Honeymoon Recs Please- Amalfi and Capri
I would greatly appreciate some guidance with respect to my honeymoon plans. I am getting married this August, the 15th, and we are leaving for our honeymoon on the 16th. My fiance and I have both been to Italy a bunch of times but neither J nor I have had the opportunity to travel to the Amalfi Coast. So....
The plan is four nights in Capri and five nights in Amalfi. In Capri we are staying in the Hotel Ceasar Augustus in Anacapri. In Amalfi we are staying at the Santa Caterina. If anyone has stayed in either hotel I would love to know your impressions.
Now on to the food =)
Our plan is to make reservations at two "fancy" places in each town. The remaining nights we were going to "wing" it, we are thinking less stuffy, more casual dining, though we realize we may still need reservations for some of these more laid back eateries. I have a tendency to overplan trips, especially with respect to dining (we were in Paris for a week last year and I am embarassed about the extent to which i micromanaged our food intake. cant say i regret it though) and I am trying to avoid that, to some extent, this time. However, I love to eat and I do not like leaving destinations feeling like I did not experience everything each place has to offer.
For Amalfi we are thinking Da Gemma and A Paranza for more upscale dining. The list I have for casual places includes Cantina San Nicola, Trattoria da Rispoli, Maccus, and San Giuseppe.
For Capri we are thinking Da Paulino and Da Gelsomina for upscale... and the others on my list are Pizzeria Aurora, Il Grotelle, Add'o Riccio, Le Arcate and La Rondinella.
I would really appreciate any recs you may have with respect to these lists and if you have any additions I would love to hear them.
Just so you know, I did do extensive searching of this board before this posting and compiled the lists based on everything i read here.
Also, I would love to hear about any "cant miss" dishes or experiences. I am a bit troubled because I do not eat shellfish generally but I am thinking I will on this trip. I have done some research about the typical food of the region but would love some specifics.
I hope you can help and I thank you all!
Weeellll, Capri in August would not be my first choice, it'll be very hot and very crowded. So will Amalfi, but there is a better chance of escaping into the countryside there. But Anacapri won't be as bad as Capri. Definitely plan a day trip from Amalfi up to Ravello, visit Villa Cimbrone, then have lunch at Da Salvatore. It's thru the tunnel from the main square right by the Sita bus stop. The view is amazing (really and truly amazing) and the food wonderfully good. Bring some treats for the kittens that live there. Cumpa Cosima is also good, but no view. And after all, what do you go to the Amalfi coast for?
In Amalfi, find the Piazza dei Dogi, and try Da Baracca. Not very far off the main drag, but tucked in a quiet corner. Wonderful frutti di mare platter, friendly service. If you don't like shellfish, there are plenty of fish dishes to choose from on the Costa. Try an Aqua Pazza style fish dish, you can't go wrong in most places with that. For an antipasto, make sure you try alice marinata, the tiny white anchovies in a lovely fresh marinade. Not at all what you expect anchovies to taste like. But the shellfish is pretty incredible. Vongole (tiny clams) in a good pasta, Yum! And the locale scampi is always good. And Cozze (mussels) in anything. If a place is offering any kind of homemade pasta, get it! And you can usually just order the house wine in most places on the costa, so many good local vineyards supply the restaurants there.
Explore the costa, you can get boats from Amalfi to Positano, my favorite place! And the Sita bus is worth a ride anywhere just for breathtaking drive!
I've eaten in both Da Gemma and A Paranza within the past three months. Some observations...
Da Gemma is upscale. A Paranza isn't. The latter is a solid trattoria where you'll eat a lovely meal, but it's definitely not what I'd call upscale. Among the restaurants we patronized, Marina Grande is the other upscale restaurant we patronzied in Amalfi. The honor of being the most upscale restaurant in Amalfi goes to La Caravella. We didn't eat there so I can't say anything about it.
A Paranza is located in Atrani rather than Amalfi. That's a walk of approximately 1 kilometer east of Amalfi. I posted a lengthy review of our dining in Amalfi (See links below). One of my comments about A Paranza was that I would never dine there at night if it involved walked the road route to the town. Jen Kalb has posted links to the interior route.
Your hotel is located west of the town of Amalfi proper. The hotel is the nicest one in the Amalfi area, but you will have to do some walking along the main road to get to the town. Ask your concierge for SAFE ways to reach the town. Walking along the road isn't one of them. (Different stretch of road than the portion to Atrani. Same issues.)
re: Indy 67
Thank you so much for the detailed response. I had read your first review of your trip but somehow the second one slipped through the cracks. Everything sounds absolutely fantastic. I am going to make a reservation at Da Gemma. J and I will definitely be going to A Paranza but it is good to know that it is not as upscale as i had thought. I think we will add Il Trani to the list too, despite the service issues. I was hesitant about spending 5 nights in Amalfi when J and I booked the trip but now having read the reviews I cannot wait!
I so prefer the Gulf of Naples island of Procida, to either Ischia or Capri --- do you still want to think this again? Take a look at their tourism website and see what they have to offer. http://www.procida.it/index1.html
I also will be in Naples in August and know this is about the worst time for heat and crowds to be there but it is an anniversary so there you have it. Procida is so much smaller and low key and very charming - more a day-tripper place as it is closer to Naples, so in the evenings you have it more to yourself.
Procida is the lemon island, as in limoncello, and there is a restaurant under a huge lemon arbor than has beckoned me for years. Only open during the summer. Looks fun and local. http://www.procida.it/scarabeo.htm
Luckily, Naples still suffers from a poor (and undeserved) reputation so many stay away from the wonderous city itself - for their loss and our gain.