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Planning a Trip to Italy’s Amalfi Coast: Top Seaside Towns, Luxury Stays, and Gourmet Eats

The charm of the Amalfi Coast has attracted individuals to the region now known as Italy for centuries. Its striking landscapes and pleasant climate lured ancient Roman elites to construct their villas there, initiating a trend in high-end real estate that has endured over time. Presently, the mountains and cliffs still host stunning historic residences perched above the clear waters, establishing the coastline as one of the most desirable destinations globally. Coastal Campania, encompassing the Amalfi Coast and the islands of Capri and Ischia, has witnessed a surge in new hotel establishments in recent years, solidifying its position as one of the premier destinations according to Travel + Leisure.

The delicate cultural tapestry of the region, comprising churches, gardens, vineyards, and towns, is segmented into 16 municipalities and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While Positano, Ravello, and Amalfi stand out as the top draws, collectively attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, exploring lesser-known towns like Vietri sul Mare and Nerano can also be rewarding. However, the Amalfi Coast has faced challenges due to its popularity, with reports of overcrowding and traffic congestion in recent years. Despite these issues, strategic planning can help you navigate this legendary coast like a seasoned traveler.

Top 5 Must-Visit Attractions

  • Le Sirenuse in Positano: This iconic family-operated hotel, immortalized by John Steinbeck, is a must-visit.
  • Villa Cimbrone in Ravello: Experience breathtaking views by venturing into the hills of Ravello.
  • Pasticceria Pansa in Amalfi: Indulge in local pastries and gelato at this renowned establishment in the heart of Amalfi.
  • Solimene in Vietri sul Mare: Explore the best place to shop for ceramics along the coast.
  • Palazzo Avino’s Lobster & Martini Bar: Enjoy an aperitivo at this glamorous spot.

Best Towns to Explore on the Amalfi Coast


Positano, with its vibrant houses cascading down cliffs around the bay and majestic mountains in the backdrop, epitomizes picturesque beauty.

Top Accommodations in Positano

  • Le Sirenuse: A prestigious hotel nestled into the cliffs with stunning beach views, known for its luxurious amenities and warm hospitality.
  • Hotel Poseidon: A family-owned four-star hotel offering a bohemian ambiance and spacious rooms with private balconies overlooking the town and sea.
  • Hotel Buca di Bacco: Located in the heart of Positano, this charming hotel features a sizable private courtyard for a relaxing aperitif.

Noteworthy Activities in Positano

  • Cooking Classes: Learn the art of Italian cuisine at a hotel offering daily cooking classes.
  • Roman Archeological Museum: Explore the fascinating Roman villa beneath the town’s bell tower, showcasing colorful frescoes.
  • Path of the Gods: Embark on a scenic four-hour hike above the coast, offering breathtaking views.

Shopping Highlights in Positano

  • Custom Sandals: Visit a renowned shop for tailor-made sandals crafted by the Ruocco family.
  • Emporio Sirenuse: Explore a boutique offering caftans, swimwear, hand-painted ceramics, and glassware.
  • Artisan Ceramics: Discover traditional handcrafted ceramics at local shops.

Culinary Delights in Positano

  • Michelin-Starred Dining: Indulge in artful culinary creations at a renowned restaurant sourcing fresh local ingredients.
  • Hotel Poseidon: Relish local dishes like shrimp carpaccio and handmade pasta in a familial atmosphere.
  • Traditional Cuisine: Experience authentic regional seafood and pasta dishes at a family-owned restaurant.


Amalfi, the largest town on the coast, boasts the magnificent ninth-century Duomo di Amalfi, renowned for its diverse architectural influences.

Premier Accommodations in Amalfi

  • Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa: A converted 13th-century monastery offering a luxurious retreat with panoramic views and upscale amenities.
  • NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi: A serene retreat west of Amalfi, providing an intimate setting with sea-view rooms and a beach club.
  • Ikos Amalfi: A modern resort featuring a private beach accessible via a cliffside elevator, blending mid-century and Mediterranean design.

Notable Attractions in Amalfi

  • Museo della Carta: Explore a 13th-century paper mill dedicated to Amalfi’s handmade paper industry.
  • Aceto Family Lemon Grove: Witness the generations-old tradition of lemon cultivation and enjoy tours, picnics, and cooking classes.
  • Local Shopping: Peruse art and stationery crafted on Amalfi paper at specialty stores.

Gastronomic Experiences in Amalfi

  • Trattoria Da Gemma: Delight in locally sourced dishes and a tasting menu at a historic restaurant.
  • Pizzeria Da Maria: Savor traditional pizza and seafood in a cozy dining setting.
  • Pasticceria Andrea Pansa: Indulge in local pastries and desserts at an esteemed establishment overlooking the main piazza.


Perched atop the hills, Ravello offers breathtaking views and a rich history that has attracted artists and aristocrats for centuries.

Outstanding Hotels in Ravello

  • Palazzo Avino: A luxurious hotel with antique furnishings and a regal ambiance, featuring a spectacular beach club and unique design elements.
  • Belmond Hotel Caruso: A 12th-century cliffside property surrounded by stunning gardens, offering a serene retreat.
  • Villa Cimbrone: A historic compound with picturesque gardens, providing a tranquil setting for exploration and relaxation.

Engaging Activities in Ravello

  • Villa Cimbrone Gardens: Wander through the enchanting gardens of Villa Cimbrone, offering unparalleled views and serene surroundings.
  • Rufolo Villa: Explore the architectural marvel and Italianate gardens of this 13th-century villa, hosting outdoor concerts during the summer months.

Dining Recommendations in Ravello

  • Rossellini’s Restaurant: Experience Michelin-starred dining with a menu inspired by the local landscape and sea views.
  • Trattoria Da Cumpa’ Cosimo: Enjoy pasta and pizza showcasing regional flavors and ingredients in a charming setting.

Vietri sul Mare

Known for its vibrant ceramics, Vietri sul Mare offers a cultural experience steeped in tradition and artistry.

Notable Accommodations in Vietri sul Mare

  • Lloyd’s Baia Hotel: A five-star hotel with deluxe rooms overlooking the coastline and featuring elegant decor and modern amenities.
  • B&B Dimora Carlo III: A six-room bed-and-breakfast housed in a historic building, offering a cozy retreat with convenient access to local attractions.

Shopping Gems in Vietri sul Mare

  • Ceramiche Solimene: Explore a renowned ceramics store offering a wide selection of hand-painted pottery and tiles.
  • Mirkò Ceramiche: Discover modern ceramic artworks by a local artist, showcasing innovative designs and traditional craftsmanship.

Dining Experiences in Vietri sul Mare

  • Ristorante Pizzeria Albori: Enjoy Neapolitan-style pizza, seafood, and Mediterranean tapas at this laid-back pizzeria.
  • Ristorante Al Convento: Indulge in seafood specialties and traditional Italian dishes in a charming setting.

Optimal Time to Explore the Amalfi Coast

The ideal time to visit the Amalfi Coast is during May, offering pleasant weather for exploring the scenic towns. September, June, and October also provide beautiful conditions, with warm seas suitable for swimming. July and August tend to be hot and crowded, making it less favorable for some travelers. Winter months are less recommended due to limited activities and closures of establishments, with April, early May, and late September to October offering a balance of favorable weather and fewer crowds.

Various transportation options are available to access and traverse the Amalfi Coast. Opting for ferry services is advisable to avoid traffic congestion and enjoy scenic views along the coast. Alternatively, trains and buses provide convenient and cost-effective travel within the region. For those driving, be prepared for narrow roads and consider the alternating license plate system enforced during peak tourist seasons. Planning ahead and seeking assistance from hotel concierges can streamline your travel logistics and enhance your overall experience on the Amalfi Coast.