Weekend Warrior: Amalfi Coast
Packing essentials and must-dos during your time in this Mediterranean paradise.
I’ll admit it. I had never even heard of the Amalfi coast when I began my semester in Florence. But after looking at a few photos of this beautiful stretch of coastline in Southern Italy, I was convinced I had to see it for myself. The Amalfi coast is hands down the most photogenic place I’ve ever visited, making it one of my favorite weekend trips during my study abroad experience. So if you’re in the same shoes I was in and finally coming to terms with the fact that you need to visit the Amalfi coast (like now!), here are some pointers for what to bring, see and do.
Traveled from: Florence to the Amalfi coast
Arrived by: Bus
Stayed at: Hotel Florida
Visited: Positano, Capri, Anacapri, Pompeii
What to bring:
1. Maxi dress—It’s easy to slip on over a bikini and wear into the evening.
2. Sweater— Even during the summer, the sea breeze can be pretty chilly. Maybe I was just being a Florida girl, but my sweater was my best friend on this trip.
3. Towel—This may seem like a waste of precious suitcase space, but after you’ve been swimming in the freezing cold Mediterranean Sea, you’ll thank me. We left ours at home and had to buy new ones for roughly $20. Ouch.
4. Hat— This isn’t completely necessary. But if you have the space for a hat, you’ll keep the sun off your face while looking resort ready (even if you’re just staying in a hostel).
5. Bathing suit— Because what else are you going to go cliff diving in?
6. Umbrella— I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it does rain here. Opt for a compact umbrella that doesn’t take up much space.
7. Longchamp— This waterproof tote bag is perfect for travel. I’m always amazed at how much it holds. Side note: Make sure the zipper is in front of you instead of behind so pickpockets can’t unzip it without you noticing.
8. Sunscreen— The last thing you want to bring back from Amalfi is a sunburn.
9. Denim shirt— I was really glad I packed this because not only was it comfortable, but I could roll the sleeves up or down depending on how breezy it got.
10. Shorts— I brought a pair to match the denim shirt. My favorite brands to throw on over a bikini are Brandy Melville and Free People.
11. Sandals— Caution: only bring them if they are comfortable enough to do a lot of walking in and easy enough to slip on and off at the beach.
12. Sunglasses— Unless you want to squint all weekend, don’t forget these.
Splurge on custom sandals— Capri is famous for its handmade sandal shops. Even Jackie Kennedy was a fan! Each shop offers hundreds of different styles and color combinations to choose from. The cobblers will even make the sandals right in front of you if you’re willing to wait. If not, they’ll deliver your one-of-a-kind shoes directly to your hostel free of charge.
Sip on some granita— Move over limoncello! If you only get to try one thing in Capri, it should definitely be a refreshing orange lemon granita made with citrus grown directly on the island. Just find a stand, grab a spot with a view and enjoy.
Experience the seafood— The Amalfi coast is well known for serving up some of the freshest seafood in the world. During my day in Positano, I decided on a delicious pasta dish with clams and mussels. Bonus points if you can grab a table overlooking the water.
Chairlift to top of Monte Solaro— Leave your fear of heights at home for this one. Located in Anacapri is a chairlift that will take you to an elevation of 2,000 ft. for some incredible views.
Take a boat tour— The pristine Mediterranean waters of Capri are full of hidden treasures including the Blue Grotto and incredible rock formations. During my weekend in Amalfi, the water was too rough for us to swim in the grotto so make sure you check the weather forecast before you book your trip! Our boat tour guide did take us out to a popular cliff diving spot though. Full disclosure: the water is ice cold (like Titanic cold). Don’t forget your towel or sweater!
See the ruins—Pompeii is home to ruins including the oldest surviving Roman ampitheatre (even older than the coliseum!). Some highlights include casts of bodies that were covered in ash after the devastating eruption of Mt. Vesuvius and ancient brothels featuring rated R level graffiti. Investing in a tour is well worth it! Warning: Pompeii is flooded with graphic sexual references, images and even souvenirs. You’ve been warned.
Have more questions about the Amalfi coast? Reach out to me by leaving a comment or connecting with me on instagram and twitter at @ricejenna.