Drive the Amalfi Coast of Italy

Driving the Amalfi Coast is a one-of-a-kind experience
Driving the Amalfi Coast is a one-of-a-kind experience | © Francesco Riccardo Iacomino / Getty Images
Photo of Molly Codyre
17 July 2020

Road trips along the Amalfi Coast feels like the epitome of la dolce vita. Cruising past the inviting Tyrrhenian Sea, horse riding through Vesuvius National Park and learning to cook in Praiano are all part of exploring Italy’s most beautiful stretch of coastline. This is our pick of the best places to stay and things to do on the journey.

Vico Equense

Grand Hotel Angiolieri

Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Grand Hotel Angiolieri / Expedia
The palatial Grand Hotel Angiolieri sits high above the Sorrento coast. Dating back to 100 BC, the house was originally built as a Roman villa before being transformed into a convent, then into a hotel in the 19th century. The pool blends into the ocean and the horizon beyond, a dreamy place to cool off from the Mediterranean sun. Rooms are the perfect fusion of Italian grandeur and coastal charm – think bright and airy spaces with intricate tiling, sumptuous textiles and enormous balconies where you can throw open the doors and drink in the magnificent views.
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Pompeii ruins on horseback with lunch on Vesuvius

Archaeological site, Natural Feature
Map View

Treat yourself to a small-group, adventure-filled day of history, culture and Italian wine. Explore one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, guided by an archaeologist, before being welcomed onto a vineyard-surrounded terrace on Mount Vesuvius where you’ll be able to taste local food and sample Vesuvian wine. Afterwards, you’ll head out on a guided horse ride through Vesuvius National Park 500m (1,640ft) above sea level, on the very volcano that brought life in the ancient Roman city to a halt.

Sorrento

Grand Hotel Aminta

Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Grand Hotel Aminta / Expedia
Rising like a grand dame on the hills above Sorrento, Grand Hotel Aminta is a peach-hued villa with sweeping views over the Bay of Naples. The ’60s-esque architecture contrasts seamlessly with sleek and modern interiors, enormous outdoor terraces and white-washed decor. Food is rustic Neapolitan at its best: think gnocchi alla sorrentina – fresh Italian pasta; sweet and juicy fresh tomatoes; rich and creamy mozzarella. In the warmer months, opt for an al fresco table on the terrace to make the most of the balmy evenings.
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Hike the Path of the Gods from Sorrento

Hiking Trail
Map View

In a small 15-person group, this guided hike along the Path of the Gods will lead you on a rocky path up to panoramic views of the sea, mountains and the dramatic cliffs of the coastline where they meet. The half-day guided hike between Bomerano and Nocelle includes round-trip travel from Sorrento, leaving you with plenty of photos opportunities and an experience you won’t soon forget. Remember to bring hiking shoes.

Amalfi Coast

Casa Angelina

Hotel, Luxury
Map View
Courtesy of Casa Angelina / Expedia
Quite literally built into the Amalfi cliffs, you would be hard pressed to find a more magical location that captures the grandeur of this otherworldly stretch of Italy. Uninterrupted views from the floor-to-ceiling windows capture the landscape perfectly. 250 steps will lead you down to the hotel’s private beach, where tangerine-coloured umbrellas and sun loungers sit on a concrete outcrop, from which you can launch yourself directly into the inviting Tyrrhenian Sea.
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Cooking class in Praiano

School
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Join a local couple for lunch or dinner in their Praiano home. Carla and Rocco love to share their passion for Italian food and local culture. Both have worked in the country’s world renowned restaurant industry. The class begins with a relaxing welcome aperitif, homemade snacks and a stroll through the on-site garden. The menu varies depending on the seasons, so you could learn to cook anything from fresh pasta and homemade sauce to melanzane a scarpone – a dish of aubergines topped in a deliciously salty caper and kalamata olive tomato sauce. Enjoy the fruits of your labour on a terrace overlooking the sea, watching the sun go down as your feast with your new friends.

These recommendations were updated on July 17, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.