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John Steinbeck once wrote that the Amalfi coast “isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” Having  visited it last summer, it still doesn’t seem quite real to me, but that dreamlike beauty does beckon.

For those of you planning next summer’s travel, or just wanting a taste of seaside sun now, here are a few photos that capture some of this magical place. Most are my own, but a few I’ve gathered elsewhere.

Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Coast, Cliff, Campania, Italy

We start here in the town of Amalfi, where we stayed in the Hotel Residence, across from the waterfront and a sandy umbrella strewn beach.

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Around the corner from our hotel is a large plaza with steps climbing toward a striking Byzantine cathedral and a fountain where passersby fill up their water bottles. Narrow streets lead away through a busy shopping district into the foothills.

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The next day we leave Amalfi, catching a ferry to Positano, one of the most beautiful towns along the coastline. On the way we catch glimpses of other seaside villages and villas clinging to the rugged hillsides.

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Here we arrive at Positana, which grew around a Benedictine abbey founded in the 9th century. Now the tiled dome of the  Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunt is its most famous landmark.

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We walk along the waterfront, where artists have set up their easels and a marching band entertains us. and then have lunch with a view of the seaside.

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Later we stroll up into the hills to shop, and enjoy the spectacular views above and below us.

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Along the Almafi Coast lies the island of Capri and the city of Sorrento, which we also visited. But I’ll save that for another time.

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