The Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast Travel Guide
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 De Martino brothers bake terra-cotta-colored tiles in a 450-year-old wood oven.
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 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.
Tenuta Vannulo is to mozzarella di bufala a bit what Screaming Eagle and Harlan Estate are to Cabernet Sauvignon: artisanal, scarce, legendary. At 8 a.m., people are already queueing at the doors of the bottega for cheese made just two or three hours earlier.
The glowing turquoise waters in the half-submerged Grotta dello Smeraldo, along the coastal road between Praiano and Amalfi, don’t quite compare to the Blue Grotto on nearby Capri, but the blue-green pool does make for a fun diversion along the coast.
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.
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.
Inspired by the sunny, Mediterranean lifestyle of Capri, Tony Aiello launched this label of handmade, ultra-light, linen wear for men, women, and children predominantly in white, khaki, and cocoa colors.
Sorrentinos and tourists rub shoulders at the blue-and-green Bisazza-tiled bar on the main piazza. Join them for aperitifs (sparkling white wine; fresh fruit cocktails) or after-dinner drinks (limoncello or finocchietto, made with wild fennel).
The museum houses ancient artifacts, including the Coppa di Nestore (mentioned in Homer's Iliad), from the ancient Greek settlement of Pithecusae.
The best way to enjoy the precipitous and beautiful Amalfi Drive is to avoid the hair-raising hassle of driving it yourself and instead take the public bus.