On our second full day in Sorrento we set off to explore the Amalfi Coast. It is some of the most beautiful coastline in all of Italy. We took the bus from Sorrento to Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. The drive was a treacherous, narrow, and windy ride. The views definitely make the ride worth it and you will want your camera on and ready to shoot the postcard worthy scenery.
First off, I would not recommend attempting to drive the Amalfi Coast on your own. The bus drivers and local tour guides are experts and know every inch of the drive so I would leave it to them. At one point we were on a bus trying to turn a corner when another bus was coming towards us trying to take the same corner. It took a lot of maneuvering, backing up, getting out and walking around to finally make it around that corner safely. These drivers know what they are doing and we all gave them a big round of applause for making it around that crazy corner with another bus and a ton of traffic. Taking the bus is the cheapest option, is very easy to navigate, and leaves you hands free to take pictures and enjoy the views.
We caught the SITA bus that departs almost every hour right in front of Sorrento’s train station. Positano is the first town, which is about 50 minutes from Sorrento. Amalfi is the next town we stopped in and that is another 50 minutes on the bus from Positano. The last stop we made was Ravello, which is another 30 minutes. To get the bus to Ravello you will have to get off the train you took from Sorrento and catch a different bus. We got the 24-hour Costiera SITA Sud pass, which costs 8 euros and cover all bus rides for 24 hours. We bought the pass right in front of the bus stop at a little booth and were happy to have it making it easy to hop on any bus and not have to worry about finding the ticket counter in each town.
We left Sorrento in the morning and went all the way to Ravello. This little town has the most spectacular views of the coast sitting 1,000 feet above the sea. Once hopping off the bus, walk through the tunnel into the main square, Piazza Duomo. There is a church and two villas with gorgeous views and gardens. We decided to skip the church and one villa to leave time to visit Villa Rufolo. Once you enter the main square the enterance to the Villa Rufolo will be on the left making it the easier villa to visit. We walked through the stony walls and the amazing smelling gardens. We took a ton of pictures of all the gorgeous views and then headed back to a café in the main square for a bite to eat. After our tummies were full we caught the bus back down to Amalfi Town.
Amalfi Town has more sights to see than the other two towns such as the Cathedral, the paper museum, Arsenal Museum and the beach. We would have loved to visit the paper museum and buy some handmade paper but we were already tight on time so instead we immediately caught the bus to Positano.
This is the most popular and crowded town along the Amalfi Coast. The village is built on a very steep hillside and there aren’t big sights to see which makes it a great place to just relax. Relax by window shopping, eating, and laying on the beach soaking up the sun. When we arrived in Positano from Amalfi Town we took the first bus stop called Sponda. It was a short walk down to the beach. From there we decided to walk up and down the narrow streets window-shopping. We had time to explore so we chose to walk to the other bus stop in Positano called Chiesa Nuova. Let me tell you, this was a steep, long walk. If you want more time to shop or lay on the beach, take the closer bus stop that you got off at.
When taking the bus from Sorrento, try to get a seat on the right hand side of the bus for the best views.
Do research ahead of time to decide what town you want to spend the most time in. The bus takes a lot of time to get from Sorrento to Ravello and back so plan accordingly or choose to knock one of the towns off your visit for the day.
Start early. Buses start running from Sorrento at 6:30 am in the summer. Catching an early bus can help you beat crowds and will give you a better chance at getting a good seat on the bus.
Start in Positano, end in Amalfi Town. The buses get corwded coming back and may fill up on their first stop in Amalfi Town so hit that town last to have a better chance of getting a seat.