Headlands, fjords, coves, caves, breathtaking views: the approach to the “Divine”, as this coast was termed, can only and exclusively be aesthetic and of absolute enjoyment. And yet, in front of this “land beyond the sea, where the waves and mountains meet” (Longfellow), one of the first temptations that strikes the visitor is mystic ascesis.
If there exists a place on Earth where it is easy to trace creation to a singled-out Intelligence and Creativity, that place is the Amalfi Coast.
In fact, this tiny strip of Salerno’s territory represents the sum of so many peculiarities that harmoniously coexist with each other in an almost supernatural symbiosis that blends the grandeur of landscapes with exemplars of art, history, culture and civilization.
Here we are faced with the triumph of biodiversity, in the wider meaning of the term: here every square meter is blessed by typicality. A subject worthy of its local characteristic lemon, the Amalfi “Sfusato”, as well as the products of other local craftsmanship, such as the artistic ceramics of Vietri sul Mare.
The echoes of “Absolute” that emanate from all this “uniqueness” exemplify the true mystery of the Amalfi Coast, for centuries investigated in vain. Surely the sun, the sea and the enchanting landscapes are not enough to depict the soul of this territory.
Perhaps the Arché, the principle of all things, is to be found in the “genius loci”: Amalfi, Positano, Praiano, Minori, Maiori (and let us not forget all the other small villages and hamlets). These places would never have come up with so much grandeur for centuries, had not man’s hand been so inspired in respectfully moulding the territory according to the universal canons of aesthetics globally acknowledged and shared. Otherwise, one could not be able to explain all the beautiful pages that so many different artists of sensitivity and other cultures have devoted to the Amalfi Coast: from Ibsen to Steinbeck, from Boccaccio and Fubini to Gregorovius.
If we wanted to pay dues to a common denominator here, we could say that this Coast is a “free port of the spirit”, meaning a place where the world’s tensions wane, vanish, and man is just left in front of the mystery of his/her nature, exalted by so much splendour.
Thirty-seven miles of coast, south-north-bound, from the gates of Salerno to the Sorrento peninsula: up along a strip of tarmac or sliding below on the waters at the feet of those rocky giants, behind every curve lies a new wonder: here everything is a heritage of humanity.