Travel

Amanda Tabberer’s top ten Amalfi Coast experiences

The author of My Amalfi Coast and Amalfi Coast Recipes called this exquisite part of Italy home for many years. Here she shares her essential Amalfi Coast experiences.

  • I never feel like I’m back home in Positano until I have spent the day by myself reading a book at the water’s edge at La Scogliera, a small section of the main beach tucked away under the nightclub Music on the Rocks. It’s a humble place and a haven of tranquillity.
  • For me, nothing compares to a sunset boat ride up the coast to Nerano for an evening meal with friends, sipping prosecco all the way and anticipating the meal to come.
  • One of my favourite mid-season or winter things to do is to make a trip up the mountain to Monte Faito, behind Positano. The mountain is dotted with simple eateries, and you will also find some of the best chestnuts during the month of October. It is very local and not terribly glamorous for tourists, but ask some locals down in town where they love to eat up there, and make it a day-trip – the views are breathtaking!
  • My acquired cousin Salvatore Bella makes the best Bellinis at the magnificent Hotel San Pietro di Positano, approximately two kilometres out of Positano. A sunset Bellini on their famous terrace overlooking Positano and the coast is a fairytale experience.
  • Check out who Mario, the owner of La Zagara restaurant in Positano, has playing after dinner. Recently it was the hottest three-piece Neapolitan band, who had everyone (waiters included) up and dancing!
  • If you’re staying in Positano, find a friend with a scooter or hop on the local bus to La Praia in Praiano for a meal at Il Pirata…amazing food, great atmosphere and so close to the sea that you can literally dip your tootsies in the water. If you have the energy afterwards, head to the famous Africana nightclub, just a short stroll and a few curves around the cliffs away.
  • Tre Denari shop, on the main beach of Positano, has a running order of brightly coloured suede moccasins from all my friends in London and Sydney. He ships! So if they miss a trip, he just sends them off. I can spend hours drooling over his colour range.
  • If I am on the coast in peak season (July and August), I never miss the philharmonic orchestra performances in the Villa Rufolo in Ravello. I take my tissues – as I am gazing over the coastline at sunset, listening to wonderful music, I can’t help but weep!
  • Whenever I go back, I must have at least one meal in the jewel-like town of Atrani. I love to wander through this tiny town, which is no bigger than my friend’s living room in Australia, swim off their fabulous little beach after lunch and make sure I eat at A’ Paranza – one of the best seafood restaurants on the coast.
  • Make friends with a local fisherman and see if he will take you out at night. My favourite way to spend an evening is not at a fancy candlelit restaurant, but night-fishing for totani (flying squid) while sipping chilled wine and munching on local cheese and crunchy bread. Then grilling the squid on the beach later that night. Yum...