When it comes to romance, you can’t beat a road trip. And when it comes to routes, there’s nothing quite like the Amalfi Coast. Incredible views, beautiful beaches and undeniable dolce vita make it perfect for mini-moons. Plus you can take in as many of the best Amalfi Coast hotels as possible. Be prepared for hairpin bends and some hair-raising moments. Then again, that’s all part of the fun.
You can hire a modern, air-conditioned Fiat Bravo or something similar from most towns and airports. But for head-turning style – and to take the romance up a gear – think about a classic convertible from Spider Lifestyle or Sprintage Classic Car Touring.
Something like a timeless Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider or Vintage Fiat 500 Bambino will make every drive extra special. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to fold in the wing mirrors when you park on the roadside.
STEP ONE: RAVELLO TO POSITANO
You could begin your journey in Greta Garbo’s one-time hideaway: Ravello. Its Villa Rufolo Gardens are a sublime place to relish your first Amalfi Coast panorama. You’re close to the cathedral here too. Just bear in mind that the centre of town is a car-free zone, so you’ll need to park on the outskirts.
Mini-moon moment: book in advance at Mamma Agata’s Country House, on Ravello’s fringes. You’ll be taught to cook on a lemon tree-scented clifftop, by a legend of local cooking who once fed the likes of Humphrey Bogart and Fred Astaire.
Strada Statale 163 links Ravello and Positano. It’s arguably the most spectacular part of any Amalfi Coast road trip – a route that skirts the shoreline for those famous, heart-stealing views. The journey may only take an hour, but it’s worth stretching it out to catch at least one of these gems along the way:
• Atrani – this tiny town tends to escape the tourist crowds. Stroll hand-in-hand through the labyrinth-like streets until a lunch spot takes your fancy.
• Marina di Praia – a pebble beach at the base of a craggy cliff, with walks that swirl around the ancient Torre a Mare watchtower.
• Gavitella – a stunning place to take in views of Capri and, depending on your timing, the sunset. It’s best to park in Praiano before tackling the steep steps to the cove.
STEP TWO: POSITANO TO SORRENTO
Our tip? Leave the car at your hotel, or a private garage, and dedicate a few days to Positano. While it can get packed with locals and visitors alike, there’s a reason – it’s simply beautiful.
Rest road-weary legs on beaches that have stolen the hearts of everyone from Picasso to Elizabeth Taylor. Spiaggia Grande is the biggest and usually busiest, but that makes it fantastic for people watching. For a more intimate bay, take a boat from the dock to lesser-known Laurito. After that, watch the famous Positano sunset as the jumbling buildings that cling to the cliff light up.
Mini-moon moment: walking the ‘Path of the Gods’ is a classic but unmissable excursion. The Path connects the tucked-away hilltop towns around Positano and promises take-your-breath-away scenery at almost every turn.
When it’s time to jump back in the car, follow signs to Sorrento that’ll take you on the SS145. With time to spare here, you could hike Lattari Mountain trails, sip limoncello on Piazza della Vittoria and share Italian-sized seafood platters at a Marina Grande restaurant.
Sorrento is also an excellent base for detours to world-famous Pompeii and Herculaneum. You can also hop on the ferry to Capri Island, in search of some authentic Capri pants made famous by style icon Jackie O. Just be sure to leave the car on the mainland – Capri is car-free for most of the year and public transport makes it easy to get around.