This past week we visited Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Just south of Naples, these areas sit on that piece of Italian land that juts out into the sea. My brother and his girlfriend came to visit Matilda, and as part of their trip, we planned this Italian vacation. My brother selected the destination based on where none of us had been before, and I never expected to fall in love with the region like I did.
We flew into Naples which made me nervous, as all I had ever heard about Naples was to avoid it. We selected an AirBnB in Sorrento based on its views of the water and the Isle of Capri, and after an hour long drive on winding mountain roads, we found Heaven.
The views did not disappoint – our breath caught in our chests at the sight from our terrace. The rest of the rental home was just as incredible, and was the best AirBnB we’ve ever stayed in. It even had its own lemon trees we could pluck fruit from!
Matilda enjoying the view
Sunset over Capri
We spent our time over the next 4 days exploring the region. One day, we ventured down to Positano to see the homes that climbed up from the water front. It reminded me heavily of Cinque Terre, but the food and ambiance was even more amazing.
As Naples and the region are known for their pizza, we also attempted to attend the Pizza Avico festival in Vico Equense. Given the winding roads we were beginning to get used to, traveling to the festival seemed like a non issue. However, once we arrived in Vico Equense, all hell broke loose. Most roads were blocked off for the festival, and an attempt to find parking took us on a 45 minute detour, away from the pizza. Tony and I were yelling at each other, my brother’s girlfriend was feeling motion sick, and all we wanted was to eat some damn pizza.
We finally settled on an illegal parking spot (and 28 euro parking ticket), ate some pizza, and got back on the road. The pizza was absolutely delicious, but the festival was clearly intended for the locals. Our driving alone proved we didn’t belong there! 😆
The day after, we rented a private boat that lazily floated around Capri. We found water the color of both sapphire and topaz stones tucked amongst the rocks. The sun felt incredible on our skin, and was paired with a cool breeze. This was my favorite part of the trip, as I could’ve sat on that boat all day. Matilda loved it too!
Once on the Isle of Capri, it was a slightly different story. I had been spoiled by the lovely people in Cinque Terre and Positano. Landing in Capri felt like an assault. Every restaurant had people trying to convince you to eat at their location. Any restaurant that has to work that hard is not worth visiting, and another tourist confirmed this by sharing one of the places served frozen lasagna. Everywhere you turned was a tourist trap, and I couldn’t wait to get back on the boat towards our serene rental.
Our last day, we sadly drove away from Sorrento and headed towards Pompeii. We stopped there for gelato and a view of the ruins before making our way to the Naples airport.
Even with the not-so-great parts, I would absolutely return to this part of Italy. The good absolutely outweighed the bad, and a return has the potential to be even greater than this visit. Tony and I have already discussed what we would do differently next time:
- No driving unless absolutely necessary
- No stopping at Capri – just float around it
- Only eat at local restaurants – the less English spoken, the better
Until next time…