The Amalfi Coast is saturated with color. Its first town and gateway, Vietri sul Mare, fills this role with distinction.
At first glance, this town of 8000 looks like many others in the region, sunwashed stucco on the edge of a bright blue sea.
On closer inspection we see the unusual yellow and blue tile dome of its church of San Giovanni Battista. This symbol of the town tells us why we came: Vietri's unique expression of the natural beauty of the region is its vivid, handpainted ceramics.
Producing pottery since the Middle Ages, Vietri has in fact manufactured the floor tiles and baptismal fonts of most of the churches in the region. Today its ceramics, like the Amalfi lemon, are a controlled regional designation.
The rich coloring of Vietri's tiles and tableware is inspired by the view from any Amalfitana window.
The town's main streets are lined with colorful ceramic shops that carry an enormous variety of designs, both traditional and abstract.
The clear blue Mediterranean smiles on Vietri with beautiful beaches, where everyone loves the local colors. Everyone. But its ancient buildings may also surround a shady terrazzo that offers peace and quiet to the outshopped and overwhelmed.
A long ago image from Vietri reminds us that its full name is sul Mare, by the sea. Vietri is also known for its excellent seafood.
Here we see an early morning shopper waiting for his local fish market to open. We can attest to the fact that shortly after this photo was snapped, the patient shopper received his fish.
If you are not able to get to Vietri immediately, visit the Shop to enjoy the colors of the Costiera Amalfitana.