By Scarlett of Petite Suitcase
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful places in Italy, in fact, it is so beautiful it is sometimes difficult to choose where to visit during your vacation. Some may only have a week to enjoy all the region has to offer.
That is why as a local ex-pat living in Campania, I thought I would share the places I enjoy visiting during my summer months here in Southern Italy. Our hopes is that it makes your decision a bit easier!
It’s the city everyone loves to hate, but the truth is you should absolutely stop in Naples. Even if you’re purely motivated purely by pizza and access to the Amalfi Coast, that’s reason enough to at least spend the day there. It’s truly a concrete jungle and there’s no other city like it. Whether you’re there for just a few hours on the way to the port or a week, pizza is mandatory.
Have your own Eat, Pray, Love moment and have pizza at L’Antica Pizzaeria da Michele, or head to Starita or Sorbillo’s for a pizza that will equally make you want to “get some bigger jeans” as Julia Roberts would say. I also love a sweet treat and a caffé from the historic Gran Caffé Gabrinus near the Piazza del Plebisbito. From the port, you can easily take ferries or trains to Capri, Sorrento, Procida or Ischia.
The smallest of the islands in the bay of Naples is Procida. For a walk through a pastel waterfront, be sure to head over to the Marina Corricella where buildings and boats are the colorful tones of Easter skittles. Procida is mostly untouched by the modern tourism that you’ll see over on its neighbor island of Capri, but it still has one shuttle that runs the length of the 2-mile long island.
Ischia is the place to be during August when Italians flock to the beach and escape the heat of the city. Of course, in true Italian style, the whole family is invited. Beaches are filled with families vacationing and soaking up the sun. Ischia is also home to several elaborate thermal spas like Giardini Poseidon Terme and Negombo if you prefer a pool to the beach.
Positano is one of the most famous towns along the Amalfi Coast. Photos of the iconic cliffside covered in charming apartments and hotels have probably popped up on your Pinterest feed, but what you might not have heard is how friendly the locals are.
I’ve once had a restaurant owner sit at our table and tell us about how that was the last weekend he’d be open for the season because the very spot we were sitting at would be underwater soon. Looking up from the beach or straight on from a boat, Positano is photogenic from all angles.
I’ve visited Sorrento in different seasons, and I love seeing how this small town transforms. In the winter oceanfront restaurants may be closed, but you can still smell the faint fragrance of basil and carbs wandering through alleys as locals cook their midday Sunday meal from home. In the summer, it’s only natural to take a spot under an umbrella on the crowded pier and cool off with a swim in the Mediterranean or a scoop of gelato… or both.