A Guide to Furore
Furore is perhaps the most logic defying of any town on the Amalfi Coast. It is a vertical sliver of land that runs from the deep crevice of the Fiordo port on the sea to about 600 meters above sea level high into the Monti Lattari Mountains. There is no central piazza. No easy road to connect lower and upper Furore. The people of Furore even have split identities with those in the upper quarters more closely identifying with the mountain dwellers of Agerola and the lower quarters more historically linked to the mariners of nearby Conca dei Marini.
The most evocative part of Furore is the Fiordo, a deep coastal inlet that was created in pre-historic times by the Schiato torrent, which flowed here from the mountains of Agerola. A suspended bridge connects the towering cliffs on either side of Furore, making this possibly one of the most romantic beaches in all of Italy. Roberto Rossellini certainly thought so. In the 1950s he filmed L’Amore here and while simultaneously carrying on a very real life love affair with the film’s star Anna Magnani.
Furore is a deeply romantic insouciant town. The name itself, meaning fury, is an early reference to the pernicious tides that crashed against the remote cliffs of Furore. The people of Furore are of hearty peasant stock, weary of outsiders and happy to remain as the insular town it has been for several centuries. True to their roots, the Furitani follow the seasons and many continue to till their lands as the ancestors of generations past. Notably, the most highly prized wines of the Amalfi Coast come from Cantina Marisa Cuomo here. The sea breezes and terraced vineyards, which snake high into the hills produce superb local grape varietals to include the highly prized Fiorduva.
What to Do
In 1980 Andrea Ferraioli gave a small family vineyard to Marisa Cuomo as a wedding present. In the intervening years, Ms. Cuomo has transformed the vineyard from a small plot used for subsistence wine making, to a lauded international brand. What makes the vineyard unique is that it utilizes exclusively local grapes that grow on spectacular terraced pergolas in unexpected, gravity defying plots of land throughoutFurore. A visit here includes a guided tour of the vineyards, followed by a tasting in the beautiful grotto cantina and finally lunch at the Bib Gourmet recognized Ristorante Il Bacco. The full visit takes roughly four hours with lunch and is limited to small groups. Reserve ahead of time here.
Sigh. This beach is drenched in sex appeal. The towering cliffs. The stone bridge. The azure seas. Come here for the day. Bring a book and a panino and relax. The area also has excellent snorkeling. It is important to get to the Fiordo early in the day. There is not much beach here and it can get crowded in the summer months. There is both a free and paid beach. Parking is a nightmare here. I suggest if you are staying in Furore to take a footpath here from the upper part of town or alternately hire a boat from Marina di Praia to bring you here for 20 Euro.
The multi-colored mosaic dome of San Giacomo Church is a comforting local symbol. Perched on the twisty Coastal road that leads down to the sea, San Jaco, as locals call it, has served the town’s faithful since 1362. Prior to this period, local practitioners worshipped in caves largely run by Benedictine monks. With the financial successes of the Amalfi Maritime Republic and later the Duchy of Amalfi, local merchants invested in the constructions of churches to include San Giacomo. Furore in particular was consider a bit of a bandit town. It was far outside of the city center of Amalfi and with ample secret grottoes and challenging terrain, Furore was the ideal hiding spot for those finding themselves afoul of the law. Construction of churches like San Giacomo was thought to have a civilizing effect on the wily outlaws of Furore. Whether it had the desired effect is anyone’s guess, but a visit to the panoramic church of San Giacomo is worth a visit all the same.
Where to stay
This working farm, hotel and restaurant, boasts jaw dropping views and affordable prices. High in the hills, you can enjoy full, unhindered views of the Amalfi Coast. The menu here is meat based with some vegetarian options. No fish! The rooms are simple but well appointed. You can walk down to the Fiordo from here in roughly 15 minutes. Just remember that you also have to walk back up!
Owned by the same family as Cantina Marisa Cuomo, Hostaria di Bacco offers rooms and restaurant. Of the more up market variety, you can expect to enjoy full amenities and lots of wine! They have one of the best cellars on the Amalfi Coast. As well they should, the road that connects Furore to the sea is called Bacco Road after the ancient Roman god of libations. The views from Hostaria di Bacco are also stunning.
The hotel is so close to the sea it seems that it might just drop right into the water. Perched on a cliff just beyond the Fiordo, this is the ideal spot for those who want a true get away and seek to immerse themselves in the old world fisherman’s borgo Furore once was. The rooms are simple. The views here are anything but simply. They are dizzyingly spectacular.
What to Eat
Fico d’India’s rustic daily menus feature 3-4 pasta dishes and 3-4 mains. They unpretentiously reflected the season and boast produce from the onsite farm. As with most of the locales in Furore, the sea views are amazing. If the hand made gnocchi are on the menu, I highly suggest.
I have hosted countless parties at Sant’Alfonso over the years (not to be confused with the Michelin stared Don Alfonso in Sant’Agata.) This working farm and restaurant offers an exclusively meat based menu and they will gavage you with protein. The antipasti here all feature local produce from family farms in Furore and Agerola. The mixed grill is excellent.
The best fine dining restaurant in Furore, Hostaria di Bacco serves beautifully executed seafood pasta dishes. The classic are the spaghetti and clams, fresh scialatielli pasta and seafood risotto. Naturally given the close proximity of Maria Cuomo vineyards, a fine Fiorduva wine is a must when dining here. I also enjoy the salt crusted branzino.
Where to Party
What to Buy
Buy yourself of bottle of the only true DOC white wine of the Amalfi Coast. This highly sought after Fiorduva wine is the essence of the Amalfi Coast. The terroir is complicated here. With the mineral volcanic soil, rugged mountain terrain and wild sea breezes this wine is local magic in a bottle. Buy a bottle, walk yourself down to the Fiordo, sip and sea.