The Amalfi Coast
One of the most scenic drives in the world is along the Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy! From Punta Campanella to Salerno, you’ll find breathtaking vistas with small hilltop towns clinging to vertical cliffs, with emerald green waters, sandy coves and beaches below.
We were enchanted by the charming villages Ravello, Positano and Sorrento as we drove “Italy’s Dream Drive” along the picturesque windy, narrow coastline towards Naples. Carmine Foggia, our driver & guide shared, “Every turn we take is a picture!” and he’s right as he drove us safely to explore the Amalfi Coast.
Sharing our recommendations on the best places to visit when in Naples and the Amalfi Coast.
WHAT TO DO
- Drive the Amalfi Coast and visit villages – Ravello, Positano and Sorrento! Take the dramatic route through the Appenines, Monti Lattari towards Ravello, then continue north along the coast.
- Take a coffee break in the town of Ravello in the main square, then visit the town’s art galleries and souvenir shops. Ravello has beautiful views and is located at the top of the Dragone Valley. Don’t Miss! Visit Villa Rufolo, owned by the Rufolo Family, one of the leading dynasties in Southern Italy dating back to the 9th century.
- Amalfi Town: Located in the middle of the Amalfi Coast is Amalfi where you can learn about the history of its trading power in the Mediterranean between 839 and 1200. Admire the medieval architecture, the Duomo, walk the town square, sit down for a capucinno, and walk the beach.
- Enjoy a refreshing drink at Hotel Il San Pietro’s terrace overlooking the coastline, and where you can see Positano in the distance. Stunning views!
- Stop in Positano for lunch or dinner at Le Sirenuse La Sponda, Michelin Star Restaurant. We savored every morsel of our delicious meal its a must on our best of the Amalfi Coast and Naples list!
- Walk Positano’s narrow streets down to the beach waterfront, passing quaint pastel colored sea cottages along the way.
- Take an afternoon boat tour along the Amalfi Coast where you have a different view of the coastline from below.
- Sunset in Sorrento where you can see the sun set over the bay of Naples, and breathe in the scent of oranges and lemons from its fragrant gardens.
- Have more time? Take a jetfoil boat ride to the Capri, one of the most famous Italian islands with a rocky coast, crystal blue waters, hidden sea caves, and beach coves.
POMPEII & HERCULANEUM:
Mt. Vesuvius is the only volcano in Europe that has been active in the last century. It erupted in AD 79, and engulfed the small town of Herculaneum and Pompeii covering them both in 100 feet of ash and pumice. Both towns were buried and well preserved in protective layers of this mixture, and have since been excavated. They are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites, and worth a visit.
- Pompeii: You can visit the famous ruins of one of the finest examples of an ancient Roman town – frescos, temples, buildings, baths, amphitheater and marketplace.
- Herculaneum: Another intact village where the ancient Roman upper class lived. See the inlaid marble floors, mosaics, paintings and learn about this seaside resort town that was buried in ash.
Naples is one of the oldest cities in the world dating back to the 9th century B.C. Lots of history, architecture to explore & pizza to eat!
- Grab a slice of Neopolitan pizza with buffalo mozzarella, while observing the chaos of colorful Naples Old City. Wander the alleys and squares of Spaccanapoli, the heart of the city.
- Visit the Archaelogical Museum in Naples where the Pompeii & Roman artifacts are exhibited. Such a historical gem you can miss this best of the Amalfi Coast and Naples stop!
- Piazza del Municipio is one of the largest squares in Europe and a good place to start a tour of Naples.
- Piazza del Plebiscito, the main piazza, city square in Naples.
- Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) & the Castel Nuovo (New Castle): Visit the Naple’s Palace & the Castle that was built in the 1300’s with five massive towers, residence of viceroys and kings.
- Stroll along Via Caracciolo, Naple’s seaside promenade and watch the sunset.
- Teatro San Carlo is the oldest operating opera house in the world.
WHAT TO EAT
AMALFI FINE DINING & BEST VIEWS
Le Sirenuse La Sponda Restaurant in Positano: One of the most romantic restaurants along the Amalfi Coast, La Sponda is draped in bougainvillea with the best views of Positano and the sea below. If you’re looking for the perfect place for an Amalfi dining experience, book a reservation here. At night, the restaurant lights 400 candles while guests dine on the terrace overlooking Positano.
Executive Chef Matteo Temperini cuisine is inspired by, “fresh fish, ripe tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, a lot of vegetables, Mediterrean herbs, lemons from the Amalfi Coast and fresh cheeses”. Wish we had more than one day to stay a night or two at Le Sirenuse Hotel – next trip!
Hotel Il San Pietro: As you drive along the Amalfi Coast, take time to rest at the beautiful terrace at Hotel Il San Pietro, a member of Relais & Chateaux, and order refreshing drinks as you enjoy the vistas of the Amalfi Coastline.
Santa Caterina Hotel: Member of LHW, Leading Hotels of the World, this hotel has stunning views of Amalfi town and the coast. Relax on the hotel terrace and take in the beauty!
Da Michele: Known to be Naple’s most famous pizzeria – serves only two kinds of pizza.
Lombardi a Santa Chiara: Serves wood oven pizzas and a great collection of local wines.
Global Adventuress would like to say GRAZIE to See Amalfi Coast for the incredible tour of the Amalfi Coastline, and to Le Sirenuse for hosting us to a memorable lunch, and Hotel Il San Pietro for the refreshing drinks.
We also would thank Travelpro for the carry-on spinner suitcase, a favorite of travel crews and avid travelers, as well as DK Travel travel guide.
Naples and Amalfi Tourism Offices
Holland America Line: We cruised Holland America through the Caribbean, and stopped at the Naples port for this visit.
DRIVER & GUIDE
See Amalfi Coast: We highly recommend See Amalfi Coast as a driver & guide & tour planner. They offer a wonderful way to see the villages along this scenic coastline. See Amalfi Coast offers customized tours and packages to help you plan your perfect day whether you want to drive the coast, take a cooking class, go wine tasting! They even know where you can find the best gelato. Here’s a photo of our guide Carmine bringing us the best gelatos.
TRAVEL PRODUCTS & SERVICES
DK Travel: Excellent travel guide books with helpful maps, inspiring images, and lots of great information to help you plan your travels.
TravelPro: High quality luggage, preferred by flight crews, frequent travelers, and the Global Adventuress Team.
TRAVEL INFORMATION & ADVISORIES
U.S. Passports & International Travel: The U.S. Department of State provides helpful information at this site including passport & visa requirements, embassy locations, and safety & security.