Happy Friday, friends! We have reached both the end of the week and the last destination of my three week European journey, the Amalfi Coast, an incredible region that I could go on and on about forever.
As with Croatia, there aren’t many ways to go wrong here, both with food and hospitality.
The Amalfi Coast is a region in Italy that is made up of multiple towns. You can visit several of them during your visit by hopping on a ferry, which I highly recommend, or in some cases by bus. In my opinion, the ferry is the way to go as it will give you incredible views of the gorgeous, clear blue Mediterranean water, other towns, and small islands that you would otherwise never see.
A word of advice regarding transportation: you will likely be terrified for your life as soon as you board a bus on the Amalfi Coast. The entire region is built on cliffs and the roads are narrow, so bus drivers flash their lights and beep their horn when coming around a blind turn to notify oncoming cars and mopeds. Fear not, however, because they’re used to driving here and are completely unsurprised and unaffected by what will seem to you as a near collision.
Instead, do some people watching, which is fascinating here. All of the towns are filled with visitors, but Positano, where we stayed, still manages to keep its local feel. You will find delicious food, locals, and glimpses of day to day life almost everywhere you go.
Something else you’ll notice is all the stairs. The region is full of them and it hurts to go down just as much as it hurts to go up. I do recommend trying out a climb or descent one day if it’s not too hot, because it will add to the experience of seeing how locals live, as well as give you a 360° view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, gorgeous cliffs, and the small little houses along the edges that we’ve all ooh-ed and ahh-ed over when looking at photos of the Amalfi Coast.
The food on the Amalfi Coast was some of the best I’ve ever had, paired with incredibly friendly service. The truth is that any restaurant you pick will be beautiful, so when doing your research, take note of whether you’ll need to make a reservation to snag a table. We had to skip out on a couple of restaurants that we really wanted to visit because we hadn’t made a reservation several days in advance.
If you’re staying on top of the hill (something many people choose not to do because of the bus ride or walk necessary to get back to your b&b), I cannot sing enough praises for Ristorante Il Ritrovo. It was recommended to us by our b&b as an “inexpensive, tasty, simple” choice on the evening we arrived, and turned out to be one of the best dining experiences of our entire vacation.
This region has TONS of b&b’s, so you’ll have a huge selection from which to choose. Keep in mind that the lower on the mountain you go, the more expensive it’ll be, and the higher up you go, the cheaper it’ll be. Both have pros and cons. The bus ride up wasn’t always what I wanted to do late in the evening after dinner, but the view from the top was incredible. On the other hand, if you’re looking to get to the beach, you’ll get there faster if you’re towards the bottom.
And speaking of beaches, the ones on the Amalfi Coast should not be missed. Many of the towns have a beach at the center of town. These will be more crowded, so if you’re looking for something quieter and farther away from the center, you can walk an extra 20 minutes in Positano to Fornillo beach. There you’ll find cheaper chairs and umbrellas and fewer people. That said, you also won’t have the same large selection of restaurants and the beach is a pebble beach, so don’t be like me and bring a pair of water shoes! Also, there will be several people offering to rent out chairs and umbrellas to you, so don’t choose the first offer you get until you’ve seen them all. They’re all in the same general price range, but some will offer more for your money than others. Most of the rentals also come with a wifi password, and some will also come with a boat ride back to the center of town, a drink, and a place to have lunch, which can be delivered to your chair if you choose.
Finally, if you have the time, you can take a day trip to another town. We visited the actual town of Amalfi and the gorgeous town of Ravello. Amalfi is a good place to find inexpensive souvenirs and grab a bite, but can otherwise be skipped if you’re irritated by big crowds. Ravello has beautiful views, a very cute town center, and a limoncello factory, so I do recommend taking a ferry via Amalfi and hopping on a bus to get there. Buses will be packed and you may have to let one pass before you get on, so plan accordingly!
As always, this is just a small snippet of the Amalfi Coast, so please feel free to comment or email with any questions! Happy travels!