Amalfi Coast: A Conversation with our Expert
Want an insider’s perspective on the Amalfi Coast? Take it from our expert, Sandra! She explains where go, what to see, and what to eat in this postcard-perfect region.
Looking to get your vitamin sea? To us, there are few places better to do it than the Amalfi Coast. The beaches are lovely, the towns are charming, and the views are breathtaking. One of our experts, Sandra, couldn’t agree more. Recently returned from a trip to the area, she shares with us some of her favorite places to go along the coast, as well as what to do while you’re there.
What’s your favorite thing about visiting the Amalfi Coast?
The incredible concentration of beautiful sites and towns in a small area. The short distances allow you to fully enjoy the charm and beauty of the whole region.
What makes this destination different from other places in Italy – even among other coastal areas?
The lively environments and the unique lifestyle combined with the incredible deep blue of this part of the Mediterranean sea.
What’s one of your favorite villas there and why?
It’s not easy to name one only… In Positano, I love Dorata for its stunning Baroque style and its refined hospitality. I love Giulia for its ideal location and its stylish design. In Sorrento, my favorites are Romeo and Lika. Each offers classic architecture, overlooks the Gulf of Naples, and has been exquisitely restored.
What local food or dish is a must-try?
Definitely Mozzarella. On the coast, it has a freshness that’s different from all other mozzarellas in the world. And Spaghetti alla Nerano, which is made with zucchini, mozzarella, and parmesan. It’s a typical dish found in the small beach village of Nerano and all the restaurants have their own secret recipe. It’s the only place in the world where you can eat them and, though the recipes are all fairly simple, it’s impossible to replicate them with the same fresh ingredients.
Do you have any restaurant recommendations?
This area is full of great restaurants, as it has the highest concentration in Italy of Michelin stars, including the well-known Don Alfonso in Sant’Agata. There’s also La Sponda and Zass in Positano. But, aside from luxury restaurants, there are excellent spots everywhere providing unique food experiences. On my most recent trip, I enjoyed Zi’Ntonio in Sorrento, Casa Mele in Positano, Il Ritrovo (in the small village of Montepertuso, near Positano), and Biancazita in Furore (another small village on the hills above Positano).
Are there any must-attend events?
The Ravello Festival, one of the most important in Europe for classic music. It’s unique not only because of the incredible performances, but also because of the stunning location overlooking the sea.
What are the most popular tours in the area?
Boat tours of the Amalfi Coast, which offer wonderful views of all the villages and gulfs, are very popular, as are boat tours to Capri. There are also exciting land tours in Pompeii and Vesuvius.
What are the most popular concierge services there?
Gastronomic and wine tours. They allow guests to experience the specialties of the region, aided by experts. It’s an amazing way to enjoy the uniqueness of this area.
What is one thing you recommend visitors do or see while here?
The stunning medieval cathedral of Amalfi.
Do you have any advice for first-time travelers to the area?
Avoid rental cars. Driving and parking are difficult in this region and could compromise the quality of the vacation.
What are the best souvenirs for someone to bring home from the area?
Local artwork, especially Paolo Sandulli’s “Queens of the Sea” and “the Signorine” (the Misses). They’re original terra-cotta busts of women with wild tufts of hair made from dyed sea sponges. They’re simply delightful. Torre a Mare, Praiano - +39 339 440 1008
What are your favorite beaches there?
Definitely the secluded beaches of Praiano, a sleepy fishing village. You can enjoy some of the most incredible sunsets there and you'll find La Gavitella Beach Club, accessible by an elevator carved into the rocks.
The beach of Marina Del Caontone in Nerano is also a favorite, as it offers many excquisite restaurants that can be reached by boat. It's the perfect place to stop and lunch when cruising along the coast.
When’s the best time to visit (in terms of weather, crowds, and festivals)?
April/May and September/October are terrific times to see the coast, because in these months, the climate is mild and the crowds of peak season have already left.