off the beaten path amalfi coast

The Amalfi Coast off the Beaten Path

The towns on the Amalfi Coast are popular for good reason, but the most famous ones like Positano and Amalfi overflow with tourists in high season. That said, like many A-list destinations in Italy, it’s not that hard to find respite from the crowds. To visit the Amalfi Coast off the beaten path, just head just a few miles down the coast for impressive food and culture without sacrificing the incredible coastline views or picturesque fishing villages that make this UNESCO-listed stretch of coast so popular.

Here are five very worthwhile stops on or near the Amalfi Coast that have just a fraction of the throngs:

paestum temples off the beaten track amalfi coast

The Ruins of Paestum

Technically part of the Cilento coast just south of Famous for its spectacular ancient Greek temples and painted Tomb of the Diver, Paestum dates back to the 7th century B.C. and is less than a two-hour drive from the town of Amalfi.

Spend a couple of hours visiting this UNESCO site that contains the most intact Doric temples in the world and its pocket-sized museum (you don’t need a guide to navigate the compact ruins).

paestum mozzarella italy

Buffalo Mozzarella Dairy Farms

Did you know that the buffalo (bufala) part of the melt-in-your-mouth “mozzarella di bufala” actually refers to water buffalo? Since the cheese-making process must start no more than 12 hours after milking, any true mozzarella producer must have actual water buffalo living nearby.

There are many of these certified “mozzarella di bufala” dairy farms just south of the Amalfi Coast near Salerno, though you should plan ahead if you want to see the cheese-making process, which is usually done only in the mornings. 

Vietri sul Mare off the beaten track amalfi coast

Ceramics in Vietri sul Mare

There are several great places to buy ceramics in Italy, and Vietri sul Mare is one of the best. Known as “Ceramic Capital of the South”, Vietri’s homes and shops sport tile murals and ceramic shrines and the main Via Madonna degli Angeli is lined with ceramic shops selling colorful, traditional majolica.

Choose tableware or home decorations that sport bright yellow lemons, whimsical fish, or other classic and contemporary designs. Shops all ship to the US, though sometimes the cost of shipping can be more than the value of the item, so you may want to consider packing your purchases in your carry-on bag.

cetara hidden amalfi coast

Cetara Food and Views

If you just want a break from the tourists for a day or so, the town of Cetara is a great Amalfi Coast off the beaten path option. Easily accessible from the town of Amalfi, Cetara is known for its anchovies and is even considered to be the foodie capital of the Amalfi coast. But don’t just go for dinner. The town itself is really pretty, has a nice beach, and with few tourists.  

no tourists amalfi coast

The Spectacular Coastline

The famous rugged coastline between Sorrento and Amalfi actually continues on down the coast. Not far from Paestum is the Cilento National Park with incredible beaches, views, and fantastic towns. Driving along coastal roads, it’s about a 2-hour drive from Paestum down to Palinuro. And just another hour or so down the coast gets you to this stunning scenery near Maratea:

no crowds amalfi coast

So there you have it! If you have already been to the Amalfi Coast, loved it, and want more but different, this is for you. Or, if you want the Amalfi Coast but not the tourists, this is for you. These are also great stops on a Naples-to-Sicily driving route, which I’ve planned for Italy trip planning clients in the past.

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