Amalfi Coast ★★

Amalfi from the pier, Amalfi Coast, Amalfi Coast, Italy (Photo by Neil Howard)
Amalfi from the pier

The fabled cliff-hugging seaside Amalfi Drive connecting posh Positano, historic Amalfi, and garden-blessed Ravello

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The Roman Forum (Photo by Bert Kaufmann)

A travel guide to the Eternal City

 
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A view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangiolo (Photo by Shane Lin)

A guide to help you plan the perfect vacation in Florence, Italy, hometown of the Renaissance

 
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The view from Campanile di San Marco (St Mark's bell tower) over the Grand Canal with Santa Maria della Salute (Photo by J. Philipp Krone)

A guide to La Serenissima, a city of palaces built on water

 
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Manarola, as seen from the trail (Photo © Reid Bramblett)

A traveler's guide to hiking the Cinque Terre (often misspelled—and mis-pronounced—"Cinque Terra"), a string of fishing villages on the Italian Riviera

 
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A view of Mt. Vesuvius from the Pompeii Forum (Photo by Valentin Popescu)

A travel guide to visiting Pompeii, the ancient Roman ghost town buried by Mt. Vesuvius

 
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The view of Capri from Monte Solaro (Photo by Mister No)

A travel guide to the most storied and gorgeous of the Italian islands

 
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Part of the Collezione Farnese

When they say "See Naples and die," they mean its beauty is so breathtaking it can stop your heart (not that you shouldn't still watch for pickpockets)

 
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Two of the ancient Greek temples in the archaeological park of Paestum (Photo by V alfano)

Three Greek temples sprouting from the middle of mozzarella country on Campania's Cliento Coast

 
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An ancient Roman street in the ruins of Herculaneum (Photo by Adam Burt)

The other ancient Roman ghost town that Mt. Vesuvius destroyed

 
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Piazza del Duomo with the mighty Gothic cathedral (Photo by Irene Grassi)

Milan is Italy's economic powerhouse, a bustling modern city of finance and industry, media empires and fashion houses, political lions and Michelin-starred restaurants. It also boasts an impressive cultural heritage of important art galleries and ancient churches

 
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The Baptistery, Duomo, and Campanile (Leaning Tower) on Pisa's Campo dei Miracoli (Photo by Alessio Facchin)

A vacation guide to Pisa—the Leaning Tower, the Field of Miracles, and more

 
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The Reggia di Caserta (Photo by Tango7174)

Italy's answer to Versailles is the ornate Palazzo Reale di Caserta, or Reggia, a sprawling royal palace just outside Naples

 
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Part of the Grande Cascate waterfall

Tivoli's magnificent villas and gardens that once belonged Roman Emperors or Renaissance princes make for an easy and rewarding sidetrip from Rome

 
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The amphitheater of Capua (Photo by BARBARA ZOLI)

An amazing ancient Roman amphitheater in the Campanian countryside

 
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Mt. Vesuvius from space (Photo by NASA/ISS Expedition 4 crew member)

How to visit the volcano that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum

 
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Pozzuoli and the Campi Flegrei with names. Photo taken from the ISS. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

The Roman ruins (Pozzuoli, Baia, Cuma), volcanic craters (Solfatara), and myth-soaked ancient sites (Cave of the Cumean Sybil and Lago di Averno) of the Campi Flegrei west of Naples

 
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Nemi, in the Castelli Romani of the Alban Hills (Photo by mout1234)

Just south of Rome, in the Alban Hills, lies a string of hilltowns, villages, and vineyards called the Castelli Romani

 
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The Lazio Lakes of Bracciano, Vico, and Bolsena north of the city make for an excellent sidetrip from Rome, Italy

 

Planning a trip to Italy

 

    Why Amalfi Coast?

    The Amalfi Coast is one of Europe's great scenic wonders. The impossibly winding Amalfi Drive road that follows it high up on the cliffside—often cantilevered over empty space—is a marvel of engineering and one of the world's best white-knuckle thrill rides outside of an amusement park.

    This 50km (30 mile) stretch of crinkly coastline between Sorrento and Salerno offers breathtaking scenery as you make your torturous, winding way from one gorgeous sea cove into the next, some craggy inlets so sheer and deep they almost qualify as mini-fjords.

    High, tree-swathed cliffs on your left plunge tumultuously into the azure waters below you on the right, the inlets and headlands punctuated by scraps of beaches, terraced groves of giant lemons, and some of the most inviting, relaxing, and beautiful small towns in Italy.

    The bougainvillea-crowned and jasmine-scented villages of the Amalfi Coast range from pricey resort town to old-fashioned fishing hamlet. Among the some dozen communities strung along the coast is a trinity of required stops: posh Positano, historic Amalfi, and garden-filled Ravello.

    In between you'll find everything from the Emerald Grotto sea cave to the ceramics of Vietri sul Mare. (For a quick overview of the drive itself—synopses of the major towns listed above and details on the bits you pass along the way in between them—check out the "Amalfi Drive" page.)

    Just offshore (and accessible by ferries from any Amalfi Coast town, Sorrento, or Naples) lies the fabled island of Capri, a hedonistic getaway resort since the time of the Caesars.

    Amalfi Coast trip planner

    Photo gallery
    • Amalfi from the pier, Amalfi Coast, Amalfi Coast (Photo by Neil Howard)
    • Sunset on Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Amalfi Coast (Photo by Benson Kua)
    • The eastern Amalfi Coast, Amalfi Coast, Amalfi Coast (Photo by Kevin Kimtis)
    • View of the Amalfi Coast from Ravello, Amalfi Coast, Amalfi Coast (Photo by Stephanie Chapman)
    Useful Italian phrases

    Useful Italian for rail travel

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
    ...train station la ferroviaria [or] la stazione lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah [or] lah stat-zee-YO-nay
    ticket un biglietto oon beel-YET-toh
    first class prima classe PREE-mah CLAH-say
    second class seconda classe say-CONE-dah CLAH-say
    one way solo andata SO-low ahn-DAHT-tah
    round trip (return) andata e ritorno ahn-DAH-tah ay ree-TOUR-noh
    Just the supplement Soltanto il supplemento soul-TAHN-toh eel sou-play-MEN-toh
    Just a seat reservation Soltanto una prenotazione soal-TAHN-toh oo-nah pray-no-tah-tsee-YOH-nay
    I have a Eurailpass Ho il Eurailpass oh eel YOO-rail-pahs
    sleeping couchette una cucetta oo-nah koo-CHET-tah
    berth in a sleeping car un posto nel vagone letto oon POH-sto nell vah-GOAN-nay LET-toh
    track binario been-AR-ree-yoh
    train treno TRE-no
    car (carriage) carozza ka-RO-tza
    seat posto PO-sto
    departures partenze par-TEN-zay
    arrivals arrivi ah-REE-vee
    information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay
    left luggage deposito bagagli day-PO-zee-toh ba-GAHL-yee
         
    punch your ticket timbrare il biglietto teem-BRA-ray eel beel-YET-toh
    Is this the right platform for the Rome train? E questo il binario per il treno à Roma? ay KWAY-sto eel been-AR-ree-yo pair eel TRE-no ah RO-ma? 
    delayed in retardo een ree-TAR-do
    strike sciopero SHO-pair-oh
         
    Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
    Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
    Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
    City / Train station names
    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Main station
    Rome Roma Termini
    Florence Firenze Santa Maria Novella
    Venice Venezia Santa Lucia
    Milan Milano Centrale
    Genoa Genova Porta Principe
    Naples Napoli Centrale
    Leghorn Livorno Centrale
    Turin Torino Porta Nuova

    Useful Italian for air travel

    English (inglese) Italian  (italiano)   Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    Where is... Dov'é doh-VAY
    the airport l'aeroporto LAHW-ro-port-oh
    the airplane l'aereo LAIR-reh-oh
    terminal terminal TEAR-me-nahl
    flight volo VOH-lo
    gate uscita d'imbarco oo-SHEE-tah deem-BARK-oh
    to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
    to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
    straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
    keep going straight sempre diritto SEM-pray dee-REE-toh
    departures partenze par-TEN-zay
    arrivals arrivi ah-REE-vee
    delayed in ritardo een ree-TAR-doh
    on time in orario een oh-RAH-ree-yo
    early in avanti een ah-VAHN-tee
    boarding imbarco eem-BARK-o
    connecting flight la coincidenza la ko-een-chee-DEN-za
    check-in accettazione ah-chet-ta-zee-YO-nee
    immigration controllo passaporti cone-TRO-lo pah-sa-POR-tee
    security check controllo di sicurezza kohn-TRO-lo dee see-kur-AY-tzah
    customs dogana do-GA-na
    shuttle la navetta lah na-VET-tah
    boarding pass carta d'imbarco kart-ta deem-BARK-o
    baggage claim ritiro bagagli ree-TEER-oh bah-GA-lyee
    carry-on luggage bagaglio à mano bah-GA-lyo ah MA_no
    checked luggage bagalio bah-GA-lyo

    Useful Italian for car travel

    English (inglese) Italian  (italiano)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    car automobile ow-toh-MO-bee-lay
    scooter/motorboke un motorino oon mo-tair-EE-no
    gas station stazione di servizio stah-zee-YO-nay dee sair-VEE-tzee-yo
    gas benzina ben-ZEE-nah
    diesel gasolio [or] diesel gah-ZOH-lee-oh [or] DEE-zell
    Fill it up, please al pieno, per favore ahl pee-YAY-noh, pair fa-VOHR-ray
    Where is... Dov'é doh-VAY
    ...the highway l'autostrada lout-oh-STRA-dah
    ...the state highway la statale [written "SS"] lah sta-TAHL-eh
    ...the road for Rome la strada per Roma lah STRA-dah pair RO-mah
    to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
    to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
    straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
    keep going straight sempre diritto SEM-pray dee-REE-toh
    to cross attraversare ah-tra-vair-SAR-ay
    toll pedaggio peh-DA-jo
    parking parcheggio par-KEH-jo
    road map carta stradale kar-ta stra-DA-lay
    where can I pay the fine? dove posso pagare la multa DOH-veh Po-so pag-GAR-ray la MOOL-tah


    Typical road signs / terms » more

    English (anglais) French (français) 
    Stop Stop
    Exit  Uscita
    Staffic light Semaforo
    One-way Senso unico
    Dead-end Strada senza uscita
    Parking prohibited No parcheggio or parcheggio proibito
    Pedestrian zone Area pedonale
    Limited Traffic Zone (you pay to drive in) ZTL or Zona Traffico Limitato

    Basic phrases in Italian

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
    thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
    please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
    yes si see
    no no no
    Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
    I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
    I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
    How much is it? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
    That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
         
    Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
    Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
    Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
    Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
    Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
    Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso pair-MEH-so
         
    Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
    ...the bathroom il bagno eel BHAN-yoh
    ...train station la ferroviaria lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah
    to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
    to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
    straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
    information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay

    Days, months, and other calendar items in Italian

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
    When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
    At what time... a che ora a kay O-rah
         
    Yesterday ieri ee-YAIR-ee
    Today oggi OH-jee
    Tomorrow domani doh-MAHN-nee
    Day after tomorrow dopo domani DOH-poh doh-MAHN-nee
         
    a day un giorno oon je-YOR-no
    Monday Lunedí loo-nay-DEE
    Tuesday Martedí mar-tay-DEE
    Wednesday Mercoledí mair-coh-lay-DEE
    Thursday Giovedí jo-vay-DEE
    Friday Venerdí ven-nair-DEE
    Saturday Sabato SAH-baa-toh
    Sunday Domenica doh-MEN-nee-ka
         
    Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
    Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
    Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
         
    a month una mese oon-ah MAY-zay
    January gennaio jen-NAI-yo
    February febbraio feh-BRI-yo
    March marzo MAR-tzoh
    April aprile ah-PREEL-ay
    May maggio MAH-jee-oh
    June giugno JEW-nyoh
    July luglio LOO-lyoh
    August agosto ah-GO-sto
    September settembre set-TEM-bray
    October ottobre oh-TOE-bray
    November novembre no-VEM-bray
    December dicembre de-CHEM-bray

    Numbers in Italian

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    1 uno OO-no
    2 due DOO-way
    3 tre tray
    4 quattro KWAH-troh
    5 cinque CHEEN-kway
    6 sei say
    7 sette SET-tay
    8 otto OH-toh
    9 nove NO-vay
    10 dieci dee-YAY-chee
    11 undici OON-dee-chee
    12 dodici DOH-dee-chee
    13 tredici TRAY-dee-chee
    14 quattordici kwa-TOR-dee-chee
    15 quindici KWEEN-dee-chee
    16 sedici SAY-dee-chee
    17 diciasette dee-chee-ya-SET-tay
    18 diciotto dee-CHO-toh
    19 diciannove dee-chee-ya-NO-vay
    20 venti VENT-tee
    21* vent'uno* vent-OO-no
    22* venti due* VENT-tee DOO-way
    23* venti tre* VENT-tee TRAY
    30 trenta TRAYN-tah
    40 quaranta kwa-RAHN-tah
    50 cinquanta cheen-KWAN-tah
    60 sessanta say-SAHN-tah
    70 settanta seh-TAHN-tah
    80 ottanta oh-TAHN-tah
    90 novanta no-VAHN-tah
    100 cento CHEN-toh
    1,000 mille MEEL-lay
    5,000 cinque milla CHEEN-kway MEEL-lah
    10,000 dieci milla dee-YAY-chee MEEL-lah


    * You can use this formula for all Italian ten-place numbers—so 31 is trent'uno, 32 is trenta due, 33 is trenta tre, etc. Note that—like uno (one), otto (eight) also starts with a vowel—all "-8" numbers are also abbreviated (vent'otto, trent'otto, etc.).