Picture it: Italy.
Rome, Florence, Milan… all beautiful places. All wonderful choices for your next vacation. But maybe you’re looking for something a little different this time.
Take a break from city-life with a pace-changing visit to one of the country’s fabulous coasts, be it in the northwest with the quaint cluster of fishing towns that is Cinque Terre, or down south to the cliffside villages of Amalfi.
How do you choose just one? Check out their three-round battle and decide for yourself. We guarantee, it won’t be easy!
Round 1: The Sights
Hey, you’re on vacation. Chances are, you’re going to wanna take in the sights and strike a pose in front of scenery so stunning your friends will be muttering under their breath in jealousy. With two UNESCO Sites along the Italian coast to choose from, you’ve certainly got your work cut out for you.
Find inspiration in the Amalfi Coast
Marvel at the coastal beauty that inspired so many great artists over the last two hundred years. Get a taste of the 13th century with the Duomo in Amalfi, or visit the famous gardens of Villa Rufolo in Ravello for an outdoor concerto. Top it all off with a day trip to Capri, and boat out to the Blue Grotto, an illuminated cave of wonders at the northern tip of the island.
See it all in Cinque Terre
Feeling the call of the wild? Grab your binoculars and go bird-watching from Torre Guardiola in Riomaggiore. Step into history at Castello Doria, the longest-standing castle in Cinque Terre, or get panoramic sea views like no other from one of Corniglia’s many viewpoints. Traveling in the offseason? See more than 10,000 lamps light and line the hills of Manarola for the light show of a lifetime in December or January.
Round 2: The Activities
Vacation is about more than just scurrying from one landmark to the next. Party with the locals, squeeze in some R&R, get your feet wet — literally! Make the most of your vacation. Those landmarks aren’t going anywhere.
Give into the glamour of the Amalfi Coast
Grab a car and get set for 50 kilometres of breath-stealing, life-making, unimaginably glorious coast. Hold onto your hat as you zip down winding, cliffside roads to take in the sea’s diamond-like sparkle. Plant your umbrella at the rocky beach of Spiaggia di Laurito near Positano, where you can soak up the sun without the crowds, and squeeze in a few leisurely laps in the secluded cove.
Traveling as a couple? Enjoy a romantic dinner in the luxurious island of Capri, or dance the night away in under a bed of stars and the twinkling lights of Positano. How’s that for date night?
Find adventure in Cinque Terre
Get your adrenaline pumping and try your hand at cliff jumping with the locals, or catch a glimpse of the excitement from the safe comforts of your table at a seaside restaurant.
Need a little cardio to work off all that pasta? Spend the day trekking through Cinque Terre’s five villages, and breathe in the freshest air in the Italian Riviera without a single car in sight.
If tranquility is what you’re gunning for, spend the day lounging on Riomaggiore’s, quiet, rocky beach for a little slice of paradise, or strip down at the hidden, clothing-optional sands of Guvano Beach.
Round 3: The Food
Let’s be honest, here. When we first mentioned Italy, your first thought was probably the food, am I right? We can’t say we blame you. We take Italian food seriously. If you’ve been teetering on the fence between these two remarkable regions, what comes next might just help you pick a side.
Savour southern classics in the Amalfi Coast
Say cheese! No, not for the camera, silly (that comes later!). We’re talking cheese-cheese, like you’ve never tasted before. Pillows of the freshest Mozzarella di Bufala you’ll ever taste in your lifetime, bubbled and melted on the crispy, chewy, woodfired bed we call pizza.
Have a hankering for something sweet? Try a bite of the flakey heaven that is sfogliatella, a classic local pastry filled with a citrus cream and dried fruit. But hang on just a second. No visit to the Italian coast is complete without a sampling of seafood, freshly caught and delicately prepared with the finest herbs and just squeeze of a locally grown citrus.
And speaking of lemons the size of your backpack, wash everything down with a refreshing sip of the Sorrento staple that is none other than the famed limoncello.
Get wine happy in Cinque Terre
If fresh cheese and zippy citrus aren’t your jam, perhaps you’ll prefer something a little earthier. Head to the home of basil to get a taste of the best dang pesto around. Herby, nutty, and some kind of wonderful, you can enjoy pesto with more of that ultra fresh seafood we mentioned earlier, or have it tossed with golden ribbons of homemade pasta.
Need to carb up? Dip a hunk of focaccia or two into a shallow pool of olive oil to stay heart-healthy. That’s what that is, right? Pair all of those delicate flavours with a glass — or a bottle — of local white wine, made with the grapes grown on the mountainsides of the Ligurian coast.
Making your choice
Already picked a winner? We know we certainly haven’t.
Do you prefer the remote tranquility of Cinque Terre, or are you ready for southern luxury in the Amalfi Coast? Are you traveling alone? With friends? With that special someone?
These are all things that will inevitably influence your decision in the end. But hey, you don’t need to pick a side. With Amalfi and Cinque Terre being just a few hours away by car or train from Rome or Florence, you can get the best of both worlds by extending your holiday or booking day trips from either major city. Because two is always better than one — especially when it comes to Italy.