Ahhh... one of my most favorite trips to look back on. My trip to the Italian coastal cities of Sorrento, Positano, Capri and Naples with my best friend, Emma. This trip was our last Hoorah to end our study abroad experience. Emma had just finished Semester at Sea and was spending one last week in Italy with me, while it was my second to last week in Europe.
I've also been dreaming about this trip for so long. Planning it through Pinterest, imagining myself laying out in the sun with a floppy hat and sunglasses and an issue of Italian Vogue in my hands. The weather wasn't as dreamy as we would have hoped for, but nothing can take away the beauty of the Italian Coast.
We planned this trip through Bus2Alps, which is a great program that plans everything from activities to transport to hotels. If you are interested in this the exact same one we did, you can click here. I highly recommend it for a first-time trip to the Italian Coast, as everything is booked and you hit all the hot spots.
Day 1(ish) - Sorrento
I have no pictures from day 1, but good thing I have plenty of extras.
After my class, we took an Uber (which is not Illegal, despite what I was told my entire stay) to Rome Termini Train Station. This is where we met the Bus2Alps group we were traveling with. We boarded the bus and 4 hours later, we were in a sea view hostel. Beautiful during the day, but at night it reminded both of us of the shining... it was pretty creeeeepy. Apparently we were the only people with this feeling. To each their own.
We got in pretty late, so we just unpacked and went to bed.
Day 2 - Capri Island
Rise and... gloom? We woke up and had our breakfast with a foggy, but still beautiful, view of the sea. In the morning light, we realized the hostel wasn't as freaky, but I still hold my opinion when nighttime comes around. We ate some cornettos with jam and had our morning heaps of coffee.
Our first plan of the day was to board the ferry and set sail for the special island of Capri.
On the ferry, we got some overpriced instant cappuccinos, where I spilled the majority onto myself. But, overall enjoyed the quick ride over to the island.
Once we got to Capri, we boarded another boat and went on a private tour around the island. It was gorgeous, even with no sun the water was such a vibrant shade of blue. Not even clouds could take away from Capri's beauty.
The first stop on the private island tour was the Blue Grotto. It was 15 euro per person and we were transferred from our boats onto tiny fishing boats.
It was kind of nerve-racking because the only way in the grotto, on a choppy day, was to wait for the wave to crash and then squeeze our way into the tiny hole by a rope that the guide would pull us through by.
You can see how the rope pulls you in through the smallest little opening in the cave.
Pictures are great but the videos really show more of what it was like in the Blue Grotto.
The water was unbelievably blue, almost looked fake, even running our hands through it.
We saw many more of the island's natural gems and grotto's and then made our way to the mainland. When we got off the boat and we were in Capri Town, the bottom level of the island.
Our next mission was hiking from Capri Town to Anacapri, the highest level. It was a 30-minute hike up the mountain, but the blood orange-lemonade- vodka drinks at the top made it worth the haul. We enjoyed the view, and the drink, then took a little bus to the more populated area of Anacapri.
At the very top, we went to Carlo's Sandal Shop where they welcomed us with chocolate samples and shots of limoncello. I was so excited to get my own hand-made custom sandals.
I got my sandals fitted and picked out the material for my sandals and mom sent me her feet measurements for her custom pair.
I was very indecisive because there are so many different options to chose from. While we waited for the shoes to be crafted, we headed out to get some dinner at Le Arcate
Ristorante Pizzerie. We got an Anacapri special, only available upon request and it is the Lemon Shrimp Pasta. My mouth is watering even thinking about this delicassy.
We decided to go on a walk around the area and found ourselves in a local neighborhood. We enjoyed the area and then came across what I thought was a lemon forest. After walking into it we realized it was Ristorante la Zagaza, so we sat and got some well-deserved dessert with lemon tea. For dessert, we got a lemon tiramisu. There's a theme here...
I already am obsessed with lemons, but Capri took my love to another level. The pasta, the desserts, the tea, and the candy. All lemon, all good.
We sat and chatted a bit, sitting in the small bit of sun that peaked out, until we had to go pick up my sandals. I loved the people at this sandal shop, they were so friendly and they really made sure they fit perfectly and that you 100% were in love with them. I already can't wait to come back and make a new pair.
The shoes took less time than we imagined so we went and embraced our touristy selves, and tried to find the best Capri memorabilia to take home. Obviously, everything I picked had to do with lemons.
We walked from the tip of the mountain back down to sea level to dock our ferry back to Sorrento.
We enjoyed the most gorgeous and unbelievable views on our climb down the mountain.
When we got back we freshened up and rested for a couple of minutes, then head to dinner in downtown Sorrento. We ate fried calamari, pasta and of course we had more desserts; chocolate cake and lemon meringue.
We also decided on some post-dessert gelato, while we enjoyed downtown Sorrento before our walk back up to the hostel.
Day 3 - Positano
Saturday morning started with brekkie, as usual, and then a private boat cruise to Positano. Although this day was another gloomy one, nothing could take away my excitement to be in Positano, the most desirable town of The Amalfi Coast.
When you see "Amalfi Coast" on Instagram, this is usually the picturesque colorful town of Positano that people are referring to. Everything was up to standards.
On our way, we had a light lunch and enjoyed the beauty of the surrounding coast.
It was a little bit of a bummer that our warm-weathered swim and chill 'cruise' aspect of this trip was during the cold gloom but I still enjoyed being bundled up inside, enjoying the views from the window, as you can see.
When we docked, I ate at Vine e Panini to get a very highly recommended panini. In my panini I got the basics; salami, mozzarella, tomato, and a little peso. Sandwich in hand, we wandered our way around the local shops, admiring all the original work this town offered.
It began to pour and Emma got hungry, so she got lunch and I got a tea in a restaurant on the beach that offered heated covered seating. We waited for the rain to stop and then we went back out to accomplish some major boutique shopping.
My mom told me that the one thing I should DEFINITELY get while in the town of Positano was a bikini. The bikinis were all hand-made by these individual shop owners and were all so special. They had beautiful prints in so many different bathing suit styles. I almost got three of the same prints in different styles, but then limited it down to one, because I have a box of bikinis at home that I don't even get through during summer.
After our shop, we then sat at a restaurant, elevated a little on the cliffside that overlooks the water. Here we contributed to a consistent theme of this post: dessert and cappuccinos.
Then the sun decided to peak out for our last 2 hours in Positano, so we went to lay on the beach, put some music on, and sat in disbelief that this is the life we were living.
Day 4 - Naples/Pompeii
We started our last day like every other, breakfast with a view. Surprisingly (and sadly) the day we left was the day the sun was shining and it was in the 70s. But either way, we enjoyed the warm weather and sun during our trip to Pompeii.
The bus arrived and it took us on a mini drive on the coast while on our way to Naples.
Both Emma and I opted out of the guided tour and just decided to explore the ruins of Pompeii on our own. The ruins were incredible, but also sad. It was such an amazing experience to see such an ancient city preserved by the means of its end. The volcano erupted and the city just froze in time. With the relics and people that were salvaged, it really makes you feel like you can see the city as it was, before the eruption.
The rain surprised us with a quick 10-minute downpour and luckily Em and I were right by the cafe, so we walked in and got Cappuccino's (duh).
After our mid-ruin break, we lost where we were in the city.
We ended up in a quieter area with some really cool and extremely overgrown homes.
Both of us were getting a bit hungry so we ate at Pompeii Pizza and got our highly anticipated Sicilian-style pizza. This means thick crust and lots and lots of sauce. YUM!
We did some shopping at the fun booths outside of the ruins and found that the city of Pompeii is entirely themed around naked people and their excitement to get it on, while their world was ending. Evidently, Pompeii was very much known as a city of lust and all touristy gadgets were styled in that way. I guess some people just decided that'll be how they die. Either way, it was hysterical.
We basically slept the majority of the way home and then eventually we were back to rainy Rome. We went to bed early so Emma could catch her morning flight and I was ready for my final exam.
Despite the weather, my dream vacation to the beautiful seaside of Italy was fulfilled. From custom sandals and bikinis to lemon overloading my taste buds, this trip stays close to my heart. I can't wait to come back, preferably when it's mid-summer, so I can take a dip in the Italian waters.