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Trip Report Trip Report: Amalfi Coast, Naples & Capri, Italy

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I recently came back from a 10 day vacation to Southern Italy. I was traveling with family, 7 people, ranging from ages of 17-60. We all had a fabulous time and I hope I can share some helpful info because I know how difficult planning and research can be!

Day 1: We arrived in the afternoon at Hotel Villa Maria in Sorrento. We took the Curreri Viaggi bus from the Naples airport right to Sorrento, which was a great choice. Sorrento turned out to be the perfect town to stay in for our trip. It was the optimal location for day trips and had countless places to dine & shop. It is a place filled with tourists but there are certainly enough locals and culture for it to feel like Italy!

Day 2: We spent our first day in the towns of Amalfi and Atrani. We traveled by the CitySightseeing Hop-on Hop-off bus. This bus was a bit more expensive than the pubic SITA bus, but it was air conditioned, everyone gets a comfortable seat, and you have the option of hearing some history of the towns you're traveling through. The few extra euros were worth it in my opinion.
It took an hour and a half to get to Amalfi, and once we were there we went to the public beach right near the bus stop. The beach was nice and had great views, but was very crowded. We chose not to pay for the beach chairs so there was only a small spot right near the water for us to lay out. In retrospect, it would have been worth it to pay for the chairs and umbrellas. After the beach, we walked through the town of Amalfi, which is a very cute town with lots to see. We then took a 10-15 minute walk through a tunnel to the town of Atrani, which is a more residential town. This was nice to see because it was not touristy and was filled with locals who lived on beautiful, quaint streets in cute white houses. We didn't get to go to Ravello but if you're wanting to visit another town in the area, I would consider Ravello.
We took the last CitiSightseeing bus back at 7:30 and ate dinner in Sorrento.

Day 3: We decided to go to Mt. Vesuvius and Herculaneum. We took the Circumvesuviana about an hour away to the stop 'Erculano,' and once we were there we took one of the little buses that goes up to Vesuvius. The bus dropped us at 1:30 and was to meet us back at the bottom at 3:00 PM. This ended up not being enough time, and we had to rush to get back. The hike up was difficult for some, but you don't need to very agile or athletic to take part. The views up top were nice, but I didn't think it was as much of a must-see as it seemed in my research, but if it's something you're interested in, it is a unique sight. After we got down to the bottom we took a 5 minute walk to the ruins of Erculano (Herculaneum). We went on a Sunday, and admission is always free on Sundays. We decided to take a guided tour; our tour guide was very knowledgable and we learned a lot about the ruins which we never would have known. Would recommend the tour, because you might just be wandering around aimlessly without one. We took Circumvesuviana train back to Sorrento at around 6.
Note about Circumvesuviana train: it was delayed every time we took it, and went out of service 2 out of the 4 times we took it. Was also very crowded and seriously hot every time. Keep this in mind if you want the most comfortable or efficient transportation option!

Day 4: We took the CitiSightseeing Hop-on Hop-off bus again to visit Positano. Once there, we walked around the town and shopped a bit. Then we went to Fornillo Beach, which was beautiful and secluded and was the favorite beach of all that we visited. It is not the main beach in the town but was only a 10 minute walk from one of the town centers, and the walk was very pleasant with beautiful views. We ate dinner right along the water, and took the last bus back at 6:45.

Day 5: We took the Circumvesuviana to Pompeii and spent part of the day walking around the ruins. We decided not to take a guided tour or get the audio guide because we thought we had learned a good deal at Herculaneum. We ended up being a bit lost, however, and didn't really know all it was that we were seeing. It was also extremely hot and there is basically no shade, and a lot of walking. We took the train right and spent the night shopping back in Sorrento.

Day 6: We decided to book a trip to Capri this day, so we didn't have to do all the planning ourselves. We booked it through a tourist office in Sorrento the day before. A bus came to pick us up at our hotel and drove us 10 minutes to the port to get on a boat that took us to Capri in about 30-40 minutes.We then had 5 hours free in Capri. We took a taxi to Anacapri to the blue grotto. Once there we waited in line for a boat into the blue grotto, which it total took only 10 minutes. I thought it was bit expensive for what is was (13 euros + tip). When we finished we took a bus 2 stops down to the center of Anacapri. We walked around in the center and then took the town chairlift up which dropped us at a summit with breathtaking views of the town. We then took a bus down to Capri and walked around the town, which was very cute. Would recommend Gelateria Buonocore! Best gelato we had! We took the funicular down from Capri to the port. It was very crowded and hot and in retrospect it would have been easier to just walk down, as it would only have been a 15 minute walk. We got back on the boat and the boat took us around to some different grottos and rock formations in the water. I would recommend taking this type of tour to Capri- we did everything how we wanted and had free time, but didn't have to deal with all the nitty gritty planning ourselves.

Day 7: We took a ferry to Naples instead of the Circumvesuviana so we could avoid the uncomfortableness of the train. The ferry was pleasant and was a short ride. In Naples we took the metro from 'Municipio' (by the port) to 'Piazza Dante' by the historical district. We walked around and of course ate pizza! We then went to the National Archeological Museum, which was very interesting. We then took the metro back to the port and got the last ferry back at 6:30.

Day 8 & Day 9: We spent the last two days relaxing in Sorrento and going to the beach. The beach is pretty nice but the water is pretty dirty. It is the only beach in Sorrento close to the town center though, and all the other beaches close by would have been a bus ride away. There is a lot to do, eat and see in Sorrento. We took a cab from our hotel to the Naples airport because the buses weren't running in the middle of the night, which was when our flight was.

If anyone has any questions about anything in specific- hotel, restaurants, etc., let me know! Hope this helps! :)

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