Whether you are as wealthy as the King of Brunei or as poor as a church mouse, The Amalfi Coast holds the same enchanting magic for everyone on this planet ! From the budget to the not- so -budget trip to the Amalfi Coast please read on…
We swim in the same silky blue sea, we marvel at the same breath taking panorama and we sleep under the same star studded sky! We all share the same enthusiasm when travelling to any magnificent destination like the Amalfi Coast, rich or poor, no matter what our budget is!
The magnificent & very vertical Positano!
PART 1 – Young, cool and possibly……..poor!
When I think of my son in his 20’s travelling to the Amalfi Coast I often wonder where he would stay and how he would enjoy this stunning coastline if he had not grown up there and known half the village! not to mention a good part of his family who still live there. But If Marco returned for a holiday with mates and did not know this area at all, here are a few things I might suggest:
The BYT’s of today (Beautiful Young Things) may be short on $$’s, but the one thing they appear to have in abundance is TIME! So take it easy and hop on the train OR bus at Rome Termini train station to head down to Naples then onto the Amalfi Coast.
Most overseas flights from the Southern Hemisphere arrive into Rome. If you have not managed to build into your International ticket a reasonably priced domestic flight from Rome to Naples (the closest international airport to the Amalfi Coast) then hop on the Airport train into the Roma Termini train station (apx 1/2 hr). The taxis into Rome SHOULD be capped at apx 50 euro, but could take over an hour if traffic is bad.
At Rome’s Termini train station you can purchase your train ticket to Naples. The AV (Alta Velocita’) take only one and a half hours. Then there are a zillion other trains which take longer but cost less. The faster you go, the more you pay so ask at the bigletteria (ticket office) re times and prices.
Once you arrive in Naples, if the weather permits and the ferries and hydrofoils are running, it’s a quick taxi stop to the port, or a bus if you are game!. The ferry/hydrofoil may stop in either Sorrento then the island of Capri, if its the PEAK season DONT get off in Capri, this island can get over crowded and quite costly! Save if for a few years down the track., Stay on board and head to Positano, the first stop on the Amalfi Coast coming from Capri. These sea routes to the Amalfi Coast generally only run in the high summer season, June – Sept, so make sure when you board the ferry that you are going to POSITANO!.
Gelato coloured houses of Positano.
In my opinion by sea is the best way to arrive. You come into the wonderful beach area dotted with seaside eateries and boats with the entire town as a vertical backdrop like a breath taking theatre scene. you then simple walk up into the town or hop on the local bus that circumnavigates the 5 km town to your pensione (B & B) or room rental.
Alternatively once you arrive into Naples Central train station, don’t leave the main station, just head to the Biglietteria and you will see signs to also purchase tickets to the Circumvesuviana. This is the little train that circumnavigates all the small town around Naples and the Vesuvius. It is apx an apx one hour ride to Sorrento which is your destination and the end of that line. If you are travelling alone e especially if you look decidedly foreign, like I did, I probably wouldn’t suggest this trip at night, there are some very colourful characters hopping on and off this train who could be trouble. I did however catch this train at all hours but only with my Postanese partner on tow who spoke fluent Neapolitan and was built like a refrigerator! From Sorrento you must buy another ticket and hop on the SITA bus for Positano which leaves from right outside the little Sorrento train station and you will be in Positano at the ‘top’ of town so just walk down to your accommodation. The bus ride is apx 30 – 40 mins. If you are not sure where your B&B or apt is, ask at Bar Internazionale which is literally AT the bus stop
The institutional BAR INTERNAZIONALE! an early morning coffee and home made pastry, a mid day snack of pizza on the run, a cocktail before dinner, a late night grappa or leave a message for a local! They will get it!
The captivating pyramid of Positano.
When you have settled into your accommodation (check out my well priced guest houses http://www.my-amalfi-coast.com/guest-house or perhaps a small apt http://www.my-amalfi-coast.com/appartments,) you may feel like sleeping for 24 hrs possibly from ‘travel fatigue’….! after I suggest heading down to the beach area to check out La Brezza bar a great meeting/drinking/ Internet spot for the young right on the beach. You will find a mixed bag of guests at breakfast (they do good veggie and fresh fruit juices ) but definitely a younger crowd at night!
Chilling out at LA BREZZA bar. They do a mean Sptritz after a long day in the sun!
You can get take away pizza from most of the beach front restaurants and have your own feast sitting on the beach. All the delis in Positano sell beer and wine so make this a good stop, not a restaurant. The local bars also sell these products. If you are in the top part of town, then head to:
Bar Internazionale, the local bar that sells home made pastries, pizza, snacks, drinks, alcohol and is open from early morning till late at night.
Music on the Rocks for some late night dancing and fun after midnight you can head down to the main beach, but beware there is a cover charge to get in OR if you have the energy to hop the local bus to Praiano (6 kms away) then the local disco built into the rock face and accessed by a vertical lift is Africana also great fun….and a bit less expensive.
C’era Una Volta– just around the corner from Bar Internazionale at the top of town is great for an inexpensive and hearty lunch or dinner
Bar Bruno is only a few minutes up the hill from the main square Mulini in Positano, Great views and not too costly. But they are very popular so book! Lunch and dinner.
Ristoante Capricci on the main beach also have great snacks and restaurant food.
Pupetto Hotel/Ristorante on Fornillo Beach is a terrific not expensive pizzeria and restaurant. They also a good beach bar and the hotel is a very pleasant 3 star if you can afford it, apx 180 euro a double in high season.
FORNILLO BEACH is a much less expensive spot than the main beach of Positano and an apx 15 mins stroll from the main beach around a panoramic pathway heading to the right looking out to sea. It has a great local atmosphere, sometimes great music & very relaxed, there are a lot of card games happening in these beach bars. The food in all beach bars (apx 4) is good and simple. you’ll get big salads, sandwiches etc at a decent price. But like everywhere if you sit on the beach beds with brollies they change between $10 – $15 euro for the day ($15 – $20) but it is like your house for a day and can be worth the money sitting on your own bed under the sun eating a fabulous giant size panino (sandwich) dripping with fried goodies and mozzarella cheese and a cold beer!
If you want something a little different, then head out of town on a SITA or local bus to the area of Arienzo (apx 5 mins) and walk down the hundreds of stairs to Arienzo beach You can get the boat from the main beach, but this is just for the restaurant clients and you may not want to eat in the restaurant, although it is well priced and a plate of pasta if you can stretch your budget is well worth it. It is very simple and lovely. They also do sandwiches outside the busy lunch period, (1 – 4pm)
The delicious beach of Bagni Arienzo where the water is crystal clear and the food is delicious!
The Bagni Arienzo family! great spot.
If you do the stairs you can sit on the free side of the beach on your towel and enjoy this magnificent beach purchasing a sandwich or drinks from the restaurants, if you haven’t already bought your own with you.
But dont forget, the local delis have delicious food and are your best friends if trying to travel on a budget. They are open into the evening and quite late and do delicious sandwiches all day, naturally toward the evening supplies finish.
Here are a some more fun young spots, (that should not break the bank!) around Positano with decent nibbles and/or good food. They all sell alcohol.
Bar Li Galli ( at La Sponda) finger food.
Collina Positano Bakery (Piazza Mulini) finger food
Bar Delicatessen. finger food.
Wine-dark house (Beach area). very good restaurant and finger food.
Lounge Bar Paradise ( Beach area). finger food, great snacks and fabulous multi screen room to view all international sporting events together with the less enthusiastic sporting fans, a great view of the twinkling beach of Positano!
Snack Bar L’Alternativa (Beach area ) only snacks, non grog.
Guarracino Night (between main beach & Fornillo beach). restaurant food.
Da Ferdinando beach establishment (Fornillo beach) great snacks,salads and panini!…with a cold beer! lunch.
Grassi beach establishment. excellent salads and snacks. Also a great free boat service to and from Positano for clients. Lunch
La Marinella (Fornillo beach) snack food.
Bar Il Pertuso (Montepertuso) another different aspect of Positano from above.
Ristorante Da Costantino (road to Montepertuso but still within walking distance of Positano) Great views, great pizza. Lunch & dinner.
Ristorante La Terra (Montepertuso) Well priced restaurant in quiet mountain top area with great views! Lunch & dinner.
This coast in summer is perfect for the young, you can simply hang out anywhere, on the pebbled beaches, sitting on the low wall on any road curve, on taking a local bus to the next town (just beware of bus timetables as most STOP at midnight …..then it’s a walk home) or just hanging around the town!. It’s safe, fun and you can check everyone and everything out at a glance.
If you want to get on the sea, then try the slow ferry boat to Amalfi or even as far as Salerno it’s a great and cheap way to see the coast, hop off in Amalfi where there is heaps to see and have a few hours wandering around before heading back. Don’t forget to head through the back alley ways behind the main Church of S. Andrea in Amalfi to the next tiny town of Atrani, only 20 mins walk away! This spot also has an amazing beach for a dip if you are hot! It is a jewel like village and worth a coffee in their delightful fairytale piazza! …………PLUS you avoid all those curves on the bus!
Get the bus up to Montepertuso from Positano, just a few euro and then head to Nocelle where the Walk of the God ends, you can do it backwards heading towards Praiano! This walk has the most sensational views of the coast all the way from Salerno up one end to Capri at the other! once you arrive in Praiano you can head back to Positano by bus!
Here are some great, not over- the -top eateries in Praiano, just 6 kms from Positano and a great alternative for less expensive accommodation! Again check it out !
The Praiano Dome!
Bar Mare at La Praia beach – lunch or dinner
BAR MARE at La Praia…..open till late and right on the beach! also great music!
Vivarom wine bar – right on the main road. Excellent sunset drinks hole in the wall and fab nibbles. evening
Trattoria S. Gennaro tucked in under the main church. Breakfast, lunch dinner
One Fire – down on the sea in Praiano, its a walk but well worth it. Good music. Great fun. Lunch
I dont know the following spots, but some are all reasonably new to Praiano and sent to me by a well informed lovely local gal! Check them out.
Ristorante “Che Bontà”
M’Ama – Ristorante
Voce e’ Notte Grill and Sunset Bar
Il Rifugio – ristorante pizzeria
and OPENING SOON are:
KASAI (ristorante pizzeria)
LA MORESSA BISTRO
And guys …get onto GOOGLE! it’s all there !
When I was your age GOOGLE didn’t exist but it would have been my best friend if it had! However so much in the ancient parts of the world just never change. the transport into town & what the young want to do without spending a fortune and still have fun.
And PLEASE get a copy of my book MY AMALFI COAST, grab your parents’ copy or check out the local library, they should have a copy. Have a good read so you can work out what you’d like to see and do. Its worth photocopying the last 5 pages with all the addresses and phone numbers.
This could be your best friend on the Amalfi Coast!
Stay tuned next time for a few slightly more up market tips & hints in PART 2 for a touch more up market trip! some of which I will be doing with my Mum when we head to the Amalfi Coast this summer
BUON VIAGGIO e BUON DIVERTIMENTO!