Conca dei Marini, the sweetest embrace
The town which hugs the legendary cliffs of the Emerald Grotto and where the exquisite Santa Rosa sfogliatella was invented.
Locked in a rocky embrace, this natural basin looking out to sea next to the Furore Fjord is an enchanting village, home to just a few hundred inhabitants who live in cottages set directly on the beach or clinging to the cliffs. Once upon a time Conca dei Marini was nothing more than a tiny fishing village, today it is one of the most exclusive tourist destinations on the Amalfi Coast. After nearby Atrani, Conca dei Marini is the second smallest village in the region of Campania.
How to Get to Conca dei Marini
Conca dei Marini is located between Amalfi and Positano, about 10 kilometers from both of them. If you are driving from Sorrento, pass Positano and then continue towards Praiano along the coastal highway 163. You can also take the winding inland road through the mountains from Castellammare di Stabia, pass Agerola on the Lattari Mountains, and arrive directly at Conca de' Marini. If you are arriving by public transportation, take the Sita bus, Sorrento-Positano Amalfi line.
For more information: How to Get to the Amalfi Coast
La Grotta dello Smeraldo (Emerald Grotto)
Conca dei Marini's most precious treasure is its Grotta dello Smeraldo, or Emerald Grotto, a sea cave that was discovered in 1932 by a local fisherman, which can be reached by boat from Amalfi or via the flight of steps or the lift from the main "Amalfitana" highway. This 30 meter high karst cave is famous for the color of its interior, bathed in a shimmering emerald green every time the sunlight penetrates through the underwater opening.
On the floor of the cave, divers have installed a white ceramic nativity scene which, at Christmas time, becomes the focus of an incredibly atmospheric procession.
What to Eat in Conca dei Marini
It's hard to read anything about Conca dei Marini which does not mention the town's gastronomic specialties and, in particular, its sfogliatella Santa Rosa, a delicious pastry invented in the 18th century by the Dominican nuns living in the Conservatory of Santa Rosa da Lima. The nuns added sugar, milk, dried fruit, semolina, and candied cherries to the dough leftover from bread making to make this scrumptious pastry which has become one of the symbols of Conca dei Marini, so much so that each August a festival is now dedicated to the delicacy. Conca dei Marini is also famous for its traditional tuna trap, a vast series of nets lowered into the water and used to catch the tuna fish which transit through these waters in the migratory season. Finally, Conca dei Marini's pomodorini a piennolo are more than worthy of mention. These juicy, cylindrical-shaped cherry tomatoes are tied in bunches the moment they are picked and stored in the dark where they keep for a whole year. The sea air, rich in iodine, gives the tomatoes their distinctive taste and makes them an essential ingredient in the town's legendary zuppa di pesce.
The best spot to sample all the local delicacies is Ristorante La Tonnarella, located directly on the beach.
Where to Sleep in Conca dei Marini
No matter your budget or travel style, you'll find the ideal accommodation in Conca dei Marini, one of the top destinations on the Amalfi Coast. If you're looking for a luxurious, elegant hotel, try Monastero Santa Rosa , which is also home to a spa and one of the most spectacular infinity pools on the coast. If you prefer B&Bs, book a room at the Locanda degli Agrumi, with its panoramic terraces, pool, and sundeck. If you're looking to excape the crowds at a quiet and peaceful spot, opt for Villa Campitiello, a delightful inn set on the Amalfi Coast cliffs.