Amalfi Coast and its Mediterranean scents, the blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the traditional little villages that light up in the evening… I have good memories of my journey across Amalfi, Sorrento, Positano, Capri and Ravello. For me, it was the second trip of my life after a Sardinian tour. The Amalfi Coast in Italy makes you excited at any time of the day giving you a bit of authenticity. I think you cannot remain indifferent to such poetry.
Here are 12 emotions to live in the Amalfi Coast:
1. Walking along the path of the gods
Amalfi Coast landscape touches your soul. The view that opens onto the Gulf of Salerno is breathtaking. Not even a few of the greatest characters of cinema, like Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, and literature, like Goethe, HD Lawrence, have remained immune to it. If you love long walks into the nature this trail will give you unique emotions. Reach it from the square Paolo Capasso di Bomerano in Agerola, which is at the top of the hill where a small road leads down to the sea, between rocky cliffs up to Positano. You can also admire the ruins of a XVII century Saracen defensive tower. This is a place of peace and serenity where there are only singing cicadas and the scent of wild thyme. You can see Capri skyline on the horizon.
2. Enjoying an excellent limoncello
Lemons are symbol of the Amalfi Coast. Citrus fruits are essential ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine. Lemons give a delicious flavor to salads, meat, fish, ice cream and sorbets. Not to mention tasty lemonade refreshing in the hot summer evenings. And what about the tasty limoncello, the lemon liqueur consumed at the end of the meal to digest. If you want to prepare it at home (to bring you some Amalfi Coast tradition) you will need about 6 untreated lemons (500 gr) 500ml of alcohol at 95 °, 700ml of water and 600gr of sugar. Leave the lemon zest, without the white part, in infusion into alcohol for up to 3 days (shake it occasionally). After this time, filter the liquid with a fine mesh strainer and prepare the syrup in a saucepan with sugar and water. Boil it, continuing to mix, so that the sugar dissolves completely, for about 10 minutes. Turn off the fire, cool for a few minutes, and combine the syrup with alcohol-flavored skins. Mix thoroughly, transfer to one or more sterilized glass bottles and place them in a cool, dry, sunny place for 30 days.
If you want to buy a good limoncello I recommend Antichi Sapori at Piazza Duomo 39 in Amalfi.
3. Making shopping like a diva
Do you remember Jacqueline Kennedy? An icon of style that often came to Capri to order the famous “Capri” trousers in one of the most famous boutiques. La Parisienne shop, since 1906, is located right in the corner of the square Umberto I. The garments, as well as the adherent pants, are all hand-made in the lab. Not only Jackie but also other celebrities such as Clark Gable, Sofia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Liz Taylor, Paul Newman bought clothes here. I can say that it is a fashion institution, which has spread all over the world thanks to the unforgettable Jacqueline Kennedy who, just in this boutique, packed all his white linen trousers, which today have been named ” Jackie O “pants. Find caftans, jerseys, dresses with bright colors and light fabrics.
4. Eating a tasty ice cream in Sorrento
An ice cream is always welcome, right? During a hot summer evening I tasted a delicious ice cream at David di Sorrento by Mario Giargiulo. Here the ice cream is incredibly good. But not only, there is a real lab where you can learn how to make ice cream! The lesson lasts about 45 minutes during which Mario will show you what ingredients and techniques to use for an artisan ice cream. At the end of the course you can taste your ice cream and you will have a certificate of participation with some recipes. Only seasonal products are used and this really makes a difference!
5. Watching the sunset in Positano
Positano is set around the volcanic sand beach of Grande Marina and the glazed dome of the church of Santa Maria Assunta. Its colors at sunset and the sea-view terraces create a charming atmosphere. Sunset in Positano is like a postcard with pink, orange colors contrasting with the blue sky and the sea. One of the most enchanting places to admire the sunset is the terrace of the Hotel San Pietro, embellished by the artisan pottery of the Stingo brothers in Naples. Their family started this artisan activity in 18th century. Famous guests like Gregory Peck, Dustin Hoffmann and Barbra Streisand have been here. Sit on the terrace, order a cocktail and admire Positano, Praiano and Capri Faraglioni in total relaxation.
6. Joining a Mediterranean cuisine course with Mamma Agata
In the 1960s, Mamma Agata became the personal cook of an American heiress who lived in Ravello. Later, she started cooking for Hollywood couples like Bogart and Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Today she teaches cooking classes and writes books. Her book Simple and Genuine was second only to Jamie Oliver. The school is directed by her daughter Chiara. Chiara’s husband is chef’s sommelier and expert in traditional Neapolitan pizza. Mamma Agata will teach you the secrets of traditional Italian cuisine and, at the end of the lesson, you can taste your dishes accompanied by local wine in a fantastic location, that of her terrace, in the center of Ravello. The course lasts about 3 hours and costs about €230. Lemon cake is delicious!
7. Driving vintage cars along the coast
Driving a vintage car through Amalfi coast bends and enjoying the breathtaking landscape is a unique and unrepeatable experience. You can hire a Jaguar, Ferrari, Fiat 500, or whatever you want in Sorrento at Spider Life Style. Rental rates change according to the type of car. For instance, a typical Fiat 500L was about €120. However, I recommend you hire a spider to feel the wind that ruffles your hair. Hiring a Fiat 500 spider was €200.
8. Eating fresh fish at Conca dei Marini
Conca dei Marini is one of the most impressive creeks of the Amalfi Coast but cannot be reached by car. There are 2 options: you can take a boat from Amalfi or you can go down a stairway.
Here is the fish restaurant La Tonnarella. The quality of fish is good. What to pay is the location, you eat at the seaside at sunset. If La Tonnarella is full there is another restaurant on the bay Risorgimento Restaurant. Here I really enjoyed eating fish on a pile on the sea. Another fish restaurant I do love in Conca dei Marini is Le Bontà del Capo. It is not on the creek but the view from the terrace is very nice and the fish is soooo good. I tasted the fried fish cuckoo on a friend’s tip and the quality/price ratio was good!
9. Diving into the blue waters
Amalfi is often dotted with delightful boats, from smaller ones to mega yatch (many famous people choose the Amalfi Coast for vacation). Private parties are often organized on boats. Rent a cheap boat and enjoy the Amalfi Sea! If you love privacy, I would recommend another amazing place: Bagni di Regina Giovanna, a natural pool between the limestone cliffs of Sorrento with the ruins of a large Roman villa built more than 2,000 years ago. The Roman Villa is peaked on the Punta del Capo rocks from which to admire the sunset. A natural stone arch separates the lagoon from the sea. The name comes from the Queen of Naples Giovanna d’Angiò who loved the emerald waters. This place is perfect for snorkeling lovers.
The area is served by buses. To reach the beach on foot follow the signs to “Ruderi Romani”.
10. Hiking to Vallone dei Mulini & Valle delle Ferriere
In the heart of Sorrento, behind Piazza Tasso, lies a spectacular natural gorge where nature combines with ancient ruins. The name of Vallone dei Mulini derives from the remains of the ancient mill, used for centuries by locals for the production of flour. Beside the mill there was also a sawmill and the washroom of the city. Today the valley is no longer accessible, but you can admire the panorama from above. To enjoy it go to Via Fuorimura, near Piazza Tasso. The best time of the day is in the morning or at sunset. A natural light underlines the beauty of buildings without hiding them.
Otherwise you can visit the Valle dei Ferrieri, which can be reached on foot from Amalfi, about an hour’s walk. Waterfalls and waterways will make your day pleasant. You can take 2 paths: the first one starts from Amalfi – Piazza Flavio Gioia (path 325) and the second one from Pontone – Piazza San Giovanni (path no 323a). Maps can be downloaded here.
11. Sleeping in a convent
If you are looking for an oasis of peace where to relax yourself and to enjoy the silence, go to the convent Oasi Madre della Pace, a spiritual place managed by Franciscan Sisters, hidden in the hills above Sorrento between olive trees and gardens. There is also a vegetable garden where tomatoes, lemons and sunflowers are grown. Wonderful view with panoramic views over Sorrento and Naples bay with Vesuvius.
12. Relaxing at Villa Cimbrone
One of the most beautiful villages in Amalfi Coast is Ravello, perched on top of the hills. Go up and down the stone staircases and enjoy beautiful medieval houses built around Duomo in the 11th century. Ravello is truly a place for spending peaceful time and was chosen by Greta Garbo as her oasis of peace. In 1938 she rented Villa Cimbrone along with his lover Leopold Stokovski, 23 years older than her and married to another woman. The print enslaved the villa day and night and Ravello became famous throughout the globe. Villa Cimbrone is now a hotel. The beautiful gardens, where there are caves, lavender trees and flowerbeds, camellias, statues of Greek gods, are open from 9am to sunset. Every morning Stokovski picked flowers for Greta from the garden Garbo. Isn’t it romantic?
Which of these emotional things are you ready to live in the Amalfi Coast?