More than 15 years ago I took a day trip to the Amalfi Coast and though in was only a few hours in left quite an imprint. Thus, when I went back to Italy in October I made sure we had a few days planned in this gorgeous spot. Geographically it is just South of Naples and Pompeii and this stunning section of the coast is a must for any Italian road trip. And now while my wanderlust is off the charts I am going to share with you my top Amalfi Coast Recommendations.
1 ) Explore Positano – This gorgeous beach town is famous for its colorful buildings and even in October the beach vibe is going strong. This was our homebase and it is a great place to stay on the Amafli Coast filled with dozens of delicious places to eat! And in-between sandy footsteps and delicious bottles of wine check out the Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption, part of an old monastery and famous for the Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary.
2) Take the Ferry Between Towns Even with COVID the ferries between the beach towns were running as they usually do from April to October. Traveling by ferry is a faster way to get from town to town than by car and the view can not be beat. Tickets can be purchased from kiosks at the ferry dock up until a few minutes before the boat leaves and it’s best to have cash. The Sorrento – Positano – Amalfi route is the most famous but there are options that can take you to Naples and even Capri.
3) Lemon Everything. It is hard to go to any store on the Amalfi coast without seeing a lemon somewhere – from a lemon decoration in the tiled floor to a print on dress or bag to homemade limoncello. The Amalfi coast has a special variety of lemon that are unusually large and fragrant. They grow on cliff-side terraces and these unwaxed lemons harvested by hand. While on the Amalfi coast make sure to have something lemon zest or lemon peel – I had a terrific lemon sponge or an incredible Amalfi lemon meringue pie.
4) Hike the Path of the Gods – This trail, formally named the Il Sentiero degli Dei, offers a stunning vista of the coast, especially at sunset and is always open and always free. That said, with the twists and turns I would highly recommend getting a guide like we did, especially to point out the vest photos spots. Stay tuned for a full post!
5) Enjoy Naples Style Pizza You can find Naples pizza on menus around the world but there is nothing quite like having it in the place where it is from. I am not a huge fan of overly dough pizza so the thing crust with puffed up sides is perfect for me.
6) Boat Tour of the Coast While the ferry gives a great view of the coastline you do not get too close to the shore unless you are entering one of the ports. A boat trip, whether just a scenic loop or one with a destination, is a great way to admire the beauty of the famous coastline and massive cliffs.
7) Plan a Beach Day – The main beach in both Positano and Amalfi is free – you can show up with a blanket, chair, or umbrella any day of the year and sun until your heart is content. The main beach of Positano is called Spiaggia Grande and while the middle, “spiaggia libera” is free, the majority of the 300m long stretch is run by one lido called L’Incanto. This company offers sun beds, chairs and umbrellas on the beach and also has provides guests with changing rooms and showers for patrons to use.r. Definitely walk to Fornillo beach, it’s mostly locals, it’s quieter and the sun beds and parasols are cheaper. A chair will cost you €12.50 a each ($15) or you can head down the beach to Fornillo which is more local and chairs are €7 per day.
8) Shop Local – With COVID it is a growing trend around the globe to shop local but this is especially key in Italy. “Made in Italy” is a stamp, especially on leather goods, that demands a premium worldwide so why not pick up a few pieces while you are actually in Italy? Explore each town’s side streets and alleys and you will be sure to come across a variety of local shops from shoes and clothes to pottery and lemon goods!
9) Drive the Coast While I mentioned the fastest way to get around is the ferry there is something absolutely magnificent about the views from the twists and turns of the Amalfi Drive (formally Strada Statale 163). Beware, locals drive very fast and the road is narrow but if you have a good driver with you it is an incredible experience!
10) Visit Capri I shared all of the details of our Capri boat trip in this post but a visit to this historic island is a must! Many choose to spend a few days in Capri to truly take in the beauty of the island and enjoy the food and shopping which we were able to get a glimpse of in only a few hours!
11) Amalfi Cathedral This gorgeous church is one of the prettiest I have been to in a long time and that is saying alot seeing as we spent 18 days in Italy. It is located right in the heart of Amalfi, l in the Piazza del Duomo, and you really can not miss it. We bought the full ticket and explore the gardens, museum, crypts, and main sanctuary – take a look!
12) Explore Amalfi After you have finished touring Cathedral take some time and explore the city of Amalfi. The port is quite charming, the city wall provides a gorgeous vista, and there are many amazing restaurants tucked away in alleys only a few blocks from the beach!
There you have it, my 12 Amalfi Coast Recommendations! And believe it or not there are a number of things we didn’t even get to do including the Monte Faito cable car, the medieval Castello di Arechi, or hiking to the waterfalls in the Riserva Statale Valle delle Ferriere. Just anther reason to go back!
Which would you want to do first?