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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Piazza del Campo and the Palazzo Pubblico (Photo by Ryan Taylor)

A gorgeous, Gothic Tuscan hilltown

 
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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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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

 
Take the audio tour

Planning a trip to Italy

 
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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.).