The song of the Sirens was too much for even Odysseus, so how could I be expected to resist? Some years ago I was raving about the beauty of Cinque Terre, five cliffside villages on the Italian Riviera in northwest Italy. Calmly, my companion turned to me and remarked, “If you think Cinque Terre is beautiful, you should see the Amalfi Coast.” That was all it took. One simple mention and the Amalfi Coast was permanently branded on my brain.
I had only a vague idea where the Amalfi Coast was (somewhere in southern Italy) so imagine my surprise when I stepped off the train in Sorrento and found buses lined up, waiting to whisk tourists to Positano and Amalfi. With only one day left before my scheduled departure for Sicily, I had no choice but to visit both cities in one day. Having spent too much time in Amalfi, I was forced to rush through Positano, nearly missing the last bus of the day back to Sorrento. I made no local connections and saw only the most popular tourist sights. It was ridiculously unlike my normal travels, when I stay in places for weeks at a time to soak in the culture of places and ferret out stories to tell. Still, after my short visit I was captivated.
Other than my last minute discovery that the Amalfi Coast was at my fingertips, I have no story to tell, so the photos below will have to suffice.
Not only did I find it impossible to resist the Amalfi Coast, I also learned that booking a ferry, private boat, or organized tour from Sorrento is the perfect way to visit the Isle of Capri. Alas, there was not enough time left in my schedule to visit Capri. Like a sailor drawn to the siren’s call, there is not a shred of doubt that I will one day return.
23 thoughts on “The Siren Call of Italy’s Amalfi Coast”
Absolutely stunning! Thank you on a detailed impressive guide!
Your blog is simply amazing. I’ve read both your entries on 5c and Amalfi Coast. I’ll be spending 3 weeks from june-july this year in Italy and I’m still torn between both areas. I’ll be visiting Milan, Rome, Venice, and Florence. I would really appreciate you insight on which to choose to visit: 5c or Amalfi Coast. Really loooking forward to hearing from you.
Hi Maxine: Wow, that’s a tough call, but I think I’d pick the Amalfi coast. The only reason is that Cinque Terre is very crowded in the height of the tourist season, as it’s become such a popular destination. The villages are small, and the trails are narrow, so I’d be inclined to go there off season instead, perhaps in the fall when they are harvesting the grapes. Amalfi is also a popular destination, but the towns are bigger, so it doesn’t feel as crowded.
I have just discovered your blog–and am glad that I did. It’s marvelous. My sister and I are traveling to Italy in May, for two weeks, and we are spending three nights in Naples. I am torn between wanting to spend quality time exploring the smaller but better preserved Herculaneum or touring the more open expanse of Pompeii. A visit to the Naples Archaelogical musum is a sure thing. Will I regret not going to Pompeii? Our second ful day will be spent touring Sorrento and parts of the Amalfi coast.
Soglad that you started writing.
Hi Penney: So glad you found and enjoy my blog! You’re definitely trying do a lot in 3 days. I spent two entire days just wandering around Sorrento, and another day taking the bus down the Amalfi coast and seeing Amalfi and Positano. I guess if I had to choose, and I had only one day, I’d do Herculaneum. It is very do-able in a day, and Pompeii is so huge that a day cannot do it justice. Plus, more of the artifacts have been preserved at Herculaneum, while much of what was in Pompeii has been moved to the museum, so you will see the real stuff there, rather than reproductions. Wishing you a wonderful trip, although any trip to Italy can’t be anything but wonderful 🙂
I love your blog! and your pictures are stunning! I missed the Amalfi coast trekking trails on my last visit a few months in Italy and I can’t wait to go back there!
Thank you so much Evelyn! Glad you enjoyed the blog and photos.
Hi, I love your blog. I am kind of in a similar spot where I just feel like living to see the world and leave all behind. Unfortunately there are things that keep me here. Your pictures are incredible and I too put Amalfi Coast on my list. I can’t travel, but I can’t right, so now I am kind of looking for destinations for starting my little own virtual trips book, hoping that one day, not very long it will be a real one. Best wishes and interesting trips!
Hi Jane: Thank you so much for letting me know how much you like my blog. It leans a lot to me. I wish you the best of luck moving frm virtual travel to real travel.
Great article, stunning pictures, Italy is simply one of the most beautiful country in the world. 🙂
I agree Tina. I really think Italy is one of the places I could stay year round, if I ever decided to stop traveling.
Fantastic article! (and photography!)
Im heading to Rome for Xmas with my Dad and I have been looking into day trips from Rome and the Amalfi Coast came up as one. Its hard to decide though as there are so many to choose!!!
It really is a beauiful place isnt it! The houses built on the side of a hill – amazing!
Hi Sam: Thank you so much. The Amalfi coast is truly breathtaking, but I really think a day trip from Rome would not be the best way to see it. Just getting from Rome to Naples on the train is about 2.5 hours, and Sorrento is another hour on a different train. From there you’d need to catch the Amalfi tour bus, which is another 45 minutes to an hour to Positano. Considering the travel time, it would leave you precious little time to explore. Of course, you could book with a tour company, which would go direct and save you some travel time, but still I think you’d find your time on the ground to be exasperatingly short. Instead, I’d suggest a combo Pompeii/Mount Vesuvius tour.
I love any country that have beautiful coast and mountains like this. Fantastic photos. Thanks for sharing this!
You’re very welcome Nguyen. I love sharing my photos.
I love your photos! They bring back great memories. With Sorrento as our home base, we spent a beautiful day in Positano. The next time you’re in the area, check out Ravello. It’s another special place perched atop Amalfi worth spending a day or two.
Hi Susie: I KNOW! I really wanted to make it to Ravello, but just plain ran out of time. But that gives me an excuse to return (also wanted to see Salerno and didn’t make it there either, so have two reasons).
Looks like you’d want to visit there without a car as I suspect the nearest open parking spot is in Rome. Stunningly beautiful though.
I think you could always squeeze in anther motorbike, Ed, but I wouldn’t want to try to find a parking space for a car, for sure.
Everything about the Almalfi Coast can only be described in superlatives … needlessly to say, I can’t wait to see it with my own eyes! It’s a shame you couldn’t stay longer….
Ah, yes, Uma, but that just means I must return! 🙂
I really want to visit the gorgeous Amalfi Coast. One day a saw a photo of the Amalfi Coast, and decided I would go there one day. And that day will come, seeing this post reassured myself. But first there is a trip planned to Cinque Terre and Tuscany, which will also be beautiful, I am sure.
Hi Sacha: I hope you get to the Amalfi Coast some day, but if it’s any comfort, Cinque Terre is just as gorgeous, in my opinion.