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Positano and Hotel Le Sirenuse

James Andrew at Le Sirenuse.

James Andrew at Le Sirenuse.

Positano is considered by most to be the jewel in the crown of the Amalfi Coast – and there really is absolutely nothing to dispute here. Now, if one were to refine this thought – to find the most flawless gem in said proverbial crown – then one would have to point to the immaculate hotel Le Sirenuse.

1973 Riva Aquarama speedboat.

1973 Riva Aquarama speedboat.

To be sure, it must have helped a bit to have had a long-distance introduction to its director Antonio Sersale via a mutual aquantance in NYC, but our experience at Le Sirenuse truly exemplified so much of what is good and right – Italian hospitalty brought to that truly rarefied level. Take for instance the invitation we received nearly immediately upon our arrival at Le Sirenuse for a spectacular Neptunian outing on the Sersale’s ravishing 1973 Riva Aquarama speedboat – It doesn’t take even the most cursory knowledge of yachting design to recognize that the Riva is something special – and as you might imagine, the nautical portraitist Scott McBee, who joined me on our Italian escapade, nearly fainted upon seeing this twin engine mahogany masterpiece.

Ocean's eye view.

Ocean's eye view.

So yes, we were experiencing the Amalfi coast in the most elevated possible way – and all facilitated by the most elegant sort of people. Our afternoon’s impromptu itinerary included a salt-water dip at the Sersale’s favorite swimming spot, (onboard champagne of course), and then on to an intimate cove for mozzarella baked on lime leaves, and a fresher than fresh offering of the most scrumptious seafood.

Le Sirenuse views.

Le Sirenuse views.

Needless to say Le Sirenuse and the Sersales absolutely define the sort of elevated experience we at WIJW so often speak of – and if you’ll allow us, we do have so much more to say about the bliss inducing Le Serenuse in tomorrow’s WIJW post!

I’m photographed here (top) upon my arrival at Le Sireneuse seated at the pool-side terrace wearing a cool white cotton voile safari shirt by Gucci, Lindeberg “Cave Beach” shorts in royal blue, python belt with silver buckle, brown leather sandals and sunglasses all by Gucci, Cartier “Tank Divan” watch from Raj Tolaram and my fragrance is Creed Bois de Cedrat.

Amalfi Musts

James Andrew in the  town of Amalfi.

James Andrew in the town of Amalfi.

A cute Amalfitano.

A cute Amalfitano.

There are a few compulsory musts in the town of Amalfi. Certainly one should observe an evening passeggiata through the charming town center, and perhaps one should steal a moment’s respite on the steps of their grand Duomo di Saint Andrea in anticipation of the substantial meal you’ll be having. And oh yes, there are some exceptional restaurants here! Among the best, we can recommend La Caravella, – a well preserved fifty year old art gallery meets fine dining establishment where many among the Amalfi social elite mingle over an exquisite lemon soufflé. Or for something a bit more casual, one would certainly do well to go to Lido Azzuro – located in the harbor of Amalfi, one is sure to find an excellent menu of the very freshest seafood. Mention is also owed to Trattoria da Gemma – located in the center of town, it affords some unforgettable views of the Piazza Duomo. Be sure to save some room though as you’ll want to walk off your gustatory efforts with a cooling gelato and perhaps, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to meet an adorable Amalfitano Kitty!

I’m dressed for dinner wearing a Tom Ford “Spencer” sport jacket in rose silk linen basket weave, blue and white stiped linen pants by Gucci, white cotton shirt with French cuffs by Tom Ford, Seaman Schepps cuff links in silver pearl an pale blue sapphire, Charvet retro print silk pocket square in blues, python belt with sterling buckle by Gucci, Tom Ford ivory suede loafers, Cartier “Tank Divan” from Raj Tolaram and my fragrance is Creed Zeste Madarine Pamplemousse.

Conca

James Andrew at Il Sarceno Grand Hotel.

James Andrew at Il Sarceno Grand Hotel.

Having read of Lee Radziwill’s carefree days in the enchanting village of Conca, we definitely had to include it on our tour of the Amalfi coast. As a base of exploration we chose the quirky Il Sarceno Grand Hotel. Built on top of a Moorish structure dating back to the 1500’s, the hotel is filled with an eclectic assortment of Moorish and Italian antiques – very much out of the pages of The World of Interiors.

View from Il Sarceno Grand Hotel.

View from Il Sarceno Grand Hotel.

Certainly we didn’t lack for inspiration, but it didn’t hurt to have a splendid view from here of a seaside villa once belonging to Sophia Loren!

On a bit of a hike down the many steps to the private beach, accompanied by an intoxicated melange of lemon trees, verbena, jasmine, oleander and pine in the air, I’m sporting a Yves Saint Laurent white cotton voile kaftan style shirt with whit silk braid trim, Uniglo pale pink jeans, navy blue suede loafers and sunglasses both by Gucci, Cartier “Tank Divan” from Raj Tolaram my fragrance is Creed Bois de Cedrat.