The Sorrento and Amalfi coast will make you giddy – and that’s not just because its famously winding coastal road involves impossibly steep mountain sides and even longer drops. No, it’s because the place is both astoundingly beautiful and impossibly glamorous; artists, writers and movie stars all flocking here to find anything from sunshine to inspiration.
But this region to the south of Naples is no jet-set affair, its mood slow-paced rather than sophisticated and its way-of-life still firmly rooted in the past. Fishermen still haul in their catch at pastel-coloured towns like POSITANO, for example; the medieval cathedral continues to take pride of place in AMALFI, whilst RAVELLO still needs nothing more than its celebrated gardens and picture-perfect Mediterranean views to keep its visitors enthralled. You can expect some steep climbs here, but remember there’s always a glass of limoncello waiting for you at the end!
After a short crossing you reach the island of CAPRI, off the Amalfi Coast, which offers anything from Roman remains to Versace gowns and let’s not forget the staggering sea views. Further south again is MARATEA which will not just introduce you to charming villages and spectacular coastal scenery, but it will also be a bit of a journey into Italy’s past. Not only do majestic mountains sweep down to the Tyrrhenian Sea, but there are also medieval castles, historical centres and an incredible 44 churches dotting the landscape. Why not combine these cultural activities with horse riding, sea excursions and beach or mountain walks.
“This incredible coast is perfect for slowly making your way along, with every town boasting a different vista. And when you’ve had enough of the roads, why not charter a private yacht and see it all from the azure waters.”
VIP Concierge Service
•Enjoy one of the most scenic drives you will ever take along the breath taking Amalfi Coast, with a private expert driver
•Soak up the sunshine onboard a private yacht tour along the Amalfi Coast
•Discover the essence of flavour stemming from the produce at a local farm which supplies one of Italy’s top restaurants, Don Alfonso, followed by lunch at the restaurant to taste the passion
•Spend a VIP day discovering Capri by private motorboat reaching lesser known beauty spots and lunch on the island at your choice of restaurants
When to visit
Winters here are generally mild but can be wet and as such much is closed in the region. April to June and September to October are the nicest temperatures and it is generally quieter. July and August are peak months for temperatures and people.
How to get there
British Airways flies daily to Naples from Gatwick with low cost airlines offering alternative timings and direct departures from Stansted, Birmingham, East Midlands, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Transfers from Naples Airport to Capri (via car and hydrofoil) takes approximately 13/4 hours, Sorrento takes an hour, and the Amalfi Coast from 11/2 hours depending. Transfers to Maratea take approximately 3 hours.
Since it opened in 1997 in the quaint hilltop village of Ravello, Palazzo Avino has won almost every award going. Not only is this 12th century Italian villa overflowing with refinement and romance, but its attentive staff can’t do enough for you, its fine dining restaurant boasts a Michelin star and its leisure amenities include a sublime spa, a stunning swimming pool and a beautiful new beach club just 15 minute’s drive away.
This former 11th century palace is set 350-metres above sea level on the highest point in Ravello. Nowadays it’s a 50-room getaway looked after like a favourite child by Belmond Hotels.
This 19th century whitewashed villa clinging to a panoramic cliff near Amalfi has been transformed into a much-loved seaside getaway by three generations of the Gambardellas family. The traditional décor is testimony to their taste; the lengthy repeat guest list an affirmation of their hospitality. Most of the 66 classically-styled guest rooms boast seaview balconies; infinity pools on offer in some of the ‘named’ suites.
Perched on a spectacular cliff top between Positano and Amalfi and with eagle-like views over the beautiful bay of Salerno, this privately owned former 17th century monastery, which only opened its doors in May last year, offers panoramas like no other. With comprehensive state of the art contemporary comforts where once were nuns, the 20 superbly appointed rooms and suites have vaulted ceilings and original features, beautifully complemented with furniture and furnishings carefully selected from across Italy.
Hugging a cliff in Praiano, Casa Angelina is where the Amalfi Coast goes all minimalist. This fivestar boutique hotel is whiter than white both inside and out, just the occasional splash of colour provided by whimsical Murano glass sculptures. Yet who needs more when the Mediterranean is spread out before you like a turquoise blanket? Terraces, floor-to-ceiling windows and even a glass-fronted lift to the beach ensure you never forget where you are.
To dine on the terrace of Le Sirenuse’s La Sponda restaurant is a memory that will remain for life – inspired Neopolitan cuisine and intriguing fellow guests combine with 400 candles to create an almost theatrical ambience. Otherwise this 18th century palazzo owned by Marchese Sersale since 1951 is very much the kind of place you can make yourselves at home.
Owned and run by the same family since opening in 1834, the Grand’s reputation for elegant Neapolitan service and hospitality has certainly stood the test of time, and as such been the choice of members of European royalty and international celebrities. Many of the rooms, suites, restaurants and bars boast superb views across the Bay of Naples.
Originally a 19th century private house, J.K. Place is still elegant enough to convey the warmth and intimacy of a cherished seaside home. This chic all-white getaway overlooks Capri’s main harbour and both its flower-filled public areas and 22 guest rooms display the inspired taste of someone unafraid of mixing the antique with the contemporary.
This former convent is tucked away in the picturesque old village of Maratea – its 18th century origins can still be discerned in the whitewashed walls, original tiled floors and raw stone walls. Yet today it comes with lashings of style (all those virginal white fabrics are very ‘now’), not to mention an eclectic range of contemporary oils, Murano lamps and old paintings.
This Grand Dame is a truly iconic hotel found in the very heart of chic Capri life, just steps from the Piazzetta. See and be seen in their sumptuous Rendez- Vous restaurant or at the happening Quisi Bar, both situated on the bustling ‘Via Camerelle’. Or choose to retreat to the sanctuary of QuisiBeauty – one of Europe’s finest spas – or sip a cocktail around the hotel’s pool. Whatever you do here it will be in vogue, as this is the pinnacle of fashionable Capri.
The exclusive and eclectic vibe of this five star boutique hotel has made it a favoured destination for international jet-setters who are naturally drawn to the ultra glamorous island of Capri. The hotel fuses contemporary design with island myth and benefits from being located in the heart of Capri’s Movida, just a short stroll from the famous Piazzetta and renowned beach clubs, yet it still offers all the privacy and intimacy of a private hideaway.
Given that the concept of this luxury boutique hotel is ‘art surrounded by rooms’, based on owner Tonino Cacace's ‘pursuit of beauty’ on an island that artists have termed ‘the place of the soul’ ,you know you’re going to stay somewhere that’s rather special.
Ischia has been named the Green Island with good reason. It’s a land of woods and pine forests, parks and mountains, picturesque beaches and coves. It’s also famous for its fishing villages and archaeological sites, its thermal waters and traditional crafts, all making it a wonderful place to visit. Garden & Villas Resort lets you experience the Green Island in all its splendour, putting you in close contact with nature.
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