It is one of the wonders of the world. The coast viewed from the sea is breathtaking and the beautiful villages of Amalfi, Ravello and surroundings live up to their reputations.
Where to stay
Italy's hotels are not the best when it comes to value for money especially in touristic places. The region boasts some of Italy's most renowned palace hotels but they tend to be super expensive and very classic. If you have to go, just go for a drink.
I was lucky enough to find a hidden gem on the coast, in the small village of Praiano, between Positano and Amalfi. Ca'Pa for Casa Privata is indeed a private house turned into a boutique hotel. It is a special place where you feel as if you were staying at friends' house.
The rooms are spacious, very elegant yet simple, designed and furnished with great taste. Don't be put off by the bathroom that is seperate from the room, it gives another touch of feeling like being in a private house.
The views, whether it be from the lovely swimming pool or the roof terrace is stunning. But for me the highlight is the sunloungers down the rocks with the fresh marine blue sea as your swimming pool.
Another highlight is the food. I found that the chef's cuisine was simply the best in the region. Ask him what you want or what he brought from the market and he will cook a bespoke lunch or dinner for you.
Simple pleasure of Praiano
Praiano is a lovely village ideally located between Positano and Amalfi. Be ready to walk many steps up and down.
The nice thing about Praiano is that you can experience the locals' everyday lifew hile staying at Ca'Pa.
On the main road, Bar del Sole is a simple cafe where you can have a coffee, an aperitif or my favourite sweet treat, una crema di caffe (think slightly melted coffee ice cream).
For dinner, go to Ristorante La Strada and eat on the first floor terrace. The food is well executed and slightly more sophisticated than you would expect. The pasta is very good.
The local beach is called La Gavitella. It is a simple bay with concrete floors but the view from the path is so stunning that it is worth going at least once.
Positano, Amalfi and surroundings
Positano and Amalfi are the most famous villages of the coast. They are absolutely charming but have become too famous and are thus crammed with tourists. If you go off-peak season they are lovely to visit.
Positano is particuarly nice at sunset time. Try and park your car as far down as you can. Get lost in the little streets and enjoy the view. For dinner, although I did not find any gems I would recommend La Cambusa and Hotel Covo dei Saraceni for a more refined experience.
Amalfi is worth a day visit for the local beach, the 9th century Roman Catholic cathedral, the cafe and cake shop Pasticceria Pansa and the Cloister del Paradiso.
In between the villages, on the road, you can find Marina da Praia a lovely cove /beach with local restaurants and if you walk further to your right, along the rocks, Il Pirata is a great spot to enjoy lunch or aperitif, overlooking the sea and the cove.
Another wonder of the Amalfitan coast is the village of Ravello. The cathedral ('Duomo') built in the 11th century with support of the Rufolo family features beautiful mosaic pulpits and Villa Rufolo (13th century) offers stunnings views of the Tyrrhenian sea. Walk south to the Villa Cimbrone hotel for fabulous and peaceful gardens and enjoy a glass of wine in the garden down from the 'terrace of infinity'.
Boat trip to Capri
If like me you dream of a private boat trip to Capri, ask Ca'Pa hotel team to arrange it for you. They get really great rates. Ask your captain to go all the way to Capri, and ideally to make a stop there for lunch. On the way you can make a stop for a swim. The ride is just phenomenal with the best vies of the coast.
For the film fans, at the entrance of Capri, you can see the Villa Malaparte, made famous by nouvelle vague French film maker Jean-Luc Godard in 'Le Mepris' starring Brigitte Bardot.
Tip: It is a highly touristic place so avoid June, July and August.