The jaw-dropping scenery and natural wonder of Southern Italy’s Amalfi Coast make it a popular destination for visitors from all over the world. Its proximity to Naples, Pompeii and Vesuvius offers tourists the perfect opportunity to learn about the region’s historical significance while exploring its scenic landscape.
Exploring the Amalfi Coast may be a daunting task for those unfamiliar with the area. This breakdown of Amalfi Coast towns is your guide to all that there is to see in this Southern Italian paradise.
Check out our dedicated page on the Amalfi Coast on our sister site, The Tour Guy. Also, our Rome Day Trip to Pompeii and Sorrento is an excellent way to see the AmalfI Coast and Pompeii if you are unable to allocate more than one day to the area.
If you already planned a trip to Amalfi Coast and will coming from Rome, you can book the above tour and email us. The tour is a round trip from Rome, but you can get off with your luggage, if not too much, in Sorrento and go to your Amalfi Coast destination via taxi or transfer.
Where is the Amalfi Coast?
The Amalfi Coast is located in a small corner of Southern Italy between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno in the Province of Salerno. The region is a 1.5-hour drive to the south from Naples, the closest big city.
The actual coast is about 30 miles ( 50 km) long and follows a winding two-lane road with the sea on one side and mountains on the other.
Why is the Amalfi Coast so Famous?
Breathtaking views and Limoncello. I am of course selling it a bit short, but after you have been here, those are the two main things your brain will remember.
What is limoncello? Take lemon peels from gigantic lemons and soak them in pure alcohol, water, and sugar- What you get is a sweet and super powerful elixir of the gods!
Italians drink it in a shot glass after a meal since they say it aids digestion. I say that you can drink it any time of the day, but remember that it is 40% alcohol, even if the sweet taste hides the kick!
How long should I stay and where should I go?
One visit to the Amalfi Coast and you’ll understand why the region is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. I would recommend a full week to see the entire coast, but definitely not less than three days. It really depends on if the Amalfi Coast is “part of your vacation” or if your vacation is the Amalfi Coast.
If you want to visit for the day, check out our Pompeii day trip from Rome with a stop in Sorrento, but we recommend a multi-day trip. You can also use our day trip as a great way to get to the coast. You can leave our group in Sorrento and get a taxi to your final destination from there.
I will touch on below of how to get from place to place, but you might want to rent a car. The roads are windy, but it allows you a lot of freedom to visit the lesser-known areas as well.
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Should I stay in a hotel or Villa Rental?
This is a frequently asked question and a good one. Villa rentals used to be from Saturday to Saturday only, but with air BnB coming along, things have changed a bit and you can find 3 or 4-day rentals. For recommendations, check out “Where to Stay on the Amalfi Coast” by our sister site The Tour Guy.
A general rule of thumb I tell people is that if you have a big group, it could be a huge money saver with a villa, but with 2 or 4 people, many times it’s better in a hotel. Plus, I personally like the amenities that a hotel offers, so I am more a hotel guy.
One really important thing! If you are going to rent a villa, double-check where it is exactly and make sure it’s not really far outside the main area with no transportation. I have heard of people renting a villa which was high up in the mountain area, which has awesome views, but not very practical if you don’t have your own transport.
How Do I get there?
The majority of people visiting the Amalfi Coast are coming down from Rome since it is so close and well-connected to Naples. There is no train from Naples that will take you directly to the Amalfi Coast, but you can reach Sorrento by train, which is the beginning of the coast. Here is how to reach Sorrento:
There are trains that run from Rome to Naples on an hourly basis which take about 1 hour. You can purchase tickets on the trenitalia website which can be confusing, but you’ll figure it out!
Book “Roma Termini” to “Napoli Centrale” and once you arrive in Napoli Centrale ( Central Naples train station) you will see signs for the Circumvesuviana which is the train to Sorrento. The Sorrento local train is about an hour’s ride and costs 4€. Sorrento is not technically the “Amalfi Coast” but sure feels like it to me!
If you are staying in Sorrento then your traveling is done here. To get to Positano, or any other Amalfi destinations, then a taxi is an option and will cost around 50€ and up.
Renting a car and doing it yourself? You can rent a car from Naples train station and this gives you loads of freedom. The only thing I want to say here is that it is one long, winding road of two lanes and can get a bit tight, so if you don’t feel really comfortable with your skills driving, I would probably leave the driving to someone else.
Play-by-Play for Amalfi Coast Towns
Amalfi Coast is a cluster of towns on Italy’s most incredible coastline. It is an amazing area so we created this sort of mini-guide below. Use it to find out where to eat, stay, and what to do in each town. That said, we have some more comprehensive guides on our sister-site, The Tour Guy. You can see the Top Foods to Try on Amalfi Coast, Top Attractions, Top Beaches, and our dedicated page on the Amalfi Coast & Capri.
Sorrento is located just south of Pompeii overlooking the Bay of Naples. Many people don’t actually consider this the Amalfi Coast, but I do and you should too. It is definitely worth a stop and is also the only town on the coast that you can reach by Train.
What is it known for? Lemons and Limoncello. I have already discussed this above, but will just say that you can find limoncello all over Italy, but the real stuff is made here in Sorrento. Enjoy
How long should I stay? Sorrento is a good launch point for other areas. It has daily ferries to Capri and is also only one hour to Pompeii and Vesuvius. If you are staying down here for 3 nights, it is sometimes easier just to stay here the whole time and do day trips to other areas.
Where to stay? I highly recommend staying in the historical center. This way you avoid many hotels catering to big bus groups
- ****Maison Tofani. It’s right in the historical center in a transformed 18th-century palace. The staff is super nice and the breakfast hall will make you feel like the aristocrat that you are
- ***** Grand Hotel If you are looking for a more luxurious experience, then here is your spot. Amazing sea views and gorgeous sunsets with a cocktail in your hand
Where to eat? Eating in an area heavy with tourists can be tricky, but not to worry as I got you covered.
- Inn Bufalito: €€- Semi Casual- Known for its Buffalo Mozzarella. Enough said, just make sure you order that when you go
- Il Marzialino Restaurant: €€- Semi Casual- Modern Bistrot and wine bar in a 5-star hotel, but don’t worry, it won’t put a hole in your pocket
So when you see photos of the Amalfi Coast, 99% of the time, they are photos of Positano. This is the most popular of all the towns on the coast. It is by far the most ” happening” of all the towns and also the one with the most shopping.
What is it known for? Stairs and shopping. The town is perched up the hill and goes all the way down to the water. If you are not used to walking, be prepared for a good workout, because the steps are plenty and everywhere!
How long should I stay? Positano is one of the only towns here with a sandy beach, so many people stop here for a few days to also relax and have beach days. It’s also right in the middle of the coast so you can take day trips both ways. 3 days is usually a good amount.
Where to stay? I will recommend 2 places here with one on the beach and one higher up. It’s up to you how much you want to walk at that point
- **** Buca di Bacco Service is very good and you can walk out of your hotel and hit the beach right away
- *****Covo dei Saraceni Perched up higher, you can better appreciate the views that the coast is famous for. Impeccable service
Where to eat? I love eating with an amazing view, so I will recommend places up a bit higher in the town.
- La Tagliata: €€- Semi- Casual- One of my favorite places! Everything on the menu is good, plus they have a shuttle that will come and pick you up and drop you off after
- Rada Restaurant €€€- Fine Dining- Get dressed up!
Yes, there is actually a town called Amalfi as well. Historically it is where the Knights Templar originated from and is the site of the beautiful cathedral today.
The cathedral boasts a combined Romanesque, Baroque and Rococo architectural style and sits in Amalfi’s central plaza the Piazza del Duomo.
What is it known for? Cathedral and street food
How long should I stay? An evening will suffice. Unlike Sorrento and Positano, there is less happening in the evening here and also Amalfi is smaller.
Where to stay? I don’t recommend staying here overnight, since it is quite small. I feel it’s better to come here in the early evening, visit the church and eat a delicious meal, and take a stroll through the streets
Where to eat? Amalfi is not big, but there are still plenty of options to eat
- Hostaria acquolina €€- Casual- In the local part of the town, it has a mix of typical dishes and international cuisine
- No website: Via Valle di Pogerola, 84011 Amalfi SA, Italy, Phone: +39 089 214 4987
- Street food €- As you are roaming around, you will see many people eating fried fish from a paper cone. Ask them where they got it from and enjoy it!
Ravello is a town further east and slightly inland from Amalfi. It is often overlooked by many and that’s why I recommend going since it’s still the Amalfi Coast and therefore still amazing!
Located approximately 1,200ft (350m) above the shore, Ravello boasts elegant villas, gardens, and intoxicating panoramic views.
Ravello also holds a music festival every year that takes place inside the local villas and attracts international crowds.
How long should I stay? Since it’s a bit farther away and the villas are lovely, I would recommend at least one full night and two days.
Where to stay? ****Villa Piedimonte– Perched on top of the mountain with a pool and unforgettable views, you don’t need anything else.
Where to eat? Mimi Pizzeria €€- Since I haven’t recommended one pizza place yet, I thought it was time. This is the typical Napolitano style pizza which is the more thick crust. Buon Appetito.
Maiori & Minori
So all the towns I have mentioned above, you have probably heard of.
When you have lived in Italy for a long time, you like to visit the big towns, but also discover the smaller ones. Maiori is my favorite ” lesser-known” town.
What is it known for? The Beach! A local’s beach without tourists
How long should I stay? At least one night. If you want to chill more at the beach then stay 2 nights
Where to stay? ****Hotel Sole Splendid You cross the street and you are at the beach. It’s also at the end of the so-called strip, so plenty of shops and restaurants.
Where to eat? Torre Normanna €€€ Fine dining- How about dining in a Medieval Norman tower which was an outpost for pirates? Dress up nice and have an unforgettable evening.