A Week in Amalfi by Lyndsey Pletz

Blue skies, sun shining, and the sound and smell of the ocean are probably the 3 best words to describe what its like to spend time in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast; or for you Italian speakers the Costiera Amalfintana. The Amalfi coast is located on the southern side of the Surrentine Peninsula and extends from Positano all the way down to Vietri sul Mare in the east. I stayed a total of 5 nights and 6 days exploring this mysterious coastline filled with rugged terrain, beautiful water, and very nice people. I started in Sorrento, staying in St. Agnello at the 7 Hostel. For starters, the place I stayed shouldn’t even be called a hostel considering how nice its amenities are and its creative interior design. The place is fairly new, being only about 1 year old and the staff is extremely helpful and sincere with making your stay very comfortable and enjoyable. They have a very nice bar/dance floor area, with a patio outside complete with comfortable lounging furniture and tables. There is also a patio on top of the roof of the hostel for all you people that enjoying getting your tan on. Like I said, this is not a typical hostel. The bathrooms and rooms were extremely clean and simple and there is the option to stay in a room with ten beds or two, depending on the funds in your bank account. Since I am leading the broke college lifestyle, I chose the 10-bedr oom room at a very affordable price of 21 euros per night and met some very nice people in doing so.
Day 1:
I met up with my very good friend Dana, whom I met through our study abroad program. We decided to go to Sorrento and explore the towns’ beauty and uniqueness. Coming from the north of Italy, there was such a change in dynamics and atmosphere that had me awestruck. The sun was shining strong so after a nice pizza and a bottle of wine, we decided to cruise down to the beach for some sunbathing (I have been getting paler by the minute in Florence). Sorrento is not a big town so it was fairly simple to find destinations if people gave us directions.
We walked to this beautiful public park that overlooked the Tyrrhenian Sea, which led us to the walkway that cascades down the side of the tall rocky cliffs down to the beach. Be warned though, the beach is not sand beach but instead small pebbles. Usually, there are lounge chairs that are set up but know you will be charged at minimum 10 euro just to get your relaxation on. So, we parked it on the pebbles and played some cards. After a couple of hours of sheer peace, we walked back up and did some shopping, which was very affordable, in the narrow streets.
Day 2: was Capri.
This was something I was looking forward to incredibly. We took a boat there that cost in total about 26 euros round trip to the island which took only about 25-30 minutes. When we arrived, we immediately signed up for a boat tour of the island, which included the green grotto, blue grotto, the famous natural arch, and information about the island. It was in total 20 euro for the entire thing, and worth every penny. The blue grotto simply amazed me with its mysterious beauty. After our boat tour, we took the tram up to the center of the quaint little town and found a grocery store to make the traditional Caprese sandwich we have grown to love so much. We took our groceries to Giardini de Agosto and made sandwiches on a bench overlooking the arch that we had went under in the boat. It was so serene; it didn’t feel real. At around 6, we took the boat back and settled in at the hostel.
Day 3 was Positano
Which is a tiny community hugging the cliffs of the Amalfi. You enter the town by the Sita bus line and you come down into the village overlooking all that it has to offer. The small town is bustling with nice rides, fashionable folk and fun boutiques. We visited a modern art gallery that held some fantastic pieces and then went down to the beach to relax. Everything in Positano is fairly expensive, so we held off on dinner and bought some snacks to hold us over at the local shop at the top of the hill. Besides the breathtaking, romantic scenery Positano is known for by20its cliff-side positioning, and it offers plenty of staircases, so bring those walking shoes!
Day 4:
was a day of travels because I saw my friend Dana off at the train station, and was meeting my friend Jeremy in the small town of Atrani, which is just past Amalfi. Luckily I had made friends with the owner of 7 Hostel because he generously asked if I would like a ride there in his car, rather than taking the bus. He checked me into my hostel as well, which was called A’Scalinatella. This place was a bit pricier and unfortunately not as nice as the 7 Hostel, but it was a 2-minute walk to the beach as well as the local restaurants, which were extremely cheap and delicious! I recommend going to La Risacca in Piazza Umberto because the owner is extremely sweet and very generous with his digestives.
Day 5
My friend Jeremy and I went and visited Pompeii as well Mt.Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed Pompeii. We explored the deserted town of ruins and read its eerie history through my guidebook, which I recommend to buy so you know what you are looking at. The volcano was incredible and gave a great view of Naples and Sorrento. The one thing that I thought was a bit funny was how much they charged to climb it, which was 4.5 euros. I never thought I would have to pay to climb a mountain but still, very worth it. But, if I were to do it differently, I would=2 0have visited these places when I was located in Sorrento because the distance is much closer. Instead, we had to take a bus to Salerno and then a train to Pompeii, which took us about an hour and a half.
Day 6
Was unfortunately the last day of my Amalfi adventure, so we spent it at the beach in Amalfi. The water is so blue, clear, and clean. I also loved the feeling that there weren’t thousands of tourists around. Locals who did this on the regular surrounded us instead of the usual swarm of tourists we were used to. We played some Frisbee, swam out to the point of the cliff that separates Amalfi and Atrani, and snoozed in the sunshine. We also walked in the center to admire the beautiful Duomo. What a great way to spend a last day in Paradise.
Note: for those of you who don’t have the luxury of 7 days to spend in the Amalfi Coast check out our 3-day weekend trip including Sorrento, Positano, Island of Capri and the Pompeii excavations

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