Bougainvillea, oleander and orange blossoms embellish the towns that hug Italy’s serpentine Amalfi Coast. In Amalfi, its signature town, white houses cluster together to create a sharp contrast with the ornate Cathedral of St. Andrew, located in the center of town. The residents of this ancient maritime republic, who own most of the local hotels, host numerous traditional celebrations and events, which include a lemon fair and a sailing regatta.
Its glass wall faces the seashore. Terra-cotta and blue majolica tiles form a zodiac pattern on its exterior. Welcome to the Hotel Ninfa, where a blue marble staircase winds toward your room, and breakfast is served on a veranda overlooking the water. A bus stops near the hotel and brings you to the center of town. Choose between small standard rooms, larger superior rooms and junior suites. Pine trees and bougainvillea surround Hotel Aurora, another beach hotel. The Aurora features simple, modern design and has standard hotel rooms, as well as two- and three-room apartment-style units.
Hotels Near the Cathedral
Staying near the Cathedral of St. Andrew puts you in the history-rich old section of Amalfi. Walk to the cathedral from Hotel L'Antico Convitto, situated in the center of Amalfi's historical quarter. Its brightly colored, spacious rooms boast huge windows that provide scenic views of your surroundings. Suites and family rooms are available. Residence Hotel is in the same area. Its mundane name belies its impressive appearance. An elevator transports you to the foyer of an 18th-century palace, where a winding staircase ascends a three-story skylight atrium. Victorian ornaments, marble statues, gilded mirrors and illuminated manuscripts fill the atrium corridors.
Between the Sea and the City Center
A 19th-century villa houses the Hotel Villa Annalara, located between the sea and the city center. Lemon trees, bougainvillea, rhododendron trees and geraniums surround its panoramic terrace, which overlooks the sea. Majolica tiles and vaulted ceilings embellish the six rooms, named Bougainvillea, Broom, Wisteria, Cyclamen, Ivy and Gentian. The hotel has a bar that serves drinks and appetizers.
On the Outskirts
Staying on the Amalfi outskirts lets you avoid traffic when you want to explore other parts of Amalfi. The family-run La Pergola Hotel is a five-minute ride from the city center. Its location is convenient for guests who want to visit southern Amalfi coastline towns. The hotel restaurant serves traditional Amalfi specialties, which include pasta and local seafood dishes. A bus stops outside the hotel door that will take you to the rest of the town or the coastline. Like most Amalfi hotels, La Pergola Hotel offers standard rooms and mini apartments.
- amalfi postcard image by Lele from Fotolia.com