The Amalfi coast is undoubtedly one of the most stunning parts of Europe.
Stretching from Naples and hugging the coast around to Salerno, it is the perfect place to enjoy a Italian road trip. Along the way there are a number of cities and towns which make for the perfect stop-off points, not to mention the glorious scenery of this corner of Italy. Driving between each town takes less than an hour, making it a great place for a fly-drive holiday.
Naples is the perfect place to start your Amalfi adventure, with a couple of nights in the capital of the Campania region. It is a hugely proud and passionate place which can chart its history back to the sixth and seventh centuries. Such is the prestige of Naples that its centre was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is home to the most historical and monumental churches in the world with 448 dotted across the city. This makes the Duomo an absolute must when looking for attractions, as are the Piazza del Gesú and Piazza S. Domenico Maggiore, which are some of most extravagant Baroque churches.
No visit to Naples is complete without sampling its famous pizza. The Neapolitan pizza is regarded as being the best in the whole of Italy, so it would be rude not to indulge in a slice or two. Delicious pizza in the city can be found at Da Michele on Via Sersale or Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente on Via Tribunali.
Fuelled with authentic Neapolitan pizza, you are ready to explore the rest of the Amalfi coast.
Picture moment: The Posillipo district provides great views of Mount Vesuvius.
Drive from Naples to Pompeii: Leaving Naples take the A3 following the signs to Pompeii, passing Mount Vesuvius. Turn off at Via Plinio/SS18 and drive to Via Antonio Morese.
Leaving Naples you will pass the imposing sight of Mount Vesuvius and will naturally think of Pompeii. It would be a great shame to tour the Amalfi coast without visiting one of the most iconic towns in Italy.
The story of Pompeii’s fate is one of tragedy when the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD killed 3,000 people and covered the town in ash and soot. Nowadays, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and welcomes visitors from all over the world.
It can be a somewhat surreal experience walking around the ruins of the evacuated area. The amphitheatre, which could hold as many as 20,000 people, has an eerie feel, despite being a tourist attraction. The Basilica, Temple of Apollo and Roman Baths all bear the scars of the deadly eruption.
A night or two in Pompeii will provide you with enough time to explore the area.
Picture moment: Head to the Basilica Pompeii.
Drive from Pompeii to Sorrento: Head onto Strada Statale 145/SS145 from Via Antonio Morese following it to Corso Marion Crawford in Sant’Agnello. Turn off at Via Bernardino Rota following Via Aniello Califano and Via Correale to Piazza Torquato Tasso in Sorrento.
The coastal road out of Pompeii will take you south into the heart of the Amalfi region. Around an hour away is the town of Sorrento. This part of Campania has become a favourite with holidaymakers due to its beautiful scenery and impressive architecture, so why not spend three nights here to take it all in?
It is a place steeped in history and has become the refuge of many a famous artist, such as Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen. Sorrento was a popular haunt of Ibsen who spent time in the town while writing parts of Peer Gynt (1867) and Ghosts (1881). The cultural side of the area does not stop there as it is home to the Museo Correale di Terranova picture gallery and a Duomo.
However, if you are looking to simply unwind then head down to Naples Bay for a relaxing swim in the tranquil waters. You can even hop on a boat that will take you to the Isle of Capri.
Here you can visit the famous Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto), a beautiful cave used as a bath during the Roman times. You will be amazed by how turquoise the lagoons are as you float along in your own rowing boat. Away from the caves in Capri you can shop like a celebrity in the many high-end outlets on the island.
Picture moment: Villa Comunale offers glorious views over Sorrento.
Driving from Sorrento to Positano: Take Piazza Torquato Tasso heading towards Via Fuorimura. Join Corso Italia to Piano and after three kilometres you will reach a roundabout. Carry straight on to Strada Provinciale Mortora S. Liborio before turning left onto Via Meta – Amalfi.
A short drive from Sorrento is the picturesque town of Positano. Perched on an enclave on the face of a hill, its geography provides a cooling breeze especially in the summer months.
It is fair to say that Positano is considered to be more of a seaside resort with visitors stopping off to enjoy the relaxing beaches, making a night’s stay the ideal amount of time in the town.
Positano has two main beaches – Fornillo and Spiaggia. If you are looking for a little seclusion away from the main tourist attractions then opt for Fornillo which is accessible by a path from the larger Spiaggia Grande.
You can watch the world go by with a limoncello in hand. This lemon liqueur is produced predominantly in the region around the Gulf of Naples and can be bought in any one of four beachside bars.
Picture moment: Head to the harbour at sunset for the perfect end to the day.
Drive from Positano to Ravello: Take Via Guglielmo Marconi out of Positano before joining the SS163. This coastal road continues for 16 kilometres before taking a left onto Strada Statale following the signs for Ravello.
The final stop on our adventure of the Amalfi coast is Ravello. Around 25 kilometres along the coast from Positano, the town is much more peaceful than its other counterparts along the coastline. It provides stunning views over the Mediterranean along with a number of impressive structures.
Anyone visiting Ravello should ensure they take a look at Villa Cimbrone. This historic building dates back to the 11th century and became famous thanks to its belvedere, the Terrazzo dell’Infinito.
Over the years it has undergone numerous changes, most notably by Ernest William Beckett in the early 20th century. The gardens are open to the public and make for a beautifully scenic day out.
A trip to Ravello is a gastronomic adventure with the town producing some delicious food. One dish in particular that you must try is the veal scaloppini, which is marinated in a deeply rich sauce. Other specialities include cheese crepes, fish stew and don’t forget the truly sumptuous wine, native to the region.
Ristorante Confalone on Via San Giovanni del Toro, Babel Wine Bar Deli & Art on Via Trinita and Ristorante Raffaele dell’Hotel Parsifal on Viale Gioacchino D’Anna all serve some delectable cuisine.
Picture moment: Ristorante Confalone provides spectacular views and tasty food.
Touring the Amalfi coast is a truly wonderful experience, so why not check it out for yourself? Start your trip from Naples this summer.