Although I am sharing this as ‘part two’ of our adventure, we actually started our trip on the Amalfi Coast. There’s nothing like going from the daily grind to the sound of waves crashing along the shoreline and beautiful scenery as far as the eye can see! While I had visited most of the other cities we traveled to on my first trip to Italy, this part of the trip was new territory to both of us. I had seen countless photos of the coast over the years and to have finally experienced its incredible beauty up close was nothing short of majestic! Here are a few of our favorite camera and iPhone images from this part of the trip.
Amalfi Town & Ravello
I hadn’t realized that the town of Amalfi was only a small part of the infamous Amalfi Coast. It’s actually a very small town with only one main piazza. We arrived by ferry from where we were staying in Salerno, a coastal town just south of Amalfi. Arriving to the port, the cathedral stands tall as it’s focal point. Look up and you see Ravello, built on top of the hill right above Amalfi Town. It was easy to visit both towns in one day, provided your stomach can handle the hot, overcrowded buses …traveling at high speeds… on winding roads…. up a mountain. It’s terrifying to say the least!
While in Amalfi’s main piazza, we noticed a group of gorgeous Italian men and women dressed in tuxedos and exquisite dresses. Seriously though, I’ve never seen such gorgeous dresses! As it turned out, there was a wedding about to happen in the cathedral. We couldn’t help ourselves but to take a front row seat to all the action and so did all the other visitors to Amalfi that day! The wedding must have been for someone famous (or at least someone incredibly wealthy!) because the designer of the bride’s dress was there….with his 4 assistants who helped the bride with her train as she walked up the stairs to the church. I have never seen a train so long in my life! Oh, and did I mention they had 6 photographers and 3 videographers. I wish I knew the photographer’s name because I would have loved to see the photos from this wedding day!
As we planned our trip, I was most excited to visit Positano. The photos I had seen of the colorful houses built into the mountains overlooking the coastline were some of my favorites leading up to this trip. While the photos don’t do it justice, the reality really lived up to my expectations. We spent the day strolling around the town and visiting different shops. Here we started to embrace the slower pace and Italian way of life sitting by the water, drinking and chatting the afternoon away!
Travel tip: I would highly recommend using the ferry to get around the Amalfi Coast. Especially in high tourist season, where the roads are overcrowded and well, you already heard about the buses! It was fairly inexpensive and very convenient from any of these towns along the way. We are so happy that we didn’t have a car to deal with. Plus, we would have missed all these views!
Sentiero degli Dei (the Path of the Gods)
Surprisingly, the tour books hadn’t mentioned much about this famous hike and most of what we had learned about it was found in online forums. We didn’t have all the information going into it, but we had faith that the stars would align….along with the ferry schedule, bus schedule, gps on our phones and good faith in the Italians and fellow trail hikers we met along the way for directions…and we would find the path and hike it with success! Well, part of that worked out anyway!
Going into it, we knew that the path was an eight-mile hike. What they don’t tell you is that it is about 2 miles to hike into the trailhead, 1,820 stairs to get you back to the main road after you “finish” the path, and about 2 more miles to hike down into the town of Positano (along super windy roads with those buses I had mentioned traveling at high speeds!) to catch the ferry back to your hotel.
The views were beautiful along the way. I especially enjoyed photographing the town of Positano as it got closer and closer into view…..but, about 12 miles and all those steps later…our poor legs! For the next 3 days of our trip we could barely climb a stair without wincing in pain! Which is impossible to avoid when you are visiting old towns that were build into mountains.
Travel tip: if you are an avid hiker and want to check this popular hike off your list, then go for it! If you are just looking for stunning views, save yourself the trouble and take a bus to Nocelle and just do the last part of the hike down into Positano. You’ll miss a few of the vista views west of Amalfi, but you could always get those from a bus or car ride along the coastal road.
Walking to the water at Villa Communale, you see beach-goers and sunbathers laid out on long docks protruding out into the blue/green water. The scene is so different from a typical coastal beach and a super cool concept. Most fascinating though, the town with its street markets, live music and outdoor dining truly came to life in the evenings! Most people don’t eat dinner until about 9/10pm and the party on the streets would continue well into the evening hours every single night. The Italians call this passeggiata. I love this!
Last on our coastal tour, we hopped a chartered boat for a day trip to Capri. The locals pronounce it KAH-pree (emphasis on the first part of the word). We had 4 hours on the island. We got to visit Anacapri and Monte Solaro, which was only accessible by a chairlift ride up the steep mountain. The views from the top were spectacular! We then took the famous funicolare (foo-nick-ooo-LAR-eh) down the mountain to Capri Town for a jaunt through the main piazza and a bit of shopping. Then our boat captain took us on a 3-hour tour around the island. Just know that the Gilligan’s Island irony was not lost on me as I stared at Mount Vesuvius in one direction and vast open water in the other. The tour was amazing though! With stops at various grottos, swimming holes and the Faraglioni Rocks. This was my favorite day on the coast!
And that’s a wrap on our tour around the coast! If you are interested in the tour of Capri, check out Mondo Guide. Join me next time for the last part of this series – photos (and more commentary) from Rome & Vatican City.
Spero di vederti la prossima volta! Hope to see you next time!