Italy’s Amalfi coast is arguably the most beautiful in the country and it’s certainly one of the most popular. Just an hour from Naples by high speed train, and two from Rome, it’s accessible as well as attractive. Here are some Amalfi Coast travel tips that you might find useful.
Amalfi Coast Travel Tips
Many tourists base themselves in the resort of Sorrento. It’s best visited in the spring, when the trees are bursting with the lemon crop and the sun is warm enough to draw people to the pavement cafes and linger after their passeggiata. Never mind that its cliff top beach leaves this bustling town without a beach, Sorrento has a historic centre that just begs to be explored at window-shopping pace. These narrow alleyways hide the 14th century San Francesco church but you won’t be able to miss the souvenir shops full of lemon soaps, lemon sweets and best of all, Limoncello, the delicious lemon liqueur.
When you can bear to drag yourself away from Sorrento, a few euros will buy you a bus ticket to Positano. It’s quite a hike down to the bay through narrow paths lined with classy boutiques. This place has done chic for so long it wouldn’t know how to do anything else. It’s no surprise that fashion is such a big deal here – allegedly it was the first place in Italy to import bikinis from its more risqué neighbour, France. From the small beach, the town’s impossibly steep gradient is easy to appreciate.
No trip to the Amalfi coast would be complete unless you’ve taken to the water, and the short hop from Positano to Amalfi is great for the budget-conscious traveller who doesn’t want to skimp on scenery. The boat passes Furore, a village that takes its name from the sound of the stormy sea. Its fjord provided a natural harbour, helping to develop trade and industry. From the water, you get the full impact of this rift in the rock and also the thirty-metre high bridge crossed by traffic on the coast road.
Amalfi itself is another tourist magnet and rightly so, given the waterfront cafes and ice cream parlours that make it the perfect place to hang out under blue skies. Duck under the arch and in the square behind, you’ll see the dazzling mosaic on the marble facade of the town’s 9th century cathedral. Accessed up some steps, it lords it over the square below and refuses to be ignored.
Yet many leave it behind, drawn by a village up in the hills which some say is the best of all the Amalfi coast settlements. Ravello’s most famous landmark is the Villa Rufolo, its brick towers the perfect foil to the manicured gardens laid out below. Originally belonging to the Rufolo family, it was extensively renovated by a Scotsman by the name of Francis Neville Reid in the 1850s. The German composer Wagner visited in the late 19th century and the garden became the setting for a scene from his opera Parsifal. Today, it has a buzzing music festival throughout the summer months.
Hope you found our Amalfi Coast travel tips useful. If you have questions, let us know in the comments below!