Let the busy days begin!

Amalfi Coast Tourist Buses

The parking lot in Amalfi is filling up each morning with buses

If it hasn’t started to get rolling yet, the long weekend for Easter is the official start of the tourist season along the Amalfi Coast. In the days leading up to Easter last week, the mornings were already buzzing in Amalfi. Tourist buses have started to arrive nearly every day from Sorrento, Naples and other destinations. The parking lot in the center of Amalfi reserved for the blue and green SITA public buses and the tourist buses is filling up each morning. And after a quiet winter, the harbor is filled again with ferries to Positano, Salerno and Capri and smaller boats ready to go to the Emerald Grotto or set off for private boat tours.

Ferries and boats in the Amalfi Harbor

Where to? Positano, Salerno, the Emerald Grotto or Capri?

While the warm beach days are still a month or so away, when the sun comes out you’ll now spot a few sunbathers here and there. And, of course, those brave few who don’t seem to mind the cold water!

Swimming Amalfi Coast April

The first sunbathers of the summer season have arrived!

While some people might grumble and groan at these first signs of the tourist season, I like watching the city change throughout the year. We hold our breath for a moment and make a wish that this season will be a good one, for us and for all the families that in some small way take part in sharing, promoting and protecting this beautiful coastline in so many ways.

Spring Colors on the Amalfi Coast

Spring beach scene on the Amalfi Coast

The colors of spring are arriving on the Amalfi Coast!

That color there—the intoxicatingly beautiful turquoise—is one of my favorite signs of spring in Amalfi. Now through May, the sea is often the clearest that you’ll see all year long, and the colors are simply gorgeous. Doesn’t it just make you want to dive in? You’d better be prepared though, because the temperature right now is only about 14 C (57.2 F). Brrr! Still a little too chilly for me. But I could sit and stare into those colors for hours!

Amalfi Coast beach in March

Tempting turquoise sea in Amalfi

In Amalfi, the colors of spring are starting to arrive. The pots lining the promenade overlooking the Marina Grande beach are filled with red, pink and white cyclamen.

Spring flowers in Amalfi

A pot of cyclamen along the promenade in Amalfi

Walking around Piazza Flavio Gioia in Amalfi, a bright orange flower on a cactus plant caught my eye. What a burst of color in the spring!

Piazza Flavio Gioia in Amalfi

Look at that orange!

We took a drive to Pontone, a hamlet of Scala, to stop by to see a talented woodworker who had repaired a small piece of furniture for us. While waiting, I noticed this big plant covered in tiny purple flowers climbing up the railing of a house nearby.

Spring Flowers Amalfi Coast Scala

Pretty in purple in Pontone

The smell was sweet and had attracted lots bees along with wandering photographers in search of spring. It certainly was happily blooming in this sunny spot overlooking Atrani below. Does anyone know what this vine is called?

Purple spring flowers on the Amalfi Coast

Do you know the name of this plant?

Sunshine & Snow in Amalfi

Amalfi Coast Italy Harbor

Sunshine in Amalfi with snow high in the mountains above

The colors of February on the Amalfi Coast are some of the most vivid and striking of the entire year. The sea in Amalfi turns a particular shade of intense blue that I’ve only noticed this time of year. It reminds me of the first time I visited Amalfi and stood marveling at that shade of blue back in February 2007. Today the sun was out and a cold wind had cleared away the rain and humidity of the past days. The little bit of white snow on the peaks of the mountains glimmered in the sunshine.

Amalfi Coast Fishing Boats

Can you spot the snow across the Bay of Salerno?

The sea was a bit choppy looking across the Bay of Salerno toward the Cilento coastline. The peaks of the mountains there are covered with snow as well after the recent winter storms. Walking toward the Hotel Luna watchtower in Amalfi, I noticed how the waves crashing against the rocks mimicked the white tops of the mountains far away. What a pretty sight to see sunshine and snow together on the Amalfi Coast!

Winter Hotel Luna Amalfi

Winter sea by the Hotel Luna in Amalfi

Where to Propose on the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast Destination Wedding Ravello

Spotting a destination wedding in Ravello's piazza

With San Valentino just around the corner, romance is definitely in the air. The Amalfi Coast is one of the top travel destinations for romance in Italy – popular for engagements, destination weddings, honeymoons and special anniversary celebrations. As a romantic at heart, I would love to share some of the places on the Amalfi Coast that would make a magical backdrop for a wedding proposal. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for some romantic travel inspiration, so here are some of my favorite romantic spots on the Amalfi Coast.

Terrace of Infinity at the Villa Cimbrone – Ravello

Amalfi Coast Romance in Ravello

Ravello's romantic Terrace of Infinity

Along with Amalfi and Positano, the mountain top town of Ravello is one of the most popular choices for weddings, honeymoons and romantic trips on the Amalfi Coast. All I have to say is, “Why not?” It’s a pretty town free from traffic in the historic center with lovely gardens to explore and gorgeous views of the coastline and Bay of Salerno from high above. Ravello’s Palazzo Sasso made was ranked number 2 on Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List 2011 for in the best hotels in Italy. And you know that’s some stiff competition! It’s just one of the many romantic spots to stay in Ravello.

Even if you don’t stay in Ravello, the town has many perfect spots for a proposal. The Villa Rufolo right off the town’s main piazza is a beautiful historic villa with a gorgeous cloister (for architecture lovers) and pretty gardens. My favorite romantic spot in Ravello, however, is the Terrace of Infinity in the Villa Cimbrone. Lined with marble busts, this terrace has views overlooking the bay, where the sky and the sea seem to blend together stretching out to infinity in shades of blue.

Sunset on the beach – Positano

Romantic Amalfi Coast sunset in Positano

Sunset and romance on the beach in Positano

Let me begin by saying that just about any spot in Positano has a romantic allure. Walking along the tiny streets, under the wisteria in the springtime, overlooking the cascade of colors from high above, sitting under the beach umbrellas on the quieter Fornillo beach, or at one of many restaurants near the beach. For me, the sweetest moment is sitting on the beach and watching the sun set over the Li Galli islands in the distant. Pure romance!

Climbing the steps of the Duomo – Amalfi

Propose on the steps of the Cathedral of Amalfi

Make a grand gesture in a grand setting - on the Duomo of Amalf!

Some many say it’s too cliché or expected, but I’d have to put the steps of the Duomo of Amalfi as one of the most romantic spots on the Amalfi Coast. Maybe it’s just that I’m an architecture nut. (Make that a romantic architecture nut, just to be clear.) Climb halfway up the steps, and instead of posing for a photo surprise your partner by popping the question. If the piazza and steps are crowded, I bet you’ll get an applause if the answer is yes!

Santa Croce Beach – Amalfi

If you’re the quieter type, then I have just the place for you. Take the boat from Amalfi to a little beach called Santa Croce just west of town. It’s secluded, romantic and one of the most beautiful spots for a swim on the Amalfi Coast. Look, even the rocks are all about love!

Romantic beaches on the Amalfi Coast

How's that for a romantic sign?

Sentieri degli Dei – Positano

Hiking on the Amalfi Coast

View of the Amalfi Coast from near Agerola

If you love being outdoors and hiking, the Amalfi Coast offers some irresistibly romantic views when you climb high up in the mountains. This is great choice if your partner loves a secluded spot and nature. One of the most breathtaking hikes is along the Sentieri degli Dei (Pathway of the Gods) high above Positano. Just be prepared for a lot of steps!

Rent a boat for the day – Amalfi Coast

Romantic boat trip on the Amalfi Coast

Beautiful views along the Amalfi Coast

Seeing the Amalfi Coast from the sea is a beautiful experience, and best enjoyed from a small boat. Spend a leisurely day exploring the rugged coastline and stopping for swims in small coves where the blue of the water pulls you in. Daily boat rentals are available in Amalfi, Positano and other towns along the Amalfi Coast.

Torre dello Ziro – Scala

Medieval watchtower Amalfi Coast

Hike to the Torre dello Ziro above Amalfi

For beautiful views of Amalfi and the coastline at an easier pace, hike up to the 15th-century watchtower Torre dello Ziro high above Amalfi. The walk begins in Pontone, a hamlet of the quiet mountain town of Scala, and leads up to the tower where you’ll enjoy views across the valley to Ravello and down to Atrani and Amalfi on the sea below.

Romantic night lights on the beach – Atrani

Amalfi Coast Romantic Night Spot

Atrani is charming at night

The little village of Atrani just a short walk east of Amalfi is one of my favorite spots for a romantic summer evening on the Amalfi Coast. Enjoy the lights of the town reflecting across the water while dining outdoors at the Ristorante Le Arcate. The town’s central piazza is a pretty spot for enjoying a drink before or after dinner, and the black sand beach is lovely and often less crowded than Amalfi in the summer.

Out to the lighthouse – Amalfi

Romantic spots in Amalfi

Walk out to the lighthouse for a panoramic view of Amalfi's harbor

One of the most relaxing ways to spend an evening is enjoying the traditional passeggiata in Amalfi along the harbor to the end of the port. All the way out at the end of the pier you’ll find a panoramic view looking across the harbor to Amalfi. The view is wonderfully romantic at night, and I’ve always thought it would make a lovely spot to propose. I bet the lighthouse has seen many in its day!

An enchanted bay – Nerano

Marina del Cantone Romantic Beach Amalfi Coast Nerano

Relax on Nerano's Marina del Cantone beach

Looking for a secluded spot away from some of the summer crowds in Positano? The little town of Nerano is the last one before the tip of the Sorrento Peninsula, and its seaside hamlet Marina del Cantone is a pretty spot for a romantic getaway overlooking a gorgeous bay. Excellent restaurants, beautiful hikes and a long beach make this a great location if you’re looking for an enchanting setting to propose on the Amalfi Coast.

Romance with the Sunset – Praiano

Amalfi Coast Romantic sunset view Praiano

Romance with the setting sun in Praiano on the Amalfi Coast

The colors of sunset stretching across the sea as the sun drops behind the dark outline of the Lattari Mountains on the Sorrento Peninsula. How’s that for romance? One of the best spots to enjoy sunsets along the Amalfi Coast is from the town of Praiano just east of Positano. In the distance you’ll even spot the island of Capri with its distinctive Faraglioni rocks. Now you know where to find the views … you bring the romance!

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Romance exists, of course, wherever you take it. Wishing you a romantic trip to Italy’s Amalfi Coast!

Birdwatching in Amalfi

When it’s almost lunch time in Amalfi in the winter, the streets go quiet as the locals start to climb the steps that will take them back home. There aren’t many tourists around this time of year to keep the pizzerias and quick food spots busy during lunch. Yet, there’s always something to watch in Amalfi.

Bird Watching on the Amalfi Coast

Today I spotted two cormorants who had just taken a dip in the chilly water. They were preening and shaking the dampness off their feathers, likely wishing the sun would come out to warm them up just a bit.

Cormorants in Amalfi

I’ve only seen cormorants (cormorano in Italian) in Amalfi a few times before, and I’ve never been able to get a photo of them. The way they dive under the water to hunt is fascinating, and I used to love watching them fish on the Mississippi River and when I was young in Florida.

Seagulls in Amalfi

The seagulls also seemed satiated, and were lining up for an afternoon nap. I didn’t have time to do more birdwatching, because it was time for me to head home and make lunch, too!