Destination Spotlight: Amalfi Coast

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Who hasn’t seen the Amalfi Coast pop up on their social media feed lately? This destination is as beautiful as it is popular, and there is a reason for that! With gorgeous seaside towns tucked into the Mediterranean mountainscape, there is no shortage of things to do, eat, and see! This paradise is only an hour and a half from Naples, and the flights departing out of Naples tend to be very early in the morning, so make sure to plan accordingly! It is best to over-budget for this leg of the trip, especially if you are looking for a room with a view!

LOGISTICS

BEST TIME TO VISIT

What are the best times to visit? The busy season begins around Easter and runs through September, but prices are generally lower in May and June. May is a top month to see the Amalfi Coast, with perfect temperatures, lush blooms, and fewer tourists!

TRANSPORTATION ALONG THE COAST

While the Amalfi coastline is absolutely stunning, it is also challenging to drive. So my recommendation would be to hire a car and driver. Not only will hiring one lower your blood pressure, but you can enjoy the incredible scenery around you rather than keeping your eyes on the hairpin turns and narrow roadways. It will make for a much more relaxing vacation if you do.

EuroLimo is an excellent alternative to a car rental. This transfer typically costs about 100 Euro each way for two people. 

There is no Uber currently in Italy, but there are plenty of cabs available! Much of the area near the beach is only accessible on foot, so you should consider any mobility limitations before picking certain areas along the coast.

Make sure you reserve your ferry tickets in advance, especially during the busy season! They sell out quickly.

DRESS APPROPRIATELY

The weather is warm and sunny along the coast for most of the year. A sundress and sandals are perfectly appropriate. But make sure you bring along a jacket or wrap for those times you want to enter a place of worship. Italian custom is that you cover your shoulders when entering a church. No short shorts either.

SHOPPING IN THE AMALFI COAST

SAFARI POSITANO

This tiny shop just above Positano’s main beach sells bespoke sandals that will last season after season. From the basic models in every color imaginable to versions adorned with gems or leather flowers, each custom-made shoe has a non-slip rubber sole and ensures no metal comes in contact with your foot.  Safari Positano

STINGA TARSIA

The art of intarsia has been one of Sorrento’s fine crafts since the 1300s. Jewelry boxes, photo frames, and mirrors come in a range of classic and contemporary looks, and the trinket shops of Sorrento overflow with cheaply turned-out wooden souvenirs. There is no resemblance to the masterpieces of intarsia that have brought Sorrentine craftspeople fame over centuries of tradition. The best way to make sure you purchase the best quality intarsia is to buy directly from the workshop where the piece was made. Stinga Tarsia

CERAMICHE D’ARTE FACTORY

Found in Ravello, this is the company that makes pottery typical of the region. While you’ll find many of their stores around Italy, it’s here where the magic happens. Peruse the artists’ different designs, including whimsical creations for children, typical floral-and-fruit patterns, and other minimal styles. Ceramiche d’Arte Factory

AMATRUDA

With over 500 years of papermaking experience, one of the few mills still operating in the Amalfi is Amatruda. Find holiday cards, albums, notebooks, invitations, business cards, and more from these masters of the trade. Amatruda

EMPORIO LE SIRENUSE

The eclectic boutique at Le Sirenuse has unique clothing, shoes, and fragrances reflective of the hotel’s character and hand-picked by the owner, Carla Sersale, a woman of impeccable taste. Emporio Le Sirenuse

PLACES TO VISIT

AMALFI

Town of Amalfi at famous Amalfi Coast with Gulf of Salerno

After Positano and Sorrento, Amalfi is one of the most popular towns to stay. The largest town along the coast is the perfect place to stay for travelers who want the beauty of Positano without the nightlife.Amalfi offers something for everyone with fantastic beaches as well as incredible culture and history. It’s also right in the middle of the Amalfi Coast – perfectly positioned for exploration. If you go into Amalfi town, there’s a charming village to walk around and grab some food and drink.

CAPRI

Capri Harbor and Town

Aside from being a summer favorite of holidaying VIPs, Capri is also a hugely popular day-trip destination for cruise ship passengers and tourists staying on the mainland. Ferries depart from all major towns on the coast. Be sure to leave time to take a Capri boat tour to explore the nearby sea caves, take pictures of the iconic rock formations in the water (known as Faraglioni), or enjoy a dip in the beautiful water. After a full day in the sun and water, be sure to indulge in local Limoncello and Torta Caprese.

POSITANO

Positano, Italy

Positano is famously known for its pastel-colored houses that cover its cliff into the sea. Known for upscale shopping, sandy beaches, and great nightlife, Positano is for travelers looking for a chic, exclusive getaway. Stay here if: you are looking for a vacation in luxury, if you don’t mind spending some extra money on your vacation, you are physically fit and don’t mind walking through steep streets, prefer sandy beaches to rocky coasts, if you are looking to shop and experience the nightlife!

RAVELLO

Ravello, Italy

This tiny village sits back away from the coast atop a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. Ravello is a hidden gem because it does not have direct beach access, making it less popular for travelers and slightly less crowded than other Amalfi Coast towns. Stay here if: you are looking for a more romantic getaway, want a destination that is a little less crowded, you don’t mind not being directly on the beach, if you are looking for a little more peace and quiet.

SORRENTO

Sorrento, Italy

This is the official starting point of the Amalfi Coast and the most accessible town. This accessibility makes it the easiest place to stay if you want to day trip to Naples or Pompeii. However, this also means that it gets packed with other tourists during the busy season. Stay here if: you are looking for a convenient location you can plan day trips from, if you are looking for a spot where most people speak English, if you want to ease into your Amalfi Coast vacation, you don’t mind crowds, or you don’t have a lot of time to spend on the coast.

AMAZING ACCOMODATIONS

HOTEL SANTA CATARINA

A secret among celebrities and discerning travelers, Hotel Santa Caterina is a superb seaside hideaway set amid an expansive estate inhabited by vibrant bougainvillea and fragrant lemon and orange groves. Choose one of the lavish suites, each with a sea-view bathroom and thoughtfully chosen antiques. Outside, two elevators are available to whisk you to the swimming pool, bathing platform, and spa. Don’t miss the fine-dining Glicine Restaurant for a romantic venue. Hotel Santa Catarina

CARUSO, A BELMOND HOTEL

Set on a limestone cliff, Hotel Caruso gazes out over the Tyrrhenian Sea. The hotel was originally built in the 11th century by a wealthy family, shipwrecked on their journey to Constantinople. The hotel boasts all the worldly luxuries anyone could desire. Inside, the 50 rooms have been lovingly restored to their ancient Neapolitan glory. Expect hand-crafted terracotta floors and Naples-yellow walls adorned with neo-classical antiques. Fresh flowers and stunning coastline vistas complete the experience. Caruso, a Belmond Hotel

GRAND HOTEL EXCELSIOR VITTORIA

Perched on the cliff edge of Sorrento, the largest city of the Amalfi Coast, the inimitable Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria has a history full of superlatives. Owned and operated by the Fiorentino family since 1834, the property has breathtaking views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Set in five acres of beautiful gardens, the property is a Mediterranean gem built on the site of a splendid villa belonging to Roman Emperor Augustus. 79 elegantly appointed rooms and suites evoke a welcoming, residential ambiance away from the hustle and bustle of the town. Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria

LE SIRENUSE

You’ll have to pinch yourself to believe you’re basking in the beauty that is Le Sirenuse. Many travelers have fallen in love with this family-run villa’s romantic arches, vaulted ceilings, and handmade floor tiles. Spend afternoons on the sunny terrace taking in views of Positano, Capri, and Li Galli. Enjoy an evening cocktail at Aldo’s Champagne Bar, followed by dinner in the sea-view restaurant, La Sponda. Le Sirenuse

PALAZZO AVINO

Palazzo Avino, an elegant hilltop hotel created with style and panache from a 12th-century villa, is one of the most desirable places to stay on the breathtaking Amalfi Coast. The hotel sits on the cliffs some 1,000 feet above the surrounding coastline in the charming medieval village of Ravello. Originally built in the 12th century and tastefully refurbished to deluxe standards, this authentic, architectural masterpiece offers 43 air-conditioned bedrooms and suites, most of which have exclusive Jacuzzi baths and unique sea views. Palazzo Avino

CURATED CUISINE

AL MARE ( Amalfi )

Situated on a terrace just above Hotel Santa Caterina’s private beach club, the restaurant offers a picture-perfect setting for an evening you will never forget. The live band, view, and delicious food were perfect. Fresh-grilled fish and fragrant pizzas cooked in the traditional wood-burning oven are the specialties here. Even the desserts were unforgettable. You have to try the fresh sorbets! Al Mare

L’OLIVO (Capri)

The two Michelin-starred in Capri Palace is a refined restaurant where attention to detail is evident in the composition of the dishes. This restaurant is perfect for that special night out. I chose to dine on the outdoor terrace with sweeping views of the Bay of Naples for a spectacular view.  L’Olivo

BUCA DI BACCO (Capri)

Neapolitan style chewy crusts singed from the wood oven, cherry tomatoes, melty mozzarella, and zingy tomato sauce are what you get at this pizzeria on Capri. This is the Italian pizza you have been craving. Choose to sit near the large window at the end of the room as it has a fantastic view out over the water.  Buca di Bacco

CHEZ BLACK (Positano)

With a perfect location beachside, Chez Black is right in the middle of all the action. The food is traditional Italian coastal cuisine and excellent. Try a plate of fresh mozzarella and Paccheri Gragnano pasta Positanese (a tasty seafood ragu). The wine list is predominately local. Chez Black

LA SPONDA (Positano)

La Sponda is one of the most romantic restaurants on the Amalfi Coast, if not the world. Lit by over 400 candles that create an intimate atmosphere, this is the place to take your loved one for a meal to remember.

The terrace’s views overlooking the Mediterranean and Positano are comparable only to the superb food. The menu is fresh, local, and seasonal. From pasta al Pomodoro, seafood carpaccios to the freshest catch of the day, you will be spoiled for choice.  La Sponda

DA ADOLFO (Positano)

This beach-shack restaurant Da Adolfo is legendary! It is accessible on foot only to adventurous walkers with a head for heights, or their ‘red fish’ boat departs from le Sirenuse’s main beach. Serving locally caught fish in the most fantastic beach location, make a day of your visit and visit the beach afterward. This is a seriously low-key, delicious experience.  Da Adolfo

ROSSELLINI’ S (Ravello)

While many 5-star Italian hotels offer a Michelin-star eatery, few can boast of the lavishness and location on Palazzo Avino’s Rossellini’s Restaurant. Under the helm of one of the area’s top Italian chefs, this dinner-only hotspot is arranged within an aristocratic dining room of tumbled stone floors with 12-foot ceilings and a vintage wine cellar. An intricate menu of squid-stuffed ravioli, rose-wrapped lamb, and olive-crusted cod is presented in an extended tasting sequence that’s a destination in its own right. During the warmer summer months, the outdoor terrace is to book with sunset views of the gulf and a romantic candlelit atmosphere under the stars. Rossellini’s

DON’T MISS ACTIVITIES

CANTINA DEL VESUVIO

This local winery is a great halfway point between Naples and the coast, making it an ideal lunch spot! Cantina del Vesuvio: 

FRANCO’S BAR

Franco’s Bar at Le Sirenuse Hotel is fantastic. The view is unparalleled, the drinks were delicious, and the people were all lovely. Don’t leave without trying some limoncello – it’s the best – I promise. What more could you ask for in a place as beautiful as Positano? Franco’s Bar 

LA FONTELINA BEACH CLUB

La Fontelina Beach Club in Capri is arguably one of the most beautiful locations possible to spend a day. Take in some sunshine while enjoying fantastic food, private beach access, and stunning rock formations. La Fontelina Beach Club 

BLUE STAR BOAT TOURS

Blue Star Boat Tours provides private and personalized excursions daily along the Amalfi Coast & Capri. Blue Star Boat Tours

MONT SOLARO

Mont Solaro, the highest point on Capri island, is worth the visit for the views. You can hike up the mountain, or, if you’re like me, you can take the 12-minute chair lift ride. The lift takes you to sweeping views over the center of the town of Capri, the Faraglioni rock formations, and as far afield as the whole of the Gulf of Naples. 

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I will focus on travel news, destination highlights, favorite hotels, fantastic experiences and incredible food.

In amongst all that travel inspiration I will throw in a smidgeon of travel tips and some gorgeous photos to brighten your inbox and get you dreaming.

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european travel experiences

Have you ever dreamed of soaring over the Alps, zooming down the autobahn in a vintage BMW or seeing the Mona Lisa without the crowds?

This guide includes 21 ideas for unique experiences when visiting Europe.

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Have you ever dreamed of soaring over the Alps, zooming down the autobahn in a vintage BMW or seeing the Mona Lisa without the crowds?

This guide includes 21 ideas for unique experiences when visiting Europe.

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