A weekend on the Amalfi coast

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The Amalfi Coast is without a doubt the most spectacular and beautiful coastline in Italy. Moorish style villages cling to the dramatic jagged cliffs, perched over the rippling waves below. The air is scented with lemons and wild herbs, and of course the sea. The villages that string along the Amalfi Coast have cobblestoned streets lined with bougainvillea-covered villas, Arabic arches, and countless corners with million dollar views.

The magic of the “Costa Amalfitana” is that while it is a magnet for jetsetters and home to a multitude of ultra luxury five star hotels, Michelin starred restaurants and yachts, what characterizes the region is its effortless Mediterranean simplicity. You can base this unforgettable weekend at a romantic small hotel in Positano.

Food and wine are highlights of the Amalfi Coast, and should always be a focus on your tours. Fresh seafood, juicy vegetables drizzled in olive oil, aromatic local wines â this is the “materia prima” or raw material that the region is rightly famous for. Local gastronomic gems include creamy Mozzarella di Bufala, Limoncello made with ripe Sorrento lemons, and San Marzano tomatoes (known all over the world). Traditional dishes are simple and delicious such as Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (with tomato and basil), “pepata di cozze (spicy mussels) and the delicious Spaghetti alle vongole con pomodoro (spaghetti with clams and tomatoes). Vineyards are scattered through the sun baked coast and inland in the Sorrento Peninsula and greater Campania. Grapes were brought to Campania by the Ancient Greeks and fabulous wines are being made by cult producers with such noble grapes as the white Falanghina grape and the black Aglianico (which actually means “Hellenica”).

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Your first stop: wine country! We recommend that you transfer from Naples to Sorbo Serpico (about a one hour drive) and visit the exclusive Feudi di San Gregorio winery.  This estate is considered to be one of the best in Southern Italy. The spectacular wine cellar was designed by Japanese architect Hikaru Mori and was a whopping 25 million dollar investment for the company. The wines of Feudi are known for being concentrated and with finesse and after a private tour of the cellar you will be able to taste some of the best wines such as their “Campanaro” made with the white Fiano di Avellino, Cutizziâ (made with the white Greco di Tufo) and Serro Cielo (made with the white Falanghina). Must taste red wines at Feudi di San Gregorio include Serpico (flagship wine made with the inky and dense Aglianico) and Piano di Monte Vergine (a Taurasi DOCG Cru made with Aglianico). This is a major treat.

For lunch we recommend the refined Marenna  restaurant, whose consulting chef is 3 Michelin starred Heinz Beck of Rome’s La Pergola. This will be a leisurely and relaxing wine lunch! Next stop, the Amalfi Coast, about a one hour and 45 minute drive. Arrive to beautiful Positano where you can find an hotel with spectacular views.

In the late morning of the second day, you can head to the nearby Marisa Cuomo Gran Furorwinery in Furore, a twenty minute beautiful drive. There you can enjoy a private visit to this highly esteemed estate and of course a tasting of the best wines such as the wonderful Fiorduva. Made with the interesting local grape varietals Fenile and Ginestra, this is a delicious white wine with apricot and orange blossom nuances. It’s also a winner of the extremely prestigious Tre Bicchieri (Three Glasses) Gambero Rosso award.

You can have lunch will follow in beautiful Ravello at a top restaurant serving traditional cuisine with tables overlooking the dramatic sea. After lunch visit the Villa Cimbrone, with its historic cloister and magnificent views over the coast. Carry on to Amalfi village known for its exquisite tile work and gorgeous cathedral. In the late afternoon, you´ll head back to Positano and enjoy free time to relax, go for a walk, or do some shopping at the elegant boutiques.

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The next day you can have a private boat tour to the one and only island of Capri.

Visit the ethereal Blue Grotto and with your private captain, take in the stunning coastline around Capri. The Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar (Octavian) famously called Capri “La Citta’  del dolce far niente”.

This is a pleasure island to eat, drink, and people watch. You can also enjoy gorgeous walks in the island, Capri has some of the most diverse and lush wild flowers in the entire south of Italy.

For lunch, try La Capannina close to the piazzetta, with its charming wine bar and gourmet deli just next door. In the afternoon, you could take a walk up into Anacapri at the top of the island to see the gorgeous Villa San Michele and the dizzying views below. In the late afternoon, your will take the boat back to Positano.

Tonight you can indulge to a gastronomic highlight of your weekend with a dinner at the Ultra Gourmet Don Alfonso 1890. This is one of Italy’s finest restaurants and is equally well known for its simply stunning wine cellar carved into natural tufo (which you shall visit!).

Don Alfonso has its own farm and all of the vegetables, fresh herbs and olive oil come right from their farm to your table. The cuisine is based in tradition but with innovative and creative flair and presentation. A chef’s tasting menu of various courses and paired wines is in store.

Enjoy your weekend!

Where to stay in Amalfi

Hotels, villas, B&Bs and apartments: search and make reservations here.