As Autumn draws in, we’re dreaming of weekends spent on the Amalfi Coast basking in the sun, exploring colour-saturated, cliff-edge coastal towns, and dining on fresh seafood, pasta, pizza and gelato. Here are a few of our favourite spots, discovered on a recent trip.
The isle of Capri is famous for its Blue Grotto, once the swimming site of Emperor Tiberius during Roman times. The highlight of our trip was a personalized, private 3-hour tour of the island with Gianni’s Boats. The additional cost of a private tour is worth the expense for an intimate visit (with complimentary limoncello) to the blue, green, and white grottos, Faraglioni tunnel of love, and other famous rock formations – and jumping into the Mediterranean anytime you fancy!
Other recommendations in Capri include a romantic evening of fabulous dining at Terrazza Brunella and a visit to La Parisienne Boutique, whose former clients include Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn, for a pair of custom-made Capri pants. Just around the corner, indulge at Buonocore Gelateria for the best gelato on the island.
Possibly the most picturesque town in Amalfi, Positano’s splendour does not disappoint. Positano is perfect for relaxation – sun bathe and explore boutique shops during the day, followed by leisurely dinners with free-flowing wine at night.
If you’re not keen on a public beach, relax poolside on the terrace of luxurious Le Sirenuse and take in the stunning views overlooking Positano. And if you’ve over-indulged the night before or find yourself craving a healthy bite, the adorable organic restaurant, juice bar, and natural gelateria Casa E Bottega is sure to deliver. We’re not hesitant to say their pistachio gelato is some of the best we’ve had in Italy!
More off the beaten path, the musical town of Ravello (easily accessed by car or by bus from the coastline’s namesake town, Amalfi) is not to be missed. Visit the quaint square centred around an 11th – 16th century cathedral, and wander the cliffside gardens of the 13th Century Moorish-style Villa Rufolo, which hosts indoor and outdoor concerts during the popular summertime Ravello Festival. The gardens face a magnificent panorama and function as a natural amphitheatre with a stage built out over the sea.
The gardens of Villa Cimbrone, a medieval-style estate, are breathtakingly beautiful and considered among the most important examples of the English landscape and botany culture in the South of Europe. Look out over the marble busts of the Terrazzo dell’Infinito (the Terrace of Infinity) for glittering coastal views.
For unique fashion finds, be sure to stop by Bottega d’ago, a family-run boutique offering hand-made exclusive clothing and accessories for women, created from locally sourced fabrics. Husband and wife team, Anthony and Laura, recently moved back home from Northern Italy where he was a pastry chef and she worked in the fashion industry.
Although you’re sure to feel sadness when leaving the Amalfi Coast, returning home through Naples can help ease the pain. Give yourself an extra couple of hours for the world’s best marinara and Margherita pizzas at L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele, featured in the book and film Eat, Pray, Love. The pizza is well worth the wait and acclaimed by locals, regardless of its Hollywood infamy.