Famed for its spellbinding scenery, it’s no wonder that Italy’s Amalfi Coast is a favorite honeymoon destination, as well as a retreat for VIPs and celebrities. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this stunning coastal region is scattered with sleepy seaside towns, superb restaurants, and luxurious cliff-top resorts overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. With the scenic highway winding along the coastline, driving the Amalfi Coast makes an unforgettable road trip and holiday destination — but there’s a lot more to do than just soak up the scenery on your honeymoon.
Romantic Amalfi Coast Hotels
Hotel Santa Caterina
Resting on the clifftop above the town of Amalfi, Hotel Santa Caterina is the perfect place for a love-in. From this white-stucco estate dating back to 1904, expect an opulent setting, superb service, and utterly enchanting scenery of the Mediterranean Sea and sky. What’s truly special are the two honeymoon villas designed for romance, each equipped with sunken whirlpool baths and sun-kissed terraces overlooking the Amalfi Coast. The hotel amenities aren’t too shabby either: two restaurants with panoramic sea views; an exclusive beach club with access to a heated saltwater pool and a private beach, plus a luxurious spa that uses Mediterranean herbs and citrus fruits in their treatments.
Monastero Santa Rosa
For heaven on earth, there’s Monastero Santa Rosa – a cliffside 17th-century monastery turned boutique hotel and spa in the village of Conca dei Marini. Each of the 20 rooms and suites are curated with Italian antiques and little luxuries: some have elegant living and dining rooms, while others have terraces shrouded by bougainvillea overlooking the Gulf of Salerno. Enjoy a couple’s massage outdoors in the private Treatment Garden, followed by a moonlight dip in the infinity pool hemming on a towering cliff that’s more than 600 feet above the sea. At breakfast, split a sfogliatella – a delicate pastry filled with ricotta and citrus fruit zest that was invented at this monastery centuries earlier.
Hotel Villa Franca
If you crave an intimate getaway in a showstopper setting, stay at the exclusive Hotel Villa Franca. One of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, this peaceful hilltop retreat is perched high above Positano and offers stunning vistas of the Amalfi Coast. Each of the 45 elegant rooms are adorned with majolica and Italian marble alongside modern art, and lead out onto a veranda with impressive views. Get Zen at O’Spa and then dine by candlelight at Ristorante Li Galli — the in-house restaurant that’s blessed with a Michelin-starred chef and floor-to-ceiling windows revealing “sky meets sea views.” But the best reason to check in? Enjoy a champagne toast from the incredible rooftop pool that yields unobstructed 360-degree views of Positano’s iconic cliffs and glittering Tyrrhenian Sea.
Romantic Things to Do in the Amalfi Coast
Take a Road Trip in a Private Car
Getting to the Amalfi Coast is half the battle: expect insanely congested traffic on narrow streets, impossible road conditions, and parking situations that defy physics. One way to avoid this stress on your honeymoon is to arrange a private car service to schlepp you to and from the destination. Tours Around Naples will take you anywhere on the Amalfi Coast, offering completely customizable itineraries that include everything from visiting little seaside towns to secluded beaches to the best panoramic lookouts for romantic photoshoots. Bonus: take a side trip to the archaeological ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the legendary ancient Roman towns destroyed by Mount Vesuvius’ eruption in 79 AD.
Take a Sunset Cruise
Charter a private boat with Cassiopea Excursions and cruise along the Amalfi or Sorrento coastline with a glass of prosecco in hand. The pace is leisurely, stopping to swim and snorkel in the turquoise waters, and to visit the beautiful Triton and African grottos. Lounging on the sun deck, admire the idyllic Li Galli islands off the coast of Positano: legend says these three rocky isles were inhabited by magical Sirens who lured ships with their melodious but mesmerizing voices. After a sunset dip, stop at one of the quaint little fishing villages for a drink or dinner.
Hike the Path of the Gods
The name says it all: towering high above the Amalfi Coast, this 30-mile hilltop path yields majestic vistas of beaches, valleys and seemingly endless sea. The scenic trail zigzags between hilltop villages, with multiple starting points between Nocella and Bomerano, and takes roughly five hours to complete. For the grandest views, your best bet is to walk westward from Praiano. Pack a gourmet picnic (complete with champagne, of course) and share a bite while absorbing the divine views. It’s no wonder that the Path of the Gods is considered one of the most spectacular treks in Europe.
Take a Cooking Class
If there’s one reason to honeymoon in the Amalfi Coast, it’s for the mouth-watering cuisine. From Neapolitan-style pizza to lemon pastries, there is a smorgasbord of flavors to explore – and what better way than by learning to cook like a local? In Positano, Ristorante Buca di Bacco offers culinary classes in southern Italian fare. Make fresh pastas and sauces together using local ingredients, and once the feast is ready, taste the dishes prepared with your own bare hands – naturally, with an oversized glass of local vino.
Romantic Amalfi Coast Restaurants
From Positano beach, follow a hidden coastal path to Lo Guarrancio – a seaside restaurant that exudes romance with its secluded setting and superb Italian cuisine. Homemade lemon pasta and wood-fired oven pizza are top picks on the menu, but the seafood is so fresh it’s practically still swimming: ask about the catch of the day and the waiter emerges from the kitchen with a tray of fish for your choosing. Dining beneath coiling vines and surrounded by the echo of crashing waves, the dreamy setting and exquisite cuisine makes this place well-suited to long meals and conversation running late into the evening.
Sal de Riso
A highlight is popping into bakeries and pastry shops to sample countless sweet treats. For one of best, stop at the famed Sal de Riso — a seaside bakery in the town of Minori owned by legendary Italian pastry chef Salvatore De Riso. This little shop is small but mighty, turning out more than six hundred cakes a day and exporting all over Italy, and to France, Spain, Australia and Great Britain. Grab two forks and share Salvatore’s signature sweet, a Ricotta e Pere — a hazelnut sponge cake stuffed with creamy ricotta and pear cubes, best enjoyed with a scoop of homemade gelato.
Ristorante La Sponda
For mouth-watering Mediterranean, vie for a table at the Michelin-starred Ristorante La Sponda. Enjoy culinary creations by Chef Gennaro Russo, who incorporates unique local ingredients and traditions from Naples and the Amalfi Coast onto the menu. Best of all, in the evenings, the terrace is illuminated by 400 twinkling candles, setting the stage for romance.