Getaway Amalfi CoastAccess
The most common is to access by car from Naples. The road to the Amalfi Coast is in good condition; but the one that goes to the different towns of the coast is very narrow and with curves.
The Amalfi Coast is a destination I wanted to visit since I saw the movie "Under the Tuscan sun". I fell in love with the images of Positano and I promised myself that one day I would go there.
With almost a week (in spring) ahead, I had to meet three challenges: make peace with Naples, overcome the "Casa dello Scheletro" of Ercolano and confirm if I had idolized the Amalfi Coast.
If you link on the map below, you will see the details of the places:
I decided to stay at the hotel "Le Fioriere" in Praiano because it met the requirements I needed: double views of Positano and Capri, good relation quality-money and a perfect location. The fact that it is halfway between Positano and Amalfi helped me organize the visit.
Going to the Amalfi Coast and staying in a hotel without views is a sin. The verticality of the coast with scattered villages and houses gives an indescribable visual scenario. And the truth is that the views of this hotel are fantastic.
In Praiano the first visit is Piazza San Gennaro with the amazing Parrocchia di San Gennaro. The square is large and there is a lot of tranquility. Children playing football (very calmly) and the adults eating an ice cream sitting in the corners. Contrary to what I expected, everyone speaks softly. I would have spent hours sitting watching the mood of those people. The church surprised me a lot. It is perfectly restored and has two domes really nice, as it seems that they are covered with ceramic. I was not lucky enough to find it open. I wanted to enter because they told me that the interior floor is ceramic and is beautiful.
From the same square there is a path to the Lido One Fire Beach. There is a sign that says "Alla Spiaggia". Warning: the way to the beach is full of stairs. Everyone knows that the Amalfi Coast is vertical, right? Here you have the evidence. The descent is relatively easy, but the return is hard. Another warning: do not expect a sandy beach. It is a cement platform with sun loungers and umbrellas. Honestly, I got a disappointment. Looking towards the sea on the right hand side there is a ramp with colored boats, a huge rock wall and the threes that reach the water. I liked this scenario much more.
To eat, the truth is that I didn't look for or ask anyone anything. I was walking and, suddenly, I saw a tiny restaurant with a peculiar terrace. Its name "Che Bonta" was even more curious. It was crowded and located very close to the hotel. The clam pasta was delicious, but I can't explain the desserts. The semifreddo, like an iced cake, liked me so much that I went to take one of it every night I was on the Amalfi Coast.
Ravello must be visited. It has only one thing that is already worth the visit: the famous Terrazza dell'Infinito. Very photographed and published in all networks on thousands of occasions. Upon arrival in Ravello, you should visit Piazza Duomo and Piazza Centrale. They are next to each other; In fact, there is no separation between them. Here there are only two things to see: the Cathedral and enjoy some of the terraces. It's okay, but there's nothing else to see. From this square you have to go to Villa Cimbrone. The way is lovely. Narrow streets that pass between historic houses with stone walls and it shows, from time to time, both the vertical mountain and the wonderful Amalfi Coast. You will recognize Villa Cimbrone sure. It is a 5 star hotel that has maintained the original architecture of the 12th century. It is an obligation to pay the €7 access to the hotel to enjoy its large gardens and infarct views of the Terrazza dell'Infinito. The first thing you'll find is a beautiful little cloister from the 16th century; but I assure you that the rest of the gardens and the same path is lovely. Stop in the crypt... I loved it! Walking along the avenue of immensity and ending the views from the Terrazza are already worth the price of admission. It is formed by a series of white marble busts that stand out against the blue background of the sky or the sea.
Leaving Ravello and going direction to Castiglione, the road gives beautiful views of the remains of the Basilica Sant'Eustachio. At Castiglione you just have to see the spiaggia. I'm not going to lie you, I just got out of the car to take the picture because I found the verticality of the stone wall of the beach beautiful. Nothing else.
Amalfi disappointed me. Of course it's pretty; But not as much as I expected. It was a gray day with no sun and, really, it didn't like too much. The beach with the town and the mountain behind draw an endearing scene but nothing more. What is worth more are the views that there are, from the same road, to Bagni Mar Di Cobalto (the spiaggia). I don't know... as it gives the name to the coast, I thought it would be much more spectacular.
I left Amalfi and headed towards the Grotta dello Smeraldo. They had spoken to me very well and I wanted to see it. I arrived at noon and it was closed! There was no sign with the schedule and two couples of tourists who were like me did not know what was happening either. Next there is a shop for tourists. I approached to ask and they also failed to give me any explanation. But that place caught my attention... It has a restaurant called "Calajanara" with wonderful views! Its cuisine is simple and the terrace has no luxury, but I enjoyed a meal with a unique landscape.
The next stop can not be other than the Fiordo di Furore. A classic of the area. It is one of the most photographed places and, honestly, it is so curious that it deserves to be visited. The visit to the Fjord made me realize how complicated the roads of the Amalfi Coast are. They are narrow and there is no entry to park the car. I don't know how they do it in high season; but I went on a May and I was surprised by the tranquility of the local people in leaving the car occupying half a road. I did not stay calm and made the visit in a few minutes. It is a small beach that is in a recess between rocks; but the most curious thing is that at the entrance is the bridge where the road passes. It is a wonderful scenario that I recommend seeing calmly (the calm that I did not have and that maybe you can have if you go by bus). I have been told that during 2019 access has been closed. The truth is that it's a shame because I loved it! It is accessed by long stairs that leave from one side of the bridge.
I left Positano for last. It is the town that made me fall in love in the movie "Under the Tuscan sun" and it was the reason why I was making the trip to the Amalfi Coast. It deserved to be visited with calm and dedication. The experience I had visiting the Fjord, made me go to Positano by bus. I was afraid of the speed the driver took on that narrow and curvy road, but it was worth it. €1.30 and zero concerns. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, for me, it is the most beautiful town on the coast (it is also the most tourist). It is not a comfortable town, it is very vertical and full of stairs. The colorful houses paint a beautiful setting with the sea at it feet. The main street that crosses the whole town at the top is full of beautiful shops. I rushed all of them in and out and, to finish the visit, I entered the famous pastry shop "La Zagara". Great! Just as great as the dome of the church of Santa Maria Assunta. The green and yellow colors seemed fascinating to me. It is essential to go down to the beach to see the town from the best perspective. Do not leave without eating spaghetti with clams and without tasting the limoncello.
This visit made me say: another dream and the three challenges fulfilled!
It is necesary to rent a car. I had done it with Europcar in Naples.
The visit can be as long as you want.
There are a lot of boat trips and hiking trails!