Just an hour south of Napoli is one of the most breathtaking views to Sorrento. Renting a car is quite simple, and for Americans, all of the driving rules are the same: the wheel is on the left side and the car is driven on the right side of the road. Except for the fact that rules don’t really apply to drivers in Italy. Italians keep their focus on the road and eyes directed on what’s in front of them, not necessarily all around. The reflection of the sun glistening on the water with the sound of Dean Martin’s soft voice in the background sets the ambiance for the evening. After a long drive through the mountains, you may find yourself craving something refreshing. Luckily, Sorrento is known for its abundant lemon production. I highly recommend stopping at I Giardini di Cataldo for a lemon sorbet in a brioche, the original ice cream sandwich, if you want to do it like the locals do. Or for adults, a sweet and citrusy shot of limoncello. To really make the most of this moment, you’re able to book a Lemon Tour of the garden. After this, you may be ready to curb your hunger and find a spot to eat. This area is bustling with quaint but cute shops and a myriad of delicious dinner options.
If you got an early start and have time for one more city, you may want to stop in Pompei, an ancient city in Italy, on your way to Sorrento or on your way back. Historically known for its volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Pompei is a vast archeological site featuring its preserved ruins for visitors to freely explore. Make sure to plan enough time for the drive back. You’ll want to be well rested for another trip to the Amalfi Coast.
Next stop, Positano. Although accessible by car, you may want to consider getting to Positano by ferry. Personally, the ease of taking the ferry is what made my travel experience so smooth and the port is located right in the city center of Napoli if your hotel is nearby. Positano is a colorful, small beach town sitting on the Amalfi Coast. Bring a towel or rent a chair for the day and spend a couple hours soaking up the hot summer sun to achieve the bronze Italian glow you’ve been craving.
The coast is named after the town of Amalfi. Accessible from Napoli by car, ferry, or water taxi from Positano. After spending the day in Positano, you won’t want to miss the iconic Amalfi. Be sure you get an early start so you have plenty of time to experience both! The ferries tend to depart early in the day and return early in the evening (although, I wouldn’t mind being stranded in either place). Visit the artistic detailing of the Duomo di Amalfi followed by an aperitivo for a limoncello spritz with a sunset view of the coastline, and try its classic “frutti di mare” incomparable pasta dish. Italians always like to end on a sweet note, so grab a gelato to-go as a grand finale.
5. Capri and Anacapri
Sailing through the clear blue waters of the Gulf of Napoli, you’ll find yourself in Capri, my personal favorite. You’ll want to dedicate a whole day to see all of Capri. Upon arrival, purchase a ticket to tour the Caves of Capri. Most famous for Grotta Azzurra (“Blue Grotto”), passing through Grotta Verde (“Green Grotto”), and Grotto Bianco (“White Grotto”). Its grand villas and immaculate coastal views of Faraglioni is where you’ll sail under l’acro dell’amore, and share a kiss if you wish. Once you return, you may want to stop for a panino and head to the sound of waves and rocky beach. Before the day comes to an end, you won’t want to miss Anacapri. The prefix “ana” meaning “up” or “above” signifies the higher elevation point than Capri. The tranquility of Anacapri contrasts its hustling sister town. There are many local stores to shop around and tasteful places to dine. For hikers, there’s a path that leads you to the highest point of the mountain, overlooking the treasured island. For leisure, you can take a €6 chair lift (each way) up to the top and back down to watch the sunset shimmer over the water. To return back to the port, you have the option of taking a private taxi, public bus, or my recommendation is taking the stairs from Anacapri back down to Capri as a once in a lifetime experience.
Napoli, Sorrento, and Pompei can be done in one day and Amalfi, Positano, and Capri can be done in another. However, if you want to maximize your trip, spend one day in each city to check off your bucket list and fulfill the desires of your heart