Seduced by Sorrento, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast

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We started the journey with a four-day stay in Napoli (Naples) and then continued to Sorrento, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast.  My write up on Napoli (incl. Pompeii and Herculaneum) is under the Sneak Peak ‘Curious in Napoli (Naples)’.

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It is well known that Sorrento, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast are beloved for having astonishing, scenic coastlines and for the romantic character of picturesque towns like Positano, Ravello, and Capri itself.  The scenery here is so photogenic that it lures too many visitors; therefore, avoid going in July and August — we were there in April.

Day 1 – We left Napoli and drove 55 km direction Sorrento.  Approaching our destiny, we had to get off the car to admire the marvelous views of the Sorrentine Peninsula.

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Around noon we reached our hotel La Minervetta, perched on top of the Marina Grande.  How glad I was I had booked for three nights in this amazing B&B, located overlooking the sea, with spacious, beautiful rooms in nautical look and floor-to-ceiling windows.

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The staff is welcoming and friendly.  The house is all yours to enjoy with splendid furnishings, lots of books, and pieces of art, but it shows — at the same time — a special touch that makes it feel homey.  The atmosphere is casual – indeed, not posh at all!  Can you ask for more?  Actually the pictures do not do justice to the exquisiteness of this guest house – anyway, it is worthwhile checking their homepage too.

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La Minervetta is the perfect place to stay for THE romantic getaway!  Definitely, my number one pick in southern Italy and, perhaps, in the Mediterranean.

For lunch, we walked down to the Marina Grande, the old fishing port beneath the hotel.  I wanted to try the Trattoria da Emilia, right on the waterfront.  The blue-and-white checked tablecloths made me feel like being in a Greek tavern.  Visit this nice post ‘Dine at Da Emilia and watch the waves roll in’.

This family-run restaurant serves southern Italian dishes, using freshly caught fish, local produce like mozzarella and tomatoes, and homemade pasta.  You can see the new generation running the business, and those taking care of the guests are friendly and attentive.

We went for a stroll, taking one of the stone staircases that take you to the historic center.

 

 

We found a beautiful lemon grove, an oasis in downtown Sorrento.

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Getting back to the hotel, we walked through the Via San Cesareo, a narrow main street full of shops, bars, and restaurants.

 

After a 15-min walk uphill we were again in our peaceful retreat.  We enjoyed the rest of the evening with a glass of Campanian wine.

 

Day 2 – We took the CaReMar ferry to Capri (20 min) from the Marina Piccola in Sorrento.

Once in the Marina Grande in Capri town, we booked the two-hour boat trip around the island.  There are different companies, but we took Laser Capri, which departs every 30 min from Pier 23.

The boat trip had the option of visiting the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) for an additional charge.  We decided to stop by.  Once there, we had to change to a smaller boat to be able to enter the cave with a boat rower.  There was also an entrance fee for the cave.

It was quite hard for me to get good shots inside the grotto, but look at these fantastic set of pictures by Love these Pics.

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The 10-min experience inside the cave was nice and short.  Our gondolier, even sang!

 

 

 

 

 

We got back to the larger boat and continued the tour around the island.

Certainly the Faraglioni are impressive and passing through the middle of them on the boat is not to forget.

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Once the boat trip was finished, from the Marina Grande we took the bus to Anacapri (25 min), the other town, located on the highest part of the island.  Anacapri is smaller, quieter, and nice to stroll around.

 

 

The bus ride back to Capri took only 10 min.  Each bus ride is an adventure by itself.  We had time for a walk in Capri town, before we took the last ferry back to Sorrento.

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After a short stop at the hotel, we drove 15 min (9 km) to Don Alfonso 1890 in Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi.  I had a table booked at 8 p.m. at this two-Michelin-star restaurant that is considered one of the best in southern Italy.  Have a look to Andy Hayler’s blog, who describes it so precisely in his review.

We were introduced to Alfonso Iaccarino himself, whose grandfather opened the restaurant in 1890.  Alfonso introduced us his son Ernesto, who is now the chef.  Ernesto had recently returned from Peru and said that he was able to get some culinary inspiration.  He also showed us around the kitchen while telling us about his days in Peru.

A hostess took over the tour to the fantastic Etruscan wine cellar that keeps 25,000 bottles!

We were happy to have a taste of the finest, modern, Mediterranean cuisine:

Don Alfonso 1890 has its own organic farm, a cooking school and laboratory, a boutique hotel, and a unique thousand-year old wine cellar!  It also has a restaurant at the Grand Lisboa in Macau.

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We completed a lovely evening at Don Alfonso 1890 with a nightcap on the house, of course!

Perhaps now you are also interested in reading the post ‘I Left My Heart At Don Alfonso’ by Pavia Rosati.

 

Tips:

  • On the ferry from Sorrento to Capri sit on the left-hand side to get the best views.
  • On the bus from Capri town (Marina Grande) to Anacapri sit on the right-hand side to get the best views.

 

Day 3 – At La Minervetta they only serve breakfast, but it is actually a Mediterranean brunch, freshly prepared for the guests in the beautiful, open kitchen.  We were there in April, and every morning we enjoyed it at the large terrace with superb views of the Gulf of Naples and the Mount Vesuvius.  What a delight!

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After breakfast we headed to the Amalfi Coast.  My husband’s driving skills were tested.  I am glad to say that he is an excellent driver!  Check this article, and you will understand why I am mentioning it:  Amalfi Coast Road

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The route is breathtaking, indeed!  Our first stop was this roadside stand.  The citrus fragrance in the car was appropriate for the ride …

 

 

 

 

 

I had only seen a picture of the Fiordo di Furore and wanted to get there.  We found it!

 

I understand now why this route fascinates.  The Amalfi shoreline is idyllic unique.

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We passed Positano

 

 

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and Amalfi town, but decided not to stop as they looked scenic but packed with tourists.  I can imagine how it is during high season …

 

 

Above Amalfi town sits Ravello.  We drove uphill to Villa Cimbrone.  Its gardens are open to the public and the views of the coast and the Mediterrenean are stunning.

 

Back in Sorrento, we spent our last night exploring the splendid ‘backyard’ of La Minervetta with incredible sea views from the inviting perched terrace and the jacuzzi pool — a fresh April for a dip in the pool though.  We got a key from the staff and walked (down and up) the private staircase that took us to the Marina Grande for a farewell drink.

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We could not leave this fantastic region of Italy, without taking with us a collection of FIAT Cinquecento, at least, in digital form …

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6 thoughts on “Seduced by Sorrento, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast

  1. Los lugares son realmente bellisimos, tu nos haces ver la naturaleza con lindos colores, que decir de los lugares para ir a comer ! Fantastico.

    Like

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