Oh, to travel in the Mezzogiorno, the Italian South. This region of Italy Includes the cities of Amalfi, Avellino, Benevento, Caserta, Napoli, Ravello and Salerno.
Arriving at San Michele is always like returning home. We are greeted like family by the owners Nicola Dipino and his wife, Rosa Mammato, and their staff. Anna Maria has looked after us for so many years she really is family! We have recommended this hotel to many and they all have fallen in love with the hotel and location just as we have. We wish we could say that San Michele is a “HIDDEN gem” but that is not the case and it is becoming difficult to get in…so be sure to book early.
Having just returned from our 2012 stay, all the staff are there, with the exceptionof Leo, drop by and visit him at his great pastry shop the Savoia located at the porte into the Piazza Duomo.
This peaceful 12 room hotel hangs off the cliffs high above the sea. The standard rooms, ones you would expect to find along the coast, offer great views. The majority have balconies or terraces overlooking the water. The outdoor spaces are beautiful and there is a swimming platform to enjoy the warm sea water.
As mentioned the hotel hangs from the cliff which means there are plenty of steps going from the street to the hotel and then again from the hotel down to the water. No problem. You can always pace yourself and take in the wonderful views!! In total. there is 250 plus or minus steps so if this is a concern, it may not be the hotel for you.
The view from the restaurant is breathtaking! You can be as dressy or casual as you wish. We have always taken the Half Board option (3 course dinner) which is a pre-requisite, as in most hotels, in the peak season. We have never been disappointed with any Rosa’s imaginative and delicious meals You get two options(one being fish) for both courses. The first plate (usually pasta or risotto) and the second plate being the entrée and vegetables. There is great variety and you come away feeling very satisfied. Mangiamo!!
Villa San Michele is 1 km south of the town of Amalfi. It is an easy walk down to the town and for the less energetic a short bus trip back to the hotel.
The hotel is in an idea position as it has two bus stops just outside its doors. One that goes to Ravello and the other that is the Sorrento-Salerno run. Amalfi is our favourite town on the Amalfi coast. It is perfect as it is the Coastal transportation hub for all buses and ferries.
Amalfi has a beautiful piazza to sip an aperativo doing nothing but people-watch and view the remarkable and beautiful Duomo. Over the years we have become gelato aficionados and the gelateria up from the piazza along the main road, on the left with a yellow canopy, rates as one of the best but also THE most expensive in all of Italy! Oh well, you are on the Amalfi Coast…it is supposed to be expensive!! That being said, the Villa San Michele is a “really good bang for your buck”!!
Wow...what a wonderful experience we had at Da Gemma in Amalfi. I had seen many good reviews including Michelin and they truly lived up to the raves and more. We have been to Italy every year for the past 25 years and our meal ranked in our top 10 favourites.
First of all, we had a lovely table on the terrace and were brought a delicious amuse bouche. That makes for a nice start right off the bat. The basket of bread comprised of a variety of homemade buns and bread and a big step up from what is served at many Italian restaurants where you may be getting leftovers from lunch.
Our two appetizers were very nice. One being a Caprese salad served three different ways. The tomato mozzarella deep fried cake was outstanding. The other dish was tuna carpaccio with a nice blend of lettuces, haricot vert and other ingredients. The contrast of the vinaigrette with the slight sweetness of the tuna made this dish a real winner!!
Our original plan was to have pastas with our appetizers and decided to order a "secondo" entree upon hearing the specials. It was a beautiful moist white fish with a lemon sauce, baby potatoes and capers. We were really glad that we changed to the lighter alternative of fish. It was a large fish and knowing that Italy sells its fish by the grams we knew this was going to be a more expensive route but did not regret our choice.
After being so satisfied with the meal thus far we knew that dessert would be a treat and were not disappointed. My husband had an unusual tiramisu which he enjoyed. I ordered O Limon and it was a show stopper!! It was made up of at least five small little samplings of treats all incorporating the wonderful lemons of the the Amalfi Coast and pistachios. Omg...it was delicioso!!
We were brought two complimentary limoncello which I think is very smart on the part of the restaurant knowing that we were going to paying a substantial price for lunch. My husband had an expresso and with that they brought 10 very tasty treats made up of five different confections.
The wine was good and a reasonable price. The food was beautifully presented. The service was very good with the waiters being attentive without being obtrusive making for a very pleasant meal.
Our overall tab was 140€ and although this is considerably more than we would normally pay for lunch the overall experience was memorable and became a highlight of our many trips to Italy.
Highly recommend the splurge for all you that consider yourselves to be foodies!!
Easy to find: walking into the Piazza Duomo, when you get to the stairs of the Duomo (on your right) take the small passageway/stairs on your left up and the entrance to the second floor/patio restaurant is there.
Capone Servizi Marittimi Boat rentals
Capone Servizi Marittimi
Via Pedamentina, 6
84010 - Maiori (Salerno)
Amalfi Coast - Italy
Tel./Fax. +39 089/853895
Mobil: +39 338/2533308
We thoroughly enjoyed our boat excursion to the island of Capri. There is a maximum of 12 on the boat with lots or room to lounge on the front deck on comfortable mats or seating in the back. The boat starts from Maiori but they will pick you up in Amalfi and in our case Castiglione. The excursion entailed a trip around the island with a swim and then being dropped off in Capri for four hours before heading back. Four hours in Capri is plenty as we find it to be very touristy and being on the boat was the best part. Even though Capri has a lot of tourists it is a "must see" at least once.
Our captain, Andrea was very nice and pointed out things in both Italian and English. They provide beach towels, drinks. and a toilet where you can get changed from your bathing suit to clothes to go into Capri as the swim is prior to going into town.
The Capone family that operates the company is very professional and service oriented. We will definitely take another excursion with them, perhaps along the coast next time. Their boat was lovely and appeared to be new. The excursion to Capri was VERY good value and so much nicer than taking a ferry or one of the excursions that packs you in. The entire excursion was about 8 hours and was worth every euro!!
I would suggest booking ahead so as not to miss out. You might want to schedule the trip at the beginning of your visit to the Amalfi Coast and it will allow you to reschedule if the weather is inclement and the sea is too rough to make the trip on the day that you are booked. Highly recommended!!
Lungomare dei Cavaliere, 16
We stayed here onour 2003 trip and enjoyed our stay at this hotel. The hotel located in the town of Amalfi.
Picture to the left: the view from the rooms facing the sea.
The hotel staff are very helpful and they made you feel at home. We enjoyed drinks on the 4th floor roof-top sun deck as well as down on the dock by the water.
The building, dates to 1900, when it was originally a pasta factory. Now it is a modern hotel with very tasteful decor .Most rooms have small balconies and the Class A and Superior rooms all have water views.
There is a dock down by the water where you can sit, however, there is no sand beach in the area in front of the hotel.
On our stay we took the meal option and found the meals to be a good value. The dinning room is a large pleasant room.
Alway a concern if you drive to the Amalfi Coast is the question of where you can you park your car. No problem here as the hotel has parking for their guests..
One of the aspects we enjoyed the most was the location of the hotel. It is located, along the water, not from from the main piazza of Amalfi, a couple of minutes by foot.
Ristorante La Lanterna
via S. Cesareo, 23/25
When staying in Amalfi we enjoy taking a day trip to Sorrento. On our last visits we have had lunch at Ristorante La Lanterna and each time we have enjoyed the meal.
What caught out eye the first time were the tables outside just off the busy pedestrian street, via S. Cesareo. It would be an opportunity to have lunch and sit outside. The tables, all had salmon-coloured cotton tablecloths and it looked like a pleasant place to sit and enjoy a lunch.
When you first see the restaurant, it will be the single row of tables just off the street that you see, but as you walk in, the patio area becomes larger. If you don't want to sit at one of the outside tables, there is a dinning room inside.
There is a good selection of items on the menu and a range of wines. The food is very good, although it won't be the cheapest place you can eat.
This restaurant is now one of our regular stops in Sorrento. We are looking forward to our next vist.
Via Paolo Emilio Imbriani, 30
Telephone: 081 19718800
web site: www.cilieginahotel.it
We have visited Naples a number of times. On trips to Amalfi, I have traveled by train to visit Naples for the day. In 2012 we decided to stay two nights in Naples. We found this hotel which we found to be a great place to stay.
It is a very small boutique hotel in the Publicito area of Naples. The rooms and lobby are on the fourth floor of a building and it has a lovely roof top terrace with a jacuzzi and beautiful tables and chairs and lounge furniture. In good weather their breakfast was served on the terrace. One night we didn't feel like going out to dinner so we enjoyed panini and a bottle of Prosecco and could hear a concert coming from the Galleria Umberto. The view is lovely up there and was very peaceful.
Our large room with a french balcony was stunning with a decor of white, blue and a hit of red. The bathroom was large and elegant with floor to ceiling stripes of marble. The beds and pillows were extremely comfortable and we had one of our best sleeps on the trip. The luxurious LINEN sheets was just one of the things that added to the "wow" factor of the hotel.
The staff was friendly and very helpful. There was a good sized breakfast buffet although we found the coffee to be very disappointing. The overall hotel ambience; however, more than made up for this.
The location could not have been better! A couple of blocks from the Teatro, Galleria Umberto, nice shopping and a funicular station. There is a taxi stand about a quarter of a block away with some lively outdoor bars and good restaurants in the area. The waterfront is only a couple of blocks away. We ate at Brandi's, one of Napoli's oldest pizza restaurants and thought the pizza was great.
Constrada San Giovanni in Forte
This agriturismo ranks up there because it is a very good value, very clean, has a great location not far from the Certosa di San Lorenzo and the owners will treat you like you have never been treated before.
We stayed here in 2003 and Michele and his wife Marcella greated us, showed us our very clean and comfortable rooms, gave us a tour of the grounds - includes an original Baptistery.
The next morning when we were leaving and they treated us to plenty of their homemade jams and to the shock of Karen and Carmen, Michele shared some of his great wine with us. Sure it was 8:00 am, this is Italy!
The agriturismo is located just off autostrad S19 and is a few km away from the very impressive Certosa di San Lorenzo - not to be missed.
Hotel Villa Sirio
Santa Maria di Castellabate
On our 2006 trip to Italy, we enjoyed our stay in Santa Maria di Castellabate. It was one of those stops where we found ourselves going to the front desk asking if it would be okay to stay yet another night.
Just down the beach was the very pleasant Hotel Villa Sirio which has the Ristorante da Andrea. There are tables in a very nice dinning room as well as tables out on the dock by the water.
We opted for the outside tables and had a very good meal here. Reasonably priced, cooked and presented.
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© Glenn & Karen Marcus
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