Photo Credit: Tom Podmore
Visiting Italy? The Best Places To Stay On The Amalfi Coast
“You may have the universe, if I may have Italy.” So said Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, and possible bias aside, few would dispute Italy’s beauty, to say nothing of the majestic Amalfi Coast. It’s sensual, enchanting, and even dangerous in places with all those cliffs, steps, and drops.
The houses rise from the contours of the hills, as though they are naturally occurring, and you can feast your eyes on uninterrupted views of the sunset and sea. The climate is pleasant all year, but if you want to avoid the oppressive heat and high-season tourists, consider travel in September or October.
With that in mind, here are 5 places along the Amalfi Coast worth visiting.
If you’re planning to stay in Positano, be prepared for some challenging climbs up slopes and steps, a surefire way to burn off all the pasta.
The town offers shopping, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife, which make it a magnet for the rich, though not exclusively.
If you’re considering a hotel, bear in mind that the ones here can be exorbitant, especially during the high season. If you want to have a base to call your very own (which might even cost less) consider a villa.
Positano View allows you to enjoy the beauty of the town from your private pool, or while dining alfresco. And when night falls, the lights of the houses glitter and wink like stars over the water.
Interior features include living and dining areas, a well- fitted kitchen, six bedrooms (including one with twin beds for children and teens) and seven bathrooms.
Your legs could use relief after running around town all day, so the elevator here will be useful. In fact, this villa prides itself on being one of the few in Positano that doesn’t require guests to climb a ton of steps.
If you’re going to the Amalfi Coast with your sweetheart, consider romantic Praiano. Imagine enjoying a delicious seafood dinner on a terrace someplace, the breeze caressing your face, with the ocean and Capri in the distance? It doesn’t get much better.
Praiano offers several great beaches as well. Because of its unusual positioning, Marina di Praia only gets sunlight early in the day, and there are a few eateries for light meals and snacks. There’s also One Fire Beach, known for its fun, youthful and carefree vibe.
Like Positano, Ravello will make demands on your legs. If you want to step into the past, spend a few nights at Palazzo Avino, a converted palace dating back to the 12th century. Even with the 21st century fittings, the classic elegance is evident in the suites and communal areas.
Ravello is a little removed from the coastline. Without the direct beach access and nightlife of Amalfi or Positano, it’s a good option for those seeking peace and quiet.
There are some charming villas here, such as Ravello View with five bedrooms, spread across two floors. You only have to walk about 5-10 minutes to access the pedestrian area of town.
Generally, air conditioning isn’t as common in European homes, but Ravello View offers it in the bedrooms and living areas. Be sure not to leave it running when you aren’t home, as this can be quite expensive for the owner. There’s a chance you might not even need it, as the villa is on a hill and benefits from the sea breeze.
Amalfi town played an important role as a maritime center for generations, and there are vestiges of its medieval past in the architecture.
It allows for day trips to Sorrento and Salerno, a 45-minute drive in either direction. You can also take a water taxi to Capri for a few hours during the day.
If you’re a foodie (particularly a lover of seafood), check out Marina Grande, offering simple, but delicious meals with locally sourced ingredients. For dinner, head to La Caravella, a Michelin- starred restaurant. The cuttlefish-ink pasta with ricotta and lobster is delightful.
While technically not connected to the Amalfi Coast, Capri deserves an honorable mention, and the only way to get there is by watercraft. Catch a sea taxi from one of the other towns to get there.
Capri’s most famous site is the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto), a sea cave so narrow that only authorized rowboats can fit inside. Also, the mouth of the cave is low, so you’ll be instructed to duck or lay down as the skipper maneuvers the boat.
Few photos do justice to this wonder of nature- it really has to be seen to be believed. However tempting it might be to jump into that glowing water, don’t. It’s illegal and dangerous.