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Just Back from Southern Italy: Where to Eat and What to Do on the Amalfi Coast, from Positano to Pompeii

One could spend a month exploring Naples, Capri and the Amalfi Coast and not exhaust its treasures, but here are some of my new favorites.

Contact Indagare to plan a trip to the Amalfi Coast and Capri with one of our experts, who can suggest the perfect itinerary and combination of hotels, activities and restaurants.

Things to Do in Naples:

Eat pizza. This is the accepted birthplace of the famous pie and while locals can argue which spot serves the best in Naples, you cannot go wrong at either 50 Kalo or Sorbillo. Both are recommended in Michelin guides and both focus on pizza and fried food. Kalo 50 even fries their calzones. Neither restaurant takes reservations and often have long queues, but if you go late for lunch (after 1:30 p.m.) on weekdays or early for dinner (before 8 p.m.), you shouldn’t have to wait too long. Sorbillo has two locations in Naples, but the one on the port with tables outside has a better atmosphere than the one in the historic center.

Make a trip to Pompeii and Herculaneum. These sites are world-renowned for a reason, and that is, in part, because the volcanic eruption froze time in a way that preserved the site and its residents as no other ancient town has been. One of our great guides can show you the highlights of the massive Pompeii and Herculaneum complex and weave in the history and science in a way that will leave you in awe.

Visit the Capodimonte. The largest (and one of the least known) museums in Italy, this former 18th-century palace sits in gorgeous parklands and houses an incredible collection of masterpieces in more than 100 rooms. At the Capdimonte in Naples, you may find yourself alone with Titians, Raphaels and Caravaggios that would be mobbed if they were in the Louvre or Uffizi. Don’t miss the tapestry collection or period rooms.

Related: Naples Travel Tips

Things to Do in Capri:

Go down to the sea. The only way to appreciate the true beauty of the isle of Capri is to explore by boat. It is also the only way to reach such famous sights as the Blue and Green Grottoes and many of the best swimming spots. Given the boat traffic around Capri, I suggest hiring a decent-sized boat, with an experienced captain, who can navigate the crowded waters. Ask our team for the names of our favorite captains.

Related: Capri Shopping Guide

Go up and away from the crowds. Capri town gets crammed with tourists, especially between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., as the day trippers swarm into town, so spend your days either down by (or on) the sea or high up in Anacapri, where you can find quieter streets and beautiful gardens at the Villa San Michele. If you want to buy ceramics, don’t miss Ceramiche Tavissa.

Choose your sanctuaries. There are many lovely hotels on Capri, and where you stay and dine should feel like special retreats, so make your reservations early and choose wisely. On my recent trip, I stayed at the Capri Tiberio Palace, which is centrally located, but still feels like the hideaway of a stylish world traveler. Some of my favorite places for lunch in Capri were La Fontelina and Da Gioia; both have great food and steps to the sea for swimming before or after lunch. The latter is lower-key and more popular with Italians.

Related: Where to Eat in Capri

Things to Do on the Amalfi Coast:

Divide your time if you can. The stretch of coast between Ravello and Positano has a handful of our all-time favorite hotels, each with very different and memorable atmospheres, so if you have the time, we suggest spending a few days at two different properties—and maybe a few days in Capri in between—leaving you time to explore their specific locations and getting out on the water.

Related: Indagare Insiders: The Women Behind Three of Capri’s Chicest Shops

Spend time on the water, no matter where you stay. Many of the area resorts have beach clubs, as well as boats to take you to coastal towns or seaside restaurants, but hiring a boat for the day to explore at your leisure or go over to the isle of Capri or Ischia can be wonderful, especially when the weather is warm.

Build in a day or two to stay put. While I am a big fan of being active and not missing local sights, our favorite coastal resorts are truly among the most beautiful retreats on the planet. With terraced gardens, exceptional kitchens and exquisite interiors, these hotels will spoil you like no others, so relax and enjoy the views and the incredible good fortune you have to be here.

Related: Amalfi Coast Top Tables

Contact Indagare to plan a trip to the Amalfi Coast and Capri with one of our experts, who can suggest the perfect itinerary and combination of hotels, activities and restaurants.

– Melissa Biggs Bradley on July 10, 2018

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