A few months ago in September, I traveled to Venice and the Amalfi Coast and have been dying to share my favorite places I visited. The trip was amazing, I went with my boyfriend, Kev, and he basically did all of the planning. The trip was so beautiful, I fell in love with the Amalfi Coast. We went at the end of September so it wasn’t extremely hot but still warm enough to go for dips (off our house sailboat we slept in for 4 nights!) in the Mediterranean. A few places that really jumped out to me I’ll tell you about below and share some photos. First stop Venice…
We stayed at the Gritti Palace in Venice which was an unbelievably luxurious stay (thanks to my Kev’s points he gets from all his business travels). It was breathtakingly beautiful, right on the Grand Canal. Gritti welcomed us with champagne, strawberries and chocolates. It was an absolute dream staying there and one I’ll never forget. A few photos from the stay are below.
Venice was a dream, we went to all the sights and I highly recommend taking the little boats around to catch the gorgeous views of all the historic buildings. The two days we were there were very sunny so we got lucky. The staff are super friendly to the tourists and we pretty much would wake up, go to breakfast, and walk around all day until tea time / cocktail hour and then go take a nap. Then the dinners were always filled with burrata, pizza, pasta and lots of red wine. It was a carbo trip we were prepared for.
I loved Venice and feel unbelievably grateful for where we got to stay. Definitely go eat at Al Vecio Marangon and get the burrata and lasagna. It was incredible. Then walk along the canal and take in all the little boats cruising by. There’s usually live music playing and such a scene to soak in.
The Gritti Palace has one of the most enthralling views of the lagoon city – from the island of San Giorgio Maggiore past landmarks Punta della Dogana and Santa Maria della Salute Basilica to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The hotel dates back to 1475…. can you believe that??? The luxury hotel is a place of exquisite art and elegance… as you can see from my few photos.
We left Venice at 6am on a water taxi and headed to Naples, Italy where we had to then train from Naples to Sorrento where we’d continue our Italy vacay.
Buon giorno Sorrento!
Sorrento was Kev’s favorite place we visited because it was just so fun and local. We went to a lot of local spots and had so much fun walking around the markets. There are a lot of small alleys that weave in and out of the main streets of Sorrento. We went on a long run one day about 5 miles that really gave us a good feel of the Sorrento vibe. So many lemons!!! The lemons in Sorrento are absolutely huge, but we both weren’t fans of limoncello, the popular Italian drink.
Taking in all the beautiful views of Sorrento before and after lunching in the heart of Sorrento at Ristorante Il Buco. It’s a Michelin! We were late to our 2:30pm reservation but it was the best first Sorrento experience. We were the only diners in the restaurant because they were closing at 3pm! Nevertheless, the waiters took such good care of us and were so kind and helpful. We ordered delicious white wine, octopus, burrata, fish, and had fresh bread with olive oil. Drooool..
The tiramisu is definitely the best when you get it at Italian restaurants in Italy. I’ve tasted a fair share of tiramisu in the US and nothing compares to what I had in Italy.
Other places to visit in Sorrento: Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria (magnificent place that overlooks everything and serves you little tea sandwiches with your cocktails) and Ristorante e Bagni al Delfino. The photo above of the tiramisu was on our last night in Sorrento at Bagni al Delfino, it was a beautiful spot right on the water. You have to go up and down so many hills when you’re in Amalfi, so you really work for those carbs and desserts.
HOUSE BOATING ALONG THE AMALFI
Kev and I decided to get a skipper (Giuseppie we love you) and sleep on a house boat for 4 days so we could visit other spots on the Amalfi Coast like Ravello, Positano, and Amalfi.
If you have doubts about doing this, reach out to me. i was really nervous about getting sea sick on the boat but it was so beautiful and the best way to get to all the places you want to get to without committing to another hotel or airbnb. Giuseppie always offered his little apertifs and wine for us to enjoy. I was constantly diving off his boat into the water. We played Italian music (VOLARE!) most of the time and even though there was a little language barrier with Giuseppie we made it work. Kev, luckily, spoke French, and he could understand me through my broken Spanish.
We were so lucky to have had the books by Rick Steves on where to go and what to do in Amalfi and Venice. It was SO helpful. See Kev above (super tourist look) holding the Rick Steve book. It was his pride and joy, and he had it basically memorized. Rick Steves is so authentic in his suggestions and gave us the best local spots to visit. Giuseppie had the boat anchored in Positano after dropping us off at the dock and we explored the whole day. Positano is quite small but SO beautiful. We climbed so many stairs to get to the top and look out at the beautiful Amalfi coast and Mediterranean.
In Positano, we had dinner at the vibey Chez Black (pic above) on the first night and then the next night at Ristorante Lo Guarracino Positano. I’d definitely recommend going to both if you can. Two completely different scenes. The chic host at Chez Black John Pablo told us about the little after party spot where the locals and tourists go to dance by the water. It was so much fun and we made a few friends while watching a beautiful singer perform.
Ristorante Lo Guarracino (pic above) is more hidden away from the main part of Positano but still by the water. The interior had rustic vibes with lots of greenery and we ate on the intimate wooden patio overlooking the water and stars. We got pizza to start and then shared pasta and seafood. After we headed back to the boat, Giuseppie heard about us getting both the pizza and pasta and joked that Italians only go for one or the other, never both! Thanks for that Giuseppie. We get it, we’re packing on the pounds by now.
After Positano, we slept on the houseboat again and the next day got to explore Ravello and Amalfi. It was a hike up to Ravello but so pretty. We got in our hiking sports clothes and went for it, saying goodbye to Giuseppie who was always happy to sunbathe and nap while we were out and about.
This was some serious hike! I’m so glad we did it though because if we didn’t we wouldn’t have seen Ravello. Giuseppie dropped us off in Amalfi so we explored that a little before following Rick Steve’s suggestions of taking the trail up to Ravello. It was long and far. There were a lot of other tourists and locals along the way. Rick Steves said you can also shuttle but we decided after all the pasta and pizza we were consuming, we needed to hike it.
Nothing like ice cream at the top. Hazelnut and coffee… oh my god. Too good.
When our time was coming to an end on the boat we knew the inevitable was going to happen. We were going to have to say bye to Giuseppie (our pasta maker!!)This was probably the best day though. The sun was shining extra strong and we took the boat from Positano all the way to Capri, jumping into the water along the way. Music blasting and Giuseppie having his Jack Daniels, it was a lot of fun. We didn’t want to leave him. We parked the little houseboat in between these enormous yachts after arriving in Capri and just kept swimming, taking GoPro videos, and dancing. Giuseppie made us pasta carbonara from his little kitchen too. It was absolute paradise. Everything about it.
Kev nearly didn’t give up the boat but we knew our beautiful airbnb in Capri was waiting for us. The final destination of the trip!
But first, bye Giuseppie, thanks for everything.
Last destination of this beautiful trip is here. We went big and booked the nicest, cutest, largest airbnb by the water. It was so worth it! They had lemon trees and apples in their garden! A huge patio over looking the coast of Amalfi. Capri was high end, luxurious, super chic, and so much fun.
After the long boat day with Giuseppie and his Jack Daniels, we get to our airbnb in Capri, and it’s time for a nap before dinner.
Check out our Capri airbnb garden…
and view from our patio…
and of course, do as the locals do. Get a moped.
We took the moped (quite scary to be honest) around all of Capri and Anacapri. Kev still holding onto Rick Steves book to know where to check out and what to do. We went to the market in Anacapri and took a chair lift up to see the sights. Everything was so beautiful. After we went back to the market, we were getting hungry and stumbled upon this hole in the wall place outside called SCIUE SCIUE. It was so good, we shared the calzone and a pizza. Yes, both again. The tomatoes are so fresh and the dough so fluffy and warm. Cheese there just melts in your mouth.
HIGHLY recommend Sciue Sciue because the calzone was crack.
The Il Riccio Anacapri beach club in Capri Palace (pic above) was so gorgeous. This is the little room off the restaurant that is filled with perfect little desserts! The best dessert I had all trip was in the center of Capri though at Gelateria Buonocore Capri, it was so delicious!
We didn’t do the touristy Blue Grotto but it looked cool. Instead we sat above and watched the tourists go into the sea cave while sipping on our proseccos. The 3 hour line didn’t seem worth it.
We were so lucky with Paola who told us about this fun spot called Taverna Anema e Core to go out dancing that you can only get into if you’re on the list or have a connection. Definitely go check it out if you can. If you can’t get on the list, you might just have to pay the doorman. It’s worth it!
And now down to our last day in Capri. We spent it at the beach club, Fontelina, the famous spot with the chic blue and white umbrellas where everyone sunbathes and swims until the sun goes down. You have to make a reservation in advance and then call the restaurant to send over a boat. It was such a great day to be for the last day. SO glad we went and took so many GoPro videos in and out of the water.
SUCH good food at Fontelina. We shared everything, the french fries are always so perfect. We got a bottle of wine and brought it down to the beach where we lay for the next four hours until we had to get ready to go back and shower and head to Naples by ferry! Last day in Capri is coming to an end!!!
I hope some of these suggestions of where to dine, visit, frequent have been helpful along with the photos. I just loved every minute of the trip and can’t wait to go back. I definitely hope to go back to Paola’s airbnb that overlooked all of the coast. We woke up every morning and sat at the patio looking at the boats coming in and out. There is so much to do in Capri but I’m glad we broke up the trip by spending 3 full days there and making sure we didn’t fit in any more naps!
There’s obviously some places and stories I’m missing but these were what stood out to me the most!! If you still haven’t had enough, watch the video we made of the trip here.
Go start planning your next trip to Amalfi. Reach out if you have questions or want to know more about any place I went to… ciao!