Timeline: September 05 – September 10
Stayed in Sorrento as base, made day-trips to Amalfi Coast and Pompeii
Day 8: Arrived to Sorrento in the afternoon, traveled by train from Florence to Naples (pre-purchased tickets) for about 3 hours and switched to local Circumvesuviana train from Naples to Sorrento (purchased tickets from Naples train station), about 1 hour ride. Checked-in to the Hotel Imperial Tramontana, elegant and luxury hotel, located at the best part of the town with direct and private lift to a special beach area.
After some refreshments at the hotel, walked to the town for lunch at a restaurant right by the main bridge. Had a great frutti di mare dish with fresh catch from the sea, amazing food with breath-taking view.
Walked in the town and explored little markets, squares, and narrow streets decorated by lemon trees and flowers.
Took a ride with the tourist train, great experience to learn about the town and shortcuts. Spent the rest of the night wandering around aimlessly, tried authentic limoncello made in Sorrento, hopped on carious cafes and walked into little chic boutiques.
Sorrento had a great vibe at night, restaurants playing live music, lot of people hanging out at the squares and piazza Tasso, highly recommend to select as a base-stay when exploring Amalfi Coast.
Day 9: Had a great breakfast at the hotel with a magnificent view of the Mount Vesuvius then spent the entire day at the hotel’s private beach with a little cafe serving great coffee, drinks, fresh pastries and food for lunch. The beach had a small sandy area as well as private beds and umbrellas for rent, and beautiful glittering waters to embrace the bodies.
In the early evening, walked around the cathedral and the main terraces facing the Adriatic Sea and Mount Vesuvius and watched the sun gradually going down to start the dazzling night.
Had a reservation for dinner at the famous Delfino Restaurant by Marina Grande. Walked via the main road through tunnels and steps to get to the Marina. Delfino was right by the beach on a beautiful deck with an amazing ambiance. The breeze from the sea and fresh scent of seafood was mesmerizing. The service was superb, food was unbelievable and the experience just one of a kind. The restaurant was a must visit in Sorrento.
Concluded the night with an exciting walk back to the city center while exploring hidden gems of the town.
Day 10: Day trip to Pompeii. After breakfast, walked to the station for a train ride to Pompeii. The ride on Circumvesuviana train took 30 minutes from Sorrento to Pompeii and the cost was 2 euros per person. The archeological site was a few minute walk away from the train station. Used previously purchased tickets for the entrance which helped escaping the line, and rented audio guide which was very helpful understanding different sections of the site.
Visiting Pompeii is a “must do” if staying close to in the site, it is also possible to make a day-trip to Pompeii from Rome. It is unbelievable to see how advanced the city was in almost 3000 years ago having systematic water supplies or as they call them “aqueduct”, market, toilets, beautiful architecture and mosaic art, squares, water fountains and many more. It is a real eye-opener to see even advanced civilizations won’t last forever.
Spent 2 hours at the site and walked back to the train station for the same train ride back to Sorrento.
Returned to the beach for the rest of the afternoon. Had a light and refreshing lunch at a beach restaurant adjacent to the hotel’s beach, fresh mussels and calamari salad.
Started the evening by watching the sun descend by the Vesuvius and continued by walking the streets and enjoying amazing food and scenery. For dinner, stopped by Divina Sorrento restaurant on Piazza Sant’Antonino. The food was incredibly delicious! Tried fresh fried shrimps, baked sea bream fish, frutti di mare pasta, and a pizza, all professionally prepared following simple Italian cuisine art.
Ended the bella notte by a gelato on Piazza Tasso, a real dolce vita!
Day 11: Day-trip to Amalfi Coast. In the morning, picked up the previously booked car from the Hertz car rental office in Sorrento and started the thrilling drive on the narrow coastal road of Amalfi.
Like every other experience in Italy, the drive on the coastal snake road was breathtaking. The scenery was unreal, view of the glittering azure waters from the cliff tops on one side and the rocky heights on the other. Had a couple of stops on the road to absorb the view and fresh breeze from the sea.
The first town to visit was Positano, a little town from the fairy tales! The entire town is built on steps which connects the top of the cliffs all the way to the beach. Driving experience on the one and only super narrow road was hectic, most local cars had their side mirrors gone for obvious reasons. Parked the car and walked the steps down to the beach.
It was a beautiful walk through the narrow steps, finding hidden gems. Little ceramic shops and boutiques, cozy hotels, little houses with vegetable and fruit gardens, nature, cafes and restaurants, all astonishing.
Took a break at a café to refresh after a tough climb and returned to the road for the next destination, town of Amalfi. As approached the Amalfi town, the narrow coastal road got more jammed with cars and buses. Finding parking was tough closer to the town, parked at a hotel parking lot about 15-minute walk away from the town. The little town of Amalfi was also very beautiful, filled with little souvenir and ceramics shops, crowded squares and a cathedral.
Had a great lunch at the Duca restaurant in the middle of the town center, right by a pretty water fountain decorated by little figures on a rock.
Spent some time resting at the beach before heading back to the road for the last stop, Ravello.
Day 11: Last day in Sorrento, enjoyed the beauty of the town and the beach all day.
Summary of Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Activities:
- Day 1:
- Checked-in to the hotel Imperial Tramontano
- Took a tourist train ride across the Sorrento town
- Day 2:
- Stayed at the hotel Tramontano’s beach
- Dined at Delfino Restaurant
- Day 3:
- Day-trip to Pompeii
- Dined at Divina Restaurant
- Day 4:
- Road-trip to the Amalfi Coast
- Day 5:
- Explored the town and did some shopping
- Stayed at the beach
Some tips for visiting Sorrento and Amalfi Coast:
- Try to fit Pompeii visit to your itinerary, it is very easy to reach from Sorrento or any place in Campania and Rome. Purchase tickets in advance to save time.
- Sorrento is a great base when planning to stay in Amalfi region. It is an interesting small town with good beaches and provides easy access to the rest of the region.
- Positano is a beautiful small town, definitely worth of visiting but it could be hectic to stay as a base. Having to climb the steps up and down makes it very hard to move around specially with strollers or people with disabilities.
- Road trip on Amalfi’s coastal road is breath-taking however, could be terrifying with the snaky narrow road. If not comfortable with driving, there are buses and private cars to rent as alternatives. However, highly recommend the road trip, the view is stunning and unforgettable.
- The water is amazing for swimming across the Amalfi coast. Salt water makes it very easy to float and enjoy the scenery.