One of my favourite girls and photographers Nadean Richards takes us on a beautiful tour of of one of the most beautiful places in the world - The Amalfi Coast. Including some wonderful tips for travelling to Positano, Capri and Amalfi. I hope you enjoy this wonderful guide as much as I did walking down memory lane.
By Nadean Richards
From the soaring hilltops of Sorrento to the warm and friendly atmosphere of Amalfi town, The Amalfi Coast is a stretch of the Mediterranean that has to be seen to be believed. John Steinbeck says: “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you are gone.”
If you’re lucky enough to visit the area then Positano is far and above the best spot to base yourself whilst touring this region. Positano is one of the most unique places in the world, with its topography, magical views, winding cobblestone streets filled with the most wonderful shopfronts, colours, smells, and delicious food at every corner. It was little wonder that I thought it was the perfect place to bring my husband to on our first wedding anniversary!
After battling through Naples town we navigated around the mountainous cliffs of Sorrento. The scenery is breathtaking with the clear blue water of the Mediterranean crashing on the shores hundreds of meters below. The heights and winding roads are not for the faint hearted. Although it was truly stunning to take in, after adding in the stress of whizzing vespas, mad Italian's trying to overtake you at every turn, and questionably sloping tour busses, I was very happy to arrive in Positano in one piece.
Positano itself is an engineering feat! This town captivates you at every angle and the locals are engaging and charismatic. The Moorish style architecture rises up steep slopes, which look out to the Sireneuse Islands. Fishing is the foundation the Amalfi Coast is based upon and the sea is what earns these men a living. It’s a skill that is passed down from generation to generation. It is an activity that is swelled with pride and custom and is usually the main dish in all of the restaurants.
One of the enchanting things to do in Positano is to walk the back streets and peruse the shops. Along with the abundance of pizza, pasta, seafood and salads, I loved the colorful plates they were served on. There are many factories in the area where you can purchase these beautifully crafted pottery pieces and send them home so you can always remember your visit. There are many beautiful shops filled with lemon products, clothes, shoes and jewellery however my favourite find was a shop called Nadir. This is a family owned shop bursting at the seams with beautifully handmade products.
I think you’d find it hard to fault most of the restaurants especially as ‘ We have the best shrimp in the Amalfi Coast’ was a line we heard in each one. When in Rome’ was important to remember and it seemed to be that shrimp was the flavour of the region. We were convinced to eat them whole, however my taste buds didn’t quite agree! If it’s one thing you do in Positano visiting Le Sireneuse Hotel is a must. By far my favourite restaurant was the Michelin Starred Ristorante La Sponda at Le Sireneuse hotel. Make sure your pockets are deep though as it is one for a special occasion. If the budget doesn’t stretch that far you can still visit the hotels’ oyster and champagne bar. This is just perfection- sipping on a cocktail whilst watching the sunset with a view of Positano in the background. Other definite winners include: Café Positano- this has an amazing view looking across the town and the food is fresh and delicious. Da Vincenzo –this is very near CP as well and has delicious food. Ristorante Max- This doesn’t have the view but what it has is the Italian ambiance that you imagine Italy to be. You have Antony sitting at the bar when you arrive and a garden terrace ambiance littered with candlelight, beautiful Italian artifacts and an extensive food and wine list.
One of the best ways to see Positano is by leaving for a day trip on a boat. There are plenty of day trips to choose from but I would highly recommend visiting Capri and Ravello.
Ravello is the most incredible place set on top of a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. This is a sight that must be experienced to comprehend it. My recommendation is to walk through the village, admiring all the amazing pottery and shops whilst you head towards Villa Cimbrone Gardens. Once you get to the amazing door don’t stop- pay that 5 euro and keep walking. The sights are breathtaking and the atmosphere is incredible. This is literally up there on my list of the most amazing wedding locations in the world! Once you have finished with the gardens pop into Villa Maria restaurant for a nice lunch afterwards. You wont be disappointed. At certain times of the year they also have a festival in Rufolo Gardens so if you are there in July/ August be sure to enjoy the classical music in the amphitheatre whilst the sun sets.
Capri is known as the playground for the rich and famous. I’d highly recommend hopping on a small tour like the one we used (Cassipoea) and enjoy the Sorrento coastline as you make your way to Capri. You have the opportunity of visiting all the different colour grottos and enjoying this wonder of the world. After dipping into the Mediterranean at least 2 times on the way to Capri we finally arrived to a bustling port. With not much time to muck around we decided to go to a private restaurant called Bagni Tiberio. There is a free boat that takes you there from the port, near where you buy ferry tickets from. We had a relaxing few hours enjoying the food, view and beach. It was perfect.
So that’s my recap on the Amalfi coast. You may ask why I left out Sorrento and Amalfi? Well each to their own but I far prefer Positano, Ravello and Capri as places to visit, and if you’re going to stay in one place and actually have a holiday- the streets of Positano are the place to be.