Hoooo boy, here we go! This is quite a whirlwind of travel coming up.
After Bari we zipped across the country to Salerno to start visiting the Amalfi Coast. Our time here is broken into a few different cities: Salerno, Amalfi, Atrani, Positano, Sorrento, and Naples.
To give you an idea of where this is:
Salerno wasn’t as nice as Bari but it served as a perfect location to visit Paestum, the oldest, largest set of Greek ruins on mainland Italy.
Visiting the ruins (which were completely worth it) was pretty much our only reason for visiting Salerno.
For travel between the next few towns (Salerno, Amalfi, and Positano) we used Travel Mar. It was a little spendier than riding the bus but it gave you a better view of the coast, was faster, and wasn’t as packed (buses are often standing room only).
We stayed in Atrani, the village right next to Amalfi. We had some trouble finding the airbnb but the view was completely worth it.
In April, Atrani doesn’t have the hoards of people Amalfi Town and Positano have, making it a great location to unwind. We enjoyed some pizza and gelato in the square and the beach was wide open for relaxing. If you’re headed to the Amalfi Coast, we’d totally recommend you stay in Atrani to save some money and avoid the crowds.
This might be the most luxorious sounding location in this blog post. We didn’t know what to expect on our way here but we quickly discovered the ins and outs of Amalfi town.
The first and foremost thing we want to mention is the town’s physical beauty. The city is tucked in a tiny valley and all the homes climb up the sheer cliff. It’s impressive, to say the least. The coast is named after this city, so you should know the neighboring towns/cities are of the same physical beauty.
Second thing you should know about Amalfi are the tourists. We understand most of the places we’re going to in Europe are heavy with tourists, but Amalfi has to have one of the highest densities of tourists per square foot. Wow! And everywhere you look vendors are selling cheap Italian souvenirs.
All in all it was neat to visit Amalfi but we have no desire to go back. It didn’t feel very geniune to us and we’d rather see some other parts of the Italian Coast before we make our way to Amalfi again.
Positano was pretty much the same as Amalfi town, but with a better beach. We spent a day wandering the streets here, grabbed a pizza and ate it on the beach and did a lot of people watching.
While Amalfi sits in the middle of a valley, Sorrento is on top of a mighty cliff. Impressive to view when coming into the port.
Sorrento has a population of about 20,000 people, so it didn’t feel packed like our previous stops. The streets were clean and we never felt in danger. It was by far our favorite stop along the Amalfi Coast area.
We spent our time here, surprise!, eating pizza and gelato. Since we were only here for about 24 hours, we’d love to come back again and explore the area some more. It was very walkable and had fantastic views of the coast and beautiful blue water.
We see a lot of people making excuses for Naples, but the fact is it’s a dirty, trashy town. Whether it’s the mafia’s influence, a lack of tourist money (unlikely due to the hoards of people), or some other issue, Naples is grimy and dirty. Most people visit Naples because of its proximity to Pompeii. We stayed there because our flight was to Sicily was out of there (the airport, by the way, is fantastic).
We spent our whole time in Naples catching up on work. Both of us had visited the Pompeii site years ago so not much was really that exciting to us.
On our first night there we visited the infamous Michele Pizzeria. We had to take a number to be seated and there were hoards of people standing in the street waiting to get in. After about an hour we got in.
The pizza was good but not “wait for an hour” good. Plus it was soggy in the middle. Still, we were incredibly thankful to be eating real Italian pizza. Plus we had the company of three very nice French people who had just arrived in Naples.
After the pizza, the most excitement came from watching the illegal bag vendors on the street. I was absolutely entranced by the counterfeit Louis Vitton vendors right below our window.
Frankly, we didn’t have as much fun as we’d hoped on this leg of the journey.
- Salerno was mediocre and derived most of it’s value from being a jumping off point to visit the Greek ruins.
- Positano, Amalfi, and Atrani, while visually beautiful from the sea, were tourist traps. Tons of people and cheap souvenirs.
- Sorrento was the shining star out of the whole area. It was clean, small, and had its own character up on the cliffside.
- Naples was incredibly dirty and lacked any historical or visually beautiful sights we wanted to see.
All in all, we give the Amalfi Coast area…
That’s visiting the Amalfi Coast from our point of view. Have you been to this part of the world before? Did you like it? Did you hate it? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.