Doing the Amalfi coast on foot, our writer finds sleepy villages, deserted pathways, tiny pebble beaches, and food as spectacular as the views
Domenico was sitting silently by the deserted monastery, sheltering from the sun under a fig tree, and our sudden appearance took him by surprise. Jumping to his feet, he took one look at us – a pair of bedraggled walkers – and gestured towards the moth-eaten armchairs in the courtyard.
He spends his days looking after ramblers that pass by the 16th-century San Domenico convent, which clings to a mountainside overlooking the Amalfi coast, and rushed away to fetch a bowl of figs and cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Tempted by Portland, one of the US’s coolest cities? Be sure to visit Oregon’s coast too, where the arty vibe has spread to its lovely seaside villages
Portland didn’t become the US capital of cool overnight. The city was a centre for independent music for decades before the press got wind of it. If a hipster is a person who wants to seem creative without actually creating anything, there’s a serious lack of hipsters in this city. The music and art being made here are world-class.
But it’s not just the music scene in Portland that makes a trip to the north-western state of Oregon worth a journey: its coast is spectacular, too, and, unlike neighbouring California, its beaches are almost empty. You can immerse yourself in the music scene then spend a week on some of the US’s most beautiful shoreline. Portland residents today flock to pretty villages such as Cannon Beach – sometimes called Portland on Sea, as it has so many art galleries – and Manzanita.