In my last post, I talked about Sorrento being the perfect base for day trips to nearby places like the gorgeous towns of Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. The drive down the Amalfi Coast highway is one of the most nail-biting, breathtaking and unforgettable that I have ever experienced (and, no, I didn’t do the driving…if I had, I probably wouldn’t be here to write this post).
As you set out from Sorrento and head south, you can take either public transportation, an organized tour, or a private driver. We elected to use a private driver on both of our trips. Even though it is more expensive, it was important to us to be on our own schedule and go at our own pace…stopping whenever and wherever we chose. If it is within your means, I highly recommend this option.
We used a different company both times, and both were fantastic.
During the drive down the coast, we were able to stop at different places along the highway to get out of the car and enjoy views like this at our leisure:
On our first trip to Sorrento, we only made it to Praiano and Positano for our day trip. On our second trip, we made it back to Positano, then on to Ravello and Amalfi. Read on for the highlights of what we did in each lovely town.
We weren’t sure if we would make it to the Blue Grotto or not (we didn’t), so the reason for our stop in Praiano was mainly to visit the Emerald Grotto. There’s an elevator that takes you down to the beach area, then there are several more (easy) steps into the grotto. You’ll hop into a small boat and away you go. There were only a few other people there when we were, so it was a very private and pleasant experience.
The grotto is beautiful – but you really only spend about five or ten minutes in the relatively small area. The guide who rowed us around had a great sense of humor and made the experience even more enjoyable. At a cost of 5 euros per person, we felt it was a very worthwhile stop.
Another benefit of having a private driver is that we had the opportunity (on our first trip) to have lunch high up in the hills of Positano at a restaurant called La Tagliata, which was an amazing experience. The owners were gracious and friendly. We never saw a menu…they just started bringing plates of food to our table. We started with about 10-15 different antipasti. They brought out so much food that we initially thought it was our whole meal, but then they came back with several kinds of pasta and then a few desserts.
Next, we went to Villa Cimbrone. At the entrance of the Villa, there is a small, but pretty, cloister.
As you continue walking through the vast and beautiful gardens, you will come across many statues and fountains.
But the Villa is most famous, I think, for its oft-photographed 18th century marble busts and the view from the Terrazza dell’Infinito. As the name might suggest, the breathtaking views seem to go on forever.
We walked around Amalfi for a little while, did some shopping, then headed back to Sorrento. On the drive home, we were lucky enough to see the sun setting over the water. It was a beautiful sight none of us will ever forget.
A fitting end to a wonderful day! The peace and beauty that you will experience in this part of Italy is unforgettable.