Amalfi Coast Travel Guide

Jul 20, 2019

Onto our second stop of our Italy trip: the Amalfi Coast! After our three days in Rome, we spent four days on the coast and one day in Naples before we flew out. In this travel guide, I’ll be covering where to stay, when to go, the best food, and activities for the Amalfi Coast!

When to go + where to stay

The Amalfi Coast is a small stretch of coastline just south of Naples that spans from Sorrento on the western side to Salerno in the east. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, but it’s not the easiest place to get to. That doesn’t deter the many tourists who flock to this area however.

Travel in the spring or fall.

Advertisement

If you can help it, I’d highly recommend going in the spring or fall to avoid the heaviest tourist months. We went during the middle of May, which is a little later than we typically do our vacations, and it already felt pretty packed.

Advertisement

Stay in one (or several) of the smaller towns.

If you can’t avoid traveling during the summer months, I advise staying in one of the smaller towns. We stayed in Praiano, and we loved it! We did a day trip to Positano (one of the more well-known towns) one of the days, and HOLY COW it was just packed to the brim with tourists! Praiano was way less crowded and also way less expensive to stay in. We stayed in this Airbnb and yes, that balcony was really as amazing as it looks! There’s tons of other little towns along the coast too, so don’t be afraid to branch away from the more famous places. I promise it’ll be just as beautiful!

How to get there + getting around

Part 1: take the train.

Depending on where you’re staying, you’ll either take the train to Salerno or Sorrento. We took the train from Rome, but you could also fly into Naples and then get on the train from there.

Part 2: get to where you’re staying.

Once you get to either Salerno or Sorrento, you’ll need to get to your final destination. We hired a car from the company Jack the driver, and I highly recommend doing this unless you’re traveling super minimally. It’s a bit pricey, but it’ll save you tons of stress and is 100% worth it. The other option is to use the public transportation buses, but they’re always crowded, often standing room only, and there’s no place for luggage. I guess technically you could also rent a car, but I really would advise against that. There’s only one small, very windy road along the coast (remember coast = cliffs here). People drive very fast, and you also have to avoid the giant tour buses that hog the entire road when going around curves. Sitting in the car of a professional driver was terrifying enough, thanks.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Get around with the public transit buses.

Once you and your luggage are safely there, the public transportation buses are sufficient for getting from one town to another. Bus tickets are sold in convenience stores labeled “tabacchi” and are only a few euro for round trip tickets. A note of caution: we learned the hard way that everyone tries to take the earlier buses (9:00 or 9:30 am). When we waited until 10:30, we had much better luck finding a spot on the bus. They also loosely adhere to a schedule, but remember they’re driving the length of the coast and are at the whims of whatever traffic is doing, so be sure to get to the stop 10 minutes or so before it’s scheduled to leave so you don’t miss it!

Be prepared for lots of steps!

One other note: part of the beauty of this area of the world is the mountains descending straight into the Mediterranean. That does mean that you will have to walk either uphill or downhill to get most places though. We had to climb 120+ steps every time we went up to our Airbnb! But that just means you could eat more cheese and gelato right?

Advertisement

What to eat

Honestly? Some of the best food we ate was in the form of buffalo mozzarella, cured meats, wine or limoncello on our balcony (you’ll notice a theme here: balcony = life). While we did eat some delicious food out, many of our afternoons were spent relaxing and snacking. Sometimes simple and easy really is best!

Bar del Sole

As far as we could tell, this is where the locals hung out for their food needs. We came here to get coffee every morning, but we also got gelato and drinks several of the days too.

Voce ‘e Notte Grill & Sunset Bar

We came here for dinner the first night we were here. A bit more on the fancy and expensive side, but the views were totally worth it. We got a cheese plate (because, never been upset about cheese), and split the fish as an entree. This place also had excellent cocktails!

Cala Gavitella Beach Club

Ok, so we didn’t actually go here, but we tried! Please note that their hours are 12-6pm. We showed up at like 6:05 and they were so closed. I really wanted some lemon sorbet (luckily I did end up getting some at Bar del Sole as you can see above), and this place had good reviews. Regardless, the walk down to the beach was still an amazing and beautiful adventure (even if there were countless steps). The “beach” is actually just an area between some rocks that’s been paved over, but it was still a pretty spot to hang out and soak up some sun.

Criscito’s

First sourdough pizza on the trip! I don’t remember which pizzas we got, but they were both delicious (we shared two between three people). The one with mozzarella and basil was with a partially whole wheat crust, which was a bit of a gamble on my part (I didn’t inquire about if it was also sourdough), but I felt totally fine afterwards. Marc & Mitch also got lemon cannoli, and I got some fruit and nuts with my grappa!

Ristorante La Strada

This place had gluten free pasta! so I was able to get my very own pasta dish. It had pieces of amberjack (a type of fish) and fresh tomatoes, and it was sooooo tasty. Marc’s steak was described as having “cream and peppercorns” which we thought was a bad translation, but as you can see from the picture, that’s exactly what it was. 😂

Looking for more? Read my tips for traveling and my tips for eating out on the low FODMAP diet!

Casa e Bottega

This lunch spot was actually in nearby Positano, which we took a day trip to. Positano is one of the more well-known towns along the coast — and while it’s very pretty, it’s also much more touristy. Nice for a day trip, but I’m glad we didn’t stay there!

Removed from the main area a bit, this place was one of my favorite lunches on the trip! They had a good selection of sandwiches and salads with fresh ingredients, which was appreciated after all the pasta in Rome. Their bread was also sourdough, so I got a mozzarella + tomato + prosciutto panino! 🤤

Things to do

The coast doesn’t have tons of famous museums or churches. That’s the point, and why we chose to come here after Rome; the best thing to do here is to enjoy where you’re at. So in no particular order, here are the activities we enjoyed while in Praiano:

Hang on the balcony, drink limoncello, and eat mozzarella cheese

As mentioned before, this is the #1 way to spend your time.

 

Hang out on the balcony, drink whiskey, and watch clouds go by

Pictures just don’t do it justice, but the clouds really were amazing and always changing.

Admire the ceramic dome & floor at San Gennaro church

EVERYTHING here was ceramic!

 

Buy some of the region’s famous ceramic goods

(but maybe don’t try to take a photo — I immediately got yelled at)

Go on an adventure to the beach* and get some lemon sorbet

(*note: “beach” is a paved area in the rocks)

Visit a more real beach w sand

(or here)

Go clubbing in a cave at Africana Famous Club

(I was so excited to go here when I learned about this place — how many people have gone clubbing in a cave?! — but sadly we were one weekend too early and it was closed. If you do go, please report back!)

See who can find the biggest lemon

 Visit another town on the coast

Amalfi coast maps

Where to eat {PIZZA} in Naples

We flew out of Naples early the last day, so we stayed near the airport the night before and spent the day there. Mostly, I was there for the pizza, but we also did some sightseeing.

Naples is a weird city. Maybe it’s the fact that over three million people live in the shadow of an active volcano that could wipe out the entire city in an instant, but the people of Naples seem to hold their city less sacred than the inhabitants of other Italian cities. No matter where you look, you’re bound to see trash lying on the ground and banged-up cars doing whatever it takes to get from point A to point B.

But one thing the Napoletani do care about is pizza, and boy do they do it well. We definitely ate pizza for both lunch and dinner because, I mean, what else would you eat in Naples?! (Ok well actually I did not eat pizza for lunch — I made myself a sandwich to eat on the way to Naples because I knew It’d be too late for me to wait until we got there. But I did have taste of course!)

Mazz Pizza e Babà

This place is in what seems to be Pizza Central in Naples, as it’s across from the famous Gino e Toto Sorbillo pizzeria and the similarly named Antonio e Gigi Sorbillo pizzeria (we deduced that Antonio & Gigi must’ve been Gino & Toto’s less famous brothers), and we passed at least five other pizza places before coming into this one. Now, I’m sure the famous places are famous for a reason, but this place had the benefit of not having a ginormous line outside it, and the pizza was absolutely delicious. Marc, who is partial to pepperoni, actually decided this was his favorite pizza of the trip!

Gino Sorbillo Lievito Madre al Mare

I wasn’t too sad about not making it to the Gino Sorbillo restaurant for lunch because this is really what I had my sights set on. I mean, it even has “lievito madre” in the name! (If you remember from my Florence post, “lievito madre” refers to the mother culture of the sourdough starter, meaning that this pizza is most definitely sourdough.)

We got there right at 7:30 when it opened and got a table with no problem. And the pizzas were… everything I’d ever dreamed of. Big fluffy + chewy crusts, delicious fresh flavors… we all ate way too much, but were very happy and satisfied afterward.

Naples map

You might also like

Guide to Eating low FODMAP in Florence

Guide to Eating low FODMAP in Florence

Welcome to the GMGH guide to eating low FODMAP in Florence! Or should we say, eating FODMAP conscious – there was a lot of gelato consumed by yours truly… I’m going to divide this guide up into two parts — one for things to do, and one for food. Because the food deserves a post all of its own. 😂 I’ll share all the places we ate in Florence this time, as well as some tips for how to eat FODMAP conscious in Italy!

Leave a comment

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This