It first enchanted the Romans and was long ravaged by Saracen raiders, but the Land of the Sirens is now the second home to royalty, celebrities, industrialists and financiers, not to mention poets, writers and film directors. The Sorrento-Amalfi coast, with its hillsides of olive and citrus groves and lush Mediterranean vegetation descending into small bays, is beautiful from both land and sea. FromCastellammare di Stabiato Vietri sul Mare, the winding Sorrentina-Amalfitana road climbs up onto the cliffs and then down to the coast for about 100 km, offering breathtaking views of Capri, the Gulfs of Naples andSalernoand the densely forested mountainsides.[charme-gallery]
Starting from the Roman town ofStabiae, it heads up to Gragnano, the home of traditional pasta manufacture, and then on to Vico Equense and Seiano, renowned for their chesses, especially provolonedelmonacoand fiordilatte. Along the cliffs past Meta, Piano and Sant’Agnello toSorrento, the birthplace of Torquato Tasso and a favourite location for film director Vittorio De Sica. Around the headland with its magnificent villas immersed in the maquis, past Massa Lubrense to Punta Campanella where the Penisola Sorrentina becomes the Costiera Amalfitana, and the land is suspended between the sea and the sky.[charme-gallery] The picturesque hillsides of Positano and Praiano, the “painted village” of Furore, Conca dei Marini, the old paper mills and villas of Amalfi and Ravello, Minori, Maiori, Cetara and the ceramic museum at Raito: famous places with a heady atmosphere, beautiful views as well as the best in local craftsmanship, luxury hotels and smart guesthouses.