Looking for a romantic destination on the seaside while remaining close to nature ?
There's a region in Italy where you can overlook the sea no matter where you are. The definition of paradise for Marcellooo! Welcome to the Amalfi coast, in the heart of the Natural Parco dei Monti Lattari. A place that cannot be changed because of its steep relief which forces the locals and the tourists to adjust. First, we are advising you ( once again ) to avoid the crowded summer period. The Amalfitan coast is first and foremost a cliff made of volcanic rock on which constructions stack up in a absolutely assumed and fascinating mess ( but nonetheless charming ). The village is connected by small roads where battered cars drive pretty fast and tourist buses have to maneuver every 4 turns ( we recommend the speed boat for your excursions). Still want to go ? Well, good because one hour away from Naples, this small messy paradise is well worth discovering for 4 to 7 nights.
Positano international & authentic
First stop, Positano, the Amalfitan coast's obligatory step to succumb to your beach, parties and farniente needs. Let's experience Positano like we should at the luxuriant hotel Le Agavi♡. Admire the village from its terrace and parade about it on social media. In the city, the labyrinthine streets can surprise at every corner : a ceramic artisan, a flower filled terrace, a bar with a spectacular view, a palace…
Where can we take a bathe ?
In addition to Marina Grande, the main beach, Fornillo beach, a little bit further but still at the foot of the village and less busy. Sand, pebbles and crystal clear waters. Here, Il Pupetto Bar Beach Club has kept its retro style. Aligned and colorful deckchairs and wooden changing cabins. The prices are pretty reasonable for the region.
Another option ? Da Adolfo, the timeless straw hut popular since the 60's. Reachable by boat from Marina Grande. Booking obligatory.
When the night falls, it reveals Positano's pastel colors. Chic and exotic aperitivo in the Palazzo Murat's incredibly beautiful green patio. For diner let's go back to the main street, la vial Pasitea full of lively restaurants and boutiques:
- at the Next2, contemporary food managed by a young team.
- at the Saraceno d’Oro, a simple and convivial atmosphere.
The night goes on at the end of Positano's beach while enjoying a cocktail from the Fly Bar, facing one of the coast's most breathtaking view. Finally, go down one floor and dance the night away at the club Music on The Rocks. In the same venue perched on the cliff, lido, bar, restaurant, club, on several floors.
E viva* ! And let's go !
The best spot to admire the sunset on Positano is located 20 minutes away : Praiano. The white houses gathered on this promontory almost makes it look like the Cyclades. Incredible view of Salerno's gulf, Positano on the right, far away the islands of Li Galli and even further, the Capri's Faraglioni. For a very relaxing time we stay at one of the only contemporary hotel of the region, the Casa Angelina ♡.
Yes, we said promontory, so get ready to walk a few steps to reach the La Gavitella, a part developed beach on rocky pontoons. A very nice fragrant stroll, walking down by alleys under the pines, bougainvilleas and lemon trees. We walk past la nonna* grandmother who is going shopping, and cats who enjoy a pretty sweet life too… Going up, we stop at the Café Mirante, #coolplace. You've got another beach option with the lovely creek of Marina di Praia. Restaurants and bars, fresh fishes at Alfonso a Mare or Il Pirata, reachable by going along the seafront.
Deckchairs are only available in the summer though. Required fee for the car park ( 2.5 euros / hour ).
To enjoy a delicious authentic pizza and watch the night fall on Positano : pizzeria Criscito’s.
Tanned and our thirst for cocktails quenched, we're ready for a new step in a small village, perched at 350 meters. Just 1 hour away from Positano, by a sinuous road lined by vines, olive and lemon trees, here is Ravello, proudly called " the sea balcony ".
Known for its Mediterranean essence gardens, sumptuous villas and music festival.
The Villa Cimbrone's visit is an absolute must (the historical luxury hotel where Greta Garbo and Winston Churchill had their habits). The view from la Terrazza dell’Infinito* Infinite Terrace. Literally suspended above the sea facing the horizon.. Scared of heights ? Better to look ahead.
Note : an ideal place for every proposal or important announcement if you know what we mean…
For the hotel's privileged customers the access goes further in a private area with a pool. For the others the garden's visit will cost you 7 euros.
Another must see is the Villa Rufolo. At 9 in the morning, before the tourists groups arrive, to appreciate the garden's and the villa's beauty. Although the gardens are smaller than the Villa Cimbrone's the view remains the most iconic and professionally photographed of the coast. It will coast you 7 euros too.
Let's go back to the Piazza di Duomo, sneak in an alley to have lunch at Mimi Pizzeria. Try the deliciously traditional and all home made pizza, desserts, fresh juices in the sun filled patio or under the pergola (deliziosa la Torta al Limone* delicious lemon pie). Dynamic and smily staff too. One ristretto and nap on the beach anyone ? Let's go to Castiglione di Ravello, further down the village.
For an intimate and familial stay, we'll stay at the B&B Torre dello Ziro ♡.
Inevitable stop in Amalfi to visit the Duomo and its Paradise cloister. A quick break to avoid the tourists buses and the back and forth ferries. Old maritime republic since the 10th century, the coast got its name from this city. At breakfast or dinner, we sit at the Taverna Buonvicino, away from the crowds. Pheww, we are finally breathing while enjoying the day's specialties. For dessert, we head off the Pasticceria Pansa at the bottom of the Duomo's staircase. A Delizia al limone* Lemon delight, generous and creamy mousse that tastes like fresh fruit. The Pasticceria Pansa is a member of Locali Storici d’Italia thanks to the respect of traditions and of the venue and managed by the same family since 1830.
Note : if you feel nostalgic and happen to be in Paris, Alessandra from the RAP delicatessen, offers their delightful products at certain times of the year.
Marcellooo!'s last advices to discover this region of Italy :
- for your trips from June to September (high season), scooters are much more convenient.
- little reminder when driving, respect the parking areas markings (applicable to the whole country) : yellow > for locals only, blue > fee required, white > free.
- you might have already understood but they are stairs steps ( a whole lot of them ), so let's say that it allows you to watch your figure.
Amalfi Coast By...
3 QUESTIONS TO ANDREA PANSA
Pastry Chef at Pasticceria Pansa Amalfi.
1/ AN IDEAL VIEW TO ADMIRE THE AMALFI COAST?
No doubt, the view from the Villa Cimbrone, in Ravello.
2/ A MUST SEE ADDRESS ?
It's a lido located in Duoglio, 5 min by car from Amalfi. The Lido degli Artisti, with possibility to book a sunbeds. A very good restaurant with a excellent typical cuisine. This is a place where I really like to stay during summertime, a place which inspires me.
3/ AN EMBLEMATIC FIGURE FROM THE REGION ?
I would say Gaetano Afeltra, a journalist and writter. Received the Italian national order of Merit.