The Amalfi Coast, and the area that surrounds it, is well known to be one of the most picturesque places in Europe. I’ve visited a few places in Italy- including Venice, Rome, Florence and Pisa- and there’s no doubt for me that the Amalfi Coast is the fairest of them all (to quote Disney!)
For my boyfriend’s grandad’s, aka Gamps, 90th birthday, he treated the whole family to a week in Italy. He hired an incredible villa near Sorrento overlooking Mt Vesuvius. It was a week in paradise. The area around Sorrento seemed to be the ideal place to base yourself for a trip around the Amalfi Coast as there’s easy access to lots of other Amalfi towns.
Day 1: Explore your Local Area
For us, the local town was Sant Agata. It’s a small town I’d never heard of before but I found it extremely cute and was very un-touristy. Most of the people we saw seemed to be locals. We saw a few weddings taking place there throughout the trip; I can imagine the wedding photos looked gorgeous in front of the impressive bell tower. Parts of the town even reminded me of France, just look at this blush pink building!
We also spent the first day enjoying the villa. I couldn’t believe we were staying somewhere so wonderful! We were overlooking mount Vesuvius.
Day 2: Hike the Coast
There are so many stunning trails to walk along in the Amalfi Coast that it’s hard to know which one to choose. We were going to walk the ‘Path of the Gods’ but as it was quite far away from our villa and part of it was closed, we decided to find somewhere more local. We started in a village called Termini and walked through other villages to get to a town called Nerano. From here we found a wonderful trail up alongside the cliff edge. There was stunning scenery the whole way and the colour of the water was mesmerising. Along the way we also saw a lot of geckos crossing our path. I was so happy we chose this hike in the end as it seems to be an unknown-to-tourists hike in the Amalfi Coast. You can read more about our hike here.
Day 3: Vesuvius and Naples
The easiest way to get to Vesuvius is from Pompeii. The owner of our villa, who happens to be a former formula one driver, offered to take us there as he was passing. From Pompeii we took a bus, then there is a half hour walk to the crater of Vesuvius. It was more impressive than I could have ever imagined; we could even see smoke coming from the crater.
We got the train from Pompeii to Naples where you can find the restaurant where the margarita pizza was invented! It’s a restaurant called ‘Brandi’ and the pizza there is out of this world! From Naples we then took a ferry back to Sorrento. I think we managed to travel on every form of transport apart from plane this day!
Day 4: Pompeii, Vineyards and Herculaneum
This was our second visit to the ruins of Pompeii (our previous visit was a few years ago) and it was equally as moving as the first time. Mount Vesuvius stood dormant for centuries until August 24th 79AD, when an aggressive eruption destroyed the city of Pompeii, killing thousands of people. I would highly recommend organising a guide around the ruins to fully explain what happened. You will see some homes, bakeries and shops still partly standing.
After this, we stopped in the largest vineyard in the Vesuvius region where we had lunch and tried a selection of wines which were very enjoyable! It was a shame to be sat inside though when there were such beautiful views around us.
Another city destroyed by the eruption was Herculaneum. This is a much smaller sight than Pompeii but I liked that you could see it from above before descending towards the ruins, it gave a sense of perspective which wasn’t possible at Pompeii. Here, we saw the bones of victims who tried to escape from the earthquakes and eruption. It is likely that they died from thermal shock, it was 300 degrees Celsius.
Day 5: Prositano and Sorrento
I’d seen so many colourful photos of Prositano that I was looking forward to seeing it for myself. Photos certainly don’t do it justice. The bus dropped us off above the city where there were beautiful views over the houses tumbling down the cliffs. I can see why the town attracts so many visitors as it was very picturesque. It was quite quiet from above but the actual town was covered with a sea of tourists.
From Prositano, we took the ferry to Sorrento with beautiful views along the coast. We spotted the route that we hiked the other day too. Sorrento is the perfect place for shopping in the Amalfi Coast (although I didn’t actually buy anything). There’s a lot of atmosphere walking through the busy streets filled with various shops including lots and lots of lemons for sale!
Day 6: Sailing around Capri
Because there were so many of us, we hired some boats to take us around Capri. We were given the option to queue for a few hours (and see the blue grotto for a few minutes!), but we decided we’d rather see more of the caves around Capri. In one of them, the way the rocks were formed looked like a heart and another was called the ‘green cave’ because the water displayed a deep emerald green colour.
We stopped at a restaurant and enjoyed this view for lunch. If you eat fish, there was plenty of fresh seafood available. I had a tomato pasta and it was delicious. The tomatoes taste completely different around Vesuvius.
Day 7: Pizza Making and Relaxing
Not many people visit Italy without trying pizza but how many have a pizza cooking class? At our villa we were able to create our own pizzas and see them placed in the magnificent pizza oven. I went for the traditional margarita pizza and, if I may say so myself, it was delicious.
Considering that we were in such a beautiful location, we wanted to spend most of the last day enjoying the villa. for me this was the perfect time to catch up on my reading. My favourite place to read was in this ‘bubble’ overlooking Mount Vesuvius. It was so blissful.
In this photo I’m wearing swimwear made out of recycled plastic! check out Batoko.
Would you like to visit the Amalfi Coast or have you already been? Let me know in the comments.