positano-shore

Evenings spent rewatching Fellini favourites have left us hankering after Italy’s rose-tinted Mediterranean light. Italophilia has taken hold, Skyscanner alerts are set and we’ve shortlisted nine of the best coastal towns to explore once we arrive.

1. Camogli

Romantic Camogli, with its multi-storey palazzi presented in muted pink, yellow and terracotta hues, is just a two-hour drive from Milan. The small fishing village is a well-kept secret among locals, meaning that shops, restaurants and a large piazza (which caters to coffee sipping and people-watching) are rarely overcrowded.

2. Praiano

Sandwiched between Amalfi and Positano, Praiano offers the best of both coastal towns. Spend your morning at secluded beaches, such as Marina di Praia, before taking a water taxi to the tough-to-reach Da Adolfo restaurant for a beachside lunch. Few places beat this stretch when it comes to romantic sunsets.

3. Manarola

One of the oldest towns in the Cinque Terre, Manarola is geared towards those who prioritise fishing, wine-making (or sampling) and hiking while on holiday. Via dell’Amore – meaning Lover’s Lane – is a must for those in the latter camp.

4. Portofino

What can be said about Portofino that hasn’t been iterated already? One of Europe’s most-beautiful ports, Portofino is home to high-end boutiques, pastel-coloured houses and a fringe of seafood restaurants which run along its piazzetta.

5. Ravello

Sitting high above beachfront towns and offering panoramic coastal views, Ravello brims with culture and beauty. Stay at (or visit) Villa Cimbrone where legendary manicured grounds have hosted some of history’s most illustrious characters including Virginia Woolf, Greta Garbo and Winston Churchill.

6. Conca Dei Marini

This tiny fishing village boasts a tranquil beach and hidden, emerald-hued grotto. Find a spot for lunch among lemon-scented orchards and sample the region’s beloved sfogliatella Santa Rosa.

7. Sorrento

A compulsory stop on the 19th-century Grand Tour, Sorrento has lasting appeal. Straddling the cliffs, it’s a great base for glamourous explorers, with the Amalfi Coast to your east and Pompeii further north.

8. Procida

Veer off the mass-tourist radar and (in any other month but August) grab a towel as you make your way to Lido di Procida. After a day spent at the beach, you’ll find us slurping on spaghetti against a colourful backdrop on the Marina di Chiaiolella.

9. Vernazza

One of the five villages that make up Cinque Terre, Vernazza is perhaps the quaintest of the quintet. We think it’s something to do with the village’s trademark Genoa-style caruggi (narrow streets).

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