Way to Go

Fathom Favorites: The Amalfi Coast + Capri

by Team Fathom
Villa Villa Treville in Positano. Photo by Pavia Rosati.
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Are you one of the millions heading to the Amalfi Coast this year? (Us, too.) Don’t land in Naples without our essential guide for your dolce vita fantasy.

  • The adorable B&B worth it for the breakfast alone.
  • The best spaghetti in Nerano. (Which is it?)
  • The scenic coastal hike past olive groves and ancient ruins.
  • A dreamscape inspired by the perfect garden.
  • The restaurant famous for its pizza all’acqua — and its famous clientele.

If you prefer a day-by-day itinerary, you’ll want our new 3-Day Guide to the Amalfi Coast. It will go on sale soon but we’re sending it as a gift to all annual subscribers, along with our guides for Venice, Florence, and Rome.

The Amalfi Coast spans the Tyrrhenian Sea from Naples down to Salerno, though the sweet spot is the stretch between Sorrento and Amalfi. Yes, it can get very touristy and crowded. (Hi, Positano.) But the Amalfi Coast is also a thriving, year-round community of proud and welcoming locals, artisans, and farmers. And it’s so beautiful — a magical area that bewitches with sea and scenery. Remember when Odysseus fell victim to the sirens’ song? He was cruising these waters. 

Now, how should you spend your time? That depends on your vacation dreams, but keep in mind that though distances between points seem close on the map (and they are, as gulls fly), the road (long, twisty, stunning) makes for slow going. Which means it might be a good idea to pick a base and stay close if you don’t want to waste hours of vacation days sitting in traffic. But do waste a day on a boat exploring the coastline — Li Galli islands, the fjord at Furore, the ancient Roman ruins at Marina di Crappola, and any other patch of beauty that catches your eye — stopping for a pasta feast on a beach. 

Here’s our cheat sheet from north (Sorrento) to south (Amalfi/Ravello).


Sorrento is better as a transportation hub than a destination. Too many tourists, cruise ships, chaos. Too bad, because when you strip that all away, it’s a beautiful town.

Maison la Minervetta Hotel impeccable decor with a nautical vibe.
Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria historic, grand hotel with acres of gardens.
Bellevue Syrene giving gracious luxury for more than 200 years. 
Accademia 39charming, cozy, cool B&B in the center of town.
Palazzo Jannuzzi — a B&B worth it for the breakfast alone.

Eat + Drink
L’Antica Trattoriaa step back in time with gracious service.
O’ Parrucchianoclassic cuisine in a charming lemon grove.
Il BucoSorrento’s first Michelin star; still going strong.
Pizzeria da Francoa casual spot for a quick slice or a long pie. 
Bar Syrenusefor coffee, cocktails, a quick lunch, and snacks.

Do + Shop
Quanto Basta private and small group cooking classes.
Siniscalchi handmade and custom sandals since 1950.
Mario Adarioif you forgot to pack your Brunello Cucinelli.
Pompeii + Herculaneumthe local train to Scavi leaves from Sorrento.

The Sorrentine Peninsula

The hordes rush from Sorrento to Positano, cutting off this jewel along the coastline. All the better for you to enjoy it!

The rest of this article — with top picks for the Sorrentine Peninsula, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, and Capri — is for newsletters subscribers only. (You should totally subscribe.) Sign up for Way to Go for more destination cheat sheets and insider intel. And remember, the doctor is in, so send your burning travel dilemmas to the Fathom Travel Shrink.

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.