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South Italy's Amalfi Coast
        General

South Italy is comprised of the regions of Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria and Apulia, and the two main islands of Sicily and Sardegna. In contrast to some of Italy 's more crowded cities, the South offers visitors peace and tranquility, open sky and unforgettable coastal views. Among the many tourist draws of the South are its geographical marvels, including its magnificent beaches, smouldering volcanoes, natural springs and beautiful lakes. The south also has much to offer in terms of archaeological sites and history. The region of Campania is said to hold Europe's most dense concentration of ancient ruins.

Many parts of South Italy enjoy a semi-tropical climate, abundant with blooming flowers and citrus fruits, while other parts are dominated by mountains and experience cold, sometimes snowy, winters. The cuisines of the southern regions are diverse, but in general, tend to be simpler, heartier and more peasant-like than the cuisines of some of the central and northern regions. Sorrento, famous for its production of Limoncello (a lemon liqueur), and Positano, with its posh boutiques, steep windy streets and vibrant colours, are popular coastal towns that are unlike any other towns in the world.

The high tourist season of South Italy extends from June to the end of September. The There is still plenty of life during the low tourist season; however, bus and ferry services may be reduced. October and November are ideal months to visit for those seeking to avoid peak tourist periods.

        Getting Around

From Rome or other areas of Italy, you can take a Eurostar train to Naples or to Salerno. For info on timetables and prices, visit the Trenitalia website.

From Salerno you can take the SITA bus to Amalfi, and then transfer to a bus connecting to villages and towns further down the coast. The public transport along the coast is inexpensive and quite efficient. A company called SITA provides a bus services along the Amalfi Coast, from Salerno to Amalfi, Amalfi to Sorrento, and from Amalfi to Ravello. Smaller, individually operated bus lines provide public transport within towns.

From Naples you can take the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento. The Circumvesuviana is a secondary line that connects all of the towns between the Naples central station and Sorrento. For timetables go to: www.vesuviana.it. From Sorrento, you can take a SITA bus to Amalfi via Positano.

Ferries and Hydrofoils - From May through October ferry and hydrofoil services connect the major coastal centres of Maiori, Minori, Amalfi and Positano to Salerno and Capri. These services are offered by SNAV, Caremar, Medmar and Alilauro. Timetables are changed often, so it is best to ask for information upon arrival in Naples. Companies often distribute leaflets with up-to-date schedules in the region.

        Path of the Gods

The coastal path of Sentiero degli Dei, or "Path of the Gods", is a network of ancient paths covering the amalfi coastal region. With terrain to suit all ability levels, anyone can enjoy the breath-taking views of one of the world's most beautiful coastlines, be enchanted by hillside villages and discover remote monasteries. From the hill of St. Angelo, you can see from praiano to the island of Capri and beyond. The path is adorned with local flora, and it is not uncommon to see foxes and other regional fauna.

 

Landscapes of Amalfi and the Sorrento Coast, by Julian Tippett, contains over 70 walking routes beginning from amalfi villages and towns. This guide book can be purchased online through amazon.co.uk

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