Live your own Italian adventure with this essential guide to Italy’s foremost coastal destination
Roughly five million tourists visit Italy’s Amalfi Coast each year and it’s easy to see why. With 13 towns sprinkled amid 100 beaches, tourists can choose a wide variety of options and excursions to enjoy at this picturesque destination. From cruising the stunning coastal waters to cosmopolitan shopping and lounging on exquisite beaches, the Amalfi area has something for everyone. But Erin Romano, host of Carrington Italian Villa has drawn up an essential guide to ensure travellers will gain an unforgettable Amalfi Coast retreat.
Avoid the busiest months
Like all beach retreats, the Amalfi Coasts is at its busiest during summer. But if you want to truly maximise your visit, consider visiting during the fall, particularly late September and October. The immense heat of the summer has lessened by then, and the weather is truly fantastic. The season is ushered in by the grape harvest, a great time for wine enthusiasts to visit the local vineyards and sample the region's fine offerings. If you're traveling a bit later in November or December, be sure to check out the olive harvest as well.
Go off the beaten path
Positano and Capri are well-known hotspots and they’re worth a visit but take the time to discover some of the Amalfi Coast's lesser-known gems. Consider the charms of the tiny Conca dei Marini village, with its small churches, ancient watchtowers and stunning views. Or visit the oft-overlooked Anacapri, just a bus ride away from the bustle of Capri, where you can enjoy the panoramic vista from the historic Villa San Michele or take the chairlift up to the viewpoint on Mount Solaro.
Consider going beyond the standard, albeit luxurious, hotel room. Instead, immerse yourself in the local culture by renting a condo or home in the area. These rentals offer a one-of-a-kind experience, as well as the best in amenities and beautiful locales. In addition, they also afford you and your fellow travellers privacy and a feeling of truly getting away from it all. You'll get to live in the area as locals do, away from the crush of tourist traps and souvenir shops.
Explore on foot
They say that the best way to discover a new place is by foot, so, to truly experience the wonders of the towns and villages of the Amalfi Coast, consider putting some miles in – on your footwear. Many of the towns are built into the hillsides, so there will be a fair amount of up and downhill walking, but you won't regret what you discover. From quaint cobblestone pathways to ancient stone staircases, you'll experience the history and wonder of this gorgeous area first-hand. You never know what may be just around that next corner, from shops featuring the wares of local artisans to tiny restaurants and cafés offering authentic Italian delicacies.
Explore by sea
The Amalfi Coast is known for its stunning turquoise waters and indescribable beaches, but many neglect to take advantage of all the sea offers. Ditch the car and take a boat instead, because the best way to see the area is from the water. Many towns along the coast are built into the side of the mountains, and the only way to truly appreciate these marvels is to see them from sea level. There is a ferry service along the coast and the best arrival and departure points are between Positano, Amalfi, Capri and Sorrento. Nearly every town along the coast offers private boats for hire, which is great if you want a couple of excursions to intimate beach caves or tiny, out-of-the-way seafood restaurants.