Amalfi Coast had long been in my Bucket List. You have surely seen the iconic pictures of Positano (above in the picture) and the breathtaking landscapes of the curvilinear roads on cliffs with marvelous sea view which characterize this Coast, also know as the Road of the Gods. Its natural beauty and diversity, as well as exceptional places with a very relevant cultural and architectural significance was recognized by UNESCO and since 1997 it is classified as World Heritage.
4 years ago I started enjoying Solo travelling at it has become a need at least once a year. Previously I had put off some destinations, because I thought it would be more suitable for a romantic landscape with our soulmate. However, October arrived, I wanted a destination by the sea, somewhere I still had not visited in Italy and I thought to myself: Why not Amalfi Coast? Romantic destination and so what? I can still have a blast on my own. Result: I booked a flight to Naples and here I was on my way!
There were 2 events in my life which marked me profoundly and since then I have never stopped travelling (even more frequently than what I already did) – surviving a terrorist attack in Brussels (working 200m away from Maelbeek) and losing a pillar in my life. Since then, it does not matter if it a short break, Summer holidays or a long weekend, I never miss a chance of exploring the world and surely not having a boyfriend or a company for that particular trip will never put me off! Of course I love travelling with my family and best friends, but since I started Solo travelling, I always need at least once a year to go somewhere on the planet on my own and I promise you it will be of the most amazing experiences you will ever have – do not be afraid to be bold, do not be afraid to go to the unknown, however as a solo woman traveler trust your instincts, be cautious, do not put yourself in dangerous situations and be responsible – as I wrote in a previous post about Rio, if something does not seem right to you or you are uncomfortable about it, do not risk it! That means when I travel alone, I always go to safe destinations, stay in central areas, when needed go on guided tours and I do not walk alone during the night. It has been 4 years and so far I met great people, had amazing experiences and keep looking forward to the next solo trip!
Let’s get back to the Amalfi Coast – So I did a solo Road Trip in late October, which is one of the best seasons to go, prices are moderate, fewer crowds, empty roads and still gorgeous weather, from Naples to Amalfi, stopping at Ravello (my recommendation – it is the place with the most breathtaking panorama in the Amalfi Coast), Positano and a boat tour to Capri, which I will describe in great detail for you with my usual fancy recommendations.
Note: I always stayed in the same hotel in Amalfi, because visiting cities within the Amalfi Coast can be done on a day trip. I recommend staying in Amalfi because you have easier connections by car, bus, boat and for car rentals, many more parking spaces or even hotels with parking garages which do not charge a fortune.
Day One – Napoli – Amalfi
I flew to Napoli/Naples (it is the closest airport to the Amalfi Coast) and rented a car at the airport. I opted for an automatic car in Europcar and it was the best decision ever – no matter how beautiful the Road of the Gods may be, sometimes it will cause you cold sweats. Why?
- Very narrow roads so that sometimes 2 cars cannot go through at the same time
- Impatient drivers
- Curves, curves and more curves
- Crazy motorbike drivers taking over.
When on the motorway, even though I had the GPS activated, you will not get lost as Costiera Amalfitana (SS 163) is pretty well indicated. After around 1h00/1h30 min (total distance 60 km) on the dreamy iconic roads on the cliffs, I arrived at my hotel – Bellevue Suite 3* and stayed at an incredible double room with seaview. The hotel has a private parking, which in the Amalfi Coast can be challenging and I recommend as a particular feature to look at when you rent a car – in most cases, it is non existent or like in Amalfi, you end up paying 5€/hour.
The Bellevue Suite is a family-run hotel. Rooms are very nicely decorated in navy blue and in my case a room with seaview, the balcony is quite large, enabling you to enjoy a fabulous view. Breakfast has great options, including freshly squeezed bitter orange juice and a typical product of the region – Mozzarela di Buffala Campana. Antonio, the son of the owner, was extremely kind to me, sharing some insider tipps on what to do in the Amalfi Coast, where to eat and explaining a bit of his family business.
Room view at Hotel Bellevue in Amalfi
Sunset in Amalfi
Day Two – Amalfi
After having a wonderful breakfast, I started exploring Amalfi.
- Amalfi Cathedral (Duomo)
- Beautiful narrow streets
- Promenade along the sea
Duomo di Amalfi – Amalfi Cathedral
What to buy:
- Fresh lemons from Sorrento
- Olive oil with lemon
- Hand-crafted pasta
- Lemon dessert with lemon sorbet
I followed Antonio’s recommendation and visited his friends place in the old town of Amalfi at Piazza dei Dogi (on the paralled streets of this piazza there are beautiful souvenir shops). It is run by a lovely young couple. His father is a fisherman, therefore everything you eat here will be amazing and straight from the ocean! I ate here 2 nights, from a simple and very tasteful pasta with lemon to anchovies and beautiful freshly made pasta with seafood and grilled seabass with grilled vegetables. A hidden gem in Amalfi, please take note of it! Do not need to thank me, enjoy an amazing meal in Amalfi like I did.
- Fresh pasta with lemon (I never though such a simple dish could be so amazing, but given the quality of Sorrento lemons and how incredibly juicy they are, it is one of my preferred dishes. Simplicity is sometimes the best.)
- Fresh pasta with seafood
- Grilled fish with vegetables
- Mozzarella di Buffala Campana with San Marzano tomatoes and basilicum
- Lemon dessert with lemon sorbet
- Lemon freshly squeezed juice (incredibly acidic, incredibly fresh)
Day Three – Positano
On my day three I decided to visit the iconic Positano. You can either go by car, by bus or by boat. Since parking in Positano is extremely limited, even more than in Amalfi, I would recommend you going by bus or by boat. From Amalfi you have great and regular connections to almost everywhere in the Amalfi Coast. I went by bus, it was almost one hour. I admire Amalfi Coast drivers, how experienced they are to drive us safely in such a unique and sometimes dangerous road.
When I arrived in Positano I was welcomed by lovely sunny weather 25C in late October – what else could I have asked for?
I decided to explore Positano, see its picturesque architecture and beauty and had an amazing lunch on a cliff.
Positano in another perspective
Top tips from the Fancy Explorer:
- Buy Positano sandals – You have surely seen the beautiful leather Positano sandals. Go to Positano with time and buy handmade ones for as low as €50 (given the handwork and leather quality). The shoemaker measures your foot and you pick the design. It was great watching him craving the design on leather sole with so much care and pride. I opted for a blue traditional design and still today are my favourite sandals. I bought at La Botteguccia.
- Buy beautiful tunicas and dresses. One common style was with lemons and flashy colours, which I thought it was a good match for a holiday look.
- Drink fresh squeezed Lemon juice at one of the terraces on the hilly part of Positano. It is quite much €7 for a natural juice, but I will guarantee it will pay off
- Stroll around the beach – Positano Spiaggia and have lunch there. I picked randomly a restaurant and ate incredibly well – anchovies and fresh pasta with lemon.
Day Four – Capri
A highlight in my trip included a boat tour to the famous cosmopolitan island of Capri. I departed from Amalfi and took me around 2h30 to arrive there. During this boat tour, the guide showed us the secret location of Sophia Loren’s villa – I did not even know she owned a house here and it looked incredible. Capri island is divided into 2 – Capri and Anacapri. The best way to explore is indeed by scooter, however there are touristic buses operating on both sides. Unfortunately by the time I was there one of the main attractions – Blue Grotto (Blue Cave) was closed, however I could stroll around for some hours in the beautiful streets and one of the major photo spots – an iconic window on Capri’s main square overlooking the island.
Honestly, even though Capri is worth visiting to me it was not fascinating. I found extremely overpriced in terms of food and accommodation (even in late October). For example, a normal dish of fresh pasta with seafood you would not find below €40. Personally, I found Positano much more picturesque.
What to do/visit in Capri:
- Boat tour
- Visit Blue Grotto
- Stroll around the beaches
- Capri Main Square
- Capri Marina
- Trails around the island
- Enjoy a wonderful sunset!
Capri Window at Capri Main Square
Day Five – Ravello
On my last day I decided to visit Ravello, since it was not very far from Amalfi (around 10 km). I decided to go by bus, because the roads looked very scary to me (curves and curves on the hills). Ravello was an amazing surprise and until today I still think you have the most beautiful iconic breaktaking panorama from this city.
What to do in Ravello:
- Strolling around the center and its beaches
- Duomo di Ravello (Cathedral)
- Villa Ruffolo – historic and cultural center of Ravello with incredible gardens and an astonishing panorama. Ravello is also a City of Music and during the Summer, the Ravello Summer Festival in honour of Richard Wagner takes place at this incredible villa.
- Villa Cimbrone – one of the most luxurious and prestige hotels in the Amalfi Coast with incredible gardens
- Take as many pictures as you can
Duomo di Ravello – Ravello Cathedral
Villa Cimbrone in Ravello
On the following day I drove until Napoli airport, arrived a little earlier and since my flight departed only at 18:00, I decided to eat a real pizza napolitana. Da Michele had a very long queue, so I tried one of the oldest and authentic pizzerias in Napoli – Trianon
There were large tables and you sit together with other visitors, like in a living room style. I chose a simple Margherita with San Marzano tomatoes, basilicum and mozzarella di bufala Campana. Until today I have never tasted such an incredible pizza!
It was a very beautiful Autumn Shortbreak and so far one of my favourite Road Trips. During this time of the year there were tourists from all around the world, literally from the US to New Zealand, so as a solo traveler you would never feel alone.
Amalfi Coast is indeed a very romantic destination and once I would like to go back there with my soulmate. However, it was a very enjoyable visit and I could recharge all my batteries!
Conclusion: If you have always dreamt of visiting a marvelous romantic destination, do not put off until you find Mr. Right, adventure yourself and go! Remember: some places are meant to be visited more than once in a lifetime and Amalfi Coast is no exception 😉
So what did you think of this tour? Let me know your thoughts!
P.S. I am preparing a surprise for you, so stay tuned for further news!
See you fancy travelers!