After our busy time in Rome, Abbey and I decided that it was time for a vacation from our vacation. So we decided to venture further south and hang out on the Amalfi Coast for a week. We didn’t have much planned to do on the coast, so we got a private AirBnB in the small town of Ravello to spend the week. We planned on taking it easy and just catching up on some blog work for the most part. Ravello is close to Amalfi (1 hour walking), but much further up in the mountains, which means it is harder to access.
In order to get to our AirBnB we had to get a train from Rome to Salerno. In Salerno we got on a bus to take us to Amalfi. It was a 90 minute ride on narrow winding roads built into the sides of the cliffs. The views were amazing on the bus ride, but it wasn’t exactly a relaxing journey. Once in Amalfi we had to get on another bus which took us up to Ravello on more terrifying roads. Then, after finally reaching Ravello our AirBnB host was kind enough to pick us up and drive us to the apartment. This may seem like a hassle, but once we were int he apartment and saw the view from the large windows it was all worth it. It was without a doubt the best view I have ever had, and I instantly knew we made the right decision.
That night we had a quiet night indoors (not much in Ravello was open anyway). The next day we also had an uneventful, yet relaxing day. We went on a run in the morning, followed by heading to laundromat in the afternoon. We cooked all of our meals the first day in order to save some money and spend more time inside relaxing and soaking up the unbelievable view.
The following day we were greeted with fantastic weather, so we decided to leave Ravello and explore other parts of the Amalfi Coast. We left the apartment early and descended the hundreds (felt like thousands) of stairs that led us to the coast and the town of Amalfi. Once in town we were lucky enough to be able to eat at a cafe outside in the warm weather. After breakfast we headed to the bus station where we caught a ride to Agerola. Agerola was also up in the mountains, but on the other side of Amalfi. The bus ride wasn’t long and took under an hour.
From Agerola we were able to begin the “Sentiero degli Dei”, or “Path of the Gods” hike. This was an amazing walk that led us across stunning landscapes with unbelievable views of the Amalfi Coast and island of Capri. It was an easy walk for the most part except for a few sections which required rock scrambling. After about three hours we ended up in the hamlet of Nocelle where the path ended. From Nocelle we descended stairs for about an hour in order to reach the town of Positano where we caught a bus back to Amalfi. The hike was an amazing day trip that everyone visiting Amalfi should try to do; the views are unparalleled.
In Amalfi we grabbed some gelato and fresh squeezed lemon juice (which we quickly learned is not the same thing as lemonade) to consume while we waited for the bus to Ravello. However, it turned out the bus wasn’t running due to falling rocks. So instead we were forced to walk up the seemingly endless stairs in order to reach Ravello. Distance-wise the walk isn’t very long. However, you a pretty much climbing a mountain with stairs, so it is very tiring, especially after hiking all day. Once in Ravello, we grabbed a quick dinner and retired for the night.
The following day was much like our first day in Ravello. We stayed inside with the huge windows open most of the day just relaxing and cooking our meals. We got a lot of blog work done and rested our legs from the thousands of stairs we were on the previous day. Both of us had very sore hamstrings, so a rest day was much needed if we wanted to be able to walk anywhere else on the coast.
The next day we woke up early and made the walk down to Amalfi. We were able to eat breakfast outdoors again at a different cafe. We then got on a bus that took us about 2 hours to the city of Sorrento. In Sorrento we got on a small and shaky train that took us to Pompeii in about 45 minutes. We spent the afternoon exploring the ruins of the ancient city using a self-guided audio tour. Overall I enjoyed seeing the ruins, but next time I would skip on the audio guide. The city is much bigger than I thought it would be and I would have been better off wandering around freely and discovering things myself. We were there for about 4 hours and only saw 2 of the districts. I could have spent all day there, but that is impossible to do when coming from Ravello.
After exiting the archeological site, we grabbed some amazing orange juice from a street vendor and got back on the train to Sorrento. However, the train was severely delayed and we missed our bus connection to Amalfi. The next bus didn’t come for over 2 hours, so we grabbed dinner at a pizzeria in Sorrento while we waited. We eventually made it back to Amalfi just after nightfall. The bus to Ravello still wasn’t running, so we had to ascend the stairs once again, this time in the dark and with a light rain.
The next day was our last full day and we spent it inside relaxing. I only left once to get some groceries for dinner. The weather was rainy, so it was the perfect day to spend inside looking at the Amalfi coast below. The following morning we woke up very early to catch a ride to Salerno. In order to take the bus to Salerno we would have had to walk down to Amalfi with our packs before sunrise in the rain, so instead we opted to hire a taxi to pick us up from the apartment. Although the taxi was expensive, it was worth it considering the other option. Once in Salerno we caught a train to Rome’s airport, which brought our lovely time in Italy to a close.
I fell in love with the Amalfi Coast. Transportation issues aside, I’m not sure I have ever felt so relaxed in a place. Every local we talked to seemed happy to chat and to share stories of their own lives and travels. We were entertained by their stories of “hacking” school by only carrying the pages of the textbooks they were covering that day in class. (This was back when there were no school buses and children would walk up and down the mountain to get to school, hence trying to keep their backpacks light was the goal). And we entertained them by ordering lemon juice thinking it was lemonade – eventually one kind man explained that it wasn’t exactly a local drink and that we had fallen for a tourist trap.
Waking up every morning with a cup of tea and just staring out of the windows was a blissful experience. The sunshine and warmth was the perfect medicine to bring up my spirits after spending so much time surrounded by wind, snow, and just bone-chilling cold. I re-learned a few things while in Ravello. I get carsick easily (winding roads and large buses don’t mix), I always feel so at peace near the ocean, and freshly squeezed orange juice is the best drink in the world. While I was looking through our pictures from the Amalfi Coast to use for this post I couldn’t easily choose, which is why there are more pictures in this post than in others. I love big cities and the liveliness, the resources, and the diversity that they often bring, but taking the time to get away from the hustle and bustle is so refreshing.