Because Holly and I weren’t able to make it to the Amalfi Coast, I decided to go after she left (I’d heard such great things and definitely wanted to see it!). So a couple of days later, I went out. To get to the Amalfi Coast, there are a few ways to go – you can take ferries from Sorrento, or there’s a bus system. Or, of course, you can rent a car or hire one. (I would NOT recommend renting… more on that later).
After Holly left, I was staying in Naples, not Sorrento, so I took the train to Sorrento to catch the bus. It was a long train ride, and I must say – Sorrento is way more fun to arrive at by the ferry from Naples rather than the train!
I found the bus station quite easily, as it’s right outside the train station. At that point, I planned to walk the Path of the Gods, which is a hiking trail that’s supposed to be gorgeous and have amazing views. It starts in Agerola, and there are no easy ways to get there. I, of course, did not realize this until after I was well on my way!
I’d also heard stories of the busses being jam packed over the summer, and I was happy to be visiting in September. Because, of course, I thought that meant it wouldn’t be as bad.
I was VERY wrong. I got on the bus to Amalfi, and luckily was one of the first in line. So I got a seat. Not everyone did. Normally, I wouldn’t be too concerned about not getting a seat on a bus, because they’re short and it’s pretty easy to stand.
The bus from Sorrento to Amalfi took almost three hours! I was shocked. It’s a gorgeous drive, with tons of twists and turns along the coast, and absolutely breathtaking! The bus was the most crowded bus I think I’ve ever been on, and I felt so bad for all the people standing. I do not get motion sick (ever…), and I was almost getting motion sick with all the hairpin turns. At least I could sit down!
And with all the hairpin turns, the cars are mere inches from each other. I never understood the feature where mirrors fold in automatically on some cars. Then I went to the Amalfi coast. You quite literally need those inches to be able to maneuver! I can only imagine the money the car rental places make from cars being brought back with all sorts of scratches and dings from the coast! And parking… practically everything is parallel parking, and it’s TIGHT! We’re talking six inches on either bumper to get in or out.
To get to the Path of the Gods, you have to go through Amalfi and then actually catch another bus up.
And after the three hour bus ride there, I was not about to get on another one of those crowded busses (I did hear after the fact that the ones that aren’t from Sorrento aren’t nearly as crowded). And with as hot and crowded as the bus was, I made a beeline for the ferry ticket both to get a ticket for the ferry home.
So that was that and I decided to stay in Amalfi for the day! It’s funny – had I known that I would stay in Amalfi for the day, I would have gotten off in Positano, as that’s what I was most hoping to see. But I’m so glad I had the change of plans for Amalfi. It really was just as gorgeous as the pictures make it look! If I had to do it again, I’d definitely take an earlier train and earlier bus to beat the crowds.
Amalfi is one of those perfect Italian beach towns with nothing much to do other than sunbathe, enjoy the views, and eat. Which was fine by me! I finally tried the Amalfi lemon cake that is so popular at the restaurants around there – and it was good enough I will be trying to imitate it at home!
I also found lemon gelato – both actual gelato and lemon cake flavored gelato. Both were really good! And both were gelato and not sorbet, so the creaminess really helped cut down on the tartness of the lemons. It was refreshing but not too sour! Just perfect.
The ferry from Naples to Sorrento is only about a forty five minute ride, so I had it in my head that the ride home from Amalfi might be similar. Wrong. It was over two and a half hours! I’m glad I took it, though, because the views were just astonishing. The coves and caves and homes perched throughout the cliffs are just stunning. We pulled into Positano as the sun was starting to set, so I got to see Positano from the sea!
I took one of the last ferries from Amalfi to Sorrento, thinking I’d pick up a late ferry to Naples. Wrong again. Luckily, the train was still there for me! It was definitely a day I wish I’d planned a bit better, especially with transit concerns.
While I thought that the Amalfi Coast was gorgeous, the number of tourists was a bit of a damper. I can’t imagine how bad it is in true high season!