Thousands of tourists come to Italy to visit the beautiful Amalfi Coast every single year. This exquisite coastline stretches from Sorrento all the way to Salerno, with thirteen different towns to explore along the way. With each town offering its own special something, travellers have a wonderful variety of things to do on the Amalfi Coast. On a recent ten-day trip, these were some of my absolute favourite Amalfi Coast towns that you’ll hopefully add to your next trip!
This post was originally written and published on The Roman Guy Travel Blog.
The town of Amalfi is well positioned in the centre of the coastline. This makes it a great place to stay, as you can explore the towns on the west one day and the towns on the east another, without having to travel too far.
Ones of the highlights of Amalfi is the well known Andrea Pansa Pasticceria home of the famous Santa Rosa Sfogliatella – A traditional shell-shaped dessert with a delicious filling and garnished with custard and candied cherries. If you ever visit the town of Amalfi, don’t miss out on this sweet treat, you will not be disappointed!
Just across from Pansa Pasticceria is a wonderful little Majolica tile shop. These are traditional hand-painted tiles that you can hang up on a wall or use to actually tile surfaces. All travellers want to take something special home with them after an amazing vacation, and this place offers the perfect souvenir.
It’s easy to spend a day hanging out in Amalfi town, as there is lots to do. Get a tasty gelato and stroll up the main street of the town. Visit the beautiful Duomo di Amalfi, an Arab-Sicilian cathedral of Sant’Andrea Apostolo. You can carry on walking all the way up the street, exploring and snacking on foods as you go.
While hanging out in Amalfi town, we discovered a wonderful viewpoint that we couldn’t help visiting many more times during our stay. Start at Andrea Pansa Pasticceria with the sea behind you. Take a left and make your way straight, weaving through the little piazzas and (hopefully) finding stairs leading up. To help you out, look at the viewpoint on Google Maps – It’s on Salita S. Pietro della Canonica. You can also look out for any signs pointing to Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi, which is further on from the viewpoint. At the viewpoint, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the sea and instantly feel tranquil. There is even a little bench and a fresh water fountain.
Amalfi’s beach is also lovely. It’s a convenient two-minute walk from the town, right there, waiting for you. The water is blue and clear, making for an inviting break in between exploring the town.
Just beyond Amalfi Town, you’ll find the lesser-known town of Atrani. It is very small, the smallest community in all of Italy in fact!
Just to the east of Amalfi, on the right, there is a little road that weaves down and under the bridge. This is where you’ll find this little-hidden town at the sea. People do actually live here, about 800 or so in total.
One of the best reasons to visit Atrani is for the food, particularly, the seafood. The setting is also more charming and peaceful than other more popular towns like Positano.
As you enter Atrani, to the right, you’ll see Ristorante Le Arcate. Here you can sit outside, looking at the sea, and enjoy a meal like the one pictured above. This is “Paccheri con Pescato del Giorno, Capperi e Olive” – Homemade pasta with fish of the day, capers and olives.
If you feel like venturing further into the town, there is a darling little square, Piazza Umberto to start from. From there, you can stroll up the little main road, Via dei Dogi. We had a delicious seafood pizza at a place called Ristorante Pizzeria Mistal in Piazza Umberto. Amazing!
Atrani also has a little beach to relax on. We visited this little town a few times to enjoy different seafood dishes and loved the calm, less-touristy atmosphere it offered.
3. Ravello (and Scala)
When visiting the Amalfi Coast, it’s not all about being at the seaside. There are many different ways to enjoy this exquisite coastline, and Ravello lets you enjoy it from up high!
Ravello is further east of Amalfi. If you’re looking for peace, tranquillity, and incredible views, Ravello is for you. It is just over 365 meters above sea level and known for its iconic cliffside gardens. At the 13th-century Villa Rufolo, you can enjoy breathtaking views from its terraced gardens. During summer, there is also the Ravello Festival, where you can enjoy indoor and outdoor concerts.
We were exploring by scooter, one of the best ways to discover Amalfi. After we zipped around Ravello, we decided we wanted to go even higher. The views were addictive and we wanted more! This led us to another coastal town, Scala, just next door to Ravello. The word “scala” in Italian means “ladder.” Does that give you an idea of what this town offers? Yes, views! There isn’t too much going on in this little town, but if you want a great view away from the typical Amalfi experience, this is for you.
There is something special about going inland a little, and winding up higher and higher. You find yourself in amongst the lesser known villages where locals are simply getting on with their days. We stopped off at a wonderful viewpoint in Scala, looking over Ravello and the beautiful coastline. Sitting there, mesmerizing at the view, while locals strolled past with their wheelbarrows and daily shopping. A different side of Amalfi for sure.
Most travellers know of Positano, the picturesque little town tucked away in the winding coastline. Because of its popularity, for good reason, it has become very touristy. That said, it’s still worth a visit.
Positano is definitely as pretty as a picture. The town has the typical Amalfi architecture, with characteristic whitewashed houses climbing up the cliffs. The whole town is charming, with little alleyways and nooks and crannies to explore.
Its beach is also pretty large. When you walk down to the main beach, you’ll see a little walkway on the right. This will lead you to the west side of Positano, to a less busy stretch of beach. Here you can soak up the sun and swim in the clear blue water in a more tranquil environment. Just remember, Positano doesn’t get sun all day, so be sure to get to the beach earlier than later in the afternoon if you want to sunbathe.
When you’re visiting the Amalfi Coast, make sure you squeeze in a couple ferry rides. The ferries run often, from Salerno to Positano, stopping at different towns along the way. You can buy your ferry tickets right there at the dock (cash only), costing between €8-€12 depending on the distance you’re travelling. You can check out the Travelmar ferry schedule to plan your route.
Ferry rides may be more expensive than taking the SITA Buses, but it’s much quicker and an exciting experience to explore the coastline from the water.
How to get your SITA bus tickets? You can buy your SITA bus tickets at any Tabacchi (little tobacco shops). You can buy 24-hour passes or single tickets. Check out their schedule to see how often the buses run and what routes they take.
5. Conca dei Marini (Praiano and Furore)
While in Amalfi, we stayed in an Airbnb in a little village called Tovere, just above Conca dei Marini. Owned by a wonderful local, Andrea, we stayed in a separate little house next to his. Private, among his fruit trees, with a view to die for. These kinds of spots give you a wonderful experience that hotels simply can’t. You meet the locals and have all the space and privacy you need to unwind.
Of course, staying up on the cliffs requires your own transport. While there are Sita Buses, they don’t run as often the higher up you go. If you have your own wheels, look for a more local experience in a town like Tovere, through Airbnb. If you are relying on public transport, opt for something further down closer to the sea.
Conca dei Marini is just below Tovere, so we got to explore it quite a bit. In this town, you’ll find the Monastero Santa Rosa. This is the monastery where the famous Santa Rosa Sfogliatella was born. This is the tasty shell-shaped pastry mentioned above. A nun at the monastery created this recipe in the 1600s. It is said that the recipe was so good that it was kept a secret for 150 years before it was shared. Even though Conca is where it was born, I’d still suggest a visit to Amalfi town and get one at the Andrea Pansa Pasticceria. Molto Buono!
The monastery has since been converted into a gorgeous luxury hotel and spa, Monastero Santa Rosa. If you want to stay somewhere very special, this is the place to stay, wow! When you take that exciting ferry ride, you’ll see it from the water, it’s hard to miss! Just next to the hotel, there is still a little chapel. We were lucky that, when we visited, a darling local man was inside, hard at work restoring the inside of it. It was a special experience, as he showed us all his restoration work.
Another must visit in Conca dei Marini is the restaurant Le Bonta del Capo. This restaurant blew my mind, leading us to visit it multiple times on this trip. Incredible food, friendly helpful staff, beautiful views, great prices. Need I say more?
Some of the foods to try when you go include:
Delizio Limone – This dessert originated from Sorrento, and has now become one of the much-loved traditional desserts of the region. It is basically a type of sponge cake soaked with a syrup made with limoncello, and then filled and covered with lemon-based cream. An all-round lemon delight!
Ravioli con Ricotta con Limone – When in Amalfi, you’ll find all sorts of different ways to eat the lemon. This was a new experience – A fresh pasta, filled with ricotta and covered in a special lemon juice. It was beyond delicious!
Just next to Conca dei Marini, there are also two smaller more intimate beaches to visit:
Praiano: This is one of the smaller Amalfi Towns, with a gorgeous little beach.
Fiordo di Furore: This little commune has a lovely little beach.
Both are easy to get to and very close to each other. If you don’t have your own wheels, just get a Sita Bus pass and beach hop along the coast. I got a Sita bus pass for the day and made my way from Conca dei Marini to Positano. On the way, I stopped at Fiordo di Furore for a little beach session and then hopped back on an hour later. From Positano, I caught a ferry ride back to Amalfi Town and spent the afternoon hanging out on its beach. From there, I caught a Sita bus back to Conca dei Marini. I was surprised at how easy it was to get around with public transport!
6. Vietri sul Mare
Now for a town that is a little more off the beaten track: Vietri sul Mare. This little town is on the far east of the coastline, very close to Salerno. There is a lot to see in this little town, but its main attraction is definitely its ceramics!
Ceramics is one of the most important handcrafted products of the Amalfi area, and this is the centre of it all. You will notice this the moment you arrive in Vietri sul Mare. The streets are lined with beautifully decorated buildings.
In Vietri, you can also visit the Provincial Ceramics Museum which is located inside Villa Guariglia. However, you can also simply just walk through the quaint little streets and soak up the ceramics this way. It is everywhere!
Although I didn’t have time, another place to visit is the Church of San Giovanni Battista, one of the town’s most important historical buildings. Located in the centre, its characteristic dome made of beautiful colourful majolica makes it difficult to miss! If you have time, be sure to stop for a visit!
This is a lovely little town to visit if you’re looking for a less-touristy side of Amalfi. Here you can just stroll around, be amongst more locals and soak up the seaside village life.
I hope that this has inspired you to add some of these darling towns to your itinerary when you next visit the beautiful Amalfi Coast. Happy Travelling!