Last year I had a pleasure to visit Italy – each time spontaneously – 3 times. February at lake Como, May in Sicily and October trip to the Amalfi Coast – each time proved, that traveling off-season is a really good decision for those, who wants to avoid crowds, especially at the most popular Italian destinations.
Amalfi Coast, stretched along the province of Salerno in the Southern Italy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and rightfully so. Rocky cliffs with picturesque fisher villages and ancient towns attract hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. The most popular jet-setter destination is the beautiful town of Positano, which unfortunately lost its charm in the past years due to the enormous crowds and the resulting loss of its original pre-touristy look.
We visited in the mid of October and finding a parking in the town or anywhere near was a challenge. I wonder what does summer months look like.
We found a little paradise nearby though – the village of Praiano, only 10 minutes drive away from Positano, is not so popular with he Holywood celebrities, thus giving your soul a deserved rest.
A restored villa with only a handful of rooms available, a rustic olive garden with a pool and a private cliff, descending into the sea – this is how I imagined a movie star from Fellini’s times spending their summer.
We flew into Naples Airport and rented a car for 5 days, while we were there. In my opinion, a car was definitely a right choice if you want to discover the coast a bit instead of staying in your hotel. We’ve visited Atrani, Amalfi and the wonderful Ravello, with its rich history, beautiful villas and breathtaking view of the coast.
I was walking the streets of Ravello thinking of all the famous people, who were inspired by this place – Boccaccio and Wagner, Virginia Woolf and Great Garbo, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal – just to name a few. Ravello is not only place to see historical buildings. Its modernist Auditorium, built on a hill overseeing the coast, was designed by the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.
As I’ve already mentioned, Positano, which is the main attraction and coast’s most recognized name, is highly overrated and touristic. We’ve spent one evening in this town, half of which we tried to find a free parking spot. The view of the town, scattered over the hills, is majestic (especially when seen from your private yacht;), but it is not a place I’d recommend, if you’re used to a more laid-back and relaxed type of a holiday.
I won’t be mentioning each town’s main attractions, since they are impossible to miss when you’re there (hint: just follow the crowd), and yet again my recommendation would be to visit off-season, rent a car, visit Capri (another romantic but also highly touristy island, off the coast of Naples), drink Limoncello (most famous produce of the Amalfi Coast) and skip Positano for Ravello instead. I wish you a wonderful time!