A Hidden Gem in Southern Italy


Juan Manuel Rodriguez

Cliffs on the Sorrento Peninsula and the town of Amalfi as seen during summer from the highest point in Agerola, the balcony in the abandoned castle 630+ meters above sea level.

Juan Manuel Rodríguez, Marketing Manager

Agerola or “Little Switzerland” is located in Campania, a region in the Sorrento Peninsula 630 meters above sea level. Even though it has an area of 19 km2, it is home to a handful of restaurants, hotels, hikes, and sights that make it competitive against the attractive of nearby, more acclaimed, towns like Amalfi, Positano, and Sorrento. It was founded in the Third Century and was soon conquered by the Roman empire. Despite the residual destruction of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Roman civilization stayed there and gave this region the identity it holds today. Agerola was known during the middle ages for cultivating “rosaria,” a special type of rose to make perfumes, and is currently recognized for producing milk. It stands out from many of the other towns in this area due to its birds’ eye view, comforting environment, and local cultural alternatives. 

A crisp pizza, a bowl of pasta or a creamy gelato are some of the dishes that give Italy its identity. This country is perceived as having one of the best culinary cultures, nevertheless, many tourists complain about popular locations on the Sorrento Peninsula, such as Capri or Amalfi, due to their Americanized and un-authentic food. It is easy to get carried away by the fried shrimp or pepperoni pizza these restaurants offer. On the other hand, Agerola is only 30 minutes away and provides a 100% Italian dining experience. Not only is there the possibility to opt for healthy alternatives, but visitors can also find local restaurants that will give them a taste of real Italian food. Ten minutes walking distance from the town’s main church, one can find – Luna D’Agerola , a local restaurant that makes all items in the menu from scratch, just like a traditional farmer family would do. The fruity red wine from their vineyard combines perfectly with the spaghetti al dente with a tender tomato and basil sauce. For a more refined meal, people could go to Ristorante B&B Leonardo’s for a “Maiale al forno con pomodorini, mais e scaglie di Parmigian” or a locally recognized Caprese salad. Overall, the visitors of this town will have a unique, authentic, and exquisite culinary experience while enjoying the breathtaking views. 

Being located up the rocky mountains of the peninsula, Agerola is home to one of the most acclaimed and astonishing views in the world. From one of its many balconies, visitors are able to see the deep blue color of the Tyrrhenian sea, breathtaking cliffs, lively towns, and vivid sunsets/sunrises Italy has to offer. Compared to other towns in the region like Sorrento or Positano, which lay on the coast, Agerola provides a bird’s eye view of the environment. Dealing with more than just the ocean, it allows for the beautiful mountains, towns, boats, coasts, and islands nearby to complement each other and form the fairytale, picture-perfect landscape it is known to have. The diurnal and nocturnal panorama from the whole town is perplexing, but 20 minutes up the main plaza, there’s an abandoned castle that according to locals “has the best view of all Italy”. This castle oversees the peak that surrounds the town and manages to display a 180-degree view of the coast. It is also one of the preferred spots to observe the dazzling starred sky.  The castle and other balconies scattered along the town assure that the view takes the spotlight in Agerola. 

When planning a potential vacation to the Sorrento Peninsula, tourists consider a boat ride to the picturesque coastal towns, to the blue grotto in Capri or to enjoy a relaxing day on the pebbled beach. Most activities of this peninsula are ocean-based, and accessibility is not as easy from Agerola. Despite the charming hikes, dinners, and balconies, visitors will not go home without having contact with the ocean.  This town is a 30-40 minute bus ride away from Amalfi, the nearest port. If anyone is looking to visit one of the aforementioned locations, they must take the extra pricing of the bus, commodity, and their schedules into consideration. Having a distanced location is however a potential strategic move as it significantly reduces the pricing of food, lodgment and transportation. It provides accessibility of high-quality products to the common public. In spite of the 4 euro bus ticket, one must pay to go down to Amalfi, staying in Agerola instead of Amalfi can save a family up to 100 euros per night on hotels and 15 euros per meal. The high positioning of this town is definitely worth the views and the prices. 

Agerola is a stellar vacationing spot that conveys through the scenic view and culinary traditions the allure of the authentic Italian culture. It allows for an appeasing and recharging experience for tourists that’s more accessible and genuine than other towns.