Smaller, less famous, less expensive and fewer tourists. Escaping to Minori, from the summer crowds of Amalfi or Positano, is a welcome relief and gives one a glimpse into what the whole coast was like decades back; before the days of mass-tourism arrived.
How could such a little gem be overlooked by so many?
I guess it is because most of the marketing is focused on the big three: Sorrento, Amalfi and Positano. It means that Minori is reserved for those of us who aren't so keen on following the crowd, for those more interested in making their own discoveries.
If you'd like an affordable and truly lovely base to explore the Amalfi Coast then Minori is an excellent choice - probably the best choice: prices are far lower than in Positano and Amalfi, and it is way more central than Sorrento. Even if you don't have a car you can get everywhere your heart desires by SITA bus or by ferry.
Hotel Palazzo Vingius is our choice when it comes to places to stay in Minori. Right on the water, you'll not easily forget the views from the breakfast terrace - stunning. If you have trouble going up and down stairs ask for a ground floor room - there is no lift.
Whenever I think of Minori, I think of pastries, lemons and pasta - they're famous for all three.
Of course there's also the limoncello and here you'll find some of the best in all of Italy. The man making the best is Carlo Mansi at Liquorificio Carlo Mansi in via Vescovada. Carlo makes everything the traditional way and only from lemons grown around the town.
Apparently, it is the local lemons that make all the difference and nowhere will you find a better limoncello lemon than in Minori.
Oh, and if you like marmalade then grab a jar of Carlo's lemon marmalade - it is out of this world.
For Pasta, especially seafood pasta, try La Locanda del Pescatore. They make their pasta in the traditional way that Minori has been famous for since forever. The seafood too is fresh, purchased from the little fishing boats that head out to sea from Minori every dawn.
Many of the best pastries and cakes of the region originate in Minori and Sal De Riso is the most famous pasticceria, but I prefer Pasticceria Gambardella. You've got to try Gambardella's Delizie al Limone, claimed to be the best on the entire coast and I'll not disagree with that. It is something I long to taste again - almost worth returning just for this.
If you're in the Amalfi Coast area in late August, even if you aren't staying in Minori, get yourself over to the Gusta Minori Festa. It is three days of fabulous food; celebrating all the traditional foods and beverages of the Amalfi Coast area. There are concerts too that bring music and dance to the heart of the old town. The dates vary a bit each year, generally though it is held the last week of August.
There's a lot of history to see in such a small town. Top of the list must be the Basilica di Santa Trofimena, dedicated to Saint Trofimena, the patron Saint of Minori. Inside the church, are the remains of the Saint, in an urn under the altar.
In July and August the cool silence of the church contrasts with the sweltering weather outside; entices you to linger, to say a prayer or two. After a little while you forget that outside an Italian summer is in full swing.
That summer holiday feel gets you the instant you walk out the door, your eyes dance down the stairs and out over the beach and sea. The "dolce vita" of an Italian summer.
You won't be the first to fall in love with Minori's charms though: discerning tourists have been visiting for a long time and back in the 1st century Romans with money made this their getaway.
The remains of one huge Roman villa, the Villa Marittima, were discovered in the 1930s. The villa is free to visit and so too is the museum where the finds from the excavation are displayed. In summer concerts are held here under the starlight - definitely a must if you're in town.
A more recent historical happening were the Allies WWII landings on the Minori beach.
The beach is sand, interspersed with gravelly bits, but spotlessly clean. The calm waters also make it great for families.
Some say the sea in Minori is the bluest of all the Amalfi Coast and it certainly is a gorgeous shade of the deepest blue. Soak up the sun for a few hours, float about on your back in the calm, crystal clear waters and gaze up at the vineyards and lemon groves on the terraced hills above.
Our Tip: Much of the beach is reserved for paying guests, with most of the places being taken up by hotels reserving sections for their clients. However, near the centre of the beach you'll find a lovely and free section: it's the area shown in the photo above.
The walk from Minori to Ravello is up there with the famous Path of the Gods walk. Really an unforgettable experience... but lots of uphill. You can read about the walk, and how to avoid going uphill, here.
You can get to Minori by SITA bus from pretty much anywhere on the Amalfi Coast; although from Sorrento though you'll need to change in Positano.
If you've a car, just follow the coastal road - the SS163.
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