After our visit to Pompeii, we took the train down to Sorrento. Given our short stay in the region, we chose to make Sorrento our base. Sorrento marks the start of the 43-mile coastal road, and is a great place filled with restaurants and nightlife, so it was perfect to come back to each night.
The Amalfi Coast was originally a series of fishing villages along the steep hillsides between Sorrento and Salerno. In the 19th century, they were joined together by a narrow winding road, and today, they are a popular place for tourists from all over the world.
We decided to do a day trip along the coast, but I really wish we had more time. We were originally
going to drive, but a lot of the online advice suggested this was dangerous and not as fun for the driver to take in the scary, so we cancelled the rental car and opted for a series of different transport options.
We started our morning by taking the SITA bus, the local bus, from Sorrento to Positano. We got
off one stop before the main Positano stop, and decided to meander down to the village on foot. We enjoyed taking in the views and scenary along the steps down, and eventually made our way into
Positano is filled with women’s clothing shops and cafes, with breathtaking views all around. We
stopped in a local café, La Zagara, for a quick drink, and then continued to the beach front, to enjoy a swim and a chance to relax.
We then jumped on the local ferry from Positano to Amalfi. The ferry provided another amazing view, but a completely different perspective – since we were in the water looking up at the mountainous terrain, it gave us a chance to appreciate the rock formations while relaxing on a boat.
Amalfi is the largest town on the coast so it is where all of the local buses and ferries go to. This means there is no getting around it – it is where the tourists are, the hotels, etc. For us, we found it a
bit too commercial and not where we wanted to spend out time, so we opted to enjoy lunch here and then continue along the coast – we just picked Restaurant Marina Grande because of the location on the sea, but it proved to be quite nice – try the red octopus pasta.
From Amalfi, we jumped on an open-air “Hop On, Hope Off bus”, which was basically like a bus convertible, to Ravello. It was only about a 20 minute ride, but being on an open air bus on the winding roads, passing lemon groves and the enjoying the seascape, was well worth it, not to mention, the destination itself, is quite spectacular.
Ravello is the smallest of the three villages we visited, and the quietest as well. We took in the scenary and visited the piazza, but the true gem was a 10-15 minute uphill walk from the piazza – Villa Cimbrone.
Villa Cimbrone dates back to the 11th century AD and is famous for its Terrazza dell’Infinito.
The villa is now a hotel, but the gardens are open to the public (with an entrance fee of course). We opted for an apertivo in the restaurant, and then went for a walk through the garden afterwards. When you get to the end of the garden, you understand – no photograph can capture how spectacular this view is, so all I can say, is go visit, or better yet, spend a couple nights in this amazing villa. It is truly enchanting.