Live the good life this summer and experience the best of the Amalfi Coast and the Cyclades with a combo of Italy and Greece. The Mediterranean is famous for its sophisticated glamour, secret beaches, shady groves and sensational views. Roam with me through these regions with our countdown of 14 of the best local experiences.
1. Walk around the ancient city of Naples and enjoy the perfect macchiato under the spectacular glass structure of Galleria Umberto while enjoying some of the best people-watching of Neapolitans.
2. Have a fogatto at the bottom of the stairs of the Cathedral of Amalfi.
3. Visit the town of Sorrento, where Ibsen had a summer house and take a moment to listen to the infamous song “Torna Sorrento” composed by Francesco Tosti.
4. Watch the sunset at Positano. The Sirens in Homer’s Odyssey lured sailors to their doom on a rocky island by singing a song of seduction. According to local tradition, that island lies just off the Amalfi Coast. The Hotel Le Sirenuse in Positano is named after these mythical creatures, and its terrace offers what is generally agreed to be the most sublime view of Positano.
5. Wander through a Rossellini film set. From Positano, to Amalfi, to Naples, the jewels of the Amalfi Coast have been a popular setting for movies from great film classics to Hollywood blockbusters. Enjoy the beauty of southern Italy’s Amalfi Coast captured in these movies set on the Amalfi Coast. One of the region’s most beloved sons was director Roberto Rossellini, known as much for his colourful love life as for his movies. Visitors who roam around the Amalfi Coast, can recreate the poses while walking the streets of Sorrento. Yo might even run into his leading ladies: Ingrid Bergman and Anna Magnani, pretending to star in their own movies.
6. Discover the neighborhoods of the little towns of the Amalfi coast (Amalfi, Positano, Sorrento) and admire the local architecture which has been to a great part preserved by their inhabitants.
7. Catch the twilight at Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, where Wagner finish composing Parsifal.
8. Wake up to the smell of the Aegean breeze, luring you to a satisfying breakfast while enjoying the view of the big blue.
9. Eat fresh fish caught the same day. In the traditional Greek taverns, the fish is usually so fresh, you might have even been swimming with it moments before you eat it.
10. Drive a classic car by the seaside highway. It is a fantasy straight out of a James Bond film: taking the hairpin bends of these spectacular Cycladic coastal roads in a classic convertible car is truly memorable.
11. Skinny-dipping in the night. Take your love for a sunset swim under the Mediterranean crystal waters . The stars will brighten your way and “surrender to destiny!” as a great Greek once said.
12. Rent a Villa. A Villa doesn’t provide a “sterilized” hotel environment. Rather they reflects the personality of its owner and is fully adapted to the way of life of the island where it is located. When staying in a villa you get to know more about the destination you are visiting. Experience the absolute freedom that only a villa can give: Imagine the luxury of having breakfast barefoot in your pyjamas, of choosing where and when your dinner should be served, or of not worrying if your kids are running around shouting (as long as they don’t disturb you). Give the chef the night off (or at least tell the others you did) and surprise everyone with your cooking skills!
13. Sleep with your windows open.
14. Live lavishly like like Jackie O. Known for its gold and silver jewelry, Greece has plenty of malls and shopping centers for shopaholics to explore. Exquisite traditional handicrafts, souvenirs, ceramic art objects and leather goods are available at reasonable prices. If you are a food lover, then you will want to take home some olive oil, honey, pistachios or dried figs.