Our Guide to Travelling Around the Amalfi Coast and Campania Region – The Best Things to do, Places to See and Top Tips

Our Guide to Travelling Around the Amalfi Coast and Campania RegionWe’ll begin this guide by saying, we LOVE Italy! There’s something incredibly special about visiting there, and it leaves you with such a relaxed vibe. Our first experience of Italy was a city break in Rome, we then visited Florence and Pisa on a Mediterranean cruise.

During that same cruise we stopped in Naples and took a day trip to Amalfi and Pompeii. For the cruise enthusiasts out there, you’ll know how difficult it is to really experience a place in a few hours. Because of this we knew we wanted to go back and tour around the Amalfi Coast properly.

At the beginning of 2024 we spotted an absolute bargain for flights, accommodation and car hire for a week in the March, so we booked it fast. Now this is out of the peak season and tends to be a little cooler, but because we wanted to explore the coast and sightsee, that was fine by us. If we’d have wanted to go and relax on a beach, then it may have been wiser to wait a month or so for the warmer weather.

We will admit that before we went to Amalfi, we had some trepidation about driving around the area. Especially when you read other bloggers guides telling you ‘DO NOT DO IT’. But we would prefer to provide you with a more balanced view about our experience. Hopefully by the time you finish this guide you’ll know the best places to see, what you should do when you’re there and the best ways to get around the area. Our aim is to bring you the guide that we wish we’d had when planning our trip. We’ll provide as much detail as possible to make it easier for you to make all the right choices.

Where is the Amalfi Coast and Why Visit There?

The Amalfi Coast is a 50 Kilometre stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. It is within the Campania region which also includes the towns and cities of Naples and Pompeii, which is why we have included them within this guide.

The only land route to the Amalfi coast is the Strada Statale 163 (SS163), which runs from the towns of Vietri sul Mare to Positano. As you drive along the coastline you will see the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Gulf of Salerno, as well as dramatic cliff sides, small beaches, lemon groves, terraced vineyards, and pastel coloured fishing villages. All this natural beauty has made the area a popular destination of the world’s wealthy, which in turn created its nickname of the ‘Divine Coast’.

In 1997 the Amalfi Coast which has thirteen municipalities, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to it being an area of physical beauty, natural diversity, and historical significance.

As you can imagine the area is popular because of its sheer beauty, incredible beaches and idyllic Mediterranean climate, which provides warm summers and mild winters.

When to Visit the Amalfi Coast

Where is the Amalfi Coast and Why Visit There?There are two things to consider when we ask the question of when to visit Amalfi and the Campania region. The first is obviously the weather, because no one wants to walk around in the rain and cold all day. But the second is how busy Amalfi will be, as this can impact a variety of aspects such as the cost of ferries, the number of cars meandering their way along the coastal roads and the amount of people walking around the beautiful small towns.

As we’ve previously mentioned, we went in March 2024 which is classed as low season. The weather was sunny with bits of cloud for most of the week, but it turned a little rainy right at the end. There was a chill to the days when it was breezy, but we generally wore thin tops and on occasion a jacket.

From researching the best time to head to the Amalfi Coast, it is either in the spring or autumn. So, we went a little early to enjoy the best weather, you’re looking at April and May or September for lots of sunshine and minimal rainy days. Spring is also a wonderful time to see the regions lemon groves bloom, although we saw plenty of them in the March too.

If you’re looking to dodge the rain then stay away from Amalfi between October and February, because this tends to be the period with the highest rainfall and the days are cooler and windier.

For hot days and blue skies, you’ll be looking to head there in the Summer. But this is peak season, and it brings a whole other set of difficulties, because many Italian families will head to the coast to enjoy the beautiful beaches and fourteen hours of sunshine.

Peak season doesn’t just impact the beaches, it affects the whole region, especially the roads. We have heard of traffic on the SS163 getting incredibly congested, which is a problem because the roads are already so narrow and take a bit of manoeuvring. If you’re thinking ‘I’ll use the ferries then’, well to start, so is everyone else so they too will get busy and, you’re paying inflated prices because of the time of year.

This is again why the spring and autumn months are the wisest times to head there, because you’ll still enjoy the weather, but you can travel around much easier due to there being fewer crowds.

We really hit lucky with the end of March because although it wasn’t beach weather, we got to see everywhere we wanted and drive around with very little traffic. Even aspects such as parking and getting into restaurants we found relatively simple. The only downside is that as you’re walking around there may be some shops and restaurants which are shut, but also, you’ll find a lot of work being done as the locals prepare for the busy summer season. As we travelled around there was a lot of painting and road works, but it didn’t impact our trip very much. We preferred having the peace to wander around without masses of people trying to do the same thing.

One extra thing to think about is when are the major Italian holidays, because it turns out we had booked the week before their ‘Easter Week’. If we had gone a week later, we were told that everywhere would have been busier because it’s such an important religious holiday to Italians.

Even if you’re in the low season be prepared for tours because many schools will bring pupils to areas such as Naples and Pompeii.

How Long Do I Need in Amalfi?

We spent a week there and used one day to rest, but at a minimum we would recommend five days to get the basics done. Places such as Pompeii are so big that they can take up an entire day, but you should find some of the smaller towns will only need a couple of hours. Obviously, that depends upon what you want to do when you’re there, and if you’re looking for additional time to hit the pool or beach.

Getting Around the Amalfi Coast and Naples

Getting Around the Amalfi Coast and NaplesWe’re sure the big question you have is ‘what is it like to drive around Amalfi?’ Before we got there, we read lots of guides and blogs on whether we should hire a car for our trip and whether it was difficult to drive around the little towns, into Naples and on the coastal road.

If you wouldn’t even consider driving abroad, then don’t worry there are lots of other options to get around. There are pros and cons to each option and costs will vary depending on the time of year that you go. We hired a car because we found a deal with ‘Sicily by Car’ for just over twenty pounds for the week, so how could we resist. Bear in mind that we visited Amalfi in the low season, so car hire prices will vary.

So what options are available to you when you visit Amalfi?

Renting a Hire Car

This was the option we chose, and we picked driving because we found the price to be insanely low and we were visiting Amalfi in the low season. The cost of the hire car and insurance (which we would always recommend getting) will vary a lot, depending on the time of year and type of car you’re looking at. The following week after we booked our car, we saw the price had gone up to two hundred pounds for the week, which is still really good, but not quite as good as twenty odd pounds. Many other experts will say it’s cheaper to get buses and the ferries, but not in our experience. There are so many factors to consider if you choose public transport over driving, but we worked out that the cost of transfers to and from the airport and the public transport during the week, would have far exceeded what we paid for the car (even if we’d have paid the two hundred pounds).

The main thing you have to consider, is whether you have someone in your party who is willing to drive. You will probably read in other guides that driving around the area is very different to what you will be used to and yes that is true. But we didn’t find it as scary as everyone led us to believe, in fact we found ourselves laughing at the utter controlled chaos that we saw.

Because we want to provide you with as much detail as possible, we wrote a guide on Renting and Driving a Hire Car in the Amalfi Region. This covers every step of the way, from booking, to picking up the car at Naples Airport, plus our tips on getting around the area and parking.

Travelling by Scooter

There is a romanticised view of travelling along the Amalfi Coast by scooter, and it can be a great way to get around this beautiful part of the world. They are smaller in size than a hire car, cheaper to rent, you can zip around traffic jams, and parking is much easier. You can even stop at those small attractions which are hard to get to, or head up the mountains to wander around the quaint small towns which aren’t on the usual Amalfi tourist bucket list.

If you’re an expert on scooters then the windy roads and chaotic driving from locals, may not be too off putting. But if you’ve never ridden a scooter before, then not only could it feel scary, but driving there could also be dangerous.


  • Driving around the smaller narrow streets is less stressful than being in a car, because you can manoeuvre the bends and other traffic easier. You can even pass slower vehicles and traffic jams.
  • You have the freedom to see lots of places on your time schedule, you’re not waiting on buses or ferries to arrive.
  • Parking will be so much easier and if you’re able to park on the road, then most of the time it will be free.
  • There are small inlets along the coastal road which are perfect for scooters, but not cars. This gives you the opportunity to stop for pictures, or simply take in the views. An example of this is the Furore Fjord which is awkward to get to and there’s very little parking available. But also, many of the towns which aren’t accessible by ferries such as Ravello, Praiano and Tramonti.
  • Renting a scooter is cheaper than a car, and you’ll save on fuel. You’ll find that many rental agencies will drop off and pick up the scooter at your accommodation making it easier.


  • We’ll start with the most obvious one and that’s the traffic, because boy it can be manic. We saw a number of tourists on scooters slowly meandering along the coastal road, with cars flying past them. In all honesty it’s not something we would do due to our lack of experience. Drivers on the coast are very carefree and a little reckless, which is hard enough if you’re in a car, but incredibly dangerous on a scooter.
  • Bad weather isn’t a consideration for the summer, but in the lower seasons you can get cold windy days and even rain. We had rain a couple of days during our March trip. It’s hard enough in a car, but absolutely miserable on a scooter. You’ll arrive at your chosen destination soaked and have to walk around cold and wet.
  • You’ll still have to work through traffic jams, especially in the summer months.
  • Unlike cars where you can throw everything you need in the boot. On a scooter you will need to consider any luggage you bring and what bags you take every day as you explore. You could always take a taxi from the airport to your accommodation, which will sort the luggage issue and then ask for the scooter to be dropped off where you are.
  • Uphill areas such as Ravello can be a bit of a hike, but still possible and worth it.

Tips for Renting a Scooter

ferry around amalfi coastThe type of licence required will depend on the scooter you rent. If the engine is up to 50cc then you will need a European or International driving licence. From 51cc to 125cc you will need an A1/B licence or the international equivalent. Finally if the scooter is 125cc and above then you’ll need an A2/A(3) license or international equivalent. There is a minimum age of eighteen years old to rent a scooter and helmets are mandatory.

Most scooter hire companies will require a deposit, but that is similar to car rental companies. As with hiring a car, we would strongly recommend getting insurance.

By Private Driver

We’ll start by saying what you’re already thinking and that is ‘I bet it’s way too expensive.’ Currently the average price we have seen is between 100 and 400 Euros, depending on where you’re driving to and how long the driver stays with you. But if there’s a few of you then the cost will reduce to a more reasonable price, and you can get a number of tourist spots done in one day.

Hiring a private driver has the freedom of hiring your own car, without the stress of driving in Amalfi and finding parking. Plus, you can enjoy a few naughty tipples wherever you visit.


  • Freedom to travel around the Amalfi Coast without having to drive yourself. This means you can focus on enjoying your trip, rather than worrying about driving and finding a parking space. Many of the drivers are knowledgeable in the area and may provide some great tips on what to see, do and where to grab a bite to eat.
  • You can access the more difficult towns such as Ravello, which is away from the coast in the mountains.
  • You’ll have the feeling of being a VIP as you drive around one of the most beautiful places in the world.
  • You can take whatever you need with you and leave it in the car when you’re walking around whichever town you’re visiting.


  • It can be expensive and probably not something you could do every day of your trip. We travelled as a couple for a week, so hiring a private driver at 400 Euros just isn’t feasible.
  • You’ll still have to contend with the traffic, which depending on when you visit can eat into your day and make the cost of a private driver not worth it.
  • You’ll still struggle to get to the more difficult areas, especially if you’re in a bigger car such as a limo.

By Bus

This is the ideal option for travelling around Amalfi if you don’t drive, don’t want to drive or it’s that crazy summer season and everywhere is bedlam. Although the buses will still be stuck in all that traffic.

The buses are called SITA and you can spot them everywhere because they’re a popular way to get around the coast and other regions in Campania. Of all the options they are the cheapest, with prices being between 1.30 and 6 Euros for a single bus ticket, or 10 Euros for the day (obviously this can change). Which makes it perfect if you are travelling on a budget, but still want to see numerous places.

Most people prefer using the buses because it removes any stress of having to drive in the area and the bus routes cover all the tourist spots you will want to visit.

We know for some of you the thought of travelling by bus sounds hellish. Especially in the summer when it’s incredibly hot and busy, meaning you may have to stand because there’s no seats available. But if this is your only option then you’ll need a lot of patience and a bit of preparation, making sure you know which bus to take at what time.

Bus stops are available in every town and regularly along the coastal road, which is helpful if your accommodation is a little out of the way. Even where we stayed in the mountains there was a SITA bus stop not far from our apartment.

Agerola MountainsBecause we drove, we didn’t use the buses, but we have read a number of travel blogs where others have used them. They have said that many times the scheduled bus failed to show up and they had to wait until the next scheduled time. By the time the next bus arrived there were lots of people in line and only a small number made it on; basically, prepare for delays.

When you’re buying your ticket, you will be asked which one you want, because there are different options.

  • Corsa Singola – This is for one trip on the bus only, if you want to return or travel further then you will need to buy a separate ticket. If you’re travelling between towns and there is a bus change along the way, then you will be required to purchase two tickets. One from the initial town to the point of the bus change and then a second from the bus change to the destination. Say for example you took the bus from Salerno to Ravello, you would have a change in Amalfi. You could stop and take a look around Amalfi before getting on the next bus to the final stop at Ravello.
  • Orario – This ticket is the perfect option if you know the destination you want to head to. Alike the example above you would take the bus from Salerno to Ravello, but when you reached the bus change in Amalfi, you would need to take the next connecting bus available. Sadly, with the Orario, you couldn’t spend time in the location of the bus change.
  • COSTIERASITA 24 hours – If you’re planning on visiting multiple stops in one day, then this is the ticket to buy. This option currently is 10 Euros for stops in the major towns, or 12 Euros if you’re doing the major towns such as Amalfi and smaller towns. The COSTIERASITA gives the ticket holder unlimited rides for 24 hours.

Tips For Using the SITA Buses

  • We’ve been told that for the best views you need to sit on the right-hand side of the bus when travelling from Sorrento to Positano, Amalfi and Salerno. But to sit on the left-hand side when travelling the other way, i.e. from Salerno to Amalfi, Positano and Sorrento.
  • Unlike bus systems in other areas, you cannot buy your ticket online or actually on the bus. You can buy tickets from shops, bars, cafes, newspaper stands and tabaccheries which have the SITA SUD logo. Most bus stops tend to have a shop or venue close by, so our advice is to search for your nearest bus stop and go from there.
  • When you purchase the ticket, opt for a specific route and not time, because this means you can turn up and get on any bus you want. Remember that during the high season you may have to wait for a few buses until you get on and then you still may end up standing.
  • There isn’t a bus from Naples which travels along the Amalfi Coast, so you’d have to take another form of transport to Sorrento and then hop on a bus there.
  • When you’re on the bus, the driver will announce the stop, so you’ll know when to get off.
  • If you have suitcases or backpacks, then there is a luggage compartment available. Prams or strollers also must be placed there as there isn’t enough room on the bus.


  • Of all the transport options this is probably the cheapest, unless you get a crazy car rental price like we found. With a maximum day price of 12 Euros, you could visit a number of places and make the cost worthwhile. You also don’t have to think about finding parking, the cost of fuel or insurance.
  • Probably the best reason, is that you don’t have to contend with busy roads around the Amalfi area. You can sit back and enjoy stress free travel, because hiring a car means you need to be alert as you are working your way along the coastal road.
  • Although we would disagree with many other sites who state that if you drive, you don’t get to enjoy the views. We do agree that by taking the bus, you will get more time to simply relax and stare out of the window taking it all in.
  • If you choose not to drive and instead want to use local transport, then buses are ideal for getting to those towns which are away from the coast such as Ravello.
  • If you like a tipple as you travel, then driving probably isn’t the best way to get around. In Italy the drink driving limit is 0.5mg which is approximately one small beer, so not very much at all. By taking the bus you can drink without worrying about being over the limit, so treat yourself to a Limoncello or two.
  • In comparison to some countries, the buses are nice, clean and have regular convenient stops. This helps when you’re planning your trip and thinking about the areas you are going to visit.
  • Public transport is a great way to mix with other travellers and locals. You never know what lovely new people you will meet, or advice and tips you could pick up.
  • Some of the tourist spots have very little parking available, but you will find bus stops nearby. You will probably have to walk a little along the road which can feel a little scary, but drivers are used to tourists.


  • If you’re not the most social person and you prefer travelling around on your own, then being on a bus will be your idea of hell. We loved driving around in our little car, with classical music playing to create the idyllic atmosphere. For us being stuck on a hot crowded bus wouldn’t be much fun, more of a means to an end.
  • If you’re going to use public transport because of how busy traffic can be around the Amalfi Coast, then buses probably aren’t the best option as they too are stuck with you.
  • One of the positive parts of having a car is that you can take whatever you need with you, this is much harder if you’re using the bus. Yes, they have a luggage compartment, but once you leave the bus you have to lug everything around with you. Bear in mind that a lot of the towns in the area are very hilly so the extra weight can really tire you out.
  • If you have a hire car you can simply walk around the town you’re visiting and once finished, you can jump back in the car and drive somewhere else or back to the hotel. Buses aren’t as simplistic and often unreliable, so you may be stood waiting at bus stops for a while which is frustrating if you’re eager to get a lot done.
  • In connection to the point above, by using buses it will take a lot longer to get around than a car or ferry. If you’re in a car then you’re heading straight to the place you want to visit and you’re probably using navigation tools for the quickest route. Buses can only follow a set route and have to stop at each bus stop to pick up or drop off passengers and that can take time.
  • During the busy seasons buses can get extremely busy and so the likelihood is you won’t have a seat during the journey which can be tiring. Especially because you’ll have to stabilise yourself as the bus meanders along the winding coastal road. You may even find that when your bus does arrive that it is full, and you will have to wait for the next one. Again, all of this will eat into your time at the places you want to see. So if you want to see a lot in a short space of time then buses may not be the best choice.
  • You cannot buy bus tickets online or on the actual bus, as such you have to find a location beforehand to purchase a ticket. Bearing in mind that many shops in Italy will close for siesta time, especially on Sundays.

By Ferry

The Amalfi area has quite an impressive ferry service, which is used by both tourists in the area and locals. If you’ve read through the entire guide so far, you’ll now understand that summer months are incredibly busy, with roads being congested. So, ferries are the perfect option to get from town to town, avoiding the chaotic traffic jams.

Now not all of the towns on the coast are accessible by ferry, it tends to only be the more popular spots which are Amalfi, Positano, Sorrento, Salerno, Minori, Maiori, Cetara and Vietri sul Mare. Any towns away from the coast will be impossible to visit unless you then use the bus, but these will also be caught up in the traffic.

transport in AmalfiWhen you’re in the port areas you will see there are a few ferry operators such as Travelmar and Alilaura Gruson, they tend to have little huts near the dock with boards displaying the schedule and times.

If you prefer to pre-plan then a great option is Ferry Hopper, because they combine all the companies and routes. But they will also provide prices, so you have an idea as to how much it will cost to travel from port to port.

During our visit in March 2024 the ferries were still operating, although there were far fewer than during the summer months. This meant that when we did use them, we had less choice of times for taking us to and from the town we wanted to visit. As such you may have to stay in some areas for longer than maybe you had wanted. But if you’re heading to Amalfi from April to October then there will be a more frequent service offered.


  • As you head out on the ferry and it sails along, you will see the most beautiful views of the coast. This is the perfect spot to get pictures of Positano and Amalfi, but there are lots of other great spots along the way.
  • A huge positive is the fact that you won’t have to deal with the traffic along the coast and can simply sit and relax in the sunshine listening to the waves.
  • In the summer months it will also be the quickest form of transport, and sometimes a cheaper way of getting around.
  • If you have booked a hire car but you’re considering visiting the islands of Capri or Ischia, then you will need a ferry. But it’s great to mix up your methods of transport around the area, it makes it more exciting.


  • Alike buses you are tied to schedules, which in the lower seasons means you may have to wait a while. Even in the summer months the ferries can fill up and as such you may have to wait until the next one, which can be at least half an hour later.
  • When we took the ferry it was a sunny day, and we were sat on there for at least half an hour in the sunshine. Many passengers started to feel a little sick and dehydrated, so just be cautious if you visit during the hottest part of the year.
  • This option isn’t great if you’re prone to sea sickness, but don’t let that stop you because there are things you can do to reduce the nausea. Check out our guide on ‘How to Prevent Seasickness on a Cruise’ which provides a number of effective remedies to banish nausea.
  • If you are only using the ferry system, then you won’t be able to visit amazing towns such as Ravello which is in the mountains.
  • In general, the price of the ferry from one town to the next isn’t very expensive, but there are some locations which are quite high. When we visited it was 60 Euros each to visit Capri, which seemed quite a lot and can really add up if there are a few of you.

Book a Private Boat

If you’re heading to Italy as a couple or alone, then this option isn’t for you. But if there’s a group of you then booking a private boat may not be as expensive as you’re imagining it to be. Travelling by private boat is a wonderful way to get around the coast, because you have control of where you want to go and how long you want to stay in each area. We have seen quotes online of around 800 to 3,000 Euros for the day, but again if there’s a big group of you then it will work out to be a reasonable price per person.

Unlike ferries who have set routes, if you book a private boat, you can visit the smaller coves and caves along the coast, and you still get those beautiful coastal views. The boats also tend to be faster than ferries which means you can visit more in a day.


  • You can travel on your own schedule and fit in more towns or locations.
  • Enjoy beautiful views along the coast.
  • You will avoid traffic along the coastal road, especially in the summer.
  • If you enjoy a tipple then why not treat yourself, because you don’t have to drive, instead you can relax with a limoncello or a cocktail.
  • You can reach areas such as coves and bays, beaches or restaurants which are harder to visit by bus, car, and ferry.
  • Amalfi is an area which exudes luxury, so why not treat yourself to the ultimate VIP experience.


  • The cost has to be the main disadvantage of this option, because it is incredibly expensive.
  • This is another option which may not be ideal for those of you with sea sickness.
  • Alike ferries you won’t be able to visit the in-land towns such as Ravello.

What is the Best Way to Get Around the Amalfi Coast?

Pompeii Archaeological ParkWe’ve provided you with all the transport options available around the Amalfi Coast. Which you choose is a completely up to you. The crux of it is, there is no best way of travelling around the area, it depends on a myriad of factors. When are you travelling there, where are you staying, what’s your budget, how long you’re going to be there and what you’re planning on seeing. But the most important thing to think about is, how comfortable are you with driving there.

If you’re an anxious driver then we’ll advise you now, don’t bother, because it can be stressful winding down the bending roads and manoeuvring around other cars and buses. The locals are so used to driving there, the best way we can put it is that they have become complacent to how difficult it is. You’ll regularly find them cutting into your lane or overtaking on bends, which can be frightening.

But if you’re a confident driver who is used to smaller country lanes, then we think you’ll enjoy the experience. We found as the week went on our confidence grew and we adapted relatively quickly to the rules; but it’s certainly not for everyone.

We just didn’t want to follow every other travel blogger and tell you not to do it, because there are so many benefits to driving. The fact you get to drive and see so many different areas of Campania, makes the trip so magical. We just loved our daily drive down the mountain with stunning views of the towns, ocean, and the majesty of Vesuvius.

For those of you who have already decided that there’s no way you’d drive there, then don’t worry because there are so many other options to suit all types of budget. Each has a number of pros and cons which we’ve covered above extensively.

Of course, if you’re heading to Amalfi during the summer months, then it’s probably best to avoid driving altogether. Even if you’re confident you could do it, the sheer length of time it would take to get through the traffic means you’d end up seeing less of this amazing place. This is the time when we’d recommend using the ferries to hop between ports. Of course, they won’t be able to take you to places such as Ravello, but you could always use other options such as a bus.

Travelling by ferry is a unique and fun experience and provides some wonderful opportunities to see the coastal towns from another perspective. We can still remember our first visit to Amalfi and seeing it in the distance by ferry, it was incredible and something which cannot be replicated by car or bus. It may be worth trying a little of both, so you get the opportunity to experience everything.

Where to Stay in Amalfi?

Where to Stay in Amalfi?One of the most important things to consider is where you will stay when you visit Amalfi. Because you’re looking at such a big area, it’s hard to know where to base yourself. In all honesty we struggled and changed our accommodation a couple of times, because the more we researched the more we realised what we had booked didn’t suit us. In the end we stayed in an apartment within the mountain area of Agerola and had incredible views of the mountains and valleys below. Staying there meant we had around an hour’s drive to every place we wanted to visit, including Amalfi and Naples. But we had the peace and tranquillity of small-town life and access to local shops and restaurants, which were cheaper than if we had stayed nearer to the coast.

Now this was ideal for us, but it may not be for you, because where you stay will depend on so many factors. What kind of transport will you be using to get around Amalfi, the budget you have available, when you’re visiting the area, what you have planned to do when you’re there or where you’re wanting to visit.

There are thousands of hotels around the coastal road and further in land, so it can be hard to know where to begin. You could of course stay in more than one location, especially if you are using public transport. Also, if you’re heading to Amalfi in the low season, then you’re probably not going to enjoy sunbathing weather, so choosing a great swimming pool isn’t a priority.

Staying further inland without a car can make getting around difficult, because your only option would be a bus and it can take a while to get to the coastal road. But you will pay more for hotels which are closer or in the main towns such as Sorrento.

Most towns have restaurants, even the little one we stayed in, but if you’re in one of the more popular spots then you’ll have a raft of options to choose from; some offering incredible views.

If you have a car and you’re happy to drive around, then our advice would be to move away from the coastal road and try somewhere a little more central to other areas such as Pompeii and Naples. For those of you who are relying on public transport, then we’d recommend focusing on a coastal area.

So here are a few of the tops ones.

  • Positano – This beautiful hilly location offers amazing views and is an ideal central location along the coastal road. It has a couple of beaches, one more secluded than the other and a harbour with good ferry connections and lots of bus stops to the other towns. Because it’s a popular spot, accommodation and parking there is expensive, and you’ll probably have to go up and down a lot of stairs to get from the beach to your accommodation.
  • Amalfi – When most people dream about visiting the Amalfi Coast, it’s Amalfi they’re actually thinking about. It’s an incredibly popular spot and a transport hub in the area, with many buses to smaller towns leaving from there and lots of ferries heading into Amalfi daily. As a town Amalfi is flatter than some of the others along the coast, so it’s a better option for those with mobility issues. There are also many more hotels, so you’ll have a bigger choice of lower and mid-range accommodation options. Of course, because it’s a popular spot for tour groups such as cruise excursions, it can get insanely busy during the day. We chose not to stay around there because we had planned on visiting places such as Naples and Pompeii, which from Amalfi is quite a distance away.
  • Ravello – This town is located in the mountains, and we have to admit it was one of our favourites. As well as stunning views out into the ocean and of the valley below, you have some beautiful things to see including the Ravello Duomo, Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo. Once you’re in Ravello it’s quite flat and it can be busy with tours through the day, but it has a small quaint town atmosphere especially in the evening. If you are planning on doing lots of sightseeing and you’re not driving, then maybe Ravello isn’t the spot for you and of course there’s no beach.
  • Sorrento – Although Sorrento isn’t directly on the Amalfi Coast, it’s still a popular location and worth considering. It’s a larger town with more hotels and restaurants so you’ll have more choice, plus it offers better transport connections to the entire area, including trains, ferries, and buses. The main problem with considering Sorrento is the distance from the Amalfi Coast.
  • Naples – Again, not on the Amalfi Coast but still a popular spot as it’s the third largest city in Italy. Because of that you will get a wide variety of accommodation, meaning you should find something to suit your budget. Your choice of transport will also be plentiful, and as you can imagine there are lots of shops and restaurants to keep you entertained. The issue for us with staying in Naples is that you’re missing the authentic Amalfi vibe, because essentially, it’s just another city. Although we didn’t stay on the coast, we loved being around the smaller towns and enjoying local restaurants and shops. Also, Naples is a fair distance from the Amalfi Coastal Road, making it harder to get everything you want to done. If you’ve hired a car then you will find that parking is expensive and when researching Naples, we found that many car parks in the area were renowned for scraping or damaging rental cars.

With all that in mind, what would we recommend? Firstly, consider what you want to do when you’re there and how easy it will be to get around. If you simply want to see the coastal towns then maybe consider somewhere like Amalfi or Positano. For those heading there in the summer, then it would probably be wiser to locate yourself closer to the coast so you have access to the beaches and can utilise the ferries to get from town to town.

As we said above, the decision will be based on a number of factors, but hopefully this list will at least help you drill down to a few options, and you can choose from there.

The Best Things to Do on the Amalfi Coast and in Naples

If you’re planning a trip to Amalfi, then you’re probably already beginning to realise that this is a lot more extensive than other types of holidays. Mainly because unlike a city break which involves one area, if you’re heading to the coast then you’ll want to see as many of the towns as possible. But because these towns are quite small, there isn’t a big list of things to do in each.

Travelling around Amalfi is a different kind of vacation, it gives you the ideal opportunity to simply relax, wander and take in the rare beauty of Italy. Of course there are always things to see, even if these activities don’t take up masses of time. So, we’ll give you our list of the best things to do in each of the main towns along the coast, and in Naples. Plus, we’ll throw in a few extras just in case you have enough days to add in a bit more.


The obvious place to start is with the famous Amalfi itself, which is the town the coast is named after. The Amalfi Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the sheer natural beauty and diversity of the landscape. Amalfi became a popular destination for the rich and famous since the 18th century and it is this allure which has made it the number one bucket list destination for many.

Amalfi is the perfect spot if you’re looking to explore for a couple of hours, or if you want somewhere to relax for the day. Although the town is relatively compact, you will find plenty of little artisan shops, restaurants and most importantly gelato cafes. But if that all sounds too strenuous then you can always head to the beautiful beach and take in the endless sunshine.

We drove into Amalfi quite early and managed to get a parking space in the harbour area. Although we can’t remember the price, it wasn’t enough to shock us, and the car was pretty safe. By the harbour there is a public toilet which is down a set of steps, but unfortunately when we arrived it was closed; but it’s handy to know it’s there.

Our first place to head had to be the beach, so we took a walk along and it is stunning. Then we walked along the promenade to get some of those iconic Amalfi pictures. After that we made our way through the arches and into the main square. If you don’t stop for a moment in shock at the architectural sights which surround you, then we’d be surprised. Within the square you have the Saint Andrews fountain which provides locals and visitors with fresh drinking water on a hot day. Nearby are the steep steps which will direct your eyesight to the Duomo di Sant’Andrea, which is Amalfi’s cathedral. Then the rest of the square has shops, cafes and restaurants which makes it a bustling hub for the locals. The road known as the Ruga Nova Mercatorum, continues up past the Duomo’s steps and you can explore the shops which line the street. Depending on how thoroughly you look around the shops, this road won’t take you that long, but also spend some time wandering down the side streets.

If you’re not going to chill on the beach, then you probably will only need a couple of hours within Amalfi. This will obviously depend upon the time of year you are visiting, as summer months will be busy. So aside from the beach or shopping for lemon patterned items such as bags and scarves, or pottery, what else is there to do in Amalfi.

These are the things to do in Amalfi which we will be covering in more detail below.

  • Visit the Duomo di Sant’Andrea (Amalfi Cathedral),
  • Discover the Museo della Carta,
  • Try the Famous Amalfi Lemon Sorbet or a Lemon Spritz,
  • Hike the Path of the Gods,
  • Check out the Miniature Towns,
  • Take in the Views Over Amalfi,
  • The Lemon Experience.

Visit the Duomo di Sant’Andrea (Amalfi Cathedral)

Cloister of Paradise AmalfiWe’ll begin by giving you some history and details about the Duomo, which is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Apostle Saint Andrew. The building is composed of two basilicas, the crypt, a beautiful cloister, and a Romanesque style bell tower which is decorated with brightly coloured majolica tiles.

As with many cathedrals throughout Italy, the Duomo di Sant’Andrea has evolved over the years and as such you will see various architecture styles such as Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque. The cloister known as the Chiostro del Paradiso, was originally built as a cemetery for the noble families in Amalfi and has an Arabic style. Within this area there are several frescos including a representation of the crucifixion of Jesus.

As you head up the sixty-two steps towards the front of the duomo, you will spot a beautiful large bronze door which was cast before 1066 and is the entrance to the building. The cathedral is open every day, and you can enter without charge during mass, but because this is a religious building you are required to be covered up, so no strappy tops or shorts.

Opening times can vary depending on the time of year, but when we checked it was from 9am to 6.45pm between March and June. From June to September this will change from 9am to 7.45 pm, and through the low season (October to February) it is between 10am and 1pm, then between 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

When we arrived outside the impressive doors of the cathedral, we noticed a sign which informed us it was closed. There was a sign indicating that we could visit the cloister, but we were disappointed not to see the cathedral and was tempted to walk away. Thankfully we chose to pay 4 Euros at the ticket booth and head into the Cloister of Paradise. The beautiful Arabic styled white arches and lush greenery is enough to make anyone do a double take. As you wander around the square you will see frescos on the walls and glass panels in the floor, which will show you the structure of the old cathedral.

We expected to walk around the cloister and then be directed back out to the front, instead we followed the directions into a kind of museum room. Within the room there are lots of religious artefacts including paintings, and relics which would have been used during celebrations or ceremonies.

Again, we thought that was the end of our visit, but we could then head down into the crypt of St Andrew. This was an ornately decorated room from floor to ceiling, we cannot imagine the hours it took to create so much beauty. It is believed that the remains of St Andrew were brought to Amalfi from Constantinople in 1206. Two years later the crypt was completed, and the relics were given to the church, including the saint’s bones.

At this point we knew there was only one way to go and that was into the cathedral, as you can imagine we were delighted. So, if you get there and the front door is closed, then check with the ticket office to the left-hand side of the cathedral. There is a good chance you will still get to visit the cathedral, even if it seems closed.

As we walked into the cathedral we were taken aback by its sheer size, because it is beautiful with so much intricate design it is difficult to take it all in. The cathedral dates to the 10th century and inside you can see coffered ceilings covering the ancient marble columns. There is a figure of Saint Andrew on the main alter, a wooden 13th century crucifix and a large dome with a fresco by Domenico Morelli and Paolo Vetri. You’ll also find a number of Gothic-Renaissance works of art throughout the chapel. The altar in the central nave is formed from the sarcophagus of the Peter of Capua who died in 1214.

Once you’ve finished in the cathedral, you’ll spot someone at the main entrance door letting people out. You will then head through the door and you’re back at the steps by the piazza. Make sure you take a moment to look at the front façade of the cathedral which has an Arabic style with a striped marble and stone design, with a tall pediment decorated in mosaics.

Because there isn’t that much to do in Amalfi, the cathedral can get incredibly busy so the earlier you get there the better. We would definitely recommend visiting it though, especially when the price of entry is so low for everything you will see. We have seen many travel sites saying you cannot get in when the door is closed and we could have easily walked away, so our advice is head to the Cloister of Paradise and ask what your ticket will include.

Discover the Museo della Carta

About a 10-minute walk from the Amalfi cathedral, along the Ruga Nova Mercatorum is the Museo della Carta. If you love to learn about new things, then what about traditional paper making? Between the 1700 and 1800s Amalfi was a paper-making hub, creating techniques where the only alternative was vellum. For centuries there were water-powered paper mills lining the river that runs through the centre of town. Sadly, for a number of reasons the industry declined with the majority of paper mills shutting down. The Museo della Carta is currently 4.50 Euros and provides the history of paper making in the area, how it’s made, and the machinery used. There is a guided tour for 7 Euros which is relatively short, but it shows you the paper making process, with Amalfi paper starting as a scrap of cloth.

Try the Famous Amalfi Lemon Sorbet or a Lemon Spritz

Wherever you go in Amalfi there is one thing you will see plenty of and that is lemons. Whether it’s the lemon trees growing all around, or the souvenirs which are abundant in yellow. What you will notice is that Amalfi lemons don’t look like the ones you’ll find in your local supermarket. Firstly, they are much larger, their skin is duller and more wrinkled, which is why they’ve been nicknamed the ugly lemon. But as we all know it’s what’s inside that counts and Amalfi lemons have fewer seeds and produce 25 percent of their volume in juice.

Because of this the locals have created some incredible sweet treats to try, and one of the most popular is the Amalfi lemon sorbet. Made with lemon juice, water and sugar, this cool and refreshing sorbet is certainly worth tasting. It’s a little creamy and tangy with just the right amount of sweetness. But what most people enjoy is the container the sorbet is held in, because many places in Amalfi will use the scooped-out lemon and put the sorbet into the hollowed area and place the top of the lemon back on. It’s a super cute way to eat your ice cream and Instagram worthy.

Of course, anything that is popular in a tourist spot, comes with over inflated prices and we paid 10 Euros. It wasn’t quite worth the price but it still tasted lovely, and you could share with a partner or family member. We have read that if you shop around, some ice cream spots are cheaper than others, we obviously just picked the wrong one.

If ice cream isn’t your bag, then you could always try the popular drink limoncello or even a Lemon Spritz, which is limoncello over prosecco. You’ll find limoncello everywhere along the coast and you’re normally served a small, chilled glass of it after dinner as a digestive.  Whereas the lemon spritz is the ideal drink for sitting back and relaxing as you take in the incredible views.

Hike the Path of the Gods

Fornillo Beach PositanoWe have a slight disclaimer on this one, because the Path of the Gods isn’t actually in Amalfi, but if you don’t have a car then it’s probably the best place to get a bus. The Path of the Gods which is known as Sentiero degli Dei in Italian, is an immensely popular mountain trail. To get there from Amalfi you need to take the bus to Bomerano, but we prewarn you that this fills up fast so if you can, get there early.

The trail itself is about 7km (4.34 miles) long and winds along the coastline at a height of 630m (2065 ft) above sea level, so it’s not for those who are afraid of heights. You will start in Bomerano and walk or hike between 3 to 5 hours, depending on your fitness level to Nocelle. Once you reach Nocelle, you could continue the hike to Positano or simply grab a bus. There are three different starting points to the Path of the Gods, and various loops, with some steep inclines and lots of uneven terrain. It has been rated a medium intensity trek, but we didn’t find it too difficult. Obviously, we would strongly recommend wearing comfortable trainers or even better hiking boots, especially for the steeper areas.

There are many reasons why hiking here has become so popular and that’s the incredible views you will experience along the way. As well as witnessing beautiful olive and lemon groves, there are impressive towns such as Praiano and Positano, and the endless blue sky and ocean. This option is ideal if you’re a nature lover and generally enjoy walking or hiking at home.

Check out the Miniature Towns

Whether you travel by car or bus, as you drive along the coastal road, you’ll notice every so often there are displays built into the rock face. Some have religious items such as the Virgin Mary, whereas others have miniature model villages complete with tiny figures. Although they are classed as nativity scenes, they can be found all year round and some are even lit up at night.

Of course, it can be hard to spot them as you’re driving, and you can’t simply park up in the middle of the coastal road to see one. If you’re thinking of visiting the Museo della Carta in Amalfi, then you’ll spot some en route, which is the ideal way of seeing them closer. It’s a nice little addition to your trip.

Take in the Views Over Amalfi

If you love to stop for a moment and take in the views, then you’ll find the Amalfi Coast offers plenty of beautiful locations. Although it sounds a tad creepy, one of the best spots was Amalfi cemetery, which is about 10 minutes from the main piazza. We will prewarn you, it’s all stairs, but there is a public elevator you can use. Please bear in mind that this is a cemetery so it’s important to be respectful to the locals visiting. From there you will see the ocean, beautiful lemon trees, plus lots of colourful houses and cathedrals. It’s the idyllic way to end your trip to the town of Amalfi because you can see its beauty at a distance and fall in love.

The Lemon Experience

Although it’s a 20-minute walk from the main square in Amalfi, The Lemon Experience is a great idea for those of you staying there or nearby, who love to try local delicacies. If you check out the website, they are a local business who offer lemon tours and cooking classes which are inspired by tradition. There are plenty of classes to choose from, so we’re sure you’ll find something you like and the prices are really reasonable.



Villa RufoloOnce we finished at Amalfi, our next stop was up in the mountains to the beautiful town of Ravello. Perched on a cliff top, 350 meters above the Mediterranean Sea, Ravello also named ‘the City of Music’ can be accessed by exiting the SS163 between Amalfi and Minori (the turning is quite hard to see, so keep an eye out for signs) and heading inland north for around 3 kilometres.

Ravello is believed to be a settlement built by a Roman colony fleeing the Barbarian invasions, and in the 9th, century it was the refuge of certain wealthy families fleeing the authority of the Doge. With thousands of years’ worth of history, this captivating mountaintop town won the heart of famous artists and inspirators such as D.H Lawrence, Winston Churchill, and Virginia Woolf. This will make sense when you arrive in the piazza which offers endless mountain views, and then wander the medieval streets and garden villas.

The drive up to Ravello is quite straightforward once you make that turning off the SS163. Of course, as you would expect there are plenty of windy roads up, but it’s all quite direct. We had checked for car parks before we left and found one under the Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium. The price was decent, it was underground and as such the car stayed cool and the walk to the main square wasn’t too far away. As we walked into the Piazza del Vescovado, we were overwhelmed by all the beauty around us, whether it was the views which felt endless, the cafes and restaurants with their quaint table and chairs dotted around the square, or the cathedral which stands proudly at the centre. Although we won’t add it to the attractions list, we would recommend taking some time out of your visit to wander around the medieval streets from the Piazza and take in the sights of this ancient town. Even though Ravello is small, there are some great things to do and see there, so let’s dive into the attractions you will want to add to your list.

These are the things to do in Ravello which we will be covering in more detail below.

  • Villa Rufolo,
  • Duomo di Ravello (Ravello Cathedral),
  • Villa Cimbrone,
  • San Giovanni del Toro,
  • The Coral Museum,
  • Santa Maria a Gradillo Church.

Villa Rufolo

Because Villa Rufolo’s entrance is just off the main piazza, it made sense to start there and walk through the arched gateway of what was a watchtower. There is a ticket office close by and we paid 7 Euros each for entry to the villa and gardens.

The villa originally belonged to the wealthy Rufolo family from around the 13th century, but was inherited by a number of families until the 19th century. At this point it was sold to the Scotsman Francis Neville Reid who restored the buildings and created the stunning layout that is seen today.

After purchasing your ticket, you will then see the Torre Maggiore which is a tower with incredible views over the ocean. There is also the main villa area, as well as the upper and lower terraces which overlook the Amalfi Coast and the Gulf of Salerno. As part of the villas there is a large courtyard elevated like a cloister and some rooms which are used as a small museum. Both Moorish and Norman influences can be found on the tower and cloisters, such as the pointed arches.

Although the villa itself is interesting to see, the main reason that people flock there is for the gardens and views. Sadly, when we visited it was during the low season, so the garden wasn’t as blooming and colourful as it is during the summer months. We’ve seen pictures online and the flower displays are stunning, but don’t worry there is still plenty to enjoy if you’re heading there out of season.

The most memorable part of your visit to Villa Rufolo are the breathtaking views, which seem endless. This is the ideal spot for those Instagram pictures, in fact there is a popular spot which is on the upper terrace, and it is seen all over social media. You have the idyllic combination of the ocean, expansive mountain views and then small towns and villages dotted around the landscape. There are seats available, so you can take a moment and rest whilst enjoying the beautiful sunshine and views.

Interestingly the grounds are the venue for the Ravello music festival, which is known as the Wagner Festival, because the German opera composer stayed there in 1880. He fell in love with the beauty of Villa Rufolo and used it as inspiration for the Garden of Klingsor in the second act of Parsifal.

What’s great about Villa Rufolo is that you can simply wander around, because there are so many nooks hidden away and little areas around the villa to explore. We would recommend going to the garden first because that is the best part, and it gives you a sense of how wonderful it must have been living there.

Make sure you head into the Torre Maggiore, because there is a small museum of the history and items found in the villa. We will prewarn you there are lots of steps (well it is a tower) and each level has something interesting to see. But it’s the top floor which provides an incredible viewpoint of the area, including the piazza and Ravello Duomo.

Is Villa Rufolo worth a visit, unequivocally yes, because sometimes you have to pay for a great view and this one is definitely worth every penny.

Duomo di Ravello (Ravello Cathedral)

Although it’s not the most ornate cathedral in the area, there is still an enchanting simplicity to this duomo. Built in 1086 it dominates the Piazza Vescovado and has three naves, a triple-arched marble portal and stunning bronze door which represents scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary, and was created in 1179. There is also a bell tower which is around 30 meters high. Dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta the cathedral is a basilica with a crypt and museum which has a marble bust of Sigligaida Rufolo and lots of mosaics and frescoes.

As with other religious churches and cathedrals in Italy, you will be required to wear clothing which covers your shoulders and legs. This is a working church and as such you should try not to disturb locals worshipping inside the building. It is open daily between 9am and 6pm, and as you would imagine admission is free.

Villa Cimbrone

Villa Cimbrone - BelvedereIf one villa with stunning views isn’t enough, then don’t worry because Ravello had two, the second being Villa Cimbrone. You will see signs for the villa and it’s about a ten-minute walk from the piazza, which involves lots of steps and uneven paths. There is an arch with Villa Cimbrone written on it, which will indicate you’ve arrived and from there you will see steps up to the ticket office. The entrance price is 10 Euros and unlike Villa Rufolo, you will only actually be able to see Cimbrone’s gardens because the villa is a working hotel and restaurant. They are open between 9am and 7.30pm, with the last entrance being at 7pm.

Villa Cimbrone is positioned on a rocky outcrop known as ‘Cimbronium,’ which as you can imagine is where the villa has adopted its name. It is believed that it was built in the 11th century and belonged to the Accongiogioco who were a noble family in the area. Over the years it was passed to other influential families and even became part of nearby monastery of Santa Chiara. From the 19th century it was passed to the Amici family of Atrani, but it was during the 20th century that much of Villa Cimbrone was altered and extended by Ernest William Beckett. In the 1970s it was sold to the Vuilleumier family who initially had it as a private family home, but it is now used as a 5-star hotel.

The villa today is a combination of salvaged pieces of architecture from other parts of Italy, with some renovation; little of the original structure remains.

Once you are through the ticket office you will see the villa to the left and a large cloister. The cloister was redecorated by Ernest William Beckett, who was also known as Lord Grimthorpe. It’s a great place to start and is a beautiful example of Italian architecture, with a covered well in the middle and around the walls are imported bas reliefs and old terracotta. You will then find the crypt next to the cloister down some steps and this was modelled after the monk’s cellarium at Fountains Abbey, a Cistercian monastery near Malton England. You’ll find large columns and a shady interior, but it’s the view over the mountains and sea which will catch your breath.

Although the villa and architecture are lovely, the main reason people come to Villa Cimbrone is for the gardens and views. Again because of the time of year we visited, the flowers weren’t really in full bloom, but we still enjoyed everything that we saw.

When you come back out of the cloister, you’re on the main walkway of the gardens and this is called the Viale dell’Immenso or Ally of Immensity. To the left of the walkway, you will witness the most stunning views, which are so hard to describe. Aswell as endless mountains, you’ll see the incredible combination of blues, whether it’s the sky above or the ocean below. They feel like they merge into one another to become this big blue canvas of beauty. Although we didn’t get to experience it ourselves, there is a large pergola which we are told displays white and blue wisteria in the summer and is a sight to behold. As you wander around the gardens you will see various statues and temples, which gives the garden the quintessential classical Italian vibes.

Although you will probably wander around the area so that you can take in those views from different angles, make sure you always come back to the Ally of Immensity and follow it all the way down to the end, where you should find a temple that you can walk through. It’s here you will find the real treasure of Villa Cimbrone and the reason why so many people book the villa for a wedding location.

The Terrace of Infinity or the Terrazza dell’Infinito, is basically an overlook, but when you are there, it feels so much more. Firstly, you have a wall which is lined by a series of marble busts, then in the middle there is a section which juts out and is surrounded by iron railings. This section is known as the Belvedere and is the ideal location for those picture-perfect photographs. Again, you have those mountain views which we discovered was the Cilento Mountains, but it’s the ocean which will really catch your breath. It’s so hard for us to put into words the sheer beauty of the spot, our advice is to make sure you have time to enjoy the gardens of Villa Cimbrone, sit on one of the benches and take a moment to really be present.

The rest of the gardens are like a little wandering adventure, because they will take you on a path down the hill to the Tempietto di Bacco or the Little Temple of Bacchus. You also have an area to the back of the villa which has a rose garden and a copy of Donatello’s famous Statue of David. We love gardens like this, because you can simply roam around and there’s so many interesting sights. There were toilets available in the gardens, but they were portable loos which can be a little off putting, but if you’re desperate then you’re desperate.

If you only have time for one villa and you’re debating which one to choose, we think this would depend on the season you visit Amalfi. If you’re in the summer season, then possibly Cimbrone because the gardens are more extensive and combined with the views it would be a beautiful experience. But for the low seasons then we’d pick Rufolo because it offers more than gardens, because you get to see inside the villa and tower.

San Giovanni del Toro

The Chiesa di San Giovanni del Toro, or the Church of St. John of the Bull is about a five-minute walk from the main piazza. It’s quite a beautiful and imposing church and well worth the walk over, but there was an admission charge of 1.40 Euros each when we visited. The church was originally built in the 11 century but has been restored numerous times over the ages. It’s popular due to the Bove pulpit which is said to have been added around the 13th century. There are sections of the floor which are glass and give you the opportunity to view the buildings old ruins.

The Coral Museum

Located near the Duomo is the Museo del Corallo, which is a unique museum displaying various jewellery such as cameos, coral, turquoise and pearls. The museum was founded in 1986 by Giorgio Filocamo whose aim was to preserve the antiques handed down through his family. Giorgio continues to make magnificent cameos out of shells which you can buy, and they are open Monday to Friday and closed at weekends.

Santa Maria a Gradillo Church

This church is incredibly close to the main piazza, so if you have a little spare time left then it’s worth a visit. The outside doesn’t leave much of an impression, but this church is incredibly popular for Italian weddings because of the architecture inside. It was built in the 11th century and has a single nave and imposing columns, but it is the pulpit which really draws your attention.


Pompeii Archaeological Park

Pompeii RuinsMost of us know about the disaster which struck the ancient city of Pompeii, when Mount Vesuvis erupted on the 24th August 79 AD. For many visiting the Pompeii Archaeological Park is an ultimate bucket list experience, so preparation is key. We have now been to the site on two occasions, the first was via a cruise tour and the second during our week in Amalfi. Both times felt incredibly special, and we discovered new facts about this impressive city. You will be surprised by how big the Pompeii Archaeological Park is.

So that we can give you as much information as possible, we have created a separate more detailed article called Pompeii Archaeological Park – Our Guide and Tips to Visiting This Attraction. This will go through each step from getting there, to buying tickets and our top tips for the site itself.



We decided to head to Herculaneum after Pompeii because it was only a twenty-minute drive, and it felt the perfect way to end our ancient ruins day. We had been told that Herculaneum was a much better experience than Pompeii, because it was a more intact city. When we arrived, we found a car park next to the entrance of the site, which was a pretty reasonable price.

Herculaneum isn’t as large as Pompeii and as such can be walked around in a couple of hours. It’s an interesting place because the ruins are surrounded by people’s homes of the city of Ercolano. Imagine looking out of your apartment window and seeing somewhere that has been decimated by the volcano which still stands behind you.

The reason why many people visit Herculaneum is because it is said to have been better preserved, due to the fact it was buried beneath 16 meters of ash and mud during the eruption of Vesuvius. Because of this many of the two story domus homes and their internal architecture and décor remained intact. Lots of features can be found such as decorations, jewellery and even food, which provides an insight into how the people lived.

Before we give you a brief history of Herculaneum, let’s give you a rundown of the basics for visiting the site. Opening times will again vary depending on the time of year, but basically from the 16th March to the 14th October the times are between 8.30am and 7.30pm. Then from the 15th October to the 15th March it’s between 8.30am and 5.00pm. Our advice would always be to check the website to make sure that it is open, because holidays can differ between countries.

The current entry price is 13 Euros, which is a little cheaper than Pompeii but not by that much, especially when you compare the size of both sites. In the area you buy your tickets you will see there is a number of facilities including toilets, a shop, an audio guide station and lockers to store larger bags, because they cannot be taken into the site. We didn’t hire an audio guide but from research we were told that it currently costs 8 Euros. To hire them you will be required to produce a passport, driving licence or credit card as identification, which the ticket office will keep until you return the audio guide. You will be asked to show your ticket to gain access to the site, so make sure you keep it at hand.

Now you know the basics, let’s give you a brief history of Herculaneum which was named after the Greek god Hercules who was believed to have founded the city in 1243 BC. In reality the cities origin is very similar to Pompeii in that it was founded by the Oscans or the Etruscans in the 7th century BC and then conquered by the Samnites in the 5th century BC.

Around 90 BC the Roman Republic took control of the city, and it was during these years that it evolved into a popular coastal resort for many wealthy families in the area. Although Herculaneum was smaller than Pompeii with a population of around 5,000, it was a considerably wealthier city.

This takes us to the 24th August 79 AD and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which buried Herculaneum under ash. On the first day of the eruption Vesuvius began spewing volcanic material thousands of meters into the sky, but most of this blew southeast towards Pompeii and led to roofs collapsing under the weight of the falling debris. Herculaneum at the same time only had a few centimetres of ash, but it was enough to prompt the citizens to evacuate. The second day of the eruption saw high volumes of ash spewing and blanketing the area, with the eruptive column collapsing and the first of seven pyroclastic surges beginning. These surges buried the buildings causing little damage to Herculaneum.

How the ruins of Herculaneum were discovered is an interesting story, because it was by accident. As a well was being dug, a number of marble fragments and statues that once decorated the ancient theatre were unearthed. Charles III Bourbon ordered that work began in 1738, which is ten years before it began in Pompeii. Over the years excavation activity halted numerous times, but it ramped up in the 1980’s with important sites being discovered such as the Temple of Venus, the baths, and the ancient Greek port. Today only a fraction of the site has been excavated, it is estimated that 75% is still buried. There is a greater focus on preserving the already excavated portions of the city, rather than exposing more.

HerculaneumWhen you visit Herculaneum, you will see there is a classic street layout of blocks which is defined by an intersection of east to west and north to south streets. There are two additional blocks to the east and south, but the bulk of the buildings are within this main block. The majority of the buildings are residential, because sadly the forum, temples, theatre and necropoles are still buried.

So, what are the best sights to see when you’re there? We won’t go through everything because that will ruin the enjoyment of discovering it when you are there.

  • Men’s Baths – This site was fully excavated in 1931 and was known as the Terme Centrali or Central Baths. The baths were divided into male and female, with a changing area walk through. There were wall niches to store clothing and three bathing areas.
  • Hall of the Augustals – This square structure consists of a hall with a central shrine and two side rooms. It was the seat to the College of Augustales and its members were free men who were devotees of the Emperor Augustus. You will see columns, arches, two frescoes, cocciopesto floors and a list of the members displayed on the north wall. There was a skeleton of the building’s custodian found in his quarters, laid out on the bed.
  • Samnite House – This is one of the oldest houses in Herculaneum, because it was built in the 2nd century BC. The building has a Greek style atrium, cocciopesto floors and marble impluvium.
  • Villa of the Papyri – This is the more famous of the luxury villas, because it was built along the ancient seashore. It is thought to have belonged to Julius Caesar’s father-in-law who was the patron of poets and philosophers. There was an ancient library that survived intact, and a number of blackened papyrus scrolls were recovered in the villa.
  • House of Relief of Telephus – This three-story home was built between 27 BC and 14 AD on the panoramic ridge overlooking the marina. It was decorated with a number of sculptures including a relief of Telephus, who was son of the legendary Hercules. The atrium is lined with columns, with the spaces in between being decorated with oscilla or marble discs with reliefs of Dionysus who was said to guard against evil spirits.
  • The Boat House and Shore, otherwise known as the Fornici – Between 1980 and 1982 excavations discovered more than 55 skeletons on the ancient beach and in the first six boat sheds. Further excavations in the 1990’s uncovered nearly 300 more skeletons huddled in 9 of the 12 stone vaults, which were positioned on the beach and faced the sea. The theory is that whilst most of the town was evacuated, these victims found themselves trapped and from analysing the bones, it was mainly men on the beach and women and children in the boat houses.

We completely understand if you want to visit both Pompeii and Herculaneum, because they’re both such incredible views into the past. But it maybe that you are short on time, and you have to pick one. Our advice is to research and check out pictures to see which you prefer. If we knew what we know now, we would have simply stayed at Pompeii, because in all honesty we couldn’t tell the difference between the two sites. Even though we knew Herculaneum was a more intact site, it didn’t really feel massively different. Yes, there were more complete buildings, and as such you were offered more shade throughout your time there, but there were some in Pompeii too. To be honest with you it may have been that we were tired after walking around Pompeii for the majority of the day, so if you have the time, it may be wiser to split them up and visit on separate days.

We would recommend that if you visit, wear comfortable shoes, a hat and take plenty of water to stay hydrated. It can get hot in the ruins and although it has more shade, you will still be out in the sun for long periods.



Positano Spiaggia Grande BeachPositano is the epitome of the picture postcard view because this hillside town offers a kaleidoscope of colours. Whenever we Googled the Amalfi Coast, it was normally a picture of Positano which popped up and for very good reason, it’s so idyllic. If you are lucky enough, then you’ll have the opportunity to view Positano from the sea and the road, but either one is beautiful enough that you’ll fall in love.

We drove to Positano on the third day of our trip, and it was the perfect opportunity for us to take the SS163. This is the main coastal road known as the Amalfi Drive, and it cuts across the top of Positano. It’s a stunning drive and every so often you will find that there is an area where you can park up. We did this a couple of times simply to get out of the car and enjoy the scenery.

When you leave the SS163 to drive through Positano, you will make your way down the west hill via a one-way road called Viale Pasitea. There are multiple car parks on the way down, but we researched via Google which had better reviews and chose one at the top of the hill which was 6 Euros per hour. Yes, the price is steep to park there, but as you can imagine it gets incredibly busy and there are very few free spaces on the roads. Plus, you take the risk of your hire car being damaged, so we preferred to pay for parking wherever we went. At the carpark we were asked for the keys and our car was driven away and parked up for us, so don’t panic if your keys are taken from you, it’s perfectly normal here.

If you have mobility problems, then we’d suggest you continue down the hill and see if there are any spaces closer to the beach. We didn’t check the prices of those car parks, but they may be more expensive. There were steps and an elevator from the lower section of the hill to the top area, but we still had quite a steep walk back to our car.

To leave Positano you will drive back up the east side of the hill named Via Cristoforo Colombo. Both ends connect to the SS163 forming a big loop, and depending on the traffic it can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.

Small towns such as Positano are normally easier to visit via ferry, so depending on where you are based it may be a better option. Then you have the opportunity to view this incredible place from the sea, at a distance. The iconic array of coloured houses scattered all over the hillside against the mountains and blue skies, makes it a breath-taking scene.

Either way, you’re bound to be enthralled by this incredible little town, because it provides that quintessential Italian beachy vibe which is honestly addictive. We quite liked wandering down from the car park through the windy roads to the shops, restaurants and the beach at the bottom. It gave us lots of opportunities to stop and take in the views, because looking down is equally as pretty. You will notice a very popular theme as you wander past the small boutiques and stores, because it’s here you will find plenty of lemon themed items such as Limoncello and ceramics or candles. If you haven’t decided where to stay during your Amalfi trip, then Positano is quite a good location as it offers a central base to the other towns along the coast, and you can easily jump on the various ferries at the small port. But it also provides an old-world charm which you will never tire of being around.

If you’re simply there for the day, then you’d probably only need a few hours, but this will completely depend on what you plan to do when you’re there. So, lets dive into the best things to do when you’re visiting Positano.

These are the things to do in Positano which we will be covering in more detail below.

  • Visit Spiaggia Grande Beach and Fornillo Beach,
  • The Church of Santa Maria Assunta,
  • Go Shopping,
  • MAR Positano Villa Romana,
  • Go Kayaking.

Visit Spiaggia Grande Beach and Fornillo Beach

There are a number of beaches close to Positano such as Arienzo Beach Club and La Scogliera, which are both private VIP beaches. But we thought we’d focus on the two main beaches close to the town centre of Positano.

Spiaggia Grande is the main beach, and it can be found next to the Marina Grande which is the harbour and ferry port. The beach itself is quite long, spanning 300 meters with grey sand and pebbles, so in all honesty it’s not the comfiest to sit on. But if you fancy a day by the sea, then make sure you grab a spot by the side closest to the marina, because this section is free to use for the public and as such it can get crowded. There is also a public toilet there, but to use it comes at a small cost.

Next to the free beach is a private beach club, but as you can imagine there is a charge to relaxing there. The fee is around 30 Euros, but this includes sun loungers, and it tends to be less crowded, plus you can order food and drinks. We’ll be honest, because of the time of year and the fact we wanted to see as much as possible of the area, we didn’t sunbathe; it wasn’t warm enough. So, we can only give you our experience of simply wandering along the beach and dipping our toes in the ocean.

If you’re considering spending the entire day on the beach and happy to pay for the privilege, then our recommendation is to walk about 10 minutes from Spiagga Grande, past the Marina Grande to Fornillo Beach. Even if you’re not going to sunbathe, we still recommend taking a walk to the beach because the views as you head there are incredible. Fornillo is quite secluded and less crowded than the main beach, but as you can imagine there is a cost of roughly 20 Euros per person via the Pupetto Beach Club. This includes sun loungers, restrooms and access to a food and drinks service.

The Church of Santa Maria Assunta

Positano The Church of Santa Maria AssuntaNo matter the mode of transport you use to get to Positano, one of the main sights you will spot is the huge dome of a church covered in yellow, green, and blue majolica tiles. We have to admit we love visiting churches and basilicas purely for the extravagant architecture. You’ll find the church of Santa Maria Assunta close to the beach, but to reach it you will need to climb a few steps. The church is 10th century and was built on the site of a former Benedictine Abbey.

The facade isn’t exactly striking, but that seems to be normal for churches in this area of Italy. It is still a lovely sight though, especially when you stand back and see the 18th century bell tower next to it. Take a moment to spot the fish, fox and mythical dragon creature above the bell tower door, they are one of the few surviving relics of the original abbey. Around the church there is a gravestone which commemorates Flavio Gioia who is said to have invented the compass.

Admission to the church is free and it is open daily, although there are visiting hours. When you enter the church, you will be dazzled by a beautiful white and gold interior of neoclassical design which is from the late 18th century. It is said that the Virgin Mary was closely connected to the church since the 12th century, when a Byzantine icon of her was given to the church in her honour. This can still be seen if you walk along the central nave to the front of the church, above the altar.

The church of Santa Maria Assunta originally consisted of a single nave, but during the 1700’s renovations were carried out and it was divided into three naves, with five arches and side chapels. There is a bust of St. Vitus and in the chapel of St Stephen an 18th century wooden statue of the Madonna and Child, plus lots of other pieces of artwork.

If it’s closed when you visit or you haven’t the time to go inside, then simply enjoy viewing this spectacular building against the background of such a beautiful landscape. The church is an important part of the town’s history, and the daily life of the people in Positano.

Go Shopping

Although this is something you can do in any of the coastal towns, there’s something special about shopping in Positano. The shops are incredibly cute and stylish with plenty of clothing for both men and women. Plus, there is the usual souvenir spots selling ceramics, sandals and of course everything lemon related such as the delicious Limoncello. This was one of our favourite things to do as we wandered down the hill, but beware that prices can be a little higher here than in other towns. Positano is incredibly popular and the prices there are evidence of that, but you’re on holiday, so why not treat yourself, especially to a gelato or two.

One of the best spots within the town is the Piazza dei Mulini which has a number of shops and restaurants, but it’s also renowned for offering a great viewpoint to look out over Positano via a charming pedestrian walkway.

MAR Positano Villa Romana

You won’t find many museums in the small town, but this one is the perfect way to discover the ancient history of Positano. It is a series of archaeological excavations of old crypts and an ancient Roman villa which has a beautifully preserved fresco. The museum is only a 3-minute walk from the port and beach area, so easily accessible for most visitors, and entry is 15 Euros per person. You should see a small booth selling tickets by the steps of the basilica. The museum visit is a guided tour which takes about 30 minutes and covers a vast amount of the Roman history and architecture. The opening time is seasonal, alike many other museums in the area, so between 11th April to the 31st October it’s 9am to 8.30pm and then from the 1st November to 10th April it’s 10am to 4pm.

Go Kayaking

If you’re more of an activity person, then why not try kayaking when you visit Positano. Not only will you have the thrill of the activity, but you’ll also get to enjoy those incredible views from the ocean. There are rental companies on the beach itself and you can rent by the hour, with the average price being 20 Euros for a two-seater.



sorrento villa communaleAfter visiting Positano we continued driving another 30 minutes along the coastal road to Sorrento. As we arrived, we found ourselves being a little taken aback, because it wasn’t at all as we had expected. Our mental image of Sorrento was something similar to Positano or Amalfi, but instead we found ourselves in quite a large bustling town. Our first difficulty was trying to determine where abouts the centre of Sorrento was, but thank God for Sat Nav. We found a car park close to the Piazza Tasso which also had a nice clean toilet, but of course there was a charge.

We’ll start of by saying that Sorrento wasn’t one of our favourite spots during our Amalfi Coast trip. In all honesty that surprised us, because of what we had read from other travel bloggers. From our research most activities are condensed to a small section of the town and can be done relatively quickly. When you read other articles on ‘things to do in Sorrento’, most of them include visiting other attractions such as Pompeii and Towns like Ravello, which are both quite a distance away.

We’re not sure if our disappointment was due to there not being much to see, or struggling to know where to go. This is a large town, but the majority of it is simple urban living and not really anything to write home about. Even with that in mind we’d still recommend that you visit, because you may have a different experience to us. But if you’re limited for time, then don’t worry if you never made it to Sorrento. If you still fancy visiting Sorrento then let us bring you the spots we headed to, which are within the same area of the town.

These are the things to do in Sorrento which we will be covering in more detail below.

  • Piazza Tasso,
  • Piazza Lauro,
  • Palazzo Correale,
  • Go Shopping in Sorrento’s Old Town,
  • Sorrento’s Cathedral,
  • The Museo della Tarsia Lignea (Inlaid Wood Museum),
  • Villa Comunale Park,
  • Cloister and Church of San Francesco,
  • Piazza della Vittoria,
  • Bagni di Regina Giovanna,
  • Marina Grande Beach,
  • The Museo Correale di Terranova,
  • Sedile Dominova.

Piazza Tasso

This piazza is the central hub of Sorrento and a great place to start, especially if you want to stop for a drink or bite to eat. Although the square is accessible by cars, around the edges you will find multiple restaurants and cafes with plenty of seating to take in the views and atmosphere of this bustling area.

The statue in the middle of Piazza Tasso is Antonino, who was the patron saint of Sorrento. Surrounding the square there are a number of historic buildings including the yellow painted Baroque Carmelite church del Carmine. This church is famous for its painting by Onofrio Avellino of the Virgin Mary, with Saint Simon Stock and angels.

To the west of the square is the cutest shopping street named the Via San Cesareo, which has an old-style vibe to it and offers a number of artisanal shops, as well as the usual souvenir spots.

One thing you won’t miss when you’re walking around Piazza Tasso, is the incredible view of the Gulf of Naples from the gorge which was cut by the road bridge to Marina Piccola below. It’s a beautiful addition to your day and makes you realise how high up the town is from the beach area.

Towards the top of the Piazza look out for the other gorge, which is known as the Vallone dei Mulini or the Valley of the Mills. Although you cannot go down to the 13th century abandoned flour mill, the natural scenery surrounding the ruin is beautiful and certainly worth the walk over.

Piazza Lauro

A bit of a walk from Piazza Tasso is Piazza Lauro, which is a more modern square in the heart of Sorrento. Although it doesn’t hold as much history as Tasso, it is the ideal location for those of you who love people watching and is a great spot to grab food and drinks in the evening, as this is where the locals congregate.

Piazza Lauro is close to the Circumvesuviana train station which connects Sorrento to lots of the other popular tourist spots.

Palazzo Correale

This historic building is a small museum and it’s only a few minutes’ walk from Piazza Tasso. The villa and its contents were gifted by the Correale brothers, who were a noble family from Sorrento. With an entrance cost of 8 Euros, it’s one of the cheaper museums we visited. Each floor of the museum provides a range of antiques such as clocks, porcelain and artwork. Plus, you can enjoy stunning views from the villas and its gardens.

Palazzo Correale is closed on Mondays, but open Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm and on Sunday 9am to 1pm.

Go Shopping in Sorrento’s Old Town

Sorrento Via San CesareoWe’ve already mentioned San Cesareo which is a delightful area close to Piazza Tasso and one of the oldest streets in the area. Close to that is Corso Italia which is the main shopping thoroughfare in the centre of Sorrento, and it offers a mixture of international stores and local small boutiques.

Sorrento’s Cathedral

Known as the Cathedral of Saints Philip and James, Sorrento’s Cathedral is located close to the shopping area Corso Italia. It was built around the 11th century, but was remodelled during the 15th century in a Romanesque style. To be honest we didn’t think much of the exterior, it was very uninspiring, but that shouldn’t put you off taking a look inside, especially as there is no entrance charge. The cathedral is open Monday to Saturday between 8.30am and 7.30pm, then on Sundays between 8.30am and 5.30pm. But this will vary depending on the time of year and if there are any holidays, so it may be best to check online to make sure they’re open.

As you enter you will see a large nativity scene which is quite beautiful. Within the Cathedral there are two aisles and a nave, which are surrounded by paintings, plus a marble altar and throne which dates back to the 16th century. Take a moment to look up as well at the incredible frescoes on the ceiling.

There is a bell tower next to the cathedral which is architecturally prettier, it is three storeys high and the base dates back to the Roman Empire.

The Museo della Tarsia Lignea (Inlaid Wood Museum)

Another museum which is close to the Piazza Tasso is the Museo della Tarsia Lignea, which is a collection of furniture that was crafted over the centuries. This is especially significant because of the use of inlaid wood within the Sorrento area, for example the panels which decorate Sorrento’s Cathedral. There are beautiful pieces of furniture, many from the 19th century, but also a modern contemporary collection in the basement. You’ll even find the tools which were used and techniques which evolved over time and across the varying materials. It’s only a small museum which currently charges 8 Euros to enter, and it’s ideal for those of you who love craft work. The Museo della Tarsia Lignea is open daily between 10am and 6.30pm.

Villa Comunale Park

This one is ideal if you’re looking for incredible views and again it’s close to Piazza Tasso. Villa Comunale Park is a small park with beautifully manicured gardens, but it’s the views of the Gulf of Naples which will take your breath away. When we visited there were performers and we’ve read about art exhibitions being held there. If you fancy a break at this point, then why not grab a bite to eat or a drink at the La Villa Ristobar which overlooks the ocean. Below Villa Comunale is the port where you can catch the ferry, but also various beach clubs in Marina Grande, so you can either walk down or take the public elevator.

Cloister and Church of San Francesco

This medieval cloister dates back to the 1300’s and is a popular place for weddings, due to the fact it offers an idyllic sense of romance. The cloister is next to the Church of San Francesco, which can be found next to the Villa Comunale Park.

Interestingly the cloister is one of the oldest monuments in Sorrento and is built on the remains of a 7th century monastery. The columns of the arches are all different in height and decoration which adds to their beauty. Of course, because the cloister is popular for weddings, you may catch a glimpse of a ceremony next to the huge tree in the centre. You will also see a bell tower on the right which was restored during the 20th century.

We’d also recommend visiting the art gallery on the second floor of the cloister, which currently costs 5 Euros to enter. The exhibition shows black and white photography of Sorrento born Raffaele Celentano, displaying the street life of ordinary people in Southern Italy.

If you want to visit the Church of San Francesco, then there is no charge and it’s open between 7am and 7pm. Interestingly it was originally a mill from the 13th century which has had numerous renovations over the years. The church has one nave and six different chapels where there is a statue of San Francesco. Even above the altar there is a painting from 1735 which depicts St Francis while receiving the stigmata. There is an interesting piece to the left of the aisle, which is a crucifix placed on a painting which represents the Madonna and the pregnant Magdalene.

Piazza della Vittoria

Another beautiful spot to sit and relax is the Piazza della Vittoria, which is close to the Villa Comunale Park. There’s not much to do there as it’s basically a lovely garden with beautiful plants, trees, statues and lots of seats to relax.

Bagni di Regina Giovanna

For those of you who like a mixture of nature and history then this is the ideal activity for you, but sadly it’s a distance from the centre of Sorrento. The Bagni di Regina Giovanna is a scenic spot along the Sorrento Peninsula where you can relax, sunbathe and swim. But it is also the location of a famous Roman Villa from the first century BC. Named Villa Pollio after the Roman noble Pollio Felice, what was a spectacular home is now a ruin, but it’s still a piece of history with a fabulous outlook. From Piazza Tasso it’s a 40-minute walk, but you can take the 5070 bus instead and get off at the Caposorrento stop; from there it is a 10 minute walk.

Marina Grande Beach

You may not know that Sorrento has a beach, in fact it has a few beaches with the most popular being Marina Grande. Unlike some of the other beach areas along the Amalfi Coast, Marina Grande is a very small stretch of sand. It’s extremely picturesque and has a number of restaurants, selling local fresh fish. The problem with this beach is that you have to negotiate a lot of steps to get there. The path down is a steep incline which means the return walk can be hard, as such comfy shoes are recommended.

The Museo Correale di Terranova

The Museo Correale di Terranova is an archaeological museum and art gallery, which is located in the centre of Sorrento. This large collection has 24 exhibition rooms which cover 4 floors and is based in an 18th century villa. You will find artwork whether it’s Flemish, Sacred or 17th and 18th century Neapolitan painting. But there is furniture, clocks, archaeology, porcelain and photographic equipment.

The Correale Museum Park is the gardens surrounding the villa and you will find orange groves, gardens incredible views from the Belvedere Terrace of the Gulf of Naples. To enter it costs 15 Euros, which is a little higher than the other museums, but you are seeing a huge collection. It is open Tuesday to Saturday 9am to 6pm, Sunday 9am to 1pm and closed on a Monday.

Sedile Dominova

This ancient building built between 1319 and 1344, was the seat for nobles and aristocracy of Sorrento to discuss politics and make important decisions. Interestingly it’s the last surviving noble seat in the area, so it’s certainly worth a moment of your time. The walls and ceiling are covered with original frescoes such as the Sorrento’s coat of arms and heraldic symbols of the nobles who used the building.



Naples Gesù Nuovo and the Spire of the Immaculate VirginAs the third largest city in Italy after Rome and Milan, Naples holds significant historical importance. It was said to have been founded by Greeks in the 1st century BC and as such is the oldest continuously inhabited urban area in the world. The historic city became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, due to significant sites such as the Palace of Caserta, Pompeii and Herculaneum.

All of this makes it an incredibly popular spot to visit for anyone staying around the Amalfi Coast area. Most people opt to stay in Naples and travel to the other towns and attractions along the coast, mainly because you have access to amazing restaurants, hotels and public transport.

Whether you are staying in Naples or somewhere else, we’d recommend that you spend at least a day wandering around this great city. We had been told that it wasn’t a nice place to walk around and that it felt unsafe, but that wasn’t our experience. Yes, it wasn’t the prettiest European city we have visited, but we still enjoyed our time there. The best part is that there is plenty to do and see, so to make sure we provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your time there, we have written a Guide to Visiting Naples, Italy – Best Attractions and Things to Do. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Salerno is the second largest city in the region after Naples and it can be found on the Gulf of Salerno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. We travelled to Salerno following a full day of visiting Positano and Sorrento, so it was towards the latter end of the day. But we really struggled to enjoy it, after driving around and around to find a parking spot, we ended up in a car park by the ferry port. We were told there was a nice sea front walk called Lungomare Trieste, but we honestly couldn’t see that there was much to do or see. So, we focused on the attractions we had written down and then headed back to our accommodation. We may return some day and give Salerno another try, but our advice to those of you with a limited amount of time is to give this a miss and visit some of the smaller towns such as Ravello, Minori and Maiori. Of course we have read of other travel bloggers who loved Salerno, so maybe it’s simply personal preference.

These are the things to do in Salerno which we will be covering in more detail below.

  • Salerno Cathedral,
  • Salerno Provincial Archaeological Museum,
  • Minerva’s Garden,
  • Arechi Castle.

Salerno Cathedral

Also known as the Duomo di Salerno, this is the main church in the city of Salerno and is the perfect place to cool down from the beautiful sunshine and take in incredible architecture. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Matthew, and you will find his relics inside the crypt. It also holds the tomb of Pope Gregory VII who rejected the imperial domination of the church.

Built in the 11th century, it was designed in the Neapolitan Baroque and Rococo styles which were popular at the time. Salerno Cathedral was heavily damaged during World War II and has since gone through restoration work.

Although it’s not the most striking cathedral we’ve seen from the outside, it does have a beautiful bell tower which was built in the mid-12th century. Inside is a different story with spectacular artistry to behold. There is a nave and two aisles which are divided by pilasters, but it is the artwork which really stands out. This includes the 14th century painting by Francesco Solimena called Madonna with Child and statues from the 13th century.

Possibly one of the best parts of Salerno Cathedral is the crypt, which is thought to be the resting place of Matthew the Apostle. Unlike the cathedral, which is free to enter, there is a small donation for the crypt, but it is worth it. The crypt is almost like a smaller version of the Sistine Chapel and this beautiful room will halt you in your tracks. There are a number of relics within the crypt including St Matthews arm and the statue of the Salerno Martyrs.

You can visit every day between 8.30am and 7.30pm, expect Sunday when the cathedral opens at 10am and closes at 2pm. The opening and closing times for the crypt are a little different as its open daily between 9.30am and 8pm, expect Sundays which is 4pm to 6pm.

If you’re in Salerno early then we would recommend heading here first, because it’s such a popular attraction in the area and can get quite busy.

Salerno Provincial Archaeological Museum

Although it’s not as big as the one in Naples, this is still a lovely archaeological museum to visit. Its collection involves finds from excavations carried out around the area, from prehistoric to the late Roman Empire, with Greek and Etruscan history.

Because of its size you’ll probably only spend about an hour in there, but the admission price of 4 Euros is so reasonable that it’s worth it. It’s open every day, except Monday between 9am and 7.30pm.

Within the entrance area there is a lapidary with Roman remains and statues, and this leads into the building which covers two floors. The lower floor is where you will discover the archaeological finds from the province of Salerno. Then on the first floor there are artifacts from the Etruscan Sunni-Campanian site of Fratte, which is located in the northern suburbs of the city between the late 6th to the 1st AD. Also on the first floor is the main attraction for most visitors to the museum and that is the bronze head of Apollo. The head was found in the waters of the Gulf of Salerno by fishermen, and as such it has become an important symbol for the town.

If you’re spending the day in Salerno then this is the perfect addition, especially if you’re trying to keep those costs down, because 4 Euros is a great price for a museum.

Minerva’s Garden

Found near the medieval walls and at the back of Fusandola torrent, is Minerva’s Garden. The walk from downtown is pretty much uphill and as such may not be for everyone, but if you like the challenge then this is definitely worth the walk. There are signs along the way, guiding you to the attraction.

Minerva’s Garden was founded in the 12th century by the Silvatico family. But it was Dr Matteo Silvatico who was a prominent physician at the Salernitan School of Medicine between the 13th and 14th century, who put it on the map. His expertise focused on using plants to produce medicinal remedies to treat diseases and for therapeutic purposes. Some of these plants were rare and exotic species he discovered during his travels. Dr Matteo showed medical students the plants and their different characteristics. Because of this the garden can be considered the oldest botanical garden linked to a school of medicine.

The gardens are on five levels with incredible views of the sea, and you can enjoy the restaurant there with a glass or two of wine as you stare out at the ocean. Due to the restoration work completed in 2000, the gardens offer an interesting display of 18th century designs. This includes a long staircase which links the different levels, ending up at a belvedere terrace which is covered by a pergola. There is an interesting water system of basins and fountains which are found on each terrace that add to the gardens beauty.

Visiting this lovely garden will only cost you 3 Euros and they are open daily, except Mondays, between 9.30am and 7pm. This option is ideal if you’re looking for something outdoors and you’re sick of looking at churches or religious buildings.

Arechi Castle

Arechi Castle is a medieval castle which can be seen on the hilltop above Salerno. It’s called Arechi because the fortification was connected with Lombard Duke Arechi II and the oldest section is said to be from the 6th century. Because Salerno was the cornerstone of trade for the region, it was important to ensure there was a strong defence system in the city. This is why Arechi Castle was so important, not only the castle itself, but also the walls along the slope below. The castle today is basically a central section which is surrounded by towers and crenelated walls. Many people head up for the views and treat visiting the castle as a bonus, mainly because all that’s left are castle walls.

If you’re interested in visiting the castle then your first obstacle will be the climb up, and we’ll prewarn you there are steep sections. There are steps, as well as a path, but we’d recommend taking the steps up and wearing comfortable shoes. At the top you can enjoy spectacular views and a museum. The entrance price is 3 Euros and it’s open every day except Monday, between 9am and 5pm, or 9am to 3.30pm on Sundays.



Amalfi CoastlineWe’re going to start this section by being completely honest, because unfortunately we didn’t make it to Ischia. We simply ran out of time, but we wanted to at least provide you with some information on the island, and what there is to do there. Of course this won’t be from first-hand experience, but we hope someday to come back to this guide and amend it with our personal views.

Ischia is a volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea which lies at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples. It’s the largest of the Phlegrean Islands and can be seen from the city of Naples. You may be surprised to know that it is where Italians like to take their holidays, so obviously it must be good.

Unlike many of the other touristy parts of the Amalfi Coast, Ischia is said to be a more traditional Italian location offering a bygone feel. This is something you may be grateful of, especially if you’ve visited areas such as Naples and the Amalfi Coast itself.

From our research most travel bloggers really enjoyed visiting the island, and you can cover pretty much everything in one day. The main reason Ischia is so popular is the naturally occurring hot springs found on the island, with some being free to use. Also, there are plenty of beaches including Spiaggia di Cava Grado and Spiaggia dei Maronti.

If all of this sounds perfect to you as it does to us, then let’s delve into our list of things to do there.

These are the things to do in Ischia which we will be covering in more detail below.

  • Visit Castello Aragonese d’Ischia,
  • Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta,
  • Cartaromana Beach,
  • Nestor’s Cup and the Archaeological Museum of Pithecusae,
  • Thermal Baths on Ischia,
  • Hike Mount Epomeo,
  • La Mortella Gardens,
  • The Chiesa del Soccorso,
  • The Torrione di Forio.

Visit Castello Aragonese d’Ischia

This castle/fortress is the most popular tourist destination near Ischia, and we say near, because the Castello Aragonese d’Ischia is located on its own island and connected by a land bridge. The castle stands on a volcanic rocky islet, so the walk up can be incredibly steep. There is an elevator available if you have mobility issues, but you’d need to ask staff at the castle to use it as it is located behind the ticket counter.

It is open 7 days a week from 9am until sunset and the current ticket price is 12 Euros. Guided tours are available at set times, so if you want to delve into the castle’s history then it’s ideal. Within the castle there are two cafes with amazing views and a bookshop.

The first castle on the island was built in 474 BC to control enemy fleets movements. In 1441 Alfonso V of Aragon connected the rock to the island with a stone bridge and fortified the walls against raiding pirates. It was then used as a convent around 1700 and in 1809 British troops sieged the then French controlled castle and pretty much destroyed it.

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

Found a short walk from the castle, this unassuming cathedral has a beautiful baroque style and is the seat of the diocese of Ischia. The first church was built around 1752 but was destroyed by a volcanic eruption, the next two were destroyed by Franco-Anglo battles. The current cathedral was rebuilt in the 18th century and has a nave, aisles and side chapels, with paintings throughout by Alfonso Spigna and Giacinto Diano. You will also see a 13th century wooden crucifix in the north chapel.

Entry is free but remember this is a working cathedral and as such there will be parishioners in there. Also, we have read that it can be closed in the afternoon, so it may be better if you head here early.

Cartaromana Beach

Cartaromana Beach can be found in front of Castello Aragonese d’Ischia and although it’s not huge, it is very beautiful. Alike many of the other beaches in Italy, you’ll find that most of the beach space is filled with sun loungers which can be rented for the day.

You can access the beach by boat or a windy road and steps. The hike back up is a little difficult, so the option you choose will depend on your mobility. The fact it’s a bit of a hike means it’s not as crowded as other beaches. What makes Cartaromana Beach bucket list worthy are the beautiful views of the castle and the fumarolic springs which provides a nice warm thermal water to sit in. The contrast of cold to hot water is fun and definitely worth a try.

As well as the beach there are restaurants and the usual café/bars where you can purchase food and drinks, although we have read that they are quite pricey.

Nestor’s Cup and the Archaeological Museum of Pithecusae

This small museum is located a little away from the main tourist spots in Ischia. But if you’re looking for something different, especially on a rainy day then it’s perfect. This collection is predominantly ceramics from former civilisations in Ischia. One of the more popular items is called Nestor’s Cup and it is one of the oldest examples of writing in ancient Greece, dating back to the time of Homer. As well as the museum you have beautiful terraces and gardens with incredible views.

The Archaeological Museum of Pithecusae is open between 9am and 1.30pm and then 4pm to 7.30pm, but this can vary depending on the time of year and holidays, and ticket prices are 5 Euros.

Thermal Baths on Ischia

One of the main reasons people visit Ischia is for the thermal spas, which is the perfect way to relax after a busy week around Amalfi. There are free natural hot springs which bubble up on a number of the island’s beaches. But you can also treat yourself to a private thermal park and spa, which has mineral-water swimming pools, wellness centres and secluded beaches. The Poseidon Gardens is one of the more popular thermal baths on the island.

Hike Mount Epomeo

Mount Epomeo is the only real peak on Ischia at almost 800 meters above sea level. It’s a great option for those of you who like to keep active as you vacation. Hiking the mount can be steep in parts, but this 3km walk is worth the effort for the incredible views which include the Hermitage of San Nicola from the 15th century. The total hike should take about 45 minutes to an hour and there is a restaurant halfway to the top, which is perfect to rest those feet for a bit and rehydrate.

La Mortella Gardens

For those of you who enjoy flowers, then this unique botanical garden which dates back to the 1950’s is ideal. It houses thousands of species of Mediterranean flora and subtropical plants. La Mortella Gardens can be found near San Francesco Beach in Forio and was created by Susanna Gyl, who was wife of the English composer William Walton.

Decent mobility is needed because the gardens go up one side of a hill and down another. As well as the beautiful flowers, you can enjoy impressive views out to the sea. The garden is open between March and November on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sundays between 9am and 6pm. But we’d recommend checking out their website to make sure. There is an entry fee of 12 Euros which many visitors felt was a little steep for the experience they had.

The Chiesa del Soccorso

This beautiful white church is popular for tourists because of its breathtaking views of the ocean. But it also has a wooden crucifix which dates back to the 1400’s. Its history dates back to around 1350 when it was an Augustinan Monastery, but that building was destroyed in the earthquake of 1883.

Naples CathedralIt was rebuilt into the small church you see today with a beautiful 17th century stone doorway, a central oculus, nave and bell tower. As this is a working church you can visit at any time for free but be aware of other parishioners as you wander around.

The Torrione di Forio

The Torrione di Forio is a fortified watch tower which was built in 1480 to defend Ischia against invaders and pirates. The tower is now used as the base of a small civic museum which is dedicated to the works of Giovanni Maltese. The sculptor, artist and poet who was born in Forio and spent a large amount of his life in the tower, which was given to him by the local community. You’ll discover history about the island, and enjoy paintings and busts made by Maltese.

The museum costs 2 Euros to enter and is open every day except Monday between 9.30am and 12.30pm and then 6pm to 9pm.



As an island of the super wealthy and famous, Capri has been the dream vacation for many travellers. It offers luxury including some of the best restaurants and bars, incredible beaches and beautiful views, essentially an island of paradise.

Because Capri is an island just off the bay of Naples, there is only one way to get there and that is ferry. So, most people choose to visit as a day trip rather than a holiday. Even though it’s popular because of the designer shops and luxury yachts, there is plenty to do there on a day trip.

We will admit that we didn’t have the chance to visit Capri, so we’re bringing you our list from the research we conducted for our trip. There were a number of reasons we didn’t go, firstly the ferry price was over 100 pounds which we felt was steep. It was also an incredibly windy day, so the ferry journey would have been rough and the weather on the island not so great. Finally, as we researched on whether to go, we realised that the time of year we have gone to Amalfi, which was March, there is very little open in Capri. So, most of the bars, restaurants and shops would have been closed. We’ve written this to be completely transparent with you, but we felt that it wouldn’t be a complete guide to the area without having Capri on the list.

These are the things to do in Capri which we will be covering in more detail below.

  • Piazza Umberto 1,
  • Blue Grotto,
  • Giardini di Augusto,
  • Faraglioni,
  • Monte Solaro,
  • The Natural Arch,
  • Take a Boat Tour Around the Island,
  • Villa Jovis,
  • Villa San Michele.

Piazza Umberto 1

This is the main Piazza in Capri and the ideal spot to start your day on the island. You arrive in Capri at Marina Grande port, so to get to the piazza you have to take a funicular up, which takes about 5 minutes. The square is what you will see in most Italian towns with lots of outside dining, gelato stands, hotels, plus the odd statue. But because this is Capri you will also see lots of designer shopping.

Because Piazza Umberto 1 is the first stop on your trip to Capri, it will be incredibly crowded. If you’re planning on spending some time there, then the best thing to do after you’ve wandered around is simply take a seat and watch the world go by. This could be at a restaurant or on one of the benches which overlook the amazing view of the harbour and Mount Solara. Within the square is the famous clock tower and the Church of Santa Stefano which was built in the 18th century.

Not far from the piazza is a taxi stand and the bus stop which goes to Anacapri, where a number of attractions can be found. From our research the cheaper option by far is the bus which is only a few Euros, compared to taxis which can be 25 Euros each way.

Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto is a popular tourist attraction on Capri and is basically a sea cave. Its popularity comes from the bright azure colour of the water, that is said to be sunlight which enters the cavern through an underwater cavity and is reflected through the sea water under the caves mouth. You may also see silver reflections of things in the water which are caused by tiny bubbles covering the outside of objects underwater. As light refracts off the objects it will look different to that of the surrounding water and cause a silvery effect.

The cave itself is around 50 meters into the cliff and about 150 meters deep, with the cave mouth being roughly 2 meters wide and a meter high. Because it’s a cave in the side of a cliff with a pretty small entry point, you’re probably wondering how tourists go to see it.

Most tours of the Blue Grotto begin from the Marina Grande port. Travelling there to the entrance of the cave is about an hour boat ride. Once there you find a mass of other boats waiting to enter a small rowboat. To actually enter the grotto, you have to board this small rowboat, which takes a maximum of four passengers. After paying the entry fee, you go through the cave entrance by lying down on the bottom of the rowboat as its guided in, using a metal chain attached to the cave walls. Because only 4 can go in at a time, and there are lots of people wanting to see the Blue Grotto, there can be a bit of a queue, especially in the summer. This means you’ll be sat waiting in the boat which can be hot and a little rocky. Our advice is to take hats, plenty of water to keep dehydrated and sea sickness medication or Sea Bands.

Initially you’ll find yourself in complete darkness, but then you’ll be awe struck by a sparkling cavern of azure, blue light. We have read that the illumination of blue is strong in the morning, but more so between noon and two o’clock. From everything we have read, we would advise that you head there as early as possible, because this one is a popular attraction in Capri. If it’s an overcast day then this will impact the affect, because it is the sunlight which creates the reflection.

The trip into the cavern lasts about five minutes, but the entire trip is a minimum one hour. It could be far longer depending on whether you’re visiting in peak season, because you will have to wait your turn to enter the small rowboat. You may find there is less of a wait for the rowboat from three o’clock onwards, but this is because the illumination isn’t as strong and normally the sea is rougher.

Because of the strength of the sea swell within the cave entrance, it is illegal to swim inside the grotto as you could be violently slammed against the stone wall by waves.

If this is something which sounds right up your alley, then you can find tour boats from Marina Grande. Two of the popular companies are Motoscafisti and Laser Capri, and they offer tours of the Blue Grotto and island excursions. You can also get the bus to Anacapri, the Grotta Azzurra line and get off the bus at the Gradola stop. From there you have a short walk down some stairs to the entrance of the grotto, where you can get on the rowboat.

Opening times are between 9am and 5pm, but because this is a weather dependent activity just be aware that it may be closed. If you’re taking the boat from Marina Grande, then the currently price is 20 Euros, but this price doesn’t cover entry into the cave, it’s purely the price of getting you too and from the entrance. Once you enter the rowboat there is an additional cost of 18 Euros, which we have read is cash only. Seems quite expensive for 5 minutes, but lots of people from our research loved it.

Giardini di Augusto

Naples SquaresThis is an incredibly popular spot in Capri and interestingly not for the reason you would think. If you’ve seen pictures of the island, more than likely one of them is of an extremely windy path. The Via Krupp is a remarkable feat of engineering, and it can be seen in all its glory in the Gardens of Augustus.

The Giardini di Augusto is a botanical garden showcasing Capri’s native flowers. It was designed by Friedrich August Krupp in the early 20th century and has flower lined footpaths, terraced gardens and beautiful fountains. You can find the gardens opposite to the Charterhouse of San Giacomo in the centre of Capri town. As you leave the Piazza Umberto 1, follow Via Vittorio Emanuele to Via Federico Serena and then take Via Matteotti to the gardens entrance.

Although open all year round, the time it opens will depend on the time of year, but generally from looking online its between 9.30am to 7pm. But it may be wise to double check on their website before you go. The entrance cost is a mere 2.50 Euros, or free for children up to the age of 12.

Even though the garden itself is lovely, the main reason this is such a popular attraction is because of its location above the Via Krupp. This paved pedestrian switchback footpath snakes down the mountainside to the seas edge below. Sadly, you cannot walk down the path due to rockslides, but the views of this incredible route is unbelievable.

The Via Krupp was commissioned by Friedrich Krupp, to provide a route to reach his private yacht which was moored below. Interestingly the hairpin bends are so close together that they almost appear to overlap.


Capri brings many images to mind, but one of them undoubtably has to be the three spurs of rock which rise out of the sea called the Faraglioni. The name Faraglioni is said to stem from the Greek word ‘Pharos’ which translates into ‘lighthouse’, mainly because coastal rocks such as this were used for naval navigation.

This isn’t exactly the type of attraction on the list where you visit something. But it’s worth adding purely to make sure you take in the wonder of this natural formation, and the jutting rocks make for the perfect photo.

Interestingly the rocks have each been given names, the first which is attached to the land is called Stella, the second which is separated is the Faraglione di Mezzo and the third, Faraglione di Fuori or Scopolo, meaning the head or promontory stretching into the sea.

There are a number of places you can view the Faraglioni, such as the Gardens of Augustus which we’ve mentioned above or popular beaches alike Marina Piccola. You could also combine seeing the rocks with a day at the beach, by paying for entry into a beach club such as La Fontelina and Da Luigi.

Another scenic overlook is the Punta Tragara Belvedere, which you will find by walking along the shopping street Via Cammarelle and heading up steps which lead to a terrace with an amazing view over the Faraglioni.

Finally, and the most popular way to view the formation is through a boat tour. Seeing them close up adds another level to your experience and you can witness the beauty of the shoreline of Capri.

Monte Solaro

Amalfi roadsMonte Solaro is the tallest part of Capri, with an elevation of 589m at its tallest point. It’s also the islands most spectacular view of Capri itself, the Bay of Naples, the Amalfi Coast and the mountains of Calabria in the distance.

There are two options for reaching the summit and they are hiking to the top and taking the chairlift. If you’re interested in some physical activity and you want to hike up, then you can begin from either Capri or Anacapri which is higher up. We’ve read that both options are easy enough to climb and that the views are incredible. The path is marked with red spots to help hikers follow a direct route, especially because there are two options, one being a little harder than the other.

For those of you looking for the easier option, then there is a chairlift from Paizza Vittoria in Anacapri. The journey up takes around 12 minutes, whereas the hike can be an hour to an hour and a half. You’ll find the chairlift is open for most of the year, from around 9.30am to 5.30pm, but double check online beforehand. You can pay for a return trip which is 14 Euros or a one-way trip which is 11 Euros. The chairs are made for a single passenger and there is a safety bar, but young children can be placed on your lap during the ride.

We’ve seen suggestions that if you’re keen on walking the hiking path, take the chairlift up because it’s lots of fun and then walk back down to take in the views.

The Natural Arch

As we’ve already mentioned, one of the many reasons people visit Capri is for its natural beauty and the Natural Arch is one example of this. Known locally as the Arco Naturale, this limestone arch isn’t as famous as the Faraglioni, mainly because it can only be seen once you hike there.

The Natural Arch is a bridge between two pillars of rock, with a span of 18 meters (50 feet) in height and 12 meters (39 feet) in width. It can be found on the top of a cliff and was created through erosion during the Palaeolithic era. The views around the arch are breathtaking, especially the endless ocean ahead of you, but you can also see the eastern coast of Capri and the tip of the Sorrento Peninsula.

Due to its location, you can only reach the arch by foot, but there are two separate paths. The first is from the main square in Capri and the second passes the Faraglioni along the south-eastern part of the island’s coastline.

Take a Boat Tour Around the Island

One of the best activities in Capri has to be a boat tour, it’s the perfect way to experience the magic of the island. Our advice would be to research tours before you go, to make sure you get one which covers the main sights and so you have a good idea of the cost. If you like an easy life, then you can book your excursion with Viator, who have a number of options on their site.

The general itinerary for a Capri Boat Tour would begin at Marina Grande and then head to Tiberius’ Leap, the White Grotto, the Natural Arch, and Villa Malaparte until reaching Marina Piccola after passing beneath the arch in the Faraglioni. You’ll then pass the Punta Carena lighthouse and visit the Blue Grotto where you could purchase a ticket to enter the cave, and finally pass the Baths of Tiberius before returning to Marina Grande.

Group boat tours can be quite cheap per person, but if you want to experience something a little more VIP then expect to pay for the privilege.

Villa Jovis

Found on the northeast section of the island on top of Monte Tiberio is Villa Jovis. This Roman palace was built by Emperor Tiberius in 27 CE and he ruled there until his death in 37 CE. The entire villa is around 7,000 square meters and spans several terraces, but sadly all that is left is the ruins of what would have been a remarkable building. But you can still gauge how amazing it would have looked and take in those ocean views, as you walk in the footsteps of Roman Emperors.

Interestingly the move from Rome to Capri by Emperor Tiberius was said to be political, due to a fear of being assassinated. This seems to be backed up by the fact that Villa Jovis is in a secluded spot on the island and the emperors’ quarters are on the most difficult section to reach.

At the end of the avenue which leads to the villa is Tiberius’s Leap, which legend has it that disobedient servants and undesired guests were hurled over the cliff as ordered by the emperor. Within the villas is the small Church of Santa Maria del Soccorso, and a statue of Madonna which is visible from the sea below.

You can get to Villa Jovis from the main Piazzetta if you walk along Via Longano, then continue down Via Sopramonte and finally Via Tiberio. This path will take 45 minutes and it is an uphill walk so comfy shoes are recommended.

The cost to enter the villas is only 6 Euros and opening times will vary through the year, but in the summer it’s 10am to 7pm Tuesday to Sunday, but closed Mondays.

Villa San Michele

Built by the Swedish physician Axel Munthe in 1885, this villa in Anacapri is a beautiful example of architecture on the island. When you visit the villa, you’ll find out about the people who lived there, and see ancient artifacts found by Munthe in Capri. In the garden there is a Greek tomb and a granite Sphinx which overlooks the island.

To find Villa San Michele take the bus from Piazza Umberto 1 to Anacapri and the follow the signs. Alike many other attractions in the area the opening hours for the villa are seasonal, but in the summer it’s open between 9am and 6pm, and closed on Tuesdays. The cost to enter is 10 Euros which is a little higher than many of the other attractions on the island, but there is more to see and unlike Villa Jovis the house is still intact.


Royal Palace of Caserta

Royal Park in Royal Palace of CasertaOn the final day of our trip to the Amalfi Coast, we had big decisions as to what we would do. Should we head back to any of the places we had already been, or even hike up Mount Vesuvius; but the weather wasn’t great so that was removed as an option.

The Royal Palace of Caserta is 40 minutes from Naples and nearly two hours from Amalfi, so it was quite a distance from the area we were staying. But having looked at pictures of the palace online, we immediately knew that we wanted to go. The images we had seen were so enticing and very reminiscent of the Palace of Versailles in France, so we decided to do the drive and we’re glad we did.

The Royal Palace and grounds are quite extensive, so we wanted to bring you a detailed guide so that you have everything you need should you want to visit. So, we have written the Royal Palace of Caserta – Our Guide and Tips to Visiting This Attraction. This covers our day in the palace from the drive there, buying tickets, its history and visiting both the gardens and the palace itself.


Other Towns and Places to See Along the Amalfi Coast

Minori, Maiori and The Path of Lemons

We’ve lumped these two lovely towns together because they’re super close and you can visit them relatively quickly if you have any spare time. Minori is quite small, but it has a beach and promenade which is perfect for strolling along and taking in the views. You’ll find shops and restaurants around, as well as the usual small-town churches which are always incredibly pretty. We parked in a small car park near to the beach, but as you can imagine it fills up fast, especially at weekends.

Maiori is the larger of the two and has a lovely long beach and promenade, plus lots of restaurants with ocean views. There’s a great supermarket there if you’re looking to stock up on snacks and drinks, plus a large car park towards the middle of the town. We visited Minori and Maiori the weekend before Easter and there were celebrations happening in the main squares, with lots of locals going to watch; it was lots of fun.

One of the most popular things to do around these towns is the Path of the Lemons. We’ll admit we didn’t get to do this, but it wasn’t for the want of trying. We Googled the route and drove up through the mountain to this small car park which had space for three cars. The drive up was a little hellish because the majority of it was roads wide enough for one car, and all three parking spaces were full. We did get to see lots and lots of lemon orchards as we drove up though. So, because we had no place to park, we had to turn around and drive back down again.

We have been told though that if you can do it, the path of the lemon trees is a beautiful walk from Maiori to Minori, or vice versa. Not only will have the opportunity to witness lemon trees in full bloom, but you’ll also enjoy incredible views of the sea and surrounding areas. Probably the best way to do this is by taking the bus to the stop in Maiori, because the walk will have you climbing downstairs. Whereas if you started in Minori then you’ll be working your way up lots of steps which can be gruelling.

Fiordo di Furore

The Fiordo di Furore is the only fjord which can be found in Italy and translated into English it is the ‘Fjord of Fury’. After seeing the pictures of the water and bridge we were quite eager to go, but unfortunately things didn’t go quite as we had planned. The fjord is between Amalfi and Praiano on the SS163 coastal road, in fact you drive on the bridge which is over the water way. The biggest issue you will have for visiting the Fiordo di Furore is that it’s not the easiest place to access. Firstly, there are zero spaces to park, so you’re either taking public transport or leaving your hire car in the couple of tiny spots near the bridge. We didn’t want to take the risk and leave our car there in case it got damaged by traffic driving past. Secondly you then have to climb down to the water which is not an easy route. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes and during that time you’ll have steep steps and overgrown bushes to battle past. The better option would be taking public transport such as a bus or taxi, but taxis are expensive in Italy and the bus has set stops which means you’ll have to walk along a busy road and possibly cross it to get to the top of the steps. We realise we’re not really selling this one to you, but obviously we didn’t actually reach there. We’re told that once you do you can enjoy beautiful cooling fjord waters and incredible views.

Climbing Mount Vesuvius

Hiking Mount VesuviusClimbing Mount Vesuvius was on our bucket list for our trip to Amalfi, but sadly we simply didn’t find the time. But we wanted to bring you everything available in the area, so you can plan your trip properly. Although the information we give you isn’t from our personal perspective, hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to update this in the future. But in the meantime, we should be able to give you enough information, that you will have everything you need.

Vesuvius is one of the most famous volcanoes in the world, and during our time in Amalfi it was hard to ignore its giant presence wherever we went. It is an active volcano, but unlike many others around the world, it is safe to hike around. We have been told that Vesuvius will give warning signs if it is about to erupt, such as earthquakes, so hopefully this should ease any concerns. It last erupted in 1944 and killed 26 people, with many of those deaths being all the way over in Salerno where heavy ashfall collapsed roofs.

Climbing Vesuvius was on our bucket list because it’s an amazing way to see this historic volcano up close. If you’ve visited Pompeii first, then reaching the top and staring down into the crater will provide a strong reminder of the impact that mother nature has on our lives. Of course, it is important to remember that it is a live volcano and safety is important when you’re hiking in the area.

We have been told that the trail to the top of Mount Vesuvius is relatively easy to hike, but it can be quite steep and uneven.

The best place to start is with information on how to get to Vesuvius and for most of the options, you will need to take a shuttle bus. How you get there will depend upon where you are staying. If you are staying in Naples then the best option would be a train to Ercolano and then head to the Vesuvio Express office which is located on the left, just outside the station. Return shuttle tickets are 10 Euros per person, but if you want to include entry into Vesuvius then it is 20 Euros per person. The first shuttle leaves at 10am and the last at 4pm. They should leave every hour, but you tend to find that they will wait for the bus to fill up before heading off.

If you are driving, then you should find getting there is pretty easy, with the only issue being limited parking. There is a small carpark which costs 6 Euros per car, but it will fill up quickly. This parking area is still 1.5km from the ticket office so you can either walk or take the small shuttle which is 1 Euro per person. There is free parking on the road that leads up to the volcano, but this can be risky, and we’d never recommend it. The other option is to park in Ercolano and then get the shuttle express up. We have read that the drive up is steep and winding, probably similar to the Amalfi Coast drive, so be cautious as you head up and down, because there are lots of shuttle buses and tour buses transporting people up and down.

There is an easier option although it will be more expensive and that is booking an independent tour. Most tour operators offer options where you hike Vesuvius and then visit Pompeii. Using tour operators means you don’t have to worry about transport and parking, you simply hop on the tour bus and follow your guides. But you’ll also discover information about the impressive volcano and its impact on the local area.

Once you decide that you’re hiking this mighty giant, then our advice would be to pre-book your timeslot and pay for your ticket at vesuviopark.vivaticket.it. Our recommendation is to head there earlier in the day because it will be easier to park, and the trail should be quieter. You can also pre-book the Vesuvio Express if you choose to start from Ercolano. There is a final option, and that is hiking all the way from the bottom to the top, but we have read others advise not to do it.

Sadly, there is a price to hiking Mount Vesuvius which currently is 11.68 Euros, with children under 6 entering for free. Opening times for the park will vary through the year, but they generally open at 9am and close at 6pm during the summer months.

Vesuvius National Park has 11 hiking routes which includes nature trails, an educational trail, panoramic path, and an agricultural path. The main trail is the Gran Cono and it takes approximately 2 hours to hike. The majority of the trail is easy, until you reach the rim where there is a bit of elevation.

When it comes to facilities, at the ticket office there is a stall selling drinks and snacks, a small souvenir shop and you’ll also find a public toilet. At the end of the Gran Cono trail there is a small café, but as you can imagine it is quite expensive.

The best part of the hike is the views from the top, which stretch out across the Bay of Naples. You can see how an eruption could easily impact much of the area, especially when you see Pompeii and Herculaneum below. Within the crater there is no lava or gas, although some visitors have mentioned the smell of sulphur and cracks along the inside.

If you’re used to hiking then you’ll know that preparation is key, especially in those summer months when it can get incredibly hot. Although you don’t need hiking boots it is still important to wear comfortable supportive shoes such as trainers and not flip flops. Wearing a hat is also a good suggestion and plenty of sunscreen, because there isn’t a vast amount of shade. It can get chilly at the top, so take a jacket in your bag just in case, especially if you’re heading there in the low season. Finally, and most importantly, take plenty of water to make sure you are hydrated.

Hopefully we’ve provided everything you need to plan and hike Mount Vesuvius, but make sure you check out their official website. There you will find details of the different trails and which ones are currently open, some may be temporarily close for various reasons.


Our Amalfi Coast Top Tips

  • Make sure you take plenty of medication with you which will cover your trip. We know a lot of people who don’t even take basics such as paracetamol. During our research someone had mentioned that medication in Italy is quite expensive.
  • We found there were lots of public toilets in most of the small towns along the Amalfi coast, but more specifically in two locations. As you can imagine there was always one close to the beach area, but also you may be surprised to hear, near car parks. Every time we parked up, we spotted a loo we could nip into, and the majority were super clean. The only downside is that many of them came with a charge of 0.5 Euros, but for a nice clean toilet we were happy to pay.
  • We have read that in the evening the Italians like to dress up and as such you may get looks if you head out to a restaurant in casual clothes.
  • Make sure you take a hat with you and plenty of water as many of the activates we have listed are outside and you can easily get sun stroke. We’ve had it before, and it can really make you unwell and ruin your holiday.


Amalfi Coast Holiday TipsUnlike many other holidays, we knew writing about the Amalfi Coast wasn’t going to be an easy task. The reality of it is, there’s so many places to visit and lots to do in each of those places. We spent a week there, which is longer than most travellers to Amalfi, and we still didn’t get everything done.

Our aim with this guide was to give you everything you will ever need in one place, and hopefully we’ve fulfilled our goal. If you’re not sure where to begin then our advice is to determine how you want to travel around the area, because this will have a huge impact on where you stay and what you see. Due to our decision to drive, we had the opportunity to stay in the cutest little apartment in the town of Agerola which was in the mountains. This meant we had the best of both worlds, because we could enjoy restaurants and shops only visited by truly local Italians, but also head into the tourist hot spots.

But this isn’t for everyone, and we can understand why you may not want to drive. If that’s the case, then consider somewhere with good transport links such as Sorrento and Naples. The train system in the Campania region is quite good and you’ll find most of the top attractions have railway stations nearby.

We haven’t detailed it much within our guide, because we wanted to provide you with all the things you can see whilst you’re there. But our top tip would be to relax and enjoy your trip. Make sure you take time out for the beach and to enjoy a tipple or two, with some incredible Italian food. One thing we can promise you is that you will never tire of the incredible views in Amalfi.

We hope this guide has helped answer any questions you may have about the Amalfi Coast and Campania region. Make sure you tag us on Instagram if you end up visiting this amazing area, we love to see what you’re up to as you tick off your bucket lists.