Italy’s Amalfi Coast is one of the most thrilling places on earth. You will live on the edge, in postcard-perfect towns like Positano that cling (very solidly!) to near-vertical slopes. The stupendous views will teach you what “breathtaking” means. Your local guide will startle you quite pleasantly with lunch at a private beach club on Capri, walks through groves of lemon trees sagging under softball-sized fruits, and tales of history that stretch to the Roman emperor Tiberius and beyond. We can’t wait for you to experience your own version of some of our favorite moments.
ESCAPING INTO THE QUISISANA
“What? Wait. Us? This is our hotel?” Feel free to revel in that moment when the Grand Hotel Quisisana opens its doors to you as it has to generations of movie stars and royalty. The Quisi is splendid. The manager is our personal friend, and by extension, yours. You’re instantly at home and the envy of the day-trippers who can’t even imagine the decadent pleasures of your own two-night stay in the heart of Capri town.
PIZZA ON THE PRECIPICE
Just outside Positano, our friend Lucca has his eye out for you. A barrel of his family’s wine is tapped. The wood-fired oven in his kitchen is hot and ready. And so, you toss a little pizza dough, pave it with fresh local mozzarella, and care not a bit of the finished pie is a shape never before seen by man. After all, your homemade lunch is on Lucca’s terrace, facing a sea so beautiful that you may just forget to eat. Pinch yourself if you must (but not too hard because this really is happening to you).
STEPPING INTO POMPEII
Earlier in the week, you stood on the rim of Mt. Vesuvius, and Pompeii was barely a blip in the vast landscape in the volcano’s shadow. Now you’re at ground zero of the 79 AD eruption, feet on the streets of Pompeii. You can hardly believe how expansive it is, how it was buried so deeply for centuries that it was barely remembered. In the company of a private archeologist guide, the city is so real that you can practically see and feel the life that was lived here. It’s a privilege to get such a personal view of Pompeii and a close and humbling brush with history.
TOAST THE LIMONCELLO LIFE
Above Amalfi town, there’s a valley lined with centuries-old paper mills, in ruins now along a shady path. It’s a rare spot with a quiet stream and old-growth trees that for once screen out the view of the sea. For tranquility, it can’t be matched. And for the reward at the end of the trail, it’s truly one of a kind. Our friend Valentino knows you’re headed down, and he’s not about to let you pass his limoncello factory without a taste. You mustn’t be shy (and after a few tastes you won’t be). You raise an icy shot and toast the little piece of your heart that you’ll leave on the Amalfi Coast.