    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Wow, this looks like a great place to visit. My sister and I want to visit Italy. I will have to put this on the list of cities to see. Thanks so much for sharing your insight and congrats on being selected to the HubNuggets Wannabe contest. Best of luck to ya! :)

    • shazwellyn profile image


      9 years ago from Great Britain

      It looks absolutely wonderful! Yes, Italy is expensive - you should try Rome - mega bucks! Thanks for sharing :)

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      9 years ago

      Looks like you had a wonderful time. Your hub is very well done and makes one want to engage all of their senses and take the trip as well.

      Great pictures. Loved the caption under the last one "You tend to gain weight on a visit to Italy. Not sure why."

      Congratulations on your nomination, and good luck!

    • profile image

      Bruce Pena 

      9 years ago

      You lucky guy! The Amalfi coast is in my top 5 places I want to visit, looks like you had a nice stay. Congrats on the Hubnugget nom and good luck!

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 

      9 years ago

      I really, really enjoyed this hub. It's really nice to be able to get into the behind the scenes and get the feel and imagery of what a place is really like. Your hub took me there and I loved it. Now I just have to get there!

      Great Job, Congratulations on being nominated for a Hub Nugget and Welcome to HubPages.


    • rocknrodeogirl profile image


      9 years ago from The Columbia Gorge

      It sounds so beautiful!! I'm putting Amalfi on my places to visit list!! Great hub, and congratulations on your hubnugget nomination! Good luck! ;)

    • Life at DrTom's profile imageAUTHOR

      Life at DrTom's 

      9 years ago from Ithaca, NY

      ripplemaker: believe me, I'm working on it.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Romance on the beach! I like that lol This looks heavenly...a vacation to watch out for! Well the Amalfi captured the Hubnuggets Team attention and your hub has been nominated! Way to go! Go and see the Hubnuggets voting center where all the excitement is going sure to vote and promote your hub okay?

    • Life at DrTom's profile imageAUTHOR

      Life at DrTom's 

      9 years ago from Ithaca, NY

      Al, thanks. Reading it makes me want to go back.

    • Mystique1957 profile image


      9 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

      Wonderful Hub, DrTom...

      I have never visited Italy, and seeing this article of yours makes me crave for rushing there as I write! hahaha! Easier said than done! Congrats on your nomination! Thumbs up and Stumbled Upon! Best of luck!

      Warmest regards and infinite blessings,


    • Life at DrTom's profile imageAUTHOR

      Life at DrTom's 

      9 years ago from Ithaca, NY

      I guess this Hubnugget thing is a big deal around here, so I voted for myself today. I will be ruthless in my pursuit of victory.

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 

      9 years ago from Jaipur


      Nice hub, beautiful pictures. Hubnugget voting is on for you.

      Thanks and thumbs up!

      Jyoti Kothari

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      It looks like a fantastic place to visit even if you return home slightly pudgier. Good hub.

    • Life at DrTom's profile imageAUTHOR

      Life at DrTom's 

      9 years ago from Ithaca, NY

      It is very easy to do, reddog.

    • reddog1027 profile image


      9 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I think I have fallen in love with the Italy you describe.


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