A Long-Weekend in the Amalfi Coast

Chronicled in films and stories around the world, the towns and landscapes along the south western coast of Italy make up one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet. From Salerno to Punta Campanella, and all that lies in between, the sophisticated coastline steals your heart with minimal effort. Whilst there are many accommodation options along the coast to set your sights on, the Il San Pietro di Positano probably has one of the best views in the region. The Palazzo Avino, Santa Caterina Hotel, Monastero Santa Rosa and Casa Angelina are all fine choices, far away from coach tours and crowds.

Day 1: When life gives you lemons, visit Amalfi!

Kick your trip off in the namesake of the coastline, Amalfi. The Duomo di Amalfi takes centre stage with its grand staircase and geometrically patterned façade. Another Mediterranean town known for lemons, the best activity to do in Amalfi is the Amalfi Lemon Experience, a tour of the generationally family-run lemon terraces. Get picked up in a tuk-tuk from the Piazza Duomo, zooming past the crowds and up into the hillside. After a tour of the orchards with lemons the size of your head, sit down to sample the homemade lemon pie, washing it down with lemonade, or limoncello if you fancy a mid-morning tipple. 

Escape the crowds and ride up to the historical mountaintop town of Ravello, known for its strikingly ornate gardens, medieval streets and refined beauty. Don’t miss a visit to the luxurious manicured gardens of the Villa Cimbrone and the 13th century Villa Rufolo. Al fresco dining here feels different, set away from the busy beaches and popular towns. Eat at Rossellini’s, an elegant restaurant with a terrace looking over the eastern stretch of the Amalfi Coast.

Day 2: Explore the small beach towns of the Amalfi Coast

It wouldn’t be a trip to the Amalfi Coast if you didn’t spend a day hopping from one little bay to another. The coastal town of Minori is a literal paragon of the Italian saying, dolce far niente - “the sweetness of doing nothing”. A simple small town situated between Capo d’Orso and Conca dei Marini, is home to clear waters with beach clubs and a wide, sloped pebbled beach to spend hours dipping in and out of. Connecting Minori to Maiori is a 7km long path, the Sentiero dei Limone, a trail lined with lemons. Maiori has sandy beaches, unlike the rockier towns on the Amalfi Coast. Grab some pastries from Pasticceria Napoli before spending the morning lazing around in true Amalfi style on Salicerchie Beach.

In the afternoon, make your way along the iconic Amalfi Drive, stopping at any town that takes your fancy. Atrani is a low-key, picturesque coastal village nestled between two cliffs, and with less than one thousand inhabitants, it is yours to explore. If you time your visit with the Feast of Santa Maria Maddalena on July 22nd, expect to see processions here, with breathtaking firework displays over the sea.

Day 2: Soak up the sun in Capri and dine in colourful Positano 

Get up early and catch the ferry to the charming island of Capri. A symbol of la dolce vita, this Mediterranean island is a magnet for those seeking tasteful respite. Spend your morning in Anacapri, travelling in style in an open-top taxi from Marina Grande, around the winding roads with hairpin turns but tremendous vistas of the Faraglioni, the three formations of rocks that bulge out of the sea. If you’re feeling adventurous, hike the 1000 steps of the Scala Fenecia, accompanied by a view of Mount Vesuvius in the distance, at the other side of the Gulf of Naples. Once in Anacapri, take the funicular from Piazza Victoria to Monte Solaro, the highest point on the island. Grab lunch at Da Gelsomina, and order the Ravioli Capresi. If you have a few hours before heading back to the mainland, hire a private boat back down at Marina Grande, where your skipper will sail your through the archway of the Faraglioni, and into the Blue Grotto, a sea cave illuminated by the sunlight passing through, fashioning a beautiful blue luminescence. 

Whether you sail into the port of Positano, or you drive in around the notorious coastal bend of Amalfi Drive, your jaw will be left gaping once you glimpse the magical town. This wondrous cliffside village sits on the green mountainous incline, with the soft-hued houses perched like jewels in the late afternoon light. Spend the late afternoon here, hiring a sunbed and an eye-catching parasol Spiaggia Grande, which has the best view in town. Bring beach shoes - the pebbles can be a little sharp! And slip into a loose dress and your Solana Venezia Espadrille for an evening look. Walk your violet espadrilles up to the chic and luxurious Franco’s Bar for fabulous post-swim evening cocktails, with a panoramic view of the sparkling Tyrrhenian below. Work up your appetite here before heading back down to Hotel Covo dei Saraceni for seafront dining. If you can time your visit to be there on August 15th for the Feast of Assumption, you’ll catch a spectacular firework display sat here, but book well in advance! Before you head back to your hotel, walk down the stretch of the beach once more to look back at Positano lit up in the nighttime.

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