Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast

Posted by – 21/05/2008

We got to the first “easy” part of our vacation (or sould I say lazy?). We got to Sorrento, which is in the beginning of the Amalfi Coast, in a boat from Capri. Just 20 minutes of trip and there we were!

Our hotel was in a near village called Santa Agata sui due Golfi, maybe 7 km from Sorento downtown. That was not a problem, since we rented a car in Sorrento. We were in doubt which car to rent, and it was the first time we’ve seen the two-seat Smart car. After thinking for a while, we got that one. It’s a semi-automatic economic car that fits perfectly our needs. Here is the first thing we learned: there’s almost no space to park as Italy seems to be flooded by cars… so choose the small ones that usually pay less in paid-parking and fits everywhere on the streets. Look how small the Smart car is, compared to a large van in this picture:

Santa Agata is a pleasant village we enjoyed the best Ice Cream so far. Of course, the streets were narrow (as it seems to be all over this region of Italy), but, also, everything is within a 15-minute walk.

The “Costiera Amalfitana” (or SS163), which is the road that was built in the edge of the cliffs surrounding Salerno’s Gulf is a narrow, usually crowded road that sits uppon brick-arches and provides the best views of the ever-blue sea of this part of Italy. One should drive along this road, if in this part of the world.

Sorrento is the most calm and leveled town along Amalfitan Coast. The historical center offer a countless number of small stores that sells anything you can imagine.

Positano is just like Sorrento, but with more expensive restaurants, more extensive beaches (in which we could not dive, since the weather was not really warm during our stay), and more stairs. Unlike Sorrento, Positano is always up or down the hill. Here is a picture of Positano downtown, as seen from the beach:

Amalfi, which is the next town and gives the name to the coast, seems to be the older city, with lots of history and a strong connection to Saint Andrew. It’s believet to be saved by this saint in the middle-age from the invasion of the Sarracens. The Amalfi Cathedral (which is in the next picture) is really as magestic as an old place, rebuilt several times. They keep Saint Andrew tomb inside it.

The Costiera Amalfitana is a beautiful road to drive on, but everything is nearer than expect and one can easily go to Positano and Amalfi in one day. There’s nothing really new to see in those towns, except enjoy yourself in a new landscape (which we did).

During our stay in Sorrento, we also driven north, around Naples gulf, to see the Vesuvio volcano and the remains of Pompei… but that will be subject of my next post….

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