The Amalfi Coast, an idyllic region that wraps around Italy’s southern cliffs, is a bucket list locale for many. Its roads wind romantically, the water is a calming azure, and the spaghetti alle vongole is plentiful—the epitome of la dolce vita. But there’s a bit of a wrinkle in this wanderlust fantasy: while flights to Naples are easy to come by for Europeans, Americans have always been forced to make a two to three-stop journey.
Until this summer, that is. In late May, United Airlines launched nonstop service to the southern Italian city from Newark, New Jersey. Now, after eight hours in the air and one by car—a vast improvement—the Amalfi Coast is a newly accessible destination.
But what, exactly, to do on the Amalfi Coast? Here, our recommendations.
When to Go
The summer is Amalfi’s high season. And with good reason: the Tyrrhenian Sea is sparkling, blue, and beckoning, the temperatures in the high eighties, and the citrus groves plump with lemons. It’s also the most crowded, and most expensive.
If you want a surefire scene, the summer is the time to go. Yachts dot the harbor of Positano, and the beach clubs are bouncing. An Aperol Spritz or limoncello are never out of reach. However, those seeking a cultural experience should go in September or October, when the masses disperse, and the calmer charms of Amalfi emerge.
Where to Stay
The Amalfi Coast is comprised of many towns. There’s Positano, the upscale hotspot. Praiano, its quieter and quaint neighbor. Ravello, the hilltop hamlet that offers sweeping views of the coast and beyond. And, of course, Amalfi, with its whitewashed buildings that sprawl alongside the sea.
In Positano, stay at Le Sirenuse. Painted a firehouse red with white trimming, it’s a paradisiacal property with mosaic terraces and elegant guest rooms. Their restaurant, La Sponda, has a Michelin star, and on a clear summer night, you can sit on the Champagne terrace and gaze upon the cliffside homes forever. Then there’s the Hotel San Pietro di Positano, the town’s famed five-star accommodation. In addition to its old-world glamour, San Pietro offers its own private beach—ensuring you’ll always have a bright orange chair and umbrella to sunbathe under. Tucked away in a garden is Palazzo Murat, a 19th-century palace where the King of Naples (and his lovers) used to summer.