“You may have the universe if I may have Italy” ~ Giuseppe Verdi
Faint breezes carried the scent of sea air to us upon deplaning in Naples. The bright Amalfi Coast sunshine is like mother Nature’s welcome back sign. If it is possible to find a place that feels like a home away from home when we are traveling, this region of Italy is it for us.
Our Amalfi adventure started with renting a car and driving approximately 90 minutes from the Naples airport to Praiano. This narrow, winding route quickly opens up to magnificent and unforgettable views. Those first glimpses of the steep hillsides bespeckled with houses and hotels in colorful hues, and the crystal blue sea below dotted with boats and yachts of all sizes are always stunning. We value having the flexibility to take day trips on our own and John does not mind driving so this works well. See my Empty Nester travel tips at the end if you are considering renting a car.
Like a song whose lyrics you never forget, the enticing town of Praiano has become familiar to us. This was our third visit to Praiano so we no longer have that “just landed and need to navigate a new area” feeling when we roll in. We are well acquainted with the streets, beaches and restaurants. We look forward to seeing the familiar faces of restaurateurs and business owners that we’ve met on past visits. We chose Albadamare as our base for this 5 day/night stay in the Amalfi region. We rented a spacious junior suite with breathtaking panoramic views of the Mediterranean. Antonella and her husband Salvatore are the marvelous and hospitable proprietors of this exquisite boutique hotel. There are 10 rooms and the building/grounds are immaculate. Our suite had 2 outdoor balcony areas where we spent time relaxing and sipping coffee or wine and listening to the faint chiming of church bells and roosters crowing in the distance. Each morning we had a lovely breakfast in the covered courtyard area. Antonella made Lattes and cappuccinos and Raef (Antonella and Salvatore’s assistant) cooked eggs to order for each guest. In addition, there was a beautiful bounty of fruit, pastries, yogurt, charcuterie and more. It was a perfect prelude to our daily adventures.
Below is a photo gallery of Albadamare and many of the highlights from our 5 day visit.
Dinner at Saghir Praiano (We were fortunate to meet up for dinner with some dear friends of ours from home whose time in Praiano overlapped with ours) Grazie mille to Piccoletto and Luca for accommodating our large group and for curating such a memorable culinary experience for us and the Robertson’s!
Dinner at Kasai
Our day at One Fire Beach (Make sure you stay for Watermelon time at 4:00 PM) Sunbed reservations are required and the best way to do this is via WhatsApp.
Dinner at La Moressa
Cooking Class at La Tagliata Fattoria in Positano
Cocktails at Franco’s Bar
Day Trip to Sorrento and lunch at Frankie’s Pizza Bar
Views from the ferry returning from Sorrento
Cocktails and snacks on the patio at Hotel Palazzo Murat in Positano
I hope you’ve enjoyed this photo journey of our 2022 trip to the Amalfi Coast!
I’ve shared a few helpful Empty Nester travel tips below:
This might seem obvious but travel with a carry-on if possible. Not only is the risk of misplacement or loss while flying eliminated, but many areas of the Amalfi Coast are notorious for having steep hills and stairs. There is a good chance you may need to navigate them to get to your hotel or Airbnb so the lighter you can go, the better. John has been doing “carry-on only” travel for years. It took me a bit longer to come around to the possibility that I could do it. Lightweight colorful tanks, dresses, swimsuits, and slip on sandals were easy to pack. I didn’t think it was feasible to over-pack for a 10 day trip in a carry on but I managed it (After our time in Amalfi we went to Taormina, Sicily for 5 days. More to come on this in my next blog post). I had 2 pairs of jeans, an extra set of leggings and a light sweatshirt that I never wore once we arrived as July was hot, hot, hot. For my hair products, cosmetics, lotions and more, I utilized travel size containers that I purchased at Target and on Amazon.
While it was convenient to have a car available for longer day trips, we utilized local transportation when traveling around praiano and to Positano (located approximately 10 minutes from praiano by car/bus) . Parking spots are in extremely short supply in many areas. We purchased bus tickets at some of the local stores ahead of time (with cash and/or credit) and used them as necessary. You can also buy tickets as you board the bus but it is usually slightly more expensive and you must use cash for this. At the time of this publication, wearing a mask is still required to board and ride public transportation. In the busier summer months it can be difficult to obtain a seat/standing room due to the large number of tourists. It is advisable to figure this into your schedule. Occasionally, we had full buses pass us by at the stop and we had to wait for the next one. When feasible it also helps to catch it at the first stop on the route.
If you plan to rent a car, make sure you apply for an International Driving Permit before departing. While you may not be asked for it, if it is requested and you don’t have it chances are that you will not be able to rent the vehicle. We obtained our permit through AAA. When you leave the car rental facility upon arriving at your destination, make a note of where the rental return is on the property and whether there are gas stations close by so you can easily fill the tank before returning it. Some gas stations have attendants to assist with this, and others do not. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to navigate this process.
Get the smallest car possible! This is a region where a bigger vehicle is definitely NOT better. You will be sharing the roads with scooters, tour buses, and travel vans galore. The smaller your car, the easier it will be to navigate the roads and to park.
We used the EasyPark app on this trip. You can locate parking lots and adjust start & end parking times via the app. This was recommended by Antonella and it made parking much more convenient.
Recommended travel activity:
The Eat Your Words Puzzle Book is a perfect food and beverage themed travel activity! Enjoy it while waiting to board your airplane, while flying, riding on the bus or train, while relaxing at the beach and more.
Eat Your Words: 125 Food & Beverage Themed Puzzles for Hungry Minds
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“Farm to Table…Ocean to Fork…and Vineyard to Glass. We cast our votes in favor of the planet one bite, one sip at a time” ~ Lisa Patrin