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

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 to 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.

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 I could not have imagined a place so perfect in my wildest dreams.

So–want to know why? Let’s go!

First things first…

The Best Amalfi Coast Hotel: Casa Angelina in Praiano

The Ultimate Amalfi Coast Guide

What to pack for the Amalfi Coast in Summer:

I’ve gotten sooo many questions on what to pack! I’ll tell you what–the Almafi Coast dress code 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:

The Best Amalfi Coast Hotel: Casa Angelina in Praiano

Sun dresses:

You’d be set for two weeks in Italy if you ONLY packed dresses. 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!). I also wore 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. 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 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. This black and white striped cotton t-shirt dress too, and they 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 camel and white but they come in lots of colors.

Comfy “walking sandals: 

I’ve got a pair of old Splendid strappy sandals that travel with me when I know I’ll be walking a lot. Sadly I can’t link them because they’re a bit older, but I would recommend looking into something like these Madewell sandals. They should have a back strap to keep your foot in place. And a solid sole for lots of walking on cobblestones. 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 the “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. They were the only shoes I could bear to wear sadly. I DID love 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. It’s 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 the kind of person who always brings a hat and rarely wears it. However, 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 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!

 Everlane shirt dress J.Crew bikini 

The Best Amalfi Coast Hotel: Casa Angelina in Praiano

We stayed at Casa Angelina in the beautiful town of Praiano. 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 for 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 not the easiest task to find a high-end, modern luxury hotel on the Amalfi Coast. (Granted, I know a lot more have popped up now since we’ve been there! Another reason working with a travel agent can be helpful!)

As someone who is a design lover, I just cannot bring myself to splurge on a dated 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.

 Everlane shirt dress and J.Crew bikini 

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

Why Casa Angelina?

Every room has a beautiful balcony overlooking the sea! You can actually look across and see Positano! There was also turn-down service every night, and 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 a regular old club sandwich and fries hits! 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, some of the best I’ve ever had. At Casa Angelina, it’s the most elaborate spread you’ve ever seen. They have an abundance of fresh fruit, and any kind of eggs you want, made to order. There were also 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 is below!

italy

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. That honestly 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!?

neil

What is the Best Town To Stay In Amalfi Coast

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 and the hotel you’re staying at. I think the hotel can make or break your decision and experience.

Amalfi coast

Walking up the steps from One Fire Beach to Casa Angelina 

Pros & Cons 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 its 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 its stunning 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 (which isn’t as cheap as they sound though, FYI) 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 that we ended up going twice!

Pro's & Con's of staying in Praiano

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 taxis 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 trips 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 (home of the emerald grotto!). This would be my first choice based on restaurants, things to do, and charm. Also, look into Amalfi, which is my second choice. It’s 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 of 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!

The best way to get around on Amalfi Coast

Best Time To Visit Amalfi Coast

This is a HUGE factor in 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 of 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 cultures, 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 you don’t visit for the beach!

 Amalfi Coast Guide

The best way to get to the Amalfi Coast:

There are LOTS 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 of hundred euro and we CANNOT RECOMMEND IT ENOUGH.

I don’t think a lot of people would think it was “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 and busses flying toward you around corners with tiny guardrails.

The Golden Girl at Amalfi Coast

Could you do it and likely NOT die?

Maybe–but will you enjoy it? Probably 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. Plus, 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 LONGGG travel day and a gigantic pain in the ass with luggage. It’s also definitely not a way I want to start my romantic vacation but I felt like I needed to tell you the option is there?! 😂

 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 ended up ruling 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. You just can’t take a ferry to the smaller fishing towns like Praiano. These are very inexpensive and obviously a pretty view as well! The cons are lots of crowds and waiting, which we weren’t into doing on our honeymoon haha!

Water Taxi:

The third option is to take a Water Taxi, which is what 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 taxis 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. Busses that give Almafi Coast tours are super common!

The Golden Girl at Amalfi Coast

What not to miss on the 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. I can’t speak for the others but I would always choose to go 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. It’s just 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 a “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.

What to do in Positano

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 quieter and more laid-back if that’s more your style. Nobody was really mixing and mingling over there and there was no music playing. 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

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). We were, however, able to score a table at their super swanky Champagne bar. It’s 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. It was just enough time to dash into a sandal store and buy a cute pair of locally-made sandals. Positano is really famous for its 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 its 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. We’ve sent many of you there over the years. I love that I always get raving dm’s about how wonderful your experience was!

When we asked our hotel about it, they were very confused. They told us they had never heard of anyone eating at Villa Magia. To them, it was simply another hotel. But we took our chance anyway and asked them to make us a reservation for 9 pm.

We took a water taxi to Positano around 7 pm and walked around for a couple of hours. We stopped for a drink at Le Sirenuse to buy some sandals, obvi! Then we made the hike up to Villa Maggia.

The view walking up to Villa Maggia for dinner 

When we arrived at the 18th-century villa turned boutique hotel, the whole staff–which was all of three people. There was Gabriele, the host, Salvatore, the bartender/server, and the Chef himself, Lugi and they 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 we liked. Our bartender and server, Salvatore, was nicknamed “Shark”–as we found out later. He 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. It was absolute heaven.

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

The restaurant has no menu. The 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!). So Shark mentioned that they had lots of beautiful zucchini on hand and that 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). He essentially pointed to what he wanted Chef to cook for him.

Neal's "Shrimp Acrobatica" haha!
Neal’s “Shrimp Acrobatica” haha!

We had two rounds of drinks watching the last of the sunlight fade. We were just 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.

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 honestly had no idea what he was talking about. Then 10 minutes later, I looked up to see a HUGE full moon rising over Praiano. Seriously, I’ve never seen the moon so big! It was so beautiful I cried! I tried to take 100 photos but obviously none of them do it justice!

Dinner included a first course

Which was the best pasta I had in Italy. It had zucchini and I have no idea what else was in it–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!

Dinner at Villa Magia

The gang ambushed us with a dessert tower complete with flashing lights and an impromptu photo booth.

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 and amazing food made with the freshest ingredients, gorgeous views, and most importantly–meeting amazing people, you will love this place. Just 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’s got five-star reviews and they even have their own private boat tour you can charter!

Day Trip to Capri

Day Trip to Capri

We spent one full day visiting the island of Capri. It was a full-day tour booked through our hotel, Casa Angelina. 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. This is a really common tour that lots of boat companies offer. And it gives you a couple of hours to explore the island on your own.

Day Trip to Capri

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 have 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 3-4 hours to explore the island but the boat docked at Marina Grande Beach, which is the opposite side of the Island and 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.

Day Trip to Capri

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

We ended up taking the long windy (but beautiful) walk up to the town. It 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 on 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 and 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 of hours in Capri to kill, I wouldn’t opt to do this again.

Ristorante Panorama

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

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. We enjoyed the views and ended up LOVING this place and would definitely recommend this 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).

Day Trip to Capri | The Golden Girl Blog

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 in the sea cave. We wished we’d had the option to do that! Next time! Speaking of…

Capri | The Golden Girl Blog

What we will do next time:

We both agreed we’d really love to stay on Capri for a couple of 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!

The view from town on Capri! 

The view from town on Capri! 

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!

Views from 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.

As 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!)

Villa Cimbrone Garden and admire the view

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!)

Ceramiche Cosmolena

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

Weather In Amalfi Coast

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. I do think it would be LOVELY to stay in Ravello for a couple of nights–that way you can beat the heat of the afternoon at the pool and explore when it was cooler. (Side note, how incredible does this AirBnB in Ravello look!?!)

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!)

Pompeii  | The Golden Girl

Pompeii

Our final stop before heading to Rome was Pompeii–the ancient Roman city that was buried in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Visit one of the most historic towns in the world! 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 not much different than now)–this is also thought to be the birthplace of the pizza oven and the concept of fast-casual restaurants!

Pompeii  | The Golden Girl

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!

Pompeii  | The Golden Girl

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. This linen button-down will protect you from the sun, and don’t forget to throw a hat and 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’re basically like air and you feel like you have nothing on–they’re super comfy!

Update: In conclusion, if I were planning this trip NOW (5 years later) what would I do differently?

I’m adding this little note at the end because I know the Amalfi Coast has become even more popular and busy. Would I do it all again? The answer is yes! I would absolutely go stay at Casa Angelina again, but I also would love to do other less busy Italian islands to tack onto my trip. I would spend some time in Naples. Whitney raves about it as her good friend lives there and has shown her all the insider magic. Another reason to hire Whitney! And I would love to explore Procida and Ischia as well. Just to put some other options on your radar to consider! So many gorgeous places in Italy to see and never enough time!

WHEW! That was a long post. I need a Spritz! I hope this was helpful! 

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