Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana) Italy (4/24-29/2018)
We loved our visit to Italy’s Amalfi Coast!
|Pat & Wayne Visiting |
Italy's Beautiful Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast was everything we thought it would be – stunningly beautiful, quaint historic towns, great Italian food, wonderful shopping, and nice accommodations. The Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana) is simply described as one of Italy's most scenic stretches of coastline with picturesque towns perched on cliffs.
|Lemons Everywhere on Amalfi Coast|
Get ready for everything lemons... because of the Amalfi Coast past dominance of sea power, the vitamin C from lemons was important to prevent scurvy making lemon production (that continues today) a major industry.
|Map of Italy's Amalfi Coast|
Travel Tips: Where to stay... If you want to visit the Amalfi Coast towns, we recommend basing your visit in Positano or Amalfi town with Majori as a potential less pricey option. These centrally located towns have good ferry and bus connections as well as nice accommodations, restaurants, shops, and attractions. If you also want to visit other places in the area in the north such as Naples and Pompeii, then basing part of your stay in Sorrento would be nice.
The best times to visit the Amalfi Coast for nice weather and lesser crowds is May and June. The weather is pleasant and the Mediterranean water is warm enough for a swim. May is nice while the spring flowers are in bloom and the crowds are lower. September is also a good time to visit after much of the crowds have left. Summer (July and August) is the high season with higher prices and temperatures (sometimes very hot) as well as much larger crowds.
|Driving the Amalfi Coast|
Helpful Travel Tip: Getting around the Amalfi Coast... To avoid the troublesome parking in the small towns along the Amalfi Coast and to take a break from driving the very winding and hectic Amalfi Coast Road (Costiera Amalfitana), you can take a bus or ferries that connect many of the towns.
|Ferries Connect the |
Towns on Amalfi Coast
The SITAbus connects the towns of the Amalfi Coast. You need to purchase your bus tickets before getting on the bus from local tobacco shops marked with a “Tabacchi” sign. Also, during the tourist season, TravelMar/Alicost, as well as other companies, operate ferriesfrom many of Amalfi Coast towns including Salerno, Amalfi, Positano, Maiori, Cetara, and Capri. For a higher fee than the standard bus, the CitySightseeing red bus offers a very nice air-conditioned bus with wonderful Italian music playing and some commentary along the route.
|We Loved Our Visit to the Amalfi Coast!|
Our suggestion on Amalfi Coast transportation: We tried all three ways (car, bus, and ferry) and prefer the ferryboats. Although more expensive, it is faster than taking the winding crowded road (often hectic) and you can enjoy the Amalfi Coast in a leisurely way. We parked our car and took the other means of transportation during our stay in the Amalfi Coast. You may want to consider not having a car and use Italy’s trains and buses to get to the Amalfi Coast (i.e. from Naples in the north take the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento and then SITA bus to Positano or Amalfi town or alternatively take the train from Naples to Salerno and bus onward).
|Enjoy Italian Life - It's Wonderful!|
VERY IMPORTANT AMALFI COAST TRAVEL TIP!Yes, the travel guides point out some great places to visit. There is so much more to enjoy during your trip to the Amalfi Coast. The Italians vacation at the Amalfi Coast and they know how to live life well – follow their example! Slow down and take your time. Stop at a café or restaurant on the coast or with a view overlooking the beautiful coast, even in a picturesque piazza... have some wine, seafood, and/or pasta, buy some beautiful well-priced fashion clothes, and let the world entertain you Italian style... trust us – you will not be disappointed. And also see some wonderful sites, picturesque streets and alleyways, and unique shops.
Here are some Amalfi Coast towns and places we highly recommend to visit...
|Beautiful Positano - Amalfi Coast Italy|
Positano is positivity wonderful! This GEM is our favorite on the Amalfi Coast. DON’T MISS POSITANO!
The most visually beautiful town along the Amalfi Coast, Positano is incredibly picturesque and charming at every turn offering amazing views. Built along a rather steep seaside slope, Positano has made the transition from a sleepy fishing village into one of Italy's most popular resort towns... and we can see why!
|Wonderful Shops - Positano|
A day in Positano... Once you arrive in Positano, take some time to take all this beauty in. You should walk along the beach viewing the restaurants, unique boutique shops, and do some people watching. Then begin your ascent up the hill on Positano’s pedestrian only walkway.
The ascent up the hill starts with some steps to the church (Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunto) at Piazza Flavio Gioia and then turns into a pathway that often become narrow at times. This walkway is beautiful with vine covers, the shops along the way are wonderful, and you can choose a nice restaurant if so desired. A bus is available to take you up and you can walk down.
Travel tip: Surprisingly, we found the prices for similar things better in Positano than other places along the Amalfi Coast.
|Positano & Beach |
- Amalfi Coast Italy
At the top of Positano’s pedestrian only walkway at Piazza Dei Mulini turn right on Via Cristoford Colombo and continue on for some fantastic views of Postiano and the Amalfi Coast. On the way up near the top of the walkway, we enjoyed the store Ll limoncello di Positano devoted to lemons.
|Lunch at |
Ristorante Le Tre Sorelle (Three Sisters)
- Positano Amalfi Coast Italy
We chose to have lunch down on the shore at Ristorante Le Tre Sorelle (remember ‘Three Sisters’) and so glad we did – so wonderful, we went back again! Try the oven-backed red snapper done with potatoes and olives or the pumpkin ravioli.
Positano’s main beach (Spiaggia Grande) becomes busy when the temperature warms up and a dip in the ocean is refreshing. It is covered by rocks but we found it nice to sit for a while.
|Amalfi Town - Amalfi Coast Italy|
The town of Amalfi is where we based our stay on the Amalfi Coast. Amalfi offers a good combination of accommodations, great town, nice restaurants and shops, interesting history, and a central location to explore the Amalfi Coast. Everything is close together – you can walk from one end to the other in about 20 minutes.
|Amalfi Town & Beach|
From the 9th to the 12thcentury, Amalfi was a very powerful superpower being the first major sea republic of Italy. Its influence was wide spread and Amalfi became very wealthy. Venice, Pisa, and Genova later joined Amalfi. The old city slid into the sea during an earthquake in 1343 and Amalfi’s history after that is being a poor fishing village until the recent huge interest as a tourist site. The 11th century wealth is reflected in the amazing picturesque Duomo Cathedral that dominates the main square (Piazza Duomo).
|Amalfi's Duomo Cathedral|
A visit to Amalfi’s Duomo Cathedral is interesting. The oldest part dates back to the sixth century. You began by seeing the Cloister and its garden. From here you can see the tall bell tower.
Continuing on into the Cathedral and Crypt, we were impressed by the beauty and elegance displayed. There is a museum displaying priceless religious objects sacred during their time.
Exploring Amalfi town... From the main square there is a main street (Via Lorenzo & Via Pietro Capuano) to walk Amalfi offering nice restaurants and shops to explore. It is fun to people watch by having a drink, some good Italian gelato (thick ice cream), or something to eat in the main square or along the street.
|Amalfi's Main Square Piazza Duomo|
If you have time, we enjoyed getting off Amalfi’s main tourist areas. You can do this by turning left just up from Amalfi’s main square (Piazza Dumo) on Via Fra’ Gerado Sasso walking up to Piazza dei Dogi. In this less crowded square, you will find a more authentic experience. There are several nice restaurants and a couple of local grocery markets where you can purchase Italian goods at prices the locals pay.
|Grotta Dello Smeraldo |
Another fun excursion to do while in Amalfi town is to visit the Grotta Dello Smeraldo (Emerald Grotto). The grotto is a unique formation inside a cave with beautiful emerald water where you are rowed around. This one-hour round trip excursion is offered throughout the day from the ferry station and includes a relaxing boat ride along the Amalfi Coast.
The rock-covered beach at Amalfi becomes crowded when the weather turns warm so a ‘beach’ day at Almafi with its beach restaurants can be enjoyable.
|Breathtaking Views in Capri!|
With its breathtaking views, fun attractions, and upscale offerings, the island of Capri is fun and interesting to visit during your stay on the Amalfi Coast.
|Capri’s Harbor (Marina Grande)|
When arriving to Capri by ferry, you will be dropped off at Capri’s harbor (Marina Grande). You can pick up a map at the information station located near where you arrive. Here there are some shops and restaurants to explore. Capri town is up on the hill.
Travel tip: Because it gets very busy in the afternoon (after 3PM) getting back from Capri town to the harbor to catch your ferry, we recommend to get going up to Capri Town right away and explore the harbor later if you have time.
|Beautiful Streets of Capri Town|
You have three choices to get up to Capri Town – walk, take a bus, or use the Funiculure cable car. It is quite a ways up so we recommend taking the bus located at the end of the harbor or the Funiculure cable car (quickest way) located near the middle. For a variety of experiences or judging by length of lines, you can take one up and the other down.
|View from Giardini Augusto|
We found Capri town to be lovely to walk around with upscale shops and beautiful restaurants – almost like a set of a movie. Two great streets to explore off the main square (Piazza Umberto) are Via Le Bottegne and Via Vittorio Emanuete. You can take Via Vittorio Emanuete, turning right at the end, to visit the gardens at Giardini Augusto, founded by the Roman Emperor Augustus, for a wonderful view down Capri’s breathtaking coast (see photo). (Note: we found visiting the Certosa di San Giacomecomplex overrated.)
|Upscale Shops along Capri's Via Camerelle|
To see the luxury brand shops, stroll along Capri’s Via Camerelle where the rich and famous shop. For those out for a nice walk, taking the 45-minute walk over to Arco Naturale provides a nice experience.
|Wayne Riding |
(Seggiovia del Monte Solaro) - Anacapri
One of the fun and popular things to do on Capri is take the bus over to Anacapri. We enjoyed taking the exciting chair lift (Seggiovia del Monte Solaro) for a 12-minute rideto the top of the mountain for wonderful views (see photo). You can also visit Capri’s beautiful Grotta Azzurra from Anacapri if you have time.