Dream of Italy Capri Special Report

When you think of Italy, where do you dream of visiting? For so many travelers around the world, the Amalfi Coast and Capri are top of that list. It was exactly the same for me. Living here for more than a decade has only confirmed what I felt on that first visit. This place has a certain something that just makes you want to stay. Or, at the very least, come back as often as possible! Since traveling isn’t possible at the moment, it was a special experience to sit down at my desk and guest edit the Capri Special Report April/ May issue of Dream of Italy. I hope through the words and images this issue helps inspire you to keep dreaming about Italy now … and plan a trip back when it is safe to travel again. We hope it won’t be long!

Faraglioni Rocks

Why Capri? With so many tempting travel destinations in Campania, it wasn’t easy to pick just one with Dream of Italy founder Kathy McCabe. Yet we both thought of Capri straight away because it’s a place we love and know so many people dream of visiting. One of the main ideas was one to share a deeper look at the island that some travelers experience as perhaps too crowded or maybe skip entirely since they’ve heard it’s “touristy.” While I understand that not every destination is for everyone, there truly is no place in the world like Capri. So what we’ve done is crafted this Special Report to not only provide some dreamy travel moments, but to also inspire you to visit Capri and stay for longer. Sure do the day trip if that’s all the time you can squeeze in. Yet, if life has taught us something lately it’s that we need to slow down and savor what we experience. Capri will reward you over and over again if you slow down and savor its beauty.

The Certosa di San Giacomo – one of my favorite quiet spots on Capri

This Capri Special Report is packed with tips to help you discover the quieter side of Capri, experience the natural beauty in calm settings, spend a day at the beach below the Faraglioni rocks, and enjoy a relaxing meal at the best restaurants. On top of that, you’ll find out about Capri’s fashion history and where to find the local traditions vibrantly alive today. And that’s just the start! If you’d like to read the full report, visit the Dream of Italy website to find out more about Membership. There are some excellent bonuses for subscribing now, including the beautiful new book Always Italy by Frances Mayes.

Click here to become a member of Dream of Italy and read the Capri Special Report

View of Scala on the Amalfi Coast

A Glimpse of My Scala in Italia! Magazine

While travel and most everything has been on hold this spring, the April 2020 issue of Italia! Magazine featured an article I wrote called 48 Hours in Scala. For those of you following Ciao Amalfi for some time now, you’ll know that I’ve spent a lot more than 48 hours in Scala. About 12 years actually. Until last summer, when we moved down into the historic center of Amalfi, I lived in the charming area of Minuta in Scala with my husband. It’s a peaceful and beautiful area with views to set your heart dreaming.

I treasure my time in Scala for so many reasons, especially the quiet atmosphere and the welcoming people. It will always be the first place I lived in Italy, where I learned the Italian words to go shopping, where I realized how much I love hiking, where I became an Italian citizen, and so many more memories. So it was a pleasure after all these years to share more in depth why I think Scala is such a sweet spot on the Amalfi Coast.

When John Steinbeck wrote about Positano in Harper’s Bazaar in 1953, he wrote, “Nearly always when you find a place as beautiful as Positano, your impulse is to conceal it.” Although he was mistaken to assume that Positano would never become such a popular travel destination, I do understand that desire to keep special places hidden away. So, consider this an exceptional glimpse into one of my favourite quiet spots on the Amalfi Coast.

– Laura Thayer, “48 Hours in Scala”

What makes Scala such a special place? It starts with the fact that hardly anyone has heard of it. Yes that is possible on the Amalfi Coast. Yet it also happens to be between Amalfi and Ravello – two of the most popular towns on the coastline. When they say hidden treasure, this is Scala. If you’ve stood in Ravello’s main piazza with the church to your back and gazed across the valley, you were looking right at Scala. It is among the oldest settled areas on the Amalfi Coast and was once closely tied to the Republic of Amalfi in the Middle Ages.

View from Scala looking down the valley to Amalfi

The town spreads out across the mountainside and is comprised of many different areas, including the area called Minuta with its Chiesa dell’Annunziata from the 11th century. Although rarely open, the crypt holds a captivating series of 12th-century frescoes. I’ll give you a look inside the crypt here as well since it isn’t easy to get inside to see for yourself.

Minuta and the Chiesa dell’Annunziata
Frescoes in the Chiesa dell’Annunziata

Scala is perfectly situated for hiking as you can set off up into the mountains above town for spectacular views, hike to the 15th-century Torre dello Ziro watchtower above Amalfi, or hike down into the Valle delle Ferriere above Amalfi.

Hiking in the Valle delle Ferriere

In this article, I’ve shared my favorite spots in Scala, the best hikes, great restaurants, and places to stay if you’d like to make Scala your home base while visiting the Amalfi Coast. Something I would highly recommend, especially if you enjoy a quiet and natural setting. One of the things I love about collaborating with Italia! Magazine is that they cover popular spots in Italy, like my piece 48 Hours on Capri, as well as smaller places a bit more off the radar so you can experience all the different sides of Italy.

If you’d like to read the full article 48 Hours in Scala, you can purchase back issues of Italia! Magazine or you can also purchase individual digital issues. Italia! Magazine is currently on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully, the magazine will continue with publication later this summer, but now is the perfect chance to support Italia! and your favorite magazines by subscribing or buying back issues.

Amalfi Coast Luxury Hotels Raise Money to Fight Covid-19

Five of the Amalfi Coast’s luxury accommodations have come together to create a unique opportunity to raise money to fund vaccine research for Covid-19. Created by the Il San Pietro di Positano, Le Sirenuse, Palazzo Avino, Hotel Santa Caterina, and Don Alfonso 1890, the fundraiser aims to raise €200,000 by offering 40 vouchers worth €5,000 each that can then be used for a stay in the next two years at your chosen hotel. The money raised will be donated to the G. Pascale Foundation at the Istituto Nazionale Tumori in Naples, the Fondazione Melanoma Onlus, and the Rome-based biotech company Takis. Together they are working on a vaccine for Covid-19 and the funding will help continue this vital research. Each voucher includes a 2 night luxury stay, other exclusive perks, and dinner at the stellar Don Alfonso 1890 restaurant.

This challenging time has left many of us asking how we can help. My thoughts there are to always start where you are: with your family, with your friends, in your neighborhood, in your town. However, I wanted to share about this local initiative in case you were interested in combining a holiday on the Amalfi Coast with a good cause. There will surely be more ways to help the Amalfi Coast in the future and I’ll be providing updates here on Ciao Amalfi. For more information or to purchase a voucher, contact any of the hotels participating: Don Alfonso 1890 in Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi, Il San Pietro di Positano or Le Sirenuse in Positano, Palazzo Avino in Ravello, or the Hotel Santa Caterina in Amalfi.

Discover the Art of Capri in Italia! Magazine

While Amalfi will always have my heart, the island of Capri has a very special place there as well. Recently, I had the chance to share some of my favorite things about Capri in the February 2020 issue of Italia! magazine. With an artistic bent, this article offers a small glimpse into some of the people, places, and experiences that for me really get at the true essence of the island’s magic.


Amalfi Coast 2020 Travel Inspiration

Now that the holiday season has wrapped up, it’s that time when we start looking ahead at the year to come. If you’re planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast in 2020, I’ve gathered together some special experiences to help with your planning or perhaps even inspire you to book a trip to the Amalfi Coast this year. This is by no means a complete list of all there is to see and do on the Amalfi Coast and the surrounding areas. (Psst … Moon Amalfi Coast is a great resource for that!) These are just a handful of events I’m looking forward to this year along with places in Campania I’m eager to explore more in 2020.