Visit the Amalfi coast
Oh Italia. Your beauty, your vino, your people, your landscape, your sea and your delicacies, every little piece of you captured our hearts. We hit some of Italy’s most awe inspiring locations on this recent trip down the coastline and every single stop made us fall in love all over again. Over the next few weeks I’ll be bringing you my favourites from the maze-like streets of Venice, the must eats + must sees of the Italian Riviera and topping off our travel guide with the breathtakingly beautiful island of Capri.
Today I’m starting with the place that’s been high on my bucket list and conveniently inched it’s way right on to my “30 before 30” list because I had a tingling feeling that I’d fall in love at first sight, and that I did.
The Amalfi Coast is a rugged shoreline dotted with small beaches and sorbet coloured villages including Pompei, Sorrento, Ravello, Amalfi and Positano. I couldn’t go on such a trip and not comeback with some tips + favourites to share leaving you no excuse to get planning a jaunt like this for yourself.
For those of you traveling from the UK it’s just a short three hour flight from Manchester or London to Naples. And the best part? There’s zero jet lag!
WHERE TO STAY : If you’re travelling on a budget and looking for somewhere to stay without breaking the bank I’d suggest the adorably authentic, Hotel Royal Prisco. This hotel offers a comfortable stay in a great location just steps away from the town centre and not too far of a walk to the beach. Insider tip: Ensure to get a sea view room where you can relax on a private terrace overlooking Positano and the Tyrrhenian Sea.
If you’re able to splurge, make Villa Boheme your home away from home. This exclusive luxury villa is the ultimate elegance. With doors that swing open onto amazing terraces and patios to a fresh breakfast delivery service every morning, you’re sure to leave here ultra relaxed and feeling like a million bucks.
WHERE TO EAT : It’s safe to say that there’s no shortage of good food in Italy where freshness is guaranteed and the taste is out of this world.
Casa e Bottega – What first caught my eye was the charming chalkboard hanging outside that read “Love life, love food”. Who knew that this little cafe would quickly become my favourite? The salad, complete with fresh melon, chicken, avocado, nuts, figs and pancetta was divine. The fresh juices were also second to none and the breakfast, oh the breakfast. I tried the smoothie bowl complete with fresh yogurt, fruit, nuts + avocado, and I will never look back. If you’re ever near Positano you must pay this place a visit. Oh, and as an added bonus you’ll get to meet the owner/creator/chef who can always be found behind the counter chatting to her guests while whipping up your food. Such a gorgeous place filled with the freshest organic foods. Your stomach will thank you. Just beware of the kitchen envy that is sure to occur.
Chez Black – I always love a place with a story + rich history and this seaside restaurant has just that. This three generation ristorante was born in 1949 and continues to play host to many who visit Positano. With the owner making his rounds from table to table to the son who will soon call you by name, they make you feel as if you are an extended member of the family. The food offerings are rich in Mediterranean flavours with the freshest fish options served up daily, but even the deliciousness of the food is trumped by the panoramic views of the Positano moonlit promenade. Pay Mr.Black a visit and tell his son Gianfranco I sent you.
Fly Lounge Bar – I can’t think of anything more romantic than a moonlit evening under the stars next to the billowing sea. After you’ve indulged in your evening meal be sure to head up the beach to Fly Lounge for a drink. The Pianist will fill the air with famous tunes as you relax and take in all of the views of Positano from this rooftop on a cliff.
WHERE TO EAT : Before hopping on a plane to Italia we had decided on a few things and wanted to let the wind take us everywhere else. One of those decisions was that we wanted to splurge on one special meal and that job was left to me. I’m now patting myself on the back for what a great decision that was. Allow me the pleasure to introduce you to Don Alfonso 1890. This family owned and operated restaurant nestled in a quiet village above Sorrento is truly something special. The kitchen is run by one son, whilst his brother oversees the dining room and the mom makes her way around to every table personally to welcome you to the restaurant. The menu pays tribute to historic local cuisine and uses only fresh food, most of it straight from the gardens of their family farm. If the atmosphere + tasting menu isn’t enough to convince you to go then maybe the underground wine cellar will do the trick? The 2000 year old underground chambers host wines dating back to the 19th century along with a tunnel leading to an old well 35 metres underground which is now used for ageing cheese. Insider tip: If you get a chance be sure to taste the provolone cheese aged from the well. In the restaurant world it’s earned a two Michelin Star rating, in my book is up there with the best food I’ve ever tasted.
WHERE TO STAY : If your budget allows, book yourself in to one of the eight bedrooms attached to this restaurant. The boutique hotel is a super luxe place to stay so if you can, why not?
WHERE TO VISIT : You must take a drive (or a taxi), just be warned that the roads are very narrow and winding, to Ravello. I must admit that at first sight it looked quiet and unassuming. It wasn’t until we took a few stairs up to the town and then on through the gardens that we were taken by the beauty. The best views are from the garden in Villa Cimbrone. If you’re lucky, in the summer you can also catch one of the jazz concerts in the square while eating some of the best gelato.
I could go on and on about the beauty and splendour of all that’s captivating about this much-drooled-over coastline, but like anything else you just have to pay it a visit yourself. No picture I ever swooned over did it justice, this shoreline is what dreams are made of. Now get planning!