On July 10, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Food is an essential part of your stay on the Amalfi Coast. From the bottled sunshine that is Limoncello to the catches of the day, don’t miss these local favorites:
1. Limoncello. Whether you drink it straight or sip it mixed with club soda, Limoncello is a perfect post-dinner nightcap. When served chilled, it is the refreshing way to counteract the simmering sunshine that embraces the Amalfi Coast.
2. Caprese salad. An Amalfi Coast staple, the caprese salad is as simple as it is delicious. A bed of ripe tomatoes topped with fresh mozzarella and giant basil leaves — try it as a light lunch or appetizer.
3. Aperativo. One of the best things about Italy has to be the tradition of aperitivo. Buy a cocktail before the dinner hour and enjoy the complimentary appetizer buffet that comes with it. Fresh mozzarella, squares of pizza, roasted eggplant — happy hour will never be the same.
4. Napolese pizza. Oozing with fresh mozzarella, chunks of tomatoes and fresh basil, the crunchy Naples-style pizza is a favorite among locals and travels alike. Looking for a safe bet? Stop into the famed Ristorante Aurora in Capri. Otherwise, venture into any of the hole-in-the-wall trattorias. After all, you have little to lose: Even the worst pizzas on the Amalfi Coast are better than the pies back home.
5. Gelato. Though the best gelato in Italy is arguably found in Florence, the fresh varieties along the coast beg for a taste test. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest the Bougainvillea in Sorrento for creamy, rich flavors such as tiramisu and pistachio.
On July 10, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Overall, the Amalfi Coast is a pretty laid-back retreat. While there are discos and pubs that you can frequent after the sun sets, leisurely glasses of vino are just as common, if not more so. For an upbeat night out, head to Music on the Rocks, a two-story-high dance club carved into the face of the cliffs in Positano. Popular among European starlets, don’t forget to dress to impress.
Another favorite, perhaps the most famous on the Amalfi Coast, is L’Africana. In this underground cave with stalagmites overhead and dance floors covered in glass underfoot, local fishers and celebrities come together to enjoy the weekend. Opened in the 1962 on the eastern side of Praiano, L’Africana still offers live, international music performances as well as a solid dance scene.
On July 10, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Seeing Amalfi in a day is truly a challenge, but if you must here’s what our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend. Spend it in Pompeii and Capri, with dinner in Positano. Head off to Pompeii first thing in the morning, as touring the sun-drenched ancient ruins can become exhaustingly warm very quickly. You can go on a tour, but it’s just as easy to go on your own, as well-marked buses leave regularly from all of the major villages on the coast. The ancient city buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. is remarkably well persevered and easy to navigate. Be sure to explore the Odeon, Stabian Baths and Amphitheater, which standout as highlights.
After your jaunt through the past, make your way to the fashionable Capri. A long-time favorite of Roman rulers and modern-day celebrities, Capri is a charming village with steep streets and memorable porticoes. Stroll through town and stop into a local pizzeria for a slice, then make some waves. Head to the Marina Grande and catch a ride on a tour of the Blue Grotto. A must-see, the Blue Grotto and its electric, dancing blue light are a favorite among travelers.
Following the excursion to Capri, take the ferry ride to Positano, and dine at the legendary Don Alfonso’s. A few miles from the center of Positano, this Michelin-three-starred restaurant has been serving the best food on the Amalfi Coast, if not in all of Italy, since 1890. Finish your perfect day up with a stroll through the romantic village streets and a chilled nightcap of Limoncello, the coast’s famous lemon-flavored liqueur.
On July 10, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:If you thought the food in Tuscany was to die for, wait until you hit Southern Italy. It’s a tour de force when it comes to your taste buds. Though it’s nearly impossible to go wrong, here’s the shortlist of the five best places to eat on the Amalfi Coast according to our Forbes Travel Guide editors:
1. Don Alfonso’s, Positano. You can’t go to the Amalfi Coast without stopping into Don Alfonso’s delicious restaurant. The haute cuisine is inspired by centuries-old recipes, such as the foie-gras-stuffed cannoli, made with ingredients from the establishment’s very own farmhouse. Tucked away in the village of Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi, near Positano, Don Alfonso’s has been open since 1890 and boasts one of the best wine lists in Europe.
2. L’Olivo, Capri. Located in the Capri Palace Hotel, L’Olivo is one of the village’s most luxurious dining experiences. From the Murano glassware to the elegant atmosphere, this excellent restaurant is a true Italian job.
3. Da Paolino’s Restaurant, Capri. This family-owned eatery has had a loyal following since it opened “under a sea of lemons” decades ago. Located conveniently on the Marina Grande, stop in for the antipasti buffet and some chilly limoncello.
4. Ristorante La Sponda, Positano. Candles, flowers, fresh sea breezes — the only thing rivaling the ambiance at Ristorante La Sponda is the food. From the fresh fish to the offerings atop the wooden dessert cart, expect a meal that’s as delicious as it is romantic.
5. Il Buco Ristorante, Sorrento. This small, classy restaurant dates back centuries. Built in the wine cellar of an ancient monastery, this intimate establishment offers four tasting menus, all made with the freshest ingredients and complemented by an excellent wine list.
On July 10, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Hotels on the Amalfi Coast are as much a part of the escape as the sea and the sun. They impress with sprawling terraces, fresh flowers and handcrafted mosaic tiles. Here, our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend their five favorite places to stay on the Amalfi Coast:
1. Hotel Palazzo Murat, Positano. Once the summer home of Napoleon’s wife, the centrally located Hotel Palazzo Murat has evolved into one of Positano’s most luxurious resorts. The rooms are typically adorned with vaulted ceilings and oceanfront terraces, and many of the rooms overlook the Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta. Even without the views, the entire Italian hotel is a sight to behold.
2. Capri Palace Hotel and Spa, Capri. The luxurious Capri Palace is another majestic option. Between its vaulted ceilings and the top-notch seasonal Neapolitan fare at L’Olivo, don’t be surprised if you start acting like royalty upon arrival. It’s only natural.
3. Il San Pietro, Positano. Hanging off the steepest cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, Il San Pietro is a little bit further from the center of town. To get to the hotel, you have to take an elevator carved into the limestone rock that’s romantically situated at the bottom of an ivy-lined flight of stone steps near a tiny chapel. The entrance is just the start. Once you arrive inside, you’ll be transported to the lap of luxury with intimate quarters, stone archways and chart-topping panoramas.
4. Hotel Caruso, Ravello. If you’re in town for Ravello’s famous music festival, book a room at the luxurious Hotel Caruso. Stone lions guard the entrance, and the rooms are decorated with unique antique furniture from the Napoleon era.
5. Grand Hotel Qvisana, Capri. This is one of the most fashionable hotels in Capri, so don’t be surprised if you run into a starlet or two during your stay at Grand Hotel Qvisana. The white façade is a striking juxtaposition against the colorful hillside. After a rough day at the hotel’s classy pool, enjoy a glass of bubbly from the extensive champagne list at the Krug Room.
On July 6, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:One of the most romantic stretches of coastline in the world, the Amalfi Coast is a superlative honeymoon spot full of intimate porticoes, cobblestone streets and low-lit restaurants. Though it’s hard to go wrong, here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the three best honeymoon activities in the region:
1. Wander through Atrani. Steer away from the crowds and toward the secluded atmosphere of this small village on the Amalfi Coast. Home to the beautiful church of San Salvatore de Birecto, Atrani lets you absorb the romantic charms of southern Italy in private.
2. Escape into the Emerald Cave. On the Amalfi Coast, you expect brilliant blue water, but in the Grotta dello Smeraldo, it’s green that will dazzle you. The cavern is lit up with green light that glows over impressive rock formations — it’s a great spot to steal a private moment.
3. Find a secluded beach. Pack a lunch, hire a boat and ask the driver to come back at an agreed-upon time. Local seafarers can help you find an untouched beach to comb. Though it’s unlikely you will have trouble finding a private cove, you can also try the thermal pools on the island of Ischia.
On July 6, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:From tasty limoncello to handcrafted ceramics, the Amalfi Coast offers memorable souvenirs to bring home. Here are some of things Forbes Travel Guide’s editors think are worth making space in your suitcase for: Limoncello is the unofficial drink of the region, so if you’re looking for something to share, bring home a bottle of the aperitif made with local lemons. For yourself, pick up a more long-lasting memento. Head to Capri’s Canfora boutique and splurge on a pair of the colorful, custom-made sandals that have become a staple of southern Italian fashion. Opened in 1946, the shop’s shoes have attracted high-profile customers through out the years, including the likes of Sophia Loren, Jackie Kennedy and Clark Gable.
On July 6, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Though a world away from Italy’s shopping capital of Milan, the Amalfi Coast’s Sorrento, Capri and Positano are home to some of the country’s most famous shopping. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors find that each village offers similar souvenirs — limoncello, floaty skirts, leather sandals and pottery — but for all the repetition, each artisan storefront offers something unique. If you’re looking for designer Italian clothing or jewelry, head to the streets surrounding Piazza Tasso in Sorrento for lively after-dusk shopping. Stroll Via Cristoforo Colombo in Positano for a pair of famed leather sandals. For more artisan vendors, limoncello shops and ceramics typical of the Amalfi Coast, take time to stroll through one of the smaller villages, such as Vietri sul Mare in Salerno, where you’ll find a hub of local artists crafting traditional citrus-inspired ceramics.
On July 6, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Whether your kids are beach bums or adventurous explorers, the Amalfi Coast offers plenty to do. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the five best things to do with kids:
1. Dip into the Blue Grotto. Kids will be thrilled with a boat tour to this shadowy cave. The whole family will crouch as you enter the Blue Grotto’s cavern. Inside, marvel at the stunning blue lights that seem to dance and glow almost supernaturally.
2. Visit ancient Paestum. Founded by the Greeks around 600 B.C., Paestum is home to Doric-columned Greek temples. Kids will lose themselves in an afternoon of exploring the ruins.
3. Walk the Thousand Steps. If your kids are old enough, take them on a healthy hike up Positano’s Thousand Steps. Along the way, you’ll wander through small streets and pass gardens, porticoes, citrus groves and forgotten terraces. When you reach the top, you’ll lose what little breath you have left when you see the view.
4. Spend the day at the beach. There are plenty of pebbly beaches around Sorrento and Positano, but they aren’t the best for sand castle contests. For white sand, take a ferry to the island of Ischia and head to Torregaveta, a wide beach that’s usually free of crowds.
5. Duck into the Cave of the Sibyl. For a (slightly spooky) outing, take the family to the ancient city of Cumae outside Naples. You can visit this unique cave — it’s shaped like a trapezoid — where the oracle was thought to prophesy.
On July 6, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:With Sorrento or Positano as a springboard, the best things to see and do on the Amalfi Coast won’t be far away. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the best five things to do on the Amalfi Coast:
1. Visit Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. Though the region has plenty to offer history buffs, Pompeii is the most impressive site of all. The once-bustling commercial center froze in A.D. 79 when Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered it in 30 feet of ash and lava. Still well preserved, Pompeii is an eerie but must-see destination. For jaw-dropping views, hike to the top of Mount Vesuvius.
2. Take the ferry to Capri. A fashionable little island off the coast of Naples, Capri was first a favorite among Roman aristocrats and now is loved by artists and celebrities. The ferry from Positano and Sorrento runs regularly and is a breezy 40-minute ride. Stroll through the citrus groves, steep cobblestone streets and stop to try the limoncello. Later, catch a tour boat to the fabled Blue Grotto sea cave to see what all the fuss is about. If you have time, consider taking the chair lift up to 1,900-foot Mount Solaro, where you’ll find the best views of Mount Vesuvius, the Faraglioni rocks and the surrounding islands.
3. Get knee-deep in Naples. Often overlooked in favor of Rome, Naples offers an energetic escape from the beaches and bars. Once considered the “Paris of the south,” Naples is now grittier than its neighbors, but embrace its chaotic nature and you’ll be rewarded with some of Italy’s best museums, architecture and, of course, pizza.
4. Catch a concert in Ravello. Famous for its classical Festival Musicale di Ravello, the small village is a must-see for culture enthusiasts. To satisfy your concert cravings, head to the festival’s center in the gardens of Villa Rufolo during the summer months.
5. Shop in Positano. Browsing boutiques is a popular activity in this seaside village, known for its big brand, Moda Positano. Fashionistas frequent the famed shopping stroll Via Cristoforo Colombo, where the artisan shops and fashion boutiques can keep you busy all day.