In our first five weeks in Italy, Perrin and I felt we had seen endless picturesque scenery and we were ready to trade a effervescent lake tour for a solid night out on the town. Then we arrived in Sorrento, on the Amalfi Coast, and were stunned by a whole new level of beauty. We also spent our first night at a good hostel and had a blast partying with fellow travelers. My advice: If you are going to Italy, DO NOT skip the Amalfi Coast. Better yet, plan your whole vacation there. Here’s a little bit about our trip.
You can take a ferry or a bus. Since we fancy saltwater breeze and sun in our faces, we opted for the voyage by sea. We left from Salerno and had to take a ferry to Amalfi (6 Euros, 35 minutes) and then a second boat to Sorrento. We accidentally got on the WRONG ferry and realized as we were pulling out from the dock that the covered deck chairs and Concerto music playing overhead were indicators we were on a luxury ferry that took 11 euros and 3 hours, instead of the expected 4 euros and 1 hour. But the ride really was a perfect way to get an inital introduction to the Amalfi Coast. The views are stunning the whole way.
For the first two days we were HOOKED UP in swanky style. Through a travel connection, Courtney got us a couple nights stay at a prime private apartment at a Villa on the cliff overlooking the port. When we pulled in on our ferry we looked straight up the cliff above us and spotted Courtney and Lynne waving at us from the pool in the garden outside. We made dinner to eat on the terrace, went for late night swims in the pool and laid out in our private lounge chairs. It was the perfect way to unwind after five weeks of teaching. It’ s a lux place and with rooms around $600 a night, I’m going to need some stock options before I can stay there on my own.
So when Courtney and Lynne took off (Courtney for New York and Lynne to other camps with ACLE* Perrin and I moved into the 25 Euro Hostel 7 in a more removed area of town. After our experience in Rome, we were worried. But it was awesome. Yes there was a roof top deck, where everyone convened for happy hour, a great breakfast, nice staff, clean rooms, etc. And, IMPORTANTLY, there were attractive 20-something men everywhere. We immediately made friends from Austin and headed out on the town. We met great girls there too. If you want travel companions, this is the place to stay.
It has been a goal of mine to ride a vespa around the Amalfi Coast. More accurately — to be on a Vespa being driven by a competent male. I do not have the confidence to navigate those curves. As the time passed I realized I wasn’t going to make it around the coast but P and I met some guys from Austin who had rented Vespas to get around the island. We took advantage of their purchase and hoped on for trips to dinner and the center of town for our night out. Renting vespa on the island is a must. Riding around the beach town with cool air blowing through your hair >> heavenly.
We did a boat tour with our host from Villa Terrezza. But the boat was full of people from Hostel 7. At 62 Euros for a full day excursion around the islands, it’s a good deal. We went to numerous rocks that we could jump off, a waterfall, Roman baths, a beach on Capri and many caves (Grotto). By far the coolest experience was swimming in the Blue Grotto, a cave in Capri. We went through an Alice in Wonderland sized hole to get in and when you arrive it looks like you are at an underwater night club. There is an underwater cavity in the cave and the sun hits the bottom and reflects light upwards, creating a neon blue glow throughout the cave.