The Amalfi coast is gorgeous and a drive/bus ride along its full length an excellent way to spend a day. But man, is it crowded. We visited back in April, just after Easter and the tourist season was already in full swing. Amalfi is blessed with a balmy climate from March right through to the end of October, so the season is long.
Tourists have been visiting the area for centuries, from those taking the Grand Tour through Europe in the 18th century to the thousands of domestic and overseas tourists today. It’s an undeniably romantic part of the world…if you can avoid saying sorry to dozens of other people as you accidentally photobomb their selfies!
The best advice I can offer is to take an early bus from Sorrento – they run every 15 minutes or so– and to stay on the bus until Amalfi. You can hop on and off with a day ticket so you can visit some of the other villages on your way back.
The footprint of Amalfi is fairly compact but it’s full of twists, turns and small alleys leading up hillsides, so there’s a lot than first meets the eye. There are a couple of beach clubs (a very Italian thing) on the small but pretty beach, but we had a delicious early lunch of bruschetta at Gran Caffe on the bay, which is a great spot to people-watch. Why is it that something as simple as fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil tastes so much better in Italy?
Amalfi has quite a few tiled mosaics and advertisements which are fun to spot and hidden shrines you just might stumble upon along the way.
Our route through the alleyways finally lead us out onto the main plaza and Amalfi’s striking rock-striped cathedral. The style is quite different to the churches you’ll see in other parts of Italy, a reflection of the Turkish and Greek influences of the past. The kingdom of Amalfi was a trading hub for this part of the Mediterranean in centuries gone by.
You can’t avoid the dozens of shops selling everything lemon-related under the sun, but I like limoncello so I’m alright with that ;) There are some more inventive lemon – themed gifts including lemon pasta – I’m yet to figure out what sauce to cook with mine so answers on a postcard please!