The sting of leaving Florence was dulled by the excitement for the final leg of the journey, the Amalfi Coast. To get from Florence to the coast we had to take the bullet train back through Rome and onto Naples, where we then had a driver take us the last couple hours of the trip.
The drive was nothing spectacular until after a few really long tunnels after which you emerge and, having just driven across drab Naples, feel like you’re on another planet- a planet that is not Naples. After the tunnels you’re on mountainous seaside roads with beautiful views of the towns that line the famed Amalfi Coast.
To be honest it’s a bit nerve wracking, especially every time a giant tour bus would pass in the opposite direction, but Allie had the outside seat so I just tried not to think of the cliff. We made it to our hotel, (Eden Roc) in one piece and checked into our room which featured its own private balcony and breathtaking view of the Mediterranean, Positano city center, and beach far below.
After checking in and freshening up, we set out to make our long winding way down to the shore. Narrow streets, brightly colored buildings, and limoncello at every turn as we walked into town.
The final three days of our trip didn’t feature any guided tours or historical sightseeing. While we at first questioned our travel agent’s itinerary of having us doubleback through Rome, we realized each leg of the trip was more relaxed than the previous- after seven days we were ready for the relaxed, ‘dolce vita’ of the coast. The hours were completely ours; we explored the town, spent some time on the beach, ate gelato, and drank wine at our leisure.
The first night we ate at Le Tres Sorelle, a restaurant right on the beach with a vibrant ambiance. I had committed to eating some good seafood during our stay on the coast, and ordered some sort of a seafood assortment over pasta, while Allie had more homemade pasta. Some street musicians serenaded diners with traditional Italian music, followed by the non-traditional ‘Despacito’.
The second night we dined at Admo Ed Eva, the restaurant on the roof of our hotel. The views were breathtaking, or, they would’ve been had we made reservations while the sun was still out. Regardless, by that point we had enjoyed happy hour at the rooftop bar both nights, so we could use our imagination. We dined on fresh seafood, caught that day, and split a bottle or two of wine. While a bit pricier than previous nights, an expense well worth it.
Our last full day in Italy was spent strolling through Positano. We made the long walk into town, then the long walk back to our hotel, then back to town again, this time turning right instead of left, up the longest staircase we’d ever encountered and over to the other side of town. Somewhat to our dismay, there really isn’t an ‘other side of town’ and after about 5000 steps just found ourselves back on the main road, only much further from our hotel.
Later that night on the way to dinner in the shuttle a couple told us there was a path that would take you all the way to the top of Positano (where our restaurant that night was)- we had no idea, it was a shame we missed out!
That night we dined at Il Ritrovo, located what had to have been another thousand feet or so above our hotel (which was already quite high). Unfortunately for us there’s not much of a view at night, however we did see fireworks from the city center below- it was interesting to see fireworks from above! For our final meal of the trip we felt it was appropriate to each get giant plates of pasta before coming back to our low-carb daily lives. The food and service were both outstanding and at the end of the meal they offered complimentary limoncello and meloncello. After dinner we got back onto the shuttle (arranged by the hotel) and headed back to start packing.
Packing your suitcases the last night of an amazing trip is so depressing. To be honest three nights in Positano is all you really need, especially that time of year; and while we were both ready to head home and see our dog, Daisy, we both longed to turn back time and start the trip over again. The next day our driver took us back into Naples where we said ‘arrivederci’ to Italy, and boarded the plane for Chicago (via Munich)- side note, Lufthansa was great.
Our trip to Italy was everything we could’ve hoped for and more, from discovering the wonders of Roman antiquity, to soaking up culture and art in Florence, to the dolce vita of the Amalfi Coast, it’s an experience we’ll savior for the rest of our lives. Ciao!