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The Vertical Landscape

From Vietri to Positano, instead of looking left or right you gaze upwards at the rocks which stand guard over the cliffs or downwards at the never-ending sea, the medieval highway on which the Amalfitan Republic built up its fortune through prosperous trading with the Saracens in the ports of the Mediterranean.

The vertical landscape dictates the time and methods of an extreme agriculture, unrepeatable, extraordinary: small quantities and high quality.

Here the ancient Romans of Nuceria and surroundings built villas to relax in where they could enjoy the mild climate; later monks and hermits took refuge here to pray From Vietri to Positano, instead of looking left or right you gaze upwards at the rocks which stand guard over the cliffs or downwards at the never-ending sea, the medieval highway on which the Amalfitan Republic built up its fortune through prosperous trading with the Saracens in the ports of the Mediterranean.

The vertical landscape dictates the time and methods of an extreme agriculture, unrepeatable, extraordinary: small quantities and high quality.

Here the ancient Romans of Nuceria and surroundings built villas to relax in where they could enjoy the mild climate; later monks and hermits took refuge here to pray and to save their souls and yet again, almost a thousand years ago, the great republic of traders were forced to cut down all the woods of the Lattari Mountains to build fair and audacious ships.

When Amalfi began to decline, the Coast fell back on its own resources, the economy of the small time farmer took over with cianciola fishing boats, vegetable plots, fish, grapes, a few olive trees, prickly pear cactuses and chestnuts;  the mentality of trading conquests faded away, the communities were exhausted by war, Saracen invasions, plague and natural calamities.

The rediscovery of this island attached to the land took place, after many centuries of  tranquillity, with the Grand Tour of bored Romantics in search of emotions; later with the passionate films of Rossellini and finally with international jet set tourism: all of which have contributed to the legend of a territory in which houses, rocks and monasteries have reached the perfection of a complete and definitive style.

From the boatyards of the fishermen of Cetara to the shelters of the shepherds of Tramonti, from the ceramic workshops of Vietri to those of the clothes business in Positano, from the Cathedral of Amalfi to the hundred churches of Scala, from the scorching rocks to the damp woods hidden in the mists, one life is not enough to discover all the corners of history and manual knowledge built up over the centuries and fashioned by the surrounding natural scenery.

There is a coast of exclusive villas together with that of the Holy Spirit; everywhere there is art of a unique architectural style: Christian, Saracen, Gothic, Baroque. There are grand hotels where the history of Italian hospitality was made; small farmsteads where mysterious fruit is cultivated; tiny inlets only reached by boat and the worldly beaches watched over by paparazzi.

In short, tourism on the seafront, crafts in the villages and agriculture inland.