Amalfi Coast Travel Duomo Campanile

Here’s Why You Want to Get Lost in Amalfi

Amalfi Coast Travel Tips Duomo Cathedral of Saint Andrew

Standing in the center of town and looking up at the Duomo, or Cathedral of St. Andrew, is an experience you simply have to have in Amalfi. Sure, it can be a bit crowded during the busy season. But, look, did you see that view? Going to Amalfi and not standing in Piazza Duomo is like going to Venice and not seeing Piazza San Marco or somehow missing the Colosseum in Rome. I personally love the people watching in the center of Amalfi, and if I have some extra time I’ll grab a spot on that grand staircase and admire the scene. The next thing you want to do, however, is get lost.

Amalfi Coast Travel Exploring Amalfi on Foot

Amalfi is wonderful place to wander and explore. Pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes and start climbing! You could head in any direction from the main Piazza into the maze of stairways and narrow passages and find something unique. I’m going to take you along on a walk I took recently that lead up above Amalfi to a gorgeous panorama overlooking the Duomo from the other side. Come along!

Amalfi Coast Travel Flower Windowbox

I started at the base of the steps of the Duomo and followed the small side staircase up to the left. Here’s my technique for wandering in Amalfi: If you want to explore, just keep heading up. If you’re worried about getting back to the main Piazza Duomo or shopping street, just head down and you’ll get there. My husband always tells visitors that they’ll end up on CNN breaking news if they actually manage to get lost in Amalfi. And please forget the map. You might miss pretty windows and little moments of daily life if you’re busy trying to follow a map.

Amalfi Coast Travel Steps and Walking in Amalfi

Just keep going up and soon you’ll start catching a glimpse overlooking Amalfi. It’s quiet when you get up higher since most tourists don’t know about this side of Amalfi or don’t take the time to get lost. Yes, there are a lot of steps, but there are also stunning views that not only make the climb worthwhile but are also great for stopping and resting.

Amalfi Coast Travel Hiking in Amalfi Duomo from Above

Now that’s a view of the Cathedral of Amalfi that not everyone sees! Did you recognize it? This was the view I was after on my walk since it had been ages since I had seen the Cathedral from above. I had this view to myself until a few locals huffed and puffed by with their daily shopping. Not a place to live up so high if you tend to be forgetful and have to run to store all the time!

Amalfi Coast Travel Spring Figs

I caught my breath from the climb by stopping to admire the little figs growing and the brilliant green of their tiny leaves. There was no hurry, just me and click of the camera shutter as I fiddled around with settings and took in the view.

Amalfi Coast Travel Fig Leaves

Although I was trying to get to an even higher spot in Amalfi, I must have taken a different turn, because soon the steps were going down again.

Amalfi Coast Travel Steps in Amalfi

Along the way I passed the most incredible garden. I peeked over a gate and saw a terrace of earth tilled in rows and little onions growing. But what made it so special was the panoramic view of Amalfi. Not a bad backdrop for a bit of gardening you could say.

Amalfi Coast Travel Hidden Garden Terrace

I love how nothing is the same in Amalfi. Every doorway, every entrance, every corner is different. It feels old and lovingly personalized at the same time. This curved hand railing with decorative cut out motifs caught my eye. I could imagine running my hand along its smooth surface on the way home.

Amalfi Coast Travel Entrance Steps

The ornate bell tower of the Duomo kept popping up in different places, which was so much fun to discover. Sometimes I’d see it perfectly framed through an arched passageway or turn a corner and find just the top of it peeking over another building. I wondered just how many views there might be of the bell tower in Amalfi.

Amalfi Coast Travel Duomo Campanile

Amalfi can still stop in my tracks so easily. Walking down a staircase with knees just a bit wobbly, I stopped and glanced up. What I saw was the sun sparkling on the sea until Capo di Conca – like it was right there in front of me within reach.

Amalfi Coast Travel Duomo Cross

Did you recognize that cross? Scroll back up and look closely at the first photo. At the very top of the facade of the Cathedral there’s a cross. This is the same cross but from behind! I ended up back in the main piazza and took a good look up at the facade of the Cathedral again. I love how a change of perspective changes the way you see.

Amalfi Coast Travel Duomo of Amalfi Saint Andrew

The next time you’re in Amalfi, I encourage you to spend some time getting lost. Even if you’re not up to many steps, you’ll find some interesting passageways and tiny piazzas to discover. The journey of wandering among the steps of Amalfi to find them is just the beginning of the fun!

Amalfi Coast Travel Spring Blossoms Bees

Beautiful Spring Blossoms on the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast Travel Ravello Through Blossoms

My heart soars when the trees burst into bloom and the air is full of the sweet scent of wisteria on the Amalfi Coast. Spring has officially arrived and brought with it all the excitement of a new season. Tiny leaves are the brightest shades of green and the valleys glow with a vibrant new tint. You can smell the wisteria before you turn a corner and see it climbing up a wall or draped across a pergola. The almond, cherry, peach and apple trees are decorated with white and pink blossoms that simply make life better. Want to test that out? Here you go:

Amalfi Coast Travel Spring Blossoms Bees

How’s that? I hope it brings a burst of joy and sunshine to your day! The trees are alive and the bees are buzz buzz buzzing around happy as, well, bees. Do you see the one in the photo above? I stood and watched the bees landing on one blossom and then another, always seeming to find the ones with a bit a sunshine on them.

Amalfi Coast Travel Bee on Spring Blossoms

The view across the valley to Ravello from under this beautiful tree was also quite the sight. I may or may not have stood under this tree for an embarrassing amount of time. Only the bees know the truth.

Amalfi Coast Travel Ravello April Blossoms

If you have time to explore during your stay on the Amalfi Coast, be sure to visit Ravello. Its setting high in the mountains means it has a completely different atmosphere than the villages right along the sea. The views are also remarkable! If you feel like exploring a little more, be sure to head across the valley to the neighboring village of Scala where you’ll find a sleepy and very authentic lifestyle and panoramic views looking across to Ravello. Both Scala and Ravello are excellent for hiking, so lace up your shoes and head out to explore. Don’t forget to stop and look at the blossoms along the way!

Amalfi Coast Travel Spring Blossoms

The Golden Hour

Amalfi Coast Travel Sunset Winter in Amalfi

Amalfi glows in the evening light. This is true all year long, but it’s especially so during the golden hour just before sunset in the winter. Looking east, the cascade of buildings above the Hotel Luna watchtower take on a gorgeous hue. If I could paint, I would sit up here in the evenings and paint the view just to feel a little bit more a part of it than taking a photograph. The beach is empty except a few people drawn to take a closer look at the irresistible scene. Not far from the edge of the sea, rows of fishing boats take a rest pulled up on the beach while waiting for a new coat of paint in the spring. They look like they’ve had a busy season and need a break, but before long the stones will be dotted with drops of paint and the boats will be gone, back to work for another year.

Amalfi Coast Travel Beach Boats Fishing

I do so love the rows of brightly colored sun umbrellas during the summer months that look like candies scattered across the beach. Yet there’s something I love even more about the beach in the winter. It’s so quiet and beckons to be devoured in a slow and lingering way, like following the long shadow of a lone beach walker crunching along the pebbles near the water’s edge. While the summer beach scene in Amalfi clamors for your attention with a riot of colors, people of all shapes and sizes and waves crashing to the sounds of kids playing, the winter scene simply waits. You can stop and look if you’d like, but it’s not going flail about in the water or hit you in the head accidentally with a beach ball. Its indifference makes it even more alluring. If you stop and look, there are moments to witness that you’ll never forget.

Amalfi Coast Travel Winter Beach

Meanwhile, in Piazza Duomo, the mosaics designed by Neapolitan artist Domenico Morelli on the facade of the Cathedral of Sant’Andrea begin to glow in the evening light. I sometimes wonder if Morelli sat in the piazza while working on his designs. He would have been in his late 60s when the new facade of the Duomo was completed in 1891. I also wonder when I look at at the Apostles and scene in the tympanum if he got to see the way the sunset made his designs glimmer. The scene at the top depicts the Triumph of Christ, and it surely is a triumph.

Amalfi Coast Travel Cathedral of St Andrew

While life is busy all year round, there’s something a little easier about slowing down in the winter to notice details, to wonder and to really get to know a place – on its own terms and without the distractions. But those distractions of the busy beaches, relaxing in the warm sun, watching new faces light up when they see the Duomo of Amalfi for the first time, sitting on the steps of the church enjoying a gelato, hopping on a ferry to Positano or Capri, these are just as much part of Amalfi that I miss during the winter months.

Getting to know Amalfi over the years has been like watching the change of seasons. There’s beauty in every season – even the frigid days of winter and the long, hot days of summer. During the winter we miss the warmth and the joy of diving into the clear blue sea and during the summer we miss these quiet, intensely beautiful winter days. Taking photographs is a mindfulness practice for me since it makes me stop and notice little moments like the ones I’ve shared here today.

How do you capture or enjoy beautiful moments in your life?

A Day at Santa Croce Beach

Most Beautiful Beaches of the Amalfi Coast

– My favorite beach on the Amalfi Coast – Santa Croce

Anyone who has spent time on the Amalfi Coast or lived here has a favorite beach. The beautiful beaches and tiny little coves that dot the coastline certainly can make that a hard decision. While I have quite a few that would be contenders, there’s only one that could be called my favorite – the Santa Croce beach. Located just a short boat ride west of Amalfi, it’s isolated enough to feel far away from the world, but still relatively quick and easy to reach.

Most Beautiful Beach on the Amalfi Coast

– Arriving at the Santa Croce beach not far from Amalfi

There are two restaurants with beach access at Santa Croce–Ristorante da Teresa and Ristorante Santa Croce–and they both offer boat service back and forth from Amalfi if you are dining at the restaurant or renting a sunbed for the day. For a small fee, there’s also a separate boat service to Santa Croce if you’d just like to throw down a towel on the free part of the beach (beware … very large stones!) or want to get to the beach on a larger boat. There’s a ramp on the front of the boat that drops down to the beach.

How to reach Santa Croce Beach Amalfi Coast

– The boat service to Santa Croce for a small fee

We’ve always gone to Ristorante da Teresa, which you can spot from the sea with its bright orange umbrellas. They have a covered dining patio for relaxing meals overlooking the sea, or you can eat on the beach as well.

Beautiful Amalfi Coast Beach

– The view of the beach from Ristorante da Teresa

I’m in love with the orange umbrellas and their shocking color against the clear blue sky. I could lay and look at them all day long. (Yep, I’ve tested that.) Deep down in my soul I must have a thing for complementary colors.

Amalfi Coast Best Beach

– I could look at this view all day

Oh, and I definitely have a thing for beach picnics at Santa Croce, especially when they involve fried calamari with a dose of freshly squeezed Amalfi Coast lemon, insalata di mare and a most divine parmigiana made with zucchini instead of eggplant. And the summer essential – refreshing white wine with slices of sweet peaches.

Where to Eat on the Amalfi Coast

– Lunch on the beach from Ristorante da Teresa

What better way to finish off a beach picnic than with fresh fruit? Ristorante Da Teresa also does excellent panini and the restaurant is out of this world for fresh fish. Even if you’re not a beach person, you can enjoy the boat ride to the restaurant and dine overlooking the sea.

Amalfi Coast Travel Picnic Beach

– The perfect beach dessert

The beach at Santa Croce is not for the faint of heart as it’s quite rocky. Adventurously rocky. I love exploring and climbing over the rocks along the beach, perhaps even more than swimming in the water. It opens to the most beautiful views of impossibly blue pools sparkling in the sunshine. Look closely and there are tiny crabs crawling over the same rocks and lots of other little things to discover.

Amalfi Coast Travel Santa Croce Beach Rocks

– This is what I love

 

Amalfi Coast Travel Beautiful Beach Blue Water

– Mesmerizing scenes

 

Amalfi Coast Travel Most Beautiful Beach

– Dreamy sea views at Santa Croce

After a bit of climbing and swimming, it’s back to the sunbed to enjoy a view like the one below. This is good for the soul. Very good! It has been a rare experience over this busy summer and with my recent trip back to America. But when it’s rare it’s even sweeter somehow.

Amalfi Coast Travel Beautiful Beach Summer

A much needed day at the beach