Boutique & Romantic Hotels in Amalfi, Capri & Sorrento, Italy
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Amalfi, Capri & Sorrento
Our selection of boutiqe hotels in Positano, Amalfi, Capri and Sorrento has been carefully created to make the very most of these wonderfully sensual destinations. The names are enough to conjure up images of villages clinging to steep hills above a Mediterranean sea so azure it leaves an imprint in your mind, lemon groves tumbling down the hillside, sunlit piazzas providing the location for a morning cappuccino or an “aperitivo” before dinner.
Something about those Arab-influenced tiles on the church domes, the yellows, reds and blues whispering to you, Stop, relax, slow down – the journey has finished, you’ve arrived, you are on holiday.
And indeed whether you come for the beaches, a bit of pottering round the shops, some culture in the sites of Pompeii or Paestum or simply like the chatter of Italian whilst you eat dinner and enjoy a bit of southern style, our hotels, apartments and inns offer a variety of budgets and styles though each of them is unique and charmingly personal.
We traipsed to the very remote and still traditional corners of the peninsula to meet the manager of an exclusive but preposterously relaxed small and utterly charming hotel with views of Capri, all to be enjoyed from a great comfy sofa on the terrace, surrounded by the exotic scents of Mediterranean macchia.
We found a convent on the upper floor of a 10th century Byzantine monastery with a bougainvillea-laden terrace available for weekly rentals and hotels in Positano that offer great value for money with bedrooms looking right out to see and private terraces trailing vines.
Gastronomy The strong traditions in the region mean that the emphasis on eating well is still a dominant part of the day’s discussion and of above normal importance at lunch and dinner.
The pasta features many local varieties that won’t be found elsewhere in Italy including the curiously named scialatielli and crespolini.
Fresh tomato sauces, the mouth-watering buffalo mozzarella, local seafood and, of course, plenty of lemons in both the sweet and savoury dishes means a Mediterranean diet with a bit of imagination.
People are obsessed here with freshness and the quality of ingredients and it is unusual to be disappointed with the restaurants of the region. One tip we believe in absolutely is to get far away from the main piazzas.
Finding a really good place to eat in Italy is about following the locals, not just where the tourist falls across the closest restaurant. The more you explore those little back streets the more likely it is you will find a cook that has had to work hard to build a reputation to attract clients rather than relied on a great “shop window” in the main square.
To finish off a meal try cleansing the palate with a glass of limoncello, liquid, cool lemon with all of the genuine flavours of Amalfi and Sorrento.
History Like Naples and Rome the Amalfi Coast is one of those regions that have seen a whole host of invaders and rulers creating a historic legacy that is as rich as it is long.
The Greeks were one of the first peoples to inhabit the coast and indeed many of the names are Greek in origin – though in the case of Capri the experts are undecided whether it comes from the Greek “Kapros” meaning wild boar or the Latin “Capreae” for goat.
Whatever the case no-one doubts its ancient origins and even today, visitors to the beautiful island can wander round the ruins of Villa Jovis, Emperor Tiberius’ exclusive holiday home.
Sorrento too has a grand history with discussions abounding as to whether it was the Phoenicians or the Oscans who founded the town. Whoever it was they chose a beautiful spot on a natural tufa ledge with the olive groves and lemons as a stunning backdrop. Amalfi became more well known due to its precocious talents at trading and maritime dominance.
Whilst Venice was still ramming logs into mud banks to stabilize the infant Serenissima, Amalfi was controlling huge swathes of the Mediterranean and trading silks with the Byzantine empire.
It became so powerful that it rivalled Pisa and Genoa, the other fabled Maritime Republics. Influenced by the Arab dynasties dominant in Spain and Sicily at the time, the art of Amalfi even today reflects the geometry, colours and styles of the Almohads.
The towns passed through various hands on the way through the centuries including compulsory spells with the Normans ruling in Puglia and later, Sicily, and then on to the Spanish which would explain some of the Spanish rather than Italian origins of some local words.
The beauty of the villages and island of Capri provided a great attraction for a vast number of illustrious visitors including Maxim Gorky (resident in Sorrento during the 1920s), Lenin, Thomas Mann, Pablo Neruda (Capri, we must admit, is fairly conducive to writing poetry) and Graham Greene.
Culture The culture we find today is a mix of Neopolitan and Italian, with the dialect and gastronomy especially marked by influence from Naples and its Spanish heritage. Whilst the people tend to live up to their stereotypes as loud and passionate, the region is a wonderful place to relax; everything (apart from cars) moves more slowly here, shops still respect the siesta period (closing between 13.30 and 14:30) and families are still larger than the Italian average. Generally the area is poor though the beauty of Positano, Amalfi and the other towns has attracted large numbers of visitors and prices can be inflated in certain areas.
We have tried to build a collection of hotels in Amalfi and elsewhere that move a little of the beaten track with respect to their more realistic prices and genuine natural beauty.
Activities The hotels in Sorrento as well as Positano and Amalfi are superbly positioned to take advantage of the historic sites within the area. Paestum is an hour and a half to the south of Amalfi but well worth the visit – this is one of the best preserved ancient Greek sites anywhere in the Mediterranean basin. Pompeii, or course, is a classic and easy to reach from Sorrento using the local Circumvesuviana train.
If you don’t have a car, frequent buses from both Positano and Amalfi can bring you to Sorrento from where the train takes only half an hour to arrive at the site. Herculaneum is less well known but actually better preserved than Pompeii. It is smaller and the whole site can be visited in two hours or so whilst a day should ideally be left free for Pompeii. Both are extremely exposed to the elements and in summer a hat for the sun, big bottle of water and comfortable shoes are a must.
The network of hydrofoils and other fast ferry services means that from either Positano, Amalfi or Sorrento you can easily make Capri or indeed Naples in a day trip.
Private boats can also be hired to take you to the quieter and more hidden coves with trips across to Capri and the less explored southern side of the island which has a number of interesting caves and steep cliffs dropping into crystal clear waters. If all of this is not enough the Amalfi Coast also has its own maritime park and scuba diving is possible in the very rich and clear waters.
Ancient shepherd trails criss-cross the mountains and a wonderfully different day can be passed exploring the villages that 99% of visitors never get to explore with constant views of the green mountains falling into that blissful sea.
All of our hotels on the Amalfi Coast have something special about them and the same is true for the apartments and other accommodation in Sorrento. It’s a beautiful area and our lodgings perfectly complement this wonderful corner of Italy.
Please note: The rates mentioned in our selection of romantic Amalfi coast and Sorrento hotels are subject to a local tax of 1.50€ per person per night, to be paid in cash upon check-out. This local tax is applied from 1st April to 31st October (inclusive) of each year.
Romantic Hotels in Amalfi, Capri & Sorrento
- Albergo Miramare
- Casale Villarena
- Hotel & Spa Capo La Gala
- Hotel Palazzo Murat
- Hotel Villa Pandora
- Il Convento Bizantino XI
- J.K. Place Capri
- Le Sirenuse
- Maison La Minervetta
- Relais Blu
- Villa dei D´Armiento
- Villa Rina Country House
- Villa Rosa Positano
- Villa San Michele
Romantic & boutique hotels by city in Amalfi, Capri & Sorrento
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