The Amalfi Coast

Things to do in The Amalfi Coast

One of the world’s most popular seaside destinations, the Amalfi Coast offers endless cultural events, especially during the spring and summer. Case in point: From June through September, the Ravello Festival transforms its eponymous town into a stage for film, orchestral concerts, and ballet performances. In September, the Gustaminori festival is dedicated to Italian gastronomy; be sure to sample the homemade pasta. Food lovers should also consider getting their hands dirty by enrolling in cooking classes taught by experts such as Mamma Agata. Other things to do on the Amalfi Coast include chartering a sailboat, exploring centuries-old villas surrounded by delightful gardens (two standouts: Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone), and shopping at boutiques stocked with fine crafts, such as Stinga, in Sorrento). More active types may prefer visiting the Grotta dello Smeraldo; in the grotto, a green light emanates from the water and stalagmites rise up from the sea. However you spend your time, be sure to order a drink made with limoncello, a classic Amalfi Coast liqueur made from lemons. Cheers.

The hand-painted floor tiles and ceramic plates decorating the hotels and restaurants along the coast come from the famous workshops of Vietri sul Mare, a suburb of Salerno at the east end of Amalfi Drive.

The 18th-century villa on the narrow Via San Nicola houses a museum that highlights even more woodwork. The gift shop sells high-end housewares and furniture by designer Alessandro Fiorentino and his three architect sons.

For a fraying-at-the-edges window into that exalted era of the 19th-century grand tour, pop into Sorrento’s “Foreigner’s Club” bar, home to the town tourist office and still patronized largely by English-speaking tourists for one very good reason: the view.

Built into a cliff overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, this full-service bar has a bright, simple interior and an outdoor wooden terrace, shaded by a canopy of thick-green vines.

The Stinga family have been Sorrento’s masters of wood inlay since 1890. Third-generation brothers Franco and Roberto keep the family tradition alive, meticulously crafting marquetry jewelry boxes, picture frames, and tabletops in styles from classic to strikingly modern.

The Romanesque cathedral features several examples of Sorrento's traditional craft of intarsio, or inlaid woodwork. There are also marble tombs and some gory saints' relics, several of whose bones lie interred in one of the chapels.

Located on Via Camerelle, the most fashionable shopping street on the island, this upscale clothing store showcases the work of world-renowned design duo Dean and Dan Caten.

On any given day, this renowned cobbler’s shop along a sloping, stone lane in the village of Positano on the Amalfi Coast stands ready to create custom leather sandals for patrons as it has for nearly 100 years.

Home of the philosopher Zeno, this ancient Greek city and world heritage site on the southwest coast of Italy remains somewhat under the radar for tourists.

One of the Amalfi Coast’s few major “sights” in the traditional sense is the Cathedral of Sant’Andrea and its majolica-tiled bell tower, rising majestically from the top of a daunting staircase that sprouts from the main piazza.

The Capri Palace Hotel has a candlelit al fresco bar, which is one of the few spots on the island where you can watch the sun set over the Mediterranean. Though it's always crowded, the bar is the place to be seen at aperitivo time.

Part of L'Albergo della Regina Isabella, a seaside resort in Lacco Ameno, this full-service spa takes advantage of the healing mineral waters that flow from Mount Epomeo.

Along the western coast of Italy in the Campania countryside stand the remains of this ancient Greek colony. Relatively uncommercialized, the site is home to three well-preserved Doric temples: the Temple of Hera, also called the Basilica; the Temple of Ceres (or Athena); and the Temple of Neptun