In The Amalfi Coast
I want to preface this blog post by saying no photos do this place justice. It is even more beautiful in person than it is in photos & you absolutely need to visit because I can confirm it lives up to its popularity in recent years on social media.
After spending a week in central Italy we headed south to the Amalfi Coast for 5 days for a complete change of pace. This itinerary picks up where my previous Italian itinerary leaves off but I do think you could also just plan a full week trip to the Amalfi Coast on its own.
Itinerary at a glance:
Day 1: Naples to Positano –
- Private driver to Amalfi Coast
- Check in at Hotel: Hotel Casa Albertina
- Lunch: Da Vincenzo
- Positano Spiaggia (beach)
- Aperitivo: Hotel Palazzo Murat
- Dinner: La Sponda at Le Sirenuse Hotel
Day 2: Ravello and Amalfi –
- Villa Rufolo (was closed while we were there)
- Villa Cimbrone Gardens – Terraza del infinito
- Gelato: Baffone Gelateria Artigianale
- Aperitivo and Lunch: Caruso, A Belmond Hotel
- Duomo di Amalfi
- Shopping in Amalfi
- Coffee and Dessert: Pasticceria Pansa Amalfi
- Aperitivo: Franco’s Bar
- Dinner: Terrazza Celè
Day 3: Capri –
- Ferry from Positano to Capri and Anacapri
- We used Positano Jet (tickets can sell out in the summer busy months so buy ahead)
- Private boat around Capri and Anacapri island
- We used Gianni’s Boat (book early to make sure you get the tour/date/hours you want)
- Lunch: Lo Zodiaco
- Ferry back to Positano
- Aperitivo: Franco’s Bar
- Dinner: Misaki Sushi Positano
Day 4: Positano –
- Fornillo Beach
- Positano Spiaggia
- Gelato: The Ice Cream shop of Buca di Bacco
- Lunch: Buca di Bacco on the beach
- Cooking class at Il Ritrovo
- Dinner: Il Ritrovo
Day 5: Positano to Naples –
- Fiordo di Furore
- Positano street shopping
- Private driver back to Naples airport
Day 1: Positano –
Hiring a driver is a must to get from Naples to the Amalfi Coast. First off, driving in Italy in general is totally crazy but then you add the narrow, winding, cliffside mountain roads of the coast and it is just awful. We hired a private driver from My Day Trip and were paired with Nicola. He was professional, kind, and truly made us feel safe. I am including his business card here in case anyone wants to contact him directly!
Nicola dropped us off right in front of a few steps that led up to our hotel. We loved our cute little boutique hotel. The staff was incredibly kind, they truly catered to our every need and we highly recommend (book here: Hotel Casa Albertina). They served up delicious, home-made breakfast for us every morning, booked our cooking class, and were always there to answer all our questions! Only disclaimer is that you do have to climb a few steps from the main road up to get to the hotel. This shouldn’t scare you off since you should be prepared already to climb stairs all day in the Amalfi Coast. There are stairs EVERYWHERE so you will definitely burn off all the pasta here!
After check in, we had a delicious lunch at Da Vincenzo right next to our hotel before heading down to the beach. The stairs down to the beach are a few feet away from the hotel which is very convenient. Here’s a video of the stairs to get down to the beach…
Was it worth it? 1000%. Although we did arrive on a gloomy day. The views are still so breathtaking in Positano.
We dipped our feet in the beautiful blue mediterranean sea and then headed up through MORE stairs to explore the town of Positano. Right in the center of the square is a church, Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta. Right as we were arriving there was a bride entering the gorgeous church (pictured above).
We stopped in to Buca di Bacco for a quick drink before heading back to our hotel to change for aperitivo and dinner. Our aperitivo was at Hotel Palazzo Murat and I must say the drinks were very strong and also delicious here. We also met so many new friends here, we had a fabulous time!
We had dinner reservations we had made about 3 months in advance to La Sponda at the gorgeous Le Sirenuse hotel (book here: La Sponda). I will let the video and photos speak for themselves as to why you MUST make a reservation here.
As long as you’re okay with the stairs, Positano is very much a walkable town. We only took the bus the next day to head to Amalfi and Ravello.
Day 2: Ravello and Amalfi –
We had breakfast at our beautiful hotel and decided to go spend the day in other coastal towns.
We bought a 24 hour bus pass for 10€ each and headed out to the town of Amalfi. In terms of miles, the distance is not that long from Positano to Amalfi but because the roads are so narrow often times the cars or buses traveling opposite directions have to stop to let one or the other through since both almost don’t fit on the road at the same time. This makes the trip about an hour long. We got off in Amalfi but decided to then take another bus up the mountain to the town of Ravello.
Honestly, we love it so much we wish we would have stayed at least 1 night in Ravello. This town truly feels heaven-like. We started off with a hike (~1200 feet) up to Villa Cimbrone. This 11th century villa is a private 5-star hotel, but the gardens are open to the public. At the end of your walk through this stunning place you will end up at Terraza del infinito. Again, I will let this view speak for itself…
After a lot more stairs and walking we had aperitivo and lunch at Caruso, A Belmond Hotel. If I could live here forever I would be so happy. This place is STUNNING and DELICIOUS (probably the best pizza we had in all of Italy).
After exploring the small town center in Ravello we headed back down the mountain to the town of Amalfi. In my mind Amalfi was a beach town but we realized it’s actually mostly a marina with a tiny piece of sanded beach tucked away in a corner called Silver Moon Beach Club. We decided against the beach and walked in to the town center instead. The Duomo di Amalfi is gorgeous! We spent some time here and walking through the narrow streets and alleys of Amalfi. Then we stopped for a “Lemon Delight” and coffee at Pasticceria Pansa Amalfi.
After our little coffee break we were ready to brave the bus back to Positano.
Warning: If heights are not your cup of tea (or coffee) do not look out the bus/car window on the drives through the Amalfi Coast. It is not for the faint of heart!
Back in Positano it was time for Aperitivo at the social media famous Franco’s Bar. I will say, we came back here the next night so clearly it was a good social media recommendation. The drinks are good and the view cannot be beat.
Then we walked down the street to dinner at Terrazza Celè. I know I keep saying this, but wow the staff was just perfect, they were attentive, gracious and funny. I almost came back for dinner the next day but Jeremy outvoted me.
There’s 1 club in Positano called “Music on the rocks” we did not go after reading the reviews (I will leave it at that). But they did have a beautiful firework show we got to see from our room balcony…
Day 3: Capri –
We took the Positano Jet ferry out to Capri at 8am with a 3:30pm return. Once in Capri we had a private boat tour arranged that took us around the entire islands of Capri and Anacapri. Our boat skipper was super knowledgeable and pointed out all the grotto’s and villas/homes of famous people on the cliff sides.
We recommend booking with Gianni’s Boats Capri.
We had lunch at Lo Zodiaco in Capri’s town center as recommended by our skipper. It was delightful!
Right on time, we took our ferry back to Positano to shower/change and catch the sunset on the beach.
Then, we headed back up to Franco’s Bar for aperitivo and then had dinner at Misaki Sushi Positano as per Jeremy’s request to take a break from the pizza and pasta. Shockingly, this place was some of the best sashimi and sushi I’ve ever had and it’s definitely a great food option in Positano.
Day 4: Positano –
But then you end up here:
We spent the day at the beach and it was absolutely perfect. My only complaint as a Miami girl is the pebbles walking in to the beach, they’re rough on the feet when you’re used to soft sand beaches in Miami. The drinks are delicious at the beach bar at the Spiaggia but of course pricey in comparison to any of the bars not directly serving you on the beach. The Buca di Bacco bar is a few feet away if you want a cheaper option.
Just look at this perfect sunset showing off for us:
We had met some friends from Austin, Texas on our first night at aperitivo in Positano that raved about a cooking class they took. On their recommendation, we had our hotel arrange it for us also. The restaurant sends a car to pick you up from your hotel since they are all the way on the top of the mountain of Positano. It’s a family owned restaurant were you get to have 1 on 1 cooking lessons from Nonna herself! This was a memory we will cherish forever. As beautiful as the views were, this was unanimously our favorite part of our trip! Shoutout to our adoptive family at Il Ritrovo (I ordered the pasta maker the next day)…
Day 5 – Positano then back to Naples:
On our last day we headed off to a small locals beach passing the cute town of Praiano called Fiordo di Furore. Still a pebbled entrance but it’s directly under a bridge and very picturesque.
We took the bus back to Positano for some last minute souvenir shopping before packing up our bags and calling our driver Nikola for a ride back to the Naples airport.
I will miss these views, until next time we meet.
Things to keep in mind:
Transportation in the Amalfi Coast: It’s hard to get a around the Amalfi Coast because there’s basically 1 very narrow road that goes along the coast from town to town. The bus is the cheapest and easiest option to travel between the towns, the only issue being that tickets do run out. They basically give each “Tabaccheria” (convenience stores) a few bus tickets a day and they run out pretty early in the morning. So, get an early start to your day if you plan to use the buses. Another important thing we learned is that the buses are never on time AND if the bus is full they will not stop at any of the ‘programmed’ stops (even if you wave them down frantically). Also, it is important to note that most bus drivers will let you on without a ticket and just tell you “it’s okay, you can buy it at the next stop” so take it with a grain of salt. We bought the 24 hour bus passes for 10€/pp every morning, but we are morning people so never had an issue. It was also September when we were here and did hear that in July, and August it is super crowded in the Amalfi Coast and the buses are even harder to get on to. Also, if you don’t request a stop the bus will not stop from Positano to Amalfi the entire way. Keep in mind there is almost no parking (if you rented a car) and there is no Uber’s here. The taxis are very pricey here (the bus left us one day and we paid 120€ for a 15 minute ride) and you can only catch one at a marked taxi stop or if you have the contact to a driver directly. See the example of transportation below:
Prices: The Amalfi Coast is considerably more expensive than anywhere else we visited in italy. You will notice this from the moment you try to pick a hotel. A lot of people save money by staying in Sorrento, just keep in mind the above mentioned transportation issues. So taking a car/bus everyday to Positano will be about 1 hour and to Amalfi more like 2 hours. In my opinion it is worth splurging on a vacation here and staying in central Positano.
Positano vs. Amalfi: I think there is more to do and a bigger and better beach in Positano than in Amalfi proper. Amalfi felt very small to us, there are not as many restaurants or bars. It is also farther away from Capri if you want to take a ferry (most will stop at Positano and not Amalfi and then you have to bus/taxi to Amalfi).