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CAPRI

Unforgettable, exclusive and magical; Capri is filled with Italian delights. From mouth-watering local dishes to panoramic views over crystalline waters, this tiny isle packs a real punch. On Italy’s most exclusive island, they say that finding a summer mooring is like finding a diamond in the sand. But thanks to forward planning by your captain it will not be your concern! Near to Marina Piccola drop anchor beyond the Faraglioni rocks. From the little tender dock take an old-school taxi with an iconic sunshade to properly explore the island. Cruise around the island on a typical Gozzo Classico but visit the Blue Grotto again later in privacy. Snorkeling and swimming here is unparalleled, as long as you beat the crowds. Ashore, don’t forgo the chance to wander around Villa San Michele, Axel Munthe’s fascinating mansion. At the Via Camarelle you can find international designers, bespoke shoemakers, sunglasses ateliers, artisan food shops and linen stores. There are a number of excellent gelaterias, selling mouth-watering ice cream. Emperor Tiberio notably built 12 mansions on Capri and some of the ruins can still be visited. First, get your bearings by walking up the steep path to Monte Solaro (almost 600m over sea level). Take an espresso at the top and catch the funicular back down. The island of Capri is a culinary paradise. An aperitif on Piazetta Capri made for excellent people-watching. But go beyond the guidebook recommendations for incredible views at Ristorante Da Gelsomina in Anacapri.

AMALFI

Clusters of brightly painted buildings that meld into the cascading cliff side, Amalfi is a relaxed and scenic resort blessed with abundant Italian charm. Found between Salerno and Positano, narrow alleyways wind up through the town between the sea and mountains. Folklore, traditions and indescribable beauty of the landscape: Amalfi is without comparison. Packed with history, Amalfi is the oldest of the four great maritime republics, taking advantage of military and trading power that delivered notoriety and architectural influence. Annual celebrations see the spectacular June Regatta between republics battling for seafaring bragging rights. The waterfront promenade skirts the marina filled with colorful boats, whilst the Piazza del Duomo in front of the impressive cathedral is the focal point of the historic centre, Buzzing with cafes and boutiques in the square, head up the 60 steps and admire the Byzantine architecture and decoration of the Duomo di Sant’Andrea. With a long history of paper milling: stop at the Museo della Carta to view the attractive handmade products, some family-owned mills still follow this tradition. In Amalfi, citrus scents fill the air thanks to the surrounding hills laden with lemon trees. Enjoy some local limoncello liqueur and look out for pretty handmade ceramics decorated with the fruit. With some of the best beaches along this coastline, Amalfi is blessed with crystal clear waters – great for swimming, snorkeling and diving. The Emerald Grotto at Cape Conca is one of Amalfi’s great natural wonders, where sunlight refracts through an underwater crevice to emit an astonishing green hue.

CEFALÙ

Cefalù is notable for beautiful sunsets, unpretentious charm, and a very appealing blend of ingredients for an Italian seaside holiday. Sandy beaches, a picturesque historic town on a rocky headland, some high culture in the shape of a fine Norman cathedral, decent transport links, Sicilian food and sunshine all add up to make the town one of Italy’s most attractive sea destinations. Unlike the developed fishing villages which dot Italy’s coast, Cefalù has some grandeur in its past – it was important enough that one of Sicily’s Norman rulers, Roger II, would build a glorious cathedral here. While its later history was less distinguished, there are some substantial and elegant buildings in the town, as well as reminders of Sicily’s varied influences, not just Norman and Byzantine, but also Arab, Spanish and finally Italian. Cefalù as well as for the beauty of the coast and the clarity of the sea is a treasure chest of Sicilian cuisine whose most celebrated dish is the “pasta a taianu”, a pasta in the pan, seasoned with meat, fried aubergines, pine nuts, raisins and pecorino cheese layered in a large earthenware pot. Food is culture and tasting it is a way to visit and learn about the history of Cefalù.

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