Amalfi Coast, Capri, Italy, Positano, Praiano, Travel
Leave a comment

MY GUIDE TO THE AMALFI COAST

I’ve been to Italy so many times that I might as well be an honorary Italian at this point lol. I am definitely an Amalfi Coast veteran by now- I have been going a few times a year since 2015, and it is my happy place and without a doubt my favorite place in the world.

I get tons of questions about the Amalfi Coast, so instead of answering each question individually I thought it would be best to write a blog post with all the info in one place! I will share logistics in getting from one place to another on the coast, as well as recommendations on where to stay, eat, and what to do.

BUT FIRST, if you want to check out my older posts from the Amalfi Coast from 2015/2016, check them out here: (and don’t judge, I’ve come a long way since these posts haha.  Sometimes  I want to update older posts to better format them because they look super amateur but I kind of like seeing my progression and progress through the years- there is something about keeping them the way they are that feels nostalgic).

Summer 2015

Summer 2016

Now, back to this blog post!

GETTING THERE

The most common way to get to the Amalfi Coast is through Naples. I usually get to Naples by train or car from Rome, or fly directly into Naples. Once you get to Naples the most efficient way to get to the coast is by taxi. It is not the most INEXPENSIVE way, meaning it’s pricey to take a taxi (approx 130 euro), but going by bus is not easy and doesn’t take you the whole way. A lot of people try to save money by taking a bus to Sorrento because it’s closer but you’ll end up paying close to 100 euro from there to get anywhere on the coast. Skip the headache and just take the taxi- it’s especially easier and more convenient with luggage.

There are so many places to visit on the Amalfi Coast. I have been to Sorrento, Positano, Praiano, Amalfi, Ravello and Minori. I have also visited the beautiful islands around the Gulf of Naples like Capri, Ischia, and Procida. I think all of those places are must see’s if you are a first timer in this region of Italy. There are places I like more than others but if you’ve never been, each town or island is worth visiting at least once.

When I quit my job at E! in 2015,  I wanted to try and travel for a living and spend 100% of my focus on my blog which I started back in 2009 even before I started working at E!. When I quit, the first place I wanted to travel to was Positano, so I booked a one-way ticket to Naples. I remember I got so excited because I found a direct $211 flight from NYC to Naples! I flew to NYC  first for a few days (my sister lived there at the time), then flew to Naples from there. Positano  was my first destination as a new full-time blogger! That is why the Amalfi Coast is sentimental for me and holds a special place in my heart, and why I always go back! I stayed in an Air B n’ B apartment in Positano the first time I went, and in the many times I’ve been to Positano since I have stayed in hotels like Villa Treville, Hotel Poseidon and a few other boutique hotels. Now when I visit the coast I stay in Praiano at a private villa (Praiano is a local town 15 minutes away from Positano and way less crowded). If I want to get to Positano, I take a boat taxi (less than 10 minutes) or regular taxi (15-20 minutes depending on traffic) for around 35 euro each way. Positano has gotten way more touristy since the first time I visited in 2015, and although I still love it, I prefer to stay on other parts of the coast now. You can see Positano in one day or less- it’s quite small and you can walk and explore the whole town in just a few hours, so its perfect for a day visit!

WHERE TO GO

POSITANO- Ohhh Positano. It’s still as magical as the first time. That’s how you know my love is real! As much as I wish this wasn’t the case, Positano has become overly touristy- I’ve seen such a significant change since my first time in 2015, and I can confidently say that because I have been back every year since, a few times each year. The charming little alleys in Positano have become bombarded with tourists, and the photogenic hotspots (because of Instagram) are crawling with people trying to get the money shot. The beach in the warm months was always packed but now it’s so expensive for a lounge chair and you can’t have a camera without someone coming up to you asking for money to even be allowed to shoot on the beach (which I totally understand). I blame people like myself for this, as well as other influencers but there is definitely pros and cons with Instagram and the travel/tourism industry. Obviously no one wants to see a beautiful place turned into an Instagram playground, but on the other hand Instagram really helped tourism on the Amalfi Coast. Bringing tourism is a good thing for the locals and the economy. The locals count on enough business during the busy season to last through their off season when the coast shuts down for half the year, and they can relax and take their holiday for a few months. It’s good to see tourism thrive, but for selfish reasons I want these local towns to stay undiscovered gems.

Aside from getting lost shopping in the alleys, spending time on the beach, or going out to eat in Positano, if you feel like a social scene you have Franco’s Bar next to Le Sirenuse which is perfect for sunset cocktails and good music, or if you really want to experience the night life, Music on The Rocks is the one and only famous club in Positano. Music is usually pretty good and the club is inside a rock formation over the water. I always have a blast there and get some dancing out of my system!

Top 3 5-star luxury hotels in Positano:

Le Sirenuse- I’m sure you’ve seen this hotel hundreds of times on IG. Le Sirenuse is a picturesque landmark hotel in Positano. Averages between $1500-3k a night depending on availability and time of year.

Villa Treville-I’ve stayed here for 3 nights and its a beautiful hotel that overlooks Positano from a very short distance. Moroccan and Italian inspired decor, this is one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever stayed!

Il San Pietro- Located about a 15 minute drive from the heart of Positano, this hotel is considered probably the nicest of all. It’s expensive but very beautiful!

There are so many other beautiful boutique hotels like Villa Boheme, Covo Dei Saraceni, Hotel Marincanto, Hotel Palazzo Murat, and Eden Roc etc. Lots of choices, as well as lots of Air B n’ B’s!!

Lots of people ask me where to eat in Positano- I will list my recommendations in the “WHERE TO EAT” section below.

PRAIANO- Praiano is a very special place for me and I’ve made some really great friends with some of the locals there. It is a small town right next to Positano with barely any tourists (although it’s starting to become discovered because Positano got way too crowded and crazy). If you choose to stay in Praiano it is in between Positano and Amalfi. Super close to Positano though- you can see Positano from Praiano and its less than 10 min by boat, and around 15 minutes in a taxi if there is no traffic. There is the beautiful St. Gennaro Church and cliffside hotels with views of Positano and Capri. There is also One Fire Beach in Praiano which is one of the most famous beach clubs on the coast. It’s just right below the villa I stay at. I always stay at the same villa when I go to Praiano, and I’ve been 5x now! It’s become one of my favorite places in the world and my happy place.

For night life in Praiano, there is a famous dance club called Africana that goes till early morning!

On where to eat, listing them in the food section below.

AMALFI- I have been to Amalfi a few times. Also touristy (like most places now on the coast), but you definitely need to visit at least once! I have never stayed in Amalfi, I always just go for the day and walk around, shop, eat and spend some time on the beach. Visit the beautiful Amalfi Cathedral,  it’s really beautiful inside.

You can see the whole town in just a few hours, so spending a half or full day there is perfect.

RAVELLO- A town situated above the Amalfi Coast in the Salerno province. It’s up in the mountains and best place to go when visiting Amalfi. I always suggest spending a half day in Amalfi and go to Ravello for the other half. It’s a small and charming town high up in the mountains with breathtaking views of the coast. Population is only around 2500 people.

Visit Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone in Ravello to see beautiful gardens and views of the coast.

GULF OF NAPLES (CAPRI, ISCHIA, PROCIDA)

I have visited Capri, Ischia and Procida- all islands in the Gulf of Naples.

Capri- Capri I’m not crazy about- it’s too touristy and a little too bougie for me but very beautiful nonetheless. Worth a visit if you’ve never been (at least go for the day). Take a cute open-air taxi or the tram to the center of town and walk around. Also La Fontelina is the “instagrammable” blue and white umbrella beachfront restaurant that you see tons of pictures of on Instagram. It’s gotten to be a little crazy and you need reservations to go now- also the food is mediocre and over priced. I prefer Marina Piccola on the other side of the island for a beach day. More locals and more chill, and the water is super beautiful! I suggest going around Capri by boat to visit the Blue Grotto and Faraglioni- the signature Capri rock formations out of the sea.

Ischia- I went to Ischia back in 2015 when I first landed in Naples with my one-way ticket! Ischia was actually the VERY FIRST place I went after I landed in Naples, even before going to Positano. I landed in Naples by myself, took a taxi to the ferry dock, and took a ferry to meet some friends on a yacht in Ischia! It was quite the trek to travel alone but made for good memories (I remember sleeping on the floor at the port at 6am waiting for my ferry to Ischia, after just landing in Naples from NYC, I was so tired!).

I just went to Ischia for the 2nd time recently this year and actually stayed for 2 nights on the island. I definitely recommend visiting this island because its beautiful and not super touristy. A lot of Italians come here on holiday from Naples so you see more Italians than tourists. Beaches are beautiful and there is lots to see!

Procida- I took a ferry to spend a day in Procida from Ischia. I absolutely fell in love with Procida, and it’s now one of my favorite places in Italy! I had the best day exploring and having lunch by the sea. Procida is an island full of fishermen so the seafood is freshly caught daily and so delicious. Such a charming and colorful island, and similar to Ischia in the fact that Italians come here on vacation or by boat for the day so I felt like most people were Italians and not  tourists. Such a gem!

Conca Del Sogno- This is a beachside restaurant in the Gulf Of Naples. It’s as happening place in the warm months (April-September), and the food is really good. It kind of turns into a party in the restaurant and the beach is so nice there too! Has such a Euro vibe- definitely worth as visit.

WHERE TO EAT ON THE COAST

Italy is one of my favorite FOOD countries, but you have to know where to eat. A lot of places are overpriced tourist traps with mediocre food. I am lucky to have home cooked meals by an Italian chef when I go to the coast because I stay in a private villa, but if you want to eat out, here are my recommendations:

Conca Del Sogno- (mentioned above). Take a day trip there and have lunch and spend the day on the beach!

Covo Dei Saraceni, Positano- Located on the beach in Positano in the Covo Dei Saraceni hotel. Food is a little expensive but one of the best restaurants in Positano.

Buca Di Bacco, Positano- I’ve been going here for years, and also on the beach in Positano. I am friends with the chef so I have a personal bias with this place, but the food is good and views of Positano are amazing. You can also take cooking class during the day in the restaurant kitchen! Also the best gelato in Positano is from here, a few steps up the alley from the restaurant ๐Ÿ™‚

Tre Sorelle, Positano- Located right next to Buca Di Bacco and also right on the beach. I think they have good pizza.

Carlino, Positano- Located in the Il San Pietro di Positano hotel on the beach level. Beautiful for lunch with stunning views of the sea. Also, the terrace of Il San Pietro is breathtaking to watch the sunset and have a cocktail- they make the best peach Bellini’s in the world with fresh squeezed peaches!

Kasai, Praiano- A fairly new restaurant in Praiano. Food is great!

Il Pirata, Praiano- Love this place, such a vibe! Located on a cliff over the sea with stunning views. Great to watch the sunset and have dinner.

Pasticceria Sal De Riso, Minori- Went to Minori for pizza! Minori is a cute, local town passed Amalfi. This place has good pizza and Minori is worth a visit!

ANNNNNDD THAT WRAPS UP MY GUIDE TO THE AMALFI COAST!

You can see lots of video content on my Italy highlights on my Instagram profile @NicoleIsaacs. (I have a lot of Italy highlights so make sure you watch all of them!). I tag every place I eat, and you can see a better glimpse at what I do when I’m on the coast.

xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *