Italia… The place I’ve wanted to visit since I can remember.
Why you ask? For me it’s always been iconic; I went through a Turner Classic movies phase in high school. The movie that made a lasting impression was A Roman Holiday. Oh that Audrey Hepburn. Oh the history… and the FOOD. We decided on the coast because my husband Blake is all about the mountains. Mixed with ocean, romantic cliffs and our love of the cuisine, it was an easy choice.
We flew to Naples after our layover in Istanbul, rented a tiny blueberry colored Citroen and headed south. Driving in Italy is not for the faint of heart. It amazes me that our US license will allow us to zip around winding roads, and hairpin turns where lanes are simply a suggestion, and drivers honk to let you know they are coming around the corner. Tour buses are the stuff of nightmares, and I peered through my fingers and only got carsick once (champion).
The Amalfi Coast is a 30 mile stretch of gorgeous coastline with lovely little towns all along the way. One thing that I noticed was that people flew into Naples and took a bus directly into Positano, missing all the amazing towns along the way and past it. I would highly recommend getting a rental car if you are confident in your driving abilities!
Sorrento was our first stop of the week. Driving in, I was fascinated by the lemon trees, incredible weather and walk-able town filled with restaurants and people. Food is everything to me and we planned our entire trip around meals. I did my research, and booked reservations a few weeks before our departure. For our first meal, we went to L’Antica Trattoria. One great thing about the coast is that there are a good number of Michelin star restaurants at reasonable prices. Check out the guide to splurge for a few life-changing meals here.
Praiano was where we stayed for a few days on our trip. This sleepy little town is filled with white hotels, airbnbs and shops covered in bougainvillea and cacti. Our apartment was above a grocery store where a vegetable truck would deliver produce daily, that we had to walk up what seemed like a thousand stairs to get to, and had a killer view of the ocean.
Photo: Airbnb—– listing here!
Amalfi, the town that the coast is named after, is surprisingly less touristy than the other towns. Because it is a few miles past Positano, a lot of people miss this gem of a town. Amalfi is carved into the mountain, filled with family owned limencello shops and has an impressive Duomo to visit. One great thing we learned about Italy is that you can get a liter of house wine for around 8 euro! We sipped it and dined al fresco, while taking in the sights. The Duomo di Amalfi is stunning, and this 9th century church supposedly contains the remains of the disciple, St. Andrew.
I have so much more tp show you, but it’s all too much for one post, so look out for post 2 stat!