Italy in July and in summer is always busy but I had fantastic time with excellent weather, amazing food and great company! Liz, Wendy and I travelled through Naples, Pompeii (with a stop to see Vesuvius), Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi. The coastline is absolutely stunning and I highly recommend it!
We flew into Naples from Split and was only there for a night to base ourselves. We stayed at Grand Hotel Europa in a 3 person room which was very cheap and 100m from the train station. The area itself is really dodgy but because we were going to get an early train out of here, it was well worth staying here in terms of convenience and location.
For dinner, we tried to get into L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele but the lines were ridiculous! So we headed to nearby Pizzeria Tutino dal 1935. The restaurant wasn’t busy but the pizzas were large and delicious! We shared the bufala mozzarella and quattro formaggi one.
The next morning, we took the 6am train to Pompeii. We put our bags in storage at a nearby shop for €2 and then caught the 8:10am bus to Vesuvio. It took around 30 minutes up. The ticket office opened at 9am and the ticket cost €10. It only took 30 minutes up despite reading other blogs and reviews saying it took a long time. We were back in less time than that. The volcanoes weren’t as impressive as I thought it would be but the views across city were worthwhile.
We got the bus back down then explored the ruins in Pompeii. This area is massive and you could spend a whole day here. However, we only spent a couple of hours here as it was getting quite hot. We didn’t get a guide but I would recommend getting one to know what you are looking at. It was hard to tell what was an original ruin or what had been reconstructed.
We had a quick lunch at Hostaria Plinio and then headed back to get our bags and walked to Pompeii Scavana Circumvesuviana to Sorrento. I would definitely recommend storing your bags here instead of the main station if you are heading to Sorrento as we had to walk another 15 minutes there and back in the heat to the main station.
We arrived at Sorrento and stayed at a nice B&B which was central to Sorrento.
We went to L’Antica Trattoria for dinner and the restaurant was so beautifully designed. It was basically restaurant “goals”. We got complimentary prosecco and a ricotta profiterole then we had zucchini flowers, sea bass and the highlight being the Tagliolini Antica Trattoria which was a linguine with lemon cream sauce, red prawns, lumpfish on creamed spinach. It was so, so good!
Afterwards, we went to get ice cream and go for a walk. The shopping here is great with all the nice ceramics and clothing shops, with the famous lemons. Lemons are the essence and flavour found in every dish in this area. I would recommend shopping in Sorrento for your goods as Positano and other more touristy parts of the Amalfi coast are more expensive.
I went to Bagni Delfino near the Marina Grande area and met up with my two old work friends, Joy and Nina. It was great to catch up and we had limoncello shots.
The Amalfi Coast has thirteen different towns and we were able to explore Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. They are all perched amongst breathtaking cliffs and the scenery is stunning.
Positano is probably one of the most famous and touristy towns on the Amalfi Coast so it’s not a cheap place to be. We stayed at Hotel Savoia and were paying around £200 a night. However, it is super picturesque and I loved it here.
When we arrived, we went to check out the beach and relaxed and swam. We had a light lunch and then Liz and I had a cooking class which was a gift from our friends. It was super fun and we made margherita pasta, eggplant parmigiana, pesto gnocchi and a chocolate tart. We also had prosecco on arrival and wine with our early dinner.
Afterwards, we went to Franco’s for cocktails and got to enjoy the views from the bar.
The next day, after our hotel breakfast, we chilled and walked around the town. For lunch, we went to La Tagliata which is located just past Montepertuso and before Nocelle. Getting around is easy on the Amalfi Coast with the “Sita” buses as well as the smaller “Mobility” buses, so we were easily able to get here but you need to mindful of the timetables as they don’t come often and in peak, they can get very packed. La Tagliata is an amazing family run restaurant with fresh produce, no menu and breathtaking views over Positano. We ate til our hearts were content!
We decided to stay a night in Amalfi and this town was definitely more quieter than Positano. The duomo here has beautiful bronze detailing and magnificent architecture.
We caught the bus from Amalfi to Ravello which takes around 30 minutes. There are numerous villas in Ravello and we visited Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone. Villa Rufolo was over 3 floors and has a chapel and beautiful garden overlooking the sea. The highlight was Villa Cimbrone with its Roman and English influences including the historical monuments and gardens. It is said to be the most “beautiful garden in the world”. The infinity terrace with its statues that overlook the sea is breathtaking.
We had lunch at Mimi Pizzeria which had a nice garden outside and shared pizzas and pasta.
Afterwards, we caught the bus back to Amalfi and went to the beach for a quick, refreshing swim then went to C.I.C.A and got the calamari and prawns cones for dinner. We went to Andrea Pansa and got a cannoli which was so delicious! Liz and I then went to Enoteca Il Protontino for a glass of rose to end the night.
We again used Naples as a base for my last night before flying back to London early morning. For our last dinner, we went to 50 Kalo Di Ciro Salvo which was a great pizza spot and the only one that we could find that was open on a Sunday night. It’s good to note that a lot of restaurants close after lunch on Sunday’s so plan accordingly.
We had an amazing time in Italy and it was great to finally tick off the Amalfi Coast off my bucket list. I love Italy for it’s food, culture and amazing scenery and I will be back in no time!