Welcome to the the Amalfi Coast, the true heart of Italian elegance at its luxurious best. This fascinating coastline, dazzling with dreamy scenery and colorful villages, is also a paradise for every shopper who loves designer boutiques. Between a swim in the Furore Fjord, a walk to the Ravello scenic viewpoint, and a moonlit dinner in a quaint fishing village or a panoramic hilltop, there is always time for the best shopping in Italy! Milan moda has nothing on the unique discoveries a luxury shopper can discover from Positano to Maiori, traveling along this exquisite stretch of the Sorrentine peninsula.
Breezy linen garments, handmade sandals, artisanal liqueurs and hand-painted ceramics (ceramica artistica), shopping here is an immersion in the best of Italian craftsmanship.
This article will guide you through a curated selection of exclusive addresses and ideas for memorable boutique items so you can bring home a piece of the Amalfi Coast.
Pezze di Positano: luxury meets hippy-chic style
At the end of the 1950s, the small fishing village of Positano started becoming one of the most sought-after destinations for visitors looking to experience "la dolce vita". That’s when Positano fashion began to emerge, influencing not only the look of the tourists who crowded its beaches, but also that of the international jet set. It all began with pezze: hemp and cotton fabrics hand-dyed in bright colors. These fabrics were the basis for the creation of the first Positano-style dresses: loose, low-cut, embellished with lace and perfect for Mediterranean days spent at the beach.
The pezze of Positano are simple, elegant, and colorful, symbolizing a carefree holiday and a summer of freedom.
In the 1960s, Positano fashion became synonymous with "la dolce vita". Famous jet-setters such as Jackie Onassis and Brigitte Bardot began wearing these traditional dresses and sandals, establishing the trend as an iconic look of the Amalfi Coast.
Where to buy authentic Positano fashion
Maria Lampo is one of the oldest shops in Positano. It opened in 1946, just after the end of WWII, with a simple sign outside declaring: “We craft tailor-made trousers.” The first customers came in, measurements were taken, and in a matter of hours (just enough time for a swim in the sea), the trousers were ready—hence the name “Maria Lampo” (Maria in a Flash). Nowadays you can find collections for men, women, and children, as well as colorful accessories displayed on original cardboard mannequins.
La Bottega di Brunella is another must for shoppers looking for exclusive garments. This boutique offers creations made with linen and light cotton gauze, often woven on artisan looms. The shop combines careful research into past traditions with a new vision of current trends. La Bottega di Brunella also has an online shop.
Flat leather sandals are an iconic symbol of summer on the coast and in Capri. Artisan shops make these sandals on the spot, choosing the most suitable sole based on your foot’s size and shape. Customers choose the laces and decorations, which are then sewn to the sole without using glue. One of the most historic places to get Caprese sandals is Carmine Todisco's shop in viale Pasitea, right next to the church stairs. On Capri the most famous shop is arguably Canfora Capri Sandals, the one that was beloved by Jackie Onassis.
Hand-painted ceramics: the colors of the Mediterranean
As you walk through the towns along the Amalfi Coast, you’ll notice the abundance of colorful ceramics everywhere, from hand-painted majolica benches, to church domes, votive shrines, and even street signs. This ancient tradition of ceramiche has been deeply rooted in the area as far back as the 6th century BC. Over the centuries it evolved into increasingly refined art forms such as the majolica floors of the churches of the 1700s, including the famous "Paradiso Terrestre" depicted in the church of San Nicola on the island of Capri.
The classic ceramics of Vietri sul Mare
This artwork is most famous in Vietri sul Mare, where you can visit historic factories such as Solimene. Simply walk through the center of the village to see these colorful wonders all around. Two famous locations for ceramics are the Pinto and Falcone shops, where you can buy household items as well as decorative tiles. A wonderful small souvenir for relatives and friends is the traditional Vietri ceramic donkey.
If you’re looking for design pieces with a contemporary twist, take a detour to Sorrento to visit the bottega of Rosalinda Acampora and the Bazaar at Hotel La Minervetta. You’ll be spoiled for choice among colorful dishes, home accessories, and textiles.
In Positano, make sure to visit "Soso" in his shop on Viale Pasitea. Perforated ceramic lamps are his specialty, creating plays of light and shadow.
If you’d like to take home a true work of art, get in touch with the artist Paolo Sandulli to admire his sponge "heads" or marine-themed sculptures.
Coral, the red gold of the sea
The coral tradition finds its roots in the nearby Torre del Greco, where men historically fished for coral and women dedicated themselves to its transformation, creating unique jewelry. In Ravello you can visit the Coral Museum (Museo del Corallo) where ancient jewels and modern sculptures are on display.
Nowadays coral is increasingly rare and its fishing is subject to very strict regulations. There are, however, still some shops along the Amalfi Coast where you can buy certified coral jewelry, rare pieces destined to increase in value over the years. A safe address is Anna Mostaccioulo’s boutique in Piazza Duomo in Amalfi, where you can find cameos and corals.
The heady scents of the Amalfi Coast
What’s more evocative than a perfume to bring to mind the atmosphere of a holiday? Amalfi Coast fragrances are among the most sought-after souvenirs to take home, both in their classic versions for the body as well as home fragrances. Just one spray will bring back lazy days relaxing on the warm beach in the Mediterranean, sipping limoncello at sunset.
The most historic perfume factory is Carthusia, located on the island of Capri. You can visit the perfume laboratory next to the Gardens of Augustus and purchase Carthusia products in various shops in the Capri area, as well as Positano, Ravello, Rome, and Capodichino airport in Naples. Carthusia carries on the tradition of the monks at the Certosa di San Giacomo, who collected flowers and herbs from the slopes of Monte Solaro in Anacapri and then transformed them into perfume.
Famous luxury labels
If you wish to shop among the boutiques of the high fashion brands, take a boat to the island of Capri. Via Camerelle is the destination of choice for the best luxury boutiques, including Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Hérmes, Dior, Valentino, and Ferragamo, to name only a few. On this tiny street you’ll find the biggest names in luxury, many offering exclusive capsule collections dedicated to Capri and the Amalfi Coast.
If you’re looking for vintage fashion, make sure you check with Mastro Geppetto. He's based in Torre del Greco with a shop in Naples as well, but his most important pieces are made available along the Coast allowing visitors the chance to touch the object of their desire before buying. He specializes in luxury bags, including the incredibly rare Hermès Birkin and Kelly bags.