The Skylark Way

How to Do Amalfi Right

By: Jes Ware

Effortlessly sexy and elegant, the Amalfi Coast summons all the sepia-tinged nostalgia we have for the days of Federico Fellini and Sophia Loren. It’s Italy at its most joyfully Italian—think colorful buildings, twisting cliffside roads, bronzed Italians basking under bright yellow umbrellas. With designer sunglasses on your face and an aperol spritz in your hand, you'll fit right in. 


Who's it for: Anyone with romance on their mind.

Why we love it: High upon Positano’s cliff face, Le Sirenuse claims the most gorgeous view of the Amalfi Coast—and nearly every room has a private terrace overlooking the bay. Other lovely notables? The vaulted ceilings, the Italian chocolates that appear at turndown and La Sponda, the Michelin-starred, fairy tale–beautiful restaurant.


Who's it for: Design lovers who dislike crowds.

Why we love it: Perhaps the most contemporary hotel on the coast, Casa Angelina Lifestyle is located in the under-the-radar village of Praiano, less congested—but no less charming—than its neighbors Positano and Amalfi. The hotel’s impressive art collection is vibrant and whimsical. Don’t forget your sunglasses: the all-white interiors shine bright. In fact, there’s a staff member whose sole job is keeping the white paint—all 12 shades of it—as pristine as can be.


Who's it for: Low-key classicists.

Why we love it: First opened in 1880 and run by the same family for over a century, Santa Caterina is the coast’s original grande dame, but its lush traditionalism exudes warmth, not stiffness. Lemon and orange trees scent the air, the floor tiles are hand-painted and the suit-clad staff welcomes you like you're part of the family. The hotel is perched at the top of a cliff, but the town of Amalfi is 15 minutes away, and the private beach club is just a quick ride in the hotel's cut-into-the-rock glass elevator.


  • PEDALÒS: These paddle boats—for hire everywhere—are our favorite way to see the coast.

  • IL PIRATA: Praiano's laid-back local spot. Cold wine + fresh fish = perfection.

  • PALAZZO AVINO: The Lobster & Martini Bar. Pick from a list of 65 martini's and enjoy the view.


  • Da Adolfo: Da Adolfo is what you think of when you think of the Mediterranean. Get the grilled mozzarella served on a lemon leaf.
  • Casa Mele: This is possibly the one place in Positano where the view doesn't matter. Facing away from the coast, all the attention is rightly focused on the plates. 
  • Lo Scoglio: Sea urchin, sweet clams, the freshest local gamberetti —paired with the view, it's unmissable.


  • POMPEII: It's a bit of a stretch to make a visit to the ancient ruins a quick day trip. However, it's easy to do while you're en route to the coast from the airport.  When you land in Naples, leave enough time to make a detour so you can check out the city Mount Vesuvius blanketed in AD 79.
  • CAPRI: Skip the Blue Grotto and instead take the chairlift up to Monte Solaro for an unbelievable view. If you're not a lover of heights, visit the marvelous Villa San Michele. Either way, end the day at Ristorante Da Tonino (and get the Polpo alla plancia).