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Amalfi Travel Guide



YOUR GUIDE TO THE AMALFI COAST by Bridgewater's Idyllic Italy

The Amalfi Coast is one of the most famous and beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. It goes without saying that this Italian gem is mesmerising in its beauty, all-consuming in its appeal. Beautiful Italian cuisine, five star luxury villas, boutique and designer shopping, and perhaps rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, the Amalfi Coast sings for the traveller who wants it all.

Visit the Amalfi Coast with Bridgewater’s Idyllic Italy and discover an Italy that you’ve never seen before. We have over 40 years’ experience working in some of the boot-shaped peninsula’s most stunning locations, and we would love to share our knowledge of the illustrious Amalfi region. Read on for our ultimate destination guide to the Amalfi Coast.

ABOUT THE AMALFI COAST 

In the southern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula lies the Amalfi Coast. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s most coveted tourist destinations, this striking coastline boasts a hot Mediterranean climate, making it all the more desired by sun seekers. With its endless restaurants, each one promising even more finery than the last, and decadent designer boutiques dotting the limestone landscape, it’s a heaven for luxury - but make no mistake; it’s a chic kind of luxury along this dramatic coastal destination, a luxury that somehow still feels untouched.

Amalfi Coast Municipalities; The Amalfi shoreline is made up of thirteen municipalities; Vietri Sul Mare, Cetara, Maiori, Tramonti, Minori, Ravello, Scala, Atrana, Amalfi, Conca Dei Marini, Furore, Praiano and Positano. And breaking off from the mainland, we also have the indulgent island of Capris, second home to many Hollywood stars.
Town to town you will find new drama, from the vertical crags and beguiling ocean views to the plush green forests and magical blue caves. Every inch of the coast is worth exploring for those who have the time.

GETTING TO THE AMALFI COAST 

Making your way to the Amalfi Coast is easy with a little bit of research, and many holiday makers find the journey to be straightforward with many transport options. The main transport hubs are Naples, Sorrento and Salerno and buses run regularly throughout the entire region, making it easy to do a little town hopping during your stay.

Coming from Rome
Naples is your gateway to this wonderful coastal destination, so you must first catch a train from Rome to Naples. Get the train from Rome Termini to Naples Centrale; catch the high-speed AV train to get there in 70 minutes or the IC/ICN and EXP trains will get you there in just over 2 hours.

For first time travellers, it’s important to be mindful of both pickpockets and tourist scams when arriving in Naples. The city is famed for its world of extremes; as dangerous and seedy as it is beautiful. So always be careful when travelling through Naples.

Coming from Naples
From Naples, you can take advantage of the bus, train or ferry connections. In just over an hour, the Circumvesuviana trainline will take you from the bustling city of Naples to Sorrento station in the city centre by Piazza Angelina Lauro. Or if you want to hit Positano first, hop on the Positano Shuttle from Naples Airport or Naples Centrale. Ferries are not direct from Naples and there are also limited ferries outside of peak season but a seaward journey will give you the most amazing views – it’s worth the perseverance.

For the utmost comfort and luxury, there are many private car companies and helicopter transfers.

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO ON THE AMALFI COAST

1| Explore Sorrento
No journey to the famous coast is complete without a few days in spectacular Sorrento. Famous for its hustle and bustle, beautiful landscapes, vibrant citrus groves and olive groves, Sorrento makes a great base offering an Italian education through the power of taste. Enjoy the deep flavours of the region’s best olive oils, tantalise your palate with fresh and simple seafood dishes, and finish off your evening with the famous Limoncello after-dinner “digestivo”.

2| Go Shopping in Capris
For ultimate luxury, there really is no Italian island quite as refined as Capris. Abundant in prolific designer shops and some of the most high-end restaurants around, Capris is a playground for the rich and famous. Take the cable car up to Capris Town then catch a bus all the way to the Anacapri summit for the most wonderful views.

3| Blue Grotto, Capris
If you have more than a day in Capris, the Blue Grotto caves are a must. Take the tour through the magical caves with azure blue waters and a mythical looking backdrop. Sunlight passing through the waters lights the way of your tour, creating a beautiful illumination effect. But beware of the long queues for the Blue Grotto tours during peak seasons; this is a popular tourist attraction on Capris Island.

4| Uncover the Ruins of Pompeii

Unearth the ruins of this ancient city in the region of Campania. Buried under ash and pumice after Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD, the city of Pompeii is an absolute marvel which takes you back in time through breathtakingly beautiful ruins. Close to Naples, you can also take a day trip over to the interesting city to taste its world-famous pizza.

5| Day Trip to Naples
If you’re staying in the Amalfi Coast, a day trip or a stopover in Naples is a must for foodies and culture vultures. Renowned for serving up the tastiest pizza in Italy, Naples should be a bucket list city for travellers who follow their tastebuds. Not only is Naples the birthplace to pizza, but it also has the incredible Archaeological Museum, the Castel dell'Ovo and a sparkling waterfront boasting views of Mount Vesuvius.

5| Wind Down on Ischia Island
Ischia is the volcanic island in the Bay of Naples. For anyone exploring Naples and Pompeii, be sure to take a trip to Ischia to relax in its curative spas. Heated by volcanic energy, Ischia is home to thermal parks and wonderful natural spas. A little piece for heaven for the jaded traveller and a truly healing spa experience. Here you will also find lush greenery with the most exotic and vibrant wildlife.

6| Visit Amalfi Town
Get to the real heart of the Amalfi Coast and head to its elegant namesake, Amalfi Town. This romantic location offers some of the most idyllic walks, stunning architecture, and more culture that you can shake a stick at. Visit the Luna Convento (Franciscan Convent), mount the steps of the Ruga Nova Mercatorum, take a stroll through the Cloister of Paradise, or catch a lively Amalfi musical. On arrival, you will likely be met by colourful streetside lemon stands, with the largest and most delicious lemons grown in the region – so don’t forget to tickle your tastebuds with the mouthwatering local Limoncello.

7| Enjoy the Views from Ravello
From Amalfi Town, you can conquer the heights of Ravello by bus, a 30 minute ride which takes you to a whole new world. Breathe in the remarkable sights from Villa Cimbrone, the beautiful gardens with its famous Terrace of the Infinite. You can also join a walking tour with the most amazing photo opportunities every step of the way.

8| Take a Tour of Vesuvius

If you’re a traveller of the intrepid kind, local guides can take you on a tour of the notorious Vesuvius which destroyed the city of Pompeii when it erupted in 79 AD. With an eruption cycle of around 20 years, touring Mount Vesuvius isn’t completely without its risks, although the last eruption was back in 1944.

9| Stroll Around in Positano
Charming hilly roads, luscious sea views, blinding sunsets and quaint cafes and restaurants dot the enclave of Positano. Make your way around the village, stopping for a glass of Bellini along the way, and wind your journey all the way down to the seafront where you can take in the views with some real Italian gelato. Don’t forget your camera and tripod for twilight as the sky turns blueish purple and the houses on the hills all light up at once.

10| Hike the Path of Gods
Sentiero degli Dei, otherwise known as the Path of Gods, is one of the most beautiful hikes in Italy. This 3 to 4 hour trek is perfect for adventure seekers who would rather devour dramatic views from the heights of the hilltops than the safety of a cliffside café. This hilly hike starts in the mountains of Bomerano Village, and with buses running from both ends, it can be as relaxed or energetic as you like.

WEATHER / WHEN TO VISIT

The Amalfi Coast benefits from a hot Mediterranean climate, so holiday makers can enjoy lovely, warm summers and mild winters; there’s never a bad time to visit the Amalfi Coast. But if you’re planning a driving holiday, a specialist hiking holiday, or you just prefer to avoid the busy tourist hustle and bustle, here are some things to bear in mind.

Driving Holidays

Driving holidays are great but the weather can sometimes be tricky. The hot summer months brings tourists in from all corners of the globe, impacting greatly on roads and parking. In July and August, driving and parking in any of the main coastal hotspots could be a problem. And with the summer heat, it’s recommended to hire a car with air conditioning to keep you cool-headed on the tricky roads of the mountainous Amalfi.

Hiking Holidays

The summer months are extremely hot, with temperatures reaching 30°C and above in July and August. Although such heat is blissful for a leisurely beach break, hikers may find the temperatures to be too intense for an activity holiday.

If hiking’s on your agenda, try the milder months at the beginning (March to May) or the end of summer (September to October). Winter is mild in the region so if you prefer cooler climes, you could always plan an out of season trip. As a result, you will also benefit from a decreased footfall of tourists and a much more relaxed atmosphere.

REGIONAL FOOD AND WINE

Food on the Amalfi Coast, much like any region of beautiful Italy, is quite simply spectacular. Unlike the stodgy Italian cooking we come across so regularly in Britain, authentic Italian cuisine is created with so much more finesse. To the Italians, cookery is like artwork; truly elegant.

The food around the Amalfi Coast is particularly stylish, with its rich olive groves and superior oils and the proximity to the sea mustering some of the best seafood around. From the fresh flavours to the famous Limoncello, the Amalfi Coast is a foodie’s paradise.

Typical Italian Cuisine; The key to Amalfian cooking is the ingredients – ingredients which are all flavoursome and fresh. Bringing together some of the most simple components, dinner in this region will take you from a fresh seafood spaghetti with juicy clams to a hearty calzone washed down with Moretti.

Taste the best pizzas in Naples, the freshest seafood in Capris, or the sumptuously sweet pastries of Minori. Whatever your palate, always close with an enlivening Limoncello finale!

RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS

From the stopover city of Naples to the most delicious buffalo mozzarella in the region, we look at some of the best places to eat. Here are some of our favourites here at Bridgewater’s Idyllic Italy.

Taverna Del Capitano
On the road between Punta Campanella to Positano village, this seafood heaven is the perfect pit stop on your travels. As recommended by Condé Naste, Taverna Del Capitano is one of the best restaurants in the entire Amalfi Coast region and great place for fish lovers.

L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele
For authentic pizza, stop by at this Trip Advisor rated pizzeria in Naples for a healthy serving of stone-baked deliciousness. Mouthwateringly tasty, pizza here is best enjoyed as the simple Margherita; nothing more, nothing less.

Sal De Riso
In Minori, you will find a great little bar and pastry shop selling the most decadent desserts. With everything tempting such as the famous aragostelle pastry and the hazelnut crumble cake to a slice of the delectable ‘Lemon Delight’, Sal De Riso is nirvana for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Cumpa Cosimo
The Amalfi Coast is wonderful for seafood, but we know that not everyone enjoys a fish course. Cumpa Cosimo in Ravello is a great place to taste mouthwatering non-fish dishes, which isn’t always easy to find along the coast.

Ristorante da Maria Grazia
If you’re looking for the best place to taste the soft cloud-like Mozzarella di Bufala of the region, head to Marina Del Cantone and grab a seat at Maria Grazia’s restaurant. Great views and the best mozzarella around!

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS 

Naples, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast host a huge number of events across the whole year. With the lucky Mediterranean weather, there really is no bad time to visit. From the food and drinks celebrations throughout the summer months to the Christmas festivities in December, this region is an effervescent area and a great depiction of Italian culture.

Here are some of the region’s most exciting events…

Amalfi Regatta (June)
The Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics is a traditional sporting event which takes place every June. Four crews compete in the regatta every single year and the whole town come to watch as the Amalfi team goes head to head with Pisa, Venice and Genoa.

Ravello Festival (June)
Also known as the “Wagner Festival”, this event held in June is an annual celebration of music and the arts. Launched back in 1953, this festival was designed to mark German composer Richard Wagner’s love of the Campania region, and has been held every year to promote tourism in the area.

Positano Beach Celebrations (August)
Mid-August sees the Positano beach come to life as locals host their annual beach carnival, where pirate re-enactments also unfold. Most certainly an interesting event for curious travellers who have a bit of imagination.

Byzantine New Year (August)

On the last day of August, Amalfi becomes a lively town filled with warm smiles and local spirit. Watch the incredible parades and enjoy the positive festival vibes on the main streets.

Gusta Minori (September)
In September, Minori is the place to be for foodies. Local food and drink will be served at live events across the town, and there’s something everyone.

Christmas in Atrani (December)
Both Christmas and New Years Eve are widely celebrated in this part of Italy. So if you’re travelling over the festive period, you’ll be in the right place when looking for a little piece of home. Atrani is an excellent place to see the Christmas lights and the firework displays for New Years Eve are incredibly grand and impressive.

BOOKING YOUR STAY ON THE AMALFI COAST 

We really hope you enjoy planning your trip to Italy. For the best experience of the Amalfi Coast, we can help you book a beautiful villa in a number of sought-after locations. Please contact us with your requirements; +44 (0) 161 787 8587 or email Italy@bridgewater-travel.co.uk




 
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