THE INSIDERS AMALFI COAST, ITALY
GO: When people ask where I would like to go for a holiday, I take no time in answering: the Amalfi Coast. I was lucky to live in Naples in younger years and spend many summers on the coast, about 70km south. I remember days on pebble beaches, afternoon siestas, late-night family feasts and strolls along the waterfront eating the most amazing gelato. Not much has changed. The water is still magnificently clear, the food is just as delicious and the sun-drenched coastline never loses its magic; amalfitouristoffice.it/.
EAT: A must is Trattoria Da Lorenzo in Ravello. Like most restaurants on the coast, it is a family-run business with mamma in the kitchen and papa looking after guests. Within minutes of arriving you feel like part of the family. The specialty here is seafood and the flavours are clean, well balanced and executed perfectly. The antipasti menu will overwhelm you. Take your time and order one of everything; you won’t be disappointed. My parents were married in Ravello and often talk about this place; trattoriadalorenzo.com.
STAY: Make sure you get yourself a room with a view of the Mediterranean: there is a lot to be said for waking up with the sea breeze flowing through your window and a glimpse of that blue sea. Hotel Villa Serena fills the bill, offering accommodation and great service that will make you feel right at home. The estate is set on a hill high above Sorrento. Swimming pool, lemon trees, views of the Mediterranean, olive trees … what’s not to love about this property; hotelvillaserna.it/.
TASTE: About an hour south of where the Amalfi Coast officially starts, the area of Campania is worth a detour. This is where mozzarella di bufala comes from. It would be safe to say that every few kilometres there is a caseificios, or dairy farm, selling fresh buffalo mozzarella, my favourite cheese. I remember as a boy going into these places and eating the cheese, which is still warm; such an amazing experience. Check out Tenuta Vannulo, one of the oldest caseificios still operating and it’s completely organic; vannulo.it/.
ENJOY: As you approach Sorrento, the air becomes perfumed with citrus. Orange, tangerine and lemon groves are just blocks from the city centre. Enjoy the large Sorrento lemons in the form of limoncello, gelato or, for a refreshing granita, A’Sciula, near the Amalfi cathedral; sorrentotourism.com.