Hey beautiful people!
Have you guys been enjoying my Italy travel guides? Well I saved the best for last! Today I'm sharing all the best restaurants, travel hacks and free things to do in Ravello, Amalfi Coast and Capri. These towns were by far my favorite spots we visited. They were such a vibe and I was loving it. So many incredible memories <3
Ravello, Amalfi Coast, Italy
We took a train from Florence to Ercolano which would be our midway point to get to the Amalfi Coast. From Ercolano we took a local metro train to the end of the line where we hopped on a tour bus to Amalfi. The bus ride was informative and breathtaking (in more ways than one-I'll explain later). After arriving in the town of Amalfi, we got on another bus to drop off our stuff at our Airbnb in the town of Ravello. Ravello is a super cute & quaint town up in the mountains.
- Whether you're hitting up Amalfi or Capri save yourself some serious cash by staying at local Airbnb's away from the main cities. Instead of staying in the city of Amalfi (rooms can go for $200-$1K), we opted to stay in Ravello which was much more economical and about a 15/20 min bus ride down to Amalfi.
- Take the bus everywhere if you're not down to walk. It's super cheap, one ticket will run 3 euros (one way) and the system is easy to maneuver and learn. An even cheaper option is to walk, most cities are interconnected and can easily be walked. Learn where to buy bus tickets in Italy in a previous travel guide I put together.
Things to Do:
- Walk through the little city! It's ridiculously picture perfect! There's a beautiful church and look out points (to view the Amalfi Coast) that are FREE.
- Hit up Villa Cimbrone (8 euros p/person) for a spectacular view of the Amalfi Coast at the Terrace of Infinity. It's a must!
- Go swimming at one of the local beaches like Spaggia de Castialiogne. It was simply perfect, crystal clear water, minimal waves and fairly lonely.
- Buy your bus tickets in bulk. This is just a convenience factor, we found ourselves buying tix everyday and could've saved a few times if we had bought in bulk. Also, for those faint of heart, beware! The bus rides are very much Ice Trucker driving experiences. There were a few times we were inches from another bus. o_0
- Ristorante Bella Vista- WOW, I love this restaurant. It was our first semi-fine dining experience in Italy and it did not dissappoint. The waiter was really nice and the food was delectable. We had a try at a full course meal, it was a ton of food. I was up for the challenge of course, ahhaha! We had the lobster ravioli, local fish w/seasoned potatoes, lobster risotto, and fritte di mare (fried squid, calamari & anchovies). Yum! Also, it was crazy affordable (using a 20% off Fork rest. coupon) for a fine dining experience. Not to mention the view, man oh man. Semplicemente bello!
- Grab a gelato @ Baffone Gelateria a little hole in the wall & affordable (3 euros) gelato shop. It's a tasty treat to munch on while you're exploring. Don't forget to turn around and check out the Chiesa di Santa Maria.
- This next place isn't much of a recommendation as a try to avoid. Trattoria da Cumpa Cosimo. While we did eat here, we weren't impressed. The whole restaurant felt like a tourist trap, not to mention the food was overly seasoned and just too much. Pro-tip: If you see alot of tourists, it might be too touristy. Look for a mix of locals and tourists.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
What can I say, this town is simply amazing! Nothing compares to the views and the beach. I loved the laid back, beachy european vibe. So much yesss! The city itself is rather small and most people ride up & down the main road to take in all the small coast towns. We opted to take in all the surrounding sights on the bus ride in and didn't feel like we missed out.
After taking a dip at Spaggia di Castiglione we walked toward Amalfi (about a 30 min walk downhill) and soaked up the hustle and bustle.
- If possible try to eat outside of the Amalfi Coast if you're on a tight budget, most places are pretty pricey. If you want to dine in Amalfi, make sure to research on Google Maps for the best reviews so you don't fall into a tourist trap and pay for mediocre food.
- Take advantage of all the free things like the beaches and churches. They're magical and really affordable :P
Things to Do:
- Visit the majestic Amalfi Cathedral. It's beautiful! We didn't get to go inside (was wearing revealing clothes) but it's free to go in and explore.
- Try an Airbnb experience like a Limoncello factory tour. It was a really cool experience! We got to learn the process of the very famous Limoncello and the family business. We helped him peel a few lemons, do a tasting and eat some yummy limoncello inspired pastries.
- Make sure to stop & smell the pizza. Hahhaha! You may be trying to fit in alot of activities into your schedule but the best thing is to take it easy and observe people living their daily lives.
- After eating Fritte di Mare in Venice, we became huge fans of fried calamari. So we set out to find this tasty snack in Amalfi and came across Cuoppo d'Amalfi which was fresh & deliciously crispy.
Where do I start? Capri captured my heart, it's so beautiful and VERY european. We had so many adventures and memories at this location, we can't wait to go back!
- We saved alot of money by staying @ an airbnb that came with alot of "amenities." They picked us up from the port (instead of paying for a taxi or funicular to get to Anacapri), they also provided a very tasty continental breakfast and gave us amazing tips for having fun on the Island. Try finding a similar Airbnb or stay at the one we stayed at here.
- Make sure you look into all the free things there is to do on the Island has to offer. We got alot of our trips from an Airbnb host but you can keep reading for first hand tips. ;P
Things to Do:
- Hike or take a bus to the lighthouse (Lido de Faro) watering hole! Omg, this little watering hole was so relaxing. Locals come here to cool down & take a dip. Look for a spot to layout a towel or if it's crowded find a rock to leave your stuff at and jump in! There's basically no crime on the Island so don't worry, likelihood of your stuff getting stolen is very low.
- FUNNY STORY- the hubs actually lost his wedding ring at this beach so we have an even more special memory out of this little adventure. >_< He jumped in and was worried about losing the GoPro and within a second the ring flew off! Then he yelled around like Golam in Lord of The Rings looking for the ring. ahahhaha!
- So if your boo ends up losing a wedding ring like mine, there's an affordable jewelry spot in Capri.
- BTW- it's europe and you may see a bare chest here or there but don't worry, we all got 'em. Also, don't miss out on the beach cafe, their burger is surprisingly tasty!
- Visit Villa San Michele, there's so many churches in Italy but this is easily one of my favorites. Entrance costs about 2 euros and it's so worth it. Don't miss out on this gem, don't forget to go upstairs to see the church tiles from an aerial view.
- Buy handmade sandals from a mom& pop store called L'Arte del Sandalo Caprese di Antonio Viva. This place is filled w/so many pretty handmade leather sandals + shoes. It's hard to choose the perfect pair. I opted for a classic pair of replica Hermes "H" sandals, they go with everything!
- If you're looking at what to do in Capri, you're most likely going to come across a must see, the Blue Grotto. There's a million expensive boat tours, DON'T pay for it. It's a little known secret that you can actually swim IN the Blue Grotto, yes I said swim IN the Blue Grotto and see the magnificence up close, instead of a in & out deal.
- Here's the thing, you have to go to grotto around 4/5pm when all the boat tours are finished. Once you see they're all gone, jump in! Be careful because waters can be a little rough. There's a chain that you can hold onto for safety if you were a little scared like me. Also, stay away from the walls, there's sharp coral. It was MAGICAL to say the least, definitely a once in a lifetime, I will never forget <3
- While in Anacapri, try out AumAum for dinner. We had one of the best meals in Italy at this super cute family owned restaurants. They have woodfire pizzas that are delicious and the best caprese salad with burrata. So tasty!
- Ristorante Lo Zodiaco is a semi-fancy port front restaurant that's a little pricey for our taste but didn't disappoint in flavors. We tried the grilled octupus and gnocchi, yummmm
- If you're checking early from your hotel or Airbnb and still have some time to explore the Island, consider using a baggage drop off (right behind a newsstand-look for a bunch of guys with bags). They're safe and inexpensive, running about 5 euros p/bag.
I hope you enjoying recapping my recent trip to Italy with me and hope these tips are helpful to you, they definitely helped us as we were on a pretty tight budget.