Summer is probably the most awaited period of the year, days are longer, the air is lighter fulfilled by flowers perfumes, kids play in the streets… this year we dedicated our holidays to Italy.
Due to our jobs we didn’t have a lot of free time to spend on vacation but if you plan well and in advance nothing is impossible. I started to organize this trip around May and, as usual, I didn’t want to skip anything, my intention was to see, learn, experience the most out of my beautiful country, Italy.
Napoli, Sorrento, Capri, Positano, Amalfi, Minori, Maiori, Ravello, Cetara, Vietri…here explained my 4 days trip.
Destination of the worldwide elite, with its exclusive locations and beaches the Costiera Amalfitana is a must, on everyone’s summer wishlist… L’mon!
Our journey started from Naples the 7th of August where we rented our brand new Fiat 500, I love this car, small and comfortable at the same time, it was the perfect transportation for this kind of trip considering the super narrow and curvy streets all over the coast, without mentioning the difficulty to find parking everywhere.
DAY 1: SORRENTO
About an hour from Naples, we arrived to Sorrento the starting point of our road trip. When we think about Sorrento the first elements that pops in our minds are…lemons, lemons and again lemons of course and this is the reason why I decided to dedicate my first article of the blog to this town and make it the key stop during our vacation. We rented a very nice and central apartment, we weren’t looking for anything special but this tiny, fully equipped room-apt definitely satisfied our expectations. Dropped our bags we started immediately to explore: Sorrento is famous for its incredible Limoncello, a liquor made out of lemon peel worldwide famous, its ceramics, lacework and of course, food! Passing by Piazza Tasso, the central square of Sorrento, we reached trough an evocative stairway Marina Piccola, a very small port where we had dinner overlooking the sea, the atmosphere was pure magic.
DAY 2: CAPRI
8 a.m, Marina Grande, the main port of Sorrento, cappuccino to go on one hand and ferry tickets on the other we are ready to meet the queen of the Amalfi Coast: Capri.
Framed by the Tyrrhenian sea this island is a true jewel. Reached the pier we catch the first funicular to reach the centre which overlook the entire island from the very top. Arrived in Piazza Umberto I we stopped for a must coffe at the Famous Da Alberto pastry and with the second coffe on the veins we started to explore the small streets that runs all over the island. Beside the heat we made to the Arco Naturale following a guided path with breathtaking views. For the rest of the day we decided to rent a small typical boat the Lancia Caprese to admire the island from another perspective. Thanks to this choice we were able to see the major attractions of the island such as the Grotta Verde, Grotta Bianca, the Faro of Punta Carena and the great Faraglioni, the three spurs of rocks which rise up out of the sea.
14.30 pm it’s lunch time! The chic white-and-blue one-star Michelin Il Riccio restaurant, inside the Capri Palace, Anacapri, was waiting for us. Set on a cliff with sea access via a staircase that zigzags down to water’s edge Il Riccio prepares out-of-this-world raw and cooked seafood delicacies paired with top Italian and international wines. For the pastries lovers the dessert buffet is simply heaven.
17 pm time to aperitivo and on our way back to the port of course I stopped by one of the amazing hand made sandals shops and I customized my very own pairnin less than 20 minutes. Happy, bellyful and a little drunk we were back in Sorrento an amazing dinner was waiting for us in Vico Equense, a small town on the Gulf of Naples: La Torre del Saracino owned by the two-stars Michelin chef Gennaro Esposito, see more details here.
DAY 3: LA CONCA DEL SOGNO
The name says it all, “the lock of dreams” is a beach club restaurant situated in Nerano This mediterranean paradise is, in my opinion, one of the most seducing bays of the Amalfi Coast with its emerald sea, white pebbles, green-tinted rocks… an intense experience of well-being among the natural terraces overlocking the crystal clear water and the beach waiting for a fiery sunset. At the point where the Monti Latteri start to slope down towards the sea, we meet our next point of interest: Punta Campanella which links the Sorrentine Peninsula with the Amalfi Coast. Sooner we were ready to explore the last stop of the day: Baths of Regina Giovanna, (Bagni della Regina Giovanna), is the curious name for an emerald pool of seawater enclosed by limestone cliffs and a rocky beach. Hike to a nearby archeological site for a great place to watch the sunset over the Bay of Naples. The protected pool is separated by a natural archway from the open sea. It is named after Giovanna d’Angiò, the legendary queen from Naples. Queen Joan of Anjou, as she is known in English, frequently used this triangular pool because it was so secluded. The legends about Queen Joan involve secret young lovers and cruel murder plots. Ask locals to share their favorite versions of the tale, don’t forget to bring a bottle of good wine with you, you would not leave this place any time soon.
DAY 4: POSITANO AND ON…
This was for sure the busiest day in terms of stops we had on our wishlist. We left Sorrento around 8 am ready for crazy day on the road but first breakfast in Positano. About one our later our departure we arrived in the amazing Positano and we jumped immediately at La Zagara one of the most famous pastry shops of the town: cappuccino, Babà Napoletano (if you don’t know what I am talking about you must try it!), and Lobster tail, which is the name of another famous pastry filled with chantilly cream, delicious. Without noticing we were in the heart of Positano, with its pastel colors, its views, smells we started acting like real tourists stopping by the very cool boutiques with artisans pieces and very Italian fine linen clothes. Unfortunately we had to be back on road curious for the yet to come. On our way we stopped by the Cala di Furore, The Furore fiord is one of the most fascinating geological features on the entire Amalfi Coast, the immense cliffs and the dense vegetation covering them create a fairy ambiance, overlooking the small, clear bay of the Tyrrhenian coast. Moving on we explored the Grotta dello Smeraldo, set in the bay of Conca dei Marini, this awesomely beautiful cave is named for the color reflected in the water. Up next was Amalfi, no surprises: its fame all over the world is certainly justified once you visit it.
After a quick stop we had to continue on our itinerary driving along Ravello, where we went for a quick walk admiring the breathtaking views while having a Gelato, Minori, Maiori, Atrani…arriving to Cetara ready for a quick snack in Cetara, for a taste of what the Amalfi Coast must have been like before mass tourism. It is home to an active fishing fleet and a thriving commerce in salted anchovies and their offshoot, a dark and salty liquid used in cooking, we couldn’t leave without trying the bread with Burrata cheese and anchovies at Cetarii, a well designed shop-and-eat location on the sea. Last but not least was Vietri sul Mare, known for its polychrome ceramics was our gateway from the beautiful Amalfi Coast.