Postiano. Sorrento. Capri. Few destinations conjure up more romantic images than these exotic seaside towns that dapple the coastline of Southern Italy. Nestled amongst the cliff sides of the Provinces of Salerno and Campania, each one has enthralled visitors with picturesque views, authentic cuisines, and sun-soaked beaches for centuries. If you’re looking to explore this enigmatic region, you can retain the glamour of by-gone decades by opting to book a stay at one of the areas luxurious Amalfi Coast villas. Once only reserved for locals and the Glitterati (Jackie Kennedy, John Steinbeck, Picasso, and Mick Jagger, to name a few), the Amalfi Coast in the South of Italy has become a more popular travel destination in more recent decades. Sparing no details in indulgence, the Amalfi Coast transports travelers to a haven of glamour and service, with breathtaking views and five-star amenities.

Rich in history and filled with priceless works of art, many of the area’s villas are more like carefully curated museums rather than homes.  With an eye toward your every comfort, some of the properties even provide on-site staff. What could be better after a day of shopping or site-seeing than having your own private chef prepare an authentic meal for you and your guests as you gaze out over the azure waters of the Gulf of Naples? I’m guessing not much.

One of the most important aspects of any trip to the Amalfi Coast is the agenda. Since each town has its own rich history and distinctive sights, I highly recommend splitting your stay between several different towns. One to three nights in each is recommended, and travel can be arranged via car or boat. You can “mix and match” locations along the Amalfi Coast to plan a trip that is uniquely your own and caters to your own personal interests.

Now that you’re ready to pack your suitcase and jump on a plane, you might be wondering what you should include on your schedule (if you even want to have a schedule – why not stay the summer if you can)? Well, that depends on your travel priorities! Most travelers who venture to the South of Italy are looking for sun, wine, tasty food, and exotic shopping, and those are all FANTASTIC reasons to vacation to the Amalfi Coast! But remember, there are also some fascinating historical and natural sites that deserve a spot on your bucket list. Below are just a few to peak your interest.

amalfi coast

Top Destinations on the Amalfi Coast:

Pompeii: Site of the most famous volcanic eruption in history, Pompeii is located close to the city of Naples and is an easy day trip. When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, this ancient Roman town was covered in what historians estimate was a staggering 13 feet of volcanic ash, causing cataclysmic damage to the town and its inhabitants.  Today, you can still walk amongst the ruins and see citizens of the town frozen in time just as they were on the day of the infamous explosion.

Capri: Certainly one of the most glamourous spots on the Amalfi Coase, Capri is reachable via a short boat ride from Naples. Known for shopping, fine dining, and handmade leather sandals, Capri is also home to the Blue Grotto, which is not to be missed. Particular positioning of sunlight and limited access to the outside world give this sea cave a stunningly blue (and sometimes emerald) color. Be warned, entry is not for the faint of heart: in order to gain access, visitors must lie flat on a small rowboat and wait for the perfect timing of the tides in order to fit within the narrow opening that connects the Blue Grotto to the sea. I highly recommend booking a night or two in Capri, so you can sample the array of fine dining options while taking advantage of the proximity of Naples and Pompeii.

Sorrento: Sorrento is known as the “Gateway to the Amalfi Coast.” A perfect jumping-off point for your travels, the proximity to Pompeii, Naples, and Capri makes it a perfect destination. Known for sweeping seaside views, ironically Sorrento does not provide travelers with the picturesque beaches often associated with the South of Italy. (One reason to consider booking a property with a private pool – so you won’t have to rely on the rocky beaches to obtain that perfect “like-a-local” tan). Enjoy an outing to the Museo Correale, where you can view an art collection once owned by Italian nobles, or take a stroll to the Duomo, and take in the beautiful frescos, stunning bishop’s throne, and triple-tiered bell tower. When you’re finished with the day’s adventures, return to your villa and enjoy some local wine – poolside! – with your magnificent views.

Postiano: Once a powerful mediaeval fishing village, today Positano is one of the most-visited towns on the Amalfi Coast. Nestled into steep cliffs overlooking the ocean, the picturesque commune is famous for its beautiful pebble beaches and vacation-like feel. If you’re looking for quintessential Southern Italy, this is it. When visiting Positano in the 1950’s, John Steinbeck famously wrote “Postiano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” The area deserves this alluring reputation and offers rental properties that will captivate you just as much as the surrounding scenery. Take in the views and soak up the sun surrounded by manicured terraces and classical antiques.

When should you travel to the Amalfi Coast?

Peak season is during summer months (but is there really any bad time to visit?  I personally don’t think so)! If you do visit during summer, you’ll want to remember that the towns along the Amalfi Coast are relatively small, so lodging will book up very quickly (meaning you will want to book accommodations as far in advance as you can).

Is a trip to the Amalfi Coast on your travel bucket list?  It should be!  You may not be Jackie Kennedy – but you can vacation like her!

cc image from flickr: Amalfi Coast between Positano and Amalfi by Jimmy Harris.

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