Amalfi Coast Mini-Guide
June 2, 2014
It's been just over a year since my jaunt to the Amalfi coast and I would be lying if I told you I didn't regularly miss it fiercely. It's truly a magical place, and I'm so thrilled that we can all experience it, if only vicariously, through Angelworx Photography's collection of photos. And if you don't get enough here, there's more over in the gallery.
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From Angelie... I recently attended Moda e Arte, a workshophosted by photographers KT Merry and Sandra Åberg, both of which I am a big fan of their work with collaborators and lovely talented hosts and stylists Joy Proctor of Joy Proctor design and Jannie Baltzer, maker of couture headpieces for the fashionable bride. And the participants were all over the world which really made it an even richer experience.

The workshop was held in Ravello and we stayed at fabulous and luxurious Belmond Hotel Caruso with their famous infinity pool, beautiful views and stunning gardens. I fondly remember being introduced here to the refreshing Rossini (prosecco and fresh blended strawberries) as well as the limoncello you can't miss once you are in the Amalfi coast. Ravello is a small and charming place with a laid back atmosphere. In the plaza, you see the locals living their slow paced life and enjoying each others company and just relaxing and unwinding. One of our lunches was held in a typical "mama's place" where mama would really make sure we ate our food and that we are enjoying ourselves. Of course served family style.

We also managed to experience Amalfi when we had dinner at Ristorante Marina Grande. one of the evenings. They had the longest wine list I have ever read and everything on our plates was delicious.

Once the workshop was over, I headed to Naples to meet my husband. We then headed to Sorrento and stayed at Maison La Minervetta, a beautiful hotel with wonderful, colorful details. As a photographer this was a feast for the eyes. It was an eclectic place with a nautical them, mixed in with ethnic and religious decor, and has been heavily featured in places like Elle decor and the like. 

Another highlight is of course the rooms with breathtaking views of the Marina Grande, mount Vesuvius and Sorrento city. From the rooms, you hear the church bells from the city and even the sound of children laughing and playing in the beach at Marina Grande. In the morning you wake up with birds flying outside the window. Another thing to note is that La Minervetta has their own stairs leading down to Marina Grande which is a nice shortcut.

The following day, we moved on to the city near the Piazzo Tasso to Palazzo Montefusco. This truly felt like our "home" in Sorrento. The owner greeted us and offered drinks and chatted with us before we were shown to our clean and comfortable room. We even got one complimentary bottle of Prosecco on the house. All the staff was so friendly and it was by far the best service we have received in the whole stay in Italy and that says a lot. We knew all their names and everyone was on a first name basis.

It is a small and charming hotel squeezed in between two shopping streets. The main street Corso Italia and the narrower Via San Cesareo with smaller shops, café's and stalls. On this street you will find the best gelatto, Raki where they have both traditional and less traditional flavors. I kept it simple and chose chocolate gelatto made from Valrhona chocolate. Full of flavor and so rich. Here we also bought our gifts to our families and friends back home. Limoncello and Meloncello bottles are found everywhere as well as others products flavored with lemons, oranges and cappuccino among other things. Another amazing thing to see in Sorrento is the Valley of the Mills. It's an abandoned mill and the ruins are overgrown with ferns and other plants. It's quiet deep down and can be seen by Piazzo Tasso.

With the Sita bus, we headed to Positano. We actually went there twice because it's such a beautiful place. The first time we went there was late so we just had time for dinner in Michelin starred La Sponda of Le Sirenuse. This hotel is often rated among best and must see hotel lists. Their restaurant La Sponda is ambient dining at its best. They light up over 400 candles every night and with the vines going up to the roof, the whole dining experience is taken to another level. Top that with a trio that will serenade for you. 6 different staffs were attending to us and professionally explaining to us the dishes as they served it. Outside we can see the sunset behind the mosaic covered dome.

The other day we went here in Positano, we were lucky with the weather, so there was life on the beach, people bathing and hanging out. We sat at Chez Black and I had a taste of Aperol Spritz, which is also a common drink in this area. We also tasted some fresh grilled squid and grilled mozarella with lemon leaves.

In a nutshell, here are my recommendations for a fantastic Italian vacation:

WHERE TO GO: Ravello, Amalfi, Positano. You also have Sorrento further up and nearer Naples. I didn't have enough time, but I would try out Capri next time too. You can also conveniently see the city of Pompeii, a very famous and historical place.

WHERE TO STAY: Maison La Minervetta and Palazzo Montefusco Relais in Sorrento, Hotel Caruso in Ravello. Le Sirenuse in Positano.

WHAT TO EAT: Seafood, mozarella, gelato and dishes with lemon. Locally sourced ingredients. Drinks; Meloncello, Limoncello, Prosecco and Rossini and of course capuccino and espresso.

WHERE TO EAT: La Sponda at Le Sirenuse, Next2 in Positano and Ristorante Marina Grande in Amalfi.

NOT TO MISS: Driving along the roads on the coast, which is inevitable, but be prepared for some breathtaking views! Dining at La Sponda.

MUST SEE: Valley of the Mills in Sorrento, Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, Positanos' pastel covered hills.