The Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast Travel Guide

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 domed 15th-century building was once a meeting place for nobles. Today, visitors can walk through the loggia and admire the trompe l'oeil frescoes, or just watch the locals sipping espresso and playing cards out front.

This storied 1960s disco installed in a sea cavern—complete with a glass floor for viewing the fish swimming below—plays up its offbeat vibe: at the height of the evening, local fishermen arrive to pull fish out of the sinkhole at the edge of the dance floor with a net.

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

Eight centuries ago, Amalfi was home to the world’s best papermaking craftsmen, and the trade is slowly being revived in the shops along Valle dei Mulini at the top end of town.

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.

Part of the 18th-century seaside villa that houses Le Sirenuse hotel, this upscale bar is set on an open-air terrace overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea and the surrounding hills.

At the peaceful piano bar in this 1962 hotel, everything from the floor-tiles to the furniture was designed by Milanese legend Gio Ponti.

Made entirely in Italy, Malo is all about cashmere. This high-end brand was created in 1972 in Florence, and the original offices are still located there.

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 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.

About two hours south of Rome, chef-owner Berardino Lombardo runs daily cooking classes at his four-room property using ingredients sourced from the hotel’s 100-acre farm, filled with wild chicory, heirloom Annurche apples, and even semi-wild black Casertano pigs.

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.