Yes, Amalfi together with Positano is the proper Italian dream. It represents everything that tourists love about Italy: postcard-like houses scattered on the green hills, a piazza with a historical church and countless bars and blue waters of the Mediterranean sea washing the shore. However, if you decide to visit Amalfi there are a few things you need to be ready for.
This post is meant to uncover all the traps luring in the dark. You might find some of them banal or obvious but hey, they can totally ruin your vacation. With this post you’ll know what’s expecting you and will be enjoy these beautiful places to the fullest. As a bonus we’ll also add some tips and pics for visiting Naples. The opinions on the city are controversial but we really love it and love returning there despite its not such a great reputation.
Visit Amalfi: Our suggested itinerary
The Amalfi coast is splendid but these are the three places that deserve your attention: Amalfi, Positano and Sorrento. All of them are extremely popular with tourists. You don’t necessarily have to visit Amalfi in the summer as you will have to share it with thousands other people. Remember that it doesn’t lose any of its beauty in other seasons.
This is the route that we did (starting from the Naples International Airport):
7 things to be ready for
So in case you have already planned your holiday these are a few things that you should take into consideration. Keep in mind that it is one of the most touristy areas in Italy.
You’ll be shocked at how busy the super narrow roads winding along the Amalfi coast can get. Honestly, those that constructed had probably no idea of how crazy people would become about Amalfi. In certain points there is not enough place for two cars, imagine all the buses that pass there every day. You have to be super careful and in case you’re not used to the driving in the south of Italy, you better think about an alternative type of transport.
Yep, parking is a big issue around the Amalfi coast. The first settlers in the area had no idea how crowded it would get in the 21st century. So here’s our advice: look for a hotel with a private parking park (not all of them have one). If you’re planning to move all the time, do not park somewhere just because other people do it. Trust us, we have seen terrifying scenes of cars being dragged away by the wrecker service in not an exactly gentle way. Park exclusively where it is indicated even though it’s expensive and avoid unpleasant surprises.
It probably won’t surprise you but let us say it anyway. Yes, the Amalfi coast is expensive. There are very few low budget options when it comes to accomodation or eating out. We imagine that if you decide to spend your holiday in this destination you don’t expect to spend it in a cheap hotel eating sandwiches from the supermarket. If you want to enjoy it to the fullest you will have to prepare sufficient funds. However, you will get a dream hotel with a sea view and a perfect Italian dinner and that’s worth it, right?
The Amalfi coast is pretty safe in general and you don’t have to be worried too much about pickpockets etc. Since this post includes a visit to Naples, we feel it’s necessary to mention this point. Like in all big cities you should be always more careful than usual. When it comes to Naples we recommend you avoid certain neighbourhoods after the dark, like the surroundings of the train station.
This is a topic for a separate post but we’ll try to keep it as short as possible. You should know that in Southern Italy it’s all about food. If you visit Amalfi and Naples treat yourself nice when it comes to eating. There are numbers of restaurants and most of them probably won’t disappoint you. Anyway, do yourself a favour and check the places you decide to dine in on the internet. Like this you’ll avoid tourist traps. Unfortunately, they are present in all touristic place and Amalfi and Positano are no exceptions to the rule. Remember one more thing: all great places usually require a reservation. You can try one of the many dishes containing fish. If you’re a fan of street food then go for a cartoccio, which is fried pieces of fish and seafood in a paper cone.
Oh yeah, it tends to be really hot in the summer and you should be prepared for that. It is the period when most people visit Amalfi and many of them underestimate the strong Mediterranean sun. To state the obvious: protect yourself with a sunscreen, wear a hat and drink a lot of water. You should also avoid spending too much time in the sun, especially around noon. You better enter a nice bar and have a delicious Italian ice cream or refreshing sorbetto.
7. Naples rulez
When in Naples you cannot leave without trying the typical local pizza. There are plenty of pizza places around but the best of the best is definitely Sorbillo. You will see a huge line waiting outside but don’t get discouraged: they are very fast and your turn will come. Have a nice margherita with mozzarella di bufala. Feels like heaven!
For those who don’t care too much about getting fat there is another level of food porn: fried pizza. The name probably doesn’t need any explanation. Naples is also famous for its pastry and desserts. The list is neverending: cannoli with ricotta cream, baba that will make you tipsy or crunchy sfogliatella. Trust us, it is impossible to say no to all those goodies!
And that’s pretty much it. Once you’re aware of all the things mentioned above we are sure your holiday is going to lovely. We think that you should visit Amalfi at least once in a lifetime and with our tips you won’t have to worry about anything.
Have you already visited Amalfi or Naples? Would you recommend anything else?