Amalfi coast towns

The towns and villages along the Amalfi Coast

Positano - The original secret fishing village of the Jet Set era, posh Positano is a tumble of pastel houses spilling down a slope so steep most of the "streets" are just staircases between the buildings. Though now firmly on the tourist track, it continues to attract the beautiful people (and their yachts) and remains the undisputed postcard town of the coast. » more

Amalfi - Now a bustling small town riddled with tunnel-like Arab-style side alleys, this unofficial coastal capital was once a mighty maritime republic competing with Venice and Genoa, a proud history reflected in its glorious cathedral. » more

Ravello - This genteel village of lush gardens and fanciful villas high in the hills has inspired everyone from Wagner to long-time resident Gore Vidal. » more

Sorrento - On the southern shore of the Bay of Naples, this pleasantly bland resort town—a clifftop collection of tour-bus-friendly hotels and limoncello shops—is the jumping-off point for the Amalfi Coast: the end of the line for trains from Naples and starting point for buses along the Amalfi Drive (and ferries to Capri). » more

Vietri sul Mare - This Salerno suburb is world famous for its hand-painted ceramics, from the mass-produced wares in the striking majolica-clad building of Solimene to small artisan workshops all around town. » more

Salerno - There's little reason to pause in this mostly-modern city anchoring the southeastern end of the Amalfi Coast, but it is a transportation hub for trains, Amalfi Coast buses, and connections to the Greek ruins at Paestum. » more

Paestum - A 30-minute train ride down the Cilento coast from Salerno lie the ancient ruins of Paestum, a trio of sixth- and fifth-century B.C. Greek temples in the middle of mozzarella country.

Tips & links



How long does the Amalfi Coast take?

Planning your time: Budget at least a day for the Amalfi Coast. Simply to drive the coast without getting out (except to change buses in Amalfi) takes at least five hours—that's three hours touring the coast from Sorrento to Salerno, plus another hour on each end to get to and from those gateway towns.

If you do want to pack it all into a single day—and actually stop and get out in a few towns—it might be best to just book a tour that picks you up at your hotel, gives you time in each of the main Amalfi Coast towns, and returns you to your hotel 6–9 hours later:

  • From Sorrento, group tours start from $40, private drivers from $60, and private tours from $90. » book
  • From Naples, group tours start from $97, private drivers from $55, and private tours from $85. » book

Otherwise, it makes far more sense to spend at least one night on the coast.

If, however, your schedule doesn't have that much leisure time, might I suggest riding the first leg—from Sorrento to Positano to Amalfi—taking a quick spin around Amalfi town, then catching a ferry either back up the coast to Sorrento or over to Capri.

» Amalfi Coast itineraries

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