How many times have you found yourself imitating the driving style of these ‘alfa-romeos’ at the edge of the dancing costiera amaflitana driveways?
With my hair wrapped in the riviera’s striped headband and comfortably seated in a convertible ‘alfa’, our journey commences in Sorrento. Just an hour’s drive from the frenesia of Napoli, this Campania town acts beautifully as an introduction to the amazing cliffs and golfs of the Costiera Amalfitana. Busy with tourists arriving from all over Italy for the road trip experience, but nevertheless the perfect spot for the first espresso of the day!
Spread out the map and draw your route down the beautiful Italian west coast. Driving out of the town the smell of the lemon trees tickles your nose and the big blue of the Mediterranean sea breeze takes it away in an endless dance.
Behind every bend, twist and turn in the winding undulating road, a fresh network of white Riva trails is revealed, until eventually you lose the count… First stop is the infamous Positano – where the high vantage point offers views much better than the postcards and the shots you may have already seen .
Like a 60s actress from La Cinecitta, I sip my Aperol at the poolside of the La Sirenuse overlooking the whole stretch of the orange umbrellas covering la Spiaggia of Positano. When the sun decides to set behind the cliff just next to the lively Capri, we make our way to La Cambusa for dinner. This is the place to be for delicious seafood, where you definitely must go for the pasta alle vongole; all the taste of the summer in one spoonful!
The morning after finds us breathing in all these overwhelming views from our balcony quite literally at the edge of the cliff, and few clicks later we are on the same position on route to Amalfi breathing out of the car’s window. We arrive just on time for mozzarella paninis in the central square in front of the Duomo. This is where the Fiat 500s meet the pastel-coloured vespas and the less-pastel-coloured Italian temperament, all coexist perfectly in one narrow pebbled street , and la vita e’ bella. Bottles of bright yellow limoncello in every size, artisanal hand-made ceramic plates and tasteful beach accessories allow for some shopping during the day.
We check in at the Santa Caterina hotel, one of the hidden gems of the Costiera. Flirting with a XX metre drop into the sea, the striped sunlounges lie on the black rocks and we wish we can stay here forever. The sun sets just in front of us and we have the illusion that by diving into the sea we can hold him tight…
Betrayed, we hide ourselves behind the woven with bugainvilleas rails at the balcony and indulge ourselves in an Italian dinner. Antipasti, primi and secondi and of course gelato for dessert… what else could we ask for?
I would never have left this place if it had not been for Ravello. Not exactly on the edge of the Costiera’s cliffs but its hanging gardens offer the same views to the Mediterranean big blue. Go for either the villa Cimbrone or the villa Ruffolo – they are both magnificent with their gardens and the summer al fresco events. But don’t forget to leave some time for the auditorium Oscan Niemeyer, that sits as a gelato scoop on the amaflitano cone.
Melodies will engage you with the natural beauty and you will admit once more that Italians do it better indeed.
- Il San Pietro di Positano – in the far end of Positano, this grand hotel offers scenic views to the whole of the coast and a great service.
- La Sirenuse – the most classic option for an upscale hotel in Amalfi.
- Drive drive drive, the road trip is what counts and the breaths you take out of the window.
- Rent a Riva boat for a day. The costiera’s views from the sea are equally breathtaking if not more.
- Arienzo Beach Club Amalfi – best beach club in Positano that you reach by boat or via a 300-step stairway if you’re more daring; regardless, make sure you book your sun loungers ahead of visiting.
- Baia Cannone – if you prefer a more frivolous and quick stop in Positano, then this rocky swimming cove is perfect for a dive (or two).
- Castello Brown – 1557 castle, now a museum & event venue with art & antiquities, a lush garden and views of the bay of Positano.
- Chiesa di San Giorgio – beautiful church in Positano with nice views to the sea on the way to the castle.
- Da Vincenzo – upscale trattoria in Positano for the traditional Italian Sunday dish of the region, paccheri genovese
- La Cambusa – seafood in Positano.
- Casa e Bottega – white interiors and a very fresh place for brunch in Positano.
- Ristorante Max – elegant pasta & fish dishes in a stylish space in Positano.
- Taverna del Duca – cosy atmosphere and fusilli in Amalfi.
- Cumpa΄ Cosimo – trattoria in Ravello.
- Pasticceria Pansa Amalfi – central caffé and a great dessert place in Amalfi.
- Aperols everywhere. You gonna notice that Italians do it in style, either being Aperol Spritz or Campari soda, it is the bright amber colour that the Italian sunset gives to your drink.
- Wash off any aftertaste with grappa or limoncello. You can find thousands of recipes here for how to make the perfect one.