By Lauren Jade Hill
Terracotta and pastel hued towns tumbling down the cliff-side and fishing harbors tucked into sheltered bays are the picture many people draw of the Amalfi Coast. Here, it’s the wealth of historic villas and terraced gardens that travelers come to seek out while wandering along streets lined with boutiques and cafes. And whether it’s the heritage, cuisine or far-reaching views that make the greatest impression, this pocket of Italy is certain to stay in the heart. With warmer months approaching, we take a look at the best places to travel on this sublime stretch of coast.
Positioned atop the coast’s rugged cliffs, Ravello sits 365 meters above the Tyrrhenian Sea. The resort town is distinguished in particular for its cliff-side terraced gardens, which flourish amid architecturally grand settings such as Villa Rufolo. And it’s here that visitors can take in some of the coastline’s most idyllic views. With a vibrant cultural scene, the resort town has become known as the City of Music, hosting the annual Ravello Festival too.
Once a major maritime port, the peaceful town of Amalfi is now recognized for its historic significance as a UNESCO World Heritage Site that draws travelers in throughout the summer months. The town lies at the mouth of a ravine, with a dramatic backdrop formed by Mount Cerreto, creating an atmospheric setting for medieval sites such as the 11th-century Saint Andrew’s Cathedral.
As an ancient fishing village, Praiano has a more local feel than its neighboring towns. Here, white-washed houses are scattered across the slopes, with the small beach Marina di Praia nearby. Situated part-way between Amalfi and Positano, the village is easily factored into a journey along the coast, or while staying on one of the nearby towns.
With picture-perfect colored houses clinging to the cliffs, the idyllic town of Positano is one of the Amalfi Coast’s most enticing destinations to explore. Pebble shores are backed by a cluster of chic boutiques and cafes with narrow streets running between them, climbing up the cliff-side with views out to sea. Positano has long had a place in the hearts of fashion lovers, and for decades it has attracted a long line of discerning travelers who come for the excellent restaurants and luxury hotels that all seem to come with coastal views.
WHERE TO STAY
Palazzo Avino, Ravello
The five-star hotel Palazzo Avino is located within a former private villa from the 12th century, with a vantage point that commands views over Ravello’s picturesque coastline. The hotel encompasses a luxurious spa and a pool with panoramic views, as well as a selection of dining venues ranging from fine dining to a lobster and martini bar.
Belmond Hotel Caruso, Ravello
It’s partly the Belmond Hotel Caruso’s location high up on the cliffs of Ravello that makes it such a remarkable place to stay. But this isn’t the hotel’s only appeal; this former 11th-century palace invites guests in with its outdoor infinity pool, and an award-winning restaurant where guests dine on local cuisine with stellar views out to sea.
Il San Pietro di Positano, Positano
Since opening back in 1970, the Relais & Chateaux property Il San Pietro di Positano has been considered one of the Amalfi Coast’s most outstanding luxury hotels. Tucked into the cliffs, overlooking the scenic Bay of Positano, the lavish hotel combines its heritage with luxurious interiors and a setting amid sheltered gardens. The hotel’s Michelin starred dining, inviting cliff-side pool and private yacht all make the experience more exceptional.