Many people dream of visiting the Amalfi Coast, a lovely region that wraps around Italy’s southern coast. Its roads wind romantically, the sea is a soothing turquoise, and the spaghetti alle vongole is plentiful—the it’s definition of la dolce vita. But there’s a snag in this travel fantasy: whereas Europeans have always had easy access to flights to Naples, Americans have traditionally had to make a two- or three-stop excursion.
hat is, until this summer. United Airlines began nonstop service to the southern Italian city from Newark, New Jersey, in late May. The Amalfi Coast is now a newly accessible destination after eight hours in the air and one by car—a significant improvement.
But how do you spend your time on the Amalfi Coast? Here are some of our suggestions.
When Should You Go?
Amalfi’s high season is in the summer. With good reason: the Tyrrhenian Sea is glistening, blue, and inviting, the temperatures are in the high eighties, and the citrus trees are bursting at the seams. It’s also the most expensive and busy.
Summer is the best time to go if you want a guaranteed scene. The harbour of Positano is dotted with yachts, and the beach clubs are hopping. A glass of Aperol Spritz or limoncello is never far away. Those seeking a cultural experience, though, should visit in September or October, when the crowds have dispersed and Amalfi’s calmer charms appear.
The Amalfi Coast is made up of a number of towns. There’s Positano, the posh resort town. Praiano, its more tranquil and charming neighbour. Ravello is a hilltop village with panoramic views of the shore and beyond. Of course, there’s Amalfi, with its whitewashed buildings that stretch out down the coast.
Stay at Le Sirenuse in Positano. It’s a paradisiacal home with tiled terraces and exquisite guest rooms, painted a fiery red with white decoration. On a clear summer night, you may sit on the Champagne terrace and look endlessly at the cliffside residences at their Michelin-starred restaurant, La Sponda. Then there’s the Hotel San Pietro di Positano, Positano’s renowned five-star hotel. In addition to its old-world glitz, San Pietro has its own private beach, ensuring that you’ll always be able to sunbathe under a bright orange chair and umbrella. Palazzo Murat, a 19th-century house tucked away in a garden, was once home to the King of Naples (and his loves).
What Should You Do?
Get out on the water if it’s warm—or even if it’s not. A day on the water is the greatest way to view the Amalfi Coast (contact your hotel concierge ahead of time to see what service they recommend.) Grotta dello Smeraldo is the most popular swimming hole in the area, but be prepared to share the water with a lot of other tourists. If you want a public beach club, go to Praiano’s Marina di Praia (and eat lunch there while you’re there).
Where Should You Eat?
What is the most significant thing to do in Amalfi? Exercising your appetite on a regular basis. Pizza was invented in Southern Italy, therefore a pie is a must-try. Visit Criscito’s in Praiano for the best bufalina pizza in town, or Donna Stella in Amalfi.
The aforementioned La Sponda at Le Sirenuse is the ideal venue for a special occasion meal—packed it’s with happy honeymooners. The Champagne Bar is a more laid-back branch, while it’s still extremely opulent (after all, it’s called the Champagne Bar). Order the tomato salad, a simple yet delectable dish that will have you wondering about it for days.
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