The Amalfi Coast is inarguably one of the most beautiful coastlines of the world. Consisting of picturesque hilltop towns like Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, the narrow roads lead to many hidden treasures in these. Plan a getaway to take in the breathtaking views of this coastal paradise with the advice of our travel expert, Lauren Shook.
Which airport should we land at to enter the Amalfi Coast?
“The best entry point to the Amalfi Coast is to fly into Naples (NAP). United Airlines services this nonstop route from Newark (EWR). If not, the alternative is to fly into Rome (FCO) and connect to Naples or you can reach Naples via train or get driven to your hotel from Rome.”
Where do you stay at your must-visit destinations of the Amalfi Coast?
“Ravello is a small town on top of the hill of Amalfi with the most breathtaking views of the water. When I’m there, Palazzo Avino is a must for me. The hotel is family owned and operated, which is a rare thing these days. I know the owner, Mariella very well,” says Lauren.
“She always takes the best care of my clients and friends! The hotel is traditional in style, but fresh, so it doesn’t feel old and is just a complete wow! They have a gorgeous beach club (rocky beach) a short drive away and I just feel this is the perfect place to catch your breath and relax after a lot of travel. In addition, another activity of interest while at Palazzo Avino is attending a concert at Villa Rufolo! Guests should also visit Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone, which are beautiful gardens! Other worthwhile activities include hiking (for example, The Path of the Gods), biking, ceramic classes, tennis lessons, yoga, hydrobiking, etc. The list is endless! I would suggest 3 nights here.”
“If you wish to visit Positano, Le Sirenuse and Il San Pietro are my favourite hotels after a stay at Palazzo Avino as there is more ‘city life’ here–in the sense that there’s great shopping, some beach clubs and delicious dining! After being well-rested in Ravello, this is a fun destination for a few nights. Something to note is that Positano has gotten quite touristy in the past few years. With that being said, the setting is idyllic!”
“After this, you can take a boat from Positano over to Capri and I typically do a full day charter where you can go up and down the coast, swim, have lunch in Nerano (an island only accessible by boat), before I head over to Capri,” says Lauren. Nerano is a charming fishing village situated halfway between Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.
“In Nerano, I recommend lunch at either Conca del Sogno or Lo Scoglio. I like doing this because you get to kill two birds with one stone—a day at sea plus a transfer to your next destination.”
“In Capri, I love J.K. Place Capri, Capri Tiberio Palace or Punta Tragara. The boutique, charming, and home-like J.K. Place Capri is always a winner. This property books up very far in advance! This hotel feels more like a luxury residence and offers spectacular views of the Capri coastlines.”
“Capri Tiberio is such a fun hotel—a little art deco, a little beach house…this hotel has a lot of personality. The only downside is that they have a teeny, tiny pool. I personally don’t mind it as most of your time will be spent at beach clubs anyway. The location is also great as you’re walking distance to town but not in the thick of the action as it can be very busy so it’s nice to be removed.”
“Punta Tragara is down Via Tragara, which is the most famous street in Capri—it’s absolutely beautiful. The hotel has the most beautiful views of the Faraglioni, but is removed from town so it’s a bit of a walk to get to dinner. It’s the closest hotel to La Fontelina Beach Club, which is a plus! The talk of the summer is definitely the opening of Hotel La Palma, an Oetker Collection Hotel, which is actually the oldest hotel in Capri. The opening just got pushed back to later this summer, but it will be sure to delight and draw an impressive crowd!”
What are your most favourite restaurants on the Amalfi Coast?
“Terrazza Belvedere and Rossellinis at Palazzo Avino are musts! I also love Trattoria da Cumpa’Cosimo and Trattoria Da Lorenzo in Ravello.”
“In Capri, my favourites include Aurora, Da Paolino (the lemon tree restaurant), Da Gelsomina, Mamma, Villa Verde, L’Olivio, and Da Giorgio.”
“In Ischia, I recommend Il Focolare and Il Giardino. For drinks, the place to be seen is Le Sirenuse Hotel.”
Hottest day and night club in Amalfi Coast?
“La Fontelina in Capri is hands-down one of the most beautiful beach clubs in the world and a ‘can’t miss’ while on the island of Capri. At night, head to Taverna Anema e Core to dance the night away. Make sure to make table reservations in advance here! I also love Da Adolfo beach club in Positano, which can only be accessed by boat.”
What is your favourite tourist hotspot?
“My favourite touristic site would be The Blue Grotto, ‘Grotta Azzura’ in Capri. I love the idea of entering this cave by rowboat and being impressed by the crystal blue water inside!”
A non-tourist site you recommend?
“The quaint fishing town of Atrani, next to Amalfi is a favourite. There is an impressive bell tower at the Collegiata di Santa Maria Maddalena—the last remaining piece of Rococo architecture on the Amalfi. The town really transports you back in time!”
What’s the vibe of the Amalfi Coast?
“The Amalfi Coast exudes romantic ambiance with breathtaking panoramic views, and beautiful beaches. The vibe is relaxed and simple yet sophisticated.”
“Street style, or Amalfi Coast dressing, includes long and breezy maxi dresses, floral prints resembling Italian tiles, pastel and white linens, anything and everything to do with citrus, specifically lemons, and of course, a straw wide-brim hat to accessorise!
When I think about the Amalfi Coast, I think of easy-breezy summer-ready style, bright colours and extravagant prints…large sunglasses and a hat, always!
For me, Amalfi Coast dressing exudes sophisticated elegance without trying too hard.”
The one place to visit while on Amalfi Coast without which your trip is incomplete.
“Mamma Agata Cooking School in Ravello truly should be added to any Amalfi Coast itinerary if looking for a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience! This is truly as authentic as it comes. The cooking class takes place in her private home situated high on a clifftop, 1000 feet above the sea level overlooking the Amalfi Coastline. I recommend booking this well in advance to avoid disappointment!”
Shopping Experiences Not To Be Missed
“Carthusia in Capri is always a place to stop and to find the best perfume: “Legend recounts that in 1380, the father prior of the Carthusian Monastery of St. James, taken by surprise by the news of Queen Joan of Anjou coming to Capri, picked a bouquet of the most beautiful flowers of the island; these remained in the same water for three days and, as he went to throw them away, the prior noticed that it had acquired a mysterious fragrance unknown to him. So he turned to the friar specialised in alchemy, who traced the origin of the scent to the ‘Garofilium Silvestre Caprese.’ That water was the first perfume of Capri. History tells that in 1948 the Prior of the Charterhouse found the old perfume formulae and, with the permission of the Pope, revealed them to a chemist from Piemonte in the North of Italy, and thus created the smallest perfume laboratory in the world, calling it ‘Carthusia’, i.e. “Charterhouse.”
“For great cards, notebooks, and albums, head to Amatruda, whose writing papers come from a 15 th century paper mill!”
Ceramiche Maria Grazia
“For ceramics, look no further than Ceramiche Maria Grazia.”
What is your ideal outfit for the Amalfi Coast?
“I can definitely relate with the vibe of the Amalfi Coast: simple, relaxed elegance yet feminine and sophisticated. Here, my ideal outfit is a Rococo Sand maxi dress paired with strappy Aquazzura sandals and statement jewellery.”
Interviewed by Parishi Shah Jogani, Written by Team AiSPi