Vietri Sul Mare is the first of the cities of the Amalfi Coast that one meets, departing from Salerno. Together with all the other towns of the Amalfi Coast, it has been declared a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO. Vietri Sul mare, like Positano and Amalfi, deserves to be visited, although it is still little known among the destinations of the “Divine Coast”. In this article, I present it to you and also give you some small suggestions to better enjoy your visit to Vietri Sul Mare.
- A bit of history and useful information
- What to do in Vietri Sul Mare?
- Walk in the historic center towards the Villa Comunale
- A day at the beach or an aperitif in Vietri Sul Mare
- How to get to Vietri Sul Mare
A bit of history and information on Vietri Sul Mare
Vietri Sul Mare has Etruscan origins. The Etruscans called the city Marcina and founded it on the sea for maritime trade. The vandals destroyed and sacked it, but once the danger escaped, the locals, surviving the invasion, rebuilt it and called it Vietri. The name chosen was not accidental. Its meaning comes from the Latin word “Vetus”, which means “ancient”, concerning the old city on which it was rebuilt.
Today, Vietri Sul Mare consists of an upper part and a seaside area called “Marina di Vietri”. The upper part constitutes the Old Town, around the Church of San Giovanni Battista, which dominates the panorama with its dome decorated with majolicas*. Marina di Vietri, on the other hand, constitutes the seaside area, one of the largest ones among the seasides of the Amalfi Coast.
Two roads connect the upper part and the seaside area: Via Osvaldo Costabile that goes downhill to the seaside for 600 meters, recommended for those who move on foot, and via Cristoforo Colombo, used mainly to drive by car or bus from one area of the city to another (about 2 km long).
*kind of ceramic production typical of Vietri
What to do in Vietri Sul Mare
Vietri sul Mare is perfect for a walk in its historic center which can be considered an open-air museum of the art of ceramics. Even if you don’t know what to do on the Amalfi Coast when it rains, my advice is to visit this small village, because thanks to its many colors it will be able to make you forget the gray of a rainy day! In addition to a visit to the historic center, which I will describe in more detail later, Vietri sul Mare is also perfect for a day at the beach, for lunch or dinner outdoors, or for an aperitif! Read on or write me to ask me for advice and receive interactive maps!
Walk in the historic center towards the Villa Comunale
After parking your car in Piazza Matteotti, or after arriving at the train station (I give more precise indications in the section How to get to Vietri Sul Mare), you reach the Ceramica Artistica Falcone (reference point). Here is where Corso Umberto I begins, the historical and “Movida” center of Vietri Sul Mare. Many shops sell local and typical products of the Amalfi Coast. Among these, the handcrafted-ceramics shops stand out, for which Vietri Sul Mare is famous worldwide.
As you walk through these streets, your eyes will be captured by a thousand colors and artistic details scattered everywhere! The artists of the area have given free rein to their creativity by transforming even the pipes of the buildings into works of art. Try looking for them! Let yourself be guided through the alleys discovering corners that if I want to list them I would have to write too much. I have visited this city several times, and each time I am surprised to discover something that I had not noticed the time before!
There are, however, some things I recommend you do during your walk in Vietri sul Mare: reach the Duomo, following the signs you will find along the road, go through Vicolo Passariello with its fountain and ceramic decoration, which it will lead you to a truly suggestive courtyard, and finally, reach the small square at the end of Corso Umberto I from where you can admire the village with the majolica dome sitting on one of the ceramic benches under the trees!
The walk will continue towards the Villa Comunale. The public gardens are a must-stop, especially to admire the view. Try to be here for the sunset time! The Villa Comunale offers a breathtaking view. What is more, its structure, clinging to the rock, gives the illusion of descending many steps towards the sea, which extends immense before you. The villa stands out for the colors of the ceramics that turn it into a unique place in the world.
A day at the beach or an aperitif in Vietri Sul Mare
The seaside of Vietri Sul Mare is the perfect destination for one day at the beach, especially for those staying in Salerno, but also for an aperitif on the beach! If you are by car, you can park in one of the parking lots in Marina di Vietri, or, if you are on foot, reach the seaside area by going down Via Osvaldo Costabile.
The beaches of Vietri Sul Mare are large and spacious, almost all equipped, but there are also free beaches. The further you go below the coast the more small beaches you find with pebbles instead of sand. From here, you can only swim to reach small hidden bays on the coast.
Among Vietri Sul Mare beaches, you can find the Crestarella, from which you can admire “I Due Fratelli” (the Two Brothers), two almost identical rocks that are located not far from the coast, and which can be considered the symbol of Vietri. From here, you can also see one of the watchtowers that characterize the Amalfi Coast, used in the past to spot the attacks of the pirates (the Saracens).
From Vietri sul Mare, moreover, it is perfect to leave for an excursion in SUP, given its proximity to many coves that are not far from the main beaches.
I’ll talk about it here: SUP in the Amalfi Coast and Salerno: everything you need to know
Apart from the beaches, there are loads of places where you can have an aperitif on the sea in Marina di Vietri. A must to try is the ice cream at the Eco del Mare (Echo of the Sea). Besides, if you are suddenly hungry, look for Rififi, where you can try pizzas with a unique flavor. A must-try! Write me to get the interactive map with all the places I personally recommend!
How to get to Vietri Sul Mare
A visit to Vietri is perfect if you are staying in Salerno. If you drive by car, you can reach it in 10 minutes (without traffic), along the SS 18. Once in Piazza Matteotti, you can park your car and start your walk in the historic center. If you want to reach the Marina di Vietri, instead, you will have to continue for the downhill street Via Osvaldo Costabile, and then park in one of the parking lots located in the seaside area.
If you decide to reach Vietri Sul Mare by train, you will have to get off at the stop Vietri Sul Mare-Amalfi. The name of this stop can be misleading when buying the ticket because it gives the idea of reaching Amalfi once you get off the train. In reality, the stop leaves precisely in the upper part of Vietri Sul Mare, while to reach Amalfi and other destinations on the Amalfi Coast, you need to choose other connections by land or by sea (ferries and SITA bus). Once you get to the station, you will have to walk down the stairs and head towards Corso Umberto I. From here, you can either stroll in the historic center, continuing to Corso Umberto I, or, to reach the seaside area, walk along the downhill road Osvaldo Costabile.
It is also possible to reach Vietri sul Mare by ferry from Salerno, and from any village on the Amalfi Coast, thanks to the Travelmar company. If you need help, do not hesitate to contact me!
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