There are so many amazing places and attractions on the Amalfi Coast that it can be hard to plan a holiday in this enchanting part of Italy. I’ve selected 8 of my favourite experiences in this region to inspire your own intinerary and added 2 more that are still on my bucketlist!
The Ravello Festival is an annual Summer festival of music and the Arts held in the town of Ravello. It normally starts in late June and ends in early September.
The events include orchestral concerts and chamber music, ballet performances, film screenings and art exhibitions. What makes this festival so unique are the outdoor venues at which they are held such as the mesmerizing Villa Rufolo.
My husband and I saw Alessandro Lanzoni, a Florentine jazz pianist perform in concert at the renowned Villa Rufolo a few Summers ago. Not only did his performance blow us away, being part of this spine-tingling moment in such a beautiful setting high up in the hills, with the Amalfi Coast below as the backdrop for the stage was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
Ferragosto is an Italian national holiday celebrated on 15 August. It is a celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. This time of year on the Amalfi Coast feels like Christmas! My mother-in-law makes lots of delicious traditional delicacies for the Ferragosto feast such as Melanzane al cioccolato (eggplant covered in chocolate).
There are processions in several towns along the coast in which the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is re-enacted. In Maiori, the townsmen run up the hundreds of stairs that lead to the Collegiata Santa Maria a Mare church carrying the statue of Santa Maria a Mare on their shoulders.
Ferragosto festivities culminate in spectacular fireworks displays in numerous towns along the Amalfi Coastline. It is an amazing feeling to witness the sky light up above the sea.
Discovering the Amalfi Coast’s secret beaches
The Amalfi Coast is known for its breathtaking cliffs, picturesque towns and incredible lemons, not its beaches. However, there are some fairly hidden beaches that are one of the best kept secrets in this part of Italy. They may be no ‘secret’ to the locals but since the majority of these little gems can only be reached by walking down hundreds of stairs or taking a boat, you’ll find that these beaches are relatively tourist-free.
There are way too many for me to mention them all (in this blog post). However a few of my favourites include the Fjord of Furore (located in Furore between Conca dei Marini and Praiano), Marina di Praia (also located between Conca dei Marini and Praiano, but just before Praiano’s town centre) and Salicerchie in Maiori.
Dinner in Ravello
One of my most precious Amalfi Coast memories is of the evening after my wedding. My husband took me to Rossellinis restaurant at Palazzo Avino (called Palazzo Sasso at the time) for dinner. It was the most sensational dinner I have ever had and one of the most magical evenings I can remember.
From the sound of the mandolins being played by the Neapolitan musicians to the exquisite dishes and the breathtaking views, I felt like I’d stepped into a fairytale. I have never tasted such divine food in all my life. The sphere-shaped chocolate mousse-style dessert I had looked like a work of art and tasted even more incredible. The service was nothing short of flawless. We simply can’t wait to return to this world class restaurant.
Champagne and Oysters in Positano
If you visit the Amalfi Coast you simply cannot leave Positano out of your itinerary. Poets, celebrities and film makers have been flocking here for decades to witness this insanely picturesque town with its pastel-coloured houses that tumble down the sheer cliff face to the seashore.
I have been to several of the fabulous bars in Positano but there is one spot in this enchanting town which I’ve heard so much about and yet have not had the chance to visit – the Champagne and Oyster Bar at Le Sirenuse.
Imagine sitting on the candlelit terrace of a 18th-century seaside villa, champagne glass in hand, watching the sunset over the Tyrrhenian sea whilst listening to relaxing music. This is the pure bliss I seek and the reason Le Sirenuse is the Positano experience on my bucketlist for my next Italian summer holiday. I’ve heard that the fresh seafood delicacies on the menu here are to die for.
Chairlift to Monte Solaro
I’ve always thought of the Island of Capri as this little piece of Eden that God has dropped into the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is definitely one of the most picturesque places in Campania. Capri is a 40-60 minute ferry/hydrofoil ride from the Port of Amalfi (or 25 minute ferry ride from Positano). My favourite view of Capri is the one you can see from the top of Monte Solaro, the highest point on the island.
You can take a 12 minute chairlift ride to the summit of Monte Solaro from Anacapri. Both times I’ve taken this chairlift I felt like I was literally on top of the world.
Thermal Spas in Ischia
If the crowds of Ferragosto or walking up the hills and endless steps along the Amalfi Coast tires you out, why not treat yourself to a bit of pampering at a thermal spa? Ischia is a volcanic island in the Bay of Naples known for its many thermal parks and natural springs.
The Island of Ischia is a 2.5 hour ferry ride from Amalfi. After experiencing the thermal waters and healing muds of Ischia during my last trip there I felt so relaxed and regenerated that I didn’t want to leave.
The Path of the Gods
There is one walking path on the Amalfi Coast which Travellers from all over the world have declared this the most beautiful walk in the world. I have never been on this walk and can’t wait to try my hiking boots out on the Sentiero degli Dei (which literally translates to the Path of the Gods).
The route starts in Bomerano and finishes in Positano but you can opt for the shorter route by stopping once your reach Nocelle and then catch the local bus down to Positano. Whichever route you take your are guaranteed to be blown away by the awe-inspiring views over la Costiera Amalfitana.
Amalfi Coast by Scooter
When I first started working on the Amalfi Coast I travelled up and down the coastline on a little red scooter. Seeing this spectacular stretch of coastline from the back of a motorcycle or scooter is a truly euphoric experience. It’s a great way to avoid the hot, crowded buses in Summer too.
I highly recommend that you take every possible safety precaution though. I’ve had more than one minor scooter accident along the narrow, windy coastal road.
If you have any other experiences you think should be added to this list or need any tips for planning your own Amalfi Coast holiday I’d be very happy to hear from you. Please feel free to comment below!