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 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.
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.
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.
At the eight-room hotel, made up of two country-style houses, you can take art classes on the lawn.