Back from Italy and man it feels good to be home! We were gone for 10 days, and honestly, it felt like the perfect amount of time. I think going any longer than that would have completely wiped us – although being gone 10 days pretty much did! There were a few places that I definitely wish we had more time in, but I’ll get into that later on in the post. I’m going to be doing a few posts to cover all the things, because there is A LOT to cover, but I figured I would start at the beginning, where we started, on the Almafi Coast.
A few people had asked if we hired a travel agency of some sort, and the answer is no. I planned the whole trip myself. (I’d give Brandon credit, except I actually did plan the entire thing myself. LOL) We only had 10 days and it was SO hard to decide where to go. Everyone said we HAD to go to Florence, but at the end of the day, it just didn’t make the cut. We are water people and felt like we wanted to spend time on the Almafi coast, instead of Tuscany this trip, and we were very happy with that decision. We fully intend to hit up Tuscany/Florence in the future, but don’t feel bad about missing it this go-round. We stayed in the Naples Bay/Almafi are for 5 days, staying in Sorrento 2 nights, Capri 1 night, and Positano 2 nights. If we had to do it over again, we would have stayed in Sorrento 1 night, and Capri 2, but…I guess now we have an excuse to go back!
One thing we really learned on our trip is that, one, it’s exhausting constantly moving. People had warned us that we were packing a lot into our trip, but we wanted to see all the things so we decided to make it work. Although we loved every second, it would have been nice to have a more leisurely approach for sure – especially in the Almafi area. The second thing we learned is that unless you want to get up with the sun, you really probably won’t get to your next location until early to mid-afternoon. So, for us, when we thought we would have a full day in Capri, we really only had a half day by the time we got there. If we were to do it again, we would definitely add in a full day at each location on top of travel days, and I highly recommend you do the same. Trust me on this one.
Sorrento – This spot will always hold a special place in my heart, as it’s what introduced us to Italian life. We had a driver pick us up from the Naples airport and take us to our room. They were fantastic! (Information here.) It’s a lovely town, but there’s honestly not a ton to do in Sorrento itself. Lots of tchotchke and souvenir shops. We spent our first night there, and then one full day and night, but honestly could have skipped it the second day – in comparison to other places we visited. There is a lovely beach club by the water, that we enjoyed spending a few hours at – sipping on Aperol Spritz, of course.
Where We Stayed – We stayed at Sorrento Flower Rooms – which is a bed and breakfast. It’s pretty much little apartments in a building. It was the perfect location and close to everything! The apartment itself was clean and mostly updated and well kept. It was fine. Nothing to write home about but it was inexpensive, and comfortable. I would stay there again. Our friends stayed at the La Favorita hotel which was RIGHT next to our place, and we went there multiple times for rooftop drinks and food.
Where We Ate – We had dinner at Ristorante Basilica which was lovely! It’s tucked away off the main strip in a cozy alleyway. We enjoyed our meal outside, alongside many Italian families – making me feel like we had made the right choice. I had the the mushroom pasta dish and it was out of this world! The next evening we stumbled upon a restaurant that had a very long line to get in, so we decided it must be worth it. Ristorante O’ Murzill‘ is located in an alleyway, and was well worth the wait. It felt very downhome and authentic.
Capri – While researching our trip, so many people had claimed that you really only need to a day trip to Capri and they could not be more wrong, IMO! We LOVED Capri! It was our favorite city in the area, and we were so bummed we didn’t have more time there. Capri is like Beverly Hills, except on a dreamy Italian island. There is all the shopping/designers you could imagine, and just an overall lovely vibe. It felt so safe, too. There are plenty of beach clubs around the island that we will definitely hit on our next trip there, but we opted for taking a 3 hour sail around the island on a private boat. We used Gianni’s Boats and they were incredible! We had a private tour on the cutest wooden Italian “gozzo” boat. We loved just being out on the water for hours, jumping in the sea, swimming in the grottos, and just relaxing. The coastline itself isn’t really that pretty… it’s mostly rock, unlike the coast life of the Almafi coast. But, the experience was awesome! I had been dying to see the famous “Blue Grotto” before our trip, but when we got to it, the line was insane (30-60 min wait to get in) so we decided to skip it and head over to the less popular “Green Grotto” that was beautiful! You actually get to swim in the “Green Grotto” whereas you just basically go in and out of the “Blue Grotto” because they are cycling so many people through. We didn’t really feel like we missed out here at all.
Where We Stayed – We stayed at the Fuorlavado40 – which was basically a set of apartments and we loved it! As you can imagine, Capri is expensive, so I couldn’t believe how reasonable this place was! And it was SO nice! Clean, modern, and right in the heart of the city. On top of that, our host Marco was incredible! He was always available for questions/recommendations, and he even came and found us when we were in line for the ferry to leave the island, to give us some local candies. I would totally stay at this place again!
Where We Ate – I also was dying to go to Da Paolino, the insta-famous restaurant under lemon groves – but our hotel concierge insisted that it was “too touristy” and we shouldn’t go there. He recommended we to go La Zagara in Anacapri, on the other side of the island instead. Our boat captain said our concierge was “a fool” and recommended Da Paolino still, so who knows… BUT we ended up with reservations at La Zagara and it did not disappoint. It was a super dreamy and romantic experience! We ended up at Capri Rooftop for post dinner drinks and the vibe was SO fun! They were playing current music and mixing yummy drinks and we had a great time. We almost went to a late night club, but had to head to Positano first thing the next morning so we just called it a night after that.
Positano – Probably the most famous of all the Almafi coast, this spot is every bit as dreamy as all the Insta-shots portray. I kind of expected it to be a bit more vibrant of a city in terms of culture, but there’s really not a lot going on there. (Which is fine if you’re just wanting to go lay out on the beach and drink your weight in spritz.) It’s definitely something to see, but I would say you don’t need more than a few days. And, when people say it’s uphill…the city is literally entirely vertical! There’s the beach area, and then basically stairs and ramps winding all the way up through the rest of the city. You will definitely get your workout in! The same driver we used for our airport transfer, does tours of the Almafi coast, so we hired him so we could get out and see all the other little towns in Almafi. It was so great! We started at 9am and headed out to Almafi and Ravello, then visited a winery in Tramonti where the italian family cooked lunch for us, before heading back and pitstoping in Minori and Maiori. We had the best time at the winery, exploring all the 500 year old grape vines (which, having grape vines that old is incredible rare!) We also absolutely loved getting to pitstop in each town and explore. It was definitely the way to go if you want to see everything in a short amount of time. We felt like our whole trip was a sample platter for us to get to see where we would want to go back and spend time.
Where to Stay – As you can imagine, Positano is extremely expensive to stay in! Some hotels can be $2000 a night! We weren’t going to spend anything near that, so I was super glad when I found an AirBNB that was more on budget. The place was updated and super clean, and in an ideal location. It’s definitely a little ways up the hill, but not too far, and still close to a lot of restaurants. We had also looked at the Hotel Royal Frisco and Hotel Buca di Baco. Both were more on budget, but either required a 3 night stay or were full.
Pro tip: Places start to book up to 2-3 months in advance, and everything gets more expensive as you get closer to your travel date, so make sure to plan in as much advance of your trip as possible.
Where We Ate/Drank – You simply cannot visit Positano without having apertivo at Franco’s Bar. It’s part of (but located right next to) The Le Sirenuse hotel – one of those $2000/night hotels I was telling you about. Pro tip: show up about 45 minutes before they open to get the best seat and get THE shot! But also, it’s fine if you don’t because like 10 people walked up to us and asked if they could take a picture and it was fine. Everyone is there for the same reason lol. There’s definitely always a line though, so the earlier you get there, the better, to guarantee your spot. The music and vibes were so fun, too!
We were in Posi on a Saturday and forgot to make dinner reservations before, so literally everything was booked. We were so lucky to stumble upon a place, heading back from Franco’s, that ended up being one of my favorite meals in Italy! Ohima Brass Erie is a short walk from Franco’s and was incredible! The vibe and food portions were kind of like an LA meets Italy vibe (which I’m all about), and everything was so delicious! B was craving some protein so we shared the fried chicken and nerano style spaghetti. They even brought us out fresh tuna tartare, on the house, which was so nice! The next night we ate at Chez Black which was a HUGE disappointment. You’re definitely paying for the location at this restaurant and not the quality of the food. I ordered a lobster pasta dish, and it tasted like they had boiled a box of Barilla pasta in the back. (And you’re paying top dollar!) I will say, Brandon’s pizza was one of the better ones we had, so if you go to Chez Black, I would only order that… Some places I really wanted to go to but were full, were Ristorante Max and Da Vincenzo. Also, if you’re craving fruits and veggies, you can find smoothies and acai bowls at Casa e Bottega.
Here are a few photos from our day trip to all of the other cities in the Almafi coast. Every city along the coast is vastly different and totally worth seeing!
Be sure to pin this post so you can reference it if you ever head to the area! I’ll be sharing more about our Italian vacay, including Rome and Venice, what apps I used and more. Check out my post on must-have items to be able to pack in a carry on for 10 days.