The crush of tourists lessens considerably after August, and by mid-November those once-bursting towns are closed almost entirely to tourism until re-opening the following spring.
But the weeks immediately following the high-season — all of September, and even well into November— are a magical time on the Amalfi Coast, and offer numerous advantages compared to the months of July and August. Travelers with flexible schedules who are looking to rent a private villa in September and early October will discover an abundance of benefits ─ and even a few adventures exclusive to the fall shoulder season.
Keep in mind the terrain throughout the Amalfi Coast can be quite challenging — whether walking the streets of ancient villages, hiking the region's scenic footpaths or negotiating a steep climb down to the beach. Visitors will find any kind of outdoor trek more enjoyable in comfortable weather, and the weeks following the high season offer some of the very best conditions.
In September the temperatures in Positano, for example, range between an average high of 80 degrees Fahrenheit to a low of 60 at night. Early in the month, it's warm enough for a swim, but without the peak summer heat, which can be oppressive at times. By October, the average monthly high/low temperatures register 71/53 degrees Fahrenheit; still mild and temperate, but with increasing chance of rain in the later weeks. While not sunbathing weather, the October climate can be ideal for those more interested in walking through the villages, gardens, historic sites and amazing hillsides.
Room to breathe
Every published travel guide warns about the teeming tourist crowds along the Amalfi Coast in the high season, and for good reason. It's one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world at the most popular time of year. Although there are some clever ways to circumvent the congestion and long lines that accompany those peak travel times, throngs of tourists are the inevitable reality.
Yet when September comes the crowds disperse and everything becomes easier — from touring the popular sites to getting the reservations you want at the time you want. And veteran travelers eager to spend their vacation time “living like a local” can get that far more authentic experience after the summer season.
Two of the most popular daytrips in the region — the Isle of Capri and the ancient Roman remains of Pompeii — are famously packed with tourists in July and August.
Capri, less than an hour from Positano by water, is regarded as one of the world's most beautiful islands. It has been a popular vacation spot for everyone from Roman emperors to movie stars and, today, tourists from all over the globe. Savvy day trippers can hire a private guide and boat to avoid the most congested areas. But September, the last month of the tourist season there, is less crowded and more enjoyable. The only downside is that it can be windy, which can create too much chop to tour the Blue Grotto. But still, September is a great time to go.
Similarly, Pompeii is bustling with tourists during July and August, when a privately hired licensed tour guide can help visitors navigate the crowds. But September and October are more pleasant months, both for reasons of weather and crowds. Pompeii is open year-round, although beginning in November it closes earlier. About an hour from Positano by car, Pompeii remains a must-see daytrip for many visitors to the Amalfi Coast.
September and October are harvest months for the vineyards of Campania, offering a unique experience for travelers interested in touring the region's wine country. In addition to private winery tours, wine tastings and vineyard walks, visitors can even spend a day on an estate picking grapes and helping with the harvest.
With its mild climate, productive volcanic soil, and plenty of sunshine, the Amalfi Coast is renowned for superb locally grown fruits and vegetables, not to mention the bountiful harvest of the seas. Italians in the region celebrate local fare in many ways, including the sagra, an outdoor festival with music, dancing and arts, often highlighting a particular food of the season.
On the last Saturday in September — this year, September 30 — the annual Festa del Pesce (fish festival) takes place in Positano, on the beach at Fornillo. Locals and tourists come together to enjoy live music, dancing, sangria and countless varieties of fresh fish deliciously prepared in a multitude of ways. The entire town turns out for the party, celebrating the end of the summer season.
In October the charming village of Scala, in the mountainous terrain above the romantic town of Ravello, hosts the annual Sagra della Castagna (chestnut festival) celebrating the new harvest. It takes place on consecutive weekends in early October — either the first and second or the second and third weekends of the month depending on the harvest — but always including the second weekend, which this year is Oct. 14-15, 2017. Visitors can sample regional specialties made from local chestnuts and enjoy unique entertainment in the town piazza, including an annual donkey race.
In addition to food festivals, other celebrations include the Byzantine New Year's event held each year in Amalfi and its neighboring town of Atrani on August 31 and September 1 — the official beginning of the new year during the Byzantine era. For hundreds of years, leaders participated in an ordination ceremony at Atrani's Church of San Salvatore de Birecto. Today, the New Year is celebrated with an historic re-enactment parade from Atrani to Amalfi, along with medieval games and entertainment.
Another annual September celebration takes place on the third Sunday of the month, in the seaside village of Torello — located between Ravello and Minori. The town hosts a spectacular display of fireworks in the evening — visible from the neighboring towns — which conclude an annual feast honoring the Madonna Addolorata.
For many reasons, it's a great time to visit Positano and the Amalfi Coast, not only to tour its fascinating and beautiful sites, but also to experience the region in a more authentic way.
Come September, live like an Italian!
Carrington Italia creates tailor-made Italian experiences through its network of luxury villas on the renowned Amalfi Coast of Italy. With a local presence in Positano, Carrington Italia’s bilingual team sets a new standard of excellence for custom holidays. To learn more about Carrington Italia, please visit www.CarringtonItalia.com, call (844)550-5895 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.