Italy Amalfi Coast Costiera Amalfitana (Positano, Amalfi town, Ravello, and Capri)

Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana) Italy (4/24-29/2018)

We loved our visit to Italy’s Amalfi Coast!

Pat  Wayne Dunlap Italy Beautiful Amalfi Coast Positano Costiera Amalfitana
Pat & Wayne Visiting 
Italy's Beautiful Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast was everything we thought it would be – stunningly beautiful, quaint historic towns, great Italian food, wonderful shopping, and nice accommodations. The Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana) is simply described as one of Italy's most scenic stretches of coastline with picturesque towns perched on cliffs.

Lemons Everywhere Amalfi Coast Italy
Lemons Everywhere on Amalfi Coast
Get ready for everything lemons... because of the Amalfi Coast past dominance of sea power, the vitamin C from lemons was important to prevent scurvy making lemon production (that continues today) a major industry.

Map Italy Amalfi Coast Costiera Amalfitana
Map of Italy's Amalfi Coast
Travel Tips: Where to stay... If you want to visit the Amalfi Coast towns, we recommend basing your visit in Positano or Amalfi town with Majori as a potential less pricey option. These centrally located towns have good ferry and bus connections as well as nice accommodations, restaurants, shops, and attractions. If you also want to visit other places in the area in the north such as Naples and Pompeii, then basing part of your stay in Sorrento would be nice.

The best times to visit the Amalfi Coast for nice weather and lesser crowds is May and June. The weather is pleasant and the Mediterranean water is warm enough for a swim. May is nice while the spring flowers are in bloom and the crowds are lower. September is also a good time to visit after much of the crowds have left. Summer (July and August) is the high season with higher prices and temperatures (sometimes very hot) as well as much larger crowds.

Driving the Amalfi Coast Italy Costiera Amalfitana
Driving the Amalfi Coast
Helpful Travel Tip: Getting around the Amalfi Coast... To avoid the troublesome parking in the small towns along the Amalfi Coast and to take a break from driving the very winding and hectic Amalfi Coast Road (Costiera Amalfitana), you can take a bus or ferries that connect many of the towns. 

Ferries Connect the Town on Amalfi Coast
Ferries Connect the 
Towns on Amalfi Coast
The SITA bus connects the towns of the Amalfi Coast. You need to purchase your bus tickets before getting on the bus from local tobacco shops marked with a “Tabacchi” sign. Also, during the tourist season, TravelMar/Alicost, as well as other companies, operate ferries from many of Amalfi Coast towns including Salerno, Amalfi, Positano, Maiori, Cetara, and Capri. For a higher fee than the standard bus, the CitySightseeing red bus offers a very nice air-conditioned bus with wonderful Italian music playing and some commentary along the route.

We Loved Our Visit to the Amalfi Coast!
Our suggestion on Amalfi Coast transportation: We tried all three ways (car, bus, and ferry) and prefer the ferryboats. Although more expensive, it is faster than taking the winding crowded road (often hectic) and you can enjoy the Amalfi Coast in a leisurely way. We parked our car and took the other means of transportation during our stay in the Amalfi Coast. You may want to consider not having a car and use Italy’s trains and buses to get to the Amalfi Coast (i.e. from Naples in the north take the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento and then SITA bus to Positano or Amalfi town or alternatively take the train from Naples to Salerno and bus onward).

Enjoy Italian Life - It's Wonderful!
VERY IMPORTANT AMALFI COAST TRAVEL TIP! Yes, the travel guides point out some great places to visit. There is so much more to enjoy during your trip to the Amalfi Coast. The Italians vacation at the Amalfi Coast and they know how to live life well – follow their example! Slow down and take your time. Stop at a café or restaurant on the coast or with a view overlooking the beautiful coast, even in a picturesque piazza... have some wine, seafood, and/or pasta, buy some beautiful well-priced fashion clothes, and let the world entertain you Italian style... trust us – you will not be disappointed. And also see some wonderful sites, picturesque streets and alleyways, and unique shops.

Here are some Amalfi Coast towns and places we highly recommend to visit...

Positano

Positano Amalfi Coast Italy Costiera Amalfitana
Beautiful Positano - Amalfi Coast Italy
Positano is positivity wonderful! This GEM is our favorite on the Amalfi Coast. DON’T MISS POSITANO!

The most visually beautiful town along the Amalfi Coast, Positano is incredibly picturesque and charming at every turn offering amazing views. Built along a rather steep seaside slope, Positano has made the transition from a sleepy fishing village into one of Italy's most popular resort towns... and we can see why!

Wonderful Shops Positano Italy
Wonderful Shops - Positano
A day in Positano... Once you arrive in Positano, take some time to take all this beauty in. You should walk along the beach viewing the restaurants, unique boutique shops, and do some people watching. Then begin your ascent up the hill on Positano’s pedestrian only walkway.

Positano Streets Amalfi Coast Italy
Picturesque Positano!
The ascent up the hill starts with some steps to the church (Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunto) at Piazza Flavio Gioia and then turns into a pathway that often become narrow at times. This walkway is beautiful with vine covers, the shops along the way are wonderful, and you can choose a nice restaurant if so desired. A bus is available to take you up and you can walk down.


Travel tip: Surprisingly, we found the prices for similar things better in Positano than other places along the Amalfi Coast.

Positano Amalfi Coast Italy Costiera Amalfitana Beach
Positano & Beach 
- Amalfi Coast Italy
At the top of Positano’s pedestrian only walkway at Piazza Dei Mulini turn right on Via Cristoford Colombo and continue on for some fantastic views of Postiano and the Amalfi Coast. On the way up near the top of the walkway, we enjoyed the store Ll limoncello di Positano devoted to lemons. 

Lunch Ristorante Le Tre Sorelle Three Sisters Positano Amalfi Coast Italy Costiera Amalfitana
Lunch at  
Ristorante Le Tre Sorelle (Three Sisters) 
- Positano Amalfi Coast Italy
We chose to have lunch down on the shore at Ristorante Le Tre Sorelle (remember ‘Three Sisters’) and so glad we did – so wonderful, we went back again! Try the oven-backed red snapper done with potatoes and olives or the pumpkin ravioli.

Positano’s main beach (Spiaggia Grande) becomes busy when the temperature warms up and a dip in the ocean is refreshing. It is covered by rocks but we found it nice to sit for a while.

Amalfi (town)

Amalfi Town Amalfi Coast Italy Costiera Amalfitana
Amalfi Town - Amalfi Coast Italy
The town of Amalfi is where we based our stay on the Amalfi Coast. Amalfi offers a good combination of accommodations, great town, nice restaurants and shops, interesting history, and a central location to explore the Amalfi Coast. Everything is close together – you can walk from one end to the other in about 20 minutes.

Amalfi Town Beach Amalfi Coast Italy Costiera Amalfitana
Amalfi Town & Beach
From the 9th to the 12th century, Amalfi was a very powerful superpower being the first major sea republic of Italy. Its influence was wide spread and Amalfi became very wealthy. Venice, Pisa, and Genova later joined Amalfi. The old city slid into the sea during an earthquake in 1343 and Amalfi’s history after that is being a poor fishing village until the recent huge interest as a tourist site. The 11th century wealth is reflected in the amazing picturesque Duomo Cathedral that dominates the main square (Piazza Duomo).

Amalfi's Duomo Cathedral Amalfi Coast Italy Costiera Amalfitana
Amalfi's Duomo Cathedral
A visit to Amalfi’s Duomo Cathedral is interesting. The oldest part dates back to the sixth century. You began by seeing the Cloister and its garden. From here you can see the tall bell tower. 

Continuing on into the Cathedral and Crypt, we were impressed by the beauty and elegance displayed. There is a museum displaying priceless religious objects sacred during their time.

Exploring Amalfi town... From the main square there is a main street (Via Lorenzo & Via Pietro Capuano) to walk Amalfi offering nice restaurants and shops to explore. It is fun to people watch by having a drink, some good Italian gelato (thick ice cream), or something to eat in the main square or along the street.
Amalfi Main Square Piazza Duomo Amalfi Coast Costiera Amalfitana
Amalfi's Main Square Piazza Duomo

If you have time, we enjoyed getting off Amalfi’s main tourist areas. You can do this by turning left just up from Amalfi’s main square (Piazza Dumo) on Via Fra’ Gerado Sasso walking up to Piazza dei Dogi. In this less crowded square, you will find a more authentic experience. There are several nice restaurants and a couple of local grocery markets where you can purchase Italian goods at prices the locals pay.

Grotta Dello Smeraldo 
(Emerald Grotto)
Another fun excursion to do while in Amalfi town is to visit the Grotta Dello Smeraldo (Emerald Grotto). The grotto is a unique formation inside a cave with beautiful emerald water where you are rowed around. This one-hour round trip excursion is offered throughout the day from the ferry station and includes a relaxing boat ride along the Amalfi Coast.

The rock-covered beach at Amalfi becomes crowded when the weather turns warm so a ‘beach’ day at Almafi with its beach restaurants can be enjoyable.

Capri

Breathtaking Views in Capri! Italy
Breathtaking Views in Capri!
With its breathtaking views, fun attractions, and upscale offerings, the island of Capri is fun and interesting to visit during your stay on the Amalfi Coast.

Capri is the Amalfi Coast’s most popular island that for decades has been a holiday destination of affluent travelers. Prices are high for both restaurants and accommodations. The good news, as we choose to do, is you can still visit Capri on a day trip by ferry and enjoy many of Capri’s attractions.

Capri Harbor Marina Grande Italy
Capri’s Harbor (Marina Grande)
When arriving to Capri by ferry, you will be dropped off at Capri’s harbor (Marina Grande). You can pick up a map at the information station located near where you arrive. Here there are some shops and restaurants to explore. Capri town is up on the hill.

Travel tip: Because it gets very busy in the afternoon (after 3PM) getting back from Capri town to the harbor to catch your ferry, we recommend to get going up to Capri Town right away and explore the harbor later if you have time.

Beautiful Streets of Capri Town Italy
Beautiful Streets of Capri Town
You have three choices to get up to Capri Town – walk, take a bus, or use the Funiculure cable car. It is quite a ways up so we recommend taking the bus located at the end of the harbor or the Funiculure cable car (quickest way) located near the middle. For a variety of experiences or judging by length of lines, you can take one up and the other down.

View from Giardini Augusto Capri Italy
View from Giardini Augusto
We found Capri town to be lovely to walk around with upscale shops and beautiful restaurants – almost like a set of a movie. Two great streets to explore off the main square (Piazza Umberto) are Via Le Bottegne and Via Vittorio Emanuete. You can take Via Vittorio Emanuete, turning right at the end, to visit the gardens at Giardini Augusto, founded by the Roman Emperor Augustus, for a wonderful view down Capri’s breathtaking coast (see photo). (Note: we found visiting the Certosa di San Giacome complex overrated.)

Upscale Shops along Capri Via Camerelle Italy
Upscale Shops along Capri's Via Camerelle
To see the luxury brand shops, stroll along Capri’s Via Camerelle where the rich and famous shop. For those out for a nice walk, taking the 45-minute walk over to Arco Naturale provides a nice experience.

Wayne Riding Chair Lift 
(Seggiovia del Monte Solaro) - Anacapri
One of the fun and popular things to do on Capri is take the bus over to Anacapri. We enjoyed taking the exciting chair lift (Seggiovia del Monte Solaro) for a 12-minute ride to the top of the mountain for wonderful views (see photo). You can also visit Capri’s beautiful Grotta Azzurra from Anacapri if you have time.

Map Capri Italy
Map of Capri Italy
Travel tip: On our day trip to Capri we had time to do the chair lift in Anacapri and explore Capri Town having lunch. If you plan to visit Anacapri you may want to take the bus over and a taxi back to Capri Town. Return buses can get full in the afternoon creating long lines. The other option is to visit Anacapri first before exploring Capri Town to get ahead of the crowds.

Ravello

Amalfi Coast View of Minori from Revello Italy Costiera Amalfitana
Amalfi Coast View of Minori from Revello
We liked Ravello – a darling hilltop town. This town is a hidden gem! The crowds here are less so Ravello tries harder. The people are friendlier and there are well-marked signs of streets and attractions.

Ravello's location, a short drive above the town of Amalfi, offers breathtaking views of the coast. There are charming sophisticated shops offering beautiful local-made Italian fashions that are well priced for the quality.

Revello Main Square Piazzo Duomo Italy
Revello's Main Square (Piazzo Duomo)
The bus drops you off just outside of Revello’s main square (Piazzo Duomo). You can visit the Duomo Cathedral built 1,000 years ago – hard to believe! 

Check out the amazing bronze door that dates back to 1179.

Villa Rufalo Ravello Italy Amalfi Coast Costiera Amalfitana
Villa Rufalo - Ravello Italy
Seemingly pricey (7Euro/person), we enjoyed visiting Villa Rufalo located just off Piazzo Duomo. The presentations are done well and there are beautiful flowered gardens, wonderful views, and an enjoyable well-done movie featuring the history of Ravello and Villa Rufalo as well as the famous Ravello Music Festival

Don’t leave without see this movie – it makes the visit to Villa Rufalo very interesting. Walking up the 134 step of the tower offers even more exciting views.

Travel idea: we visited Revello and then took the CitySightseeing red bus (look for it down the street from the SITA bus stop) to Positano for lunch and some walking around, returning to Amalfi town by ferry – wonderful day!

Helpful Travel tip... Some common Italian words:
Grazie – Thank you 
Prego - you’re welcome 
Mi scusi - excuse me 
Si – yes 
No – no 
Bello, Bellissimo – beautiful 
Entrata - entrance 
Uscita - exit 
Banca – bank 
Citta – city 
Ristorante – restaurant 
La Polizia – police
Parla inglese - Do you speak English?

Beyond the Amalfi Coast: Other Tourist Attractions to Visit

Pompeii Italy
Amazing Pompeii Italy
There are several interesting northern destinations that can be visited from the Amalfi Coast. Naples (Napoli) is popular and people find the Vesuvio volcano interesting. Also, Pompeii, possibly the best-known archaeological site in Italy, can be visited as a day trip (Click here to see our visit to Pompeii). Staying in Sorrento while visiting these sites in the north would be nice.

Hotel Luna Convento Amalfi Coast Italy Costiera Amalfitana
Hotel Luna Convento - Amalfi town
Where We Stayed in the Amalfi Coast: We enjoyed our stay in Amalfi town at the Hotel Luna Convento. Located just 5 minutes walk to the center of Amalfi, this unique hotel is a converted convent originally built in 1222. Rooms are nicely renovated with windows overlooking the ocean. A terrace pool is available for guests with outstanding views.

Pat Dunlap Breakfast View Amalfi Town Coast Italy Hotel Luna Convento Costiera Amalfitana
Pat Having Breakfast 
with Wonderful View of Amalfi Town 
- Hotel Luna Convento
It was heavenly having breakfast at the Hotel Luna Convento overlooking picturesque Amalfi town and the Amaldi Coast (see photo). An extensive breakfast selection is offered. You can choose from two restaurants both with wonderful views – one in an ancient tower set above the Amalfi Coast.

We wish you an enjoyable trip to Italy’s wonderful Amalfi Coast!

Please see our other 11 posts on wonderful Italy:



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