- Have a sweet and refreshing limonada.
- Rent a boat and cruise along the coast for amazing views of Positano & Amalfi.
- Explore the lost city of Pompeii.
- Have pizza in Naples (Napoli)!
- Visit the Amalfi Coast just before/right after peak season.
- Drive the Amalfi Coast. It’s a headache. In my opinion, these beautiful towns should be admired from the sea.
- Spend much time in Naples. Use it solely as a transit city.
- Wander around Naples at night, especially with anything of value, as this city has a reputation for robberies.
Touching down in Naples, we were on a mission to get to the Amalfi Coast. Everyone raves about it! So we hurried out of the airport, took a shuttle to pick up our rental car, then began our drive to the coast. A quick hour and a half later and we had our first sights of the sea, extremely eager to get to the nearest beach. However, Amalfi didn't exactly meet our expectations.
To be honest, I found this part of Italy to be especially overrated. While the towns are definitely impressive and pleasing to the eye, I was not particularly fond of the small, overcrowded, grey sand beaches nor the congestion of each town. If you want to see some stunning coastline, head to Cinque Terre or take the next ferry over to Capri. I guess I've just been spoiled.
That being said, maybe we went about exploring this area in the wrong way. To start, I don't think driving through each town is necessarily the way to go. I would recommend going on a boat tour and admiring everything from the sea. This still gives you the freedom to get off and walk around, depending upon which boat tour you choose. Or go at your own pace and rent a private boat for the day.
I did enjoy walking through Amalfi even though it was crazy busy! Start off with a limonada (a lemon slushy), then get lost in the maze of alluring narrow alleyways. Make your way to the piazza, where you'll find the stunning Amalfi Cathedral or search for softball sized lemons being sold at the cute little fruit stands.
After seeing all we could possibly see on the coast, we made one last stop inland at Pompeii. (Warning: it's nearly impossible to visit both the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii in 1 day. You just won't have enough time to take everything in.) Even though we didn't see much of Pompeii (we arrived just before closing), we practically had the site to ourselves. For us, it was perfect timing/a much needed break from human interaction.
Back in Naples, we stayed at a hostel called La Controra. It’s a really lovely backpackers with an amazing courtyard and bar! The only downside was it was a bit far from the city center. Yet, that didn't stop us from conquering our next goal: PIZZA!
The one thing you have to do in Naples is eat pizza. Everyone knows that. We were told one of the best places to go was Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo. I mean, it had to be good since there was a consistent line of about 100 people in front of it. After an hour and a half of waiting, we were finally seated, only to be greeted by a very unfriendly and cranky staff. On top of that, the pizza was incredibly mediocre! I've had much better pizza in Venezia or even Florida for that matter. How embarrassing for them! At least we left full...
Now, just because my time here was sour doesn't mean yours has to be! If you avoid driving around Amalfi, I think you'll have a significantly better experience. Or better yet, just take the ferry to Capri. Seriously, you won't regret it!
Interested in going to Capri? Click HERE