The Amalfi Coast - Positano, Italy
UNESCO World Heritage Site
It's hard to keep your eyes on the road while zipping along the dazzling landscape of the vertiginous Amalfi Drive, an improbable 30-mile stretch of hairpin curves south of Naples. After visiting the Amalfi coast, a giddy André Gide wrote in The Immoralist that "nothing more beautiful can be seen on this earth." Vertical cliffs plunge into an impossibly blue Mediterranean, as a coastline of seaside towns unfolds among terraced olive and lemon groves, oaks, and umbrella pines. No longer as remote as when arrival was possible only by sea or pack animal, the cliff-hanging town of Positano is still the ultimate refuge. Mercifully closed to traffic, the town´s jumble of converted whitewashed and pastel fishermen´s homes spills down a maze of narrow alleyways to the pebbly umbrella-lined beach, the only flat strip in town. It is here that tanned, handsome Sergio will pick you up and spirit you away to Da Adolfo in his family´s motor launch (look for the boat with the big red fish), far from Positano´s crowded beach scene and past the Hotel San Pietro so you can revel in an afternoon of sybaritic indulgence on a secluded slip of a beach. This is the region that gives the world fresh mozzarella di bufala; imagine how heavenly it tastes when it is grilled on a fragrant lemon leaf and served under the warm Neapolitan sun.