Experience Italy's iconic coastline at its best
In Positano, spring arrives before the crowds, making this a blissful time to discover the Amalfi Coast. Crisp, coastal air is just starting to be warmed by the sun. Mountain trails are speckled with ginestra flowers, and fruit pickers carry baskets of lemons down from the hillside groves. While in the town itself, steeply terraced houses hide fine restaurants and some of the best hotels in Positano. When you’re not exploring, take a seat under a canopy draped in wisteria for an afternoon aperitivo or light, seasonal cuisine.
For a taste of the season's best
The arrival of spring doesn’t just brighten up the scenery. Peruse the menus of the local restaurants, and you won’t find anywhere serving up out-of-season food. In the morning, nibble ricotta-filled pastries, or sfogliatella, while sipping an espresso and scanning the skyline.
For lunch or dinner, be sure to sample the juicy artichokes. But be quick – they’re at their best in April, and after that, they could be fresh from the freezer, not the fields. Try them in hearty soups or risottos, or to really savour their flavour, enjoy carciofi alla guida, where they’re tenderized, then deep-fried. Don’t be tempted to order asparagus before May, as it’s unlikely to be fresh. But trust us, the delicate spears will be worth the wait.
For seasonal eats with a twist, book a table at Casa Mele. Whet your appetite with local delicacy – zucchini flower stuffed with creamy ricotta. Then get a taste of the Tyrrhenian Sea with tuna tartare, or amberjack fish with Mediterranean vegetables. Reserve a seat overlooking the open-plan kitchen, to watch the magic happen. And if you’re left feeling full of inspiration, you can even take a cooking class there the following day.
Join the locals for an afternoon aperitivo in one of the coastline’s welcoming bars. Opt for an Aperol Spritz or bubbling Bellini with nibbles on tap, Italian style. At hotel Villa Franca, you can linger over a long drink at the famous Gallis Bar, while watching the boats sail out to Capri. And it’s just as dazzling at night, when you can see the sun set before retreating to your luxury suite.
For island hopping that puts a spring in your step
Much like the Amalfi Coast across the water, Capri is impossibly enchanting in spring. Underneath its showy reputation you’ll find a fascinating island brimming with ancient ruins, tucked-away tavernas and natural wonders.
Hop on a private boat from Positano, and soak up la primavera colours while sipping homemade limoncello. Opt for a tour of the glittering caves and a dip in the Mediterranean. Or simply head straight to Capri town. Here, you can meander through cobbled streets that open out onto pretty piazzas. Piazza Umberto I is known for its iconic clock tower. And as it strikes midday, why not sit down for a lunchtime tipple? Ristorante Pulalli is an out-of-the-way wine bar with an intimate atmosphere and traditional Italian dishes.
Top tip: To really savour the calm of Capri’s low season, head over to Anacapri – the western half of the island. From the rocks below Anacapri, swim through to the brilliant blue waters of the Blue Grotto. But if you’re staying at an island hotel such as J.K. Place Capri, wait until early evening when the boats have all gone, and you may be swimming in solitude.
For breathtaking hikes and views to match
Experience the wonders of spring by hiking through nature. The Path of the Gods runs in many directions, branching out from cliff to coast. But one of our favourite routes starts in Nocelle, a small mountain village overlooking Positano. Walk along adrenaline-pinching paths through swathes of spring flowers. Make your way around winding bends before reaching Vettica Maggiore. From here, pause above the sheer cliffs to see the azure ocean stretch out in front of you – its infinite blue broken only by the frothy wakes of luxury yachts sailing out to sea.