Chasing Davies: Four Nights on the Amalfi Coast of Italy

January 24, 2020

Four Nights on the Amalfi Coast of Italy

I'm back after a long break over the holidays and start into the new year. But I just planned this year's European vacation and was re-inspired me to get the rest of my Italy adventure posted (I still dream of this trip!).  Here is part two of our Italian getaway last September 2019! 

Reminder on the first post and part of our trip: a few days in Rome.  

1/2 Day in Pompeii

Before we got to our second spot, we took a pit spot on the way to see Pompeii...

From Rome, we took the high speed train to Naples. We learned that you do NOT have to get to the train station in Rome much earlier than your train departure time at all. You don't even know what terminal you are at until 10-20 minutes before it is set to depart. And only then when you know your terminal (they show it on the big screen), it take a few minutes to get to the assigned terminal.  

If you get to the train station 30 minutes before your scheduled departure, you'll have plenty of time. Getting to the train and boarding was also super simple. We had assigned seats, and all the seats around us were open, so it was quite relaxing.  

Once we got to Naples, we transferred to the local Circumvesuviana (felt like the NYC metro) and that takes you straight to the main Pompeii entrance (vs. just the general town like the high speed train does).  You buy your ticket at the station, and the Circumvesuviana comes every so often (like 5-15 minutes). 

The experience is not super great. But it gets the job done and drops you off right where you need to be (literally, across the street) - so it was worth it. But basically, it's just like riding a crowded metro car. And if you have luggage, like we did, it's even more annoying. But after 20-30 minutes, you are there!

And you can check your luggage at the Pompeii ticket entrance for free (DO NOT check the luggage at the Circumvesuviana stop station, as that costs money, and literally across the street at the Pompeii entrance is a free one).  We learned this the hard way.

We bought regular Pompeii entrance tickets after waiting in a short line. There was a separate line that after people got tickets they waited in a much longer line for an audio guide/tour info. We use the free Rick Steve's app to listen to a guided tour through our phones (just like we did throughout Rome), and it was great, free and no extra lines.

Pompeii was way bigger than I expected - wear comfy shoes because it's dusty and there are uneven walking paths all over the expansive space. It was very neat, and definitely recommend visiting! 
After our few hours in Pompeii, we grabbed a slice of pizza and went back to the Circumvesuviana station to continue south to Sorrento to begin our second part of our Italian trip.

Staying in Sorrento

We decided to stay in Sorrento for the next 4 nights, since this city has the most options to travel in and out to other cities for day trips.  Plus, Sorrento was super pretty and a bit bigger than other southern Italian cities, so there were more options and better costs for finding a place to stay!  

We stayed in the heart of Sorrento in a great apartment that had updated bathroom appliances, was completely clean and a comfy bed! We could walk everywhere - including to the dock to catch the ferries to travel for our day trips to Capri and Positano!

Our first night in Sorrento, we walked all around and ate at a cute little restaurant, sitting outside to enjoy the bustling city square!  You probably know that southern Italy is known for its lemoncello. So we started our southern Italy portion of the trip with a lemoncello cocktail.  

We soon found out that you get a shot of straight up lemoncello after every meal though, so we became super fond of this lemony-tart liquor. I also got my fill of cannoli (my favorite).

By the time we got to Sorrento, for our second part of our trip, I also needed to find a laundromat. I worked really hard to pack light(ish), with a carry on sized bag (expanded to its biggest size) and a backpack.  We found and walked to a laundromat for a quick load of washing, and then air-dried the times back at our apartment and had fresh clothes for the back part of our trip. 

My FAVORITE meal (of maybe the whole trip... but that's really hard to narrow down) was at an "off the beaten path" restaurant my husband read about and found. La Cantinarria del Popolo had meat hanging from the ceilings and a huge outdoor patio. The first night we tried to go, there was an hour and half long line - and we were too hungry to wait it out. So we went for lunch on our day we stayed in Sorrento and it was so good.

1 Day in Capri

We took a morning ferry out of Sorrento to Capri for our first day trip away and spent the day on this adorable, quintessential and famous island. We started with a private boat tour around the island. Vittorio was our guide on his lovely boat with beautiful music and a comfy bow. We relaxed and took in all the beautiful views while Vittorio gave us some awesome history (he's lived there all his life!).

And while we were at it... we took a little detour on our boat ride to enter the blue grotto. I was super nervous because I don't like small spaces, and especially no control of getting out of said small spaces.  But we had to do it. 

A small boat came to get us off our bigger boat. You get real close to the ones you are with and the guide takes you into the Blue Grotto. The worst part (for me) was going in and out of the entrance. They go with the waves through this small opening and you have to lay back so you don't smack your head. It all happens fast and is a bit stressful, but once inside - it really is pretty! Very... blue!

All in all, if you are looking to do a boat ride tour of any sort around Capri, pay just a little bit more to do the private (relaxing) way vs. shoved on a boat crammed with a bunch of other tourists, a la...

After our morning adventure on the water (and during a quick rain), we ate lunch before we took by foot to explore the Island. We hiked and rode the chairlift to the very highest part of Capri, Monte Solaro. Here you can get a 360 look all around the island.

{his beer came in a fancy glass and side bucket of ice to keep it cool!}

We walked the small, winding streets lined with shops to get back down to the ocean level. We ended the day relaxing at a beach bar with a drink, and gazing at the beautiful ocean before taking our ferry back to Sorrento.

1 Day in Positano

After a day spent in Sorrento, and our last full day in Italy, our grand finale was in Positano. Another easy and lovely ferry ride from Sorrento to this colorful dotted getaway town for a day exploring. 

Positano might have been my favorite Italian town, with colorful and vibrant views at every turn. Our plan of attack for seeing this town was to spend the morning walking around the town - all the way up to the top! We started with breakfast at the beach level and watched as ferries came and went.

By afternoon, we hit up a local grocery store to got sandwiches, drinks and snacks for a beach picnic. 

We had brought out swimsuits to spend the afternoon lazily on the beach.  This was one of my very favorite parts of the trip. It wasn't just any beach day - the views were extraordinary, we had adorable beach chairs and an umbrella, great people watching, and Greg actually relaxed which was amazing in and of itself.  We ate our lunch, read, talked and took a few dips in the ocean to round out our day.

Positano was a great way to go out! We ferried back to Sorrento and ended the day and our Italian adventure with dinner and packing.

Leaving Italy

The next day, we ferried to Naples to fly out, fondly waving goodbye to Italy! Because we flew TAP, we elected for a free 2-night stop over in Lisbon, Portugal on our way home... so while our Italian trip was over, we still had 2 more days of our vacation to explore a new city.

More on Lisbon to come!

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