Sassi Di Matera

Sassi Di Matera

MATERA is a city and a province in the region of Basilicata, in Southern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Matera and the capital of Basilicata from 1663 to 1806.  The town lies in a small canyon carved out by the Gravina (a river)

Known as LA CITTA SOTTERRANEA (the Subterranean City), Matera is well-known for its historical centre called SASSI, considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1993, along with the Park of the Rupestrian Churches.  The city was allegedly founded by the Romans in the 3rd century BC, with the name of MATHEOLA after the Consul Lucius Caecilius Metellus.

Matera panoramic view

Matera has gained international fame for its ancient town, the SASSI di MATERA (meaning ” stones of Matera” ).  The Sassi originated in a prehistoric troglodyte ( a human being who inhabits a cave or the area beneath the overhanging rocks of a cliff), and these dwellings are thought to be among the first ever human settlements in what is now Italy.

Sassi Di Matera streets

The Sassi are habitations dug into the calcareous rock itself, which is characteristic of Basilicata and Apulia.  Many of them really little more than caverns, and in some parts of the Sassi, a street lies on top of another group of dwellings.  The ancient town grew up on one slope of the rocky ravine created by a river that is now a small stream, and this ravine is known locally as la GRAVINA.  In the 1950s, the Government of Italy used force to relocate most of the population of the Sassi  to areas of the developing modern city.

Matera castle

Until the late 1980s, the Sassi was considered an area of poverty since its dwellings were and in most cases still are, uninhabitable.  The present local administration, however, has become more tourist-oriented, and it has promoted the regeneration of the Sassi with the aid of the Italian Government, UNESCO and Hollywood.  Today, there are many thriving businesses, pubs and hotels there.  Matera preserves a large  and diverse collection of buildings related to the Christian faith, including a large number of Rupestrian Churches carved from the soft volcanic rock of the region.  The Churches which are also found in the neighbouring region of Apulia, were listed in the 1998 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund.

Matera cathedral

MATERA CATHEDRAL ( 1268 – 1270) has been dedicated to Santa Maria della Bruna since 1389.  Built in a Romanesque architectural style, the Church has a 52metre tall bell tower, and next to the main gate is a statue of Maria della Bruna, backed by those of Saints Peter and Paul.  The main feature of the façade is the “rose window”, divided by 16 small columns.  The interior is on the Latin Cross Plan, with a nave and 2 aisles.  The decoration is mainly from the 18th century Baroque Restoration, but recently a Byzantine-style 14th century fresco portraying the LAST JUDGMENT  has been discovered.


Two other important Churches in Matera, both dedicated to the Apostle. Peter, are SAN PIETRO CAVEOSO & SAN PIETRO BARISANO.  San Pietro Barisano was recently restored in a project by the World Monuments Fund, funded by American Express.  The main altar and the interior frescoes were cleaned and missing pieces of moulding, reliefs and other adornments were reconstructed from photographic archives or surrounding fragments.

There are many Churches and Monasteries dating back throughout the history f the Christian Church.  Some are simple caves with a single altar and maybe a fresco, often located on the opposite side of the ravine.  Some are complex cave networks with large underground chambers, thought to have been used for meditation by the monks.

TRAMONTANO CASTLE,Matera was built above a deep ravine, that divides the territory into two areas.  Matera was built such that it is hidden, but made it difficult to provide water supply to its inhabitants.  Early dwellers invested tremendous energy in building cisterns and systems of water channels.

The largest cistern has been found under PIAZZA VITTORIO VENETO, with its solid pillars carved from the rock and a vault height of more than 15metres it is a veritable Water Cathedral, which is navigable by boat.  Like other cisterns in the town, many of these cisterns were turned into houses and other kinds of water-harvesting systems were realized.  Some of these more recent facilities have the shape of houses submerged in the earth.

The TRAMONTANO CASTLE, begun in the early 16th century, is probably the only other structure that is above ground and of any great significance outside the Sassi.  However, the construction remained unfinished after Count Gian Carlo Tramontano’s assassination in the riot of the 29th of December, 1514.  It has three large towers, while 12 were probably included in the original design.  During some restoration work in the main square of the town, workers cane across what was believed to be the main footings of another Castle tower.  However, on further excavation, large Roman cisterns were unearthed.  Whole house structures were discovered where one can see how the people of that era lived.  Found under the main square was a large underground reservoir, complete with columns and a vaulted ceiling.

Because of the ancient primeval-looking scenery in and around the Sassi, it has been used by filmmakers (as the setting for ancient Jerusalem).  Some of the following famous Biblical period motion pictures were filmed in Matera : (1964) The Gospel According To Saint Matthew.—- (1985) King David. —-  (2004) The Passion of the Christ. —— (2005)  Mary.  —– (2006) The Nativity Story.


Bardsey Island

Bardsey Island

Bardsey Island (Welsh : ( YNYS ENLLI), the legendary ISLAND of 20,000 SAINTS, lies 3.1km off the Llyn Peninsula in the Welsh County of GWENEDD.  The Welsh name refers to the  Island of the Bards, or possibly the island of the Viking Chieftain  ——– Barda.

Bardsey Island

The island has been an important religious site since St. Cadfan built a monastery in 516.  In Medieval times, it was a major centre of pilgrimage and, by 1212, belonged to the Augustinian Canons Regular.  The monastery was dissolved and its buildings demolished by Henry — VIII in 1537, but the island remains an attraction for pilgrims to this day.

Bardsey Island

Bardsey Island is now as famous for its wildlife and rugged scenery.  A bird observatory was established in 1953, largely due to the island’s position of important migration routes.  It is cited as a nesting place for Manx shearwaters and choughs, its rare plants and habitats undisturbed by modern farming practices.  It is one of the best places to see grey seals and the waters around the island attract dolphins and porpoises.

Bardsey Island

The spirituality and sacredness of the island, its relative remoteness and its legendary claim to be the burial site of King Arthur, has given it a special place in the- cultural life of Wales, attracting artists, writers and musicians to its shores.

Bardsey Island apple

BARDSEY APPLE :  A gnarled and twisted apple tree, discovered by Ian Sturrock, growing by the side of PLAS BACH, is believed to be the only survivor of an orchard, that was tended by monks who lived there a 1000 years ago.  In 1998, experts on the varieties of British apples at the National Fruit Collection in Brogdale, stated that they believed this tree was the only example of a previously unrecorded Cultivar :  the Bradsey Apple ( Welsh : AFAL ENLLI).  The Cultivar has since been propagated by grafting and is available commercially.  Since its discovery, it has led to a resurgence in many other Welsh apples being discovered and propagated.

Bardsey Island lighthouse

BARDSEY LIGHTHOUSE : stands on the southerly tip of the island and guides the vessels passing through St. George’s Channel and the Irish Sea.  It is the only square lighthouse maintained by Trinity House.  It is built of ashlar limestone and is not plastered inside and out, but painted in red and white bands on the outside.  The lighthouse tower is 98ft high and is unusual among Trinity House towers of this period in being square in plan  Unlike many other lighthouses, it retains its original gallery railings which are of iron and bellied i.e. curved out in width at their crowns towards the top.  The lighthouse is unusual in lacking any sort of harbour or quay facilities.  As it is on an established migratory route, the tower has many bird casualties and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Trinity House have tried to help the problem by providing perches on the lantern top and flood-lighting the tower, although this does not seem to have helped.

Bardsey Island birds

The island was declared a National Nature Reserve in 1986.  It is a favourite bird-watching location.  Thousands of birds pass through each year on their way to their breeding grounds.  Chiffchaffs, gold crests and wheatears are usually the first to pass through, followed by sedge warblers, willow warblers, whitethroats and spotted flycatchers.  About 30 species of birds regularly nest on the island, including ravens, owlets, oystercatchers and the rare chough.  Hundreds of sea birds, including razorbills, guillemots, fulmars and kittiwakes, spend the summer nesting on the island eastern cliffs, the numbers reflecting the fact that there are no land predators such as rats or foxes to worry about.  The island is one of the best places to see grey seals.  In mid-summer, over two hundred can be seen sunbathing on the rocks and bobbing in the sea, and about fifteen pups are born each autumn.  Their sharp teeth and strong jaws are perfect for breaking the shells of lobsters and crabs which dwell in the waters.

Bardsey Island wildlife

The seas around the island are rich in marine life.  There are forests of strap seaweed.  In the rock pools are sea anemones, crabs and small fish, and in deeper waters, the rocks are covered by sponges and sea squirts.  The yellow star anemone, found offshore, is more common to the Mediterranean.

200 grey seals, 300 sheep and just 4-year-round humans, makes the island’s sheep-to-person ratio larger than even that of New Zealand.  Mobile reception, if you can get it, comes from Ireland, which lies 55 miles west across the Irish Sea.

Bardsey Island is today known as the “Island of 20,000 Saints”, as the island’s largest population resides underground (dead).  As late as the 19th century, long after the Monastery had gone, Bardsey Island bustled with 140 residents.
Bardsey Island is a place of simplicity, that is away from the 21st century.  It is an extraordinary place to visit  ——- one of such peace, silence and natural beauty, that even for those who are not believers, coming here feels like a pilgrimage.



CRAIOVA (KRA’YOVA) (Romanian pronunciation : KRAJOVA).  There are possible etymology for CRAIOVA : Old Slav KRAL (King), which has been borrowed in Romania as CRAI and Slav KRAJINA (border or edge)Since no source prior to 1475 mentions the city, it is impossible to tell which of the two words is the real etymology.  The name is probably of Bulgarian or Siberian origin, due to historical minorities in the area.

Craiova bridge

CRAIOVA is Romania’s 6th largest city and Capital of DOLJ County, and is situated near the east bank of the River JIU in Central OLTENIA.  It is a longstanding political centre and is located at approximately equal distances from the Southern Carpathians (north) and the River Danube (south).  CRAIOVA is the chief commercial city west of Bucharest and the most important city of OLTENIA.  The city prospered as a regional trading centre despite an earthquake in 1790, a plague in 1795 and a Turkish assault in 1802 during which it was burned.

Craiova park

In the first two decades of the 19th century, Craiova was characterized by economical growth, multiplication of its habitants’ pre-occupations in the areas of trade, commerce and public services.  In comparison with other great urban centres, Craiova is situated as a commercial, administrative and cultural knot of prime order.  In 1832, there were a number of 595 shops, of which “187 of wood and 398 of stone wall”.  It was exporting to Austria and Turkey ——- cereal, skins, wax, animals, tallow and cervices.  In 1846, the first Romanian Society on Shareholders for cereal transport by ship on the Danube was established.

Craiova fountain

Around 1860, there were 4633 buildings, of which 3220 were houses, 26 Churches, 11 schools, 60 factory-workshops.  There were also approximately 90 establishments with an industrial character of which : 12 windmills, 3 beer factories, 2 gas and oil factories, 4 tanneries and 2 printing units.  Craiova was a city that had small factories and workshops with chemical products, agricultural machines, graphics art, textiles, tanneries and construction materials.

Craiova cathedral

CATEDRALA STANTULUI DUMITRU ( Saint Demetrius Cathedral) is a Romanian Orthodox Cathedral.  There was likely a Church on the site by the 1490s, renovated in 1651 and having fallen into disrepair, demolished in 1889.  That year, work on a new Church began, and this was completed and sanctified in 1933.  The earlier Church’s proximity to the headquarters of the  BAN od Craiova, gave it importance in the city’s political life, as well as a defensive purpose, while the modern building’s role ensures its continued significance.


NICOLAE ROMANESCU PARK ( formerly BIBESCU PARK) is the largest and most well-known park in Craiova.  Plans for the Park were awarded the Gold Medal at the 1900 World Fair.  Work began in 1901 and was completed in 1903.

GRADINA BOTANICA din CRAIOVA (Botanical Garden) is a scientific organization, where plant specimens are collected from different regions of the country and preserved as reference material, but also as study material for the students of University of Craiova.  The garden occupies a large area in the centre of the city, covering an area delimited by streets and at an altitude of about 99metres.  It is also referred to as a local park for the citizens of Craiova and a tourist destination.

Craiova University

CASA BANIEI : the Ethnographic Museum of Craiova is located in the historic city centre and is located in the town park.  The building, known as CASA BANIEI, is one of the oldest, non-religious monuments of medieval architecture in Craiova.  It was built in the 15th century, but was partially destroyed.  In 1699, it was restored by Prince Constantin Brancoveanu.  From the original building, there are preserved only the underground parts with arched brick walls.  Over the years, CASA BANIEI re-purposed repeatedly, but since 1966, it houses the ethnographic collection of the Museum of Oltenia.  Among the exposures, there can be seen restorations of household articles with the characteristic region pottery, textiles, costumes, musical instruments and ritual objects.  There are organised puppet shows and workshops for children in the building, as there is housed the first Museum of Puppet Theatre in Oltenia.



KEMI is a town and municipality of Finland.  It is located near the city of TORNIO.  It was founded in 1869 by decree of Russian Emperor Alexander the Second, because of its proximity to a deep-water harbour.  KEMI is situated by the BOTHNIAN BAY at the mouth of the River KEMIJOKI, and it is part of Lapland region.

The main economic activity in KEMI is centred on two large paper and wood pulp mills and on the only chromium mine in Europe (which supplies the OUTOKUMPU ferrochrome plant in Tornio).  A Polytechnic University of Applied Sciences is also situated in Kemi.


Kemi also has a claim to fame as the home of the world’s largest Snow Castle (re-constructed every year in a different design).  In 1996, the first Snow Castle drew 300,000 visitors.  The area covered by the Castle has varied from 13,000 to 20,000sq.metres.  The highest towers have been over 20metres high and the longest walls over 1,000metres long, and the Castle has had up to three storeys.  Despite its varying configurations, the Snow Castle has a few recurring elements : a Chapel, a restaurant and a Hotel.

Kemi snow castle

 **The Snow Restaurant has ice tables and seats covered with reindeer fur, as well as ice sculptures.
** The Ecumenical Snow Chapel, with 50 to 100 seats, has seen numerous weddings of couples from as far away as Japan and Hong Kong.
**The Snow Hotel offers a choice of double rooms and a honeymoon suite, all of which are decorated by local artists using local materials.
The Snow Castle also hosts such things as an Adventure land for children, a Theatre and Ice-Art Exhibitions with lights and sound effects.  Many Opera singers and dancers have performed in the Snow Castle of KEMI.

Kemi snow castle Finland

KEMIN KIRKON (Kemi Church) is a Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Diocese of OULU and is located in the centre of the town of Kemi.  The Gothic Revival building was designed by architect Josef Stenback, and was completed in 1902.  The building was renovated in 2003.

Kemi snow castle

Icebreaker SAMPO, which is a Finnish icebreaker built in 1960 in Helsinki and now stationed at Kemi.  The massive vessel, which was completed in 1961, was built to operate in extreme Arctic conditions.  In the northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, it kept lanes free for shipping for nearly 30years.  Its predecessor, of the same name (1898 – 1960), was the first Icebreaker in Europe with a propeller in the bow and the stern.  The ship is now used for tourist cruises.  During the late winter of 1988, Sampo started its career in tourism.  It made its first cruise on the 14th of April, 1988 with foreign and domestic media.  In the year 1989, Sampo had 1,000 passengers and in the year 1994, the record was 6,000 passengers.  During the cruise, tourists have a chance to go down from the icebreaker and float in the sea dressed in rescue suits.  They can also participate in the guided ship tour and get to know Sampo from the engine room to the bridge.  Sampo can take 150 passengers at a time.  Yearly, it takes about 10,000 tourists on cruises, and totally there have been passengers from over 50 countries.

Kemi Finland snow castle

KEMIN JALOKIVI GALLERIA ( Kemi Gemstone Gallery) contains one of the greatest collections of gemstones in the world.  There are more than 3,000 gemstones.  The Gallery building is  an old Customs House.  It was designed by architect Walter Thome and completed in 1912.  The large collection includes a unique and remarkable crown that was designed for the first and only King of Finland.  There is also a copy of the Imperial State Crown of England.  The copy is so exact, that it needs an expert to recognise it from the original.  One of the finest necklaces in the world was designed for Queen Marie Antoinette of France.  The original necklace does not exist anymore, but here at the Gallery, you can see the exceptional beauty of this necklace.  The copy was made from the original drawings at the Gemstone Gallery.  The KEMIN JALOKIVI GALLERIA is really a Lapland Jewel in itself.


The PERAMEREN  JAHTI ( a sail-ship) guarantees an enjoyable and safety sailing experience.  A comfortable lounge and dining room, saloon as well as an open modern kitchen with a cook’s service makes the sailing trip easy and carefree.  There are seats on the deck, where you can enjoy the fresh sea air.  It can have 36 passengers for one-day cruises.  For longer cruises, there is accommodation for 12 persons.  The JAHTI has been built with an old boat-building style, following as much as possible the old era’s knowledge of coastal building and structure, but still respecting modern safety regulations.



MODICA (Sicilian : MUORICA ; Greek : MOTOUKA ; Latin : MUTYCA) is a city and commune in the Province of RAGUSA, Sicily, southern Italy.

According to THUCYDIDES, the city was founded in 1360 BC and was inhabited by SICELS in the 7th century BC.  It was probably a dependency of Syracuse.  MODICA was occupied by the Romans after the battle of the EGADI ISLANDS against the Carthaginians in the PUNIC WARS (241 BC), together with Syracuse and all of Sicily.  MODICA became one of the 35 DECUMAN (spontaneously submitted) cities of the island and was oppressed by the praetor VERRES.  It became an independent MUNICIPIUM, and apparently a place of some consequence.  The city is also mentioned among the island towns both by Pliny and Ptolemy, and though its name is not found in the itineraries, it is again mentioned by the Geographer of Ravenna.


In 845, MODICA was captured by the Arabs during the Muslim Conquest of Sicily.  They referred to the city as MUDIQAH.  The year after its capture, the Arabs fortified its citadels and it, subsequently, prospered under their rule.  In 1091, the conquest of MODICA and the entire VAL di NOTO, ended the long-lasting war of the Normans, led by Roger of Hauteville, against the Arabs.

On Assumption Day (August 15, 1474), Christians wrecked brutal havoc on the Jewish dwellers of the CARTELLONE area of MODICA, the so-called STRAGE dell ASSUNTA (Massacre of the Assumption).
Later, an earthquake of 1693 destroyed the entire VAL di NOTO, and to a slighter lesser extent, in MODICA.  Annexed to Italy in 1860, MODICA remained the District Capital until 1926, when it was included in the Province of Ragusa.
MODICA consists of two urban centres : MODICA ALTA (Upper Modica) and MODICA BASSA (Lower Modica).  The older upper part is perched on the rocky top of the southern IBELI Hill, the lower part is built on the lower slopes and valley below.  The walk down from MODICA ALTA to MODICA BASSA reveals vistas of the lower town and involves many steps, and not many attempt the reverse journey on foot.

Modica San Gieogio

During the last century, the city has extended and developed new suburbs which include SACRO CUORE (or SORDA), MONSERRATO, IDRIA, these are often referred to as Modern MODICA, and both old and modern quarters of the city are today joined by one of Europe’s high bridge, the GUERRIERI Bridge that is 980ft long.

Despite being ravaged by earthquakes in 1613 & 1693, and floods in 1833, MODICA has retained some of the most beautiful architecture in Sicily.  Much of the city was rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake with imposing and conspicuous urban monuments in the Sicilian Baroque Style.
The large Baroque Cathedral of SAN GIORGIO, is dedicated to Saint George.  While the Cathedral was rebuilt following the earthquake of 1693, like many other parts of the city, its roots are in the Middle Ages.  From the front of the Cathedral, a staircase of 300 steps leads down towards MODICA BASSA.

Palazzo Mercedari

Another notable Church is SAN PIETRO, dedicated to Saint Peter, featuring a principal façade, crowned by a typical Sicilian Baroque bell-tower, 161ft high.
MERCEDARI PALACE or PALAZZO MERCEDARI is a Palace and civic ethnographical museum, built in the 18th century, as a place for the Fathers of MERCEDARI, attached to the S. Maria del Grazie Sanctuary.  Today, the Palace contains the Library and Museum.  It often hosts Classical Music Recitals.

San Pietro Modica

The economy  the area once principally agricultural produces olives, carobs, legumes, cereals.  An extraordinary product is the famous CHOCOLATE of MODICA, produced with an ancient and original Aztec recipe.  The city now has factories producing textiles, furniture and cars.  Tourism is also an important industry, since MODICA entered the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.

Modica chocolate

This incredible town melts the heart of any visitor, and is a dream destination for anyone who loves art, food and having fun.  It is a spot of the world in everyone’s heart.  MODICA is a place to go to in all seasons ——– charming in winter and amazing under summer’s light and whoever has the chance to pass through MODICA, will never forget the sunsets over the sea and the bars on the beach.  During the mild winters, the quaint village streets are full of young people and great music.  All year round, MODICA never disappoints its visitors., who will hardly resist a second bite.

Maremma sheepdog

MAREMMA SHEEPDOG (in Italian : CANE de PASTORE MAREMMANO – ABRUZZESE), also nicknamed MAREMMA, is a breed of livestock guardian dogs indigenous to Central Italy, particularly to ABRUZZO and the MAREMMA region of Tuscany and Lazio.
Maremma sheepdogThe literal English of the breed derives from that of the MAREMMA and ABRUZZO region.  The English name of the breed derives from that of the MAREMMA marshlands, where, until recently, shepherds, dogs and 100s of 1000s of sheep wintered, and where the breed is today abundant although sheep-farming has decreased substantially.  The breed is widely employed in ABRUZZO, where sheep-herding remains vital to the rural economy and the wolf remains an active predator.  Similar breeds include the PYRENEAN Mountain Dog, the KUVASZ of Hungary, the TATRA of Poland, the CUVAC of Slovakia and the SARPLANINAC (although not white), with all of which it may share a common ancestor, and the AKBASH Dog of Turkey.
The MAREMMA sheepdog has a solid muscular build, a thick white coat, a large head and a black nose.  According to the breed standard, males should weigh 35 to 45kg and stand 26 to 29inches at the shoulders, while females weigh 30 to 40kg.  The coat is long and thick, it is rough to the touch, and forms a thick collar around the neck.  It should be solid white, some minor yellowing may be tolerated.

Maremma sheepdog

Descriptions of white sheep defence dogs are found in ancient Roman literature in works such as those of Columella, Varro an Palladius.  Similar dogs are depicted in numerous sculptures and paintings from Roman times to the present.  Among the earliest, is the series of large statues (2 in Rome, 1 in Florence, 1, the DUNCOMBE DOG —– in England) copied from a Hellenistic Bronze from PERGAMON.

The first registration of the MAREMMA in the LIBRO del ORIGINI Italiano of the Kennel Club Italiano, as it was then called, was of four dogs in 1898.  The traditional use of the MAREMMA is as a guardian for the protection of sheep flocks against wolves.  The dogs work in groups ——- 3 to 4 dogs are an adequate defence against wolves.  Their function is mostly “dissuasion”, actual physical combat, with the predator, being comparatively rare.  Nevertheless, working dogs may be fitted with a ROCCALE ( or VRECCALE), a “spiked iron collar” which protects the neck in combat.  The ears of working dogs are normally “cropped”.
MAREMMA, used as livestock guardian dogs, are introduced to sheep flocks as puppies, so they bond to the sheep ( puppies as young as 7 – 8weeks old).  Although it is easiest to bond MAREMMA to sheep and goats, cattle ranchers have found that the dogs bond with cows too, and so they are used to protect range cattle.  Some ranchers have found success training MAREMMA to protect chickens from predation from both ground threats such as coyotes, stray dogs and foxes, as well as aerial threats such as raptors (hawks, eagles and owls)
In WARRNABOOL, Australia, the world’s first trial utilized a MAREMMA to guard the dwindling “little penguins” also called “fairy penguins” (penguins standing at 30 – 40cm tall).

Costiera Amalfitana

Costiera Amalfitana

COSTIERA AMALFITANA or AMALFI COAST is a stretch of coastline on the southern coast of the SORRENTINE Peninsula in the Province of SALERNO in Southern Italy.

The AMALFI Coast is a popular tourist destination for the region and Italy as a whole, attracting thousands of tourists annually.  In 1997, the AMALFI COAST was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a cultural landscape.

Amalfi coast Italy

During the 10th – 11th centuries, the DUCHY of AMALFI existed on the territory of the Amalfi Coast, centred in the town of Amalfi.  It was later controlled by the Principality of Salerno, until Amalfi was sacked by the Republic of Pisa in 1137.

Costiera Amalfitana_

Like the rest of the region, the Amalfi Coast lies in the Mediterranean climate belt, featuring warm summers and mild winters.  It is located on the relatively step southern shore of the SORRENTINE Peninsula, leaving little room for rural and agricultural territories.  The only land route to the Amalfi Coast is the 40km long STRADA STATALE 163, which runs along then coastline from the town of VIETRI sul MARE in the east to POSITANO in the west.  Thirteen Municipalities are located on the Amalfi Coast, many of them centred around tourism.


The Amalfi Coast is known for its production of LIMONCELLO Liqueur, as the area is a known cultivator of lemons, known as SFUSATO AMALFITANO in Italian.  These lemons are grown in terraced gardens along the entire coast between February and October.  Amalfi is also a known maker of hand-made thick paper which is called BAMBAGINA.  Other renowned local products are a particular kind of anchovies (local Italian : ALICI) from CETERA, and the colourful hand-made ceramics from VIETRI.


The rulers of Amalfi are the central figures in Webster’s Jacobean tragedy —– DUCHESS of MALFI.  In the last episode of the poplar TV series ENTOURAGE, Ari Gold & Mrs. Gold are seen relaxing at the Amalfi Coast, when Ari receives a phone call to become the Chairman of Time Warner.  
The Amalfi Coast was featured in POSITANO, a short story written by American author John Steinbeck in 1953.  It was also the setting in FINDING POSITANO, A LOVE STORY, written by author William James in 2010.

Amlfi coast colorful

The Amalfi Coast is also mentioned several times in “The Coast of Amalfi”, a song by Steve Harley, appearing on his 2005 album —– “The Quality of Mercy”.

Costiera Amalfitana night

The AMALFI COAST seems to be one grand balcony suspended between a sea of cobalt blue and the feet of the LATTARI Mountains in a long stretch of hollows and promontories, coves, cultivated terraces, vineyards and citrus and olive groves.

Due to its topographical characteristics, as well as its historical evolution, it is of enormous cultural and natural value and for this, it is protected by UNESCO.

Costiera Amalfitana Italy

An ancient marine Republic, AMALFI, held the monopoly for commerce in the TYRHENNIAN, exporting Italian goods (wood, iron, arms, fruit and wine) to Eastern markets in exchange for spices, perfumes, pearls, jewels, textiles and rugs to then trade in the West.