The 10 Highlights of Capri and the Amalfi Coast
Discover with us all you need to know about this area: Italy has many island paradises to be discovered that offer amazing panoramas, mild temperatures, and a glamorous getaway on land when the heat gets to be too much, but the Amalfi Coast and the island of Capri, Ischia and Procida off the coast of Italy is one of the preferred destinations for a sailing tour in the Mediterranean sea. Often sailing tours start from Salerno, Naples or Castellammare di Stabia, giving the opportunity to enjoy during the sailing tour both the mainland of Italy and the islands just off the coast. The airports of Naples and Salerno, are both well-served by flight companies and are situated near enough the departure harbours. So, what are the main attractions of the area? What do you absolutely need to see with your own eyes and experience for yourself, before you can say that you have been on holiday in this area?
Here is our top 10 list of Highlights!
Along the 48 kilometers of breathtaking coastline, you can find these 3 pearls of the Mediterranean Sea: Amalfi, Positano and Ravello. Each with its own appeal and hidden gems to discover. Amalfi's is quite known for the vertiginous streets and the cathedral, Duomo di Sant'Andrea, rising majestically at the top of a long staircase. You can also enjoy: the Path of the Gods, one of the best hikes along the Amalfi Coast, with the most beautiful views. It stretches from Bomberano to Nocelle and will take roughly 2 to 2.5 hours and is 4 miles (6 kilometres) long.
In the area you can also visit beautiful wine cellars in unique locations such as: Marisa Cuomo Winery with an amazing view over the Fiordo di Furore and also take some cooking lessons to learn about the ins and outs of the local cuisine.
The Emerald Grotto just outside Amalfi is one of the natural highlights along the Amalfi Coast, set in the village of Conca dei Marini it is a small karst cave formed naturally over the millennia. When sunlight filters through the turquoise waves of the Mediterranean Sea into the grotto through underwater openings, the light becomes tinged with a magical emerald color that sends sparkling reflections up the cave walls. For sure a sight to be enjoyed during a sailing tour in the Amalfi Coast.
Positano is for sure one of the most scenic towns of the coast. Perched on an enclave on the face of a hill as seen from the deck of your sailboat or catamaran is one of the most stunning views you’ll find in the world. The town is quite liked to take a shopping spree in the tiny and lovely streets up and down the hill. Especially for the hand-made sandals, also wehn in town it is most recommended to take a stroll via Positanesi d’America. This tiny small road goes from the main beach of Positano, the famous Spiaggia Grande, to one of my favorite places, Spiaggia di Fornillo, a very beautiful bay to take a bath and enjoy some relaxation on board.
One of the most popular and sought-after destinations by tourists is the Fiordo di Furore. A marvel of nature, it shows itself as a cut within the coastal rock, creating a marvelous landscape in contrast with the blue waters of the Amalfi Coast. The Fiordo will spring to the memory as being the location of the film “L’Amore” by Roberto Rossellini with the protagonist of the film Anna Magnani, his love of the time and for the international diving competition, Marmeeting, that takes place every july from the bridge over the Fjord. The beach is very small, and in summer it is often very crowded, so reaching it by sailboat or catamaran makes for the perfect way to enjoy it fully. While mooring inside will not be possible, reaching the inside of the rift by dinghy is entirely feasible.
In the province of Salerno, Ravello is well known for the charm of its villas. The Cathedral is for sure to be visited, but the real charmer is the famous Villa Cimbrone, built on a rocky promontory with a vast park decorated with statues, antiquities, fountains and caves it culminates into a panoramic viewpoint that, from the famous Terrace of the Infinite, shows all the beauty of the Coast. From the terrace, you get jaw-dropping views of the Mediterranean Sea 1,200 feet below. If you visit on a clear day, the vivid blue of the water against an equally blue sky, with the marble busts in the foreground, makes for instagram worthy photos. In the tiny town of Ravello, you’ll find yourself slowing down and feeling relaxed, for a taste of la dolce vita.
Ravello is a town offers also another famous villa by the water’s edge, Villa Rufolo, a place worthy of another enchanting stroll. It was one of the largest villas on the Amalfi Coast. In the 19th century, it was bought by Sir Francis Neville Reid, a botanist from Scotland, who renovated what was left of the villa and brought its gardens back to life. For sure the pergola is beautiful when it is in bloom, but even bare, it makes for great photos.
For sure one of the highlights of a sailing tour is the amazing island of Capri with its delightful treasures like the mystical Blue Grotto, the Natural Arch and Faraglione, staying at anchor outside Marina Piccola or a taking a walk through the squares with their chic boutiques, traditional restaurants, and upscale bars. Anyone visiting the island should stop in the famed main square, known as the Piazzetta, take a stroll down Via Krupp to reach Marina Piccola From Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri, you can can take the chairlift up to the peak of Mount Solaro where you can take in the view from the top and snap some instagram worthy pictures and walking back down the mountain slope, following the signs for the Cetrella hermitage where the custodians will be happy to show you the gorgeous terraces over the sea. If this is your first time on Capri, don't forget to sample the traditional local dishes ravioli capresi, filled with caciotta cheese and marjoram, and torta caprese, made with chocolate and almonds.
Ischia is an idyllic island off the coast of southern Italy, around six miles wide, but with an amazing number of attractions for an active vacation. It is one of the most developed and largest of the islands in the Bay of Naples, famed for thermal spas, manicured gardens, the striking Aragonese castle and beautiful beaches with rocky outcrops and thermal waters. On the to-do list of any visitors there should be for sure the north-coast towns of Ischia Porto, Ischia Ponte, Forio and Lacco Ameno. Of these, Ischia Porto is the place to go for the best bars both for breakfast and after dinner partying, while Forio and Lacco Ameno have the most gorgeous spas and gardens, like the world-famous Giardini La Mortella. On the calmer south coast, the quaint town of Sant’Angelo offers a languid blend of cozy harbor and sun kissed beaches. In between the coasts lies a landscape of forests, vineyards and volcanic rock, under the watch of Monte Epomeo, Ischia’s highest peak, where winding paths are the joy of any trekker. Dramatically located on a small, rocky island, the ramparts of Castello Aragonese over the town of Ischia Ponte offer a truly beautiful view of sea and land and for sure it is a must-do when you visit Ischia. Being a volcanic island with over a hundred thermal springs with water that has therapeutic benefits, Ischia offers everything from luxury spas to gorgeous water parks like the lovely Negombo thermal baths. Alternatively, you can visit the Terme di Cavascura, which is the ancient Roman spa, or you can visit Sorgeto beach and relax for free in thermal springs directly at sea.
Procida is for sure Italy’s most colorful island and the smallest island in the bay of Naples. Off the mass-tourist radar, Procida is refreshingly real and is an ideal place to explore on foot. The most captivating areas are Marina Grande, Marina Corricella and Marina di Chiaiolella.
The view over Marina di Corricella from the road up to the castle is an amazing panorama over a shimmering bay with fishing boats bobbing in the small port, the pastel colors of the 17th-century fishermen’s houses and the brilliant yellow of Santa Maria delle Grazie Incoronata church make for one of the most mesmerizing views of the islands and one of the most beautiful views in Europe.
Marina Grande’s waterfront has lots of bars, restaurants and shops of all kinds. While it’s not as charming as Marina di Corricella, the pastel-coloured buildings are still pretty, and the beaches at either end of the Via Roma waterfront are great for relaxing and watching the world go by.
Procida does have some really beautiful beaches, all rachebla both from land and from water, that will be the highlight of any sailing tour: Spiaggia Chiaia, west of Marina di Corricella. Spiaggia Chiaiolella, also known as Ciracciello, on the southwestern tip of Procida, near the bridge across to Vivara. Spiaggia Cala del Pozzo Vecchio, also known as Il Postino Beach, as scenes from the classic film Il Postino were filmed here. Spiaggia Silurenza, closest to the ferry port at Marina Grande and Spiaggia Lingua at the eastern tip of Procida.
Naples is one of Italy most iconic cities. The raw energy you will feel by visiting the city centre is inimitable. Soul-stirring panoramas, spontaneous conversations and unexpected elegance make of Naples one of the most important stops in any sailing tour taking place in this area of the Mediterranean Sea.
Naples has an extraordinary number of cultural assets1: castels, monuments, churches, sculptures and paintings of the finest Italian maestros, not to mention some of Christianity's oldest frescoes.
The rich volcanic soils, Naples is in fact the nearest city to one of Italy most famous volcanoes, i.e. Mount Vesuvio, offer a bountiful choice of land products, wineyard and dairy products; not to mention the rich seas, and countless generations of culinary know-how, the Naples region is one of Italy's epicurean marvels. It's here that you'll find the country's best pizza, pasta and espresso, its most appetising street markets, not to mention some of its most celebrated dishes. From garlicky spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams) to ragù (meat and tomato sauce) and parmigiana di melanzane (eggplant parmigiana), the food on these streets is all about intensity and pleasure. After all, life is too short for diets, so follow the locals' lead and succumb to your appetite.
Naples is also well known for its tailors, with their impeccable suits, shirts and ties, and for many artisans selling their unique wares like handmade leather and shoes. Narrow streets and courtyards are full of workshops and boutiques, selling ceramics and nativity-scene figurines among which you can also find some well-known football idols and tv stars, rare Neapolitan lithographs and gourmet local food and wine.
Pompeii is the location where Europe's most compelling archaeological site can be visited. Sprawling and rich in historical value the site is a strong reminder of the destructive forces that lie deep inside Mount Vesuvius. The ruins of ancient Pompeii are of great since in AD 79 the town was buried under a layer of pumice stone so that everything from the building to the corpses of the citizens is perfectly well-preserved gifting us with a slice of ancient life, where visitors can walk down Roman streets and snoop around millennia-old houses, temples, shops, cafes, amphitheaters and even a brothel.
After the catastrophic eruption and earthquake that destroyed the ancient settlement, Pompeii receded from the public eye until 1594, when the architect Domenico Fontana stumbled across the ruins while digging a canal. Exploration proper, however, didn't begin until 1748. Of Pompeii's original 66 hectares, 44 have now been excavated. Of course, that doesn't mean you'll have access to all of the Unesco site –there are in fact many cordoned off areas, a noticeable lack of clear signs and maintenance work is ongoing, with new discoveries unearthed regularly. In the end, a place to visit for sure!
Sorrento Peninsula is also known as the land of the sirens, the mythical maiden-monsters who are said to live on Li Galli, a small archipelago just off the peninsula’s southern coast, the area to the west of Sorrento is among the least developed and most beautiful in the country with winding roads going through the hills covered in olive trees and lemon groves, passing through quaint villages and tiny fishing harbours. There are fantastic views at every turn, the best from the high points overlooking Punta Campanella, the westernmost point of the Sorrento Peninsula. More developed and less appealing the area to the east of the town protects the district’s longest sandy beach, Spiaggia di Alimuri, at Meta, and the Roman villas at Castellammare di Stabia. From Castellammare you can catch a cable car to the top of Monte Faito (1092m) for some intense trekking activity. Finally Marina Grande is the perfect place to stop for lunch with numerous waterfront eateries, specialized in local cuisine featuring fresh fish and seafood.
At the center of the Gulf of Salerno, the eponymous village mixes new life with intriguing historical buildings and breathtaking panoramas.In the heart of the historic city center of Salerno, many marvels await the visitors: fine Sabatini paintings, Caravaggio’s famous Judith piece, and a host of more religious art and buildings like the Church of San Matteo. Sitting high at nearly 270 meters above the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Salerno is the postcard-worthy Medieval Castello di Arechi, the famous landmark now acts as a romantic and tourist-favorite lookout as well as a museum with an on-site cafe and restaurant. Sailing from Salermo and looking for a first stop, you need look no further than the charming seaside village of Vietri Sul Mare. A quaint and art-filled town, especially popular for its ceramics. While you’re there, be sure to check out Museo del Vetro e Cristallo and make sure to try some limoncello while you’re here! Another beautiful spot is Crestarella, a small town along the coast that not only dishes up some idyllic lounging spots but also diving excursions, all in the shadow of the picturesque defensive seaside tower. And finally Cetara, a tiny fishing village about 15 minutes’ drive from Vietri Sul Mare that’s renowned for its fresh-as-can-be seafood cuisine and unwavering traditional atmosphere. The town itself centers around the harbor, which plays host to not one but three world-famous eateries: Il Convento, Il San Pietro and L’Acqua Pazza — so even if you’re just passing through, be sure to stop by for a delicious dinner with a view and to buy some preserved Anchovies (Alici di Cetara), for which the village is well know