To say the Amalfi Coast was a dream would be an understatement. Positano and Capri have been the IT place to travel this summer on social media. I’m sure your feed has been flooded with picture after picture of pastel buildings on the hillside and girls eating pizza under colorful umbrellas, like mine. The Amalfi Coast is the ideal vacation spot for me, you feel immersed in another culture and language but don’t feel pressure to hustle from one sight to another with the rest of the crowd. Instead rent a convertible and cruise the windy cliffside roads and when you feel like some R&R go lay on the beach with an Aperol Spritz and a good book.
How to Get There
Fly into Naples, Italy. I would suggest renting a car and getting the hell out of there. I’m so happy I did my research before booking hotels and decided against spending anytime in Naples. The city is dirty and littered with graffiti.
People will try and scare you out of renting a car because the roads are narrow AND windy AND on a cliff AND and you have scooters fly past you WHICH are all true BUT don’t miss out on this experience. Every time we went for a drive I was in complete awe. With a car you can be on your own schedule and the local bus system is very much on Italian time. One night went into Positano for dinner and waited an hour and forty minutes before hiring a car back to our hotel.
TIP: the car rental companies love to try and sell you on a larger car aka spend more money. They told us that our luggage was too big for our current car and it was illegal to put them in the back seat. Well me being me, I basically told the guy to screw off. So glad I did because we get to the car that we originally rented and sure enough the back seats fold down and our luggage fits perfectly. Not to mention the fact that most roads on the Amalfi Coast are built for one way traffic but they have huge tour buses going both directions on these roads. So naturally the smaller the car, the better!
Stay: La Maison des Tout le Monde ($150/a night)
A cute little bed in breakfast in the heart of Sorrento. It is a four-room hotel in an apartment complex on the third floor. The downside is that there is no elevator or onsite personnel working besides in the mornings to cook you breakfast. The positives are you can walk everywhere from the hotel and it was very quiet. I don’t think we heard anyone else during our two- night stay. Most hotels in Italy are antiquated to say it kindly but this cute little hotel was newly built and the decor was modern. I would definitely recommend staying here for the price and quality!
Once we got to Sorrento, we dropped off our bags and immediately went out to explore. Because Sorrento is technically not part of the Amalfi Coast I feel it gets overlooked as a destination, but I absolutely loved our time there. If cost is a limitation to traveling to the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is definitely the solution. Hotels are cheaper, meals are half the price, and buses and ferries leave hourly to all the hotspots along the Amalfi Coast.
I would suggest to not really have any plan for this first day and see where the road takes you. We walked the entire city in about 3-4 hours with stops along the way. Our first stop was an Aperol Spritz at Pete’s beach.
There isn’t much of a beach along the entire coast, so they build beach clubs along the piers and jetties. I thought this was so genius.
That night we ate down in this fisherman’s village at Trattoria da Emilia. They don’t take reservations and there is always a long wait. Luckily Italians eat dinner very late (9-10pm) so when we got there around 7:30pm we only waited 10 minutes.
TIP: Take the earliest ferry to Capri from Sorrento! You will get there before half of the island gets up and you can roam the streets alone. The ferry ride is only 20 minutes! (Click here for tickets, only $20 Euro) Get tickets ahead of time because the earliest and last times of the day sell out first.
When you get off the ferry, buy tickets to the funicular ($2 Euro) to take you up to the main city center, Piazzetta Capri. Once your there have breakfast at da Alberto. I pretty much ate pizza every chance I got so naturally we got pizza for breakfast here and NO LIE it was the best pizza of my life. It was swimming in virgin olive oil and was on a rosemary crust. I DIED. SO GOOD.
Stroll down Via Camerelle and do some window shopping.
Enjoying the empty streets and my personal paparazzi.
If you want any pictures with this infamous lemonade stand you must go before it opens. We got this one picture before he told us no pictures. To find this lemonade stand take Via Matteotti towards Capri Rooftop (if you go during the afternoon, have drinks at this rooftop bar. The view is gorgeous and you must order the lavender champagne cocktail!) After pay 1 Euro to enter Giardi di Augusto to view Via Krupp. (I’m sure you’ve seen this before as it is usually a rotating screensaver on most desktops.)
Next go explore Anacapri and have lunch at Melia Villa Capri. After more pizza and another few Spritz take the Seggiovia to Monte Solaro. ($11 Euro)
The views from the top are breathtaking and there is a restaurant so you can stay awhile and enjoy some gelato.
I DMed a bunch of people and after I was tagged on their Insta a bunch of people DMed me about how to get into La Fontelina. The issue is if your not staying on Capri and book three consecutive days at La Fontelina you can’t make reservations. Then they say 48 hours prior you can call and they will see if they have availability. BUT if you call they will say they are fully booked which perpetuates the hype in your head and now your really dying to go get in. WELL, here is the what I learned: call day of and make reservations for lunch (they will say only the 3 o’clock spot is open most likely) and you say great. Show up early and tell them NO your reservations were for the beach club NOT the restaurant and sure enough they will find two chairs and set them up for you! (BEWARE: we had four drinks, a caperese salad, and two lounge chairs and our total was $270 Euro)
Was it worth it? Probs not.
Would I do it again? Yes, because I’m bougie like that.
When we got back to Sorrento we showered up and had dinner at O’Parrucchiano. Ambience? 5 stars (dinner under lemon trees) Food? 3.5 stars (I don’t even remember what I ate so clearly not that memorable)
We checked out of our hotel and headed to Praiano. Driving through Positano for the first time was pure magic. We stopped and had lunch at Casa e Bottega. (parking is $7 Euro/hour or $35/day) A MUST for my healthy eaters. This will probably be the only time pizza and pasta are traded for açaí bowls on the menu. Great ambience and gave me California feels.
Stay: Hotel Margherita ($200 Euro)
CAN NOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW I MUCH I LOVED THIS HOTEL. For one, it probably took me a week + of searching for reasonably priced hotels along the Amalfi Coast (when I get the OK from my husband to book a trip, I go into this 24/7 beast mode of constant research.) I researched every city and Praiano seemed like the best fit and I am so happy we decided to make this our home base. Many tourist drive straight through it and never know it. So it was nice to come back each afternoon and detox from the crowds.
Even before I arrived in Italy this hotel blew me away. I had read reviews of how amazing the customer service is and to utilize them prior to your arrival for helping with reservations. No joke, I would email them with a list of requests and five minutes later I would hear back with confirmations.
When we arrived they offered coffee and champagne so obv I got both! Then they went over all our reservations with us, took us on a tour of the hotel and set us up with a welcome bag. We were given a beach bag with two beach towels (that they washed daily for us) and two reusable water bowls to enjoy during our stay. I was so impressed with how “green” this hotel was. They offer an electric shuttle anywhere in Praiano. All you have to do is call the hotel and they will pick you up/ drop you off at anytime.
The hotel is not super fancy by any means but you can tell they go the extra mile for their guests. They offer a “buffet” breakfast each morning, but “buffet” in the States means some cereal, bagels, and fresh fruit if your lucky. Here you will sip the best coffee of your life, and have cook to order eggs, bacon, and waffles. And while they do have a “buffet” it made up of their homemade granola, quiches, pastries, jams and local cheeses and meats. YUM.
I know I’ve gone on and on about this hotel but its because I’ve never had such a great experience and I’ve stayed at some pretty amaze spots. Don’t be a fool and not book this place!!!!!
After unpacking, we had the shuttle take us to this “hidden beach.” Furore Beach is more of a local spot because you can’t rent chairs here. I packed a really thick blanket just for this day because the entire beach is VERY rocky!
I felt like such a child again looking for treasure. We spent the afternoon hunting for these pretty tiles along the beach.
That night we went to Costa Diva for dinner and a similar experience as the night before. Ambience was again on point (second night eating candlelit under lemon trees) but the food was just OK.
Ravello & Atrani
Drive to Ravello (allow 45 minutes with traffic). We started the morning off at Villa Rufulo. Villa Cimbrone is another great option in Ravello too. We then strolled the streets and bought some limoncello from a local factory. After head to Belmond Hotel and enjoy drinks by the pool. Their “Amalfi Experience” drink was the best drink we had the entire week. It was lemoncello and champagne topped with lemon sorbet. The drink was $30 Euro, so Ty and I decided to share!
After a few hours of walking, we were ready to lay by the beach again and read. Atrani, is the smallest city along the coast but one of the cutest. We ate some pizza and drank some beers. I was a perfect day.
For dinner, make reservations at Torre Normanna (they start taking reservations 14 days in advance). This restaurant is in old castle and is rumored to have had a michelin star.
We woke up and again had an amazing breakfast at Hotel Margherita. We got an early morning start as Amalfi is one of the busiest cities along the coast (again allow 30-40 minutes to get there from the hotel).
Amalfi is vibrant, loud and full of life. In the streets you will hear men serenading people over lunch.
THE best gelato. You’re welcome.
Eat spaghetti with no regretti in front of the Amalfi Cathedral.
That night we ate at Il Pirata in Praiano. You have to order the eggplant parmesan. Not too breaded, not too mushy, just right. If your in the mood for a night out go to Africana Nightclub after dinner but don’t show up before midnight, you’ll be the only ones there.
Hike path of the gods. You can start your hike directly from our hotel. Ask the front desk for a map with directions. WARNING: the hike will take a total of 4-5 hours and there is a total of 3000 steps. I nearly died and I workout regularly. KILL ME. After 450 steps you will come to a church. Stop and recharge with some fresh figs and lemonade (bring euros). Continue onward for another 550 steps until you reach the top. You will have views that reach from Positano to Ravello. The path will end in the city Nocelle. Here we ate at Santa Croce, I don’t know what impressed me more the pasta or the views of Positano. After a full belly and a few glasses of wine we began the 2000 steps down to Positano. There is a bus that you can take you from Nocelle to Positano but after learning the bus sytstem is unreliable we decided to walk. Once we got to the bottom we had to catch a bus from Positano back to the hotel (waited 40 minutes for the bus to come, ugh). MAKE SURE TO BUY YOUR BUS TICKETS FROM THE HOTEL BEFORE YOU LEAVE.
That night we went back into Positano for dinner at Chez Black. Make sure to get reservations in advance because they seat people from the back to the front of the restaurant based on when you made your reservation. This place had AMAZING people watching. You can guess a few other things ($$$ or a pretty face) could predict where you were would be seated too. Tyler and I made a game out of it whenever someone walked up we would try and guess where they would be sat. There was a young teenage girl with her parents and of course she wanted to sit in the “famous” turquoise chairs that I’m sure she saw her girl crushes on social media sitting in. So her dad tried to hand the owner a Benjamin but they were still turned down. It was hilarious to watch this girl get so pissed over not sitting in a turquoise chair. Plus upon request they make you heart-shaped pizza. Positano and Pizza what more could you want?
We went down to Praiano Beach and rented a boat ($150 Euro/2 hours– includes water, soda and beer) off the first stand to your left as you approach the beach. THIS WAS THE BEST DAY OF OUR TRIP. For one, our friends from California just got to Italy and it was so nice to spend the end of our trip with good genuine souls. Our skipper, Piranio, was THE man. He had very broken English and we mostly communicated using hand signals with him the entire day but we have never laughed with someone so hard with someone you could barely speak to. Our tour was supposed to take us to see Positano from the water and go swim around the island, Li Galli. But after the ride from Praiano to Positano we just wanted to lay out, drink, and swim so Piranio took us to a private beach for us to swim, then took us to where the locals cliff jump. We were enjoying it so much we decided to add an extra hour ($80 Euro). I would suggest booking at least a half day from the start.
Before we went out on the boat we walked from the hotel to the local market, Tutto per Tutti. If you walk straight back you will find the meat and cheese counter. We got local salami and cheeses (anytime you see buffalo mozzarella on a menu or in a store GET IT- best cheese I’ve ever had), prosciutto, green olives and GF crackers.
NOTE: If you are GF, don’t worry about coming to the land of carbohydrates. Every restaurant and grocery store had GF pastas, breads, and crackers. Another side note, the way Italians process their food is very different than in the States. Drink up babes because the wine does not and I repeat DOES NOT cause hangovers. AMEN. I also try to eat as plant-based as possible because everything causes me to bloat. It was amazing to eat all the cheese and pasta I wanted and never feel 6 months pregnant on this trip.
Views that stick with you. Yes, I’m looking at you boo.
Piranio dropped us off at On Fire Beach Club. This beach club had Ibiza feels and I loved it. At 4pm, it’s watermelon time and everyone dances around a watermelon and when the beat drops they cut it up for everyone. Sounds ridiculous but everyone gets super into it!
When we were ready to go, Piranio offered to come pick us up (for free!) So nice right??? Well that wasn’t it. He asked if we wanted to see some caves on the way back. We were like duhhhhhhh. He took us to a few caves for us to swim some more and then he was wanna go cliff jumping? Again duhhhhhh. All in all we spent another hour + with Piranio drinking beers and swimming at sunset. MAGICAL.
For dinner we ate at Voce’s Notte Grill and Sunset Bar. The drinks were unreal. Do not order wine go straight for the cocktails. The presentation was 100 and the food was probably the most unique and maybe my favorite of the trip.
I saved the best for last. We had spent some time in Positano for lunch and dinners but I wanted the last day to just be all things Positano.
The four of us roamed the alleys shopping.
My Ty Ty found carnival games and of course it involved guns. Clearly Caitlin and I couldn’t take ourselves seriously. I don’t think either one of us hit a bottle.
Eat lunch at Bruno’s. The cafe is situated on the sidewalk and you look back at Positano hillside. Order the pesto gnocchi. It was the only time I saw pesto on the menu and it was TASTY!
Franco’s Bar in located in Le Sirenuse. It opens at 5:30pm and you want to make sure you get in line 15 minutes before it opens. We were able to snag four seats in the front. Go for the wine or champagne, the cocktails were a little watery in my opinion. But everything else was perfection. The view gave me goosebumps, great people watching, all to the beats of Kygo playing in the background. Three months out I tried to get reservations at La Sponda. And we sat on that waitlist all three months. So moral of the story quite reading this and go make reservations NOW.
It takes two to Posi-tango. 🙂