Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Naples
Who hasn't seen and dreamed about the beautiful area of Amalfi? From the colorful buildings to the crystal-clear waters and the picturesque views. And what about the infamous city of Napoli, where the Napoletana pizza was invented? Let's explore how to combine these places and make the most of one of Italy's famous areas.
Admittedly, this year my social media feed was flooded with photos of Amalfi. To my surprise, everything fell into place so well that I could embark on an unexpected trip to Italy. My journey began on the enchanting island of Capri (you can read more about it here) and continued to Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Naples.
To my suprise, the place I loved the most was the first stop on my journey from Capri—Sorrento. Although it's in the vicinity of the Amalfi coast, it is not considered part of it. The city harbor is a beauty of its own, but do note that you will have to climb a lot of stairs to reach the center.
A general piece of advice for anyone traveling to Italy would be to avoid bringing a huge trolley suitcase. It was both funny and sad to watch people struggling with those on Sorrento and Amalfi's stairways. These cities, while looking gorgeous in pictures, can be a bit of a hassle when carrying around heavy luggage, so be mindful of that.
Once you do get to the city center, a whole new world will unfold. Sorrento won my heart with its elegant vibe, reminiscent of the south of France, but filled with the delightful aroma of Italian cuisine. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would love to spend a few days here—simply enjoying the charm of the Italian summer.
Sorrento served as my base to reach the pearl of the Amalfi Coast—Positano. Let's be honest, sometimes reality can be a bit disappointing. While undeniably beautiful, Positano was teeming with tourists. Getting there can be a bit of a struggle, especially if you make the mistake of taking the bus.
The queues are incredibly long, and you might find yourself spending more than an hour under the scorching sun, and then another hour on the crowded bus with high temperatures, standing shoulder-to-shoulder. The prices in Positano are nearly double compared to the rest of the coast, and at times, it can feel more like a tourist trap than an authentic experience. While I don't regret the trip, I would perhaps prefer a boat day trip to see all the cities instead of delving deep into Positano.
From Positano, we took the bus to Amalfi city—a place that often lives in the shadow of its glamorous neighbor but is equally stunning. Here, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch before heading back to Sorrento. Overall, the Amalfi Coast is a magnificent destination. Personally, I would love to explore lesser-known cities like Ravello, Cetara, or Maiori.
In terms of expenses, Positano is by far the most expensive, with hotel prices starting at 350 euros per night. Food prices are comparable to Capri, so be prepared to pay around 25-40 euros for a pizza. I highly recommend considering staying in one of the neighboring cities, which might offer a more budget-friendly experience.
On our way back, we decided to spend a night in Naples—the famous (or infamous) place where the Napoletana pizza was born. Naples might not be for everyone, as it is one of the poorest areas in Italy. The streets can be quite dirty, with trash scattered everywhere, and the smell might not be the most pleasant.
We were somewhat unlucky to visit during a football championship, which added to the chaotic atmosphere. Our first experience in the city was trying to get an original Neapolitan pizza, which led us to wait for more than two hours in line at a takeout place while people were paying to cut the queue. Unfortunately, the pizza itself didn't live up to the hype.
While Naples is no longer considered a dangerous place, the Spanish Quarter does reveal some of the city's true nature. Witnessing people throw garbage from their windows (literally right in front of us) and the overall state of the buildings and infrastructure, I couldn't help but be reminded of the early '90s in Romania when the country was just becoming free of communism.
While many people find the city unique despite its limitations, I must admit I wasn't one of them, and I would prefer to avoid visiting Naples again.
Overall, my trip to Italy was a resounding success. It allowed me to capture those sought-after pictures for my social media and, more importantly, to revel in the beauty of a truly spectacular place in Europe.
Now, I'd love to hear your thoughts on Positano and Naples. Have you visited Amalfi, or are you planning to?
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