The Amalfi Coast is one of the World’s most spectacular and picturesque coast-lines. With its’ breath-taking views, hillsides covered in vines, olives and lemon groves, and painted buildings clinging to the ragged rock face, it has a beguiling beauty and old-school glamour. Being only a couple of hours away by air it is also the perfect destination for a romantic weekend break with its plethora of outstanding hotels and restaurants.
The is the perfect setting for 48 hours away as it is central along the Amalfi Coast enabling you to explore Positano one way and Ravello the other. Nestled high up on the rock face, the 12th century monastery looks down on the boats sailing along the coast and the bustling town of Amalfi. It has its own glass lift to take you down to road level or you can take the stone steps that will bring you out in the centre of Amalfi – ideal for an evening stroll to find a restaurant for dinner.
After breakfast on the vine-clad terrace overlooking Amalfi, take a water taxi to Positano (Image to the right). The boat trip offers you the best view of the coastline and avoids the terrifying coast road with its’ notorious Italian drivers and hair-pin bends! Arriving in Positano have your camera ready – it is immediately obvious why this town is the coast’s most picturesque cove. With its tutti-frutti coloured houses vertiginously clustered together, Positano is a maze of narrow lanes with steep steps where you’ll find countless little boutiques. Selling local handmade goods, the shops are overflowing with floaty beach dresses, leather sandals and lemon scented soaps vying for your attention.
After exhausting yourself climbing more steps than you can imagine indulge in a long leisurely lunch in either Le Sirenuse or Il San Pietro, both hotels are perched overlooking the sea and have for years played host to countless glamorous Hollywood stars and Statesmen. The food will be exquisite and the views sublime.
When you’ve had your fill of Positano catch the boat back to Amalfi and enjoy the peace and tranquillity by your hotel’s infinity pool until the afternoon sun dips over the hillside and declares it time for evening drinks.
In contrast to Positano, Ravello (Image to the left) is serenely peaceful with an air of restrained glamour. The bus journey from Amalfi zig-zags high up into the hills and once you arrive in the small town you will catch glimpses between buildings of the sea miles below. Wander around the mostly traffic-free alleys and make your way to Villa Ruffalo perched like an eagles’ nest above the sea. Famous for its magnificent cascading gardens, however, the view down upon terraced lemon groves is worth the visit in itself.
Have lunch in the main square and watch the world go by; there’s often music playing, locals gathering for coffee and the doors of the Duomo constantly spilling out visitors. You can then walk back to Amalfi if you fancy the steps down the hillside which takes about an hour or jump on one of the frequent buses.
Back in Amalfi the main square is dominated by the wide staircase leading up to the beautiful Cathedral. You can easily while away some time inside the Duomo – or sampling the local Limoncello in one of the many bars on the piazza. Then you’ve just got the find the right alleyway to lead you back to the hotel’s steps for dinner on the terrace – if only it was that simple!
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