On this day: Rome to Amalfi via Naples, Italy

See more from my On This Day series here, where I celebrate travel memories on their trip anniversaries.

On June 8, 2018, I was at the Amalfi Coast, Italy.

Following a whirlwind day in Florence, we returned to our hotel in Rome in late evening and hopped into bed. The next morning, we awoke early to begin another ambitious day trip, this time to the Amalfi Coast.

Our visit to Amalfi was a last minute addition to our itinerary, having found a seemingly cool tour through City Wonders that we signed up for as we were planning the last couple days of our Italian holiday. We arrived in Naples from Rome after a one hour ride on the high speed train, and met up with our tour group to board the mini bus that would take us southward toward the coast.

The Amalfi Coast is another of Italy’s designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites, encompassing a stretch of coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea, located in the Gulf of Salerno. The steep southern shore is accessible via only one land route, the 40 kilometre long Strada Statale 163, which runs from Vietri sul Mare in the east to Positano in the west.

Thirteen municipalities are located along the Amalfi Coast, most of them centred around tourism. The topography of the region offers limited space for extended areas of agriculture, so the local people have innovated by working on terraced gardens which you can see if you look up while driving down the winding road. The Amalfi Coast is best known for its production of limoncello liqeuer, as it is a heavy cultivator of lemons sfusato amalfitano.

After a brief touristy pit stop at a limoncello vendor, the City Wonders tour headed toward our first stop in the town of Positano. The twisty road made for a nauseating ride, made worse by the fact that we were still tired from our late night return from Florence the prior evening. Luckily, we managed to survive the trip without hurling. Upon arrival in Positano, we stopped for lunch and I settled my stomach with a nice plate of spaghetti al limone.

Next on the schedule was a drive back up the coast to the neighbouring town of Amalfi. Here, we had the chance to wander the narrow and hilly cobbled streets, and stop at the rocky beach to dip our toes in the sea. The town was positively packed with visitors, mostly tourists on cruise ship stops.

On the way back to Naples, we passed through Salerno, where we visited a local cheesemaker of buffalo mozzarella. This thick, chewy cheese is traditionally manufactured in the region of Campania, particularly the provinces of Caserta and Salerno. As per its namesake, it is made with the milk of Italian Mediterranean buffalo.

We returned to Naples in the early evening, with enough time to make our requisite foodie stop at L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele for a classic Napoli pizza.

Although we were happy to have had a brief glimpse of the Amalfi Coast, I’m not sure that I would do a trip like this again. Southern Italy is worth a dedicated visit on its own, rather than a rapid paced day trip. It would perhaps be even better enjoyed on a yacht. 😜