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Reasons to visit the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy's most scenic stretches of coastline and one of the top places to visit in Italy. A string of picturesque towns perched on cliffs runs along the coast, and the coast road itself is regarded as one of the most spectacular anywhere in the world.

A visit to the Amalfi Coast needs to be taken slowly; to rush it would be to miss so much. Positano is the impossibly picturesque town at the heart of it all, a cluster of multi-hued buildings tumbling down the mountainside to the beach at its foot. Less glitzy than Positano, the towns of Ravello and Praiano will appeal to visitors who appreciate the most glorious views.

In summer, life revolves around the beach, of which there are so many, so sandy, some pebbly and some rocky. They range from the super-refined with carefully placed rows of colour-coded sunbeds to hidden coves where the only facilities are the sand, the sea and the view. For a different view of the coastline, visitors can take a boat trip along the coast, or even travel over to the Isle of Capri that stands just off the tip of the Amalfi Peninsula.

As well as the glamorous jet-set lifestyle, Capri has the famous Blue Grotto. Alternatively stick to the mainland and visit the emerald green Grotta dello Smeraldo. You can enter the cave from above via a lift, but the nicest way is to take a boat trip from Positano or Amalfi.

The higher you climb in this part of the world (and you can get pretty high!), the more breathtaking the views. The peninsula is criss-crossed by by winding footpaths that make this a paradise for walkers, Most famous is the Path of the Gods, that follows the mountain ridge from Bomerano to Nocelle.

Beyond the strict confines of the Amalfi Coast, there are more treasures in store nearby. Just north of the peninsula we come to the famous volcano of Mount Vesuvius. A visit here naturally leads to the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum. City lovers can continue just a little further along the Bay of Naples to Naples itself, still an easy day trip from Amalfi.