I’ve dreamed about the Amalfi Coast of Italy for the past 3 years. From the colorful cliffs of houses, the bright blue Mediterranean sea, the fresh lemon, to the Aperol Spritzes, everything about the Amalfi Coast intrigues me. So when me and my twin sister chose Europe as our 25th birthday destination (it’s 5 days before the 4th of July and always a perfect time to travel), I decided this was the absolute best time to visit the miraculous coast of Italy. We had 5 days in Italy (before continuing on to Greece), and I wanted to see as much as possible. From how to get there, where to stay, and where to dine, this guide covers everything you need to know about the iconic and dreamy Amalfi Coast.
HOW TO GET TO THE AMALFI COAST
Before we get ahead of ourselves, the first thing to note is the Amalfi Coast is not a cheap destination. The peak travel times are from April – October (in fact, most hotels close between October and April), so when planning a trip, be aware that airfare and hotels will be steep. I’m not talking “break your bank and not be able to afford groceries for the next 3 months” but it’s definitely something to consider. If you need guidance on how and when to book cheaper airfare, read this.
Flights: Rome vs Naples Airport
When planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast, you must first think of how many days you have and the convenience factor of which airport you want to fly into. The main Rome Airport (FCO) is about 3 hours from the ferry port in Naples (the ferry port for destinations such as Capri, Positano, Sorrento, Amalfi, etc). Although this airport is popular and cheaper to fly into than Naples, you would need to consider and arrange a private driver, train, or bus to Naples to proceed to the Amalfi Coast. In our situation, we did not want to fly for 14 hours and then drive another 3, so we opted for a pricier one-way plane ticket (about $450) to Naples Airport (NAP), which is then about a 20 minute taxi to the ferry port. A little more money, but a LOT more time for vacation!
Choose Your Amalfi Coast Destination: Naples Ferry Port (Molo Beverello)
Don’t worry about buying ferry tickets in advance, they don’t really sell out and they run frequently. However, I do recommend looking at the schedule a few days in advance to see what your options are to plan your departures and arrivals.
Once at the Naples ferry port, you’ll see signs for all major Amalfi destinations: Capri, Positano, Nerano, Sorrento, etc. All of these stops are about a 30 minute to 1 hour ferry ride, so it’s possible to hit all of them! Our first stop was the island of Capri for 3 days (with a day trip to Positano,) before ferrying to Sorrento to spend our last 2 days before heading back to the airport to catch our flight to Mykonos, Greece. This schedule worked for us because our flight to Greece was at 8 in the morning, meaning we wanted to be as close to the airport as possible. Sorrento is a short 45-minute drive to the airport and we figured it would be our best option to ensure we didn’t miss our flight.
Where to Stay in Capri
The island of Capri is divided into 2 “towns,” Capri and Anacapri. Capri is the main town where the ferry will you drop you off, where the famous La Piazzeta is, and the side of the Island that is visible to the famous Faraglioni rocks. We decided to stay in an Airbnb in Capri, as Anacapri is more wildlife and less shopping, but it is a little less expensive. I took note of the cutest hotels and the ones in the best location, although we opted for an Airbnb (Italian hotels are usually boutiques and the rooms are quite small – meaning we would need 2 rooms to accommodate all 5 of us).
Tiberio Palace – Location, views, amazing pool
Hotel La Palma – Beverly Hills Hotel vibes, central location, amazing aesthetic
Hotel Villa Brunella – Amazing view, great location but away from the noise of the center, great restaurant
Hotel Syrene Capri – Dreamy location, a little more upscale, cute restaurant and amenities
JK Place – Right by the main marina, fantasic pool and amenities, will break your bank but definitely worth it for special occasion!!
La Terrazza Airbnb – The exact airbnb where we stayed! Prime location, our host picked us up from the port, comfortably slept 5, and the most amazing terrace you’ve ever seen (see pics below!)
Where to Eat in Capri
Al Capri – No reservations needed! We ate here twice in our 3 days on the island, once for lunch and once for dinner. Great service, spectacular view, central location, and not too fancy. What to order: Lemon ravioli, Lemon spaghetti, Margherita pizza, Caprese ravioli, Aperol Spritz, Limoncello Spritz
Da Paolino Capri – Simply the most gorgeous restaurant I’ve ever experienced. The entire place sits under 1,000 lemon trees and is spectacular. We made a reservation 6 weeks in advance and I am so glad we did! They even served us complimentary limoncello shots for dessert! What to order: Appetizer trio, bolognese, seafood pasta, fresh pasta with lemon.
Panorama – Need a reservation! Walkable from the center, just follow the signs. Gorgeous restaurant with a fantastic view and wonderful service. A pricier restaurant but the food and drinks are worth it. What to order: Zucchini flower appetizer, tuna tartare, spaghetti and meatballs (best we had), and taglioni pasta
What to do in Capri
The island of Capri is so stunning that just getting lost in the streets will lead to an amazing view, restaurant, or beach. However, you’re mostly likely there on a strict schedule and here’s the key spots you can’t miss.
La Piazetta and the Shops – The center of Capri! People gather here after dinner to people watch on the patios and drink. There’s live music and a great view of the sunset. This a great spot to start or end the night. There’s countless shops and gelato stands surrounding the center so keep wandering and following the paths! Or simply grab a seat and take it all in!
Boat Tour – Capri is even more breathtaking from the sea. You’ll be dying to get on a boat as soon as you see the bright blue water from the island. We used Capri Boat Service and they were wonderful! Through “WhatsApp,” (highly recommend downloading when traveling abroad) I was able to message with our driver a few days leading up to our tour. He completely tailored our trip to exactly what we wanted to see and do, so don’t settle for the tours that are on the website! Most boat services can dock anywhere, so just let them what you want to see. We did the full 8-hour day, which I recommend doing if you’re sailing to another “town.” We chose this day to see Positano (even told him we wanted 3 hours on land and he came back for us!), the Blue Grotto (A MUST), and Nerano (a quaint spot on the coast, we stopped here for ice cream). Our captain, Ivan, was so nice and accomodating and even brought champagne and wine on board!
La Fontalina Beach Club – The most famous beach club on Capri. Celebrity A-Listers come here to eat at the amazing restaurant and lounge under the iconic blue umbrellas. It’s extremely exclusive and requires a reservation at least 3 days in advance. We didn’t have one, but somehow met the lady in charge at one of the beach-side restaurants (look for the people wearing the white and blue polos) and she said we could hop on the next boat to Fontalina, as long as we didn’t mind not eating at the restaurant. This was perfect and I am so thankful it worked out! We had to rent the chairs and towels but it was so quaint and fun. Definitely a must if you can swing it!
Marina Picolla – This is the smaller marina on the south side of the island. It’s less busy and touristy than Marina Grande (where the ferries come in) and is so dreamy with a perfect view of the famous Faraglioni rocks. Bring a towel and post up on the beach or find a seat at any of the restaurants and soak up the view!
We took the ferry to Sorrento from Capri to finish off our last 2 days in Italy before venturing to Greece. Although we only spent 2 days here (which was plenty for us) I took notes of some spots to visit and places to dine.
Plaza Centre – We came here every day and spent hours shopping and getting lost in the streets. There are countless restaurants and shops, it’s pretty crazy! We did all of our shopping here for Italian leather purses, bags, shoes, and luggage, and even found a store selling all of the lemon things like cookies, olive oil, balsamic, and pastas!
Trattoria Restaurant – We didn’t get to eat here because we didn’t have a reservation and we were so upset! The restaurant is GORGEOUS and the menu looks divine. Make a reservation here in advance, you won’t regret it!
Ill Bucco – We stumbled upon this place for lunch and it was PERFECT for our first meal in Sorrento. It’s gourmet so it’s a little pricier, but we enjoyed sitting on the patio for hours and enjoying it the Italian way. Our server was extremely accommodating and even made us special, table-side cocktails. We took our time and enjoyed every course and all the wine. Our servers even met us out for Karaoke later that night! What to order: Ali Rose wine, cauliflower risotto, caprese salad, sea bass, ravioli, and the pistachio cannoli.
That’s all for now, friends! Please a drop a comment below if you have any recommendations for Capri or Sorrento, or have any questions regarding how to get there or where to stay. There’s truly nothing like the Italian culture and I can’t wait to visit again!