Living La Dolce Vita on the Amalfi Coast (Part II)

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In my last post, I focused on the basics of the Costiera Amalfitana--how to get there, getting around once you're there, and where to stay. In this post, I will get into how to spend your time in this amazing place.

 

WHAT TO SEE & DO

I highly recommend seeing some of these places by boat if you can. Not only is it one of the best ways to get around the Amalfi Coast, it offers a perspective that makes you realize just how massive (and high up) these cliffs are. Your hotel concierge is a wonderful resource for helping you get out on the water.

Praiano - If you're staying in this quaint little town, which I highly recommend, take a few minutes to wander around pretending you're a local. There's not much--think a couple restaurants, a fruit stand, 1 or 2 coffee shops, a small market, and a pharmacy--but the duomo in Piazza San Gennaro, with its lovely colorful tiled dome, makes for a good photo as it towers above the sea below.

Il duomo di Praiano in Piazza San Gennaro 

Il duomo di Praiano in Piazza San Gennaro 

Breathtaking views from Praiano, looking towards Positano 

Breathtaking views from Praiano, looking towards Positano 

Positano - When you picture the Amalfi Coast, this is likely the town you are thinking of with its colorful buildings crawling up the cliffs. It is a busy tourist destination but is worth visiting, especially for the shopping. Stop into Artigianato Rallo for a pair of custom-made leather sandals made before your eyes, and Boutique Rino di Casola Francesco for some linen tops & bottoms and you'll have the Amalfi Coast look down pat (head-to-toe linen encouraged).

Colorful buildings along the cliffs of Positano 

Colorful buildings along the cliffs of Positano 

Ravello - Perched high up into the hills is this quaint little town worth spending an afternoon in. Take the bus from Amalfi to reach this picturesque village with lots of cute shops, gelaterias and cafes. Tour the grounds of Villa Cimbrone and make sure you see its Terrace of Infinity. Warning: if you're afraid of heights this is NOT for you. It's so high up that it gave my husband the shakes and there's nothing below you but the sea. Oh, but what a view to admire!

The Terrace of the Gods at Villa Cimbrone 

The Terrace of the Gods at Villa Cimbrone 

Pretty flowers at Villa Cimbrone 

Pretty flowers at Villa Cimbrone 

Path of the Gods (Il Sentiero degli Dei) - A great way to experience the breathtaking views while getting a bit of exercise is to hike along this trail perched high up on the cliffs. It runs from the highest neighborhood of Positano known as Nocelle to Bomerano and is accessible from multiple points along the way including Praiano. It's difficult to find despite doing the research beforehand, so I recommend asking around. And highly recommend doing it it early in the morning before it gets super hot! Don't forget water!

Amalfi - The largest town on the coast packed with tourists, this place is a hub for many of the bus lines but offers a large sandy beach and quaint streets to wander through. Take a break and enjoy a gelato or lemon granita on the steps of the grand duomo.

Capri - One of the most popular islands in this area offering natural beauty, high-end shopping and good food. I like to describe it as Italian Nantucket, because it has that upscale, exclusive flair with many tourists (although they do thin out at night) and you have to take a ferry to get there. For a memorable experience dine under the lemon trees at Da Paolino and visit the main Piazza Umberto for aperitivo. I only spent a short evening here but next time I'd like to spend a few days here to see the famous Grotta Azzurra, I Faraglioni, Via Krupp, and Monte Solaro.

Dining under the lemon trees at Da Paolino 

Dining under the lemon trees at Da Paolino 

Piazza Umberto at night 

Piazza Umberto at night 

Sorrento - Technically this town is not on the Amalfi Coast but is often associated with it. Located on the Bay of Naples, Sorrento is where limoncello comes from and is doable as a day trip. It is larger and a little more bustling than the towns on the Amalfi Coast with many narrow streets packed with shops, cafes, and gelaterie. I recommend spending time wandering the street Via San Cesareo for a taste of Sorrentine life. And holy cow, check out the size of those lemons!

Arriving by ferry to Sorrento 

Arriving by ferry to Sorrento 

Wandering the streets of Sorrento 

Wandering the streets of Sorrento 

WHERE TO EAT

Ristorante Il Pirata - This restaurant is located in the rocks of Praiano with an amazing outdoor terrace and ocean view. I highly recommend ordering a seafood dish because it is so incredibly fresh. Plucked from the sea that day! Reservations are a must. (Via Terramare, Praiano)

Ristorante Da Vincenzo - A popular pick up the hill in Positano offering local dishes. There are only a few outdoor tables, but the view is lovely if you luck out. Reservations are a must, especially if you're requesting a table outside. (Viale Pasitea, 172/178, Positano)

Ristorante Caffè Positano - Another great option for local cuisine with a view. Get the spaghetti alle vongole and you won't be disappointed. The staff was so accommodating that they gave us our own private terrace because they heard it was our honeymoon. The view was stunning especially with the strawberry moon lighting up the sky that night. Reservations recommended. (Viale Pasitea, 168-170, Positano)

Chez Black - For something a little different, opt to dine on the beach at this lively spot with a large outdoor patio. The food was outstanding and the staff so nice. Be sure to order a plate of alici (marinated white anchovies), and I promise you will overcome your fear of these delectable little fishes! Reservations recommended. (Via del Brigantino, Positano)

View from Ristorante Caffe Positano 

View from Ristorante Caffe Positano 

WHERE TO DRINK

The Marrakech Bar - Located inside the hotel Casa Angelina and perched high up on the cliffs this classy bar offers breathtaking views from its outdoor terrace and inviting, comfy, white couches inside. (Via Gennaro Capriglione, 147, Praiano)

Sibilla Cafè - A cute little banco to have your morning macchiato and pastry. There are a few tables outside for those who prefer to sit. Perfect on those mornings you don't want the expensive hotel breakfast or if you're still full from last night's dinner. (Via Gennaro Capriglione, 94, Praiano)

Africana - A swanky nightclub/lounge built into the rocks that's been around for decades. Some of its famous VIP guests include Jackie O. (Via Terramare, 2, Praiano)

Champagne & Oyster Bar at Le Sirenuse - Located in one of the most luxurious hotels on the Amalfi Coast, this is a great place to have a glass of bubbly with a view. It is the place to see and be seen. (Via Cristoforo Colombo, 30, Positano)

Music on the Rocks - As the name suggests this is a multi-level nightclub/lounge in the cliffs of Positano overlooking the beach. Great for a cocktail and some live music while the night is still young. The music shifts to a DJ and the party turns up as the night goes on, not stopping until the wee hours. (Via Grotte dell'Incanto, 51, Positano)

Enjoying a glass of bubbly on our private boat ride to Capri
Enjoying a glass of bubbly on our private boat ride to Capri

Overall, the Amalfi Coast is a beautiful place to visit and it is one of those destinations that will leave you wanting more. This list is just a taste of what you can enjoy while you're there, but there is so much more of the coastline to discover too. A reason to go back! (And trust me, you'll want to) Thanks for reading along as I got to reminisce about one of my favorite places to visit :)

Entrance to Villa Cimbrone

Entrance to Villa Cimbrone

Looking down from the Villa Cimbrone in Ravello 

Looking down from the Villa Cimbrone in Ravello 

Il duomo di Ravello 

Il duomo di Ravello 

Aboard Casa Angelina's private boat to have dinner in Capri 

Aboard Casa Angelina's private boat to have dinner in Capri 

Having a caprese salad in Capri is a must!
Having a caprese salad in Capri is a must!
Aperitivo time in Positano 

Aperitivo time in Positano