The Amalfi Coast Guide
Ahhh, the Amalfi Coast. Where love is palpable in the air. Everyone is smiling and still wet from their dip on the rocky shores. The Italians really know how to live. And they especially know how to live while on vacation. The beautiful coastal towns are something that everyone should experience at least once it their life. The beauty alone was unmatched, but the people are what make this slice of the world such a spectacular spot.
I took a little tour along the coast starting in Ravello and ending in Sorrento. I stayed a handful of nights along the way, and picked up my favorite spaces and places for my friendly folks here at Mind Right Wellness.
First stop: Ravello
Ravello is my favorite of all the towns on the coast. It's small, quaint, and just the right amount of tourists. While the Amalfi Coast is clearly going to be overflooding with tourists, Ravello is a bit harder to get to (and not right on the water) so it's often one that gets overlooked. As I drove up the mountain to greet this beautiful town, I stopped along the curvy roads at pepper and lemon stands and was forced to pause and take it in by ranchers moving their animals across the mountain roads.
The town itself is tiny and the views are completely out of this world.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Villa Cimbrone Gardens: if you find yourself in Ravello, you MUST go to the gardens. They were perhaps the most memorable sights from my entire trip. As you walk through stunning greenery you are greeted by dramatic views of the coastline below. There are marble statues that glisten in the sun with a stark contrast to the Mediterranean below. And while I tried to capture it in photos, they simply don't do it justice.
Villa Maria (Restaurant + Cooking School): I stumbled into Villa Maria after an afternoon galavanting through the gardens. I was ready for a glass of rose and some pasta (who could have guessed?!). With the most breathtaking views, I sat on the edge of a cliff watching the cars hug the mountain side below. It was as if they were melodically dancing to the slow beat of the music in the restaurant. A soft breeze and delicious food, this place couldn't have been more perfect. So perfect in fact, that I decided to come back the following day for a cooking school. I had read about a cooking class in Ravello, and had my heart set on doing something of this nature while I was abroad. And though you'll read about how great Mama Agata cooking school is, when you talk with the locals they'll tell you a different story. "It's ok, nothing special. Just a tourist trap" is what I got. I'd have enough tourist traps in my travels that I wasn't about to learn some cooking skills in one. So Villa Maria it was! And damn, was I stoked! You start the day by picking your own vegetables from their organic garden then spend the following hours creating a four course meal complete with wine and entertainment by the (hilarious) head chef. It was an experience I'll never forget.
Baffone Gelato: you can't get away with being in Italy without eating gelato. And while I'm a sucker for the sweet stuff, unfortunately dairy doesn't agree with my digestive system. But I was in luck in Ravello! This sweet little gelato window if stalked with delicious flavors for al the *normal* and vegan lovers alike.
Second Stop: Positano
You've all seen the photos of the Amalfi Coast, and the wonderland of buildings on top of buildings, on top of mountainsides is honestly incredible. The colors, the architecture, and the small winding streets are quite the sight to be seen. It was certainly a "destination" spot, and unfortunately you could feel that. This may not be a very popular opinion, but it's mine. I honestly wasn't as amazed by Positano as I expected it to be. It looked exactly as I imagined, but I had a hard time finding the soul of the place. There didn't seem to be much of one. It was limoncello shop after linen shop... after limoncello shop, after linen shop.
That being said, there is definitely delicious food to be had and spectacular views from the water. I suggest just not going in the high tourist season.
Chez Black : This restaurant on the water was one of my highlights. They are known for their squid ink pasta (delish!). If you pair that with a white wine and watch the world go by, you're surely to be in a good spot. It's right on the boadwalk at the water as well so there is no shortage of people watching to do.
Da Adolfo: This is a lunch spot that I unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to, but I felt it was important to put on the list since I heard raving reviews. You can take one of their boats to their little slice of heaven and take in the day from a beach front restaurant on your own private beach.
La Tagliata: Meat eaters, this is your spot! And even though I don't eat meat I decided to give it a go (not the meat, just the atmosphere). This is really more of a show than a restaurant. They bring out a four course meal, complete with wine and live entertainment. For 40 euros, it was definitely a steal. They even pick you up and drop you off from your hotel as part of that price, which is huge on the winding and steep Positano hills.
Third Stop: Capri