A timely message about the end of summer on the Amalfi Coast popped into my inbox with the reminder of the seasonal closure of Casa Angelina in Praiano on 31 October. The description of thinning crowds, glorious sunsets and skippered boat trips to Positano, Amalfi, Sorrento and Capri tugged at my heartstrings. Who can fail to fall desperately in love with this curvaceous coastline and its mesmerising light?
The prompt made me smile as we would have done well to have heeded such advice on our first visit to Italy's Amalfi Coast. We were winging it, indie travellers somewhat carelessly piecing together our own itinerary, researching features for print and shooting images for an agency campaign to an exacting brief requiring shots of Positano.
Arriving in Rome, we lingered a little too long in a tiny, romantic hotel in Campo de Fiore. (Sigh!) We travelled by train to Naples and then to Sorrento for a delicious sojourn in a beautiful villa surrounded by lemon groves. We taxied to Positano, sure of finding accommodation – but this was 30 October and shutters were being closed and nailed fast in many restaurants and hotels around the tiny bay. Even the legendary Le Sirenuse hotel was shutting up shop.
Dismayed, we enquired and were directed to a pensione where the main rooms were already closed for winter. We were shown to a side room not facing the sea but it still didn't click that the end of the season was for a reason!
We scoped the beach for the exact location for the advertising shoot and then went to dinner. The narrow passage and stairways of Positano were lined with large pots of geraniums and we looked forward to a romantic stroll back through them towards the sea. But while we dined the wind came up – and what a wind. It howled through the passageways taking plant pots with it. "Hang on to me Dorothy," he exclaimed, invoking lines from The Wizard of Oz, and we literally clung to each other as we battled the elements.
The storms raged and it poured with rain all day every day for the next six days. We went to our chosen spot on the beach for the ad photos in case the clouds parted, but no luck. Sheltering, we dined on delicious meats, cheeses and tomatoes from the local deli, complaining about being 'stuck' and then laughing as we realised how privileged we were to be there, even in the rain. Finally the sun did shine, the Hasselblad shutter locked the photos in place and we were done, free again to explore at will, heading south to Praiano, Ravello, then Capri and points north back to Rome.
Last of Casa Angelina's summer season
So hurry if you will to Casa Angelina and its glorious sunsets at Praiano. Hop aboard a boat inspired by the traditional Sorrentine Gozzo fishing vessels with half and day cruises around Capri, the Blue Grotto and the Faraglioni Rocks. Sail south to small coastal towns such as Maiori, Minori and Cetara; or to Leranto Bay – a place of awe-inspiring beauty, where the mythical Homerian Sirens were said to have sung their enchanting songs to passing sailors.
You will not go hungry as Casa Angelina Executive Chef Leopoldo Elefante offers boat-goers his favourite plates: Rice with White Sea Truffles, Sfusato Amalfitano & Zucchini flowers, Oyster & Raspberry, Shrimp Avocado & Dill, Prawn & Kaluga Amur Caviar, Squid Celery & Peach, Octopus Yellow Dapper & Mint, Mozzarella & Sorrento Tomatoes – conjuring for me the very tastes and colours of the Amalfi Coast.
If you can't make it before 31 October then it's farewell Casa Angelina until next year. Book ahead now for 2023 while you think of it!
Information and bookings:
Casa Angelina is a 42-room hotel offering barefoot luxury in modern minimalist surroundings. The season runs from early March to late October.
In Australia and New Zealand contact Unique Tourism
Source: Press release and big thanks to Unique Tourism for the reminder!