Traveling The Amalfi Coast

Traveling the amalfi coast
Ah, the Amalfi Coast. There's something extra special about this little slice of the world that gets me excited even typing this out. We loved visiting Italy and the other cities we ventured to, (you can read more about our time in Naples here) and I still have to share our stay in Rome, but, the coast, well the coast has my heart. 

Maybe it's because I'm a beach girl at heart and being by the water just gets me happy, but there is something so breathtaking about this place that it almost feels like you're walking through a dream when you're down on the beach and look up at the all of the houses and beautiful colors on the side of the mountains. We'll talk more about that dreaded trek to actually get down there, but let's start where I left off with our stay in Naples. 

We had just finished tasting some of the best pizza in the world and packed the car up to make the hour drive to the coast. Driving in Naples was absolutely crazy but an experience nonetheless. I have so much more respect for Eric's driving skills and his ability to drive a manual car. Seriously, he's kind of awesome. Thankfully this drive felt like nothing and was mainly on the highway. When we got off at our exit you could feel the difference. If any of my local friends are reading this, it's like hitting that bridge to get to the shore and driving over it with the water under neath you, and you just know a good time's about to be had.

We couldn't help but stop and pull over to take in the views as we made our way into Sorrento. They were just as pretty as I'd imagined. There was a man with a small cart selling lemon water ice, so you know we couldn't pass that up. All the lemons, so many lemons.
We made our way into Sorrento and checked into our hotel. We stayed in Sorrento, and since we had a car we made the short 20 minute drive into Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. We loved Sorrento. It was easy to navigate, much different than Positano, as in it didn't have as many steep cliffs or tiny streets to wind through. But with that, it also didn't have the views that some other areas adorned. Our hotel was a cozy stay and conveniently located to all the restaurants and walking to the beach.

We visited Marina de Puolo beach and the boys were so anxious to get their feet in the water. We didn't mind laying out and relaxing either. There is a public section or an area where you can pay for a chair and an umbrella. Of course some random dog found Eric on the beach and made itself very comfortable in his lap. The boys thought it was the funniest thing and we learned the dog's name was amour, super cute. It's a very interesting walk to get down there with winding curves and some steep inclines. They did have a lift (an elevator as we like to call it) that you could pay to take. We paid on the way up because this pregnant mama tried to save her legs as much as she could. And let's be honest, the journey up is always much harder.

Sorrento has so many great restaurant options, shopping, and a beautiful strip with views of the mountains. There are lemon trees, and orange trees all mixed in with the palm trees. It really adds to some beautiful scenery.

We spent 4 days on the coast and each day made our way around to where we wanted to visit. We drove into Positano three different times and really just loved it there. Everyone warned us about the driving and how it crazy it was being on the side of a mountain, but you know what, that was nothing compared to the craziness in Naples. Sure it has twists and turns and you were winding all around, but if you're ok with being in a car and don't have a weak stomach, the drive was really beautiful. You seriously can't beat the views, but I will give my honest opinion about the beaches because I can always appreciate when someone gives the good, and the not so great. I'm not even calling this the bad, because it wasn't bad, just different.

Ok, so to get down to the beach...I certainly do not miss the three hundred some steps (at least that's what it felt like to get there and that's not an exaggeration). You have these breathtaking views from up above but you need to get down to where the beach actually is. Aside from the steps there is also a very winding street that you can take (along with some steps) to get there. We did it, and multiple times, but it is not for the faint of heart. Once you're down there you kind of forget about all of the craziness it took to get there (that is until you wake up the next morning with sore legs) because it is that beautiful, the scenery that is. You have the Mediterranean water splashing in front of you and mountain views looking up. But the beach itself, I feel bad saying this, but I've seen nicer. Here's the thing, in my opinion it's hard to beat the beautiful colors of the Caribbean ocean and that soft white sand. Here it's just different, and we knew that going into it. The sand is a lot like gravel and it's very rocky. Like you need your flip flops to walk across it or you are doing all kinds of crazy moves with your body to take pressure off of those spots you are hitting on your feet. We definitely saw some funny body moves from people who tried to rough it out.

Rocks and sand aside, the beach is still a beautiful place to be and really relaxing. The boys had the time of their life and pretty much didn't leave the waters edge. They collected, and threw, all the rocks in the water. Had a great time finding tiny pieces of seaglass and seeing small fish swimming at our feet. Every day they asked to be at the water and weren't the happiest when we told them we needed to leave. Thankfully it was usually to get something to eat so knowing that gelato was on the horizon did help a little. I mean, sometimes a little bribe is what you need, right?

I'm really sad because I had my first international sponsor lined up for a private tour to the island of Capri that was canceled due to really rough waters and high winds. We did hear that some of the most beautiful parts that you can swim in are only accessible by boat, so I can't speak for the grottos and other areas. Unfortunately we couldn't work out a different day because it was our last on the coast before heading to Rome. Eric and I just keep saying we'll have to go back (which we really would) and this time we will make it to Capri. It was still such a great day (just extra windy) because really, is there a bad day in Italy?

We also visited Marina da Praia that was a small beach with a lot of locals and some great places to eat right on the water. A lot of the beaches are smaller in size and not all of them are accessible by car, mainly because there is absolutely no where to park and there isn't much of a shoulder to walk down the street. I would have loved to see Fiordo di Furore but once we got there and realized there was no where to park, and the walk down was even steeper than any of the others we saw, we didn't think it was a good idea for us to try and attempt it. Maybe if it was just Eric and I (and I wasn't pregnant) we could have done it, but this time around we passed.

We spent most of our time at the famous Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo beach. We loved being right on the Spiaggia Grande and having access to all of the restaurants and shops. It also had some of the most amazing views in my opinion. It's also where the water taxis and the excursions leave from. We had a great meal at Le Tre Sorelle and if you ever get the chance to visit, try to the stuffed zucchini. It's one of the best things I've ever eaten and we even went back from more. When you think of Italy the immediate thing that comes to mind is pasta and pizza, but being so close to the water here, the seafood was amazing. It's caught fresh and most restaurants have it sitting out on ice for you to pick from. The boys sure got some entertainment out of seeing that and little nugget tasted things I can't even think to stomach. We also loved the gelato and lemon sorbet at Ristorante Covo Dei Saraceni. Seriously, how festive and cute is it to be served out of a lemon.
If you're planning on spending some time at the beaches I would recommend to pack a bag and have it with you for the day. We were advised to do this ahead of time by friends who previously went and it couldn't have made things easier. We wore our beach clothes and then had a change of clothes for after so we could stay and enjoy dinner and walk around. Out of our whole trip, I think Eric and I agreed that we would definite go back to the coast and from there look to visit other cities like Florence or Venice. Basically all of Italy was amazing but there is really something special about this place.

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