Welcome to Southern Italy’s Amalfi Coast. This is the notorious region where local lemons are iconic, gigantic yachts dock alongside paddled fishing boats, and colourful rows of umbrellas dot the beaches. The towns here are stacked tightly together and buildings appear as if they’re on the very ledge of rugged ridges.
Whether you’re soaking up panoramic views on a hike that’s high up the hills along the vineyards, or you’re down below swimming in the gentle sea - the Amalfi Coast is a place for any type of traveler who’s seeking La Dolce Vita. The Amalfi Coast is summer in an essence.
In this itinerary, you’ll experience the best of the Amalfi Coast; the highlights that make this region of Italy simply irresistible. While this itinerary is mapped out for 5 days, each stop is flexible to be longer or shorter - all depending on what you prefer! Get ready for scrumptious servings of tiramisu, the Mediterranean breeze, and lets andiamo! Curious? Follow me on Instagram and YouTube for more adventures!
Stop 1: Naples
Most travellers heading to the Amalfi Coast start their journey here, in Naples. While some may find the city chaotic, for Italy’s third-largest city, there’s much to love about this bustling, come-as-you-are port city. Mount Vesuvius is visible from the distance and if you're a foodie like us - this is the city to indulge. Did you know that it’s here in Naples that one of the world’s most beloved food - pizza, was invented? That’s right, you can’t visit this city without at least a slice (we won’t say anything if it’s a whole personal pie either).
Here's a list of some of our favourite pizzerias:
- Gino e Toto Sorbillo (prepare for a wait as there's often a queue to be seated - but the mozzarella pizza is well worth the time in line)
- Pizzeria Da Attilio (the real deal! Timeless restaurant that has been around for over 80 years. Check out the star shaped pizzas with cheese-stuffed crust)
- L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele (super well known for its Elizabeth Gilbert's famed novel and movie - Eat, Pray, Love! Don't worry, the classic margarita pizza here still lives up to the hype)
Aside from the spectacular food scene (don't forget seafood is major for this port city too) Naples has great sights to visit as well. After all, this city was a long-standing kingdom for centuries before the unification of Italy! Via San Gregorio Armeno is an alleyway in the old town that has retained much of its traditions and energy. Also known as “Naples Christmas Alley”, the street is filled with artisan boutiques and souvenirs of the nativity scene. It may look bizarre outside of the Christmas season, but it goes to show how the Christmas magic is year-round. For a great dose of local life in Naples, head to Piazza Vincenzo Bellini. In this square, you’ll find all walks of life, from students getting their fill of aperol-spritz to old-age locals soaking up the day on the terrace.
On the other side of the city is the more regal Piazza del Plebiscito. Step back into ancient times as you’re surrounded by neo-classical architecture and the Royal Palace of Naples. The architecture here is one that people don’t often associate with Naples, but it really goes to show how many different civilizations and cultures have made their mark on this city over the centuries. Also in the heart of historic Naples is the Sansevero Chapel Museum, filled with jaw-dropping detailed marble sculptures housed in a baroque beauty of a building. In the museum, do not miss out on the Veiled Christ (1752) sculpture by Giuseppe Sanmartino - the elegant smoothness of how the marble was chiseled to create a cascading drape effect is simply legendary.
Where to Stay in Naples:
Budget - South Hands
Mid-range - Dimora Donna Elena
Luxury - Relais Della Porta
Stop 2: Amalfi, Atrani, Ravello
The Amalfi Coast can be explored in a day, or spread leisurely across multiple days depending on how much time you have. There are multiple ways to get to Amalfi, the namesake town of the Amalfi Coast. You can take a direct ferry from Naples, take a regional train to Salerno, or drive the jaw-dropping route from Naples. If you choose to get behind the wheel, you’ll get to experience one of the most thrilling yet beautiful roads - a twisty ride that bends on hairpins around cliffs also known as the Costiera Amalfitana (SS163). It’s a 60km stretch that will give you a glimpse of the best views before reaching the towns themselves. They say the journey is the destination and this coastal drive proves it, just make sure to keep your eyes on the road! If you don't have your own vehicle, renting a car for the trip would be the best option.
Once you’ve reached the town of Amalfi, let the seaside beauty come over you. Duomo di Amalfi is an architectural gem that overlooks the great steps where people often sit enjoying their gelatos. Rightfully so, as it’s the prime people-watching spot of the town. Next to the duomo is Chiostro del Paradiso, a tranquil garden cloister. When you just want a quiet spot from the summer heat and crowd, this garden is perfect for those take breather moments. Though like most Italian towns, walking is like a past-time itself, and should not be missed out on to enjoy the medieval charm all around you. Though it may feel like a small town, it’s still one of the biggest on the Amalfi Coast.
After exploring Amalfi, the next quaint village over is Atrani. If you’ve seen postcards of the Amalfi Coast, the Spiaggia di Atrani is often what you’ll see. That’s the irresistible beach with multiple bulls-eye pattern umbrellas. There are plenty of beaches dotted along the coastline, and this one is a favourite amongst the locals. The village dominates high above the beach, with the turquoise water of the Tyrrhenian Sea below. It’s just as gorgeous in person, whether you want to spend time on the beach or walk through the narrow alleys to get to Collegiate Santa Maria Maddalena. There, the church peers over the sea, acting as a beacon for the fishing village. The church doesn’t stand out as much as other Italian churches, but the small alleyways of Atrani is definitely a lovely leisure stroll to get a sense of how the locals there live.
The final main town to explore is Ravello - high above the limestone cliffs, with majestic terraced gardens overlooking the coast. Now, you may have been overstimulated visually with the never-ending beauty of the Amalfi Coast, but this may not be a surprise that Ravello just adds another cherry on top of all this beauty. Literally on top, since it’s 350 meters above sea level compared to the other towns right on the water. The town has deep cultural and musical traditions, hosting the RavelloFestival during the summer as well as other arts and music events. It’s no wonder that Ravello has inspired many creatives through the ages, from Virginia Woolf to Tennesse Willams. Roaming around the town feels like one is on a well-curated Italian holiday - with sights of luxurious villas, decorative plazas, and breathtaking coastal views one after the other. Another thing we love about Ravello is the many parks and green spots to just sit on a bench and take in the gentle breeze. Giardini Principessa di Piemonte is one of these gardens, where you can't help but smile at the abundance of flowers and take in just how high up you really are, from the view of the mountains in the distance.
Where to Stay on the Amalfi Coast:
Budget - Residenza Gennaro
Mid-range - Domus Gaia
Luxury - Amalfi Resort
Stop 3: Positano
If you haven’t taken a boat trip around Amalfi Coast yet - we'd highly recommend taking a direct ferry from Amalfi to Positano. It will give you the same feeling! The ferry runs every half an hour and takes up to 25 minutes to shuttle you to the next town by sea. Stand on the upper deck and take in the soaring mountains and the town’s historical skyline as the ferry zooms out of the port.
Pulling up into Positano is another great feeling to be watching its notable pastel colour buildings stacked on-top of one another coming into close range. This is the iconic skyline and the jewel that shimmers from it is the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta. Its majolica-tile dome sparkles over the town, while the pebble beachfront is famous in its own right. Positano is a bit of a star on the Amalfi Coast scene, popular with celebrity sightings and unfortunately, the crowd that comes with it. If possible explore the town early in the day or in the evening when you can get more of the streets to yourself. Otherwise, a day at the beach is just as fun, with multiple beach clubs to choose from.
Where to Stay in Positano:
Budget - Positano BB
Mid-range - La Caravella di Positano
Luxury - Imperati Suites by Alcione Residence
Stop 3: Sorrento
Take it from us, no Amalfi Coast trip would be complete without visiting Sorrento. While not truly on the Amalfi Coast, the highway drive of Costiera Amalfitana (SS163) does start from Sorrento. The historical city itself is perched on a tranquil bay, wonderful for sunsets and vast lookouts of the sea. There’s a romance to the city, with cafes speckled on Via Correale and atmospheric lemon groves that will make your camera ache to take a photograph.
The 14th-century arches of Chiostro di San Francesco is like a cloister out of a fairytale. With an abundance of ivy growing everywhere, colourful flowers and a host to art exhibitions in the summer, it’s a little knook of Sorrento that will make you forget what year you’re in. Then nextdoor there’s St.Francis Church and Convent, with sacred artworks like the must-see painting of the Madonna and the pregnant Magdalene. Perhaps it’s the sea breeze or the old world feeling of Sorrento’s classic architecture, but the town feels like it’s made for one to get lost and wander around in.
Where to Stay in Sorrento:
Budget - Casarufolo Paradise
Mid-range - Mediterranean Suites - Old Town
Luxury - Grand Hotel Riviera
Stop 4: Capri
Curious about a full Capri itinerary? Check out our in-depth Capri itinerary here!
Only a 20-minute ferry ride from Sorrento is an Italian island as ethereal as it is sublime. A place for lovers, a place to indulge, a place rooted in hedonism, and an island that praises beauty - Capri is no stranger to the spotlight. This is a bonus destination that is too close to the Amalfi Coast for you to miss out on!
There are multiple facets of Capri - there’s the glitzy jetsetters that flock to Piazzetta di Capri for a negroni, then there are the yachts anchored in the Marina Grande. Now, we all know Capri can also be known for its overcrowdedness - especially during the peak of summer. Still, it’s an island that has a little bit of everything for everyone. There’s Anacapri, a commune away from the central hub of the island, where it’s known for being more laid back and timeless. Anacapri is definitely the spot to base yourself in if you want a quieter Capri.
The Blue Grotto itself is an island’s treasure, take a little paddle boat into a glowing blue sea cavern for a sight to behold. It’s a really thrilling boat journey, as you have to duck down to get swooped into the cave by high water. But once you’re in, you’ll realize why the Blue Grotto is so beloved - the glowing blue of the water feels like absolute magic.
Another really can’t miss it spot on the island of Capri is Villa Jovis. This place will take you back to ancient Roman times with its ruins of a grand palace overlooking the sea. It’s a bit of a walk to get to, but you pass through lanes of private villas fit for royalty. Feel free to peer through the gilded gates, as the architecture from the outside is equally stunning. Then at Villa Jovis, imagine emperor Tiberius ruling from the same ground from AD 27 to AD 37. You’ll be walking directly in the same footsteps of history! Close by is Parco Astarita, a quaint gem with several observation spots looking out to the other side of the bay. This is where you’ll see boats bob up and down in the sea as well as a more secluded side to Capri.
Now for an island that has limitless viewpoints, where’s one that would surely conquer them all? Head to Monte Salero, a mountain in the centre of Capri at an elevation of 589 meters. To get to the top of the mountain, take the wobbly wooden chairlift up. We promise you it’s not as scary as it looks! Like a ski lift, the steep ride up is a spectacular way to look over the island of Capri and into the glittering sea. On top of Monte Salero is the highest point of the island, as well as a full panoramic point. This is where you can see full view of the Bay of Naples, the Sorrento peninsula as well as the famous Faraglioni, which is Capri's famous towering rock formations jutting from the sea. Breathe in - and enjoy!
While this is only a short bonus Capri itinerary, our full itinerary for Capri can be explored here.
Where to Stay in Capri:
Budget - La solara
Mid-range - Villa Helios
Luxury - Capri Palace Jumeirah
Map of Amalfi Coast, Italy:
Want to see all the stops and destinations planned out?
Check out a map of the itinerary here: