Amalfi Coast Destination Guide

Filed under travel

By Gwen O’Toole

Overview:

The Amalfi Coast has been wooing travellers all the way back since ancient Rome when even the Romans disappeared to the area to relax and generally indulge. Today, this string of seaside villages and sun-soaked islands have all the appeal as they did even in the 1950s when the location became all the rage for silver screen stars to escape for public life.

If you’re travelling to Italy, it’d be a shame to miss this classic Italian region as it’s exactly like the stereotypical Italian holiday images your imagination. Sun drenched houses, twisting hairpin roads carved into the side of rocky cliffs, the bluest water and million-dollar views of all of it are pretty much everywhere you look.

The area is close to Pompeii so a day trip to visit these incredible ruins is easily. It’s also equally easy to hop between the islands such as Ravello and Capri to see more during your stay. It does get incredibly popular with tourists during Italian summer so visiting in September when the weather is still mild and the tourists have thinned means you can enjoy some Limoncello (the local drink of choice) and those seaside views in true holiday mode.

This guide made possible by Travel Associates

Must do:

As the Amalfi Coast is made up of several smaller villages and islands, each with their own offerings there’s so much to see and do here. Luckily, it’s very easy to do day trips between the islands to experience more. Here’s a shortlist of some ‘must-do’ experiences while you’re visiting.

  • Be blown away by the views

Almost every single place here has stunning views. While you might find yourself seeking vantage points to enjoy the views in other cities, here they are everywhere. Steep cliffs and houses that cling to the rocks with the bluest water below, yep, it’s breathtaking.

  • Visit Ravello

Often overlooked as it’s not as touristy, Ravello was made famous by solitude seeking celebs as far back as the 1930 when Great Garbo rented the Villa Cimbrone to holiday in private. The Villa dates back to 11th century and beyond beautiful.

  • See the Duomo

In Amalfi town, the Duomo is rumoured to house the remains of St Andrew believed to have been brought from Constantinople during the Crusades. Either way, climb the stairs to this towering cathedral as the giant bronze doors and interior are quite remarkable.

  1. Drink Limoncello

Limoncello is the region’s traditional lemon liqueur, and it’s found absolutely everywhere. Typically it’s served as an after-dinner digestivo. It’s sweet, thick and zesty and likely the Amalfi Coast’s most popular drink. For a non-alcoholic option the lemon granita is also refreshing and delicious.

  • Visit Pompeii

The ancient ruins of Pompeii are an easy day trip from the Amalfi and well worth the visit. The city was buried in lava from Mount Vesuvius’ volcanic eruption in 79A.D and the archaeological remains of this Roman civilization are fascinating.

  • Explore the Grottos

Take a boat from Positano and explore Grotta delle Matera and the unfortunately named Marina di Crapolla with their Roman-villa ruins on the beach. There are also three small islands known as Li Galli believed to be home to the sea Sirens, whose songs lured sailors to tragedy.

  • Visit Spiaggia di Laurito

Most Almalfi Coast beaches aren’t sandy; they’re steep, rocky and narrow.   The exception is Spiaggia di Laurito, a hidden gem not far from central Positano. This protected cove is far less crowded, absolutely heavenly, and is accessible by boat or bus from the port.

  • Walk of the Gods

As the name suggests this hike offers some of the most amazing views you’ll ever experience. The Sentiero degli Dei, or ‘Trail of the Gods,” starts in Bomerano, between Sorrento and Amalfi and takes (with reasonable fitness levels) about 4-5 hours to hike.

  • Take a cooking class

Learn to cook authentic Italian food at one of the several cooking classes offered such as Mamma Agata’s cooking schools. Mamma’s cooked for Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Elizabeth Taylor and now she teaches from the home her family has lived in for over 250 years.

  • See Capri

The island of Capri is an easy day trip by boat and has incredible shopping and the famous Blue Grotto, a natural sea cave that seemingly glows a bright blue. Take the chairlift to the summit of Monte Solaro for views over the Bays of Naples.

Sleep:

No matter which area of Amalfi you’re visiting there are a host of boutique and luxury accommodation available from historic properties to romantic hideaways to beachside sundrenched escapes. Here are a few of our recommendations for some of the more popular destinations along the Coast.

Capri

Capri Palace Hotel
It’s all about pampering and luxury here with Michelin-starred cuisine and seaside bistro, an onsite spa with hammam, hot mineral baths, a private beach and more.  The 5-star property offers suites with private pools and it’s also located close to the popular Blue Grotto.

Hotel Excelsior Parco
This boutique art nouveau property has only 11 rooms and was once a Roman villa. Now it offers guests a piano bar and champagne lounge on the terrace as well as rooftop garden with views. It’s adults-only and ideal for honeymooners.

Hotel Villa Brunella
This boutique property overlooks Marina Piccola and Mount Solaro, and is just a short distance from the Roman Villa Jovis ruins.  The rooftop restaurant, Terrazza Brunella, is an ideal spot to enjoy the panoramic views and a Limoncello at sunset.

Hotel Casa Morgano
You’ll be in the lap of luxury at this posh place with its infinity pool with panoramic sea views. The restaurant as well takes advantage of the enviable views. Located just a tiny distance from the central Piazzetta square, you’ll feel like a Hollywood A-lister.

Positano

Le Sirenuse
Named for the Sirens in Homer’s Odyssey, this adult-only hotel is just 200 metres from the sea. Ever-indulgent, it’s an ideal spot to enjoy the on-site champagne and oyster bar as well as the Michelin-starred restaurant, La Sponda with its terrace overlooking the sea.

Posa Posa Hotel
This historical property takes its name from a Byzantine painting from the 13th century and is a more casual property on the cliffs of Positano. The 4th floor restaurant and terrace is an ideal spot for breakfast overlooking the villages and sea.

Positano Art Hotel Pasitea
Built on the side of the cliffs and overlooking Positano Bay, the multi-terrace style of this property reflects the traditional architecture of the area. The property offers easy ferry access for day trips to the islands of Capri, Amalfi and Ravello.

Amalfi

Chalet Giuletta e Romeo
As the name suggests, this ‘Romeo and Juliet’ hotel is designed for lovers. Managed by the Santa Caterina Hotel, this honeymooner’s haven has a private infinity pool, a private garden and all the plush extras you can imagine.

Hotel Miramalfi
Set up high above the sea, this property is located a short distance from Amalfi Cathedral, has beach access below with a private seaside bathing dock and is located close to both the Grotto dello Smeraldo cave and the Villa Rufolo medieval gardens.

Santa Caterina Hotel
This beautiful and historic property was built in 1880 and has passed through multiple generations of the original Gamberdella family who run the resort today.  With a variety of honeymoon suites and luxury rooms, it’s highly popular with newlyweds and romantics.

Sorrento

Grand Hotel La Favorita
Just near Sorrento harbour, this property has everything you’d imagine for a five-star luxury hotel including a sun terrace, balconies with views of Mount Vesuvius, a rooftop pool, two restaurants and two bars. It’s also located near the central historic district and its attractions.

Parco dei Principi
You’ll feel a world away here at this cliff top 4-star property as it’s surrounded by a large botanical garden. The city is easily accessed by a free shuttle and onsite there’s salt-water swimming pool and a lift to the private beach below.

 

Eat:

In this region, the fare is heavily focused on seafood and lemons, two foods in abundance and two that go so well together. Our suggestions are below but don’t be shy; even the rest stops along the incredibly windy roads serve quality, fresh food and great espresso too!

  • Chez Black- Positano

A seemingly odd name for an Italian restaurant, it’s rumoured to be named for the owner’s permanent tan. Located in the main tourist area, it’s been serving amazing food since 1949. Here you can try their signature spaghetti with sea urchin.

  • Next2 – Positano

Here, the Torta Caprese is a must-try. It’s a flourless chocolate cake with ground almonds that’s quite popular in the area. If you can get a table outside, the view of the Gulf of Naples is pretty special too. It’s a local favourite you’ll love too.

  • La Tagliata – Positano

Family run, this restaurant has a shuttle than can come collect you from your hotel. Here there’s no menu, you’re simply served as though you’re family. Most everything that’s served comes from their garden and they make their own wine too. You won’t leave hungry.

  • Casa e Bottega – Positano

It’s a trendy, modern and bright café serving fresh juices, smoothies, healthy breakfasts and light lunches. It’s also an ideal spot to dine when you want to balance out all the pasta, bread and cheeses you’ll be eating.

  • Rossellinis- Ravello

Located in the Palazzo Avino hotel, this 2- Michelin-starred restaurant is incredibly romantic with its sweeping coastal views. It’s dinner service only from April until September and the perfect spot for romantic dining or a special occasion. The extensive wine list is also superb.

  • Villa Maria Restaurant- Ravello

The terrace restaurant at the Villa Maria hotel is pretty special as all of the produce used there comes from the on-site 400-year-old organic garden, which you can visit. You can also take Nonna Orsola’s Cooking class, named after the hotel owner’s grandmother.

  • Eolo – Amalfi

Michelin-starred and incredibly sophisticated, Eolo has a seafood heavy menu which changes seasonally. It’s connected to the Hotel Marina Rivera and as there are only 10 tables, it can book out well in advance, especially during peak season, so get in early.

  • La Bottega Del Ferrari – Amalfi

For a quick lunch or a light bite to eat that’s quick and easy and still really tasty, this delicatessen does pizza, Panini, salumi, cheeses and more. It’s also a great spot to buy local produce such as jarred sauces and sweets to enjoy later.

  • Rendez-Vous – Capri

The restaurant inside the Grand Quisisana Hotel is super romantic way to finish up a day in Capri as guests dine by candlelight. They offer a huge wine list and a variety of prosecco and naturally, it’s the ideal spot to order a Caprese salad.

  • Ristorante Bagni Delfino- Sorrento

Located in the ‘Fisherman’s Centre’ of Sorrento, this restaurant has a floating platform that juts out over the water. The fresh seafood is cooked simply and while it’s not overly sophisticated, it’s definitely delicious. It’s great for families or casual dining.

 

Drink:

Without a doubt, the drink of choice here is locally-made Limoncello and you’ll find it frequently served in restaurants ‘on the house’ after dinner. Prosecco and Aperol spritzes run a close second during the warmest parts of the day, but from coffee to beer and everything in between, here’s where to drink:

  1. Andrea Pansa – Amalfi
    Pop into this chocolatier, bar and pastry shop (does it get any better?) and try the local limoncello and a sfogliatelle, a scalloped ricotta-filled pastry. It goes incredibly well with an espresso and luckily they do great ones here too.
  2. Marina Grande – Amalfi
    Grab a spot under an umbrella on the beachfront during the day or on the lower deck for a post-dinner cocktail. During peak season there’s often live music or karaoke to keep guests entertained. Alternatively, order drinks from the beach chairs and enjoy the ocean.
  3. Bar Pasticceria Leone – Amalfi
    Located just next to the main piazza and the Duomo di Sant’Andrea, this is a great little spot for your morning cappuccino. Later on, it’s a nice little people-watching space while you enjoy a beer or of course, limoncello.
  4. Cocktail Bar Pogerola – Pogerola
    Situated in Pogerola’s main square, what this cocktail bar lacks in a creative name it certainly makes up for with the drinks list. It’s off the beaten path from the tourist heavy Amalfi but offers the amazing views. Light meals and gelato are also available.
  5. Babel Wine Bar Deli – Ravello

Here you’ll find Italian craft beer, plenty of wine and even fresh juices. The shop also sells handiworks from local artists so if there’s something you fancy, take it with you. It’s a great spot for a cheese board and pizza too.

  1. Taverna Anema e Core – CapriLikely Capri’s most famous nightlife spot, this sophisticated bar is the place to order a cocktail and enjoy the regular live music, the people watching and the welcoming environment make this place a celebration almost every night.

7. Al Piccolo Bar- Capri
This ‘bar’ so to speak has been called the world’s living room as it’s essentially an open piazza where tables chairs are clustered together and everyone comes to meet. It’s the perfect spot for a coffee break as well as an afternoon or evening drink.

8. Enoteca Segreta – Capri
Don’t be deceived by the tiny size of the ‘secret wine shop.’ It has a huge range of Italian wines, grappas and liquors to take away as well as a good variety of local gastronomic products. There’s also a smaller selection of gift home wares.

9. Franco’s Bar– Positano
Who needs a rooftop bar when you have view like the one from Franco’s Bar? This upscale and very trendy cocktail bar is an outdoor terrace with sweeping views of the coast. Popular for pre-or post-dinner drinks, it’s extra popular at sunset.

  1. Star Beer- Sorrento
    Star Beer is a casual pub-style restaurant where there’s plenty of beer on offer and the televisions have sports on for the locals.  A word of advice though, the beer arrives in over-sized steins so be clear if you’re only after a pint.

Shop:

Shopping on the Amalfi Coast is a little on the slim side, unless you’re keen to stock up on ceramics or what’s known as Positano sandals, essentially handmade leather sandals. If you know where to look though, there are some small boutiques, high end luxury shopping and some local handicrafts to be found.

  • Luxury shopping

Capri is known for its high end fashion so here you’ll find the likes of Italian designers Prada and Ferragamo from Piazzetta to Via Camerelle and Via Le Botteghe. You’ll also find artisanal perfume makers who will help you create your perfect scent.

  • Celebrity threads

Former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis made the Capri pants a summer fashion staple in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Here you can buy designer Adriana di Fiore’s famous three-quarter pants from the boutique establish by her family, La Parisienne at Piazza Umberto in Capri.

  • Look the part

The style here is casual and comfortable, but in a beach-chic sort of way. Think flowing fabrics, long skirts, linen and light cotton. And if you want to dress like the locals, the streets surrounding Piazza Tasso in Sorrento offer a good selection of boutiques.

  • Ceramic home wares

You’ll find several handmade ceramics shops of varying quality but Ceramica Assunta
in Amalfi is well known for their range and they can ship anywhere in the world so there’s no need to stress about getting your wares home.

  • Treat your feet

Handmade sandals are worn everywhere and a variety of shoe shops such as Positano’s Safari will make them for you specifically. Prices vary according to how much ‘bling’ you want (think seashells, beads, etc) and how elaborate of a sandal you’d like.

  • Wine and drugs

Despite its cheeky name, what you’ll find in this Ravello food shop is plenty of grappa, limoncello, Italian and international wines and local fine produce like olive oils, balsamics and saffron. Foodies will enjoy the complimentary tastings held here daily.

  • Lemony souvenirs

The region is known for its lemon production and from the lemon granita to Limoncello liquor or lemon scented everything, a great place to pick up some souvenirs is at Delikatessen Positano. From lemon biscuits to lemon honey, scented candles and soaps, it’s all here.

  • Old-school paper goods

Papermaking mills were set up in the region way back in the 12th century and if you’ve a fondness for stationary, L’Arco Antico sells a range of products, including beautiful writing paper, leather-bound notebooks, diaries and photo albums.

  • Leather goods

While Florence is known for its leather goods, if you can’t get there, you’ll find high quality leather products in Salerno at Bossa. Venture into this leather workshop where gorgeous bags, wallets and more, all hand made. Watching resident artisan Alberto work is a treat.

  • Dessert heaven

Well known for their gelato, pastries and chocolates, Cioccolato e Gelato Andrea Pansa is easily found near the Duomo in Amalfi and is a popular spot for sweets shopping. The pastries are arguably the best in the area and the handmade chocolates are even better.

Active:

The Amalfi Coast lives up to the expectation of gorgeous beaches, but don’t come here just for the beaches as they are more rocks than sand. It’s the sea views and surrounding cliffs that will beckon you to get out and be active. Even in winter there’s plenty to do.

  • Hit the (rocky) beach

Arguably some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are along this coast with sweeping views from the towering cliffs. Most hotels have private sandy beach areas to enjoy as public beaches can be narrow and rocky. Even in winter, these spots are spectacular.

  • Walking tours

Guided walking tours, or if you do a bit of research, self-guided walks are great ways to see the small villages along the coastline. Start in Ravello and finish in Positano with views almost 1500 metres over the Mediterranean Sea. Walks take roughly 3-5 hours.

  • Enjoy the gardens

Visit Giardino della Minerva in Salerno or Villa Cimbrone Gardens in Ravello for some peaceful surrounds, beautiful sculpture and some truly amazing views of the cities and coastline below. They’re a great place to escape the crowds, especially during the high season.

  • Cruise the blue

There’s water everywhere you look and yachts are available for just a few hours or for entire day. Hired captains are more often locals who know the best swimming spots, caves for exploring and how to visit the smaller, exclusive islands.

  • Go your own way

Keen to have a go at sailing the blue waters of the Mediterranean? You can hire your own boat for single or multiple days and skip getting around in a car. Navigate your way through the coastal villages and take yourself to Capri for lunch.

  1. Coastal trek

Doing the coastal walk at Amalfi’s Valle dei Mulini or the higher elevated Valle delle Ferriere travels through the State Nature Reserve offering different views. Both treks however, reveal towering waterfalls and picturesque glimpses of seaside towns that are well-worth the trek.

  • See it by sea kayak

Operators such as Amalfi Coast Sea Kayak Tours, offer guided tours with eco-friendly sea kayaks. Depending on your starting point, a variety of set tours are available and if there’s something in particular you’d like to see, they can customise tours as well.

  • Walk of the Gods

Even if hiking isn’t your thing, this scenic walk is worth doing. Beginning in the small village of Bomerano, the walk hugs the rocky cliffs to reveal some of the most scenic views you’ll encounter. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required.

  • Cycle the coast

Book a bike and cycle the coast with a guided tour that will take you along the Coast into Sorrento. If you want to go on your own adventure, bicycles can also be hired delivered for several days from organisations such as Cycling Amalfi Coast.

  • Underwater Amalfi

The coast of Sorrento offers some great places for snorkelling and a diving centre that caters to all levels of divers and children alike. Capri also offers plenty of inlets, grottos and rocky areas along the coast for both diving and snorkelling.

Arts:

The arts scene in Amalfi is significantly smaller than that of Florence or Venice, but it’s certainly not empty-handed.  Visiting here will allow you to go beyond the Renaissance and explore art from the ancient Romans as well as modern arts. Here’s how to indulge your inner artist:

  • Visit Positano Beach

All along Positano beach you’ll find artists with their easels set up or sketchbooks out creating their work. Who can blame them, the landscape is inspiring with sea views and dramatic surrounding cliff tops. Buy an original piece to take home.

  • Check out Sorrento

Sorrento is a great place to delve into the art and handmade craft boutiques. The area offers a number of art galleries where you can shop for ceramics, artworks and handmade jewellery.  In some cases you can see the artists at work.

  • Visit the Museum Correale

Located in Sorrento, this villa is one of few art museums regionally and houses the artwork Neapolitan painters from the 17th and 18th century. The villa itself is also quite a sight with its surrounding citrus grove and views over the Gulf of Naples.

  • Take a trip to Pompeii

It’s an easy day trip and this archaeological site is full of artefacts of ancient times including several mosaics and frescos preserved by lava (the paintings didn’t fare so well) during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.

  • Visit the Ravello Concert Society

The society holds a regular music program at Villa Rufolo, with evening concerts taking place well after sunset. These intimate concerts tend to focus on classical and chamber music and are highly popular with both tourists and locals.

  • See the Duomo

This Amalfi cathedral is a treat for art historians particularly for its Italian Byzantine style. Inside the small museum you’ll find an abundance of gold and silver pieces and a cloister with Roman sarcophagi found in the area.

  • Enjoy an exhibition

Liquid Art System has contemporary art galleries in Positano, Capri and Anacarpi and regularly hold exhibitions featuring a variety of local artists as well as those from around the globe. Their ‘Lab Space’ allows modern artists to push the envelope with new concepts before exhibition.

  • Experience Almalfi the Musical

It’s a 70 minute musical opera performance that’s designed to appeal to even those who aren’t fans held a few times a week at the old Arsenal of Amalfi. Performed in Italian, it’s subtitled and the story is full of swashbucklers, lovers, villains and more.

  • Enjoy the theatre

In Salerno, the grand Teatro Municipale Giuseppe Verdi regularly holds concerts, dance performances, theatre and more.  From Shakespearean plays to classic Italian operas and even contemporary ballet, you’ll find performances here. The beautifully restored building is also quite a sight.

  • See Oscar Niemeyer’s Auditorium

Fans of modern Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer can see one his designs in Ravello at the Villa Rufolo.  Often used for concerts, the seaside auditorium is a contrast to the classic architecture around and in summer smaller the small cafes there are a great place for tea.

Diary:

If you’re planning a trip to Amalfi, timing it to coincide with one of these celebrations or festivals means you experience even more culture, more celebrations and of course, more food. Here’s a list of annual events, traditional festivals and entertaining experiences that might be worth cleverly timing your travels.

  • Ravello Festival

If you’re a music lover, the Ravello Festival is the place to be from late June to early September (effectively, most of summer). The annual festival features a wide variety of musicians and artists from almost every genre you can imagine, performing around the village.

  • Sorrento Festival

Between July and September, the town fills with classical music as world-class artists perform in the cloisters of the Chiesa di San Francesco. It’s located near Villa Comunale Park and is one of Sorrento’s most beautiful churches.

  • Sagra del Tonno

Essentially it’s a festival dedicated to anchovies and tuna held across Amalfi in late June/early July. And if you’re a fan, there are plenty of tastings and food events that take place.  Local shops sell these fishy specialties by the jar load (never in tins).

  • Ischia Global Fest

This annual festival is dedicated to all things film and music and is held in mid-July. Taking place on the island of Ischia, it’s a great excuse to make a visit to this often overlooked but incredibly beautiful volcanic island.

  • Carnavale

While Carnavale here is a much smaller affair than cities like Venice, colourful celebrations still take place with parades and plenty of food. Maiori has the biggest celebration of the cities along the coast in the lead up to Lent.

  • Festival of Saint Anthony

Held in mid-February, Sorrento’s patron saint, Sant’Antonino, is honoured annually with processions, street food vendors and outdoor markets. The saint is credited with saving the city from the heavy bombing that hit both Salerno and Naples during WWII.

  • Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics

In June the Amalfi celebrates with a regatta and parades that bring sailing fans together from all over Europe. Since 1956, Italy’s four sea republics of the Middle Ages (Venice, Pisa, Genoa and Amalfi) compete using 12th-century style boats to take home the grand trophy.

  • Lemon Festival

In July, Massa Lubrense on the Sorrento Peninsula celebrates all things lemon, an incredibly abundant fruit in the area. The event fills the Piazza Vescovado with lemon flavoured sweets and of course, Limoncello. It concludes at midnight, with revellers enjoying a hot lemon cornetti (pastry).

  • Epiphany

The celebration in Amalfi takes place over the first week of January starting with New Year’s fireworks and followed by religious festivities including a holy parade through the streets and a mass taking place at the Duomo Cathedral.

  • Festival of St Andrew

Amalfi celebrates each year in late June honouring their patron Saint Andrew who is believed to have saved the city from a pirate attack. Fireworks fill the sky and street celebrations take place. The Saint is again celebrated on his birthday in November.

 

Tales:

The glamour of The Amalfi Coast has inspired many writers for both books and film; it’s also an ideal destination for sunbathing with a great read. So whether you’re researching prior to your trip or looking for a book to take along, here are our suggestions.

Films:

  • A Good Woman

A 2004 remake of Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan, this film stars Helen Hunt, Scarlett Johansson and Tom Wilkinson and is set on in various towns along the Amalfi Coast. It’s a satire about secret identities, gossip, love and marriage.

  • Beat the Devil

Beat the Devil is a classic from the 1950s set in Ravello and starring Humphrey Bogart. The location was incredibly popular with silver screen stars back then for secluded getaways from Hollywood life.  Full of dark humour, it’s interesting to see how Ravello looked then.

  • Avanti!

A romantic comedy starring Jack Lemon from the 70s; it’s about a man who travels to Ischia to
collect the bodies of his parents following an accident to discover things aren’t as they should be. The film takes place inside Ischia’s Hotel Excelsior just near Capri.

  • Scandal in Sorrento

Another classic from the 50s, this Italian romantic comedy stars Sofia Loren and is the story of a man who arrives back in his hometown expecting to return to his home to find the women renting it (Loren) refusing to leave, with comedic results.

  • Sons of Italy

Inspired by a true story and set in Naples and Amalfi, it’s a story of a cargo ship captain who falls in love with an Algerian woman. Together they plan to smuggle her from Algiers using his cargo ship, saving her from an arranged marriage.

Books:

  • Sailing to Capri – Elizabeth Adler

An easy-read thriller from a bestselling novelist that’s full of suspense as the murderer of a wealthy English tycoon is investigated on a cruise. With plenty of twists, turns and deception, it’s a great read set on a ship heading for Villa Belkiss on Capri.

  • Gelato Sisterhood on the Amalfi Shore – Chantal Kelly

Part history and part travel guide, this one is a story of a group of women who decide to travel the Amalfi Coast together on an adventure.  It’s a light and fluffy read that will paint a beautiful picture of what travelling to this part of Italy is like.

  • Pompeii – Robert Harris

A historic thriller set in Pompeii about an engineer who’s been tasked to make repairs on aqueducts to discover the imminent eruption of Mount Vesuvius. It’s a great read for plenty of historical information on the time period without reading a history book.

  • Mamma Agata: Simple and Genuine – Chiara Lima

When you’ve returned from the Amalfi and you’re missing the lemon syrup cakes or handmade pastas, the Amalfi’s most renowned chef, Mamma Agata’s collection of family recipes will be your go to guide for replicating some of the meals you miss most.

  • Positano – John Steinbeck

At just 30 pages long, this is a great quick read while you’re visiting the region. Though it was written in the 1950s when Steinbeck visited Positano on behalf of Harper’s Bazaar and recorded his musings, not much has changed since.

24 Hours:

American writer John Steinbeck famously referred to Postiano as “a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you’ve gone.” So if you have only a short time to experience Positano and the Amalfi coast, here’s how to make the most of it.

6:30 a.m.
Wake early in Positano (you’ve got a huge day ahead) and enjoy breakfast soaking up the sea views from an endless list of cafes and hotels that have sweeping coastlines just outside their doors.

8:00 a.m.
Take a trip to Pompeii. It’s not far and you can either go by private driver, or well-marked buses that leave from the town daily during peak season. On your way to Pompeii you’ll also get to experience the famous winding roads of the coast and see so much of the area.

9:45 a.m.
Spend the morning exploring the ruins of Pompeii. This archaeological site is fascinating and is consistently changing by opening new parts to explore. Audio tours are available to get around easily and see everything. It can get incredibly hot here in the afternoon so it best to go early and be vigilant about your time there. From Pompeii it’s easy to get a train to Sorrento. The trip is roughly 30 minutes and you’ll arrive in Sorrento in the early afternoon with plenty of time to explore this historic town.

1:30 p.m.
When you arrive in Sorrento, enjoy lunch in the historic centre which is full of cafes, restaurants, local artist’s workshops and plenty of art and fashion boutiques. There’s plenty to explore here from a historical aspect as well including St Anthony’s Basilica Piazza and Villa Comunale with its views of the Gulf of Naples.

5:00 p.m.
Get the ferry back to Postiano and enjoy the view of this vertical city from the water. The ferry is also a great place to soak up some sunshine on the way back. Depending on whether or not you get the slow ferry (makes a few stops) or the fast (direct) one, the ferry can take up to 90 minutes so use this down time to relax, enjoy the views and get some great photos.

7:30 p.m.
First, return to your hotel in Positano to freshen up before heading out for some pre-dinner cocktails on the terrace of a nearby restaurant or bar. Again, you’ll be spoilt for choice picturesque options. Watch the sun set over Positano.

9:00 p.m.
Dine later on as the locals do, and make a booking somewhere special like three-Michelin-starred restaurant , Don Alfonso’s, one of Positano’s most famous since 1890. Finish your perfect day up with a walk through the village streets and a Limoncello nightcap.

 

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