This summer, Milly’s Michelle Smith escaped for a 12-day vacation to Italy’s Amalfi Coast with her husband and children. Naturally, it was an inspiring sweet escape. She breaks down the trip from what she packed to her most memorable activity to her best finds.
What spurred the decision to travel to the Amalfi Coast?
I initially fell in love with the Amalfi Coast when my husband and I went on our honeymoon there in 2003. I really discovered Capri three years ago, and I can’t stay away. It truly is one of the most stunning places on Earth, with lush lemon groves cut into the cliffs that tumble down to the Mediterranean Sea. It’s breathtaking.
What were some highlights of the trip?
For me, the biggest highlight was the quality time I got to spend with my husband and my kids in such a gorgeous part of the world. My favorite day was when we sailed around Capri all morning and stopped for lunch at La Fontelina Beach Club. We lounged at the beach club for the rest of the day and watched the sunset.
Favorite spots on the dining front?
In Amalfi, my favorites were the restaurant and bar at the Hotel Santa Caterina. They are both spectacular! We also loved La Conca del Sogno Restaurant in Narano, which is accessible by boat. My favorite meal in Amalfi was grilled smoked mozzarella wrapped in lemon leaves and fresh linguine made in-house with lemon sauce. In Capri, I had the most amazing pizza at Aurora Restaurant with the thinnest crust, which I love! Throughout the entire trip I ate local freshly caught Branzino – delicious simply grilled and served with olive oil, lemon and sea salt. Each meal ended with a tiny glass of Limoncello, a liqueur made from lemons.
What was the most memorable activity?
We rented a sailboat with a captain from a tiny local shop, and he took us sailing around the entire island. We stopped to swim in the Grottos and admired the Farolini. It’s definitely a must-do!
What did you pack?
I tried not to overpack and stick to the essentials – flip flops, sunglasses, denim shorts, several bikinis and a sailor striped boatneck sweater that I threw on over my swimsuit. I packed some of my favorite MILLY tops, like our classic Cotton Poplin Off The Shoulder Blouse that I can wear with pretty much anything. Easy dresses you can throw on are always essential for travel. I packed our Graphic Stripe XBack Mini Dress for a casual summer evening look, and our Breton Stripe Off the Shoulder Dress to wear over my swimsuit for lunch or shopping in the villages. I also use Weleda skin food. It’s very nourishing and leaves the skin with a beautiful, youthful glow, along with Smith’s Rosebud Salve on my lips.
Do you have a routine when you go on vacation?
I don’t have a vacation routine. I like to go with the flow and be very relaxed. If I’m traveling to a region I’m not familiar with, I’ll generally do 2 days of relaxing to 1 day of touring/sightseeing, a very chill ratio.
Can you dish on some of your best finds?
There are amazing little local shops along the winding streets of Capri and Positano. I found really cool locally embroidered dresses and they also sell some really unique handmade jewelry. In Amalfi, we avoided the crowds at the town beaches by heading to the deck of the Hotel Santa Caterina. It’s right on the sea and gives you the privacy to truly enjoy the beautiful views.
What kinds of travelers are your family?
My kids are very easy travelers! Our daughter, Sophia, is 9 and our son William is 7. My husband and I have been traveling all over the world with our kids since they were about 4 months old. We’ve taken them to France, Spain, Italy, the UK, Japan, Hawaii, the Caribbean…They’ve done quite a bit of traveling so at this point. I would say they’re pretty seasoned!
Any major inspo from the trip?
I was surprised to learn the lemons in Amalfi are so sweet! The locals slice them and eat them as a snack – they are so yummy! Stay tuned for a MILLY lemon print next summer…