In the Campania region on Southern Italy there is a stretch of coast deemed to be one of the most romantic and appealing places in the world for its climate, landscape, food and vast offering of hospitality structures: the Amalfi coast. Here are a few tips for making your visit to this wonderful place an experience worthy of any Hollywood star, a list exclusive Restaurants and Hotels, and gourmet experiences to be enjoyed by all.
From 0 to 25 Euro
Your day on the Amalfi coast has to start with a breakfast that lives up to the location. Sitting at a table in the Pasticceria Sal De Riso, a cake shop in Minori, you could get to meet Salvatore De Riso, the TV celebrity pastry chef. He rose to fame with his delizia al limone, and now continues to experiment with new products and ingredients. Order a slice of the mythical ricotta and pear cake, the Asia and Anastasia chocolate mousses, or his baba soaked in limoncello liqueur. As a first step, you could taste a couple of specialities and enjoy a good cup of coffee.
Pasticceria Sal De Riso
Via Roma, 80 - 84010 Minori
From 25 to 50
At the Monastero Santa Rosa, a boutique hotel just a few kilometres away from Amalfi, the atmosphere is one of luxury with a hint of spirituality. The hotel has been created in what used to be an ancient convent of cloistered nuns who lived here for centuries dedicating their lives to prayer and the practice of medicinal and culinary arts. It is believed that the famous sfogliatelle, a typical local sweet pastry, was first made here. Following a ten year restoration project which has converted the convent into a fabulous resort, American businesswoman, Bianca Sharma, then turned her attention to its cuisine. For Il Refettorio restaurant, she engaged Christoph Bob, former right hand man of the three-starred chef Heinz Beck, for whom he shares a passion for Neapolitan cuisine. If you wish to enjoy its all-Italian flavour to the full without exceeding your budget, you can try one of these dishes: bass-filled ravioli with three types of tomatoes, green tomatoes, Corbara cherry and cream of yellow tomatoes, or alternatively crudo di ricciola, that is to say, a carpaccio of amberjack flavoured with a sea urchin emulsion and lemon (around 25 Euro).
Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa
Via Roma, 2 - 84010 Conca dei Marini
Le Sirenuse is a luxury hotel in the centre of Positano, which has been run by several generations of the Sersale family. At this point the coast is particularly steep and the hotels, set in the cliffs, compete to offer the best view and service. John Steinbeck, who came here in 1953, wrote that Positano “is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone”.
In the evening when the four hundred candles are lit and a mandolin starts to play the old melodies, the starred restaurant La Sponda becomes one such dream place. Gennaro Russo, aged just 29, has taken over the helm of the restaurant, leading it to Michelin star level. Gragnano spaghetti with shellfish coral and raw calamari (36 Euro) is a superb dish. As an alternative, choose another terrace with a spectacular view, that of the Champagne Bar and grill. Here the menu is played out between oysters and seafood, fish carpaccio and tartare (30 Euro approx + 15 for a glass of wine).
La Sponda - Champagne bar and grill
Hotel Le Sirenuse
Via Cristoforo Colombo, 30 - 84017 Positano
From 50 to 100
When staying at one of the oldest hotel establishments in the area of Sorrento, the Grand Hotel Cocumella, where she used to be one of its illustrious guests, novelist Mary Shelley wrote: "At every moment the senses, lapped in delight, whisper – this is paradise”. This converted monastery has an immense terrace, a park and a very fruitful organic vegetable garden which supplies the three restaurants of the hotel managed by chef Carlo Matarese and his team. Scintilla is a traditional restaurant, while Coku is a robata restaurant, combining the Mediterranean and Japanese styles of cuisine. Calamaro with soy sauce and ginger, octopus with yakitori sauce or terriyaki chicken. Here you can afford to enjoy three courses and a fine glass of Chardonnay (approximately 17 Euro for each course).
Scintilla - Coku
Grand Hotel Cocumella
Via Cocumella, 7 - 80065 Sant’Agnello di Sorrento
Have you always thought of the legendary Hotel San Pietro in Positano as being beyond your means? Gregory Peck, the Rockefellers, Peter O'Toole, Tina Turner, Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman and the King of Jordan have all dined here. The view overlooking Praiano and the Coast, the starred restaurant of the San Pietro and the terrace perched high on the cliff make it a truly unique and sought-after location. Also thanks to the excellent management of the Cinque family. Restaurant guests may also arrive by boat, from where they take the panoramic lift up the cliff and enjoy a full-immersion Costiera experience. Every room in the hotel has the benefit of a sea view. Zass, the starred restaurant, has made world news with its 400 sq m kitchen dug deep in the rock, in which a brigade of 32 people are at work. The cuisine of the San Pietro has won an award for being the most eco-friendly in the world. Chef Alois Vanlangenaeker seeks purity, harmony and freshness in his dishes. Order any one of the dishes on the menu, such as the spaghetti with 3 types of tomato or a couple of cocktails if you go there before dinner. You too will be able to say you have been to the San Pietro.
Hotel San Pietro
Via Laurito, 2 – 84017 Positano