Long distance relationships can be hard. So when Stefano and I reunited after four very long months of WhatsApp messages and video calls, we did it with a bang by staycationing in Conca dei Marini!
Conca Dei Marini is a small village located on the Amalfi Coast between Amalfi and Positano.
Fortunately, we visited Conca Dei Marini at the end of the season. Which meant accommodation was more affordable, parking was possible and we could enjoy some peace and quiet instead of the typical tourist buzz you find along Amalfi. (For the record, I highly recommend staying FAR away from Southern Italy in August. It’s far too busy with northern Italians that vacation in Southern Italy for Ferragosto.)
We stayed in a gorgeous apartment above the Amalfi Residence Bed & Breakfast with views that overlooked the sea for about €150 per night, which is standard for the size, location, views and amenities (we had a kitchenette which allowed us to save on dining out). The walk from our apartment across Conca dei Marini was about 2km, and aside from the stairs leaving the apartment, it was a relatively flat and scenic 2km stretch that we really enjoyed.
We only booked 2 days in Conca dei Marini to relax and unwind, so we left our itinerary open. We originally planned to go for lunch on the sea and explore the Grotta dello Smeraldo, but the weather was a little overcast, so we decided it would be better to tour Conca dei Marini on land and come back on a sunnier day to take full advantage of the experience at sea.
The most popular beach in Conca dei Marini is Lido Capo di Conca – it’s a hotel-owned beach, and you have to pay for the privilege of using it. It’s quite common to reserve a spot on beaches in Italy by renting am umbrella (ombrello). They range anywhere from €10-50 depending on the location and quality of beach setup. Because of the overcast weather, we decided to lay out on our terrace when the sun came out instead of going to the beach (which is quite rocky anyways).
After browsing a few menus on our way back to the apartment (it’s important to make reservations at restuarants while travelling in Italy), we decided to make a reservaation at Trattoria Pizzeria La Piazza di Nino. The prices were reasonable and the view of the sea from the outdoor terrace was stunning.
Afterwards, we casually made our way home for a nap and aperitivo (we picked up some wine, fruit and potato chips from a little market below the apartment).
We weren’t disaappointed! Stefano enjoyed a calamari appetizer and practically inhaled his seafood risotto, and my grilled vegetables and carbonara definitely hit the spot. Typically, Italians will order an antipasto (appetizer), followed by a primo piatto (first plate) – usually a pasta of some kind, followed by a secondo piatto (second plate) – usually a protein or vegetable of some kind, and finally cafe, dolce (dessert) and grappa or limoncello (some kind of liquer). Truth be told, going out to eat in Italy is an experience in itself. I would say give yourself time and expect to spend 2-3 hours at dinner. Especially if you are more than 2 people. Dinner is a time to enjoy yourself, relax, laugh and socialize.
Restaurant table service in Italy isn’t known for being quick or attentive as tipping is not a common practice in Europe (and Southern Italians like to take their time). Though, in tourist destinations such as Amalfi, service is somewhat elevated as they know travelers will tip with good service.
After dinner, we took in the night lights along Amalfi and casually strolled back to the apartment where we drank the rest of our sangria. It was a very short (but sweet) staycation, and I look forward to returning to Conca dei Marini in the summer months.
Have you ever visited Conca dei Marini or the Amalfi Coast? Or are you currently planning your trip to Italy and doing a little research? Feel free to share your favourite memories or ask questions in the comment section below!
Amber Roy is the founder of The CTRL Lab, a Digital Delegation agency that empowers small business owners and helps them grow a successful business, while promoting a sustainable work/life balance.
She currently lives abroad in southern Italy with her partner, Stefano, where together they continue to build a sustainable life that is rich in Italian culture.
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