For decades, the mesmerizing natural beauty of the Amalfi Coast has drawn the rich and famous to this stretch of coastline along the southern shores of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. From the daring buildings that cling to the edges of sheer cliffs that plunge into the Mediterranean Sea to the dramatic coastline that’s dotted with pastel-hued fishing villages and lovely beaches, the seductive allure of the Amalfi Coast never fails to impress. Witness the world-famous landscapes along the breathtaking Amalfi Drive, a gravity-defying thrill ride of a road stretching from the Bay of Naples to the Gulf of Salerno. Beyond the glamorous surface, you’ll uncover a fragile cultural landscape spanning scattered churches, manicured gardens and ancient vineyards that date back many generations and add another layer of character. The sensational charm and idyllic climate was enough to convince ancient Roman nobles to build their villas here, a trend that continues today with sumptuous holiday homes, opulent hotels and exquisite restaurants. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the tranquil side of luxury immersed in the natural beauty of the Mediterranean coast. Between Positano, Amalfi, Ravello and more, the Amalfi Coast is the pinnacle destination of the jet set lifestyle.
Where to Stay
Housed in a renovated 12th century villa that once housed an Italian noble family, Palazzo Avino has been a consistent favorite among the high-profile visitors of the Amalfi Coast since it opened as a hotel in 1997. The palace is perched more than 1,000 feet high on the cliffs of the medieval village of Ravello, overlooking picturesque fishing villages, terraced gardens and the Mediterranean waters. Known among locals as the ‘Pink Palace’, you’ll feel the Italianate grandeur from the moment you step through the doors with vaulted ceilings, polished walnut furnishings and decorative tiled floors. The extravagance continues to the 33 rooms and 10 suites that are layered with handmade Vietri tiles, antique carpets, brass accessories and marble bathrooms. The extraordinary sea views are worth the price of admission alone. When it comes to the extracurriculars, the property also has a 65-foot heated outdoor pool, rooftop solarium with twi jacuzzis, al fresco gym tucked away in the garden and a chic private beach club on the rocks with a complimentary shuttle. Considering the immaculate views, sheer opulence and overall fairytale setting of Palazzo Avino, it’s clear that this is a place to be thoroughly indulged. Be sure to check out our Luxury Hotel Guide to the Amalfi Coast for an expanded list of recommendations.
Where to Dine
Jaw-dropping views aren’t exactly hard to come by in the Amalfi Coast, but La Sponda Restaurant unequivocally takes the cake for the most iconic of them all. Situated within Le Sirenuse Hotel, this Michelin-starred restaurant is led by talented chef Matteo Temperini and puts forth a delectable menu of light Mediterranean cuisine that takes inspiration directly from the great culinary tradition of the Amalfi Coast and Naples. Taking advantage of the leisurely elegance of Positano’s dolce vita, as well as its hair-raising seaside views, La Sponda creates an intimate and romantic atmosphere. White columns dressed with plants, stiff tablecloths and wonderful live music floating in the air are the subtle touches that won’t go unnoticed. While casual brunches and hearty lunches are sure to be pleasant experiences, the establishment comes alive at night when it’s illuminated by 400 candles that make for an unforgettable dining experience. Check out our Restaurant Guide to the Amalfi Coast for a complete list of our top recommendations.
What to Do
From the proud old republic of Amalfi to the fragrant hilltop gardens of Ravello, the Amalfi Coast consists of several towns that each have their own personalities. The crown jewel of the Amalfi Coast, Positano is the long-time jet set favorite with vertiginous houses staring down to the sea in a cascade of sun-bleached peach, pink and terracotta. Beyond the breathtaking natural scenery, the steep cobblestone streets are lined with charming eateries, fashionable shops and boutique hotels. Along the way, the beautiful domed Church of Santa Maria Assunta and Palazzo Murat are certainly worth a visit to dive deep into the cultural side of Positano.
For a peaceful afternoon away from the crowds, you can’t do much better than the traditional fishing village of Cetara. Stretching from the old harbor to the hills, the sloping main street that stretches is lined with marine supply stores, crumbling mansions and old-fashion bars, whereas the quaint beach is perfect for those who want to enjoy some uninterrupted leisure time. Cetara ferociously defends its reputation as an authentic gastronomic hotspot that specializes in fresh local seafood and rich culinary traditions. Featuring a busy port, gorgeous buildings and public parks, the historic town of Sorrento is the perfect place for a coastal walk. After a stroll through Piazza Tasso or alleyways lined with artisan shops and cafés, you’ll understand why Sorrento has attracted writers, poets and artists for many centuries. If you’re feeling adventurous, opt for a boat tour into the Grotta della Smeraldo Cave, a natural phenomenon that’s one of the most beautiful sights in the whole of Italy.
What to Wear
When it comes it the Amalfi Coast, the fashionista history runs deep to when moda Positano was born here in the 60s. There’s no need for overly extravagant outfits, but instead opt for elegance and comfort. For starters, a high-quality pair of flat sandals are necessary due to the uneven surfaces and amount of walking you’ll be doing. Designed with comfort and convenience in mid, these Stuart Weitzman Cami Leather Sandals are a pair that you can swiftly kick on and off. The stylish design features interlocking vamp straps and a flat block heel, while the polished black palette goes with just about anything. If there’s one fashion essential for the Amalfi Coast, it’s a cotton dress. Cut from a featherweight cotton material, this Khaite Pamela Polka-Dot Flocked Dress puts forth a chic polka dot pattern and fitted bodice. Not only does the dress emphasize under-the-sun breathability but it makes for an effortless and classic look. Check out our Style Sheet for the Amalfi Coast for the full fashion breakdown.