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Located in Italy's Campania region, the Amalfi Coast begins some thirty miles south of Naples, on the southern side of the Sorrentino peninsula. This is a place where land, sea and sky strike such a note of such otherworldly perfection that the region is best approached by boat in order to take in the panorama. Here are the most memorable stops along the coast and on the nearby island of Capri.
Day 1-2: Positano
"Positano bites deep," wrote John Steinbeck of the coastal fishing town that is the epitome of Amalfi chic, with stunning sea views, authentic restaurants and cafés, as well as shops where visitors can get leather sandals custom-made. Often a first stop on an Amalfi itinerary, Positano and environs can easily be explored in a day or two. Don't miss the town of Amalfi, whose Duomo di Sant’Andrea has a marvelously painted façade; lunch at Lo Scoglio, an incredible seafood eatery that's best reached via boat; and a languorous boat cruise along the coast, from which you can see the scenic villages built into the steep rock face.Dinners here are lengthy affairs, especially at the two-Michelin-starred Don Alfonso 1890, one of the region's most acclaimed restaurants. The coast's most iconic properties, Le Sirenuse and Hotel Santa Caterina, have incredible locations high above the sea, making them romantic spots for sunset aperitifs.
Hotel Santa Caterina
Day 3-5: Capri
An iconic island which has been featured in countless films and books, Capri has two distinct faces: during the day it’s ruled by day-trippers, but once the last ferry has left, locals and visitors staying on the island emerge to partake in a charming nightly ritual. It begins at Bar Al Piccolo on the piazzetta, where you gather for an aperitif and—more importantly—to people watch. Leisurely dinners include homemade pasta and simply prepared fresh seafood; top spots for tables are Aurora and Da Paolino. During the day, most insiders hole up at their hotels or in a choice lounger at La Fontelina or Il Riccio beach clubs. The town of Anacapri, on the western side of the island, is surrounded by scenic hiking paths. A visit to art-filled Villa San Michele and a shopping excursion along Via Camerelle, Via V. Emanuele and Via Le Botteghe are also not to be missed.
Grand Hotel Quisisana
Capri Palace Hotel & Spa
Day 6-7: Ravello
Perched in the hills about a 45-minute drive from Positano, the pretty village of Ravello makes for a perfect conclusion to an Amalfi Coast/Capri trip. French poet André Gide marveled that Ravello is "nearer to the sky than to the shore," a fact that is stunningly demonstrated at the Belvedere of Infinity terrace at Villa Cimbrone. The former home of British Lord Grimthorpe, the villa is surrounded by maze-like gardens shaded by lush trees and wisteria-laden pergolas; explore on foot or by bike. The annual Ravello Festival continues the town's history of drawing artists, writers and musicians; a beloved tradition is the Concerto all’Alba (“dawn concert”), which starts at 5 a.m. Don't miss lunch at Villa Amore and drinks and dinner at Belmond Hotel Caruso, whose restaurant has incredible views.
Belmond Hotel Caruso
(USA & Canada)
Call 1 800 745 8883
(Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, UK)
Call 00800 10 10 11 11
Call 0120 086230
Call 800 822 005
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