Morning! I hope you’re all having amazing weeks. I’m currently drinking an Aperol Spritz in the picturesque area of Santa’Agata, Italy and I couldn’t be happier.
There’s no questioning how much I love Italy. If I could spend a few months every year living and breathing the Italian lifestyle, I’d be one happy woman. There’s just something about the warmth of the people and their simple yet fulfilled lives that connects with me. I’ve even come to enjoy an espresso or two, which for me (a non coffee drinker) is saying something.
During my time here, I’ve been making the most of my days by getting up at 5.30am to watch the sunrise from my balcony, before going on to explore the surrounding areas such as Sorrento, Positano, Pompeii and Capri. The beauty of the Amalfi Coast compares to nothing I’ve ever seen before. And the pictures you see on social media and in travel magazines just doesn’t do it justice. When you’re physically there, up close and personal, it’s beyond breathtaking.
Day One… arrival and million dollar balcony views
The majority of visitors to South Italy, will predominantly base themselves in Sorrento. But during peak season, you can expect to pay an absurd amount for even the tiniest of accommodations. So I did my research, and when I came across a stunning Airbnb located in Santa’Agata (which is just outside of Sorrento), for half the price, I was immediately sold.
Flying into Napels, I got the CURRERI bus from the airport to Sorrento (€10 for a ticket, purchased on the bus) and then switched to the SITA bus marked for Santa’Agata. Paying my €2 for a one way ticket, I took a seat and enjoyed the view of the Italian countryside for the next forty minutes.
Arriving at the Airbnb, the minute I stepped inside and saw the views from the living room, not to mention the balcony, well, I felt like I’d won a million dollars and this is what it bought. It is without a doubt, the most incredible accommodation I have ever stayed in. Not to mention how amazing my has been, providing bus schedules and restaurant recommendations. I was definitely in my happy place!
First Night… a great big bowl of pasta
Pasta is my favourite dish, and being in the one place that hands down, makes it the best, I knew that’s what I’d be ordering for my first meal. Heading to where both the locals and tourists frequent, I wondered slightly away from the more tourist appearing restaurants and ended up stumbling upon a place called Lo Stuzzichino. And oh my god, was I glad I found this little gem!
The restaurant was extremely busy (which is always a good sign), but I had no trouble getting a table. During my meal, they had live music playing and the atmosphere was out of this world. Waiters dancing on chairs, there was even one point in the night where the entire restaurant was up on their feet (me included) dancing and clapping away. Oh and the chocolate gelato I had for desert, delizioso!
Day Two… Positano, beautiful backdrops and the best lemon sorbet of my life
Starting the day early, I waited patiently at a nearby bus stop, soaking up the sun as it peeked through the clouds. I was finally going to Positano! As the bus arrived, I showed the driver my ticket (only €9 for a return, purchased from the local newsagents), and made myself comfortable. I was lucky to get the last seat as I hopped on the bus, the remainder of passengers had to stand for the duration of the trip, which was about forty five minutes.
The drive up involves a long stretch of winding road, so if you’re prone to car sickness, I’d recommend taking something beforehand, but the views will not disappoint. Absolutely breathtaking. As we arrived in Positano, the bus driver informed us that the bus back to Santa’Agata and Sorrento was from a different location, so I jotted these details down before getting ready to explore.
Walking down the narrow pathways and steps to the famous Positano beach, I swear I stopped every two seconds to take a photo. Everything was just so picturesque! Reaching the bottom, I wasted no time at all and found myself a spot on the sand. Within minutes I was sun baking with the most incredible backdrop of limestone cliffs and pastel coloured embedded houses.
After getting my tan on, it was time for some lemon sorbet. And there’s no better place to go, than Covo Dei Saraceni. A little more on the expensive side, but in my opinion one hundred percent worth it! I found out about this place after Aggie @travelinhershoes recommended it, and let me tell you, she found the good stuff.
As I wondered along the various pathways, stopping in all the boutiques shops along the way, I couldn’t help but want to buy everything I saw. From silk scarves and handmade paintings to hats and crockery, it was all so beautiful. But also extremely expensive. Not too far from where the bus departs, I managed to find a few shops selling beautifully designed cheese boards, etc., at a more affordable price, so I made my purchases there.
Day Three… Pompeii, getting lost and ancient ruins
Another day, another adventure. I was off to Pompeii! Making my way into Sorrento, I then boarded the train direct to Pompeii, making sure to get off at Pompei Scavi station, which is the entrance to the ruins, and not Pompeii station itself.
I had I read prior to my trip that when you exit the station, it’s best to ignore the locals holding “tour ticket” signs and the small ticket booth set up, and instead walk the short distance to the main entrance of the ruins, and purchase your tickets from there. I followed this advice, which resulted in me saving a few euros. And when you’re on holiday, every bit counts!
I decided to skip the guided tour and instead explore on my own. If you decide to do the same, just be aware that the area is huge. So huge that they’re still uncovering ruins today! Trying to navigate where I was on the map took some skill, and I most definitely found myself walking around in circles from time to time. But despite this, what I managed to see was incredibly beautiful and it was such a surreal feeling to be surrounded by so much history.
Day Four… Capri, beachside reading and relaxing strolls
I almost didn’t go to Capri. My original plan was to go to Amalfi but being a Sunday, the bus schedule didn’t allow me much time in Amalfi to really explore, so I opted for Capri instead. This was definitely a good decision on my part, because Capri is a little slice of heaven.
From Sorrento’s pier, a ferry across to Capri takes around thirty minutes and costs €17 each way. I purchased my tickets on the day of travel, and because of this, I wasn’t able to choose what time I departed and returned, I just had to go with what was available. I lucked out and managed to find availability for a decent time slot both ways, but if you’re wanting to travel at specific times, I recommend booking your tickets a day or two in advance.
From exploring the winding pathways and various viewpoints, to taste testing limoncello and sitting by the bay, once I arrived, I didn’t want to leave. I ate gelato (Bar Grotta Azzurra was amazing), did a little shopping (L’Isola Dei Sapori has incredible pistachio limoncello and lemon rind chocolate) and I sat on the beach, book in hand, enjoying the sun and the gentle crash of the waves. The beach here isn’t a, lay on the sand kind of beach as it’s full of pebbles, but I was able to find a beautiful spot nonetheless.
Day Five… departure and pizza
With my bag fully packed, ready for my departure later this afternoon, I’m currently enjoying the views from my balcony, for one last time. I’m feeling sad to leave this beautiful place and the calmness it brings with it. Such a contrast to the busyness of London and my current day to day life.
To end my trip on a high, I made sure I had one last incredible meal. Going all out, I ordered pizza, pasta and of course, bruschetta. Taking myself to Mimi’s, a cosy family run restaurant recommended by my Airbnb host, I had an incredible meal, surrounded by the most friendly staff I’ve met during this trip. They even gave me a free appetiser and some homemade melon limoncello. It was incredible!