For a welcome escape from the summer heat, venture south of Rome to this world-famous coastline.
DO Party on the island of Capri. Trek along the Path of the Gods from Bomerano to Positano, high in the hills overlooking coastal villages and beaches. Spend the day with the kids on one of the many beaches – such as Castiglione Beach, just out of the village of Atrani – where there’s always a rustic café serving breakfast, lunch and lots of gelati, and beach shacks rent out canoes and equipment for other water activities. Shop in the gelati-coloured village of Positano.
EAT AND DRINK Enjoy simple, fresh dishes made with local specialties such as anchovies, zucchini, buffalo mozzarella and lemons, along with decadent cakes, including torta Caprese (chocolate and almond cake), delizia al limone (lemon and cream sponge cake) and torta di ricotta e pera (ricotta and pear cake).
For a romantic spot to propose marriage or celebrate an anniversary, head to the restaurants in the hilltop village of Ravello. It’s a 15-minute trip by car from Amalfi or buses run frequently. If you want something a little more traditional, try the villages of Atrani, Cetara, Minori or Anacapri (on the island of Capri).
In Capri, the main square (known as La Piazzetta to the locals) is where everyone gathers to see and be seen, either having a morning coffee and cornetto (similar to a croissant) at around 10am or drinking cocktails in the evening.
STAY At the top end is luxury hotel Il San Pietro di Positano (Via Laurito 2, Positano;ilsanpietro.it/en), where every room has a view of the sea. Its famous terrace overlooks Positano and has arguably the best view on the coast for cocktails at sunset. The hotel also has its own private beach, tennis court, Michelin-starred restaurant, swimming pool, gym and garden overlooking the sea.
If you’re after somewhere a little more rustic but right on the water, Hotel Villa San Michele (Via Carusiello 2, Ravello), just outside of Ravello, is built into the side of the rock face, its charming terraced gardens sloping down to the sea. This family-run hotel really feels like it is, with the owner’s mother pottering in the garden, watering flowers, and the owner himself looking after you each night in their restaurant, which serves local dishes packed with fresh seafood.
GET THERE The fast train from Roma Termini to Salerno takes two hours. From there you can catch the SITA bus, which stops at all the coastal villages, including Amalfi and Positano, and gives you awe-inspiring views of the whole coastline. However, if you suffer on winding roads, you might prefer to take the ferry from Salerno (a five-minute walk from the station), which stops at Amalfi, Capri and Positano.