There’s a lot of deep-blue sea and limoncello in our future.
Here’s our Amalfi Coast game plan and the fruits of my “zealous” (aka obsessive, kept-me-up-at-night) research. Emiliano, you are a patient man.
Villa Scarpariello– Perched on the cliffs of Ravello with unforgettable views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Villa Scarpariello is considered the “15th century pearl of Amalfi Coast.” The tower and medieval villa were built in 1533, hosting everyone from the last sovereigns of Italy- Vittorio Emanuele II and Queen Elena- to Jackie O. I came across this Amalfitana gem after hours of internet research and knew we had to have it- all of it. The views, the gardens, the history and, what has been my experience so far, stellar service (FYI- the villa is a family-run establishment) Emiliano, the manager with saintly patience, has organized everything from sunset drinks to boat trips for us. He has also arranged for us to sun, sip and be seen at their equally stunning sister property, Villa San Michele…
Villa San Michele– Following the stone steps through fragrant terraced gardens, through the lemon trees, bougainvillea and jasmine, we’ll arrive at Villa San Michele’s main house and restaurant. This looks to be the relaxed, blue & white-tiled “beach cottage” to the more formal Scarpariello “main house” next door. Emiliano says we should arrive at sunset so we can relax and sip Prosecco on the deck, watching the ferries slip past from Naples and Capri. We’ll sip and daydream while their much-respected Signora whips up a pasta and seafood feast. Sounds just about perfect.
Torre Normanna– I told Emiliano (dear, sweet Emiliano… I should probably pack a bottle of Johnnie Walker in my luggage for him) that we were tough customers. Jamie’s a chef, I’m a wine/ambiance snob and every dinner while on the Amalfi Coast had to be a show-stopper. Torre Normanna, without hesitation. “The views are breathtaking, signorina. The local seafood is exquisitely prepared, signorina. The wine list extensive, featuring the flinty whites of Campania, signorina…” I think we have a winner. And I can finally stop emailing Emiliano.
Le Palme Ristorante– The winding hike from Ravello to Atrani is supposed to be spectacular so it’s for Day #2 in Amalfi. And what better way to finish a calorie-blasting trek than with fried seafood and wine? Le Palme, located in the small, less-touristy town of Atrani, looks to serve simple, cold seafood salads, my favorite frittura mista as well as delicious-looking fresh pastas.
La Sponda (@Le Sireneuse)- The tippy top apex of our travels- our “Last Supper” splurge at the Michelin-starred La Sponda restaurant at the legendary Le Sireneuse Hotel. I have subscribed to Travel + Leisure magazine since I was 16 years-old. And so, since age 16, I have dreamed of Le Sireneuse. I have dreamed of sipping bubbly on the terrace of their champagne & oyster bar. I have dreamed of having dinner with someone special in the glow of 400 candles and the setting sun. This is Bucket List stuff. I hope she lives up to the dream.
Villa Cimbrone Gardens– Click to view the pictures. Words can not do it justice!
And then there’s the swimming, tanning, do-nothing time that Italian seaside vacations are all about…