Once you've seen the Amalfi Coast, you'll never forget it. Arguably Italy's most dramatic stretch of coastline, its mountains seemingly slip straight into the sea, all the while covered in woodland and pastel-shaded cliff-hugging buildings that appear to defy the laws on gravity. It's a head-scratching image that will leave an indelible impression on you, especially if you spy its string of clifftop towns from the coastal road that similarly clings to the rockface.
If nearly every angle of the Amalfi Coast would fill the pages of a glossy magazine, then Positano would be its front-cover splash, with its waterfall of peach, terracotta and ochre-coloured houses tumbling down the cliffside. Its fame has brought with it an air of A-lister glamour but it still retains a local feel: farmers still cultivate fruit and vegetables on the steep hills and fishing communities along their coast still make their living from the glittering waters.
There are quieter parts in the Amalfi Coast, such as handsome Ravello. In contrast to Positano it was built on a hill rather than closer to the water and if you find yourself feeling comfortable from the moment you arrive, there's a reason for it. It was originally designed as a sanctuary away from barbarian invaders, its honeycomb of caves providing safe refuge whenever they attacked. Its picture-perfect looks teamed with its tranquil setting have inspired plenty of famous people over the years, not least composer Richard Wagner, who wrote his final opera here. His visit spawned the world-famous Ravello music festival and the town is still known as the 'city of music' today. Following Wagner's lead, the likes of DH Lawrence, Virginia Woolf and Salvador Dali have all been drawn to Ravello at one time or another.
Who can blame them? The Amalfi Coast has fired the imaginations of travellers, writers, musicians and painters for centuries, its enchanting setting leaving them in awe. It could be your turn next.
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