Beautiful Amalfi Coast
It was a stressful weekend, my boyfriend and I had just moved in together and after spending three days assembling our Ikea furniture we decided to book a holiday for the following weekend. As my boyfriend had to go to Rome for work, we decided to go to the Amalfi Coast in Italy. We had no plans and we didn’t know where to go, and I think this is what made this trip so special, it was the unknown, the unplanned.
We flew to Naples and from there we decided to drive to the coast. Even thought it was one of the most scary drives I have ever done it was also one of the most picturesque. We were basically driving on a cliff with a rocky wall on one side and the sea on the other, the locals were driving fast like crazy, and I have never seen so many vespas in my life.
The most famous places in the Amalfi Coast are Positano and Amalfi. Positano is known as a very expensive area so we decided to stop in Praiano first, spend the day there and find a hotel around that area as it would not only be cheaper but also have a lot less tourists.
Praiano is an ancient fishing village, and it is the favourite place of the Amalfi doges (dukes), who made it their summer residence. It is no wonder the royalty chose it; it is a beautiful and romantic village, the locals are very friendly, I fell in love with it.
Praiano is 120m above sea level so to explore the village we had to take a lot of steps, but we didn’t mind as the view was so amazing, it was worth every step ;).
Marina di Praia
The first place we went was Marina di Praia, it is a lovely walk on the way down. Marina di Praia is a small lovely beach where the fisherman used to live; there is no sand just rocks though. There are a few restaurants and bars there, we found our favourite restaurant there where we ate every night.
There is also a place where you can rent boats. We rented a boat and went to see the Grotta Dello Esmeraldo which is definitely worth a visit. There is a ceramic presepe under the water inside the Grotta, very beautiful.
The picture above is the view we had when we were having dinner at Armandino. My boyfriend and I are seafood lovers, so this restaurant was just perfect for us. The food at this restaurant is amazing and everything is very fresh. The fish was caught in the afternoon, and even the pasta is freshly made at the restaurant. The owner of the restaurant is called Armando hence why the restaurant is called Armandino which means little Armando. When we asked him about the name of the restaurant he said it is because when he was young he used to be very short (and still is) and had a small belly so people always called him Armandino.
Armandino went from table to table talking to every single customer at the restaurant, he had waiters to take the order but he was the one who used to bring over the food once it was ready. I think he loved listening to people saying how good the food was. He made me feel like I knew him my entire life, I loved it and if I go back to Amalfi coast I will definitely go back to eat there.
Next day we went to Positano, I wish we took a bus on our way there as we could not find a parking space, we got a ticket for parking too close to a house and although the car company never charged us for it, it would still have been better if we have used public transport that day.
Positano is definitely the most picturesque and photogenic town in the Amalfi Coast, with steeply stacked houses tumbling down to the sea in a waterfall of sun-bleached peach, pink and terracotta colours. Full of expensive restaurants and fashionable boutiques Positano is perfect for shoppers.
Although there is a lot of natural beauty in Positano, their only major tourist sight is the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta (Piazza Flavio Goia) which is in almost every post card of Positano. We visited the Piazza and as I don’t shop much, we spent most of our time relaxing and walking by the beach.
From Possitano it is possible to take a tour to Capri which one of the most famous islands in the Amalfi Coast. We have heard many good things about Capri; it is supposed to be very beautiful, with Roman ruins, nice cafes and rugged seascapes. It also used to be the place were Roman emperors and Russian revolutionaries used to go on their holidays. The only issue with the tour is that we would have to spend all day there plus the tickets were very expensive, and as we were only staying there for 2 days and a half we decided to just drive around to explore the area.
Our third and last day there, we had to drive to Rome in the afternoon, so we decided to visit Amalfi and from there drive to Rome. The drive from Praiano to Amalfi is very nice, we passed by a few beautiful places, including a really old abandoned mansion which seemed to have been damaged by an earthquake or something. The house was on top of a hill facing the ocean; it was very beautiful we had to go there to see it.
Driving around that area is not an easy task, the roads are very narrow and even though we were very careful we hit one of the side mirrors when stopping by Amalfi. The damage wasn’t too bad as the paint came off a little and as we knew that the car company was going to charge us a fortune for that, we did something very dodgy – as the car was black we bought a black marker and painted the damaged area, it worked perfectly. 🙂
Amalfi is a beautiful historical village, just as busy as Positano with loads of tourists, the beach there is quite small and not the best place to go swimming, great if you have kids though. It is possible to walk from one end to the other in about 20 minutes. There is a beautiful Cathedral in Amalfi called Cattedrale Di Sant’Andrea, the steps at the front of the Cathedral reminded me of the famous Spanish steps in Rome, full of tourists and students. There was a wedding going on the day we were there, it was funny because the bride probably felt like a celebrity or something with all tourists and locals cheering and taking pictures of her.
To explore the town’s medieval history we decided to get off the main street and explore the narrow parallel streets. There are a lot of beautiful houses and little shops and cafes. Amalfi is famous for its lemons, so we bought a lemoncello bottle painted by hand, and we also tried their lemon sorbet, it was a bit sour but still very nice.
The shopping area in Amalfi is very unique, I quite liked it. They sell a lot of interesting things, including peppers that are supposed to have the same effect as Viagra.
I really enjoyed my trip to the Amalfi coast, it is a very beautiful area and I wish we had more time there as there is a lot of natural beauty to explore. I will definitely go back to spend at least one week driving around the coast.
How to Get the Most Out of the Amalfi Coast – by Walks of Italy
Top 5 Romantic Things on Amalfi Coast – by Davids Been Here