Amalfi Coast Beautiful Photo View

The Amalfi Coast Photo Tour – A Great Day Trip from Sorrento or Naples

Posted on Posted in Activities/Experiences, Italy, Naples, Sorrento, Travel
Amalfi Coast Beautiful Photo View
Rugged cliffs, blue waters and greenery is wonderful combination along the Amalfi Coast

My first visit to the Amalfi Coast was more than twenty years ago on a bus tour of senior citizens where I was their token granddaughter. It was a busy bus tour of Italy over ten days with Globus Tours.  We were scheduled to stay overnight in Sorrento but the hotel was full so we were moved to Le Agravi, a luxury hotel with amazing apricot croissants and a view that made me imagine my future wedding (little did I know) along the Amalfi Drive in Positano.  The windy roads along the Amalfi Drive felt scary (I didn’t see guardrails from my bus window, just a very steep drop below to the water).  We had a woman in her late 50’s at the time (a young one on this tour) who was afraid of heights and all of the twists and turns of the road coupled with the views made her scream in fear for the entire ride.  This was my first encounter with the Amalfi Coast and the famed Amalfi Drive.  Quite memorable.

Amalfi Drive on the Amalfi Coast
It’s a windy road of twists and turns – done expect to drive quickly on the Amalfi Drive

The Amalfi Coast Tour with Marcello of See Sorrento

Many years later I would revisit the Amalfi Coast on a day tour from Naples, the cruise stop, with new friends from the repositioning cruise.  I met Marco and Marcello that late November day.  November is quite late in the tourist season so we lucked out that there weren’t many tourists on the drive that day which made it easy to stay on schedule.  It also helped that no one on the tour (ten of us) wanted to shop as many shops were closed. We would again start on the Amalfi Drive in the same place that the tour bus had so many years before.

Amalfi Drive Photo Viewpoint of Amalfi Coast
Amali Drive: Start Here – the viewpoint that most begin their journey
Amalfi Coast Lemon Stand
Humor along the Amalfi Coast

This time, our luxury van felt a bit safer on the twists and turns (I still didn’t see guard rails in some places, just small stone walls) and no one was yelling at the top of their lungs.  Although the group found my story pretty funny.  We would stop at various lookout locations along the Amalfi Coast to enjoy the beautiful coastline, admire the homes perched along the cliffs and view the water below.  It was a day of in and out of the van and we coasted through the many little towns along the way. We would lunch later in the day at the top of a village sitting outside on the balcony enjoying the foods, wine, new friends and serenity of the gorgeous view.

Amalfi Coast lunch view
This is a great lunch view along the Amalfi Coast

So it seemed fitting that on my sabbatical, I’d revisit the Amalfi Coast, after my visits to Naples, Capri and Sorrento. I started with a bus of senior citizens, then a van full of cruise folks and now I met Marcello to take me back to the viewpoints on my own photo tour of the Amalfi Coast (the Positano fruit stand is still there!).

Amalfi Coast Positano fruit stand viewpoint
Along with the views along the Amalfi Coast, this stand is a constant at the Positano viewpoint

The Views of the Amalfi Coast

The views in over twenty years hadn’t changed much however the cruise ships discovered the coast with a day in the port of Naples.  The little villages are now full of white sneakered cruise tourists looking for souvenirs (rarely locally made) and pizza.  I think they are missing the best part of the Amalfi Coast – the views and the villages.

Amalfi Coast Beach view
Amalfi Coast Beach view
Amalfi Coast view Italy
Gorgeous view of the Amalfi Coast that seduced me in my 20’s and continues to call me back
Amalfi Coast beach view
In May, this woman had the Amalfi Coast beach all to herself
Amalfi Coast Nature Rock Arch Water
The Amalfi Coast view from above wishing I was in a boat to see it from the water

The Amalfi Coast is made up of a collection of villages built into the cliffs both above and below the street level.  You will see many steps from the road walking up or down so be prepared to do steps if you find a flat to stay.  Once on the two lane road it’s a bit of follow the leader as you are at the mercy of the traffic ahead of you and delays at many tunnels if there is a bus vs. bus situation as only one wins out.  If you are on a cruise stop in Naples, do opt for a private guide tour like See Sorrento (with Marcello) to get the best value from your day.

Amalfi Coast rental homes Italy
Pretty homes for rent along the Amalfi Coast of Italy
Amalfi Coast Amalfi Drive Bus Tour
The bus just fits in the tunnel – there are many legendary photos of stuck busses along the Amalfi Coast Drive
Amalfi Coast Amalfi Drive tunnel
Each tunnel along the Amalfi Coast holds surprises on either end

The Five Star Pit Stop along The Amalfi Coast

During the drive, I had one bathroom stop at the fancy five star hotel, Hotel Santa Caterina (which has hosted celebrities, dignitaries and political figures) – I had to pretend to be interested in the hotel to ask for a brochure and then ask where the bathroom was (if only the Italians would just let me use the bathroom instead of the pretense or requirement to buy something).  I then asked if I can take a photo or two (lamenting my good camera left in the van). Generally the main part of the hotel is at street level then the rooms, pool and beach are located below. This is the fancy, five star view of the Amalfi Coast.

Hotel Santa Caterina Amalfi Coast view
5 Star Luxury View of the Amalfi Coast from Hotel Santa Caterina
Hotel Santa Caterina patio photo view of Amalfi Coast
Hotel Santa Caterina Patio view along the Amalfi Coast in Italy

Views Along the Amalfi Drive

For the rest of the time, we followed the slow traffic on the two lane road that snakes up and down the cliffs and through the village’s practically scraping people and buildings along the way (it’s a tight squeeze in a few places).  The road is not for the faint of heart in my opinion and I’m happy I had Marcello to drive it so I could just enjoy being a passenger with my camera. I was on my own photo safari and Marcello was easily able to accommodate my requests to stop for this or that photo.  When he saw a place to park along the side of the road (a rarity) he would stop and we would get out to explore the area.  I saw the ropes that were in use between villages up on the hills to transfer goods, saw the roadside Nativity displays in the villages and looked down at what seemed like a hidden beach.   It was this flexibility to stop and explore that a private guide affords you.

Amalfi Coast Roadside Nativity
Roadside nativity scenes are unique attractions along the Amalfi Coast in the villages
Amalfi Coast rock beach
Amalfi Coast Inlet Rock Beach looked private and unspoiled during my May visit
Amalfi Coast Village Ropes Delivery
The upgraded can with string to communicate – this is the rope and pulley system between villages to transport goods

Ravello – Villa Rufolo Amalfi Coast Views

In Ravello, I had an hour to explore and Marcello told me to go to Villa Rufolo, an 11th century villa.  The entrance fee was €5.00.  Walking through the serene gardens to the villa and then beyond to the Amalfi Coast view was really relaxing.  It wasn’t as crowded as the town square was with tourists in the church, at the cafes and sitting around waiting for their pickup to return to the ships.  I had time to sit on benches and look at trees and views that many literary folks had done eons before me. Relaxing in beauty and history isn’t the worst way to spend the day.

Amalfi Coast Ravello Villa Rufolo
Villa Rufolo in Ravello, a town along the Amalfi Coast
Villa Rufolo Ravello Amalfi Coast
Villa Rufolo in Ravello, an 11th century structure
Amalfi Coast view Italy
Gorgeous view of the Amalfi Coast that seduced me in my 20’s and continues to call me back
Water Fountain at Villa Rufolo in Ravello
Water fountain at Villa Rufolo in Ravello

Amalfi Coast Village Lunch Stop

When I ready to leave, I texted Marcello to pick me up and we explored the villages away from the coast before revisiting that lovely café at the top of the town I had enjoyed years before with my new cruise friends.  This time rather than drive to the entrance, we parked like locals at the bottom and walked up through the village.  I think Marcello figured I needed a workout pre/post lunch given the many food and drink samples there would be.

Amalfi Coast village stairs
Common sight is the stairs up or down to the villages along the Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast village homes
Neighborhood street in the Amalfi Coast village

Walking up the steps (there were many steps) we passed homes with lemon trees in their gardens and the smell of flowers growing all around.  The small lanes were lined with homes and the stone path continued upward until we reached the restaurant.  A bit of a huff and puff was rewarded with a view, some red wine, Italian pasta, bread and desserts.

Italian Antipasti Sampler
Italian Antipasti Sampler on the Amalfi Coast day tour
Pizza Amalfi Coast day tour
Hard to escape Italian pizza on the Amalfi Coast tour
Pasta trio sampler lunch Amalfi Coast tour
A trio of pasta to sample at lunch on the Amalfi Coast tour
Amalfi Coast Lunch dessert trio
Marcello and I fought over the dessert trio at lunch
Amalfi Coast day tour liquors
Italian Liquor Trio at Lunch on the day tour of The Amalfi Coast
PhilaTravelGirl Amalfi Coast Tour
Me after our lovely lunch high above the Amalfi Coast years ago

Saying Ciao! (for now) to the Amalfi Coast

Our day on the Amalfi Coast and Amalfi Drive was sadly over as we made our way back through the town going down the stairs back to the road (some towns have thousands of steps from the main road to the top, thankfully this wasn’t one of them).  We joined the caravan of cars, vans, busses, and vespas back on the famous two lane road to snake back into Sorrento.  It was my last view of the coast that seduced me in my 20’s and continues to call me back with each visit to Italy.

Amalfi Coast Farmhouses Italy
Tiered gardens and farms in Italy in land from the Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast View Italy
Amalfi Coast View on a private guide tour
PhilaTravelGirl Positano View Amalfi Coast
I’ve visited this Positano viewpoint three times now – this is a favorite photo

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