Our latest Expedia Vacation Travel Guide is up – this time, it is one of the most spectacular places on earth – Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

There are some places that are so famous and so legendary that even before you set foot there, it feels familiar. The Amalfi Coast or “road of a thousand bends” is one such place. This route has attracted society’s rich and beautiful for thousands of years and inspired some of the world’s greatest artists and writers.

This shoot was particularly challenging for Jon, our photographer as, for most of his visit, it was almost non-stop rain. According to Jon, there were short burst of sunshine during which he’d race out and take as much footage as he could. (This technique obviously worked as the weather looks divine in the footage.) He navigated the towns on a 50cc scooter with his tripod and slider between his knees. Possibly not ideal when the wind is blowing the rain sideways…

Just in case, poor weather wasn’t enough to make this shoot difficult, Jon was also so sick during most of this trip that he couldn’t taste any of the delicious food that he was photographing.

Back at Tourism Media HQ, writing the script was a joy as I got to learn more about Amalfi’s long history.

Some interesting facts:

  • The city of Amalfi was a wealthy and powerful town during medieval times and merchants here were amongst the few who had gold coins to spend. Nearly everyone else in Italy was using a barter system at the time so having coins gave them a significant trading advantage.
  • Just off the coast from Positano is where, according to Homer’s “Odyssey,” Odysseus (or Ulysseus) resisted the mythical call of the sirens. When Odysseus leaves the home of the goddess Circe, he is warned about the beautiful Sirens who lure unsuspecting mariners to their island, to be shipwrecked on the rocky coast. Odysseus solved this problem by instructing his sailors to plug their ears with beeswax. Odysseus, himself did not block his ears (as he wanted to hear the Sirens call)  but he instructed his sailors to tie him to the mast and not untie him even if he ordered them to. In this way, his ship and its crew escaped unharmed.

According to some versions of this story, if someone heard the Sirens singing and escaped them, the Sirens were fated to die and so they flung themselves into the water and perished in that place.

So, with that history in mind, take a look at the Amalfi Vacation Travel Guide.