From Punta della Campanella to Salerno is the Costiera Amalfitana (Amalfi Coast), surely one of the most beautiful in the world. It features a string of picturesque towns perched on cliffs leading up to the Monti Lattari (Milky Mountains).
Getting to the Amalfi Coast
- Car - Take A3 south (towards Salerno); you can approach the coast from the north/west, by going through Sorrento, although the most straightforward way is to take the road from the south/east (getting off on the Angri exit). Obviously this depends on how long you want to take the thrilling yet taxing coastal drive, and where you are going on the coast.
- Ferry - During the summer, Metro del Mare runs ferry lines to and from Naples, and ferry companies run boats between the major towns. See the transport page's ferry section for more information.
- Bus - There are SITA busses that run from Sorrento or Salerno; you can take the train to either place (Circumvesuviana to Sorrento, or normal trains to Salerno) and then transfer. There is also a bus that runs directly from Naples to Amalfi, albeit infrequently (e.g. it doesn't run on Sunday).
One of the most scenic towns on the coast, Positano is entirely built on a cliff. By day, it can be quite crowded, although if you get off the main streets (or stay late) it's quieter. At night, the hottest spot is Music on the Rocks, or head to nearby Praiano for Night Club Africana, built into a cave. If you need a place to stay for cheap, Hostel Brikette is highly rated (including by Lonely Planet); those looking for classier apartments/hotel rooms have much more to choose from.
There's not much to "sightsee" in Positano; there's shopping, hiking, eating, lounging on the beach...but not museums and impressive churches like Amalfi.
Places to Eat
- ***Da Adolfo (Di Bello Sergio) - a beach/restaurant that you get to either by 500 steps from the cliff or via a boat from Positano's harbor. Excellent seafood lunch. www.daadolfo.com, rec'd Frommer's, Gillian's Lists. Laurito Beach/Via Laurito 40, 089-875-022, reserve early!!
- ***Casa e Bottega - everything is organic and fresh at this juice/smoothie/salad bar that also has more substantive things on the menu; everything is very tasty and it's a nice "detox" from heavier carb-fests. Also sells very cute ceramics, etc. See photos here and here, rec'd Giada de Laurentis
- ?La Tagliata - Italian fare with a very striking view looking down the profile of the amalfi coast, from slightly east and above Positano. About a 10min drive from the exit down into Positano. Very good primi and dolce. €35 for a full-course meal with wine. www.latagliata.com, Via Tagliata 22, Positano SA 84017, 089-875-872.
- Il Ritrovo - in Montepertuso, up the hill from Positano on via Montepertuso 77, 89-812-005, 89-875-453, www.ilritrovo.com. Rec'd by Alice, Carla Capalbo, and Fodor's; also offers cooking courses.
- Santa Croce - in Nocelle, up the hill from Positano, #19, TCI and Frommer's recommend this nice spot to eat for its hand-made positano-style fusili and beautiful view; 30-35 all-inclusive lunch deals.
- Saraceno d'Oro - Viale Pasitea 254, 089-812-050, closed much of Nov-Feb, www.saracenodoro.it, rec'd by Lonely Planet, Gillian's Lists, Michelin (not anymore in 2016) and Mangiarozzo, good seafood pastas at reasonable prices, ~€35.
- Covo dei Saraceni - rec'd Michelin, Gillian's Lists (says it's the best pizza in town), also a hotel
- Da Vincenzo - rec'd Michelin, Lonely Planet, Giada de Laurentis
- Next2 - dinner only, rec'd Michelin, Lonely Planet, Giada de Laurentis
- La Taverna del Leone - via Laurito 43 (in Laurito, a ways south from town but has a shuttle service), rec'd Michelin
- La Brezza nel Art Cafe - nice terrace near Spiagga Grande, serves snacks/panini, apparently a local favorite, rec'd Lonely Planet
- Rada Restaurant - rec'd Michelin
- Chez Black - busy, buzzing place with lots of seafood including sea urchin pasta, rec'd Gillian's Lists
- Ristorante Max - Villa Treville calls it a "hidden gem" with "quiet atmosphere, excellent food, and high quality service", rec'd Loney Planet, Giada de Laurentis, also runs cooking classes (description here)...a bit of a wine bar/creative menu, somewhat fancy/expensive, see blogposts here, here, and here
- Donna Rosa - in Montepertuso (above Positano), family run place with nice views that also runs cooking classes, rec'd Lonely Planet, Condé Nast Traveller
- C'era una Volta - Lonely Planet rec's for relatively inexpensive, "down-to-earth" cooking
- Bar Bruno - rec'd Giada de Laurentis, Elizabeth Minchilli, Gillian's Lists
- Tre Sorelle - rec'd Giada de Laurentis, Gillian's Lists
- San Pietro di Positano - via Laurito 2, has two restaurants:
- Zass - in the same hotel, 1 Michelin star
- La Sponda (Hotel le Sirenuse) - via Cristoforo Colombo 30, expensive (~€90/person) place rec'd 2015 Repubblica, 1 Michelin star
- Buca di Bacco - place near the Spiaggia Grande associated with the fancy hotel of the same name (which Condé Nast Traveler named as one of the top hotels in all of Italy), rec'd Michelin, Condé Nast Traveller, Giada de Laurentis
- Maestro's at Villa Treville - restaurant at a very fancy hotel (on the same beach as Da Adolfo, above) which is probably where I'd stay if price were no object; rooms start at ~$700/night (!) and go up to $4-5K a night for 3-bedroom suites in the former vacation home of Italian filmmaker Franco Zeffirelli; CN Traveler has a profile. To get there, either arrive by car/foot *or* before dark, apparently you can call them and they'll send a boat to fetch you in Positano...they also have a beach club (apparently €10-25/person for chairs/towels/water/prosecco, this blog has more)
- Pastries: Bar Enoteca Internazionale - Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016 rec's the Caprese cake, as well as ricotta & pears...also gelato
- Pastries: La Zagara - Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016 rec's delizie al limone
- --> TODO: look at this site for more ideas
- [two sites that explain different beaches in the area]
Once the capital of a prosperous maritime republic (in fact, the Amalfi cross joins the symbols of Pisa, Venice, and Genoa on the Italian naval ensign), Amalfi has a splendid cathedral, paper making factories, and beautiful hikes.
Sights and Activities
- Duomo di Amalfi (Cathedral): unfortunately you have to pay to get in; it features a serene cloister, various artifacts, and the crypt of Sant'Andrea (St. Andrew, whose remains were Shanghaied from Constantinople during the Crusades).
- Museo della Carta (Paper Museum): an old 13th-century paper mill has now become a museum; Amalfi has a long tradition of making beautiful handcrafted paper (a good, easy-to-transport souvenir/gift). To get there, walk up the main road away from the sea; eventually the tacky tourist shops thin out, and you'll see the paper museum on the left. Via delle Cartiere 23, 089-830-4561, 10-6:30, closed Sun, from Nov-Feb closes at 3:30 and closes Mon instead of Sun. Two working mills: Cartiera Amatruda (Via Marino del Giudice, 089-871315) and Antonio Cavaliere (Via Fiume, 089-871954).
- Museo Civico: museum that includes the Tabula Amalphitana, the maritime code that Amalfi used to rule the Mediterranean. M-F 8-1, free.
- Arsenale Marinaro: the old shipyard of the Republic of Amalfi. 9-8, closed Oct-Easter, free.
- Hiking: a number of hikes lead from Amalfi; see Hiking, below.
- Beaches: Amalfi has a number of pay beaches, but you can also walk about 15 minutes to nearby Atrani's public beach.
Places to Eat
- Maccus - inexpensive local favorite not far from the Duomo, tucked away in a serene courtyard away from the tourists; simple but excellent food; Time Out especially recommends the polpino (octopus) salad; also rec'd by Veronelli. Largo Santa Maria Maggiore 1, 089-873-6385, www.maccusamalfi.it. 12-3, 7-11:30pm, closed Mon, Nov. To get there, walk away from the Duomo/sea on the main road, and look for signs to "Maccus" on one of the little alleyways/stairs leading to the right.
- La Caravella - expensive (~€70-80/person) but famed to be Amalfi's best restaurant, recommended by 2016 Slow Food, Repubblica 2015, Time Out, Frommer's, and Cadogan. Via Matteo Camera 12, 089-871-029, www.ristorantelacaravella.it. 12-2:30 7:30-10:30, closed Tues and Nov-Dec, gluten free options.
- Ristorante Lido Azzurro - Via Lungomare dei Cavalieri 5, rec'd 2016 Slow Food, Repubblica 2015, gluten free options.
- Donna Stella Pizzeria/Ristorante - Salita Rascica 2, only open for dinner, recommended by Let's Go, 2016 Slow Food
- Da Teresa - Spiaggia di Santa Croce, open every day, rec'd 2015 Repubblica
- Da Maria - one of the best of the cheaper trattorie/pizzerie in Amalfi, recommended by Time Out, Cadogan, and Let's Go. Via Lorenza d'Amalfi 14, 089-871-880, 12-3, 7-11:30pm, closed Mon, Nov.
- #Trattoria Rispoli - in Pogerola (a town up the hill to the NW of Amalfi), Via Riulo 3, 089-830-080, closed Th except summer, Slow Food, Mangiarozzo and TCI recommend this inexpensive place for its great home-cooked meals, including good seafood pastas.
- Tarì - Cheap trattoria north of the Duomo, recommended by Cadogan. Via P. Capuano, 089-871-832, closed Tues.
- Il Mulino - Cheap, up the hill so less tourists, recommended by Cadogan. Via delle Cartiere 36, 089-872-223, closed Mon.
- Da Baracca - Cadogan says "this is everything an Italian trattoria should be"; cheap. Piazza dei Dogi, 089-871-285, closed Wed, Jan-Feb.
- San Giuseppe - Noisy but cheap and good, recommended by Cadogan and Frommer's (which calls it a "down-to-earth...real local hangout"). Via Ruggiero II 4, 089-872-640, closed Thurs, Feb.
- Il Chiostro - near Duomo, recommended by Let's Go.
- Eolo - Moderately priced restaurant with good seafood, simple decor, recommended by Frommer's. Via Pantaleone Comite 3, 089-871-241, 12:30-3, 7:30-10:30, closed Tues, Jan-Feb.
- Da Gemma - somewhat expensive priced popular restaurant with view of Duomo, both seafood and land favorites, recommended by Time Out, Frommer's, and Cadogan; especially recommended is the zuppa di pesce and melanzane al cioccolato. Via Fra'Gerardo Sasso 10, 089-871-345. 12:30-2:30, 7:30-10:30, closed Wed, Jan-Feb.
- Eolo - via Comite 3, 089-871-241, also expensive but rec'd by Panorama, Espresso, TCI, Gambero Rosso, and Michelin.
- Ristorante Hotel Santa Caterina - expensive place rec'd Repubblica 2015
- Pansa 1830 - rec'd Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016, Repubblica 2015
- Gelato: Bar Savoia (looks like "davoia"), Piazza Flavio Gioia (on the water as you enter town), 089-871-426. A nice range of flavors, as well as excellent candies and pastries.
- Pastries: Andrea Pansa Pasticceria - Piazza Duomo 40, also chocolates at Piazza Municipio 12, rec'd Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016
- In Atrani (a short walk "around the bend" from Amalfi—the Atrani beach is also public/free)
- A Paranza (in Atrani) - relatively inexpensive, excellent seafood and homemade desserts near the main square, recommended by Time Out, Gambero Rosso, 2016 Slow Food, Repubblica 2015, Veronelli, Michelin, Frommer's, and Chowhounders. Traversa Dragone 2 in Atrani, 089-871-840. 12:30-3, 7:30-mid, closed Tues Sept-June.
- Le Arcate (in Atrani) - nice family-run place rec'd by Alice, Luogo Orlando Buonocore 1, 089-871-367, closed Mon.
- Le Palme - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
Places to Stay
- Albergo Sant'Andrea - cheap and central; small rooms but good A/C, etc; rec'd by Fodor's (who say "this may be the best bargain in all Italy")
Home of the famous Music Festival, this hilltop town has beautiful views and designer shops.
- Cumpa Cosimo is a no-nonsense trattoria that serves good, cheap food—Mama Cosimo make sure you leave full and happy (recommended by Rick Steves, Time Out, 2015 Repubblica, and Cadogan) 12-3:30, 7-10, Via Roma 44, 089-857-156.
- Vittoria, off the main piaz relatively reasonable prices, rec'd by Cadogan's.
- Ristorante Rossellinis - Via San Giovanni del Toro 28, rec'd 2016 Slow Food
- Ettore Sammarco is a winery recommended by Slow Food for having some of the best "everyday wines", especially their Bianco Terre Saracene (Via Civita 9, 089-872-774)
- Flauto di Pan - at the fancy Villa Cimbrone hotel, nice views, some ingredients are from their organic gardens, ~€90/person, rec'd The Telegraph, 2015 Repubblica
- Belvedere Hotel Caruso - expensive (~€100/person), rec'd 2015 Repubblica
- Rossellinis / Hotel Palazzo Avino - expensive (~€120/person), rec'd 2015 Repubblica
- Locanda Moresca - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
- Cooking Class: Mamma Agata - rec'd by several Americans as a fun experience; you spend the whole day cooking and eating
- in Scala (a town further uphill):
- Lorenzo, Via Fra Gerardo Sasso 21, 089-858-290, ~€40-45, rec'd Espresso, 2015 Repubblica
- Ristorante dei Cavalieri, Piazza Municipio 13, rec'd 2016 Slow Food Planet
Minori & Maiori
Two small towns down the coast from Amalfi and Atrani, which offer good food and cheaper accommodations than the more touristy parts of the coast. Maiori has larger beaches but less soul (most of its historic center was wiped out by a flood in the 50's). Minori has a nice basilica and some Roman ruins (the Villa Romana)...every July they host the Jazz on the Coast festival.
- Bar Salvatore De Riso - Piazza Cantilena 1, Minori, 089-877-396, one of the most renowned pastry shops on the coast (if not the region), also gelato, especially known for delizia al limone, rec'd by Carla Capalbo, 2015 Repubblica, Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016 for Dolce di Amalfi (pastry with almonds, lemons, and limoncello) and Pear/Ricotta Cake.
- Il Giardiniello - Corso Vittorio Emanuele 17, Minori, 089-877-060, closed Nov-Jan and Wed except high season, rec'd by Frommer's and Michelin for good seafood and pizzas.
- La Botte - Via Santa Maria Vetrano 15, Minori, 089-877-893, closed Jan, Tues except in summer, 2016 Slow Food, Alice and Frommer's rec's this "find" with fresh pasta and rustic setting near the Villa Romana; inexpensive.
- L'Arsenale - Via San Giovanni a Mare 20, Minori, 089-851-418, closed Jan/Feb and Thurs, Carla Capalbo and Frommer's rec'd this place for creative dishes and for those who are tired of fish (as they also offer meat options).
- Mammato - Lungomare Amendola / Via Arsenale 6, Maiori, 089-877-036, closed Nov, Tues except summer, Alice and Frommer's rec's this "no-frills" place that is popular with locals; also rents rooms.
- Il Faro di Capo d'Orso - restaurant in Maiori, expensive (~€70/person) but rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Michelin, TCI, 2015 Repubblica
- Gelateria Geljada - Lungomare Amendola 15 in Maiori, rec'd TCI
- Villa Romana - hotel that as of Jan 2017 had some surprisingly good rates (~$45/night on hotels.com...although more expensive in the summer)
Vietri sul Mare, Cetara, & Tramonti
Near the south of the Amalfi coast, just off A3, Vietri sul Mare is known for its ceramic shops. A little ways "up" the coast (actually southwest) is the very cute fishing town of Cetara, known for its anchovies and tuna (every year there is the Sagra del Tonno, or Tuna Festival); CIao Amalfi has some great photos of Cetara.
- Al Convento - Piazza San Francesco 16, Cetara, 089-261-039, closed Wed [Tues??], in a renovated convent, beautiful terrace in the summer, a great place to try the famous Cetara anchovies and tuna, highly recommended by Gambero Rosso, Slow Food Osterie d'Italia (including 2016), Espresso, Michelin, TCI, Veronelli, Chowhounders, 2015 Repubblica, Carla Capalbo, and Ciao Amalfi; ~€30-40. They also offer cooking classes.
- San Pietro - Piazza San Francesco 2, Cetara, 089-261-091, closed Tues in off season, small place which serves whatever's fresh that day, rec'd by Chowhounders, Frommer's, Gambero Rosso, Slow Food Osterie d'Italia (including 2016), Espresso, Carla Capalbo, and Michelin; ~€40-60.
- Acquapazza - Corso Garibaldi 36, Cetara, 089-261-606, rec'd by Frommer's as an elegant but small place serving local fish and high cuisine; also rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Carla Capalbo, TCI, 2015 Repubblica.
- Pane e Coccos' - Corso Federici 3, closed Wed, rec'd Repubblica 2015 for street food, name means "bread and something" in Neapolitan, mostly sandwiches but also pasta and fried food
- Delfino Battista - food shop rec'd 2015 Repubblica
- Tramonti is another town in the mountains, in this case between Minori/Maiori and Naples
- Antichi Sapori
- Osteria Reale - rec'd Slow Food Osterie d'Italia 2016
- Comunità Montana Penisola Amalfitana - produces raw-milk cheeses
- Trattoria San Francesco / Birrificio - rec'd 2016 Slow Food
Between Positano and Amalfi; beautiful views of Positano and sunsets, and a little bit less expensive than either town...but also less to do/see. ~Free parking is available up on the top street in town.
- Trattoria San Gennaro Pizzeria. Very good pizza, pasta and seafood. Great service and servers that speak Italian, English, German and French. http://www.ilsangennaro.it/, Info: +39-08-987-4293 or +39-333-611-3801, parking lot is at 40.61256N 14.52253E
- ?La Brace - Via Capriglione 146 (on the west side of town, Vettica Maggiore), 089-874-226, closed Wed, rec'd by 2015 Repubblica, Conde Nast Traveler, Michelin (not anymore as of 2016), Luciano Pignataro, Petit Futé, fixed price meals start at €16; a la carte ~€35-50, good view, some mixed TripAdvisor reviews in 2016.
- Locanda Costa Diva - Via roma 39 (near the Marina di Praia), 089-813-1218, rec'd by TCI, also a hotel, #1 restaurant on TripAdvisor in 2016, ~€30-50.
- #Armandino - In the Marina di Praia, recommended by several Chowhounds, Luciano Pignataro, Petit Futé...probably the best food in Praiano?
- ?Il Pirata - In the Marina di Praia, a bit fancier but with gorgeous views and nice bar/lounge
- ***La Strada - on the west side of town (Vettica Maggiore)...we ate here in July 2016 and at first were worried that it was a tourist trap (lots of Americans, opens at 6:30 PM which is ridiculously early for Southern Italy, very long menu...) and yet it was a great place! Great view from the top floor, great Neapolitan favorites (including a pretty good pizza)
- Il Pino - cheap, fresh fish
- Bar Mare Petit (?)
- Kasai (?)
- Che Bonta (?)
- Liquers: Liquorificio il Gusto della Costa - Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016
- More ideas on this website
- Casa Angelina - super nice but also super expensive design/boutique hotel that caters to romantic couples (in fact children aren't allowed!)
- Villa Il Frantoio - somewhat mid-range (~$200/night) hotel with an amazing view, including from the pool
- It's about an hour hike up lots of stairs to the Convento di San Domenico (aka Santa Maria a Castro), a monastery with a gorgeous view...from there you can join the Sentiero degli Dei (see below) either going uphill to Bomerano or downhill to Nocelle
- See this map for details
A little town between Praiano and Conca dei Marini (between Positano and Amalfi), known for its "Fiordo" (Fjord), at about 40.61399N 14.55423E, where a deep chasm has been shaped by the river emptying into the sea; a bridge crosses over the Fiordo for the coast road. The vista was used in the 1948 film L'Amore.
- Hostaria di Bacco - Via Lama 9, 089-830-360, closed Fri in winter, nice view of the Fiordo, rec'd by Espresso, Michelin Bib Gourmand, Mangiarozzo, and TCI, ~€35-45 not including drinks. We went here in July 2016 and it was a *great* view, pretty good food too, although maybe not worth the long drive up?
- Marisa Cuomo Gran Furor (Winery) - Via Lama 16-18, 089-830-348, her wines were selected by Slow Food as some of the best "everyday wines" in the region; rec'd by Carla Capalbol
- Agriturismo Sant'Alfonso - via Sant'Alfonso 7, 089-830-515, rec'd Carla Capalbo
- #Agriturismo Serafina - Via Picola 3, 089-830-347, rec'd 2016 Slow Food Planet, Carla Capalbo
- Places near the Fiordo:
- Al Monazeno - right at the Fiordo, not many reviews online
- Euroconca - a little ways past the Fiordo, not many reviews online
- Conca dei Marini
- Mashreq Hotel Il Saraceno - somewhat expensive (~€65/person) restaurant in a fancy hotel, rec'd 2015 Repubblica
- Monastero Santa Rosa - expensive (€80/person), rec'd 2015 Repubblica
Massa Lubrense/Sant'Agata sui Due Golfi
On the very tip of the peninsula of the Amalfi Coast, just over the hill from Sorento, pointing at Capri in the distance, these two towns have some of the most famous cuisine in southern Italy.
Places to Eat
- ***Don Alfonso 1890 - 2 Michelin stars, Massa Lubrense, lauded as perhaps the best restaurant in Italy; R.W. Apple from the New York Times says it's "worth the cost of a plane ticket"; also rec'd Fodors, Frommers, 2015 Repubblica, and a bunch of others. Very expensive but definitely an experience, as you feel like a personal guest of the Iaccarino family—very romantic too. Ask for a tour of the wine cellar. Also has gorgeous, comfortable rooms where you get to eat an extraordinary breakfast (luscious buffalo-milk yogurt, etc.). Closed Nov-Mar and Mon/Tues (although they're open for Tuesday dinner from June 15-Sep 15, and you can stay in the hotel on Mon/Tues). They run cooking classes as well (email firstname.lastname@example.org for info)
- ***Ristorante Lo Stuzzichino - via Deserto 1, 081-533-0010, closed Wed (except in August), rec'd by Mangiarozzo, 2015 Repubblica and 2015 & 2016 Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, ~€25-35...if you have a reservation you can call for their shuttle service for up to 6 people, we ate here in 2016 and it was very nice
- they also run the Due Golfi Train Tour - this looks to be very touristy (and pitched at English speakers) but in ~3 hours they do stop at various wine/food locations (Fattoria Terranova, Agriturismo Le Tore, Agriturismo La Villanella, Caseficio Due Golfi) as well as some of the sites of interest (Sant'Agata church, Deserto monastery, Villa Angelina)
- ***Fattoria Terranova - Via Pontone 10, Massa Lubrense, rec'd 2016 Slow Food Planet, agriturismo/restaurant run by Ruoppo family, beautiful view, lots of homegrown/locally-sourced ingredients, breakfast is supposed to be great, also run cooking classes, can reserve online at thefork.com, note that the lodgings have mediocre reviews on TripAdvisor (the restaurant has much better reviews), we ate here in 2016 and enjoyed it (rustic, tasty food, nice outdoor terrace)
- La Taverna del Capitano - Piazza delle Sirene 10, closed Mon/Tues except in summer, expensive (~€80/person), rec'd 2015 Repubblica
- Quattro Passi - expensive (~€90/person), rec'd 2015 Repubblica
- ***Ristorante Lo Stuzzichino - via Deserto 1, 081-533-0010, closed Wed (except in August), rec'd by Mangiarozzo, 2015 Repubblica and 2015 & 2016 Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, ~€25-35...if you have a reservation you can call for their shuttle service for up to 6 people, we ate here in 2016 and it was very nice
- Relais Blu - expensive (~€70/person), rec'd 2015 Repubblica
- La Lobra - agriturismo rec'd 2015 Repubblica, near Marina di Lobra
- Captain Cook - lido/beach and informal restaurant south of Marina di Lobra (a bit hard to get to), rec'd Conde Nast Traveller
- ## Hotel Lo Scoglio (da Tommaso) - Marina del Cantone (on south end of peninsula), sea/farm-to-table, rec'd Conde Nast Traveller, this review says it's the "best lunch ever", Frommer's, Travel & Leisure, Dissapore, Luciano Pignataro (for the spaghetti alla Nerano), this site says "quite possibly my favorite restaurant in the world"
- Conca del Sogno - near Marina del Cantone, rec'd Conde Nast Traveller who say most people arrive by boat, Travel & Leisure, this blog and this blog have lots of photos
Things to See/Do
- Deserto Monastery - up a gently sloping hill from Sant'Agata sui Due Golfi (just follow the signs); has a belvedere (lookout tower) with somewhat irregular hours but a *gorgeous* view of both the "gulfs" (the Gulf of Naples towards Sorrento and Vesuvius to the north, and the Gulf of Salerno towards the Amalfi Coast to the south)
- Largo Vescovado - the closest thing that Massa Lubrense has to a "town square", has a gorgeous view of Capri from its belvedere, and the 16th century Santa Maria della Grazie; you can walk down to Marina di Lobra passing the Santa Maria di Lobra church (next to the very reasonably priced monastery lodgings of San Francesco Relais [booking.com link])
- Ristorante Pizzeria Da Michele - Via Fontanelle 12 (40°36'27.6"N 14°20'02.9"E), Marina di Lobra (a nice working port, also has boats for hire), Massa Lubrense, rec'd 2016 Slow Food, pizzeria/restaurant run by the Gargiulo family since 1951, on the harbor, good seafood, closed Tues/Thurs but open through August
- Annunziata - tiny town with another beautiful belvedere overlooking Capri; they also have an old medieval castle/tower ("Castello dell'Annunziata" or "Castello Aragonese", this likely outdated site claims the hours are T-Sat 4:30-8 PM and Sun 10:30-12:30/4:30-8)
- ??Ristorante La Torre ("One Fire") - Piazzetta Annunziata 7, Annunziata, Massa Lubrense, 081-808-9566, closed Tues (except in summer), near 13th century tower, in rec'd 2015 Repubblica, Conde Nast Traveller, 2015 & 2016 Slow Food Osterie d'Italia for great dishes (especially rec'd are the octopus dishes) with local ingredients including local fish and the chef's grandmother's garden, also Time Out calls it "wonderfully rustic"
- ...also see the Sorrento page for places just over the hill
- Cheap lodging: Consider the Seven Hostel, in Sant'Agnello
- More expensive but recommended: Sogno di Lina vacation house
Vietri sul Mare
Known for its ceramics, this is the first coastal town one comes to if one takes A3 from Naples, and the last town before one reaches Salerno.
- Dal Pescatore
- La Playa
- La Sosta
- Sapore di Mare
- Ristorante Pizzeria al Limoneto?
Cava de' Tirreni
On the road (A3) between Naples and Vietri sul Mare, this town spreads out across the valley.
- Pappacarbone - Via rosario Senatore 30, 089-466-441, closed Mon, Sun dinner, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Michelin, TCI, 2015 Repubblica, Luciano Pignataro, Dissapore €50-70.
- Casa Rispoli - closed Mon, fancy place with good Google/TA reviews, rec'd 2019 Gambero Rosso, 2020 Espresso, Identitagoloso
- Pastries: Pasticceria Lamberti - closed Mon morning, rec'd 2015 Repubblica
- Kairos Ristorante e Braceria - good reviews on TA & Google
- Botte Piccola Grandi Sapori - good reviews on TA & Google
- Opperbacco - beer place that does fancy hamburgers, popular on TA & Google
- La Maison del gusto - good reviews on TA & Google
- Nonna Nannina Osteria e Pizzeria Contadina - good reviews on TA & Google, family-run place, also does delivery
- Pizzeria Nda Pullecenella - looks like good pizza place
- Tenuta Na.Ri. - SW of the main town, good reviews on TA & Google, looks like a popular wedding venue
- Vincenzo Falcone has a popular "food empire" in the area including:
- Croce - tiny hill town east of Cava de' Tirreni
- Ristorante Pizzeria La Colombaccia - looks nice
- Villa Lupara Agriturismo Biologico - looks nice
- Castello di Arechi - technically in Salerno but just S of the town
A large town at the southern end of the Amalfi Coast, it is more busy and dirty but still offers some cool sights (such as its Duomo [cathedral], which hosts the relics of St. Matthew) and nice, cheap places to eat and stay. It's very easy to get to/from via normal Trenitalia trains, and is connected to the rest of the Amalfi Coast by SITA buses.
Things to Do
- Duomo di San Matteo - the main cathedral of Salerno hosts the relics of St. Matthew; it has a nice courtyard and spooky crypt
- Centro Storico - much of Salerno was bombed in World War II, but the area around the Duomo is still mostly medieval lanes...there are other old baroque churches like the San Giorgio and Santissima Annunziata
- Giardino della Minerva - at the northern end of the centro storico, a nice botanical garden with an emphasis on healing plants (see this blogpost for photos, etc.), €3 entrance fee (free for <6 years old), closed Mon, T-F 9-1, Sat/Sun 9-5, check website for special hours, www.giardinodellaminerva.it
- Castello di Arechi - Medieval castle up the hill (take bus 19 to get there) overlooking the water, www.ilcastellodiarechi.it
- Museo Archeologico - old Greek and Roman artifacts
- Lungomare/Promenade Trieste - a nice seaside walk, with the Villa Communale park on the northern end
Places to Eat
- ***Hostaria Il Brigante dal 1985 - a stone's throw away from the Duomo, this super-cheap eatery features fresh specials (including awesome seafood) from a hand-written menu. Don't miss it! Via Fratelli Linguiti 4, 089-226-592, closed Mon. Rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia (including 2016); cheap (~€15-20).
- Ostaria Canali - Via Canali 34, 338-807-0174, in centro storico, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia (not anymore in 2016), ~€25-35
- Vicolo della Neve - "institution", rec'd Lonely Planet
- Cicirinella - near Duomo, rec'd Lonely Planet
- La Cantina del Feudo - popular with locals, rec'd Lonely Planet
- Pizza Margherita - popular pizza stop, rec'd Lonely Planet
- 13 Salumeria & Cucina - rec'd 2015 Repubblica, Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016, "km 0"
- Cotto & Crudo - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
- Ristorante del Golfo - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
- Pizzeria Il Cavatappi - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
- Dedicato a Mio Padre - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
- Casa Bianca - Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016
- Caa del Parmigiano - Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016
- Il Salumaio - Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016
- Gelato: Kriò caffè - via Roma 6, rec'd Dissapore as one of the top 25 gelaterie in Italy, Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016
- L'Angelo del Gelato - Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016
- Angelo Napoli - Dissapore named one of the top 100 gelaterie in Italy in 2017
- Pantaleone - rec'd 2015 Repubblica, Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016
- Pasticceria Romolo - old school pastry place, rec'd Lonely Planet
- [In Giffoni Sei Casali, a hilltown ~30 min NE of Salerno, there is another Brigante rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia 2016, at Via Andoli 2, Località Sieti, 089-881-854, 328-359-2987, only open for dinner except Sundays, ~€20-23]
There are excellent hikes throughout the Amalfi Coast, thanks to the Monti Lattari plunging into the blue Tyrrhenian Sea below. Here are some of the best:
***Il Sentiero degli Dei (The Walk of the Gods)
This fantastic hike plunges from the hill town of Bomerano (a section of Agerola) down to picturesque Positano, which is even more beautiful when viewed from the cliffs above. There is some disagreement over the exact route, but all the versions of the hike start off in the Bomerano piazza (which features a gelateria with the best peach gelato ever and a wonderful hotel called Hotel Gentile that offers reasonably-priced rooms with breakfast and dinner included, 081-879-1041, 40°37.8'N 014°32.4'E).
To get to Bomerano by public transit, you have to take a bus from Amalfi. Alas, if you're staying in Bomerano, no buses run direct from Positano back to Bomerano (you have to transfer in Amalfi)—however, in the summer you can take a ferry from Positano to Amalfi, and then hop on the bus back to Bomerano. Be sure to keep track of the ferry & bus schedules, though, because taxis can be quite expensive! (Check out the bus schedules [orari]; SITA Quadro 13 is the one from Amalfi to Agerola/Bomerano.)
Amalfi - Pontone - Amalfi
Recommended by Rick Steves, this starts in Amalfi near the Paper Museum; the views are not as spectacular as the Walk of the Gods but it's logistically easier (since you start & end in Amalfi). From the Paper Museum, walk across the street and go up the ramp; take the stairs on the left just before the school courtyard. These stairs eventually parallel the Amalfi river (which in many cases is diverted into a canal along the cobblestones, so you have the refereshing sound of running water along the way), and then winds its way into shaded woods past the ruins of several paper mills in the aptly named Vallone dei Mulini (Valley of the Mills). Eventually the trail leads up to the Vallone delle Ferriere (Valley of the Iron Mills) and then to the town of Pontone...take the stairs back to Amalfi (with an optional detour to Torre dello Ziro with its beautiful view). Try the Trattoria l'Antico Borgo in Pontone, which offers awesome food with an even better view (rec'd by Rick Steves, Via Noce 4, 089-871-469).
Other Hikes on the Amalfi Coast
- Amalfi - Atrani - Ravello. This hike is easier in the reverse direction from Ravello (as it is downhill); you can take a bus to Ravello and then hike back. Atrani is a tiny town just next to Amalfi; access it by heading east and then finding the stairs/signs to Atrani. There is a very steep trail that leads up to Ravello from Atrani.
- Monte Sant'Angelo a Tre Pizzi - the highest peak of the Monti Lattari, above Positano. Start at the Guardia Forestale (Italian Ranger) station in Positano, or from the village of Santa Maria del Castello.
- Via degli Incanti ("Trail of Charms"). Relatively easy, but long trail (all the way from Amalfi to Positano, 25 km) so most do only a section. From Amalfi, walk down Via Maestra and then follow the signs. Slightly easier starting from the Positano side.
- Santa Maria del Castello - town above Positano; you can hike to/from Positano, or to the Caserma Forestale; some online recommend the agriturismo La Sorgente del Melo in town
- Massa Lubrense area - at the tip of the Amalfi Coast, like a finger pointing towards Capri, there are a bunch of hiking trails; see this Giovis map (more here, also see this brochure) for some sample trails, some of which connect Sorrento with the Amalfi Coast.
- Sentiero delle Sirenuse - connects Colli di Fontanelle with Torca and Sant'Agata sui Due Golfi, with beautiful views from the "Pizzetello" (aka "Malacoccola"); description (and blogpost), map, partial description/elevation here (these SITA bus lines can get you to/form Colli di Fontanelle)
- Punta Campanella - the very tip of the Amalfi Coast, the hiking trail was renovated in 2015 although they didn't do a good job making clear where cars must stop. Giovanni Visetti recommends what he calls the "Giro Santa Croce" as an alternative, which loops around Mount Santa Croce via Campo Vetavole and San Costanzo (map, description, it's the 2nd half of this description/elevation).
Amalfi Coast Hiking Resources
For more information, check out Positano.com's list of treks and walks, Giovanni Visetti (giovis.com)'s excellent descriptions (and blog, in Italian), Ruth Peake (sorrentoamalfiwalkwithus.com)'s also excellent descriptions (and blog), and (in Italian) the Associazione il Chianiello's route guides.
Maps of Amalfi Coast Hikes
- Consider downloading the PDF Maps app (Apple iTunes Store link, Android Play Store link)
- Ruth Peake leads (free?) group hikes ~every Sunday; see her Facebook page for more
- Club Alpino Italiano (CAI) and the Florentine map company SELCA jointly publish a 1:30,000 map (with a blue cover) called "Monti Lattari, Penisola Sorrentina, Costeria Amalfitana, Carta dei Sentieri". It's available in town for about €8, and also available from parks.it, hoepli.it, stella-alpina.com, and also directly from the CAI branch in Salerno
- CarteGuide offers three maps (with yellow covers) of the trails along the Amalfi coast, including descriptions of the trails; they don't show many landmarks, however. You can usually find these for sale for about €5 each.
- Colle Salario offers this free map of trails from Agerola with descriptions in Italian
- The Ravello and Amalfi tourist offices often have halfway decent trail maps of the area near their towns
- There are also two English-language books about trails, both of which include some maps: Walking on the Amalfi Coast and Julian Tippett's Landscapes of Sorrento, Amalfi and Capri