Italy - Amalfi Coast & Islands Holidays
This spectacular stretch of coastline is deservedly famous for its rich and beautiful scenery. The coastal road winds along dramatic cliffs and passes through the picturesque villages and pastel-painted towns which characterise this region, whilst the beautiful islands of Ischia and Capri sit like gems, just off the coast.
The best month to sample the famous Amalfi Coast drive is May, when the flowers are out in bloom, and we recommend hiring a small car that will cope better with the barrow and winding roads.
The Amalfi Coast offers a wealth of gastronomic delights, with frutti di mare or seafood a speciality! Served with spaghetti or risotto, the ingredients are fresh from the day's catch and usually made up from all different kinds of seafood. In Amalfi, tr spaghetii alla vongole, the local pasta with capers, olives and clams which is a real delight, or join the celebrities tucking into the famed spaghetti alle zucchini at Lo Scoglio in the small resort of Marina del Cantone, just west of Positano.
The local white wine, lacrime di cristo, is the perfect accompaniment to the Mediterranean-style cuisine found in this part of Italy, or for drinking chilled on its own. Capri is the ancestral home of limoncello, the luscious lemony liqueur enjoyed as a post-meal tipple. Invented about 100 years ago due to Capri's abundance of lemons, this sweet liqueur is readily available and a perfect end to a lovely meal.
Capri town's cobbled streets are crammed full with designer shops and boutiques, from the famous names of Prada and Fendi to the interesting shops in Via Le Botteghe offering something a little different. You can also witness the making of traditional products, as the artisans open their studio doors.
This region is famous for the ceramics it produces; a great place to pick some up is the town of Vietri sul Mare, although you will also find them in many shops along the coast. In Positano you can find small boutiques and stalls selling Murano glass, designer dressed and made-while-you-wait clothes.
Visit the Hellenistic ruins of Paestrum, founded by the Greeks in the 6th Century BC, where you will find three of Europe's best presrved golden-stoned temples and a splendid museum.
Hire a car and travel along the legendary 'Amalfi Drive' where the road is cut precariously into the cliffs and every bend provides another jay-dropping panorama.