Amalfi Coast, Italy

The Italians have a saying: "il dolce far niente", the sweetness of doing nothing. That's exactly the philosophy Samantha Brown has as she sets out for her next vacation destination; Italy's Amalfi Coast! Situated in Southern Italy, Samantha explores the cities, towns and villages along this untamed and magnificent stretch of coastline. Her first stop is the town of Sorrento, an hour's drive south from Naples, Italy. It is in Sorrento that Samantha first picks up on the sweetness of doing nothing by watching the local residents gather in the town's center to do "nothing". She'll explore the narrow streets of the historic district, buy a pair of hand-made leather gloves, visit a lemon garden to sample a famous Sorrento drink - limoncello, and she'll get a real taste of Italy by joining a family for lunch at home. From Sorrento it's off to the southernmost destination along the Amalfi Coast - the town of Amalfi itself. Steeped in historical significance, Amalfi was once the wealthiest and most powerful ports in Italy. Samantha also discovers this town's importance with the written word - Amalfi was the European capital of papermaking. Tucked away on a side street, Samantha finds a descendant of a master papermaker who today continues this ancient craft that first came to Amalfi in 1220. Samantha ends her journey of the Amalfi Coast in the picturesque hillside village of Positano. It's brightly colored homes and shops that are literally built into the rock of the mountainside appear as if they are falling down into the Mediterranean Sea making it one of the most photographed fishing villages in the world. Although Samantha visited only a sampling of Italy's southwest coast, the whole idea of this vacation was to take a cue from the Italians who make it a priority not to rush through things, but to savor the moment and enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing, and Italy's incredible Amalfi Coast is the best place to do just that.

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