Wow. I don't know how I've visited Italy so many times and lived here eight months without ever visiting the Amalfi Coast.
When I went on my yoga retreat in Positano, I got the chance to visit several gems on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Here are a few highlights.
Let's start where I started: in the quaint mountainside town of Positano. Likely if you've ever seen a picture of Italy, it was of Positano because it's so darn picturesque. Just look:
Positano is definitely touristy, but it wasn't so bad in late April when I was there. Though the forecast called for rain all week, we lucked out with mostly sun.
There are tons of shops in Positano:
I also visited the sweet little Museo Archeologico Romano di Positano with my travel buddy Rose. It's the site of a partially-excavated Roman villa that sits below the town. In fact, the villa was covered beneath 20 meters of volcanic ash from the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD!
Part of the excavation uncovered masonry seats (what I dubbed "death toilets" because they looked like toilets!) where the dead were propped up in seats with holes in them for the...gag...innards to fall into to help with the drying process.
Definitely worth a visit. It took us about 45 minutes to tour the villa and crypt and the cost was I believe 10 euros.
Yes, Amalfi is both a coast and a town! Amalfi is much like Positano, though it's a little flatter. (Still, you will never escape the stairs here. Trust me.)
There's a gorgeous church I didn't go in because--see previous comment about the steps. Next time!
There's also lots of shopping. The town was decked out in blue and white to support the local favorite soccer team, Naples.
I think Ravello may have been my favorite of the three, primarily because of the beautiful gardens of Villa Cimbrone. With so many little pocket gardens and shade, I'd love to go back and just sit under a tree and read a book!
The town of Ravello is noticeably quieter than the other two towns, which gets a thumbs-up in my book, though I'm sure it's more chaotic in the summer months. I loved meandering through the narrow walkways, looking at houses and gardens as we went.
As we were based in Positano, we took vans and buses to get everywhere which always took at least an hour. Another option is to take a ferry.
This is just the start of my love affair with the Amalfi Coast...