1. Take a vintage car coast tour
The most glamourous way to visit the many attractions along the gorgeous Amalfi Coast is to rent a vintage car at Casa Angelina Lifestyle Hotel in Amalfi and explore the coastline and the nearby towns at your own pace. For the best views, drive always eastwards as cars drive on the right side in Italy and that’ll be the side closer the sea.
INSIDER TIP: Driving in the south of Italy can be quite stressful, especially during the month of July when the narrow roads are filled with tour buses. Private chauffeur services and tours can be arranged at Casa Angelina Lifestyle Hotel at great prices and with English speaking drivers/guides.
2. Visit the ruins of Pompeii
There are not many ruins in the world that make tourists hold their breaths as much as those of the lost city of Pompeii do. You can walk along the streets of the ancient town and admire the many well preserved Roman villas, baths and even the open air theatre; getting an unbelievably accurate idea of what daily life was like before the Vesuvius volcano froze thousands of lives under tones of ashes.
INSIDER TIP: For archaeology lovers, we recommend the Multi Site Pass which covers the ruins of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis, Boscoreale and Stabia and is valid for three days. However, if you want to visit other sites and museums in the region we highly recommend the ArteCard.
3. Cook authentic Italian cuisine in Ravello
Hidden in the tiny town of Ravello, stands one of the best cooking schools in the south of Italy. Traditional cuisine doesn’t get much better than Mamma Agata’s. Cooking since the tender age of 8, she prepares mouth-watering family recipes passed down generation after generation in a cosy kitchen that immediately makes her students feel at home. In fact, you may even find yourself feeling a bit homesick once her hands-on classes are over and have to leave this wonderful home full of love for food and family.
INSIDER TIP: The first stop in Italy of the finalist of Series 9 of BBC One’s MasterChef was this enchanting school. They prepared gnocchi, pappardelle pasta & stuff squid. Other famous people Mamma Agata has cooked for include Humphrey Bogart and Elizabeth Taylor.
4. Shop ‘til you drop in Sorrento
Although Via Cesareo is the main shopping street, Sorrento is full of narrow streets with charming shops offering Murano glass, inlaid wooden items, pasta, herbs, silk scarves, ceramic works and of course bottles of all shapes of Limoncello – the alcoholic beverage of Sorrento. Every evening, the traditional Italian Passeggiata comes to full swing. Around 7.30pm from Piazza Tasso to Corso Italia all the streets are closed to traffic and shops remain open until 9pm for locals and tourist to browse more freely. Bring comfortable shoes with you or buy a pair of handmade sandals on one of the stores as they are very popular items!
INSIDER TIP: After an exhausting day exploring all the shops, we recommend you to relax at the wonderful spa at Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria.
5. Trek in the Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei), Positano
Paradise for hikers and a panoramic footpath for everyone else as the name of this coastal path suggests. Featuring dramatic sceneries as well as traditional Italian ones with vineyards clinging to the mountain and small towns where time seems to stand still, this activity is easily one of those that you won’t easily forget. The whole walk from Bomerano to Positano takes more than 4 hours but most people stop at the quaint town of Nocelle for lunch and then take the bus to Positano. This route takes about 3 hours.
INSIDER TIP: It is recommended to walk from Bomerano to Nocelle as the route from Positano up to Nocelle has lots of steps and is uphill so is not for everyone.
6. Horse riding in Salerno Bay
There are few things more relaxing than horseback riding while the waves break on the shore and when that shore is the gorgeous Salerno Bay, you are up for something truly special. There are several options for horse lovers and for their non-riding companions. You can choose from half-day excursions to smaller tours lasting 2 hours and there is even the chance to stay at a local farm at the nearby Cliento National Park for those looking for genuine horse riding holidays.
INSIDER TIP: To stretch your legs after an exhilarating session you can explore the gorgeous Giardino della Minerva located right in the centre of the historic quarter.
7. Scuba dive in Secchetella dei Galli
The Amalfi Coast offers a world of opportunities to scuba divers but if you only have time for one immersion, the underwater mountain known as ‘Secchetella dei Galli’ is the place to see. Located inside the Marine National Park of Punta Campanella, it boasts rich marine biodiversity as well as sea wildlife: red and yellow gorgonias, lobsters, fishes and the unique Gerardia Savaglia, the Mediterranean black coral. If you have time for more than one, be sure to check one of the many wreck dives along the coast.
INSIDER TIP: For advanced divers we recommend diving at Grotta dela Colombara near Portofino.
8. Sail to the Li Galli Islands
The Tyrrhenian Sea is not only rich in marine diversity but is also the home of legends and myths. One of these magical places are without a doubt the set of islands called ‘Li Galli’ or ‘Le Sirenuse’. It was here that Ulysses encountered the Sirens in Homer’s Odyssey. There are several companies offering tours to the isles or you can rent a boat in Amalfi – with or without skipper – and plan your own boat trip!
INSIDER TIP: After sailing around the three islands and the Amalfi coast, drop anchor at Praiano and admire its gorgeous sunset. It is said to be the most romantic in the world.
9. Romantic day trip to Capri
If romance is what you are after during holidays in the Amalfi Coast, there is nothing like Capri. This Mediterranean island can be accessed through ferry and hydrofoil from the main towns on the area (Naples, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Salerno) and enjoys an authentic atmosphere. Once you arrive to Anacapri, we recommend taking a bout tour to explore Grotta Azzurra or Blue Grotto, a sea cave with unbelievable blue waters that is explored by wooden rowing boats. The best hours to visit are from noon to 2pm because that’s when the colours are truly dramatic inside the cave.
INSIDER TIP: If you want to savour a traditional meal at Anacapri we recommend you do this at one of the many cosy restaurants located at La Piazzetta. You can also treat yourself to a Michelin starred menu at the seafront Capri Palace Hotel & Spa.
10. Take a wine tour in Furore
The Amalfi Coast may not be the Chianti wine region but there are still thousands of vineyards and their backdrops are as dramatic; and even more so if you ask us. There are few places in the world where you can walk between vines while you hear the waves breaking along the shore.
This is why we cannot recommend high enough taking a wine tour in Furore. Even if you are not that much into wine, the views, scents and sensations are truly worth it. Our favourite place here is without a doubt ‘Cantine Marisa Cuomo’. They are not only passionate about wine but also about their visitors. Please note that wine tastings only take place from January to August though.
INSIDER TIPS: Visit the fjord of Furore, an ancient gorge created on the coastline where bandits used to hide in the past and now locals relax, swim and sunbathe in. Although the beach is fairly small, the views and the timeless fishermen homes chiselled on the rocks are worth the visit.