Wanderlust Series: Amalfi Coast
Wanderlust Series: Amalfi Coast. Welcome to my new series, Wanderlust! These posts include full itineraries of dream vacations that you have submitted, the wonderful followers! This first post is the itinerary of my dream vacation to Italy for my 40th birthday. If you have been on a fabulous trip, share your full itinerary with me so we can see beautiful places around the world!
Before I get too much farther, I want to share that it rained for the whole second half of our trip. So, several things we had planned got canceled, and my husband experienced some weird stomach things so there were a few bumps along the way. I have still included my thoughts on what we did, and linked my favorite spots for you!
Our itinerary looked like this:
Day 1: Travel day to Italy. This was a long day with planes, trains, and automobiles! We started by flying from Atlanta to Newark and onto Italy. My husband is not a patient traveler, so we decided to fly into Naples directly rather than Rome. This was not the best idea, primarily because we had wanted to do some shopping, but we didn’t realize that Naples wasn’t as safe as we would like and definitely not as pretty as Rome. We would have appreciated a day of shopping and seeing Rome over Naples. So, we know for next time!
Day 2: On this day, we transferred from Naples to Ravello. We stayed at the Caruso Hotel while in Ravello. The Caruso Hotel enjoys a breathtaking cliff-top position overlooking the crystal waters of the Amalfi Coast. This elegant and spacious hotel is the ideal base to explore romantic Ravello’s cultural delights. In addition to being so beautiful, it is also called the city of music! The Caruso is a favorite of discerning globetrotters and I have to agree. Just 50 guest rooms and suites make it so intimate; most rooms have a sea view, terrace, or private garden. We loved staying here!
Day 3: Ravello is one of the most beautiful places in the world! Our hotel was at the top of the city, so it was a lovely walk down to the bustling city center. Lovely cafes and shops surround the town square, so you can spot local kids playing soccer and having fun. Chiesa Dell’Annunziata and Villa Rufalo were two of the historical sites that we enjoyed visiting. Strolling in and out of stores, and taking scenic pictures along the way made our time in Ravello relaxing and very enjoyable.
Day 4: We transferred to Praiano and we stayed at the hotel Casa Angelina. With its laid-back contemporary luxury, clean white-on-white palette, and stellar private art collection, Casa Angelina displays all the right cues. In addition to this feel, it has 42 rooms with spectacular views of the Amalfi Coast, from Positano to Capri. Book the Eaudesea Experience rooms on the small La Gavitella Beach for the most iconic stay. These rooms are set in old fishermen’s houses forged from the rock and accessible via an elevator, however there are about 200 stairs. Casa Angelina is next door to Positano, a 10 minute drive or less; you can also take a water taxi too.
Day 5: We spent this day at the Marisa Cuomo winery. While the views are beautiful, I would skip this winery. We were visiting during the grape harvest so it was very hands-on-deck for the employees, which meant there was no customer service. The tour was also limited, we saw the caves they store the grapes in, but that is a very small space and that was about it. The vineyards in Tuscany are better in my opinion. That evening we took a short drive into Positano and had a lovely dinner at Chez Black, it was hands down one of my favorite restaurants of the whole trip. Pure Magic!!
Day 6: Have a good breakfast at Hotel Casa Angelina so you are ready for your hike! A private English-speaking driver will meet you in the hotel lobby and transfer you to Bomerano. We hired an English-Speaking guide to hike up the Path of the Gods with us. This hike is appropriately named; the spectacular scenery en route is worth the sweat! During your hike, you will have a magnificent view of the Amalfi Coast and the Island of Capri that will leave you breathless. I wish we could have done this, however the weather made us cancel our plans.
Day 7: We transferred to Sorrento on this day. We stayed at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria. Owned by the Fiorentino family since 1834, it is said to be on the site of a villa owned by Emperor Augustus! This renowned five-star luxury hotel is perched atop the cliffs. It has a spectacular view of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Beautiful gardens and a five-acre orange grove surround the hotel, so they make their own delicious treats. The hotel gifted us with a small jar of delicious orange marmalade and I loved every bite!
This hotel has a beautiful marble swimming pool that features a water massage area and a sophisticated system for swimming against the flow for exercise. There is also the new Holistic Centre La Serra, offering exclusive rituals and treatments to purify the body and soothe the senses. The poolside restaurant had delicious wood-fire pizzas on their menu, and we were lucky to get of sunshine one afternoon. We did not experience their spa, but it did look wonderful, and I would add that to my list.
Day 8: A boat tour is the most popular thing to do in Sorrento. Sadly, due to the weather we did not have the opportunity. The city center of Sorrento is touristy, so we spent most of our time on the grounds of our hotel. It gave the most gorgeous views of the Gulf of Naples, so we weren’t mad about it! On this day my husband was under the weather for 24 hrs and needed rest. I had a solo day and went on a tour and walked around visiting cafes and reading books I brought.
Day 9: This day’s trip was going to be the highlight of our trip. We had a private boat for a full day exploring the coast and Capri. Sadly, the weather was so bad we had to cancel our boat and I was completely devastated. One of the top places I wanted to go was La Fontelina. It has dunes and white umbrellas, so you have probably seen it all over instagram. That just means that we will have to try it again! Exploring the Blue Grotto will happen in the near future, too!
Day 10: When we left Sorrento to head back to Naples, we were going to spend the day exploring Pompeii. It is an ancient Roman village destroyed by volcanic dust, and we booked a guided tour of the ruins and excavation (approx. time 2 hours). The mixture of art, architecture, and nature will leave you breathless! It was, of course raining again, so that history lesson will have to wait for our next trip as well.
Day 11: Travel day back home! If we had flown out of Rome instead of Naples I would have taken my husband past a few sites while out shopping including a stop by the Trevi Fountain. I have been to Rome a couple times and the shopping is incredible. We flew out of Naples instead and did see some lovely shops in town, but sometimes you can’t anticipate a shops hours and several of the cutest ones were closed for no reason. We had a lovely stay in Naples regardless and now I can at least say I’ve been there!