Where to Stay
Perched on the cliffs of Sorrento, Maison la Minervetta knows better than to compete with its ocean views. Interiors are bright, bold and appropriately nautical, which seems to bring that kaleidoscopically colourful Bay of Naples panorama all the way inside. This isn’t an overwrought five-star where they dazzle you with their big talk of facilities and activities, it’s a family-owned boutique bed and breakfast that makes you feel as though you’re staying in their stylish holiday home. Each room is sea-facing, and breakfast is served on a patio that juts out over the water.
Where to Eat
Bagni Delfino on the Marina Grande, down the steps from the hotel, is the place for a relaxed waterside lunch of wonderfully fresh fish and seafood. For a more formal lunch, try next door at Taverna Azzurra. For a truly memorable culinary experience, reserve a seat at Michelin-starred Il Buco on Rampa Marina Piccola. One of the best restaurants in Sorrento; summer meals are best enjoyed outside in the warm evening air. The tasting menu here is an excellent choice.
If drinks are as much on the agenda as a meal, head to Photo. This lounge bar turned restaurant just off Piazza Tasso has a garden that invites romance into an evening of cocktails. But, as far as idyllic settings go, Da Paolino has the competition beat. Diners here feast in a lemon grove, with the canopy of fruit trees also factoring into the menu, which includes anything from fresh mozzarella grilled between lemon leaves to dish upon dish served with lemon sauce.
Hop the hydrofoil for a quick ride to Capri, the white-washed poster isle for sun-soaked Mediterranean vacations. Shopping on the tiny island is excellent: leather-workers handmake sandals, and perfumes adhere to a 15th-century tradition, when monks combed the island for fragrant herbs and flowers. The Amalfi Coast hardly lacks for views, but the vista from the grounds at Ravello’s Villa Cimbrone could be the area’s best. The perfectly manicured gardens are worth a visit on their own. For a taste of Italy’s buffalo mozzarella at its very best, drive south to Capaccio for a visit to Tenuta Vannulo. The artisanal dairy farm makes some of the country’s best cheese, yoghurt, gelato and ricotta in such small batches they’re unavailable anywhere else.
When in Positano, dance by the water. Music on the Rocks, at the end of the beach, is carved into the rocks and feels more like a secret grotto than a club that attracts the country’s best DJs. From June through September, the Ravello Festival stages concerts, symphonies and other performing arts events at dusk in gardens and on scenic cliffs across town. For a more relaxed evening of drinks, Sorrento’s blue-tiled Fauno Bar is a popular local spot to people-watch and sip limoncello.
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