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Just being in one of the towns and cities along the Amalfi coastline is already a sheer delight. Just the thought of being in the midst of the pristine blue waters of the ocean below is enough to make anyone forget all their worries and submit to the wonders of mother nature. However, just when you thought that things could not get any better, Amalfi offers more sights and sounds that will etch this coastline forever in your memory. Indeed, Amalfi offers a total visual and sensory assault that is simply incomparable.

With the cool waters of the ocean literally beckoning at your feet, it comes as no surprise why swimming, snorkeling and other water sports are popular in Amalfi. One of the most famous spots along the coastline is The Emerald Grotto, located in the municipality of Conca del Marini. The Grotto definitely lives up to its jewel-inspired name, thanks to the distinctive, emerald colored water coming from the Tyrrhenian Sea. It also offers a glimpse of stalactites and stalagmites of all shapes and sizes, making the Grotto a true work of nature.

Beachfront houses are also in demand in Amalfi, given its proximity to the sea. One of the best beachfront resorts along the coastline is the Marina Grande Beach, which boasts of pastel colored cabins that seem to sparkle against the backdrop of a bright blue sky and an equally azure ocean. It is an ideal place to just sit back, relax and let the gentle lull of the breeze and the waters take you cares away.

Because the sea is its major selling point, the natives of Amalfi have made plans to ensure that the waters will remain as clean and immaculate as possible. One example of their efforts is the Punta Campanella Marine Reserve, a 30 kilometer stretch of land and sea that includes the municipalities from Massa Lubrense to Vico Equense. The Li Galli is a recognized spot in the reserve because this is where the mermaids tried to entice Ulysses with their enchanting song. Now, it has become a great diving venue that offers visitors the chance to discover and appreciate various marine plants and animals.

Sightseeing is another favorite pastime in Amalfi, thanks to its rich cultural and historical heritage. The city of Positano is part of almost every tourist itinerary not only because of its natural beauty but also because of its very colorful background. Positano can very well be considered an artists’ haven, having inspired recognized luminaries such as Goethe, Diaghilev, Picasso and Steinbeck to come up with their best works ever. Even renowned actress Dolce Vita fell prey to the wily charms of the city, making it her home. Fine architecture is also apparent in Positano, as manifested by the Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta, an 11th century church that houses the famous Byzantine sculpture, the “Madonna di Positano”.

A visit to the paper mills may also be in order, as Amalfi paper is known all over the world for its ingenuity and artistry. Modern Amalfi paper is made through a machine called an “ingegni”. The paper is soaked in a trough, added with materials of choice like flowers or leaves and then pressed out to dry. However, tourists may also opt to buy old-hand paper, which is especially crafted by artisans who have been trained by their ancestors to produce paper of such quality that it cannot be found anywhere else but Amalfi.

A trip to Amalfi would not be complete without a visit to the Saint Francis Cloisters in Sorrento. Aside from its breathtaking fusion of late gothic and renaissance architecture, the Saint Francis Cloisters also serves as a venue for many musical concerts and presentations. While classical and chamber music remains as a crowd favorite, other musical genres such as jazz and rhythm and blues have also been introduced in order to keep up with the demands of the times. Should you be fortunate enough to come in the summer, be sure to take a trip to the Villa Rufolo, which holds annual concerts as a tribute to the distinguished German composer, Richard Wagner.


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