Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Modern Traveler's Top Amalfi Coast Historical Sites

Not that you need to look for any reasons to visit the Amalfi Coast, but just in case you need some guidance, here are the Modern Traveler's top historical sites to visit on and around the Costiera Amalfitana.
1. Villa Jovis on Capri: Capri is fabled for two reasons. It is breathtakingly gorgeous and it was the playground for the less than moral Emperor Tiberius. Don't miss the ruins of his grand palace, the Villa Jovis, at the southern tip of the island. The flower-lined walk to the Villa from town is a lovely way to spend your morning and the views of the Amalfi Coast will knock your socks off.
2. Paestum(pictured): Somehow this sanctuary of ancient Greek temples was overlooked for the past 2,000 years. The 2,500 year old temples are in almost pristine condition and the rest of the archaeological site is pretty interesting too. Paestum is just a short drive from Salerno which is at the southern base of the Amalfi peninsula. Don't miss the museum!
3. Herculaneum: In less than an hour from the Amalfi Coast you can get to one of the most spectacular ancient Roman archaeological sites in the world. Far less visited than nearby Pompeii, Herculaneum is even better preserved. Be sure to take advantage of the guided tours. It's well worth the money.
4. Sant'Andrea Cathedral in Amalfi:Built in the 10th century on the ruins of an ancient temple, this cathedral is a fascinating mix of Italian and Arab architecture. The relics of Saint Andrew, martyred in 64 CE, are contained in the crypt below the cathedral. The church is right on the main piazza of Amalfi and the bells of its Moorish campanile resound throughout the town.

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