The Amalfi Coast was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Yet us locals have always known that the area is much like Paradise on Earth. It’s a whirlwind of colors and scents. The blue of the sea, the scent of the pines and of the flowers, the laughter of people. And let’s not mention the delicious food! The dishes are mostly those you can also find in Napoli, but way better!
How to get around
The best way to explore the Amalfi Coast is renting a small car or a scooter (…or a Vespa!). We often go there for road trips (here you can find the detailed itinerary on our Moto Guzzi Griso. It’s easy to avoid all the traffic, as the streets are very narrow and often buses get stuck. Which means loads of traffic!
The SS163 is the road that goes from Positano to Vietri sul mare. If you intend to use public transport, you can reach Sorrento using a Circumvesuviana train. From the Sorrento train station you will then need to hop on a SITA bus to Positano, and from there it stops to every little town up to Vietri sul mare. To do this, you will have to purchase a TIC NA-6 ticket, valid for 190 minutes from the first validation, that will cover both train and buses. It will cost you 5€.
Where to stop
- Positano: There’s no need to introduce you to Positano, right? The beautiful town that features hundreds of little, colorful houses covering an entire hill, down to the sea, is worldwide famous. Cars aren’t allowed here, so if you rented one, you’ll have to park it in one of the available garages. The few parking spots on the road are in fact reserved to the locals. No need to dress all classy: Positano is pretty easygoing… and very hot in the summer!
- Praiano: From the main road you will have a postcard view of Praiano: the beautiful church you see is San Giovanni Battista, famous for the wonderful tiled floor of Neapolitan maiolica. It dates back to the 18th century! The photos are much better taken from the SS163.
- Furore: This is the only fjord in Italy! There’s always a small crowd that takes pictures from the road, so you won’t miss the spot. But try to walk down the (hundreds!) steps to the beach. You will find out that the water is just about perfect, and you’ll also be able to take pictures of an old fishermen’s village. It was the set of Roberto Rossellini’s movie “Amore”.
- Amalfi: The city of Amalfi is one of the most renowned tourist centers in Campania region. Known and appreciated all over the world for its colorful maiolica, the scented lemons and our favorite liquor, Limoncello, it has many beautiful ancient buildings. The Duomo has an Arab facade and dates back to the 9th century. The entrance is free, but you have to remember to cover your shoulders. And no shorts either!
- Atrani: It’s the smallest town in Italy, with a little over 800 inhabitants and a cute tiny beach. If you want to try your luck at finding a spot here in the summer, you’ll have to reach the beach at sunrise!
- Minori and Maiori: The “twin towns” are close to each other and you have to be a local to understand where one ends and the other starts: they look the same! In Minori you absolutely have to eat a pastry at Sal De Riso. It’s the most famous confectioner in Italy and the inside of his shop looks like a “cake boutique”: you’ll want to eat everything they have on display!
- Cetara: The only cars allowed in this little town are the locals’. If you walk down the road to the beach at sunset, you’ll be able to enjoy a grand view. Sitting on one of the colorful maiolica benches, you’ll see the warm glow flooding the mountains at your back and reflecting on the blue sea. A little crowd gathers here in this picturesque village every evening only for this… and to eat anchovies.
- Vietri sul mare: The last city on the Amalfi Coast has the longest seafront, which is, unfortunately, pretty crowded in the summer. It’s very famous for its colorful ceramics: it’s an art they’ve been mastering here since the Middle Ages!
What to eat on the Amalfi Coast
The first thing you’ll have to taste are our fried anchovies. Actually, in Cetara they are specialized in everything anchovies, so in many restaurants you’ll be able to order a mix. Some fried, some other served on bruschetta bread, they even use them as a topping for our pizza! Of course, since you’re still in Campania region, you’ll also have to eat some delicious pizza: the most ancient one is Pizza Margherita.
As I already mentioned, if you stop in Minori, you should go to Sal de Riso. His traditional pastries are Delizia al Limone, with Amalfi lemons, Ricotta e pere (with fresh ricotta cheese and pears) and… fried eggplants seasoned with chocolate, cinnamon, nuts and candied fruit. We call them “melanzane al cioccolato”.
Where to find a (slightly) cheaper accommodation on the Amalfi Coast
In my opinion the best way to find a cheaper accommodation on the Amalfi Coast is by booking way in advance, avoiding the most overcrowded periods (especially from May to September). Lodging in the area won’t be exactly “cheap” but don’t go some place where you won’t have public transport if you aren’t planning to rent a car!
Maybe your best bet might be Minori and Maiori: there are often good deals on the hotels here!