A Quick Tour Of Italy - The Amalfi Coast and Sorrento

Let's see what the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento offer tourists...



A little slice of paradise

If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the Amalfi Coast and the city of Sorrento in the Gulf of Salerno. These tourist attractions popular with jet setters lie in the Campania region of southwestern Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Frankly, this area is hardly undiscovered. Make sure to see our other articles on Campania destinations in this series.

Paestum lies about 50 miles (85 kilometers) southeast of Naples. The Greeks colonized this area about 2700 years ago. A few ancient city walls and defensive towers are still standing. Paestum contains some of the best-preserved Ancient Greek temples in the world. Most of the site hasn’t been excavated yet.

Salerno was settled well before Roman times. Its Medical School is said to be Europe’s oldest university. Salerno was the site of an Allied invasion during World War II and briefly hosted an Italian government that declared war on Germany. Make sure to see the Eleventh Century Cathedral with its Byzantine and Arab influences, St. Benedict Church stemming from a Seventh to Ninth Century Monastery, and the Baroque St. George Church.

Amalfi was once a major trading center with schools of mathematics and law. The Amalfi maritime code was widely used in the Mediterranean area for centuries. The Cathedral of Saint Andrea, considered the most stunning cathedral in southern Italy, was initially constructed during the Ninth Century and has been rebuilt and expanded since then.

Sorrento has been a resort town for two thousand years. Sorrento's excellent museums include the Museo Correale di Terranova, and the Inlaid Woodwork Museum. The relatively new Mineralogical Museum boasts a dinosaur collection including baby dinosaurs and dinosaur eggs, and Permian reptiles that predate the dinosaurs by millions of years. Before you leave Sorrento visit its historic city center which includes some protective walls from the Middle Ages, the Fourteen Century Saint Francis Cloister, and a much older neighboring monastery.

Lemons are a local specialty, especially when the rinds are made into a sweet liqueur known as limoncello. See our companion article I Love Touring Italy – The Amalfi Coast And Sorrento for a sample menu and more information on Campania wine plus an in-depth examination of their tourist attractions. There are two DOC wines produced in this area: Costa d’Amalfi and Penisola Sorrentina. Both are made in a variety of styles with a variety of local grapes. Try them. But you can surely buy better Campania wine.

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.

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And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Campania or other Italian wines.

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