Show Info 3/14/14 Let's Travel Down the Amalfi Coast!

Show Info :

The Amalfi Coast, or Costiera Amalfitana in Italian, is a stretch of coastline on thesouthern side of the Sorrentine Peninsula of Italy in the Province of Salerno, extending from Positano in the west to Vietri sul Mare in the east. Amalfi is of course, as the name suggests, the main town of the coast and today an important tourist destination together with other towns such as Ravello and Positano.

The Amalfi Coast is made of thirteen towns along the road that goes from the Gulf of Salerno to that of Naples. It is characterized by creeks, coves and cliffs on the sea, a variegated and breathtaking landscape enchanting all the visitors coming to visit all its towns, Praiano, Positano, Vietri sul Mare - ceramic-art wherever you turn; Cetara - a fishing town; Maiori and Minori -elegant towns with popular beach areas; Atrani - amazing cliffs and cays; Amalfi - a friendly little town with a gloriou past; Praiano - a small fishing town; Positano - a picturesque perfect coastline town; Ravello - the home of the famous music festivals; Scala - a town with a majestic view; Tramonti - the town between the mountains, and many others.

Each of these towns has its own traditions, and natural and artitsic treasures made of villas, gardens, sea, beaches, lemons yards, flavours and scents. Amalfi Coast is chosen by tourists from all over the world. Amalfi Coast is a very good choice thanks to its facilities: hotels, residences, B&B, villas. Managers and owners of all these facilities are very friendly and the tourist feels at ease, at home.

 

 

Naples, Napoli in Italian, is the third most-populated city in Italy and the biggest city in Southern Italy. Its name comes from the Greek Neapolis meaning new city. Its close proximity to many interesting sites, such as Pompeii and the Bay of Naples, makes it a good base for exploring the area. Naples is a lively and vibrant city, full of wonderful historical and artistic treasures and narrow, winding streets with small shops, making it worth at least a few days visit.

Naples is in the region of Campania in Southern Italy, about 2-hours south of Rome. It sits on the coast on the northern edge of the Bay of Naples, one of the most beautiful bays in Italy. Its harbor is the most important port in Southern Italy.

Naples Food Specialties:Pizza, one of Italy's most famous foods, originated in Naples and pizza is taken very seriously here. You'll find lots of great pizza places but be sure you look for one with a wood-burning oven such as Da Michele (mick caylee) only serves marinara & margarita ! Eggplant Parmesan originated in Naples and spaghetti also became popular in Naples, try it with clams or mussels. Seafood is abundant and very good in Naples. Check out my favorite Da Michele http://damichele.net/?lang=en


Naples Festivals: Naples has one of the best New Year's Eve fireworks displays in Italy. During Christmas, hundreds of Creches or nativity scenes decorate the city and the street Via San Gregorio Armeno ) in central Naples is filled with displays and stalls selling Nativity scenes. On Easter, there are many decorations and a big parade. Two huge religious festivals are held in September, the Festa di Piedigrotta on the 7th and San Gennaro on the 19th. During the summer, there are music festivals, too.

·         The National Archaeological Museum of Naples has one of the world's best collections of Greek and Roman antiquities, including mosaics, sculptures, gems, glass and silver, and a collection of Roman erotica from Pompeii. Many of the objects come from excavations at Pompeii and other nearby archaeological sites.

Sanservo Chapel - http://www.museosansevero.it/inglese/cappellasansevero/cristovelato.html

     

The Veiled Christ: the statue
Giuseppe Sanmartino, 1753

Placed at the centre of the nave of the Sansevero Chapel, the Veiled Christ is one of the most famous and impressive works of art in the world. It was the Prince’s wish that the statue be made by Antonio Corradini, who had already done Modesty for him. However, Corradini died in 1752 and only managed to make a terracotta scale model of the Christ, which is now preserved in the Museo di San Martino.

So Raimondo di Sangro appointed a young Neapolitan artist, Giuseppe Sanmartino, to make “a life-sized marble statue, representing Our Lord Jesus Christ dead, and covered in a transparent shroud carved from the same block as the statue”.

Sanmartino paid little heed to the previous scale model made by the Venetian sculptor. Both in Modesty, and in the Veiled Christ, the original stylistic message is in the veil, but Sanmartino’s late baroque feeling and sentiment permeate the shroud with a movement and a meaning far removed from Corradini’s rules. The modern sensitivity of the artist sculpts and divests the lifeless body of its flesh, which the soft shroud mercifully covers, on which the tormented, writhing rhythms of the folds of the veil engrave deep suffering, almost as if the compassionate covering made the poor limbs still more naked and exposed, and the lines of the tortured body even more inexorable and precise.

The swollen vein still pulsating on the forehead, the wounds of the nails on the feet and on the thin hands, and the sunken side finally relaxed in the freedom of death are a sign of an intense search which has no time for preciosity or scholastic canons, even when the sculptor meticulously “embroiders” the edges of the shroud or focuses on the instruments of the Passion placed at the feet of Christ. Sanmartino’s art here becomes a dramatic evocation, that turns the suffering of Christ into the symbol of the destiny and redemption of all humanity.

 is the center of modern Naples. San Francesco di Paola, on the piazza, is a huge domed church. Palazzo Reale, the Royal Palace, is across the square (closed Wednesdays). Inside you can visit the restored rooms and royal apartments and visit the roof garden where there are good views of the bay.

·         Spaccanapoli, or Via San Biagio, is the main street that divides Naples and is the heart of the historic center. Teeming with people, the street holds many interesting churches, shops, and other buildings. Originally the heart of the Greek and Roman city, the Spaccanapoli district is a string of narrow, winding streets and is mainly a pedestrian zone so its a fun place to wander around. 

·         Via San Gregorio Armeno, off Via San Biagio, is famous for its nativity workshops and stores. Via dei Tribunali, another street in old Naples, has arcades dating back more than 1000 years.

·         Santa Chiara Church is part of a large complex that includes a monastery with beautiful cloisters decorated with majolica tiles and frescoes and an interesting archaeological museum. 

·         The Duomo is a 13th century Gothic cathedral dedicated to Naple's patron saint, San Gennaro. A huge festival is held when a vial of his blood is taken out of its storage place in hopes that it will liquefy. On one side of the duomo is the 4th century Basilica Santa Restituta (the oldest church in Naples) with columns believed to be from the Temple of Apollo, good ceiling frescoes, and archaeological remains from the Greeks to the middle ages. The 5th century baptistery has good 14th century Byzantine-style mosaics. 

·         San Lorenzo Maggiore is a 13th century medieval church with extensive Greek and Roman remains underneath (closed Mondays). 

·         Piazza del Mercato has probably been a market square since Roman times.

·         Via Toledo, a pedestrian street, is one of the main business and shopping streets.

·         Castel dell'Ovo, the oldest castle in Naples, sits in a prominent position on the harbor and is used for exhibitions and concerts.

·         Castel Nuovo, a huge castle erected in 1279-1282, houses the Civic Museum (closed Sundays). Inside are 14th-15th century frescoes and paintings, silver, and bronzes from the 15th century to present.

·         Teatro San Carlo, known for its perfect acoustics, is the best place to hear opera in southern Italy. Opened in 1737, it's the world's oldest surviving opera house although it was rebuilt in 1816 after a fire.

·         The Capodimonte Museum and Park, built as King Charles III's hunting lodge, houses one of Italy's richest museums with a great picture gallery and collection of majolica and porcelain. You can wander around the royal apartments and the surrounding park, too.

·         Museum and Monastery of San Martino, on the Vomero Hill, has a famous display of Neopolitan nativity scenes, beautiful cloisters and gardens, frescoes and mosaics, artwork, and fantastic views.

·         Funiculare, inclined railways, take you up the hill to the Vomero district where you'll find fabulous views, Castel Sant'Elmo, and Certosa and Museum of San Martino. Funiculare Centrale, one of the longest in the world, leaves from Via Toledo by Galleria Umberto. The other two are Funiculare di Chiaia and Funiculare di Montesanto.

·   The Orto Botanico, botanical garden, is one of the best in Italy.

·   Naples University, founded in 1224, is one of Europe's oldest universities.

 

 

·  ...Pompei....

·  Imagine, at dawn on August 25, 79 A.D., a violent explosion of toxic gases and burning cinders from an eruption that had started a day earlier caused time to come to a stop at Pompeii. People were covered in ash doing whatever they could to survive. Frescoes were left undone, the paints still in their pots. The ash and cinders covered and preserved the scene exactly as it was at that moment. As tragic as it was, the information preserved beneath the rubble was as pristine as it gets for a 2000 year old site.

·         Excavations at Pompei -Excavations were begun all the way back in 1748 by Carlo Borbone. Seeking fame, he dug at random for treasures, much like a "clandestino" might do today. (A clandestino is one who does the work clandestinely for his own gain, like a grave robber and It wasn't until the appointment of Guiseppe Fiorelli in 1861 that a systematic excavation was undertaken. Fiorelli was responsible for pioneering the technique of making plaster casts of the victims of the eruption of the type you'll see around the site if you go.

·         Pompeii was a haven for many wealthy Romans, and so the rich remains hold a certain fascination for us today. Many of the frescos still seem fresh, and the restored mosaic floors are spectacular. It's hard to believe, as we extrapolate backwards from the technology explosion we've experienced over the short period of our lifetimes, that over two millennia ago people were living in houses and apartments of a type that we wouldn't mind living in today. (Well, as long as you don't mind the lack of private flush toilets I mean.)

·         Le Lune di Pompeii, the moons of Pompeii, is a special sound and light night tour given on weekends from May through October. The visit starts at the amphitheater gate and lasts about 70 minutes. 

·         Excavations continue to this day.

The excavations at Pompeii are pretty extensive. You may not see everything in a day.

 

·  Sorrento is great home base for touring naples & the amalfi coast  

From Sorrento you can visit other towns along the Amalfi Coast on the narrow but very scenic Amalfi Drive. Take a bus or taxi. Or take a boat ride along the coast if you prefer to travel by water. It's also easy to visit Pompeii, Vesuvius, and other Bay of Naples attractions by train from Sorrento

 Shopping: Pictures in inlaid wood is a centuries old local craft and you'll find them in many shops. Limoncello, the popular lemon liqueur is produced and sold here. ( My company La Bella Vita Cosmetico has a bath & body product lined called Limoncello di Sorrento coming out soon! If you love Limoncello you will love it!)

 Sorrento Hotels: Sorrento has more hotels than the other Amalfi Coast towns

 My Suggestion: Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittorio

http://www.exvitt.it/sorrento-hotel.html

The Romans, with their unfailing eye for beauty, were among the first to appreciate the spectacular scenery and temperate climate of Surrentum, perched on the cliffs of the Sorrento Peninsula in an area that also lies along the famous coast road known as the "Amalfitana".One of Italy’s leading Grand Hotels, the EXCELSIOR VITTORIA is located in Sorrento, the place where it is said that the Roman Emperor Augustus had a beautiful villa with magnificent views of Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples.The Hotel dates back to 1834, a time when Italy was not yet a unified country. From the day it opened the establishment has been owned and run by the Fiorentino family, one of the few founding hotelier families remaining in Italy today.
The long history of the EXCELSIOR VITTORIA is reflected in the unique fin-de-siècle style of the building, which still retains its period of splendour. The interiors are tastefully decorated and contain original antique furniture including beautiful pieces, crafted locally, with inlaid decoration.
The Hotel and its terraces, famous for their breathtaking views over the Bay of Naples, have played host to many celebrities and discerning travellers including Kings and Queens, Artists (Richard Wagner, Enrico Caruso, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren) and other notable personalities attracted to Sorrento and the surrounding area.
Click for more pictures.

Five acres of private garden with citrus and olive trees also contribute to make the EXCELSIOR VITTORIA a unique hotel. There is a large swimming pool in the grounds, with an orange grove nearby, where guests can bathe and relax in the Mediterranean sun.

From the main terrace, a private lift descends directly to the pier in the harbour below, where sight-seers can easily hire a motor boat for an excursion along the beautiful coastline of the peninsula, or take a trip to Capri, Naples and Ischia on one of the many jet boat and hydrofoil services, which operate daily.

 

 

 

 

 

What Do in Sorrento:

Via San Cesareo is the main street of the old town. Here's where to go for the lively evening passegiata. Wander around the narrow streets of the old town.

Sedile Dominova is one of the most impressive buildings. Built in 1349, it has a 16th century trompe l'oeil cupola.

·         Church of San Francesco, in piazza San Francesco, is next to a 14th century arched cloister. In summer there are free art exhibits and occassional concerts.

·         Public gardens, along the clifftops, offer great views of the sea and Vesuvius in the distance. From the gardens you can take a lift down to the seaside.

·         Stabilimenti, piers, along the sea have beach and lounge chairs for rent. There are no real beaches so this is as close as you'll get. There are several lifts from town that take you down to the sea or back up.

·         Museo Bottega della Tarsialignea, the woodcarving museum and workshop, is open in the mornings.

 

La Tonnerella Restaurant - Sorrento
The renewed restaurant has got one big dining-room and a wide terrace on the sea that you can use to relish the refined and typical sirene land's dish as: Scialatielli with Lobsters, Risotto with lobster's and finocchietti, Orata with Sorrento's citrus fruits, shrimps in lemon leaf, calamari au gratin, lemon cake. The taste of the sea and the citruses mixed to the scent of the flowers that color rooms, the terraces and the garden

The Museum Caruso Restaurant, placed in the historical center of Sorrento, over that to be known for its refined and delicious kitchen, it distinguishes for its prerogative to be a small "museum/temple" devoted to the great tenor Enrico Caruso. The owner Paolo Esposito, his great estimator, thanks to the help of the historian Guido D'Onofrio, another carusiano DOC, has picked up numerous and interesting elements that recall the best of the life and the career of the great tenor. These objects together with the music of the famous tenor that spreads for the rooms, creates a very suggestive and particular scenery. Has 1700 labels in its wine collection.

 

Positano – 

Positano is at the center of the famous Amalfi Coast . Just across from the town are Le Galli islands, three islets believed to be the residence of the mythical Sirens from Homer's Odyssey. The best way to get around is by foot as most of the town is a pedestrian zone. Winding stairs, called the Thousand Steps, and the main street lead down through town to the beach. There's a bus along the one main street that you can take up or down the hill.

Where to stay : The Style of Le Sirenuse hotel is very unique. The Sersale family lives and entertains in the hotel and keeps it very much still as it were their private home. The architecture is Moorish baroque, typical of the area, with white washed walls, arched and vaulted ceilings and hand made tiles on the floors. Old paintings and prints are hanging on the walls and antiques and period furniture are decorating the many living rooms and all the rooms. Has a spa and restaurant on site and has an amazing infinity pool overlooking the beautiful ocean. If you go to the hotels website you can link on to their webcam and see the beautiful positano village. http://www.sirenuse.it/en/76/webcam.aspx 

Restuarants:

La Sponda restaurant in Le Sirenuse is lit, at dinner, by four hundred candles that create an unforgettable atmosphere. The cuisine is based on local, fresh ingredients and is inspired by the Mediterranean tradition.

Restaurant and B&B "La Tagliata" in Montepertuso – Positano http://www.latagliata.com/  

The new property has been built on 3 terraces respecting the environment in it is situated.On terrace are organic vegetable gardens allowing our guests to see and pick our home produce that is also used in the restaurants kitchen.

The first terrace is named: Punta Belvedere. This terrace can be used for private use. On arrival our guests can enjoy a "welcome" drink and hor d'oevres served to them whilst enjoying the panoramic view of Positano, the Galli isles and Capri below.

Either using the lift / elevator or the scenic pathway down to the next to the second terrace: L'Ulivella / Bougainville both terraces have spectacular view where the clients can dine outdoors. Both terraces can be reserved for private use only.

The third terrace: A Cas e Luigg c'a fatic. This terrace has both indoor and outdoor dining areas and is where the kitchen, bar and stock room are situated. From the terrace our guests can see the vineyards, organic vegetable garden below them and breathtaking view in front of them. Live music is also provided on selected evenings.

The lift / elevator on the third terrace opens up into La Cantina (the cellar). The cellar still retaining the exposed rock in which it was constructed.

Positano Shopping: Positano has many high-end fashion boutiques and Moda Positano is a recognized fashion label. It's also a great place to buy sandals and footwear. Shoemakers can make shoes on request while you wait. Limoncello, a lemon alcoholic drink, is popular all over the Amalfi Coast. As there are many lemon trees on the Amalfi Coast, you'll find lots of things with lemons, including pottery decorated with lemons.

Positano Attractions: Swimming in the crystal clear waters and catching some sun on the beaches, both pebble and sand, are tops on the Positano to do list. - By the seaside, you can shop or have a fantastic seafood meal along the Spiaggia Grande.- Stroll along Via Cristoforo Colombo and enjoy the shops, luxury hotels, cafes, and fantastic views. The Scalinatella connects Punta Reginella on the shore with the highest part of Positano. The Grotta la Porta cave where prehistoric remains were found is near Positano. there are good hiking opportunities from Positano, both along the coast and inland.

The Church of Santa Maria Assunta has a beautiful majolica dome, visible from many places. Inside is an icon of the Black Madonna, painted in the 13th century in Byzantine style. Positano has many beautiful villas and palatial buildings and eight defense towers built in the 16th century.

 

AMALFI 

Amalfi is a charming, peaceful resort town on the scenic Amalfi Coast of Italy. It was once one of the four powerful Maritime Republics and has much historic interest. Narrow alleyways wind through the town up the slopes between the sea and mountains. Excellent examples of medieval architecture with Moorish influence include its ninth century cathedral, Duomo di Sant' Andrea and the Cloister of Paradise, Chiostro del Paradiso. Besides history and beauty, the town is noted for its good beaches and bathing establishments, historic resorts and hotels, lemons, and handmade paper.

Hotel:Hotel Santa Caternia  http://www.hotelsantacaterina.it/ late 19th century liberty style villa immersed in the beautiful scenery of the Amalfi Coast, an elegant seaside residence surrounded by the perennial blue of the Mediterranean sea and sky, by luscious bougainvillea and by lovingly cultivated olive groves and fruit orchards. This is Hotel Santa Caterina of Amalfi, a special place to experience the finest of Italian hospitality and lasting sensations of wellbeing .

Shopping : NOCINO is another of the region's typical liqueurs, which is certain to bring a smile to the faces of your friends and relations. And why not take them a bag of excellent walnuts, which are plentiful in these parts. As well as these gastronomical specialties, in Amalfi handmade silver jewelry, and embroidered cameos and tablecloths.

Restaurant:  Recipient of a string of prestigious culinary awards and listed in all of the most authoritative restaurant guides: the fame of Restaurant Santa Caterina's Mediterranean cuisine has spread far beyond national boundaries. A wine list featuring all of the most prestigious labels and an elegant dining room add further to the appeal of Hotel Santa Caterina's main restaurant.

·         Beaches - Amalfi's beaches are some of the best on the coast and there are several top rate bathing establishments that rent beach chairs, umbrellas, and changing rooms. The water is crystal clear and great for swimming, scuba diving, or boating.

·         Duomo di Sant' Andrea and Cloister of Paradise - The duomo is reached by an impressive staircase of 62 steep steps leading up from the main piazza. Mosaics decorate the exterior of the church. It has impressive bronze doors made in 1066. Inside, the ninth century basilica has romanesque columns and frescoes but the duomo itself is mainly an 18th century baroque restoration although you can still see a lot of Arab-Norman influence. The duomo houses the richly decorated Crypt of St. Andrew. There's also a diocesan museum. The Cloister of Paradise, Chiostro del Paradiso, built in 1266, is a treasure of medieval architecture.

·         Palazzo Morelli - Inside the palazzo is the Civic Museum. The Tavola Amalfitana, a book of maritime lawas that was adopted around the Mediterranean, was written in Amalfi in the tenth century and is housed in the museum.

·         Paper Museum - At the top of town is the Paper Museum highlighting the history of paper making.

·         Valley of the Mills - near the Paper Museum, the valley is set along a stream bed between the cliffs. There are mills that brought water to the paper workshops and some are still in operation. Continuing beyond the town, walks in the steep wooded hills take in waterfalls, springs, and occassional sea views.

·         Shopping - Limoncello di Amalfi, a lemon liquor, is one of Amalfi's top products and can be found in local stores. High quality handmade paper from Amalfi has been famous for centuries and is even used in the Vatican. Amatruda is the oldest paper manufacturer in Europe. Handmade paper can be found in shops here.

·         Festivals - Every four years the Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics with historic vessels is held in Amalfi. The next time will be in June, 2012. Amalfi is also a good place for Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations.

 

 

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