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 village's most upscale boutique is in a small space opposite Le Sirenuse hotel. Must-buys include colorful leather ballerina shoes by Porselli, swimwear by hot labels Melissa Odabash and Laura Urbinati, and Le Sirenuse's own tangy Eau d'Italie toiletries line.

The chic island of Capri is no stranger to high-end fashion shops, and this top-shelf clothier holds its own alongside brands like Ermenegildo Zegna, Prada, and Gucci.

Located between Sorrento and Naples, this popular latteria with a 1960's looking interior makes and sells cheese, gelato ice cream, and desserts. The selection of cheese is broad, with an emphasis on local varieties like provolone del Monaco from nearby Vico.

The Rufolos were Ravello’s most powerful family in the Middle Ages. Their 13th-century villa has a distinctly Moorish courtyard and is anchored by a 100-foot stone tower tinged with Islamic architectural details, signifying the long history of Arab influence in southern Italy.

To avoid one of Italy’s most dangerous, curvy, congested roads along the jagged Amalfi coastline during the summer months, this regularly scheduled ferry service connects 13 towns from Naples to Sapri.

Watch artisans craft music boxes and elaborate inlaid tables in their ateliers. You can often buy direct from the craftsmen; otherwise comb the stores on the Via San Cesareo for a wider choice.

For contemporary pieces by Salerno-born, London-trained artist Mariella Siano. Don't miss her spherical lamps with light filtering through pinholes and her decorative agave-leaf sculptures.

The Amatruda family has been sifting pulp in Amalfi since at least 1483, and theirs is one of the few remaining outfits in town still hand-making the paper that made Amalfi famous in the late Middle Ages.

What began during the difficult post-World War II period as a way for fisherman Salvatore Lucibello to supplement his income is now a lucrative business offering 24-hour water taxi service, boat rentals (with or without captain), and day-long, organized excursions along the Amalfi Coast and Capri

Built for the English lord Ernest William Beckett and riddled with pretty little cloisters and crypts, this 1904 villa isn’t nearly on par with the Rufolo.

The recently opened gourmet store stocks everything from blood-orange marmalade and mozzarella to sauces and condiments. Raro also serves light lunches and snacks.

The De Martino brothers bake terra-cotta-colored tiles in a 450-year-old wood oven.

Sorrento’s main pedestrian street is lined with several shops handing out free samples of the Amalfi Coast’s famous sugary limoncello (lemon liqueur) and its creamy cousin crema di limone.

The museum houses ancient artifacts, including the Coppa di Nestore (mentioned in Homer's Iliad), from the ancient Greek settlement of Pithecusae.