Amalfi is possibly the most famous town on the Amalfi Coast. A sun drenched town filled with piazzas and cute cobbled streets leading back from the black sand beach, unfortunately Italy wasn’t feeling too happy during my visit and I spent the day running between thundery downpours. Whilst on the scary clifftop bus ride along to Amalfi I was surprised to see how small the town actually is. I passed through a beautiful town named Atrani and genuinely wish I had stopped there too, less crowds and less well known (perfect for an adventursaurus).
Don’t believe the Instagram photographs; you can walk from one side of the town to the other in about 20 minutes and there is one main street, Amalfi is tiny.
Feeling slightly overwhelmed and apprehensive about the crowds (because of my lack of research into this place) I chose to go up a small back street behind the Piazza Flavio Gioia. This quickly took me away from the crowds from the cruise ships.
I noticed one thing immediately, the sheer number of fruit and veg shops which gave an incredible aroma. My favourite part of Amalfi has to be the rows of red chili’s drying out on the walls. If the weather wasn’t so rainy, I would definitely have bought myself lots of fresh fruit and veggies to snack on at the beach.
Whilst waiting for the rain to stop, unfortunately I had to go shopping in some cute Italian jewelry shops. But, don’t worry the rain didn’t last long, so I got to carry on, on my adventure around Amalfi. I took a wrong turn and found a dinosaur sized town! Neither my photographer nor I have any idea why it is there, but it is an amazing piece of artwork.
After a hard morning of shopping and looking at veggies (drool…). I decided it was time for lunch (YAY!). Finding the main street in Amalfi, from the top of the town I walked back towards the town and found a small Italian cafe, Bar Della Vale. Reasonably priced coffee, sandwiches and bruschetta with no service charge was a welcome sight. My lunch cost less than 10 euros, a first for me in Italy. After a very veggiesaurus friendly lunch, Amalfi seemed to be quietening down, so I decided to explore the main street, which unless you like shopping isn’t all that exciting.
However, the main piazza at the end of the main street is very beautiful and has a big grand staircase with a beautifully decorated cathedral at the top. Beautiful as it is, the steps are steep and hard to climb. Alongside the crowds I found this pretty dangerous to climb mainly because of the Instagram models running up and down the staircase, or lying across the stairs.
The cathedral itself opens from 7am so you can go before the crowds and take your time climbing the steps. The top of the stairs was a different experience altogether, I didn’t pay to go inside but its worth attempting the climb just for the views and to see the beauty of the building up close.
3 tips from visiting Amalfi:
- Get up nice and early to visit. The crowds are way too big for the tiny streets and if you see a cruise ship docked in the ocean close by … GO THE OTHER WAY ALONG THE AMALFI COAST!!! I made this mistake and khad to return to the town a second time to actually see things.
- For cheaper and more realistically priced restaurants and cafes, walk all the way up the main street to the school. Unless you want views of the Duomo or coast.
- For the best view of the town, the pier next to the ferry stop is where the professionals go for the panorama.
One final tip – get a day pass on the local bus so you can see all three of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites; Amalfi, Ravello and Positano in one day.
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Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. – Helen Keller