Southern Italy?s Amalfi Coast, a jetset playground since the early 1900s, glitters below the Bay of Naples. Azure waters, dramatic cliffs, and a low-key lifestyle make these jewel-like towns idyllic stops for some dolce far niente?beautiful repose.
My family?s roots are in Sorrento, a seaside village known for natural beauty and laid-back luxury (Sofia Loren holds the keys to the city). Begin your trip with a Vespa ride to the secluded Concha del Sogno (Via San Marciano, 9) for a sun-drenched day away from the crowds. Be sure to cool off with a glass of chilled limoncello at the beach club?s chic bar.
In Sorrento, a stroll to La Conchiglia (Via Fuoro, 79) for Mario Cavaliere?s gorgeous custom-made leather sandals is always on my list. For a local shopping experience and artisan goods, peruse the open-air market held every Tuesday (Via San Renato)?you won?t leave empty-handed. Primavera Gelateria (Corso Italia, 142) offers a rainbow of cloud-like gelato: opt for a scoop of Baci (my personal favorite), nocciola, or limone di Sorrento.
Head to Ristorante La Lanterna Due (Via Santa Maria Delle Grazie, 28) for post-beach spaghetti alle vongole and a pitcher of Sorrento?s version of sangria: white wine with fresh peaches. You?ll be treated with true Italian hospitality?just ask for my uncle, Italo Puoti! Filou Club in buzzing main square Piazza Tasso is ideal for live jazz and dancing until dawn.
The posh isle of Capri is just a quick boat-ride away from Sorrento?s port. Explore sparkling inlets and the sapphire Blue Grotto before taking the funicular tram up to the piazzetta for haute street style and shopping. Visit Carthusia Profumi di Capri (Viale Matteoti, 2d) for Amalfi-inspired fragrance?a spritz of Fiori di Capri will take you back to the island?s lush gardens. Dorotea Liguori?s D.L. Capri (Via Vittorio Emanuele, 47) boasts uniquely elegant pearl and coral jewelry defining Caprese style.
Ready for some relaxation? Accessible only by boat, Il Riccio Restaurant and Beach Club rests on a rocky perch above the Tyrolean Sea. For a deluxe spa treatment and a plate of chef Salvatore Elefante?s exquisite frutti di mare, end your stay at this secluded outpost with a view you will dream of for years to come.