This is the continuation of the story of our trip to Italy after 3 days in Rome.
To change a bit of scenery (and get some rest), we chose to take the direction of the Amalfitaine coast. The latter is located south of Naples and about 3 hours by train from Rome. It was inscribed in 1997 on the list of UNESCO World Heritage.
We stayed in Praiano (between Positano and Amalfi) in a small hotel with sea view (Le Sirene).
Three days of relaxation before leaving for Naples where our plane was waiting for us to take us back to France.
How to get there? From Rome, you take a train to Salerno (there is also a train to Sorrento with change to Naples) which takes about 3 hours. From Salerno, there are two solutions: either take the bus that takes you to Praiano in about 1h30 (SITA company) or take the boat that takes you to Amalfi in 30min and Positano in 45min. We chose the boat to Amalfi and then the bus SITA until Praiano (20 minutes).
Boats make the round trip several times a day from and to Amalfi, Positano, Capri, Sorrento, Salerno… You will find the timetables and prices at here.
If you don’t want to take the boat, SITA provides an excellent link between these same cities but it’s a little longer. You will find the bus timetable table SITA here.
The boat trip from Salerno to Amalfi offers the option of Landscapes absolutely sublimes and enhancing. The charming little villages follow one another and the houses perched in upper cliffs reveal themselves to our amazed eyes! The Amalfi coast is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The arrival in Amalfi is wonderful… It’s a incomparable beauty. There is only one desire: that time should stop to contemplate all the details of this city built on the cliffside. If you have the opportunity, do not hesitate to take the boat in the direction of Amalfi (or Positano) to admire the show and the unforgettable view. Only the arrival by sea is able to offer this point of view and this incredible perspective.
The boat trip costs 6€ from Salerno to Amalfi and 10€ to Positano. For buses, there are several tickets available depending on the ticket validity time (ranging from 2€ and some for 45min to 18€ for 3 days).
It may be cheaper to take a day ticket for 7€60 if you make several round trips in the same day as us.
There are often several bus stops in each village. For example in Praiano, there are 3 or 4 separate stops of 500m each. There are several lines, the most used being the one from Amalfi to Sorrento. There is also the one that goes from Amalfi to Ravello (a little further inland on the heights).
Amalfi is the hub of bus lines. Coming from the sea, you also come directly to the car park where the buses are parked, so you can’t miss them.
Visit of Amalfi
Amalfi is a splendid city but very touristy so the foule is well present. The particularity of Amalfi is to be surrounded by rocky cliffs. At the time, Amalfi was one of Europe’s main ports and had a population of about 70,000 people (5,000 today!). The main attraction of Amalfi is the small square overhung by the Duomo, a magnificent cathedral dating from the 11th century. You can also stroll through the maze of narrow streets and taste the limoncello (lemon liquor), the local speciality.
The visit of Amalfi is relatively short because the city is not very large. Two beaches allow a welcome refreshment: a sandy beach and a pebble beach with for each one a public sector and a private one with rental of deckchairs and parasols (this is very frequent on the coast).
Visit of Praiano
Praiano was our base camp during these 3 days. This quiet village is ideal to visit the Amalfian coast, it is halfway between Amalfi and Positano, on the passage of the bus line and the hotels there are much cheaper than in Positano or Amalfi. The particularity of this village is to have a view clear on Positano and to be open on the sea. Everything in this village breathes the calme, tranquility, serenity. We find ourselves strolling in the small pedestrian lanes, dreaming while contemplating the sea… Nevertheless, the topographical profile needs to be a minimum in shape because one does not stop climbing up and down stairs. On this subject, it is not uncommon to see elderly people climbing a staircase of more than 100 steps without running out of breath and with a smile: amazing…
We stayed in a small hotel full of charm, Le Sirene. Let’s say it right away, we were won over by this hotel, we strongly advise it! The quality/price ratio is difficult to beat, especially knowing the prices practiced on the Amalfi coast (especially the prices practiced in the two neighboring cities). This small 12-bedroom hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with balcony overlooking the sea. From our balcony, the unobstructed view of Positano was breathtaking, you could even see the Faraglioni of Capri in the distance: the dream! I’m not even talking about the sunsets…. The personal was in small care especially the manager who gave us a lot of advice. Breakfast is very complete (salted, sweet), we take it on the terrace with sea view, it’s the foot!
The WIFI is available in the inner courtyard, you can sit in armchairs but beware of mosquitoes in the evening! There’s even a ping-pong table if you want to feel the racquet.
A beach is present below Praiano but watch out it deserves it, you have to go down some 300 steps but the path is very charming and the view will make you forget the fatigue. La Gavitella Beach a beach of large pebbles and concrete, no sand. The beach is a quarter of an hour’s walk away.
To eat, the restaurants are located on either side of the main road (Amalfi-Positano) which crosses the village along its length.
On the transport side, the SITA bus stops are all located on this road and are not necessarily all very visible. From the hotel, the nearest bus stop is only 5 minutes away, just above the church.
Visit of Ravello
The attraction of this village is to be perched on the heights and therefore enjoy a excellent panorama on the coast. It is also composed of magnificent gardens and has inspired many artists like Boccaccio or Wagner. Ravello contains architectural gems such as Villa Cimbrone and villa Rufolo. The gardens of these two villas are absolutely magnificent. In the garden of Villa Cimbrone, the view from “the terrace of infinity” is absolutely breathtaking. It’s coming down!!
Visit of Positano
Positano is undoubtedly the most lively and densely populated village on the coast. This village where the habitats are nestled in cliff flats is the most touristy and it feels. In summer, the narrow streets swarm with people. Nevertheless, the view of these houses amassed on top of each other is absolutely striking. It is a painting that one does not tire of contemplating, day or night! The centre is quite small and consists mainly of restaurants and souvenir shops. It is possible to go up in order to have a view from above, we did not do it for lack of time.
The village overlooks a big beach most of which is occupied by deckchairs. A second, more “preserved” beach is behind the facade of houses. It can be reached from the quay where tourist boats dock, one can walk along the sea by a path and get to this beach quite quickly. I couldn’t resist a welcome refreshment and the opportunity to see the cliffs a little further from the water.
Positano is very densely populated because a little jet-set, there are many luxury hotels and many yatchs parked in the sea not far from there.
From here we took the boat in order to reach Capri and spend the day there. Tickets are purchased at a stand on the beach, it cost us 38€ per person to go back and forth. The journey takes 30 to 40 minutes.
Visit to Capri
Capri really was our a lot of heart of the trip! We only stayed there for one day and we regret not having stayed longer. We arrived on the island by boat from Positano. On the harbour at Marina Grande, a cable car then takes you to Capri. The village is a little overrated, there is a crazy world, luxury shops, hotels… There is a nice view of the harbour but it’s an uninteresting spot except perhaps for (luxury) shopping. Don’t stay long, it’s not worth it and there are so many things to see on the island…
The island really splits into two parts. The west part that leads to Anacapri and the Solaro mountain (589 m above sea level) is quite “urbanized”, there are roads and bus lines. The EAST part, on the other hand, is very wild. There are a multitude of concrete paths surrounded by stone walls and everything is done on foot. The vegetation is quite dense.
We walked 30 minutes to the Arco Naturale, a huge arched rock. The small paths in the East of the island are flowered, quiet and very exotic. From the arch, we went to the north-east of the island to see the villa Jovis which culminates at 334m of altitude so it goes up a bit. It takes about 40 minutes between the arch and Villa Jovis because you have to turn back to take the right road. The Villa Jovis is an archaeological site on which the vestiges of the probable residence permanent of the emperor Tibère. Attention, the day we went there, the site closed at 1pm (we arrived at 12h55!). Villa Jovis gives an idea of the immensity of the palace that once stood. The view from the site is extraordinary, as much on the rest of the island as on the Amalfi coast and Naples.
We then went to the south of the island to Marina Piccola. The way to get there from Capri is fascinating! The road goes down in pinpoint on Via Krupp with an unforgettable view! It is here that we went to bathe after having passed in places a little “rock and roll”, it is necessary to be careful (not recommended by a panel!). The water is of a transparent turquoise blue! The lower corner of Via Krupp is well known because we were not alone. Attention, there is no beach only rocks! But it’s a treat to dive!
Bus lines exist at Marina Piccola, which allowed us to go to Anacapri. La route offers a great panorama on Marina Grande. Anacapri is a much quieter village, much more authentic than Capri. Due to a lack of time, we could not continue our way west to see the Punta Carena lighthouse or climb to Monte Solaro by cable car. We passed the Michele villa which, according to opinions, is worth it (but we didn’t get in).
Barely time to bathe again in the waters of Marina Grande next to the port and it was already time to take the boat back to Positano: (
The opportunity to see Positano at night and it’s already the end of the journey. The next day, we left for Naples and headed back to the airport to return…