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Italy's Amalfi Coast - UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Amalfi Coast is so impressive and unique that it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover all that this charming stretch of coastline has to offer during a yacht charter with Burgess

The coast is studded with small coves and towns, linked by the winding cliff-edge road
The coast is studded with small coves and towns, linked by the winding cliff-edge road

Known for its unique landscape, natural beauty and historical culture, the Amalfi Coast is the Mediterranean at its finest. The dramatic cliffs stretch down to the Tyrrhenian Sea and cover almost 34 miles. Blending centuries of artistic and architectural accomplishments within one of nature’s most perfect settings, the breathtaking combination balances human settlements with natural beauty to create a unique cruising ground.

How did Amalfi make the list?

The entire Amalfi Coast from Sorrento to Amalfi has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both its topographical characteristics and its important cultural history. The town of Amalfi itself held power as a maritime republic from the 1st-4th century, and dominated commerce in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its trading influence was felt throughout the Orient and the West, and the impact of the various civilisations that have graced its shores are evident in both the architecture and cuisine.  

Centuries of trade has given Amalfi town its unique colour
Centuries of trade has given Amalfi town its unique colour

Why you should visit...

The yachting set comes to experience the legendary Amalfi scene
The yachting set comes to experience the legendary Amalfi scene

The Amalfi Coast provides the perfect backdrop to a truly indulgent charter. Follow in the wake of ancient travellers, be it the Romans, Greeks, Saracens and Arabs coming for its abundant natural resources, or famous artists and the European elite on their Grand Tour coming to enjoy the Mediterranean climate. Revel in the beauty, glorious culture, artistic heritage and vibrant culinary scene that continue to make the Amalfi a firm favourite for a summer yacht charter.

Where to step ashore along the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast offers up a treasure trove of ancient towns and villages strung together by a winding coast road, where every hairpin bend reveals another jaw-dropping vista. Sorrento is the official starting point of the Amalfi Coast, extending from the Gulf of Salerno and including the towns of Positano to Ravello, all the way to Amalfi. Suspended between the water and the slopes of the Lattari Mountains, these ancient towns provide the romantic views and charming medieval passageways that have inspired some of the great figures of classicial music and literature across the centuries. Inland the ancient city of Pompeii still remains awe inspiring, while further along lies the dormant yet still formidable Mount Vesuvius. Across the Gulf of Salerno, the charming town of Positano and off-lying Li Galli archipelago also offer a stunning anchorage.

Start your Amalfi Coast cruise in stunning Sorrento
Start your Amalfi Coast cruise in stunning Sorrento

Sorrento

The iconic cliff face of Sorrento sits on a plateau overlooking the sparkling Bay of Naples, with majestic Mount Vesuvius in the background. Here you will find winding cobblestoned streets lined with street vendors and packed with tourists. Sitting at the centre of the town, Piazza Tasso is full of life, and a great place to grab a coffee and watch the world go by as the locals bustle about their daily chores. To escape the hubbub of the crowds though, head to the cliff-top terraced walkways of the Museo Correale di Terranova for wraparound views of the bay, perhaps taking a detour for a refreshment or two on the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria’s famous terrace.

Sit in the piazza, order a coffee and enjoy the bustle
Sit in the piazza, order a coffee and enjoy the bustle

Pompeii and Vesuvius

Venture inland to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the ancient city of Pompeii. Buried under tiny stones and ash from Vesuvius in AD79, excavation of this well-preserved city began in the mid-18th century. Much of our knowledge of the Romans and their way of life comes from what we have learned from the crushed city, where ancient buildings and roads provide a complete picture of an ancient Roman city. Now the pathways are filled with tourists, so time your visit right.

Alternatively, venture to the even better preserved town of Herculaneum. Part of the same UNESCO World Heritage area, the same eruption completely engulfed the smaller seaside town, and many of the public buildings and public baths remain intact. Some of the wealthiest citizens of the early Roman Empire had villas in the surrounding countryside, many of which were also hit in the eruption. A handful of these are well-preserved and provide a vivid impression of the opulent lifestyle their inhabitants led. 

Positano

Cruise across the Gulf of Salerno to the colourful town of Positano. During the 1950s Dolce Vita era, the town rivalled the nearby island of Capri for glamour and sophistication, and is still a favourite for the superyacht set.

For those looking to be part of the action while avoiding the crowds, taking the tender ashore to dine at some of the fine waterside restaurants for long, lazy lunches allows you to experience the laid-back lifestyle.

Nestled in the cliffs is Marina Grande Beach at the heart of Positano
Nestled in the cliffs is Marina Grande Beach at the heart of Positano

Unwind on Marina Grande Beach

Step from beach to bar in Positano
Step from beach to bar in Positano

The buzz of Positano centres around the Marina Grande, a golden beach that sits at the footstep of Positano, with restaurants and bars lining the curve of sand.

Hike the Path of the Gods

See the Amalfi Coast from a different perspective with a hike along the Path of the Gods (Sentiero Degli Dei). Often referred to as one of the most beautiful hiking trails in all of Italy, the trail that connects Positano to Agerola sits at almost 500m (164ft) above sea level and requires a head for heights, but the views over the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea below are well worth the climb.

Stop to admire the view - and rest your legs!
Stop to admire the view - and rest your legs!

Amalfi

One of the most historic towns along the coast that bears its name, Amalfi was once a major seaport, home to wealthy Italian merchants. As the capital of a powerful maritime republic it rivalled cities like Pisa, Genoa and Venice. Amalfi’s mariners are credited as the first in Europe to have used a magnetic compass for navigation.

Much of the city was destroyed by a tsunami in 1343, after which it was rebuilt as a small fishing town, no larger in size than neighbouring Ravello or Positano - and maritime power shifted to nearby Naples. Today it attracts the waterborne of a different stripe, who come to visit its Duomo and pretty central square.

Once a major port, Amalfi is now a fishing village
Once a major port, Amalfi is now a fishing village

Explore the Piazza del Duomo

The Duomo is home to religious relics
The Duomo is home to religious relics

The Piazza del Duomo is located at the heart of Amalfi, an ancient square clustered with outdoor cafes and boutiques. Dominating the central Piazza, the Amalfi Duomo, also known as St. Andrew’s Cathedral, is full of interesting relics that date back as far as the early 1200s. Today a 9th century church sits alongside the cathedral, which was built in the early 13th century as a resting place for the relics of St. Andrew the Apostle, the patron Saint of Amalfi. A flight of stairs sweeps from Piazza del Duomo to the immense cathedral, whose façade overlooks the stunning coastline below. With its Roman-Moorish exterior and stunning Baroque interior, it is well worth stepping inside to explore. 

Journey to the Emerald Grotto

Just a short tender ride from Amalfi, the Emerald Grotto (Grotto della Smeraldo) is the stuff of legends. It had mythical status for centuries until a fisherman accidently came across the cave in 1932 and discovered its location. The karst cave is filled with seawater which, when hit by sunlight, becomes tinged with an ethereal emerald colour that reflects up the cave walls.

Take a tender ride to see the Emerald Grotto in style
Take a tender ride to see the Emerald Grotto in style

Ravello

The hilltop town of Ravello is as picturesque as they come. There are no beaches but its villa estate gardens more than make up for it, some have even been the setting of inspiration for some of the world’s greatest writers and artists over the centuries, including D.H. Lawrence.

Hilltop Ravello is ideal for a romantic evening stroll and dinner
Hilltop Ravello is ideal for a romantic evening stroll and dinner

Stroll the gardens of Villas Rufolo and Cimbrone

The iconic Terrace of Infinity at Villa Cimbrone
The iconic Terrace of Infinity at Villa Cimbrone

The romantic gardens that surround the 13th century Villa Rufolo provided the inspiration behind Klingsor’s magic gardens in Richard Wagner’s opera Parsifal. Time it right and you might catch the festival in honour of Wagner which is staged on the beautiful premises during the summer season.

Ravello is also where you will find the medieval Villa Cimbrone and its wisteria-clad Terrace of Infinity. Said to be Italy’s most romantic gardens, the appropriately named Avenue of the Immensity leads down to the Terrace of Infinity lined with busts of emperors, below which is a sheer drop down to the sea.

Enjoy the taste of the Mediterranean

The Amalfi Coast is home to almost 30 Michelin-starred restaurants and numerous family-run trattorias serving delicious epicurean delights. Cuisine centres around traditional seafood and pasta dishes, with a Neapolitan twist.

The time-honoured Scialatielli ai Frutti di Mare is the most traditional of Amalfi dishes, comprising mussels, prawns, clams and sea truffles, seasoned with a handful of olives, capers and tomatoes. If you're looking for somewhere to eat, head to the Michelin-starred Rossellinis for the best Scialatielli in town.

Seafood, herbs and pasta - simple and perfectly delicious
Seafood, herbs and pasta - simple and perfectly delicious

Book your charter along the Amalfi Coast

Lying just across the Bay of Naples from the Amalfi Coast, the islands of Ischia and Capri are favourite stops for the superyacht set. Just ask your Burgess charter expert to incorporate the islands into your Amalfi Coast itinerary.

The trick is to walk to the other side of Capri and lunch with these uninterrupted views away from the tourist crowds
The trick is to walk to the other side of Capri and lunch with these uninterrupted views away from the tourist crowds

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