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Go Here Not There: How To Avoid The 2024 Crowds In Italy By Skipping Positano And Amalfi

Motne Argentario, Hotel il Pellicano, Tuscany, La Maremma, 5 star hotel , Italy
Source: Hotel Il Pellicano

With our Instagram feeds constantly flooded with breathtaking photos of Positano, boat rides near the Blue grotto at Capri, and garden views from Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, it is hard not to feel the desire to visit these places yourself when planning a trip to Italy. But in reality, especially during peak season, this stretch of the Amalfi Coast is packed to the gills with tourists and hotel prices are at their yearly high. So why not experience the same level of Italian beauty and elegance in nearby seaside areas that are a bit more off the tourist radar? Here are three of our favorite alternatives to Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, and other over-touristed destinations in Campania, which don't compromise coastal Italian beauty and offer many of the same vacation comforts.

Massa Lubrense

Massa Lubrense, Amalfi Coast, Capri, Campania , Italy

The Sorrentine Peninsula has long been an epicenter of tourism in Italy, with famous towns along the southern stretch of the Amalfi Coast such as Positano and Amalfi, along with nearby Sorrento and the famous island of Capri being the most famous of the peninsula's destinations. But these hot-spots can quickly turn into tourist traps, especially during peak summer months, casting "La Dolce Vita" in a less than flattering light. But there are other areas on the peninsula that deserve some love, and which offer just as much beauty and grace, often without the hoards of crowds, and Massa Lubrense may by the best example.

Stretching from the tip of the peninsula at the Gulf of Naples in the West, deep into the wild interior of the Peninsula toward the East and south toward the Gulf of Salerno, Massa Lubrenese and the

Don Alfonso 1890, Massa Lubrense, Amalfi Coast, 5 star hotel
Source: Don Alfonso 1890

surrounding area is home to miles of hilly land with views of the crystal blue waters beyond, and a host of top notch boutique hotels and restaurants nestled among fertile lemon groves and dotted along the pristine coastline. Enjoy a breathtaking two michelin star meal at the famed Don Alfonso 1890, a stunning boutique hotel and farm in the hamlet of Sant'Agata dei Due Golfi overlooking the Gulf of Salerno, or trek along the network of hidden trails that wind there way through the Lattari Mountains and down to nearby seafront coves. Visit one of the storied waterfront restaurants in Nerano, (Lo Scoglio and Maria Grazia come to mind) to indulge in the local delicacy of Pasta alla Nerano made with local zucchini.

Massa Lubrense is the the true heart of the Sorrentine Peninsula, but often goes un-noticed as tourists drive right past it on their way to Positano. But we urge you not to skip it, as its offering of world class accommodations and dining along with its stunning views make it a worth while alternative to the traditional Amalfi Coast vacation itinerary.


Cilento, Italy, Amalfi Coast, Campania

Further down the Campanian Coast from Amalfi lies the coast of Cilento, a relatively unspoiled yet rugged and exciting area of Southern Italy which offers a healthy mix of summer adventure and refined coastal living. Most of the area of Cilento has been declared as a national park for the last 25 years or so, creating a natural protection against mass tourism infrastructure while incubating a culture of boutique, family owned hotels, luxurious converted palazzos, and other restaurants and businesses that dot the rugged, limestone land along the coast.

From picturesque fishing villages like Acciaroli, a favorite town of the late Earnest Hemingway, to a host of various natural landscapes and hiking trails within the natural park, Cilento offers a refreshing alternative to the famous Amalfi Coast towns that lie just to the north. The Cape of Palinuro in southern Cilento even offers breathtaking grotto tours that easily rival those of the Blue Grotto near Capri.

Though it may not have exactly the "glitz and glam" of an area like Positano or Ravello, Cilento is the perfect destination for travelers seeking Italian coastal beauty beyond the mainstay hot-spots.

La Maremma: Monte Argentario and Other Coastal Gems of Tuscany

Monte Argentario, Tuscany, Porto Ercole, Italy

One of the most underrated destinations in Italy has to be La Maremma. This stretch of rustic coastal beauty along the Tyrrhenian sea, which touches both Tuscany and Lazio, has been a go-to getaway for those "in the know" for years, yet remains virtually unknown to tourists en masse who tend to flock to the Amalfi Coast to the south or Cinque Terre to the north.

The peninsula of Monte Argentario in particular is an oasis of rustic, costal beauty, dotted with secret beaches, little port villages, and stunning boutique hotels and villas. Just up the coast from the scenic town of Porto Ercole, tucked away in a little cove by the sea, is Hotel Il Pelicano, perhaps one of the most incredible hotels in all of Italy. Its alluring and refined identity has long attracted a chic clientele seeking a quiet paradise on the Italian coast. Arriving at this little slice of Tuscan paradise immediately transports you to the hight of La Dolce Vita living from a forgotten era.

Hotel Il Pellicano, Tuscany, Monte Argentario, Italy
Source: Hotel Il Pellicano

Not far from Porto Ercole is the charming town of Orbetello, which occupies a thin strip of land that connects the Monte Argentario peninsula to the mainland via bridges and damns. Orbetello is the perfect place to spend the day strolling through narrow alleys or dining at one of the many little seafood trattorias dotted around the town.

Reachable within a couple hours from Florence or Rome, La Maremma is an easy get-away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and a perfect alternative to the over-crowded towns of the Amalfi Coast. Read more about Monte Argentario in our recent blog post.

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