In 2018, I had the opportunity to explore the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
What left a lasting impression on me was the contrast between Naples’ morbid charm and the lush colors of the charming coastal towns and islands along the Amalfi Coast. The trip was a diverse blend of history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes.
Praiano and Positano
While Positano is renowned for its colorful houses, bustling streets with boutique shops, and popularity among tourists, the neighboring village of Praiano offers a more laid-back atmosphere. Praiano boasts equally stunning views as Positano, but stands out for its tranquility and, most importantly for us, a distinct lack of tour buses. Our hotel was nestled into the cliffs of Praiano, providing us with breathtaking views of the Amalfi coast.
Amalfi and Ravello
One of our day-trips led us to the charming town of Ravello, nestled high in the steep mountain roads above Amalfi. Ravello is known for its breathtaking panoramic views of the Amalfi Coast, its historic villas with lush gardens, and its picturesque winding streets.
When exploring the Amalfi Coast, a visit to Capri is almost mandatory. While Capri caters heavily to the needs of luxury tourists, for our taste, the boat trip from Furore to Capri along the stunning coast and the picturesque island more than made up for it. The highlight of our visit was a hike to the cliffs of Capri, from where we could observe the wide range of boats and yachts coming to and leaving the island in the crystal-clear waters below.
The historical city of Pompeii is a place that I had always wanted to visit. Destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, the falling ash preserved the city just as it was during that time, creating an eerie yet fascinating experience for visitors. As we wandered through the alleys of the ruined city, we couldn’t help but wonder how life must have been during that time. As a backdrop to the city ruins, Mount Vesuvius is always visible, serving as a reminder of how the city came to an abrupt end. We had also hoped to climb the volcano, but unfortunately, it was hidden behind clouds on the day of our visit.
Naples was a fascinating visit with a unique atmosphere that blends history, culture, and grit. What stuck in my memory the most are the small dark alleys, artisanal shops, and vibrant street life. However, the city can also be noisy, crowded, and extremely run-down, which adds to its morbid charm. Despite its reputation as the birthplace of pizza, we didn’t manage to grab a bite, as most shops were closed at the time. Nevertheless, the city left a lasting impression on us.