Positano, Amalfi and Ravello
We dragged ourselves away from sunny Sorrento and our inviting pool and set off down the coast. We went for the smallest hire car possible having heard about the terrifying cliff edge driving along this stretch of road. Some of the stories are true, the buses fit through gaps I would question our ability to fit through, drivers take corners confidently as though there is sure to be no one around the bend and on occasion you get stuck in a small queue as two buses tuck in their wing mirrors to pass each other but it was not nearly as bad as people say and there’s always a wall between you and the edge.
Our first stop was Positano. It is a dramatic town not only on a cliff edge but also with a ravine in its centre so utterly stunning. Parking can be an issue so we took advantage of a car park just out of town and strolled in. All lanes and roads lead to the beachfront, which is far more relaxed then Sorrento and has the feel of a pure holiday resort. There are lovely shops and of course great restaurants all through the town. The art shops are also really wonderful here and they put on a lot of exhibitions you are free to wander into.
Down by the beach artists paint the scene and tourists enjoy boozy lunches. We opted for the restaurant at the far right as you look out to sea called Chez Black. To this day the meal here was one of the highlights of our trip. We enjoyed cuttle fish ink pasta and also a dish that sounded so simple called spaghetti with courgette but if either appeal they were exceptional and I would totally recommend it. The food, the charming waiters, the Italian beach resort scene explain why they have a whole wall covered in photos of the stars who all dropped in for lunch or dinner.
We then drove on to our next stop, the Monastero Santa Rosa. This is the latest property along the coast to get the travel industry buzzing and I was keen to see if it lived up to its hype. It didn’t – it exceeded it beyond belief! The restoration has been completed with utmost respect to the original building. The rooms are beautifully designed and if they don’t have their own veranda due to the original room layout of the monastery they have beautiful gardens and lovely large terraces with sofas and the view is breathtaking.
Amalfi is a short drive and the hotel offers a free shuttle until 9pm so perfect to pop into town for dinner and some shopping although it is really difficult to leave the Santa Rosa. Their restaurant is small and service is personal. We opted for a tasting menu and every course was delicious. If you eat there try the rose Prosecco as an aperitif as it is really wonderful.
Two paragraphs are never going to do this property justice. We were left speechless from the minute we saw the view. This is right up there within my top hotel experiences. It has also just won best spa newcomer in Tattler’s awards. They are basically doing everything right.
Ravello is a short drive up from Amalfi but this was a more “interesting” drive. On arrival there is a great car park at the bottom of town. It is a beautiful town with a sense of history found in the two villas open to the public (for a small fee). The main square is small and it is gently spread out down lovely alleyways. The larger of the two villas, Villa Cimbrone, is well with visiting. They also have concerts in the smaller one, Villa Rufolo, for a couple of months and this would be amazing to visit if you can. Classical music with a backdrop of the Amalfi coastline, what could be better.
Positano, Amalfi and Ravello make an amazing combined trip to this stunning coastline.