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messenger

game changers | thought leaders | rule breakers | style makers

COLLECTIVE launch issue

lorna jane clarkson online giants doing it differently

Etsy Spotify Kickstarter

How to FUEL your entrepreneurial SPIRIT The GLOBAL TREND that will change your life

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international Experts with

5M

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Twitter Followers and

15M

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Facebook Friends

CHIP CONLEY GUY KAWASAKI ROBIN SHARMA KAREN WALKER THE COVETEUR MARIA SHARAPOVA BRADLEY TREVOR GREIVE

w a r , d e g g u l p un y g d e and

AUD$9.95 | NZD$12.90 | CAD$12.99 | USD$12.50

EXPOSÉ The real fashion story WHO’S PULLING THE THREADS?

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EDITOR’S LETTER ISSUE 1

I 126

121

IN THIS HOUSE... WE ARE

REAL 114

WE MAKE MISTAKES WE SAY I’M SORRY WE GIVE SECOND CHANCES

FUN WE GIVE HUGS WE FORGIVE WE HAVE

WE DO REALLY

LOUD

WE ARE PATIENT WE LOVE.

had a vision – to create the greatest, most stylish, innovative, authentic, conscious, inspiring entrepreneurial magazine/media movement on the planet. No small feat but one made easier by an extraordinary team bringing together a collective of like-minded, passionate game changers, thought leaders, style makers and rebels from all over the world to deliver inspiration and leadership and force you to keep asking the questions “why?” or “why not?”. So what’s it all about? In a world full of imitation and replication we wanted to do something different. Something extraordinary, something that would stand out, be authentic and we could take beyond the pages of a print magazine. We scoured the planet for original thinking and genuine human connection; people with a willingness to share and speak out, to strip back the spin and hype. Our goal was to uncover those truly being courageous enough to be all that they can be and willing to bare their souls. People who were living, not just existing. Who are emotionally invested and not just ‘Working for The Man’, who believe their voice means something and that corporate logic or rhetoric isn’t always logical. That sometimes there is indeed a better way. We wanted the stories behind the story to inspire you but also to provide the how-tos and resources so that your own vision, goals and dreams would become attainable to you in your unique way. This magazine is for you, the people who challenge the status quo, who shake things up, who ask why. Who harness unique strengths and talents in themselves and others for positive change and have the capacity to gain a stronger foothold in the beige boardrooms of carbon copy corporations. You are the rebels with some serious attitude and cause. This magazine is NOT for those amongst us who deposit their souls at the door when they go to work each day. Occasionally within the pages of Messenger Collective we gush a little – unashamedly. It’s because we genuinely love and believe in all the people within these pages. Sadly, there is a trend in publishing to cut and paste and syndicate content from around the world. I made a conscious decision to personally connect with every person within these pages and all of them we respect for their contribution towards making our world a better brighter, more authentic place. Through the sections, you’ll find stories on global trends, co-working spaces, philanthropists, start-ups, multi-million dollar businesses, monks, designers, artists, believers, online giants, crowdfunding, outsourcing, succession planning, lion tamers, bloggers, brothers, renegade models and much, much more. One thing remains consistent: they all have soul in spades. The past 11 months have been delicious and serendipitous and at times really, really hard but never have I believed in something so much and not once did I want to quit. A few wonderful moments were interviewing Dandapani - one of the warmest people I have ever met with a naughty sense of humour that had me then, and many times since, rolling about in stitches. He’s the Hindu priest and former monk who lives in NYC. Bradley Trevor Greive supported me with my first book Happiness Is… nine years ago and I adore him and everything he stands for. A more raw and real story you will not find and it encapsulates the essence of the whole magazine. I challenge you to get through it without shedding a tear. >


BEHIND THE SCENES

COVER SHOOT

I really value your feedback. The most honest and constructive feedback will be featured in the next issue and get a $250 voucher from our great friends at Dinosaur Designs.

Then there is Lorna. Lorna and I have worked together for the past few years and I love her to absolute pieces. In my mind she is the perfect choice for the cover. She oozes positivity, inspiration and is a genuine, grounded and determined person. It was an absolute joy shooting her for the cover. We shot her in a way she has never been seen and I like to think Messenger Collective gave her the vehicle to express herself. We had some serious fun. She is one woman who is about to step things up to a whole new level and I’m proud to be on the journey alongside her. Messenger Collective started as a dream in March 2012 and quickly became a large multi-platform build that took on a life of its own. As I’m about to hit the print button I am reflecting on the magnitude of what we have created. I feel extraordinarily proud to be part of such a soulful and heartfelt journey with an absolute kick-arse team. More passion you would be pressed to find. My sidekick Claire and I went to meeting after meeting with some of the greatest and biggest distributors. Every time we’d walk in, ooze the passion we have for Messenger Collective (often with no visuals at all) we’d walk out with a deal. People just believed in it from the get-go and we are so incredibly humbled and grateful for this. I’m proud to say from Issue One we’re in 3,506 newsagencies in Australia, 55 commuter and airport stores, 16 domestic and international Qantas lounges (Chairman, Club and Business), 685 Coles supermarkets, eight Virgin lounges and various other retail outlets, hotels and corporate channels. We’re also rolling out into 10 other countries. You’ll find our full list of distributors on page 12. It’s true to say my baby got rather large, rather quickly. Messenger Collective is testament to living your dream and that anything’s possible when you have a clear vision and focus. It’s important to note that, whilst the print magazine is the cornerstone of Messenger Collective, it’s a much more complex integrated media proposition. Throughout the pages of the magazine you’ll find tips on how we can be read or how you can interact with us. We’re traversing print, online (tablet, mobile, web, social) with a large dose of human interaction – you can attend events or become part of our reader panels (see Page 113) and watch Messenger Collective’s pages come to life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for connecting with Messenger Collective. You’re a part of our team now and we look forward to walking the journey with you. I want and will welcome your feedback and input. I have no ego attachment to this. I just want it to be the very best that it can be.

LISA MESSENGER Editor-in-Chief Read Louise Olsen’s [Dinosaur Designs] story on page 98.

lisa@themessengergroup.com.au

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THE COLLECTIVE

the o coveteur In an over-saturated world of fashion blogs, you need a personal stamp – and snooping inside the closets of celebs and trendsetters just about does it.

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WORDS: JADE DUNWOODY PHOTOGRAPHS: JAKE ROSENBERG

of

MAYBE ALL IT TAKES is a late-night viewing of The Social Network for an ‘Aha moment’. Or in The Coveteur’s case – actually no, that sounds just about right. In 2011, stylist Stephanie Mark and designer Erin Kleinberg started the blog to fill their own voyeuristic void: to find out what culminates one’s style. Together with photographer, Jake Rosenberg, they approached industry trendsetters to become their first ‘coveteurs’. On launch day, the site received 20,000 hits [and crashed]. A few closets later and the site became one of the most coveted spaces to be featured on – and one of the most enjoyable sites to spend time on. Agencies began contacting Stephanie and Erin to shoot ad campaigns in and outside the platform, and it was time The Coveteur became their full-time gig. The company was self-funded until THE COVETEUR’D LIST it secured its first round of funding: $500,000 from investors such as hip-hop singer Drake > Margherita Missoni, Creative Director, Missoni [who in fact had been coveteur’d]. Funding, as well as the occasional ad campaign, meant the > Patricia Field, Costume Designer > Jenni Kayne, Designer site was able to be properly monetised. But the > Clare Waight Keller, Creative fashion voyeur in all of us was demanding a Director, Chloe deepened user experience, which soon became > Susie Lau, Blogger closet functionality and revenue stream, Shop > Tommy and Dee Hilfiger, Founder, Tommy Hilfiger This Look. “I think with our industry, it’s about > Garance Dore, Fashion Photographer and Illustrator constantly pivoting, reiterating and re-imaging > Erica Domesek, Founder, P.S – I your entity. Everything changes quickly and it’s made this crucial to stay current and always be working on > Sara Riff, Director of Entertainment improving the user experience,” they tell us. Relations, Jimmy Choo “We liked the idea of curated shopping > Hillary Kerr, Co-founder, and being able to love items and shop while WhoWhatWear being captured in a story. It really wasn’t about monetising so much as the need to provide a full experience for our readers. I mean, why tease them with products curated in the homes of such interesting people and then not allow them to have the look at the click of a button?” [Agreed!] We’re certainly familiar – and fans of – how The Coveteur has taken on an avatar form, inviting readers to feel as if they know those being coveuter’d. They also may have one of the most awesome jobs [they’ve just told us about their Barbie raid at Mattel and their costume montage at Victoria’s Secret]. They’ve built an incredible network of coveteurs and have peeped inside many enviable spaces [Karl Lagerfeld and Rachel Zoe to name a few]. And they’ve also got a hidden agenda to take on a global presence [it’s all a bit hush, hush at the moment]. Until then, we’re happy to continue watching them dash from glamourous closet to closet.

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business models and barbies

World-renowned Kiwi designer Karen Walker talks all things shop to Camilla D’Arcy.

I’ve caught the New Zealand designer as she leaves the airport en route to see her

daughter Valentina in her hometown of Auckland. Her voice is crisp and clean and she apologises for the rescheduling of our interview. I sense her desire to spend as much time as she can with her daughter so we get straight to it. The humble creative is friendly and laughs often as she retraces the beginnings of the Karen Walker brand. She takes me right back to the start. Growing up in suburban Auckland, the proud Kiwi describes her childhood as “idyllic”. Her mother and grandmother were both talented sewers, so Karen quickly developed an interest in fashion and design aesthetics. Boxes of fabrics littered the home prompting Karen to “fall in love” with the medium. “I remember when I was about seven and my grandmother taught me how to make a circular skirt for my Barbie,” she laughs. “I made her about 1000 circular skirts!” Karen says she knew her career goals early on. “When I was around 13 or 14, I decided I wanted a career that excited me and that I’d be thrilled to go to work every day for. The only thing I felt that passion for at the time was fashion.” And so it began. The Karen Walker brand has grown from being a young girl’s dream to an empire about to enter its 14th New York Fashion Week. As Karen puts it, “I had an idea and $100, and I grew it from there.” Her brand now includes a fashion line, paint line, home wares, sunglasses, shoes and jewellery, to name a few. These lines have been implemented with precision, Karen says, slowly and carefully. “Our rule is ‘don’t do too much’,” she says. “We launch a maximum of one new product line a year. We’re extremely hands on. We supply everything, we design everything, we art direct everything. We come up with every idea around the brand and the marketing. We’re very, very careful. We’re not one of those companies that hands the brand to a partner company and says, ‘Go away, have fun with it’. We guard our brand and build our brand with a lot of love.”

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STYLE MAKERS

The “we” Karen is referring to is herself and creative director Mikhail Gherman, who is also her husband. Mikhail and Karen built the brand together, meeting before Karen Walker was launched. Mikhail has played an integral role from the beginning. “We started it together, have grown it together and have loved it together,” says Karen. “I don’t know what it’s like to be in a marriage where you don’t have your business, your brand and your lives together. There are times where I just want to turn off at the end of the day or on the weekend and he’s got something in his head he wants to get out, and vice versa. We have to have the respect for each other to just switch off and look at it again on Monday morning.” This duo is remarkable not We’re not one of only for their design prowess but those companies also their business model. “I’ve always felt that the that hands the creativity doesn’t just stop on brand to a partner the runway – it extends to the boardroom,” Karen asserts. “You company and need to think creatively about says, ‘Go away, the approach to the business as well as the product, and I think have fun that’s evidenced in a lot of what we’ve done and how we’ve built with it.’ the business. “We’re very open and creative in terms of how to grow the business, who to partner with and what’s next. And I find that’s just as exciting as getting ready for the runway. It’s crucial to think creatively in terms of how you grow and develop your overall company. “We have many daring facets. It’s a slightly complicated business but also a very strong and healthy one that can ride the ups and downs. We’re in a lot of different markets with a lot of different products. If one market stalls, there’s another market that grows. If one currency slows, there’s another that’s strong. Being varied in a lot of different ways really helps the business.” When I ask Karen what’s the trick to standing out in such a competitive market, she responds, “I don’t think there’s a trick to

anything. It’s not that simple. Having a lot of energy, having a love for it. And not walking away at the first hurdle. “Always show up, always be out there and be interested. Always be looking and have your eyes open and seize every opportunity that comes your way. You have to be prepared to work hard. Only do it if you love it – that’s probably the most important thing, because you need so much energy for it and that only comes when you have a genuine passion for what you’re doing.” Karen’s advice doesn’t finish there. “You can never ask too many questions,” she stresses. “Look at it from every angle and bring in like-minded people. Have people you can go to for advice every now and then. There are a tonne of different approaches and none of them are wrong and none of them are right. You can come into it a million different ways, but all of them take a lot of work!” she laughs. As the interview comes to a close, I broach the topic of trends. “Oh God, I don’t know about trends,” Karen muses. “We just do what we do. There are a million trends in different points in time – everything’s in, then everything’s out, depending on your point of view. Gather up what you love, have a mental scrapbook and pull out those gems of inspiration when the time is right.” With a new eyewear range launching soon as well as new business ventures and product lines on the horizon, it’s clear that 2013 is going to be another bumper year for Karen Walker. But nothing seems to faze her. As she concludes, “It’s all good”.

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800,000

shops

22 million members 200 countries

17 million items listed 1,060,535 Facebook likes 1,855, 312 Twitter followers 1.4 billion page views monthly $895 million marketplace sales

ONLINE GIANT

Timed perfectly for the return of the make-do and mend era, Etsy’s online presence continues to dominate, and last year’s US$40 million cash injection promises more to come.

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GAME CHANGE

WORDS: JADE DUNWOODY

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ARNING: You may induce cravings for knitting a pillowcase after searching Etsy. But who could blame you. It has a tendency for turning anyone – even the non-crafty folk – into hobby-preneurs. Etsy was launched after three sleepless months when founder Robert Kalin couldn’t find a viable marketplace to sell his woodwork. So, along with two college friends – and next to no resources – he built one. Within two months, Etsy had 1000 sellers and 8000 items listed. That was back in 2005. Etsy has now acquired US$91.7M in investment, achieved a global resonance in 200+ countries and is officially the online giant of handmade goods. Walking into Etsy HQ feels like the bricks and mortar to the site. There’s a giant papier-mâché owl [for no particular reason], lampshades hanging from tree-like props [also, for no particular reason] and about nine dogs fleeting through their Brooklyn warehouse. The majority of the employees are under 35 – they have an exuberance that knows no age – and each new employee is given a stipend to spend so that they can put their personal stamp on their workspace. By placing such value on selling homemade and vintage products, we’re not surprised that Etsy lives and breathes its DIY philosophy [there are even ‘eat-sy’, locally-sourced, organic company meals]. “We’re empowering people to get back to making – and to making a living doing what they love,” says Nicole Vanderbilt, Etsy’s newly appointed Country Manager for Australia, the UK and Canada. “But our growth has been very much tied to our community. The massive movement of [online] platforms has given people the ability to express themselves. So, rather than just be like other technology platforms, we want to give people something more. And that’s the confidence and support.” Etsy has three revenue streams: a 3.5 per cent sales fee on every transaction, a listing fee of US$0.20 for every item, and optional advertising for sellers. It may seem like odd logic that Etsy is more interested in the relationships between buyers and sellers than the transaction value. But this is what gives Etsy its edge. “People care about buying and interacting,” says Nicole. “There have been concerns about e-commerce since Amazon

launched, so there are still many hesitant buyers. What we’ve created is something more personable. We have what we call ‘convos’ with sellers, when you can ask questions and ask for another image if you need to.” Etsy has earned some serious kudos in the last few months, especially after launching Etsy labs and both virtual and physical meet-ups for sellers. “I think we see a lot of different responses to [meet-ups] but most people seem thrilled to connect with like-minded individuals to share tips on not only how to sell on Etsy but other essentials, such as sourcing good suppliers. Responses are not often about direct competition,” says Nicole. “The most endearing thing about the seller meet-ups is that you find a real mix of people. Some are students – every fibre of their being is creative – through to statisticians at pharmaceutical firms – the least creative-sounding career.” With 800,000 shops [at the time of print] it’s lucky Etsy are first and foremost a technology company who continue to run the back-end of the site in-house. “Some of the challenges early on were similar to most web start-ups – the trade-off between adding new features, scaling the site, getting people to use it and be really passionate about it,’’ says Nicole. “We create the tools, but the success of Etsy should really be attributed to our sellers and their products.” Last year saw Etsy acquire US$40 million from venture capitalists to fuel global expansion among many other projects, including their first pop-up store in New York and additional Etsy Labs (small business workshops). “Globally, I’ve actually been surprised with how similar some of the buying and selling habits are. One example where there’s a slight difference is art in the UK being a bigger category. And that’s because art education tends to be a bit stronger than in other countries. So we end up with a lot of illustrators,” says Nicole. “We let users fall in love with the products and the stories behind the products and sellers. When you get to that point, you don’t care whether the product is coming from Oregon, London, or Sydney.”

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Discover great finds at etsy.com

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SPOTTING A MARKET GAP

GAME CHANGE

Launched in October 2008 by a Swedish start-up, digital music streaming service Spotify has given people in 17 countries a legal alternative to piracy and now rivals Apple for market share. Spotify’s AustraliaNew Zealand General Manager Kate Vale tells how expansion Down Under has been the company’s most What does your phenomenal growth mean for your competitors? successful launch. Spotify has moved to a global platform and become a household brand within a short period of time. How? Purely because it is a unique platform that music lovers enjoy. We have a free tier so there is no barrier to trying our service. Once music lovers use our service they can upgrade to premium for a small monthly fee and take their music on the go. What is your global reach? Spotify is available in 17 countries: the US, UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Luxembourg. It took three years to reach Australia. How has it been received? Australia is a key market for Spotify. We are the fifth largest music market in the world with a high smartphone penetration and a huge Facebook population. These factors together have been key to our enormous success here. What were your marketing initiatives to launch in Australia?

We tend to see piracy as our main competition. Spotify actually launched as an alternative to illegal downloading, so that people who were previously disinclined to pay for CDs or downloads had somewhere to go that was legal and helped inject money back into the industry. We’re proud to say in countries where Spotify has existed for a number of years, such as Sweden, we have seen piracy decrease by more than 25 per cent. Spotify is another way for music lovers to consume music. In Europe we are the number two service behind Apple. In markets such as Sweden and Norway (where we have existed the longest) we have taken over iTunes as the most-used music service. Tell us about Music Hack Days in Stockholm. We love Hack Days! They bring together programmers, developers, musicians and designers to conceptualise, build and demo the future of music. I’m not sure how they originated but some amazing ideas have come from these days. In fact, one of the first-ever Spotify Hack Day winners was an Australian, for a concept called Swarm.fm, which gives our users music recommendations based on what their friends are discovering. Last year this concept was launched as a Spotify app and is now available for our users globally.

How difficult was it to get all the record labels on To be honest we have not done a lot! Spotify spreads by word of board? mouth. When people love us, they tell their friends. Our Facebook Spotify has become a significant part of their revenue over the integration has also helped growth because people naturally love past four years. To date we have contributed US$500m to the to share the music they enjoy. industry and in the last year the rate at which revenue is growing Obviously our partnership with Facebook is a great asset for has doubled. So the labels have been incredibly supportive. us and we are the only music streaming service to have this partnership in place. For artists this integration You’ve done some amazing collaborations provides them with an opportunity to gain more Obviously our with global brands. Tell us about them. traction in social media. partnership Last year we announced a multi-faceted strategic We also worked closely with a number of local artists in the lead-up to our launch. They with Facebook is partnership that combines the global scale and of Coca-Cola with Spotify’s music technology helped spread the word the moment we were a great asset for us reach platform to give consumers unprecedented access live, sharing playlists that they had created, for example, and even giving out some free access and we are the only to the music they love. The partnership will help fans discover new music, connect with other music to our Premium service to their uber fans. music streaming lovers around the world and seamlessly share their Australia and NZ have been our most successful service to have this experiences with friends both online and offline. country launches ever. partnership in place. We hope to form many more such collaborations. > messenger collective |

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GAME CHANGE

AT A GLANCE To date, Spotify has: > 20 million users > 5 million paid subscribers > More than 20 million tracks > Average 20,000 tracks added every day > More than one billion playlists created

What’s coming up? We’re in the process of rolling out a whole new update, so five features that will be coming to all users soon are: 1. A ‘Follow’ tab that will allow users to follow artists, friends, celebrities, tastemakers and media and get real-time updates on what they’re listening to. 2. A ‘Discover’ tab that will give you personalised music recommendations based on your listening history and the people you follow. 3. If you have a premium account, you’ll be able to receive a notification as soon as an artist you follow releases a new song or album on Spotify. 4. Our audio preview function will allow you to preview track samples without moving away from your current song. 5. Our new ‘Collection’ tab will allow you to have all of your music in one place. No more having to create playlists for every album, just click the + symbol and it will be added to your collection. Some great Spotify apps have been created, such as Earache Metalizer. What others? ‘TuneWiki’ gives you the lyrics of any song so you can sing along with it, ‘Moodagent’ gives you playlists to match your mood and ‘Tastebuds’ allows you to meet people near you who share your taste in music.

Not since Abba have we seen Swedish music enjoy such popularity. Is Spotify really putting Sweden back on the music and media map? There’s so much great music coming out of Sweden – The Hives, Swedish House Mafia, Robyn, The Tallest Man On Earth, The Knife, First Aid Kit, Lykke Li, and many more – and we’re thrilled that we can help showcase these artists to our users. One of my favourite stories is about our work with the new Swedish DJ duo Cazzette, who recently became the first group ever to launch their career exclusively on Spotify. Their first single, Beam Me Up, has been having some great international success off the back of this, including hitting Number 2 on Spotify’s US chart, Top 10 on our UK chart and also Top 10 on Billboard’s Dance/Mix chart. What are the subscriber options available on Spotify? 1. Free: You have unlimited access to the entire Spotify library of over 20 million songs on your desktop and laptop. The free tier is made possible by ads. 2. Unlimited: $6.99/month. You have unlimited access to the entire Spotify library of over 20 million songs on your desktop and laptop. No ads and no commitment. 3. Premium: $11.99/month. Listen to the entire Spotify library on all of your mobile devices. Download music and listen offline. No ads and no commitment.

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To find out more about Spotify, visit spotify.com


COURTESY: Hotel Santa Caterina

La Dolce Vita

It’s the slither of Italian coastline south of Naples that wraps the coast from Sorrento to Salerno. Here, hidden beaches and small beautiful towns nestle in the hills waiting to be discovered. Director of Avanti Italy, Emily Tassone, introduces the picture-postcard Amalfi Coast messenger collective |

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atrani beach

tour guide: Emily Tassone is the director and founder of Avanti Italy, which creates tailored itineraries for those travelling to Italy, specialising in the areas of the Amalfi Coast and Tuscany. She ‘follows the sun’ – living six months in her hometown of sunny Mildura, Victoria whilst in Australia and then six months in the tiny jewel town of Atrani, on the Amalfi Coast, Italy. Born to Italian parents, Emily’s love affair with Italy stemmed from an early age. When the entrepreneur decided travelling to Italy annually wasn’t enough, she combined her skills and passion and set up shop on the Amalfi Coast. Avanti Italy was born. Dividing her time (between Italy and Australia), the business woman admits there are both pros and cons associated with this lifestyle. “I haven’t really seen a winter in three years. Besides the constant sunshine, I love that I get to ‘leave’ wherever I am – it makes me appreciate both Mildura and Atrani when I’m there. I am an Aquarius so I love my freedom. But in all honesty I think it sounds better than what it really is. I don’t like the fact that I miss out on so much. As for recommending this lifestyle to others – it really depends on the type of person that you are; you have to be open to new experiences and cultures, fearless and love a challenge!”

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Getting There:

While the Amalfi Coast is in mainland Italy, you could easily mistake it for an island due to the difficulty in reaching it. I’d recommend private car transfer (approx. 1-1.5 hours) from either Naples (you can fly into Naples or arrive by train) or Salerno. Public transport during summer is often crowded and uncomfortable, and bus schedules change regularly throughout the season.

Best time to go:

Anytime between April-end of October. My favourite time is July because I love the heat, summer is in full–swing, and there are lots of gorgeous local festivals to enjoy. Otherwise, October is ideal if you prefer cooler temperatures and less people around. Avoid the winter months, November-March, when almost everything shuts down, there is a lot of rain and the streets are deserted.

How to look like a local:

Drink your espresso at the bar and don’t order a coffee with milk after 11am. While at the beach, no matter what body shape or age you are, ladies you must wear a bikini and men get your budgie smugglers out! Italians are very comfortable and confident people – one pieces and board shorts are a big no no.

Beaches/Locations: > Santa Croce Beach, west of Amalfi A beautiful little beach, away from the crowd, with incredibly blue water. Swim over to the Arco Naturale (Natural Arch) just west of the beach. > Le Sirene Beach in Amalfi Instead of fighting through the crowds on Marina Grande beach, walk to the other end of the town’s harbour to Le Sirence beach. From there, you can swim west a little way to explore the Grotto di Sant’Andrea.


PHOTOGRAPHS: CLAUDIO IAQUINITI

NOMAD

What to pack: Comfy shoes as there are a lot of stairs.

Must-see sight: The ‘Walk of the Gods’ hike is a must – the views are spectacular and you really do feel closer to paradise up there!

Where to Stay: > Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa, Amalfi Words don’t describe this establishment, it is simply breathtaking. This is the latest and most glamorous place to stay on the Amalfi Coast, with the hotel opening at the beginning of the 2012 season. After taking 11 years to build, its first year received a number of VIP guests, including Monaco royalty. monasterosantarosa.com > Hotel Santa Caterina, Amalfi It’s one of the most well known five-star hotels on the Amalfi Coast. Located a few minutes from the famous town of Amalfi, the Santa Caterina enjoys a panoramic coastal setting of incomparable beauty. The property is fringed by a citrus grove and lush gardens leading right down to the water’s edge. Their ‘Chalet Giulietta & Romeo’ suite is a must for honeymooners – it even has its own terrace leading out onto a private garden with a secluded heated infinity pool. hotelsantacaterina.it

Must-have souvenir: Anything lemon – the area is famous for Limoncello.

> Hotel Caruso, Ravello A former 11th century palace set on cliffs beside the Amalfi Coast, the five-star Hotel Caruso seems to drift on a ‘balcony’ above the Mediterranean Sea. Its ancient walls and fresco-covered ceilings have been carefully preserved. The furniture reflects Neapolitanstyle and was exclusively created for Hotel Caruso – some rooms also feature 18th and 19th century antique pieces. This elegant hotel is located in the equally elegant town of Ravello. hotelcaruso.com Monastero Santa Rosa

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atrani main piazza: tHE LOCALS ‘LOUNGE ROOM’.

Day trips: > Pompeii It’s fascinating to see the remains of the embalmed town that was buried under metres of ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79. > Paestum A little further south from the Amalfi Coast but the two hour drive is well worth it to see the remaining Greek temples. You can also swing past the Buffalo mozzarella cheese factory for the best you will ever taste. > Isle of Capri There are a few different options on how to reach this glamorous island – whether you catch the mainstream ferry or rent a private boat with skipper, it’s not to be missed. If you are on a small yacht, make sure to jump off and swim in the grottos around the Island, bliss.

Best coffee spots: > Dolceria dell Antico Portico, Supportico Rua Nova Mercatorum 10, Amalfi > Pasticceria Pansa, Piazza Duomo 40, Amalfi

Best local bars: > Bistro, Piazza Duomo, Amalfi > Gran Caffe, Corso delle Repubbliche Marinare 37/38, Amalfi > Bar Birecto, Piazza Umberto, Atrani > La Brezza, Via del Brigantino 1, Positano

To find out more about the Amalfi Coast, visit avantiitaly.com messenger collective |

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