When it comes to Amalfi Coast kids activities, in general we suggest doing as the Italians do when hitting the beach in the summer–dolce far’ niente. Enjoy the sweet nothingness of long days at the sea with your family, swimming and playing cards and deciding what flavor of gelato to have today, and making friends. On days when you are looking for something to schedule to take in the culture of the Amalfi Coast with your family, below are some of our top picks for local experiences.
Amalfi Family Cooking Class
The Amalfi Lemon Experience Pizzaioli for the Day pizza-making class is a fabulous culinary adventure for the family in a charming garden of espaliered lemon orchards perched above the town of Amalfi. We suggest pairing it with the organization’s Lemon Tour, in which you will meet in the famous piazza in front of the Duomo in Amalfi at 10:30 and pass through the town heading toward the Paper Mill, where you will then enter the ancient terraces of lemons cultivated for centuries with the “sfusato amalfitano” species of lemons–a miracle citrus as far as I am concerned that can grow the size of watermelons in this abundant landscape. Families will learn about the history of lemon cultivation and the current efforts to conserve its tradition, and enjoy a sweet homemade snack amid the lemon trees. Then you will continue on to the outdoor kitchen on a terrace with a stunning view of the landscape beyond the lemon trees. The fact that the cooking class is held outdoors, and involves nice discussion of the history of home-grown food and culinary traditions makes this option especially kid-friendly and authentic.
For another hands-on Amalfi Coast family activity, Context Tours offers an extraordinary Mosaic Workshop with mosaic artist and Medieval Studies professor Iris Mueller at her studio near Salerno perched above the Mediterranean. The 4-hour course introduces the whole family to the history of the art form found so prevalently in the Amalfi Coast since the civilization of Ancient Greece. The workshop will explore examples to inspire your own creations, and then instruction on the fine art techniques of the ancient tradition from sketching your design to selecting and applying the glass tesserae of the mosaic. This experience truly enriches kids’ understanding and awareness of the art and architecture they will see throughout your visit to the region after having created their own masterpieces as cherished souvenirs.
The Amalfi Paper Museum
The Amalfi Paper Museum, at Via delle Cartiere 24 in the town of Amalfi, is housed in an ancient paper mill dating to the 13th century, a focal point for the ascension of the famous Amalfi paper industry. There are some historical records that claim Amalfi was the first Italian town to manufacture paper. The museum presents the history of paper-making since antiquity in China along with artefacts. Families can see a demonstration of how the ancient mill functioned, and experience hands-on how to make paper using ancient techniques in the mill. The museum is open daily from 10:00-6:30, including Sundays from March-October, and open with limited hours in the winter.
Lunch and a Swim
Those of you who follow the ItaliaKids blog likely know that we actually consider “Going to Lunch” in Italy as one of our favorite Italy family activities in and of itself, especially on Sundays. One of our cherished “pranzo domenico” spots is the Torre Normanna restaurant and beach club in Maiori. The restaurant is located inside an early medieval Norman tower that looks out with breathtaking views toward Capri and Positano. The elegant dining room is in an open air section of the tower, a fine dining experience that is at the same time kid friendly because of the views and the spaciousness. Book early at noon for lunch, and when you reserve, also request spaces for a swim at the beach club below, in a secluded cove with sparkling emerald waters and a view of the tower above. The beach club is simple, with only beach chairs in the rocky cove, and a cafe and bar up the stairs just beneath the dining room. See our post on Kid-Friendly Amalfi Coast Beaches and Restaurants for more Sunday lunch suggestions. Ristorante Torre Normanna, Strada Statale Amalfitana 163, Maiori, tel. 089 877100
Swim in a Grotto
Sadly, the Emerald and Blue Grottoes have both become such crowded tourist destinations during the summer months that it is difficult to recommend seeing them to families traveling with young children. We do, however, absolutely suggest seeking out alternative luminescent grottoes to swim in and explore as a family visiting the Amalfi Coast. This past summer, we took a boat from La Gavitella beach in Praiano (one of our top destinations for families) for a simple 2-hour tour of the coast to visit the Emerald Grotto and then stop in a lesser known grotto for a swim. Our private boat arrived at the dock of the Emerald Grotto, where we disembarked and went on foot to the opening of the cave, where we paid the attendant 5 euro each to enter. From there you will wait in line (we waited 10 minutes) for a large rowboat to take you on a small circumnavigation of the Emerald Grotto, lasting about 15 minutes. Our boat had 8 other visitors in it along with the 5 of us. We heard about the history of the grotto and the natural science behind its emerald hue. We then returned to our private boat, and our driver stopped in a beautiful grotto along the coast just before Praiano for us to jump off the boat and experience the luminescence for ourselves. And we were the only ones in the cove, with plenty of space to admire our mermaid glows and take in the beauty peacefully. The cost of the boat trip was 100 euro.
MORE AMALFI COAST FAMILY TRAVEL TIPS
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