Tommy and I got back from Italy about a month ago after celebrating our (late) one year Anniversary. We went to the Amalfi Coast specifically because it has always been a dream of mine to go there. And hear me out, it was a DREAM. Driving up that coastline, the sunrise, the food, the culture…everything was absolutely magical.
Planning an international trip can be a pretty stressful thing so I wanted to write up a little itinerary for you guys on everything we did, where we stayed, etc.! If you haven’t already, make sure you check out this blog post for things you should know before traveling to Italy!
Let’s get into the good stuff!
We flew out of the Chicago O’Hare International Airport on United Airlines, we chose Chicago versus Milwaukee because there was a direct flight to Rome. We were supposed to depart on Wednesday, October 16th but we had a few issues with Tommy’s passport, click here to read what happened. Anyways, Tommy’s mom drove us down to Chicago on Thursday, October 17th. We left Chicago around 4:30 pm and arrive in Rome at 8:30 am on Friday. Red Eye flights are usually your only option when traveling to Europe from the States and they definitely aren’t the most fun, we got about 30 minutes of sleep.
From Rome, we took the train to the Naples train station, which was about 1 hour and 10 minutes and cost around $100 total. I had arranged to have a private transfer pick us up from Naples train station and bring us to our hotel on the Amalfi Coast because I didn’t want something bad with a taxi to happen on our first day being there (cue the movie Taken).
We stayed at Hotel Santa Caterina in Amalfi and I would recommend this hotel to everyone. From the rooms, to the people, the location, the food – everything was perfect! It is a little pricier, but the we went in late October was because the rates dropped significantly! We also had breakfast included in our rates which I would 100% recommend doing because it was so convenient. The hotel is right on the top of the coast and has a lift that takes you down to the sea where they have a beautiful pool and seaside swimming area. It is also only a 10-minute walk from the city of Amalfi which makes it super convenient to get places!
So here’s what we did…
The first day there we didn’t really do much because we were so exhausted from jet lag and all the traveling. We just grabbed dinner at our hotel, walked to downtown Amalfi, got gelato, and went to bed!
Positano! We woke up early, had breakfast at our hotel, then walked to Amalfi and got on a Ferry to Positano. It was about a 25-minute ferry ride and cost about 16 euros each. We had planned on just walking and shopping around when we got there but it was an extremely nice day out (like 78 and sun), so we decided to do a boat cruise! We just walked up to a booth on the beach and asked if they had any openings for a boat cruise, they had an opening in 2 hours so we decided to explore the city a bit. MAKE SURE YOU WEAR COMFY SHOES. Positano is built up a cliff so there are hundreds upon hundreds of stairs. Also, I had intended on doing some shopping here but when I picked up a simple blue dress and saw it was 250 euros, I changed my mind. I’d advise you to save your money on shopping in Positano and use it towards a boat cruise instead. This was one of my favorite things we did on this trip, I would highly recommend doing it. Our driver was awesome and gave so much history about the coast of Amalfi.
After the cruise, we took a ferry back, changed/freshened up at our hotel and walked back to downtown Amalfi for dinner. For dinner, we went to a restaurant called L’ Abside Ristorante and this was hands down the best meal both Tommy and I have ever had in our entire lives. I’m not joking around when I say that either. We ordered some wine to begin with and let me caution you.. when they ask you if you want 1/2 or 1 liter of wine, go with 1/2 liter. We didn’t realize how much 1 liter was so we went with that… the walk home wasn’t a straight line to say the least. For an appetizer we got buffalo mozzarella, for dinner we got seafood risotto, and for dessert, we got this cute little cake thing. It was all so so so delicious.
Path of the God’s hike! This is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking hikes I’ve done in my life – if you visit Amalfi you must do this. I would recommend getting there early because I heard it gets pretty busy – we ran into a few big groups but keep in mind, we were visiting during the slow season. A private transfer from our hotel brought us to the beginning of the trail but you could take public transportation as well. We happened to do this on a Sunday when not as many buses were running so we decided to get dropped off. We took the trail all the way down into Positano and then took a ferry back to Amalfi. Be prepared – there are tonssss of stairs, so make sure you wear good shoes and pack water! And if you have bad knees, I’m not sure I would recommend doing this because our knees were aching sooo bad having to go down all the staircases.
Once back at our hotel, we freshened up, then went down to the bar in our hotel and had a Spritz! Not entirely sure what this is but it’s tasty! Then we walked to downtown Amalfi and had dinner at Donna Stella Pizzeria. This is tucked back in a little alleyway and seemed like a place that mostly locals visited – which is a huge indicator that it’s good! We each ordered a pizza and ate the whole thing!
Capri! We got up early and took a ferry around 9:30 am from Amalfi to Capri, I would recommend going early because not as many ferries run to Capri since it’s a longer trip (about 1.5 hours). Again, wear comfortable shoes here because there are millions of stairs. Down near the port in Capri, I got custom sandals made from a little shop, which was a cool souvenir to take home! Then we walked up a whole bunch of stairs to the downtown Capri area where we took a bus to AnaCapri which has a ton of cute little shops to get souvenirs at. Then…. we took a chair lift to the top of the island, which was SO FREAKING SCARY but also, SO COOL. If you don’t like heights I wouldn’t recommend this, but wow was it beautiful, then we had a drink up top, took 8,000 pictures, and took the lift back down. We did a bit more shopping then caught the last ferry back to Amalfi, freshened up and went out for dinner back in Downtown Amalfi.
For dinner we went to another little hidden gem called Buonvicino Taverna. For an appetizer, we got grilled octopus which was phenomenal. Tommy got some type of pasta dish and I got grilled squid for dinner, obviously accompanied by bread, olive oil, and wine 😉
Sorrento Farm Experience! If there is one “must-do” on this list, THIS is it. I cannot explain how fun this day was, I’m not sure if it was the group of people we were with, the copious amounts of wine, or the actual experience itself but this was our favorite part of the trip. We booked this trip through Trip Advisor, here is the link.
We had a private transfer from our hotel to Sorrento because there wasn’t a ferry early enough to take there. We met at another hotel in Sorrento city center where we were picked up by a shuttle and brought to the farm where the tour started. I don’t want to ruin the experience for you, but just know, it’s SO MUCH FUN. And you get a true taste of Italy and the Italian culture.
We picked up our things and headed to Rome this day, which wasn’t our original intention but since we missed out on our day in Rome due to our flight issues at the beginning, we added this day in. The hotel we stayed at was Palazzo Montemartini Rome, A Radisson Collection and I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for a nice, affordable, and centrally located hotel. It was 1 block from the Rome Train Station and ~20 minutes walking to most historical monuments/sculptures/buildings.
This first day we basically spent exploring on our own. We walked to the Colosseum (didn’t do a tour because the line was long), walked to the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and then shopped around at the stores near the Spanish Steps.
Tour of the Vatican/Sistine Chapel. We booked our tour through Dark Rome which I would highly recommend for any tours (Colosseum included if you want to do it!). The groups are smaller (less than 20) and the guide speaks English. It was very well set up and they gave clear instructions on where to meet, etc. It was about 3 hours long and they talked you through everything – it was a wonderful experience.
After the tour, we did a bit more walking around and souvenir shopping, then headed back to hour hotel to pack up since we were leaving for home the next day.
Flight home! We left Rome at 10:30 am and arrived in Chicago at 2:30 pm (which really felt like 9 pm to us). We forced ourselves to stay away until 7:30 pm that night and then slept like a rock!
This was truly the trip of a lifetime and something I’ve wanted to do my entire life, so I’m extremely grateful Tommy and I were able to do this trip together. I would 100% recommend the Amalfi Coast and Rome, they were both absolutely breathtaking cities and places to visit.
Until next time.
Peace and Love,