For part two of our honeymoon, we traveled to the beautiful Amalfi Coast. We did so much in the short time that we were there- and even though there was more of a schedule (catching busses and boats) than in Santorini, I wouldn’t have done it any differently. When in Rome, right? Must. See. Everything!
Where to Stay
We stayed in Sorrento, which is a beautiful, coastal town that sits on a cliff. As you can see from the map above, Sorrento is located around the peninsula from the popular towns of Positano, Ravello and Amalfi. This meant it took longer to get to the other towns by bus or by boat, but I am so happy we decided to stay in Sorrento.
Sorrento had a different feel than the other towns we visited; it wasn’t as touristy, had it’s own charm, and seemed a bit bigger than the other coastal towns. We went in the height of the summer, which happens to be the busiest time to visit.
We booked a food tour prior to the trip that we found on Viator. This tour was one of our favorite memories of the whole trip. Spending the day with locals and talking with other tourists is a memory I will forever cherish.
First, we were picked up at our hotel and brought to a lemon and olive farm in Schiazzano. There, we learned about Mario and his family who have taken care of the farm for over seven generations. Unfortunately, it was the first time in 41 years that there weren’t many lemons on the trees; there was a huge drought, and the lack of water made the lemons drop from the trees.
After we learned about the harvesting of lemons, we tasted fresh limoncello and olive oil (flavors consisted of orange, lemon, basil, oregano, rosemary – we bought a bottle!), made fresh mozzarella and tasted many different kinds of cheeses made right on the farm. After, we went to the family’s restaurant where we all made our own pizzas!
Some fun facts from the day:
- There were 1300 lemon trees on Mario’s farm.
- Limoncello ingredients include rind of 10 lemons, pure alcohol, water and sugar mixture.
- Mario’s farm is organic so once the lemons drop (as opposed to being picked) they are not allowed to be used any more for the limoncello.
- Ricotta is actually recooked water from leftover mozzarella – it’s also the healthiest cheese you can eat with very very little fat in it.
- The cheese is only sold to 50-60 families and 3 restaurants in the Schizzano area.
- Do you know why margarita pizza has flour, basil, tomato on it? It is the color of the Italian flag! This was made up in 1800’s.
Day at the beach
There are a few different beach options in Sorrento specifically, but also in Amalfi as a whole. Leonelli’s beach is a popular public beach in Sorrento, with brightly colored umbrellas lining the black sands against the turquoise Mediterranean Sea.
Our hotel had its own private “beach”, which was really just a dock with some lounge chairs on it and a stairway to the water. Laying down on the dock looking up at the humongous cliffs is quite the sight!
Although I only went to the beach in Sorrento, the towns of Positano, Amalfi, and Capri also have beautiful picturesque beaches right along the harbor.
We spent a day in Capri, which we were hesitant about at first but are happy we did it after all. Prior to going, I read mixed reviews about Capri, specifically about how expensive it was in the summertime, but it was such a fun and beautiful day. I would recommend it to anyone!
Some Capri tips:
- Plan out what you are going to do before you get there – it is big and you can get a bit overwhelmed when you first arrive.
- The funicular offers a fast and affordable transport up the cliff to Capri Town. You catch it by the harbor where you come in by boat. The crowd of people may seem like the line is long, but it moves pretty quickly!
- Go inside the Blue Grotto (if you’ve never been in a Grotto before.) The experience inside the grotto only lasts a few minutes, but it was fun nonetheless.
- Eat gelato at Buonocore – my mouth waters when I think about how delicious this was! My husband and I split a strawberry and lemon cone, but I wish I got my own. Needless to say, the long line was worth standing in!
Visit the colorful and beautifully manicured gardens at Villa Rufolo in Ravello. You have to pay to enter, but once you are inside the gardens are expansive. Every corner you turn there are new flowers to admire and new sights to take in.
Many many years ago, there were parties held for royalty at Villa Rufolo. Today, Villa Rufolo hosts an annual summer concert series that features piano concerts, chamber music, and a grand orchestral performance on a stage built jutting out over the Mediterranean Sea and the rugged Amalfi Coast below.
- Don’t miss out on going to Pompeii. Pompeii was once a thriving city but after Mount Vesuvius erupted, it was buried in ash from the volcano. It is still being excavated today.
- I underestimated the amount of time it took to get around the coast. Since we stayed in Sorrento, it took a while to get to the other side of peninsula.
- Remember that the last ferries usually leave for Positano and Amalfi around 5:30pm.
- It is helpful to always carry euros on you at all times. You never know when you will need a last minute bus ticket.
Have you ever been to the Amalfi Coast? What were your favorite parts?
For more on the Amalfi Coast, check out this post: