Atl Time Favorites
Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre- Italy
Italy - it's my favorite! It has everything!
If you want big cities with museums, history and art- you got Rome, Vatican City and Florence.
Aching for the country and some medieval towns? Tuscany is your spot.
Big universities? Padua and Bologna have those.
Want to travel only by boat or foot? Venice has you covered.
Looking for some sandy beaches in your life? Rimini on the east coast is the place.
How about some lake life and water sports? Lake Garda in the north is great for that.
What if you are looking for some boat time, grotto swimming, private cove beaches and amazing hikes? Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast and Capri provide all of these and then some.
And these are just naming the places I've been! I haven't even begun to explore Southern Italy (hopefully that won't be the case for too much longer!) Italy really has something for everyone. And everything is amazing! From the food, to the wine, views, hiking, weather, culture, history, art, you name it they do it the best. But out of all the places I've been in Italy- the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre are currently my favorites. One reason may be that my one and only experience in both of them was on my honeymoon, but I don't think that's the only reason.
#1 They are both on the coast - something about buildings on cliffs above the water- just breathtaking.
#2 The architecture is colorful - no shots to the blue/white color scheme going on in Greece, or the beige/red roofs in Florence, but the multi-colored houses really do it for me.
#3 Lots of boating opportunities - one of the best ways to see these towns is by boat. We did 2 boat tours while in Amalfi- one along the coast and another which took us to Capri and dropped us off to stay for the night. Both were amazing. With the Amalfi tour- we were able to swim in grottos, stop by an accessible by boat only restaurant a huge lunch, do some cliff jumping, it was really cool. The Capri boat tour was a little more basic, if you call swimming in the ocean while sipping on champagne basic.
#4 The food and wine in both these places are on point. Because they are both by the sea, it's a lot of seafood. Also, lots of local wine is produced in both regions, and fresh wine is the best wine. The best meal I've ever had was probably at La Tagliata in Positano. From our bed and breakfast, they arranged for a shuttle to pick us up and take us all the way up the mountain for our dinner reservation. We received 7-8 courses, unlimited house made wine, all with an amazing view of Positano below us, all for about 40euro per person. Unbelievable.
#5 The hiking! Both Cinque Terre and Amalfi had amazing hikes that hugged the coast and provided the most ridiculous views. In Cinque Terre- we did the hike of the 5 lands. This does have an entrance fee so they can continue to upkeep the path. We started out at Monterosso al Mare, and hiked to Vernazza and Corneglia. They had recently had a landslide obstructing the path, so we were not able to get to Manarola or Riomaggiore. This also was a pretty challenging hike, so by the time we reached Corneglia, we wanted to stop and grab lunch, then hopped on the train back to Monterosso (yes there is a train option). And what's great too is once we arrived back in Monterosso, we were able to go for a swim and cool off. The hike we did in Amalfi was called The Path of the Gods. We hiked as far as we could, starting in Positano, until we were completely exhausted- then we took the local bus back to Positano. Words cannot describe the feeling of walking as high as the clouds, and seeing the mountains and villages of Amalfi stretched out below you. Truly magical.
#6 The swimming. I love a good ocean swim, one where you aren't worried about the current taking you away, or sea creatures below you ready to attack, or freezing cold water. The beaches in both places are natural and mostly rocky, but endure it and get in the water! It is crystal clear, so blue, barely any waves, refreshing but not freezing, easy for swimming.
My thoughts on Capri- also beautiful and a good day trip from Amalfi. A little more boujee- lots of high end stores, people dressed to the nines, but we only experienced the port and town area. I've heard the other side Anacapri has more of an Amalfi Coast feel - which now until the end of time is what I'll be looking for always.