THE IN­SID­ERS I ATRANI, AMALFI COAST

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - AMANDA TAB­BERER

STAY: Ho­tel Luna Con­vento Atrani is one of the pret­ti­est and least busy towns on Italy’s Amalfi Coast and is very easy to get around. This de­light­ful his­toric ho­tel, with a sea­side po­si­tion be­tween Atrani and Amalfi (the two are a stone’s throw from each other), has clois­ters dat­ing from 1200 and a mag­nif­i­cent court­yard. It is one of the loveli­est places to stay in the area; lu­na­ho­tel.it. EAT: Ris­torante A’Paranza This res­tau­rant has been open for decades and is still one of the best on the Amalfi Coast. There are no spec­tac­u­lar views, pen­guin-suited wait­ers or fancy decor, but the Proto broth­ers have the best for­mula for an ideal Ital­ian eatery — ex­cel­lent food. Roberto Proto’s seafood risotto is one of the best you’ll find in the re­gion; ris­toran­teparanza.com. WALK: Santa Maria del Bando Perched on the moun­tain be­hind the town is a tiny monastery, like a set from a Roberto Ros­sellini film. Many years ago, ju­di­cial sen­tences, procla­ma­tions and ban­ish­ments were an­nounced sim­ply by shout­ing from the church to the towns­folk be­low. To reach the monastery from the heart of Atrani, you must ne­go­ti­ate 500 steps. I rec­om­mend this as a pre-lunch ad­ven­ture to build up your ap­petite. Or take an easy stroll from Pi­azza Um­berto through a se­ries of ter­raced stair­cases and within 15 min­utes you’ll be in the heart of Amalfi. The walk starts just be­hind the tobacco shop. VISIT: San Sal­va­tore de Birecto This pre­cious baroque church, built in 940 and mod­i­fied sev­eral times in the neo­clas­si­cal style, is nes­tled above Pi­azza Um­berto. The build­ing is a must­see and a tes­ti­mony to the wealth and influence of the church at the time it was built. PLAY: Atrani Beach This glo­ri­ous stretch is one of the few along the coast with di­rect road ac­cess. Park your car, walk a short dis­tance and dip your toes in the Mediter­ranean. RE­FUEL: A cof­fee and a chat with the lo­cal bar­ber or butcher in the pi­azza is a must. Stop at Bar Birecto or La Risacca for a pre­lunch spritz or an espresso and watch the lo­cals go­ing about their busi­ness; risacca.com. Amanda Tab­berer is the au­thor of My Amalfi Coast. Her sec­ond book, Amalfi Coast Recipes (Lan­tern, $49.99), is out now.

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