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Explore the Michelin-starred restaurants on the Amalfi Coast and stay at Borgo Santandrea

Lemon groves, Michelin-starred restaurants and bijou hotels are among the allures of Italy’s Amalfi coast, writes Maria Pasquale. And then there are the dreamy views…

The drive from Naples to Amalfi isn’t for the faint-hearted. The locals are known for adventure and how they take to the road is no different. But you forgive them. They live in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius – the volcano that once turned Pompeii to ashes and it’s the very reason the Neapolitans live like there’s no tomorrow.

The Amalfi Coast is a cornucopia of whitewashed villages, lemon groves and glittering water. This part of Italy is the thing of films and postcards. The roads involve hairpin turns on the cliff edges while the altitude makes your ears pop.

Glicine at the Santa Caterina Hotel

One Michelin Star

For views across the bay, the luxury Santa Caterina Hotel is home to Glicine, a one-Michelin-starred establishment with a stunning wisteria-draped terrace. Chef Giuseppe Stanzione delights by showing off Mediterranean produce in standout dishes like grilled scampo with buttermilk, chard, finger lime and lightly spiced ’nduja sausage crumble.

Ristorante La Caravella

One Michelin Star

Ristorante La Caravella is cultural dining at its best. In 1959, this Amalfi gem – which aptly describes itself as a museum – was the first in south Italy to debut in the Michelin guide. The senses and palate are stimulated, not only by the food but also the ceramics and ancient artifacts that surround in this former 12th-century regal palazzo.

Al Convento

One Michelin Star

Many ingredients and techniques from the Roman Empire are absent in the modern world, but gave birth to iconic Italian products. Like ancient garum, a fermented fish sauce that yielded colatura di alici, famously produced in Cetara. Locals know that Pasquale Torrente’s Al Convento is where you must try it served with spaghetti. It’s housed in a former Franciscan monastery with 17th-century frescoes, where you can enjoy the laid-back atmosphere on the terrace. For an organic wine tour or private vineyard picnic, don’t miss Le Vigne di Raito in the ceramics town of Vietri sul Mare.

Zass restaurant

One Michelin Star

Zass restaurant at Positano’s historic Il San Pietro hotel is surrounded by bougainvillea and distracting views. A Michelin star was awarded for the kitchen’s commitment to sustaining local growers, cultivating its own produce and plating it with chef Alois Vanlangenaeker’s culinary prowess. Highlights include sea bass carpaccio with red beetroot, caviar and black garlic and homemade tagliatelle with lemon, lobster and pistachios. Match with wines – there are more than 600 labels in the cellar.

Rossellinis

One Michelin Star

A trip to this part of the world isn’t complete without visiting the resort town of Ravello, known for its villas and gardens, but loved for its position 350 metres above sea level. Positano might be glamorous, but Ravello breathes of nobility. The former hangout of playwrights, musicians, lords and aristocrats is home to many hotels, including legendary (and pink) 12thcentury Palazzo Avino. Visit its one- Michelin-starred Rossellinis for lobster done three ways.

Cuisine at La Libreria
Cuisine at La Libreria

Cooking classes in Capri

A coastal stay is made perfect with a day trip to Capri, where Australian Holly Star and her Caprese husband Gianluca D’Esposito of Michel’angelo offer bespoke and sustainable culinary activities. Think private garden dining in their Anacapri villa or making torta caprese and limoncello in a tailored cooking class. There are gourmet hampers for your cruise or pimped-up picnics in secret spots around the island. They’ll pick you up in private transportation at the port. All you need to do is arrive hungry.

Dreamy days at Borgo Santandrea
Dreamy days at Borgo Santandrea
Take in the stunning coastal views from Borgo Santandrea, Amalfi Coast
Take in the stunning coastal views from Borgo Santandrea

Borgo Santandrea, Amalfi

Before long I am at the new Borgo Santandrea hotel, the bell-boys have done their jobs and I’m sipping on a lemon-infused drink on the terrace of dreams.

Owner and general manager Maurizio Orlacchio welcomes me, saying: “Borgo Santandrea is born from an exciting and ambitious dream of two hotelier families – mine and the De Siano family. We share a love for and knowledge of, the world of hospitality that transcends generations.” I can feel it. I’m in a special place.

Borgo Santandrea is the first hotel to open in Amalfi in more than a decade and it’s worth the wait. Here, mid-century design meets Mediterranean in a striking yet soothing way; a curated mix of vintage and contemporary styles including bespoke design pieces featuring 30 patterns of spectacular geometric tiles. All rooms have sea views; some have private pools.

Then after a dip in the hotel’s cliff-edge pool, it’s time for lunch at the beach restaurant. I feast on raw scampi and tuna and the Neapolitan classic of pasta patate e provola. This heart-warming dish combines mixed pasta shapes, potato and provala cheese. It’s five-star dining, yet beachside casual.

One of the spectacular suites at the same hotel
One of the spectacular suites at Borgo Santandrea © Umberto D’Aniello

Restaurants at Borgo Santandrea

As the sun sets, the sea views from La Terrazza Bar perfectly accompany my aperitivo. Gastronomy at Borgo Santandrea is an always lavish affair, between the magical terrace at Alici, fine-dining La Libreria and the Wine Cellar, with its sommelier-guided tastings.

On the terrace, executive chef Crescenzo Scotti’s menu is inspired by his southern Italian roots. Like the gambero rosso, raw pink Mazara prawns with buffalo mozzarella, lemon-infused escarole, black olives and tomato confit. Or the bavette pasta with Monaco provolone cheese and zucchini. And sweet endings like the Neapolitan rum-soaked babà.

The next morning, breakfast is served quite literally in Scotti’s kitchen. Sfogliatelle pastries, fruits and cakes fill artisan ceramic plates. I eat on the terrace and look up, down and around. The Amalfi Coast meanders its way into your heart filling you with warmth and the promise of a new day. Yes, it’s a tourist drawcard, but it’s equally a gastronome’s delight. The views, atmosphere and hospitality of Borgo Santandrea will make you long for this destination well after you leave.

This article originally appeared in volume 41 of Signature Luxury Travel & Style magazine. Subscribe to the latest issue today.