One of the places that I was most excited to see in Italy was the Amalfi Coast region, a 50-kilometer stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy, also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. For our trip, my family based ourselves in Sorrento and did day trips to Pompeii, Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello throughout the week.
This region tends to get really hot in the summer; conveniently, around every corner in Sorrento is also a gelato shop. A great one to try is Gelateria Primavera, with over 50 unique flavours to choose from.
The days seemed longer in Southern Italy (in a good way), with the sun fully setting at around 22:00. A good spot to watch the sunset is at the terrace cliff viewpoint in Sant’Angelo, since it offers a spectacular view over the coast and doesn’t get too crowded.
There’s also a small restaurant there, good for dessert.
The first day trip we did from Sorrento was to Pompeii, an ancient Roman town that was mostly destroyed by a volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. This eruption destroyed the city, killing all its inhabitants and burying it under tons of ash.
The site was lost for about 1,500 years, but rediscovered in 1599. Since then, Pompeii has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts over 2.5 million visitors each year.
It’s easy taking day trips from Sorrento, and the trip to Pompeii cost less than 3 euros one-way by local train. However, getting to other regions like Amalfi and Ravello are a bit trickier since the local train doesn’t run there. Alternatives include taking the bus, renting a car, or joining a tour. We opted for a semi-private tour in a van that took us to Amalfi, Positano and Ravello in one day.
All around the Amalfi Coast are lemons – really, really big lemons – and tons of products made with this citrus fruit. Definitely try freshly squeezed lemonade and lemon sorbet when around this area.
Positano was one of my favourite destinations, often referred to as the vertical city, as from afar, it seems as though its buildings are built directly on top of one another.
Amalfi was also gorgeous, and its beaches were very ideal for swimming to cool off from the heat.
I’m really glad I got the chance to explore Southern Italy – it was very different than the norther part the country where I had spent the prior four months.