On the amalfi coast, the nature breathes, but until when?

Sur la côte amalfitaine, la nature respire, mais jusqu’à quand?

Fish more numerous, pollution less, the songs of the birds… to the favor of the containment and tourism in bern, the nature is breathing again on the amalfi coast, a region hyper-tourism in the south of Italy, provoking a questioning of how to reconcile economy and sustainable development.

“Our sea has always been clear, crystal clear, but in this moment with the low presence of vessels and stopping time of activities, it is spectacular. And we are seeing a lot more fish than before, ” stresses Andrea Coppola, skipper at Plaghia Charter, which organizes boat excursions.

Famous for its villages hanging on the cliffs flowing into the Mediterranean, the amalfi coast has now the air of a sleeping beauty.

The first countries affected by the epidemic of coronavirus in Europe, Italy is the output beginning of may, two months confinement, and since 3 June, is open again to tourists. But these are still rare.

“Normally, this time of year, there are yachts everywhere, from here to Capri,” says Giovanni Casci, guide, traveler, looking from a promontory on the coast, almost empty.


With containment, ” the sea is back as 40 years ago. In terms of the peace, the impact has been undeniable. Before there were so many boats to pass, it seemed like a highway, ” stressed Gaetano Esposito, age 58, of which 53 passed to fish.

“But the problem is economic. If you fish and that you don’t sell…, ” says the fifty-year-old in the face tanned by the sun.

In addition to the dolphins regularly present on the coast, ” there have been sperm whales, of large cetaceans that were entering the port, which is approached more easily and in areas where before we never saw them “, says Mr Case, who works with the association Cartotrekking.

Hiking trails, including the spectacular Sentiero degli Dei, have seen their side vegetation to grow “disproportionately” and the first work after the containment has been to “cut the brambles where it was no longer possible to pass, and to challenge state and security,” he adds.

Since then, hikers, mainly Italian, have renfilé their walking shoes, leading to salamanders and snakes to hide again.

“From march to October, the amalfi coast is over-crowded “, and the probable return of mass tourism, after this digression, will have an impact on the nature, notes the guide.

His colleague Marco Marotta is estimated that the pandemic could be ” a great opportunity to reorganize the tourism “.

“Tourism excursions and hiking is in strong growth in recent years, but there are still places that deserve to be discovered and offer the peace compared to the madness of the beaches and the beautiful cities of the coast “, he notes.

Territory liveable

President of the tourist District of the amalfi coast, Andrea Ferraioli judge that the health crisis, which has had harsh consequences on the sector, in particular because of the absence of american visitors, is an opportunity.

“The coast has had in recent years an influx of tourist can be too important, especially in the summer “, reaching the “almost two million visitors last year,” he explains.

It pleads for a tourism more spread out, on ” 12 months a year, rather than 7 or 8 “, by developing the trekking or the énogastronomie, but also a tourism more responsible point environmental.

In the villages, to be savoured as the calm returned, while regretting the lack of tourists, a sign of a difficult equation to solve.

“Positano lives a beautiful time, nature is reclaiming its rightful place, the sea is crystal clear, the morning, we wake up with the birds… A town as beautiful as Positano deserves to have a tourism of high quality, as we have had in the past “, without the ravages of mass tourism, is estimated Tanina Vanacore, co-owner of the 4 star hotel Palazzo Murat.

Usually, ” we had 200 to 300 bus per day that were back and forth on the coast, causing traffic jams and problems making it difficult for the daily life of the inhabitants. “For five kilometres, it was three hours,” she explains.

The end of this traffic outside the norm was ” a relief “, and ” we have raised nearly 10 000 signatures in order that it does not return. We need a territory that is livable, where nature and sea are respected, ” she says.

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