An itinerary for the Amalfi Coast will include mountains rising high above the ocean and cliff-hugging roads as a backdrop. Beautiful beaches and colorful villages create a picturesque postcard that beckons you to visit the Amalfi Coast in Italy’s southern Sorrentine Peninsula. Add amazing historical attractions, as well as great food and drink, and you have the makings of a wonderful Italian vacation. We are sharing our favorite Amalfi Coast itinerary today with everything you need to know to plan your trip.
Amalfi Coast Itinerary
Located between Naples and Salerno, the Amalfi Coast offers many attractions to take in, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. You can spend a day in each town along the coast, taking in the sights, sampling the food and also browsing shops. With only a week to spend, you’ll want to maximize your visit, so we’ll take a look at a few of the top spots to visit with our Amalfi Coast itinerary.
Day 1: Sorrento
Since you’ll likely travel to the area from Naples, plan to visit the ruins of Pompei on your way to Sorrento, the start of the Amalfi Coast. As you visit Sorrento, you’ll immediately fall in love with the beauty of the pastel-colored buildings and view of Tyrrhenian Sea. Enjoy a walk along the coast; then, take in some of the historical attractions, including the main square – Piazzo Tasso – with its narrow streets and plentiful shopping.
Among the cultural and historical places to visit is the Museum Correale, showcasing art and history of the area. With paintings and other art pieces dating back to the 17th century, touring the 24 halls on four floors provides an interesting look into the area’s history. Add this locale to your itinerary for the Amalfi Coast. Sorrento is full of history, from the remains of city walls once constructed and fortified by the Romans and Greeks to the Cloisters of San Francesco, a 14th-century church that overlooks the Gulf of Naples.
As you stroll through Sorrento, visit both harbors – Marina Grande and Marina Piccola. With restaurants nearby, you can enjoy fresh seafood as you take in some people watching, including sunbathers and swimmers. With the village’s ancient buildings in the background, check out the fishermen, who still use the harbors to unload their daily catches.
Following a day of breathtaking views, settle in for one more, as you watch the sunset over the Gulf of Naples from Villa Communale, a park overlooking Sorrento. As the sun’s orange and red hues settle past the water’s edge, you can see the famous Mt. Vesuvius in the distance. A majestic ending to an impressive day in Sorrento.
Day 2: Positano
The Amalfi Coast is known for its colorful houses, and nowhere is that truer than Positano. With pastels of all colors brightening the day with houses climbing high into the mountainside, the village of about 4,000 hugs the cliffs. Be prepared to climb steep steps during your visit here but this is a must for any Amalfi Coast itinerary.
Positano is a classic Italian town, with amazing eateries and fine wines in abundance. While the village is accessible by foot, it’s recommended to enjoy the view of Positano from the sea on a boat tour. After your sightseeing tour, relax on any on the nearby beaches, soaking in the Mediterranean atmosphere. Imagine looking up from the beach and seeing the postcard-like view of the ancient buildings and houses climbing high along the cliffs.
If you’re interested in learning more about the area’s history and culture, stroll along Positano’s winding streets and visit spots such as Roman ruins or centuries-old churches. Don’t miss the Santa Maria Assunta church, with its dome standing high above the sea, only feet from the beach.
Day 3: Island of Capri
A day trip to the Island of Capri needs to be on everyone’s itinerary for the Amalfi Coast. While some people suggest you could spend an entire week on the island, a day trip can help highlight the island’s charm. With landscape ranging from rugged mountains to turquoise waters, a visit to Capri has something for everyone. Daily ferries transport visitors from the Amalfi Coast to Capri, an island once cherished by Roman emperors as a getaway from their daily lives.
Nature fans will enjoy hiking trails taking you skyward above the island, where you can witness the majesty of the Gulf of Naples and the island’s geography. A trip to the Grotta Azzura is a must for your Amalfi Coast itinerary. The sun’s light creates an eerie blue hue on the dark water. Accessible through a small entrance about three feet high, as boats navigate their way through to the cave, you may have to lay flat on the boat to clear the entrance. The cave is considered one of the island’s top attractions. It’s common to see dozens of boaters outside waiting to take tourists to the grotta.
If exploring the town is more your thing, a visit to Villa San Michele must be on your itinerary for the Amalfi Coast. The estate was built in 1885 on the site of former ruins. Built for a Swedish doctor, the home was used for more than five decades. Today, visitors enjoy taking in the estate’s view, including a granite sphinx, looking out over the island and the sea. They also appreciate the villa’s historic rooms, which include artifacts such as Roman columns and Greek tombs.
Day 4: Amalfi
As the namesake of the area, you’d be correct to have high expectations of Amalfi. The town – hugging the cliffside – is on a seawall and offers a majestic view of the sea. Any Amalfi Coast itinerary must include a stop here.
As the anchor, Amalfi’s main attraction is the cathedral. Constructed in the ninth century, the Amalfi Cathedral was dedicated in the name of St. Andrew, whose remains are located here. You may recognize the stone façade. The cathedral is located in Piazza del Duomo, the city center. A statue of the saint stands tall in the plaza. Home to ancient architecture and featuring narrow brick-laid streets, the center is home to several shops and cafes, making for an enjoyable visit. Sip an espresso at a café and take in the view as people of all types stroll past.
Day 5: Salerno
Whether or not Salerno is part of the Amalfi Coast seems to be an ongoing debate in some corners of the tourism world. It’s generally accepted that the city on the eastern end of the coast is, indeed, part of the region. Most visitors end their Amalfi Coast itinerary here. With it being the largest city on the coast, Salerno offers a mix of history and contemporary life.
Strolling through the historical architecture of the city’s past, visitors can see ancient ruins, such as the Castello di Arechi – the city’s most popular attraction – as well as Salerno’s cathedral, which as built in the 11th century. The Archaeological Museum offers a unique look into the city’s history, featuring the remains of Roman statues. Its most notable exhibit is a bronze bust of Apollo, dating back to 1 B.C. Add a visit to your itinerary for the Amalfi Coast.
Salerno offers a fun way to wrap up a day of sightseeing and shopping. Enjoy a nice meal at the Ristorante Cicirinella. Offering authentic Italian fare, the restaurant is known for its location and also for its menu. Following dinner, head to one of the city’s clubs for a nightcap of fine wine or some liquor at the Black Rose.
An itinerary for the Amalfi Coast can be a dream come true. Explore the 50 miles of beautiful scenery and the abundance of history. With several small towns and villages dotting the landscape, it would be easy to spend a month in the area. However, we are taking a look at a few of the more popular or must-see destinations for a week there. Use our Amalfi Coast itinerary to plan your own trip soon! Want more information? Try our guide to luxury hotels on the Amalfi Coast.