On the southern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula on the west side of Italy, 20 miles southeast of Sorrento and 45 southeast of Naples, the Amalfi Coast is a resort playground for those who come to live the good life of wine, food, cafe culture, sun and sparkling, cerulean seas. Protected now by being an UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is where the liqueur limoncello originates. Amalfi and Positano (coastal villages stacked up like the decoration on a wedding cake) are where groups will encounters the best-known Amalfi Coast event venues.
The closest airport is the Salerno Costa d'Amalfi Airport (QSR), about 30 miles around the coast, but the main airport is Naples International (NAP), which is 45 miles north of Amalfi. It has service to all points in Europe, although North American service is far, far more likely to come via Rome's Leonardo da Vinci-Fuimicino Airport (FCO), which is another 140 miles to the north of Naples.
There are no convention and exposition centers or larger meeting venues in the Amalfi region outside of its hotels, so Naples' Terminal Napoli, beside the city's cruise terminal, is the place to aim for, with 40,000 square feet of exhibit space and its largest room able to host 600 persons.
Hotel venues in the Amalfi Coast able to host impressive meetings include (starting from the east at the beginning of the coast and then moving west) the 131-room Lloyd's Baia Hotel, which is close to Salerno in the village of Vietri sul Mare and has a conference center, private beach and wonderful oceanview terraces; nearby, the 77-room Rialto, which has five meeting rooms for up to 200 persons, as well as a spa and indoor and outdoor pools; the 53-room Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi, which is in a 12th-century monastery and 13th-century Arab-Norman cloister 260 feet above the cliffs in Amalfi and has both terrace and meeting space for events; the 104-room Grand Hotel Excelsior Amalfi, which has restaurants, terraces, meeting space and an elevator to a private beach open only in the summer, and Il San Pietro di Positano, which boasts of having the same beach access, the only hotel in Positano to do so.
Unique event spots in this unique area include two unique museums. The Museo del Corallo in the small town of Ravello exhibits beautiful examples of polished coral and contains gallery space for events, while the Museo della Carta, or Paper Museum, in the hills behind Amalfi and which does the same for beautiful handmade paper and papyrus amid gallery space and a library. Three beautiful villas for events are the Villa Sgrosso, or Dimora di Mare, which has an enviable perch beside the sea, offers eight guest rooms but only for weekly stays and has a covered loggia with a sea view for up to 70 persons; Villa Felice Relais Amalfi, which also has 11 guest rooms; and Villa Cimbrone, which also has guest rooms, some 19, a Michelin-starred restaurant, a history dating to the 11th-century and rooms and gardens for events.
Dining in Positano is a real jewel. Excellent restaurants there include Rada, which has inventive seafood dishes and group space for up to 60 persons; Le Tre Sorelle, or The Three Sisters, which opened in 1953 and serves up pizza and seafood; and Saraceno d'Oro, which has three Moorish-style rooms and space for 65 inside and 70 outside. Fine choices in other Amalfi Coast destinations include Un Piano nel Cielo, in Praiano and which has unbelievable coastal views and space for groups of up to 70 persons, and Paisa, in the center of the village of Maiori and which has more seafood and a movie theme based on the fact that director Roberto Rossellini, husband of Ingrid Bergman and father of Isabella Rossellini, used the village as the setting of one of his movies, where the restaurant got its inspiration for its name.