FOCUS


Here, we will give you some light information on Naples & Amalfi Coast. We will also give you an overview of some of the accommodations that we recommend in these areas.


INTRODUCTION


If we think of Naples what comes to mind? Chaos, liberty, pizza, which was invented in Naples, Pompeii and everywhere you look the Vesuvius is there. Naples, like Rio De Janeiro, has a God given setting. Close by there are islands that convey style (Capri), monasteries isolated on rocks you can only reach when the tide is out (Ishcia) and incredible fango (mud) baths. In Ravello you can walk the famed path of the Gods.

Let’s face it, this is a massively rich area for things to see and do and we have not even begun to discuss the wine yet. Just 45 minutes away from this is Avellino, pretty much the centre of wine making in this region.

Fanning out from Avellino are some of the most interesting named and outstanding white wines of Italy and not only that as far as the reds (rosso) are concerned, you are going to find the mythical barolo of the south the Aglianico in its many forms none more famous than Taurasi. How long do you need? We think 2 to 3 nights, if you are combining this area with another region of Italy. If you want to just concentrate on this zone, then there is enough here to enjoy to easily spend 7 to 10 days.

When to come? All year round except August.

Where to stay? Well, we have just three hotels on this list as they tend to be the favourites, but we work with many many hotels be it on Capri, Ravello or Sorrento. Remember that travelling into the wine regions of Campania is actually quicker from Naples than anywhere else. We have yet to find a hotel in the wine zones, which means you need to add in 2-hour journey daily to get to and from the interesting vineyards. We do have a day out close to Ravello with three superb wineries, but if you are looking for the real Aglianico or Fiano, then you need to move inland a little.

Driving. Do not self drive in Naples or Amalfi Coast, it will not do anything for your stress levels. Let us look after that!

Table of contents


Hotels:

Grand Hotel Parker’s: Naples. Campania

Arriving in through the attractive Liberty façade – all is quiet, calm and supremely elegant. In Naples this is a real oasis that is needed. Gilt, marble, fine fabrics and antiques give the lobby and its spacious adjacent sitting areas a real sense of luxury. Parker has 83 bedrooms and suites and each floor of bedrooms is decorated in its own style from France. Former guests, include Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and Mr Lenin. Eating at Parker’s is done on the sixth floor, in George’s restaurant and breakfast on the terrace with panorama spread out over palm trees and the island of Capri in the distance. The location at the top of one of Naples many hills makes for stunning views but also means moving around is a little more complicated than if you were down in the centre, but we feel these views and the tranquility up here are more than worth it.

Website Grand Hotel Parkers

TripAdvisor Comments

Hotel: Amalfi Vacation Residence, Amalfi Coast. Campania

Nestled in the heart of Amalfi, this is our go to apartments on the whole of the Amalfi Coast. Why? Quite simply for the price quality. It is run by the best management company and the owners of the Santa Caterina Hotel in Amalfi, which is the 5-star luxury older brother of these apartments. There are a few steps to reach the apartments, but no cars and well insulated rooms mean no disturbances. Everything is at 5-minute walk away: coffee, bars and abundant restaurants. Lofts sleep two comfortably, four is a squeeze or you just lack a little privacy. Five of these apartments are self-catering and fully equipped. There is a delightful little pool and deck too. Internet and air-conditioning are included. There is a final cleaning cost to be added. All in all, if you are not bothered by hotel services, this is the place to be, need to book early as they are very popular.

Website Amalfi Vacation Residence

Hotel: Casa Angelina. Amafi Coast. Campania

Clean lines and Whited out everything gives this place something very special on Amalfi.

Modern Art work both painting and sculpture  is cleverly used to shake things up a bit. There are more staff per guests ratio at Angelina than any other hotel on the Amalfi coast.The Marrakech Bar serves up amazing cocktails and their Cigar room is probably the best in Southern Italy. Food and Beverage is a very big draw here and like most of the hotels in this area they want to be able to keep you inside and need to make a compelling offer and we can assure you here they do that in buckets.  Priano is the most prestigious of all the cliff hugging villages on the Amalfi coast, it is alos one of the highest with uninterrupted views over Postiano and beyond.  There is a shuttle bus to Positano for those who want to go shopping and just to enjoy the sights and sounds of the villages, be waned though from May to September you will not be alone.

There are many wonderful hotels on this coast, be it the Santa Catarina or the Monastero Santa Rosa but for those who need something with clean lines, a modern feel a younger and more hip crowd than this is the place to be and be seen. Reassuringly expensive and highly recommended.

Website: Casa Angelina

TripAdvisor Comments

Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi. Amalfi Coast. Campania

GRAND HOTEL CONVENTO DI AMALFI

This  is our preferred hotel on the Amalfi Coast, A most spectacular cliff-top hotel  which is in fact a lovingly converted 13th-century monastery.

One of the things we love about this hotel is the private walkway down to Amalfi, this makes all the difference. We also love the fact that all rooms have gorgeous full sea views,  original terracotta floors and spacious marble bathrooms. The Spa is a delight with a modern wellness centre with gym and Turkish bath. There is good  free Wi-Fi throughout and  an impressive infinity pool overlooking the cliffs and a heated pool in the winter. All in all this hotel offers all the amenities you could need, with a privileged position close to Amalfi. We think a minimum stay of 3 nights is justified.

Website Grand Hotel Convento Di Amalfi

Tripadvisor Comments 

Hotel: Convent Luna. Amalfi. Campania

It is hard to believe that this was a monastery until you see the incredible cloisters which are this 4 star hotels selling point along with their spectacular views. The date of construction dates to 1222, by the follows of St. Francis of Assisi. Why is that the religious orders always choose the right places. It served as a monastery until the early 1800s until the signing of the  Terracina Agreement which changed religious freedoms drastically. The First hotel on the whole coast Built on a rocky outcrop, between the coastal inlets of Amalfi and Atraniis situated just 400 meters from the main town of Amalfi and is better for it. Access to the town although close is along the main road (Built in 1857) which is not comfortable for some guests especially in summer when its incredibly busy, Some road noice is felt in the hotel. The Hotel does has a range of rooms, but remembering their cell like origins, and we suggest moving up a few categories. Restaurant is good, expensive and breakfast a highlight due to the views. The hotel has been blessed with the great and the good over the years including Wagner, Simone de Beauvoir 1960 and Ibsen is said to have written “The Doll’s House” here.

Luna Hotel Website

TripAdvisor Comments

Hotel: Monastero Santa Rosa. Amalfi. Campania

This stunning property overlooking Amalfi and Positano only has  20 rooms and suites. When you arrive at the structure you would think this is a vast cavernous property considering the terraced gardens and beautifully manicured lawns and gardens. Think vaulted ceilings, Carrara marble bathrooms with all the rooms overlooking the stunning  Conca dei Marini. While the Santa Rosa has a monastic feel but overcomes this beautifully being  full of Italian antiques juzstaxopsed with clean whitewashed walls  with as many of the rooms and areas all looking out at deep blue sea and and Gulf of Salerno.

Il Refetorio is  Santa Rosa’s Michelin-Starred restaurant,  as the executive chef  Christoph Bob says “Nowhere on earth does the sun and the soil give us such richness of flavours as do the fresh produce, herbs, and seafood found right here on our coast.” The Wine cellar is a total treat which for Robertson Wine Tour clients is a definite plus. We love the fact that breakfast can be served  at no extra charge in the comfort of your room on silver trays or outside under the pergola with the world class views. We are not sure how the numbers work with such a large structure to maintain and with staff discreet but seemingly always there. But ours is not to wonder, it is for our clients to enjoy. Super Infinity pool, wellness zone and shuttle into Amalfi the Monastero Santa Rosa has it all. There are many incredible structures on this famous coastline but Monastero Santa Rosa certainly is amongst the best and most friendly.

Website Monastero Santa Rosa

TripAdvisor Comments

Hotel: Residence Amalfi. Amalfi Coast. Campania

The Residence Amalfi is a classic small and family run hotel situated right in front of the sea and slap bang in the centre of Amalfi. Built in the 18th century for a noble family, the hotel has many beautiful touches and original features, with plenty of charming spaces to enjoy an aperitif or read your book. Whilst being right in the centre of the town (which can be very busy), there is a quiet stress-free feeling inside the structure. With under 30 rooms, this feels more like stepping back in time to unhurried travel, friendly and discreet service with a family caring in the background. All rooms are different and come with the characteristic colourful tiles in bathrooms and on the floors. We have never had anything, but praise from our clients who have stayed here.

Website Residence Amalfi

TripAdvisor Comments

Hotel: Santa Caterina, Amalfi Coast.Campania

Santa Caterina is a late 19th century liberty style villa immersed in the beautiful scenery of the Amalfi Coast, a very elegant seaside residence surrounded by the gorgeous blue of the Mediterranean Sea. All of this property enjoys luscious bougainvillea, cultivated olive groves and fruit orchards. The villa is stuffed full of treasures and none more so than the staff who are perhaps the best trained and friendliest that we have found in this region. Clients love the pools, the spa, the food, nothing is amiss. This is five stars luxury in every sense of the word. You need to book ahead, as they have nearly a 100% occupancy rate that should tell you everything you need to know.

Website Santa Caterina

TripAdvisor Comments

Capri Wine Hotel, Capri. Campania

Although only a 3-star hotel, mainly due to the lack of pool, we love this small intimate lodge. With a delightful terrace overlooking the sea, the Capri Wine Hotel offers a homely and gentle atmosphere that delights our clients. The hotel is perched above Marina Grande, with spectacular balcony views of the Bay of Naples. Other attractions apart from the wine bar are the lemon grove, a small vineyard and their own vegetable garden. Due to the well priced rooms, we prefer their junior suites, which feature a four-poster bed and private sea view terrace. All the rooms are equipped with air conditioning, satellite television, mini bar, safety deposit box and an exclusive range of complimentary toiletries made with grapes.

Website Capri Wine Hotel

TripAdvisor Comment

Naples

NAPLES

“Vedi Napoli e poi muori” – “See Naples and then die” is what they say. However, entering Naples for the first time, especially from the busy and chaotic train station, you might think “See Naples and I die”. Fortunately, Naples also has its beautiful side. Naples is characterized by the cohabitation of opposites: good and evil, joy and sadness, beauty and decay. Besides for its exceptional pizzas, experiencing this continuing struggle of the two spirits of the city is the reason why you should come.

Here is a short selection of what you should try to fit in when you are here.

Eat a great pizza  at either: Sorbillo, Brandi or Da Michele (where Julia Roberts ate her pizza in “Eat, Pray, Love”). Visit Naples Archaeological Museum, where the incredible Farnese Collection is held. The unique and exquisite marble veiled Christ in the Sansevero Chapel. Visit the Spaccanapoli, the street that divides Naples. Finally you cannot be in Naples and not try a sfogliatella, a local ricotta delicacy .

Amalfi Coast

AMALFI

A hugely popular destination, Amalfi is an appealing ensemble of ceramic shops, hidden alleyways and beach side restaurants. There is, however, little to suggest that it was once the capital of a powerful maritime republic with a population of more than 70,000. It is not a big place and there are few historical buildings of note. But more than its sights, Amalfi is all about its impossibly beautiful setting, the perfect spot for aimless wandering and long lingering lunches with white wines of unpronounceable names.

SORRENTO

Sorrento is an incredibly appealing place with its laid-back southern Italian charm. It is less busy and frenetic than Amalfi with some delightful boulevards and great shops. We think this is a great place to spend an afternoon.

The Islands: Capri, Ischia & Procida

CAPRI 

A stark mass of limestone rock that rises through impossibly blue water, Capri is the perfect microcosm of Mediterranean appeal: a smooth cocktail of chichi piazzas and cool cafés, Roman ruins and rugged seascapes.

ISCHIA

The biggest island in the bay, Ischia is a concoction of sprawling spa towns, mud-wrapped Germans, subtropical gardens and ancient booty. Famous for its thermal waters, it boasts some fine beaches and spectacular scenery, great wines and incredible restaurants.

PROCIDA

Mercifully off the mass-tourist radar, Procida is the smallest, least spectacular and most genuine of the bay’s three islands. August aside (when beach-bound mainlanders flock to its shores), it is a quiet place, where life goes on largely undisturbed by outsiders.

Sidetrips


Half-Day Trip to Pompeii


This tour will start with picking you up at your hotel on the Amalfi Coast. Arriving at Pompeii, you will have 2 to 3 hours to visit the ruins on your own or with a private guide. After your visit, your driver will take you back to your hotel.


Full-Day Trip to Pompeii & Vesuvius 


The full day trip to Pompeii and Vesuvius starts with picking you up at your hotel for the journey up and over the mountain to Pompeii. When arrived in Pompeii, you will have 2 hours to visit the site on your own or with a private guide. Before going to the Vesuvius, you will have the chance to have a brunch with the delicious wines of Contea di Sylva Mala. Your driver will take you as far up the side of the volcano as possible with the car. From that point there is a footpath you can take to get right up to the edge of the crater. It is a 20 to 30-minute walk. Here you cannot only look down into the crater, but you will also have a wonderful view of Naples and the isle of Capri. Once you have made your way back down the side of the volcano, your driver will bring you back to your hotel.


Capri


To visit Capri you can take a hydrofoil to the island direct from various ports on the Amalfi Coast. You can see the island on your own or if you would like to go with a guide, we can arrange one for you to meet you upon arrival at the port of Capri. A guided tour could look like this:

Upon meeting your guide at the port of Marina Grande on Capri, you can either make your way to a boat that will take you out to see the Blue Grotto or if this is not possible, you will go by funicular, minibus or taxi up to the town of Capri, the chic centre of the island. Capri’s main square, la Piazzetta, is filled with charming outdoor cafes and shops. The centre of the town is a maze of narrow little lanes winding between traditional whitewashed buildings. Walking a little further will take you past cafes and restaurants and out along quieter, bougainvillea-draped lanes. From here, following a cobblestone pathway that goes up the hillside, we come to the Gardens of Augustus, once owned by German industrialist Friedrich A. Krupp, who planted the gardens when he lived on Capri and later donated them to the town. The town named the gardens after Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperor who first visited Capri in 29 AD and later bought the island from Naples.

From Capri you will go to Anacapri, on the western side of the island, where you have the opportunity to take a chair lift up to the top of Mount Solara, which is a 15-minute ride approximately. Once at the top, you will have an amazing view of Anacapri, the Gulf of Naples, the Gulf of Sorrento and the Faraglioni. The Villa San Michele is also in Anacapri. The villa was built by a Swedish doctor, Axel Munthe, in the late 19th century. He designed an amazing house, incorporating pieces of the ancient ruins into his plans. Munthe described the story of the villa in his book, The Story of San Michele, which we would recommend you to read when you are planning to visit Capri.

Also from Anacapri you can visit the Blue Grotto by taking a taxi down to the shore and access a long stairs that will take you to the entrance of the cave. Here, you can step into the small row boats that take you into the Grotto. Each rowboat takes only 3 people. The grotto opening is barely visible from outside and passengers have to lie down as the boat goes into the cave. Inside the grotto, the light refracting through the sea illuminates the cave with an eerie blue light, which is incredible.

From here, we will go back to Marina Grande, where your guide leaves you for the return trip on the hydrofoil to the Amalfi Coast port of your choice.

Contact us