Renato Fucini once said, “The Day of Judgement, for those Amalfitans that go to heaven, will be a day like any other.” Truer words have never been spoken.
Decadent food, fantastic wine, stunning countryside and a fascinating history will make you fall in love with the Amalfi Coast over and over again. Whether you are traveling with your family, your friends, are on a romantic getaway with your other half or are on your own, no traveler will ever be disappointed here.
Eat your way through Sorrento
Although often mistaken for being a part of the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is actually located just outside. Nevertheless, this luxurious town of lemon groves and sweeping views of the Bay of Naples is a must-see when visiting the area. Travelers have the opportunity to arrive here with ease as a result of how well connected Sorrento is by public transportation. In anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour, you can reach this charming town from any and all parts of the Amalfi Coast.
Can’t miss activities in Sorrento:
Olive oil and limoncello tasting
The terraced hills towering over Sorrento are planted with olive and lemon trees. Learn about the centuries of history behind olive growing, picking, pressing and tasting followed by some delicious swigs of as many variations of limoncello, a local lemon liqueur, as possible.
Reaching the peak of Mount Faito
Whether you choose to take the cable car to the top or test yourself with the hike up, Mount Faito is the perfect escape from the heat and the crowds that simultaneously treats you to spectacular views of the Bay of Naples to Mount Vesuvius on the other side.
Strolling down the marinas
Explore Marina Piccolo, the main port, or continue down the road to Marina Grande, which has become somewhat of a fishing village with delectable seafood stands and quirky little shops. It is from here that you can take ferries from Sorrento to Naples or from Sorrento to Capri while taking in the refreshing sea breeze and a beautiful sunset.
Eating red chili peppers
Red chili peppers are locally grown and are ever so popular in Sorrento. Infused in olive oils, added to pasta dishes, or even on its own, red chili peppers can be found in every shop and are a staple in every Sorrentine household. Also popular are cornicelli, chili pepper-shaped charms, often made of coral, which represent fertility, virility and strength, and worn as jewelry or hung in cars and homes in order to ward off evil spirits.
Live the high life on the Island of Capri
Capri is famous for a reason. From jaw-dropping beauty around every corner, to caprese salads and caprese panini that can be enjoyed with incredible views from swanky restaurants, to chic boutiques that offer gorgeous and unique couture, Capri is every dreamer’s ultimate dream.
Can’t miss activities in Capri:
Relaxing at Marina Piccola
This famous beach has a view of the island’s famous Faraglioni rock formation as well as access to the gorgeous, crystal clear water that is perfect for swimming through, wading around or diving into from the rocks.
Having a night out at Taverna Aneme e Core
This luxury nightclub is a must-visit for those looking to have a big night out, but at any price. This posh establishment lights up the Capri nightlife scene with an extraordinary atmosphere filled with authentic Italian music, high-end drinks, and sometimes even dancing on tables.
People watching at the Piazzetta
A trip to Capri is incomplete without a trip to the Piazzetta, Capri’s most famous square. Considered to be the center of life on the island, the Piazzetta is always jam-packed with celebrities sitting at one of the several cafes in the square.
Escaping the crowds
Hire a skipper to escape the crowded beaches for a few hours or visit the famous Blue Grotto, an enchanting site that experiences an amazing natural phenomena: as a result of sunlight bouncing off the cave’s walls, the color of the water produced emanates an electric blue shade that seems to glow. It is truly mystifying.
Let out your inner history buff in Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius
Mount Vesuvius is most famous for its eruption that took place in the year 79 A.D. that completely decimated the population of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii and covered the city with a thick blanket of volcanic ash.
Over two thousand people tragically died, and Pompeii was left abandoned for just about the same amount of years. In 1748, the city was rediscovered by a group of explorers who had the shock of their lives when they discovered that below the surface, buildings, artifacts and even skeletons were left completely intact, right where they had fallen; granting us an extremely rare glimpse into what life was like before and during the devastating eruption.
Today, you can visit Pompeii and explore what life was like pre-eruption, from marketplaces, to brothels, to family homes, to open-air squares, all with humbling views of Mount Vesuvius directly in front of you. Adventure seekers can even visit the volcano itself, though it is still active and considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.
Treat yourself in Ischia
This volcanic island is the ideal place to visit if relaxation is what you seek. The largest and most-developed of the islands in the Bay of Naples, Ischia is perhaps most famous for its spas and healing, thermal waters. It takes about 2.5 hours to get to Ischia from Amalfi, but this Italian island paradise is one worth going out of your way for. You deserve it.
Can’t miss activities in Ischia:
Rewarding yourself with a thermal spa day
Natural springs and wellness centers are far and away what attracts people the most to the island of Ischia (aside from the incredible views, of course). Mineral-rich waters and volcanic mud that are said to have healing powers, are sure to offer you the relaxation you have earned.
Shopping for ceramics and pottery
The history of ceramics in Ischia dates back to when the island was home to people who needed to barter their pots with mainland Italy. Today, the island has tons of cute shops filled with hand-painted craftwork that you can take home as a souvenir.
Visiting Aragonese Castle
This medieval castle stands on a volcanic rocky islet that connects it to the main part of the island by a causeway, Ponte Aragonese. This castle was built in 474 B.C. and is accessed through a tunnel with large openings, one of which boasts a small chapel.
Naples is possibly equally as infamous for being dirty and gritty as it is famous for being the birthplace of pizza. As the saying goes though, there is always beauty to be found through the madness. With world-class museums, a fascinating history and most importantly, pizza, Naples is a truly one-of-a-kind city to visit.
Can’t miss activities in Naples:
You will be hard-pressed to find a pizza establishment Naples that does not draw a crowd, that does not have a line of eager and hungry visitors, and that does not claim to have the best pizza. The most famous of all is L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, a pizzeria that opened in 1870, has seen five generations of pizza-making masters and proudly claims to still use the original recipe!
Getting classy at the Teatro di San Carlo
The oldest working opera house in the world, the Teatro di San Carlo once had a seating capacity of 3,285, but has since been reduced to 1,386. Because of its age, structure and size, this opera house has been used as a model for various opera houses throughout Europe. You can still see a show to this day, but if opera doesn’t suit your fancy, you can tour the architectural masterpiece as well.
Located 40 meters (131 feet) underground, the Naples underground gives you the chance to explore the Greek-Roman aqueduct, the remains of the Roman theater, and more.
Mercato di Porta Nolana
It would be a true tragedy to visit Naples and not go here. If a fish market, a deli, a bakery and a produce market had a giant, intense and delicious baby, it would be named Mercato di Porta Nolana.
Bottom line: the Amalfi Coast and its surroundings are beautiful beyond words and has something to offer virtually every type of traveler of any age. Italy is irresistible, but there is truly nowhere in the world like the Amalfi Coast. So relax, take in the sights and sounds, and enjoy some pizza.