|POMPEII AND THE AMALFI COAST|
|If you want to discover what life must have been like in Rome over 2.000 years ago, Pompeii is the place to visit. This ancient Roman city was destroyed and buried by the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius in 79 A.D.. Although this tragic event ended the lives of 20,000 Pompeian residents, the ash that buried the town served as a sort of mummification for the entire city; Archeological excavations are open to the public between the hours of 08:30 and 18:00 everyday of the week at a cost of Euro 10,00 per person. Please note that since Pompeii is a popular area for tourists, we strongly recommend being cautious of your belongings!
From Pompeii we drive along the breathtaking Amalfi Coast to Positano and, descending the winding one-way road, bypassing many local restaurants, we get to the heart of the town - the busy central Piazza dei Mulini that is connected to a narrow downhill path and a few flights of steps that lead to the seafront. All streets leading to the waterfront are for pedestrians only so we must drop you off at the Piazza dei Mulini. The only way to reach restaurants situated on the beach that serve fish that have been caught the same morning, such as La Cambusa and Chez Black, is to go by foot! These streets also lead to the cathedral, shops selling ceramics, lemons, shoes and "Positano fashion" clothing. Positano is alive at night as well as during the day with exotic nightclubs such as "Music on the Rocks" and various bars and cafés that remain open until the sun begins to rise over the horizon. There is a short walk back uphill in order to return to the car.
The coastal road continues through the fishing villages of Praiano, Furore and Conca dei Marini, and continues until it reaches a busy square of Amalfi situated upon the seafront - the port and a long stretch pebbled beach.
In front of the port of Amalfi is the one and only bus station along the coast. Behind this square is where the main shopping street of Amalfi commences, that terminates at the furthest and highest point of the town. Along this pedestrian street are various bars and cafés, not to mention the many shops selling limoncello, casual clothing, swimwear, gifts, basic groceries, and of course, ceramics. However, if one would like to see more than just shops, Amalfi has some interesting sights to explore: the most spectacular cathedral along the coast, the paper factory and its museum. There are also some highly recommended local restaurants, such as Lido Azzuro, Ciccio Cielo Mare e Terra or Il Pesce d'oro, that serve only local cuisine (in particular, fish), otherwise, for the more refined type, there is the restaurant La Caravella that holds one Michelin star.
A slow uphill drive along a very narrow road passing several vineries and olive factories etc, leads to Ravello, a rural village unspoilt by tourism, perched on top of the mountain cliff situated above Amalfi and Minori. Ravello, being famous for its breath-taking views, natural beauty and ancient monuments are presented at their best in the gardens of Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo. In high season, these gardens are rich in sweet secants of blooming flowers, shadows of flora and perfume of lemons. Apart from the main cathedral, also situated in the square, and a history museum constructed in the basement of the cathedral, there are many other churches to visit given that there used to be a total of over 13 churches in the village. Along the narrow arcade of Via Roma one will find a few small boutiques, and scattered around the vicinity are some traditional local restaurants with a cuisine quite different from those close to the sea; Cumpà Cosimo, Da Salvatore, Villa Maria, Villa Amore, etc, are all exceptional.
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