Travel

The Amalfi Coast

In a similar vein to some of our other destinations, such as Santorini, Mykonos and Palm Springs, the Amalfi Coast is as stunning in person as you’d expect if you previewed the area online. The whole coast, which sits close to the Tyrrhenian sea can be experienced in a heart-raising drive ascending and descending into hairpins alongside the coastline. From the road, you can see azure waters below the dramatic cliff drop on one side and the tightly stacked villages on the other.

There is so much to see in this region of Italy. For our trip we decided to stay and travel across Sorrento, Capri and Praiano, while taking the various sights and attractions this wonderful region has to offer.

Our trip started with an overnight stay in Sorrento. A proud touristy resort, but not in the regular sense. Everything about Sorrento shouts “quality” and the town straddles the cliffs and it makes a great base for exploring the rest of the region including Capri, from the Sorrento fast ferry. We stayed at the stunning Villa Dei D’Armiento. An intimate 19th century liberty style villa a few minutes walk from the Sorrento city centre. The hotel oozes old glamour and has a huge garden which includes a swimming pool and beautiful flora.

After our swift stay in Sorrento it was time to head to the island of Capri. A magical destination, frequently visited by film stars and the wealthy. It can become extremely crowded during high season, so a good time to visit is end of April or late September, whilst it’s still warm.

After disembarking, we headed straight for the gondola and up to the top of the island for a visit to the stunning Capri Tiberio Palace. The 20 suites all with huge private terraces, bathrooms and views across the mountains. There is an surprisingly good spa inside the hotel with a pool, sauna and sensory showers you can enjoy once the sun has left the outdoor pool. There is a great bar on-site as well Jacky’s which again like the rest of the place oozes class and you can enjoy a lunch and dinner at the Terrazza Tiberio restaurant where it serves locally sourced food.

Around Capri there is plenty to do, including exploring the small streets winding through Capri Town. You can venture down to Capri Philosophical Park. This was built by a Swedish professor for the island and its people (although when we were there, it was partly close). There is lots of flora growing wild and it is a perfect place to walk, take in the views and look at the proverbs painted throughout the park on the park tiles.

For that glitz and glamour that Capri has a plenty, head on down to the Il Riccio Beach Club & Restaurant, to enjoy some slow drinks and food by the beach. Our choice for dinner was Le Grottelle. A solid 20 minute walk from Capri, this restaurant serves up affordable(by Capri standards), simple, filling and tasty dishes and also has one of the most stunning views in Capri.

After a few days in Capri, it was time to head back to Sorrento and pick up our rental car from the port and to drive to Praiano while enjoying the coastal road and its bends along the way. After a a couple of hours, we arrived at our hotel in quaint Praiano – Casa Angelina.

Reached by a tricky private and twisty road, you have to perform several 2-point turns to reach the all-white hotel which hangs over the cliff. The ground floor is open plan and has massive windows looking over the Tyrrhenean sea. There is a wide collection of art on display which apparently stems from the owners own collection. There is also a small pool and a terrace to enjoy drinks whilst enjoying the views as the sun goes down. There is a restaurant on the top floor which we had a great buffet breakfast in which included fresh seafood and an egg station where the chef cooks up egg dishes for you.

As Praiano really isn’t particularly touristy there isn’t all that much to do in and around the town. There are 350 steps right next to Casa Angelina which lead right down to the rocky “beach” at the bottom of the hotel. This also a great location to perform one of our stair workouts which included stair sprints and stair jumps. We did plan on visiting the Praiano town beach, but when we were visiting the weather was a little mixed at best and the sea was quite rough.

For an evening meal, we decided to visit Ristorante Il Pirata. A very interesting restaurant where you take an elevator to eat, which appears to be situated inside the cliff face, offering a great ocean view whilst you eat. The food was good as well (not as good as Le Grotelle) but we took the opportunity to try signature dish of Ravioli Capresi which is filled wiht caciotta and Parmesan Cheese and Marjoram.

After our short stay at Casa Angelina we drove up to the absolutely incredible Monastero Santa Rosa. An Old Monastery, which the nuns left in the mid-1800’s has been converted to a stunning resort high up in the mountains. This really is one of the most exclusive hotels in the region. All of the buildings origins are kept and there is a stunning tiered garden complex out the back leading to the heated infinity pool.

After enjoying our lunch and, we need to add, superb service, at the monastery we made our way to Ravello to check out some more mountain sights including the fantastic Villa Rufolo, an Arabian-style villa which enjoys views across the cathedral and again over the sea.

After this it was time to drive back to Naples airport through the windy roads and highway. Amalfi is definitely as incredible as it you’d expect and we’d love to head back again and there’s many more places to visit along the coastline.

 Have you been to the Amalfi Coast or Capri? What are your recommendations? We’d love your feedback. Let us know in the comments below.

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About Author

Alex is the co-founder of Short Motivation and currently resides in Texas, heading up the US part of the website. He's busy with his PT qualifications and in the planning stages of Short Motivation events across the US later this year.