The Amalfi Coast

For my spring break, I was lucky enough to spend a week in southern Italy. My friends Emma, Kristen and I set up camp in Napoli, the perfect location to get a taste of authentic Italy and take lots of day trips. Two of these day trips were to the Amalfi Coast, with the first to the island of Capri, and the second to the coastal town Sorrento.

2/10/17

We spent the second day of our trip in Capri, which is an island in the Amalfi Coast. It was a beautiful day: 60 degrees and sunny. The new shoes I bought for the nice weather tried to sabotage me. We had a rocky, bloody start, but a few band-aids later and I was good to go.

We made our way up to the city Capri, where we took in the incredible views from the top of the hill, walked around the cute shopping area, and grabbed some lunch. After lunch, we headed to Giardini di Augusto, probably my favorite part of the day. The views from this garden were incredible. From there we could see the Faralioni, Saint James’ Charterhouse, and the coastline directly below us. In a moment of serendipity, a man leading a tour group began singing in Italian. There are very few moments in my life where I have been more at peace.

After a bit, we hopped on the bus towards Anacapri, the other main area of the island. We took a 13 minute chairlift ride up to Mount Solaro, where we saw some more incredible views. Afterwards, we made our way down to the commercial part of Anacapri. However, since it’s February, and therefore off-season, most of the island is shut down. That being said, most of Capri’s charm is in nature, so it was nice to have shorter lines and less crowds; I didn’t feel like I was missing out on much. By then it was around 4pm, and we were exhausted. We decided to make our way down the giant cliff, which Google said would take 26 minutes (lies, lies, lies). This cliff was huge, and climbing down took us one hour. Before then, I’ve never experienced pain from going down stairs, only from going up them. Needless to say, once we reached the bottom, we hopped on our ferry back to Napoli, ready for some dinner and a lot of sitting.

By the time we reached Napoli, we were a very hangry, very exhausted group. Luckily everything was magically made okay by the very best pizza I’ve had in my life. We waited about 30 minutes, which is a pretty short line for this place, according to TripAdvisor. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele has only two types of pizza, cheese or marinara, and three drinks, beer, water or soda. It is the definition of no-frills, but it is the best pizza to grace this planet. After our beer and pizza, we finally headed to our AirBnB, and passed out from a full day.

2/13/17

Our fourth day was spent in the cute little town of Sorrento, which was only an hour’s train ride from Napoli. We hopped off the train and right into Piazza Angelina Lauro, one of the shopping centers of the town. While it was off season, I was happy to see the majority of stores were still open. A little off the side of the piazza is Valley of the Mills, a little gorge overlooking the ruins of some flour mills, which is equally cool and creepy. We continued through the shopping street, where there were many limoncello shops with very friendly salesmen. After many samples of the different limoncellos, chocolates filled with limoncello and cookies, we continued on our very happy and slightly buzzed way.

Probably one of my favorite parts of Sorrento was the orange trees that were everywhere. They were lined along the streets, ready for people to eat, and adding to the Italian charm of the town. We reached Villa Communale, where there is a church and cloister, and beautiful views of Marameo Beach. I’m usually a huge fan of churches, but I couldn’t shake the creepy feeling I got in this one. However, the cloister outside was beautiful, as were the views from the surrounding park.

From here we went down to Marina Grande, a cute port and beach area, where we got some lunch. We hung around the port for a bit longer, before making our way back to the shopping area to grab some heavenly gelato we passed by while shopping earlier. We grabbed our gelato and sat on the benches outside the cloister, and then moved down to Marmeo Beach, where we sat in the sunshine, enjoying the warmth and the sound of the waves before heading back to Napoli.

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