Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast

WORDS: Gigi Selsky
PHOTOS: Mike Selsky

The Amalfi Coast does not countenance cowards. Driving its entire length—34 miles—is not so much a trip as a deferred plunge. Terraced ancient villages, corniche roads, and your tiny rental car all feel as if they might tilt and tumble into the Tyrrhenian Sea at any moment. So we surrendered to gravity and just rented a boat. I recommend you do the same to get the most of your time in this storied Italian destination.

Once on the water, we skimmed the coast's rugged cliffs. They're pockmarked with caves, both underwater and dry; the perfect playground for amateur spelunkers, or just a dramatic backdrop for some dance moves if you're feeling less adventurous (I was). Don't be put off by the Amalfi's pebbly beaches, which are surprisingly comfortable.

We were famished after a long day, but we didn't leave the coast for food. The shore is dotted with fishermen who'll prepare the day's catch themselves. Octopus is an excellent digestivi after a long day's meal of swimming and cave dancing.

While the Amalfi coast favors the bold, it accommodates the unprepared. The mild climate and constant vistas are immune to even the most under equipped traveler. Hiking from Ravello to Amalfi, the sky darkened, opened and unleashed the deluge. I was caught, miles from town, in slick flip flops and no umbrella. It was one of my favorite moments of our trip—soaked, courageous, and ready to tumble into some Campari.