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Amalfi Coast Guide–Things to Do, Where to Stay, and What to Wear!

Aug 10, 2018

Amalfi Coast Guide –Things to Do, Where to Stay, and What to Wear!

It’s here it’s here!

My most awaited and requested guide of my whole Italy trip! Yes, it’s true, this is my first guide of all the cities we visited, but I chose to start with this one because it’s far and away the portion of our trip I’ve received the most questions about.

To sum it up: The Amalfi coast is hands down the most beautiful place in the world that I’ve ever been. It surpassed all of my expectations and could not in my wildest of dreams imagined there was a place so perfect.

So–want to know why? Let’s go!

First thing’s first…

What to pack for the Amalfi Coast in Summer:

I got sooo many questions on what to pack, so I will tell you–it greatly varies based on the month that you visit. I can only speak for the weather in late June and early July–so if you’re going in the summer, here is my advice:

Look through your suitcase and take out anything that is constricting and not breathable. Good. Now take out all of your heels. Great! Instead, focus on these summery basics:

Sun dresses:

If you packed ONLY dresses for two weeks in Italy, you’d be set. It’s so hot that you really need as little fabric as possible, and that fabric should be breathable. You seriously don’t need pants. My most worn dresses of the trip were this red and white gingham dress (sold out in most sizes this one is very similar though!) this red polka dot dress, and the midi dress I wore in this post. I re-wore all of these many times! A note on dress length: I loved midi dresses as well as short dresses but make sure your short dresses aren’t flowy. You don’t want to be constantly worried about it blowing up in the breeze and flashing 800 other tourists!

Everlane shirt dresses:

These button down shirt dresses were my absolute FAVORITE to wear over a bathing suit for the pool and beach because they’re a one-piece outfit that buttons off really easily, but still looks really put together if you want to walk around and don’t feel like changing! I also wore them a several times traveling in between cities. I can’t recommend them enough.

Everlane t-shirt dresses: 

I wore this grey striped linen blend t-shirt dress probably 6 different times on the trip, as well as this black and white striped cotton t-shirt dress and both were great. I also wore this navy tank dress quite a few times and it was super easy to dress up and down for day and dinner!

“Grecian” slip on sandals: 

I wore these sandals sooo much–every night to dinner, every day to the pool or the beach, and pretty much anytime that I knew I wasn’t going to be walking THAT much (it’s just hard to walk all day in slides) but I can’t say enough good things. I have them in the camel and white but they come in lot’s of colors.

Comfy “walking sandals: 

I have a pair of old Splendid flat strappy sandals that I always bring on trips where I know I’ll be walking a lot, sadly I can’t link them because they’re from a few years ago, but I would recommend looking into something like these Madewell sandals (they have great reviews!) They definitely need to have a back strap to keep your foot in place, and a solid sole (not too flat or not too thing) for lot’s of walking on cobblestone. I also stay away from sandals with thong-type straps in between my toes–those are more likely to rub!

Bathing suits: 

I wore this red one-piece in the photos below and loved the statement it made but this classic black bikini won “most worn” of the trip. It’s just really flattering, fits well, and is such a classic look! (They’re both on insane clearance for like $12!!)

Sneakers:

I brought both my white Jack Purcell sneakers as well as my Allbirds. I only wore my Allbirds in Rome because my feet were so shot at the end of the trip that was the only thing I could bear to wear, but I loved wearing my Jack Purcells with a dress for exploring most days and that worked great. One activity you might want good sneakers for is hiking–the Path of the Gods in the Amalfi Coast is supposed to be incredible, but we didn’t actually do it! Next time!

Hats and sunscreen:

You’ll be outside a LOT so make sure you’re prepared with hats (I brought this one and one similar to this one!) and sunscreen! (Carry it with you in your bag! You’ll need to re-apply it a lot!) I’m kind of the person who always brings a hat and rarely wears it, but I was surprised at how much I wore it on our trip.

Backpack:

I used this backpack the entire trip as my only bag for two weeks and we both agreed it was the best thing we brought! You can wear it as a backpack or slip your arm through the handle and carry it next to you like a purse. The drawstring is very solid too so it’s not easy for pickpockets to slip loose (in crowded areas I would double-knot it as a safety precaution).

The Best Amalfi Coast Hotel: Casa Angelina in Praiano

The Best Amalfi Coast Hotel: Casa Angelina in Praiano

[one-half-first]The Best Amalfi Coast Hotel: Casa Angelina in Praiano[/one-half-first][one-half]

 Everlane shirt dress J.Crew bikini 

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 Everlane shirt dress and J.Crew bikini 

Above: Everlane shirt dress, Similar straw hat and J.Crew bikini 

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neil

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We stayed at Casa Angelina in the town of Praiano and it was hands down the biggest highlight of our ENTIRE trip. I cannot stress enough–even if you have to compensate by staying in mediocre hotels the rest of your time in Italy, it will 100% be worth it to splurge here.

Like, it was so amazing that I would say if you have a hotel booked somewhere else and you’re able to change it, DO IT!

The thing about Amalfi Coast hotels:

It’s REALLY hard to find a nice, modern hotel in the Amalfi Coast.

Even the expensive hotels have really outdated decor just making them seem old and not a great experience overall.

As someone who is an aesthetics snob, I just cannot bring myself to splurge on an ugly hotel, no matter how fancy it is. Casa Angelina has the most gorgeous, airy and zen decor you’ve ever seen, and the service and amenities that come along with it make it a truly 5 star experience.

Why Casa Angelina?

Every room has a beautiful balcony overlooking the sea–(you can look across and see Positano!)–turn down service every night, an espresso machine in every room. The pool is quaint and quiet–their poolside cafe serves Italian favorites but also favorites like club sandwiches. (For those who are at the end of their trip and are sick of Italian food–you have NO IDEA how hard it is to find a regular old sandwich and fries in Italy. ?) They also book EVERYTHING for you and have incredible recommendations on just about anything you might want to see, do, or eat.

The breakfast is without question the best you will have in Italy (Europe isn’t known for breakfast–it typically consists of a dry croissant and coffee) but at Casa Angelina, it’s the most elaborate spread you’ve ever seen–an abundance of fresh fruit, any kind of eggs you want, made to order–more pastries than you’ve ever seen, fresh salads, three different kinds of honeycomb, local meats and cheeses–you name it.

Perhaps though, the best part about Casa Angelina aside from everything listed above, is that it’s connected to a beach club. Because the Amalfi Coast is essentially built into cliffs, it’s rare to have a hotel with beach access–much less beach club access (which is far and away better than any public beach!) More info on the beach club below!

A note on the main hotel rooms and the “Eau de Sea” rocks rooms: 

Most of the rooms are in the main hotel, but there are a few newly added rooms there are built into the rocks overlooking the beach club. We were wavering on which to choose, but the last of the cliffside rooms got snapped up and that made our decision for us ? When we saw them going down to the beach, Neal said, “Oh I’m glad we didn’t stay in those rooms–so many stairs up to the main hotel!” while I simultaneously said, “Oh I wish we would’ve stayed in those rooms–they look SO COOL!” haha! So, yeah. Definitely just a preference thing.

There are a LOT of steps down to the beach and back up to the hotel again, so I can see how that would get really old after doing that more than twice a day. However, it’s really easy beach access and water taxi access, and how many opportunities do you get to stay in a room built into a cliff with rock walls!?

What is the best Amalfi coast town to stay in?

We were SO incredibly happy that we decided to stay in Praiano over the other Amalfi Coast towns. Praiano is a very small village in between the bigger towns of Positano and Amalfi. We had never heard of it before finding Casa Angelina, but we ended up being so glad that we stayed there.

Probably one of my most commonly asked questions while we were on our trip is, “would you recommend staying in Praiano over Positano?” and the answer, I think, really depends on your situation.

Amalfi coast

Walking up the steps from One Fire Beach to Casa Angelina 

Pro’s & Con’s of staying in Praiano:

Praiano pros:

Praiano is perfect for you if you want to get away from the crowds and experience some peace and quiet, and plan to spend most of your time at your hotel/ at the beach. Another little known fact–Praiano gets the MOST sunlight out of all the towns due to it’s placement on the coast–which means that you basically have direct sunlight until the sun sets–unlike in other towns where your direct sun is over in the late afternoon due to the way the towns are positioned in the rocks. This is important to note if you plan to spend most of your time soaking up the sun!

Praiano is also considered to be the most romantic of all the coastal towns due to it’s gorgeous spanning views, so I personally think it’s the best place to stay if you’re on your honeymoon, especially if you’re planning to hit a lot of other cities beforehand. By the time we got to Praiano, we were so sick of fighting through crowds of tourists and it was just the space we needed.

It’s also a quick water taxi to larger towns if you want to explore. (If I remember it’s around 10 mins to Positano and 15-20 to Amalfi) Or, you can take a regular taxi as well. Some hotels, like Casa Angelina, will also provide a free shuttle.

As for food, Praiano doesn’t have a ton of restaurants, but the ones we ate at, we really liked. You’ll find a lot of mom and pop restaurants here dishing out amazing regional Italian favorites–but you won’t find the variety or the hype you’ll find at Positano restaurants. We loved Ristorante La Strada so much we ended up going twice!

Praiano cons:

 If you’re someone who likes to be in the middle of the action OR you’re traveling with friends and want to go out on the town every night, I would probably not suggest Praiano because while it’s an easy ride between towns, it adds up VERY quickly. Our water taxi’s to and from Amalfi probably cost us $150 round trip, just to give you an idea. We were fine for it for a one day trip, but if you’re wanting to make multiple trip to towns, it’s much smarter to just stay closer to the action.

That being said, if you want more action, shopping, nightlife, etc–definitely look into staying in either Positano (which would be my first choice based on restaurants, things to do, and charm) or Amalfi (my second choice–also beautiful but I found it to be less charming aesthetically from the little walking around we did there before heading to Ravello).

What about Ravello? 

We discussed whether or not we’d want to come back and stay in Ravello–and we were torn. Ravello is without a doubt the most charming town on the coast–but it’s set high in the hills, which, on one hand–means absolutely insane views–but on the other, no beach access–which was one of our favorite parts of the trip. So, you be the judge to decide what’s right for you! If you want to stay there a couple nights–do it, but I definitely would not recommend staying in Ravello your whole time on the coast because it’s very hard to get to and again, no sea!

Consider the time of year:

This is a HUGE factor into deciding where to stay and also, if you should go to Amalfi Coast at all, or save it for a different trip when you can go in warmer weather.

It’s important to note that the towns essentially shut down from October through April–so the best times to visit are May through September. October is great on one hand because the tourists are gone, but difficult on the other as the weather can be chilly and if you’re planning on laying by the pool or the beach, you might be disappointed. (From the research I’ve done it’s really a toss-up, but the earlier in October you go the better off you’ll be. From what we learned while visiting, most hotels/restaurants/etc start shutting down mid to end October.)

I’ve had friends visit in September and say the weather was perfect for the beach and swimming, but had friends who visit in October saying it was freezing and there was nothing to do because…well, for a lot of people, the beach and swimming are kind of the whole point.

However, if you love hiking (the coast has amazing hiking), exploring more culture, doing more tours, etc–then October might be the perfect time for you to visit. It just depends on your preference. Personally though, if I were visiting Italy outside of the summer months (which I’d highly recommend) I would skip the Amalfi Coast in favor of somewhere else like Tuscany, Florence, Venice, etc–somewhere that is usually packed in the summer that you don’t visit for the beach!

Pro's & Con's of staying in Praiano

The best way to get to the Amalfi Coast:

There are LOT’s of ways to get to the Amalfi coast! Because we spent three nights in Tuscany beforehand (and needed a car to get in and around Tuscany) we drove from Borgo San Felice to Sorrento, which is the first town on the Amalfi coast, in very close proximity to Naples.

Driving the Amalfi Coast–good or bad idea? 

Because of the treacherous Amalfi Coast roads, we left our rental car in Sorrento and then hired a driver (booked through our hotel so I can’t say what the service was, but you can ask your hotel or look on TripAdvisor) to take us the rest of the way. This only costs a couple hundred euro and we CANNOT RECOMMEND IT ENOUGH.

Whatever you do–do not, ever, under any circumstances, think it will be “fun” to drive on the Amalfi Coast. It’s not PCH in California. It’s a teeny-tiny two lane highway with hundreds of scooters whipping in and out of traffic, busses flying toward you around corners with tiny guardrails.

Could you do it and likely NOT die?

Maybe–but will you enjoy it? Absolutely not.

Now, had we not been coming from Tuscany, we would’ve taken the train to Naples and hired a driver to take us from Naples to Praiano. I would definitely not recommend driving unless you’re coming from a place that requires you to have a car–the train is much easier and faster!

If you want to go a less expensive route, you can take the train into Naples, and then take the ferry from Naples to Positano. This sounds like a gigantic pain in the ass and definitely not a way I want to start my romantic vacation but I felt like I needed to tell you the option is there ?

The best way to get around on Amalfi Coast

The best way to get around on Amalfi Coast:

Okay, so I’ve convinced you to NOT rent a car. Now, how do you get around the Amalfi coast?

Hire a driver:

The most hassle-free way is to hire a driver to take you from town to town for a few hundred euro. Several of you guys recommended that when I asked on Instagram stories, but we get very car sick and didn’t really want to spend a lot of time in a car, so we ruled that option out. Your hotel should be able to hire a car service for you!

Ferry:

The second option is to take a Ferry from town to town (which is possible from the larger towns, but you cannot take a ferry to the smaller fishing towns like Praiano). These are very inexpensive and obviously a pretty view as well! The cons are lot’s of crowds and waiting, which we weren’t into doing on our honeymoon haha!

Water Taxi:

The third option is to to take Water Taxi’s, which are we we opted for. They’re the easiest, fastest way to get from one town to the other–granted, they aren’t the cheapest option, but worth it to save time and get some beautiful views. (Water taxi’s are about $30 per person from Praiano to Positano, for reference). You can have your hotel arrange one for you, and you pick them up at the beach.

Public bus: 

If you’re there in peak season this is not an option I would recommend because there were just soooo many people waiting in line to get on the bus, and the busses would often be so packed you couldn’t get on and would have to keep waiting. Again, not a risk I’m willing to take when I only have a few days in paradise, but a very inexpensive option if you don’t mind waiting.

Double decker bus tour: 

We never would’ve known about this option had we not run into our new friend and fellow travel blogger, Ana, and her husband while we were staying at Casa Angelina. (Scroll down for the part about Ravello, and I’ll explain!)

What not to miss on the Amalfi Coast:

 Amalfi Coast Guide

[one-half-first]The Golden Girl at Amalfi Coast[/one-half-first][one-half]

 Amalfi Coast

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The Golden Girl at Amalfi Coast

One Fire Beach Club, Praiano:

I cannot recommend One Fire beach club enough–there are quite a few beach clubs along the coast and I can’t speak for the others but I would always choose going to a beach club over a public beach! It’s no extra charge, it’s not overly crowded and you get food and drink service directly to your chair! The front row (right next to the water) is always exclusively reserved for Casa Angelina guests–which is another nice perk of staying at the hotel.

If you’re staying in Positano or Amalfi, I would definitely say it’s worth journeying over here to Praiano for the day. It’s the perfect mix of relaxation and fun–everyone we met here was awesome and our favorite day of the trip was when we just hung out here all day. I definitely wouldn’t call it “party” atmosphere by any means, but they played fun music and everyone was chatting with one another and having a good time. People of all ages were there too.

One of my favorite parts about it was that there was no actual beach.

The Amalfi beaches are very rocky and not nice sandy beaches. This one is all rock, and you just jump straight into the water. It was also really affordable, which surprised me!

One Fire Beach Club is also adjacent to Cala Gavitella beach club (they flow into one another, and you’d think they were the same place if the chairs didn’t change color) It was definitely more quiet and laid-back if that’s more your style. Nobody was really mixing and mingling over there and there was no music playing–but there is a little beach and more of an area to wade in, if jumping straight off the rocks into the ocean isn’t your thing. It also has a beach club/restaurant!

What to do in Positano:

What to do in Positano

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What to do in Positano

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Drinks at Le Sirenuse:

Le Sirenuse is one of the nicest hotels in Positano and seems to be the #1 destination for Americans. (When we drove by, our driver said, “This is Le Sirenuse, for some reason, all the Americans are very obsessed with this place.” ?)

Per everyone’s recommendations, we tried to get into Francos at Le Sirenuse (their most casual bar), but it was too busy (go figure) but we were able to score a table at their super swanky Champagne bar–arguably more expensive, but a truly magical experience. I’m really glad it worked out that way! Being there at dusk was beautiful!

shopping

Go shopping:

Seeing as I was with my husband I got approximately 20 minutes of shopping time in ? which was just enough time to dash into a sandal store and buy a cute pair of locally made sandals. Positano is really famous for their leather sandals, so you must make sure to pick up at least one pair! They have sandal shops ALL OVER and many shops carry the same styles, so there isn’t a right or wrong place to make a purchase as far as I could tell.

They also have a ton of adorable shops with breezy linen dresses, pants, tops, scarves–you name it! The region is also famous for their ceramics–so you’ll find a lot of beautiful ceramic stores as well. (Granted, our favorite was in Ravello, which I’ll get to in a second!)

The view walking up to Villa Maggia for dinner 

The view walking up to Villa Maggia for dinner 

Dinner at Villa Magia:

This was actually a reader recommendation and hands down our favorite meal in Italy. When we asked our hotel about it, they looked very confused and told us they had never heard of anyone eating at Villa Magia–that it was simply another hotel, but we took our chance anyway and asked them to make us a reservation for 9pm. I don’t even know if the restaurant has a name, haha!

We took a water taxi to Positano around 7pm and walked around for a couple of hours (stopping for a drink at Le Sirenuse and shopping for sandals, obvi) before making the hike up to Villa Maggia.

When we arrived to the 18th century villa turned boutique hotel, the whole staff–which was all of three people-Gabriele, the host, Salvatore, the bartender/server, and the Chef himself, Lugi were all lined up to welcome us. We were the only people there aside from a big group of locals who were enjoying post-dinner drinks.

They asked if we’d like to enjoy the terrace for a drink before dinner and told us we were on no timeline. We could take as much time admiring the views as as we liked. Salvatore, the bartender and server, who is nicknamed “Shark”–as we found out later–? mentioned that the chef had picked up some fresh peaches at the market that morning and asked if he could offer me a fresh Bellini. Um, YES?!

Shark asked what foods we loved or didn’t like…

The restaurant has no menu. Chef makes everything to order based on diners’ preferences and the freshest items he’s picked up that day. (!!!) I embarrassingly explained that I don’t like seafood (blasphemy in a place like Positano, but nobody ever makes you feel bad about it!) and Shark mentioned that they had lot’s of beautiful zucchini on hand and would I like some zucchini pasta? (Again, YES!) A few minutes later, a GIGANTIC platter of freshly caught seafood was brought out for Neal (who LOVES seafood) and he essentially pointed to what he wanted Chef to cook for him. I’ve never seen anything like it.

We had two rounds of drinks watching the last of the sunlight fade, overlooking Positano and admiring all the boats in the water before moving to our table on the corner of the terrace. There must have only been about 5-7 tables total in the entire restaurant (again, we were the only people there). I’ve never experienced a table with more incredible views.

The view walking up to Villa Maggia for dinner 

When we sat down, Gabriele joked “we pulled some strings and have a little surprise for you–keep watching for it right over there!” pointing at Praiano. I had no idea what he was talking about, and then 10 minutes later, looked up to see a HUGE full moon (seriously, I have never seen the moon so big) rising over Praiano. It was so beautiful I cried! I tried to take 100 photos but obviously none of them do it justice! I half expected an Italian accordion player to come out of the woodwork and sing “That’s Amore.”

Dinner included a first course

Which was the best pasta I had in Italy. It had zucchini and I have no idea what else in it–crack, it was so good. I tried to stop eating because I knew it was only the first course but I couldn’t ? For Neal, they brought out shrimp. They all hilariously laughed like little boys when they set it down and said, “SHRIMP ACROBATICA!” – Chef had arranged them like they were doing flips and summersaults ? (How one does this, I have NO idea) but Neal said it was as fresh and tasty as it was impressive in presentation, haha!

For the second course, they surprised me with a beautiful Veal scallopini and a simple preparation of the fish that Neal had chosen!

Neal's "Shrimp Acrobatica" haha!

Neal’s “Shrimp Acrobatica” haha!

Dinner at Villa MagiaThe gang when they ambushed us with a dessert tower complete with flashing lights and impromptu photobooth, (minus Gabrielle who took the photo) ?

And for dessert, when they found out we were on our delayed honeymoon–they brought out this giant dessert tower and HATS and a giant picture frame and started signing and we all took a group photo together! Hahaha. I seriously can’t make this up and I’m struggling to find the words for how amazing this entire experience was. It wasn’t even crazy expensive–about 200 Euro for two cocktails, two glasses of wine, and two courses!

Basically, you just have to just go and experience it yourself. If you love beautifully simple food made with the freshest ingredients, gorgeous views, and most importantly–meeting amazing people, you will love this place.

Tell them Neal and Jess sent you. Show them this blog post–and please give our love to Shark, Gabriele, and Luigi!

Side note: It also looks like an INCREDIBLE place to stay if you’re looking for a hotel in Positano–it has five star reviews and they even have their own private boat you can charter!

Day Trip to Capri:

Day Trip to Capri

We spent one full day visiting Capri. It was a full day tour booked through our hotel, Casa Angelina, and there are honestly SO many options that you can book through. We did a small group tour for 12 people and it was the more affordable option at 75 euro per person (again, you can likely book this through your hotel or there are about 100 options you can find through TripAdvisor or Expedia!) This is a really common tour that lot’s of boat companies offer, and it gives you a couple of hours to explore the island on your own.

I would say visiting Capri was amazing, and we loved it, and the tour was OK–here’s why:

We both agreed that had we been with at least one other couple, it would’ve been worth the splurge of chartering our own boat because our favorite part about the whole day was getting to swim off of Capri.

You get a 3-4 hours to explore the island but the boat docked in Marina Grande, which is the opposite side of the Island than everything fun to go to (which was near Marina Piccola and Anacapri). My biggest issue with tours, always, is that you really never get enough time or flexibility to do your own thing.

We ended up taking the long windy (but beautiful) walk up to the town, which is was basically a rustic stone “alley” that backs up to beautiful residential homes. We always love to see how people live in different places, so this was probably the coolest part of what we saw of the island to us.

BUT…there is a but… it was VERY long, really steep, and not fun to do in 90 degree heat. When you get to the town, it’s really beautiful and charming, but is bustling full of sweaty tourists swarming around the designer shops and restaurants. (Not exactly enough payoff for hiking a half hour up a hill in the heat). All in all, if I had only a couple hours in Capri to kill, I wouldn’t opt to do this again.

Ristorante Panorama 

However, one great part about our walk was that on our way up the hill we stopped for Pizza at an adorable place called Ristorante Panorama (photo below) and enjoyed the views–we’d LOVED this place and would definitely recommend if you want somewhere to eat with beautiful views on the way up to town.

We didn’t have enough time to ride the cool chair lift (was too far from Marina Grande, where we got dropped off), or visit the famed Fontelina Beach Club (We couldn’t get into Fontelina at the last minute and it also requires another water taxi to get to, which takes up too much time).

All in all, if you only have a couple of hours to spare, I’m not even sure if you’d have enough time to see any other part of the island if you took a taxi–so rather than stress out trying to cram in as much as possible, I think it would be cooler to just explore around the marina and then head to the nearest beach club–that’s my two cents anyway.

Should you visit the Blue Grotto? 

Every local we met told us the Blue Grotto is a rip off and that it wasn’t worth the wait, so our group opted to skip it in favor of more time to explore the island.

Our tour did take us to other grottos though and to some really cool rock formations, so we didn’t really have any regrets about skipping the Blue Grotto. (There was also about an hour wait so that helped too haha!) In some of them there were private boats with people swimming, and we wished we’d had the option to do that! Next time! Speaking of…

What we will do next time:

We both agreed we’d really love to stay on Capri for a couple nights (Danielle recommended the hotel Capri Tiberio Palace and we’d love to check that out next time!)The island was absolutely beautiful and totally different from the Amalfi coast towns. We’ve heard that it’s really charming and quaint once it quiets down in the evenings and all the tours have left!

In the case that you stay on Capri, I think it would be really fun to charter a private boat for a day to go around the island (like this tour!), which is about $500 (not that much more expensive than paying for a group tour for 2 people)–you get to dictate what you do/where you go swimming, etc. It’s less expensive than the private tour to and from Positano because you don’t have to go all that distance!

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Day Trip to Capri

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Day Trip to Capri

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Above, left: On the boat, with Positano in the background. Right: The winding path walking up to the town on Capri.

Day Trip to Capri | The Golden Girl Blog [one-half-first]Day Trip to Capri | The Golden Girl Blog[/one-half-first][one-half]

Day Trip to Capri | The Golden Girl Blog

[/one-half]Capri | The Golden Girl Blog

Gorgeous bougainvillea lined the path up to Capri! 
We stopped for pizza at Ristorante Panorama and were not disappointed! 

We stopped for pizza at Ristorante Panorama and were not disappointed! 

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the charming town in Capri 

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Left: Caprese salad at Ristorante Panorama  Right: the charming town in Capri 

The view from town on Capri! 

The view from town on Capri! 

Amalfi & Ravello:

Amalfi & Ravello

On our last day we took a water taxi to Amalfi and caught the Double Decker Bus to Ravello! Ravello is unlike the other towns on the coast because it’s very high up–it’s quite literally in the clouds–you get the most incredible views! It’s absolutely stunning, and they’re very famous for their massive gardens.

Like I mentioned above, we were very glad to have gotten this tip from our new friend Ana (she has an amazing travel instagram! You must follow her!)

To catch the bus, look for someone wearing the Double Decker Bus uniform selling tickets right at the main bus turnaround before you walk into the town–you can’t miss it!

It took about 20 minutes to get from Amalfi up to Ravello, and the views were really beautiful! (Scroll down for photos!)

Some honest truth though:

It was SO freaking hot that day that we honestly barely enjoyed ourselves. We spent maybe an hour and a half there because we felt like we were going to die of a heat stroke and all we wanted was to be back at the beach club ?

If it’s a really hot day and all you want to do is lay by the ocean and drink a spritz–don’t feel guilty and make yourself go sightseeing when you aren’t into it. (There’s always next time!)

Views from Ravello 

Views from Ravello 

[one-half-first]Neal at Ravello [/one-half-first][one-half]

Villa Cimbrone Garden and admire the view

[/one-half]Villa Cimbrone Garden and admire the view

Stop for a drink in the Villa Cimbrone Garden and admire the view–if it’s not too hot! 

[one-half-first]Views from Villa Cimbrone[/one-half-first][one-half]

Views from Villa Cimbrone

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Views from Villa Cimbrone (it was approximately 200 degrees ?) 

italy[one-half-first]Italy[/one-half-first][one-half]

Ceramiche Cosmolena

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Ceramiche Cosmolena–our favorite ceramics shop where we bought some little souvenirs and gifts! They have really affordable shipping to the US too! 

Pompeii:

Pompeii  | The Golden Girl [one-half-first]Pompeii  | The Golden Girl[/one-half-first][one-half]

Pompeii  | The Golden Girl

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Our final stop before heading to Rome was Pompeii–the ancient Roman city that was buried in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius–I would highly recommend doing this on your way out of the Amalfi Coast because it’s in Naples, on the way to the train station as well as the airport!

I had been once before when I studied abroad in Italy, but the second time around I liked it a lot more! It’s seriously SO cool–you learn so much about how the Romans lived back then (shocker, it’s really no different than now ?)–this is also thought to be the birth place of the pizza oven and the concept of fast casual restaurants! Seriously, it’s crazy!

When you visit Pompeii, we’d highly recommend getting a tour guide

If you just go through on your own you have no idea what you’re looking at, there is so much that needs to be explained and you definitely won’t have the same experience otherwise! Our tour guide, Dario, was originally an archeologist that had worked at Pompeii doing excavation, so he knew literally EVERYTHING about it!

The tour was booked through our driver, who was booked through Casa Angelina, haha, so I can’t be super helpful as to which company it was, but there are a bunch of options on TripAdvisor and if you go with any of the top-rated tours I’m sure you can’t go wrong!

A note on what to wear in Pompeii: 

Pompeii, even more so than everywhere else–is REALLY. HOT. I’d highly recommend wearing something lightweight that covers your shoulders (like this linen button down) to protect you from the sun, a hat, and bring sunscreen in your bag! It’s beating down on you for a long time and there are few places to find shade! I also wore these slip on shorts which proved to be a really good buy for $39–they are basically like air and you feel like you have nothing on–they’re super comfy!

WHEW! That was a long post. I need a Spritz! Have you been to the Amalfi Coast? What are your best recommendations? I know we’d all love to hear them! 

Also make sure to read:  30 little known insider tips you need to know before your Italy trip

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