How To Plan The Amalfi Coast Trip of Your Dreams
I just came back from Italy not even two days ago and while I was there I was getting tons of requests from people that follow me that are also going to the Amalfi Coast this Summer and wanted recommendations. I’m here to give you ALL the goods on things you need to do, places to shop, places to eat, and things you can pass on. That last part being super important because who wants to waste time while they’re in literal Italian heaven?
I’ll start by saying that going to Italy has always been a dream of mine because my mother’s side of the family is mostly Italian. My grandfather’s family, the Visconti’s, originated from the south of Italy in a small town so I sort of always knew I would end up there some day. You’ve seen all the famous photos of the beautiful Amalfi coast, but seeing it in person is a whole other level (literally I cried when I first saw our view from our hotel room). When Jordan surprised me with this gift, I already had a pretty good idea of where I wanted to go and how I envisioned the trip to be since this is something I have always dreamed about.
See my guide on how to plan your perfect trip to the Amalfi coast:
Step 1 - Looking for the right hotel.
This was hard because there are so many beautiful places to stay on the coast. I feel that most people overlook Positano because it is small and it is more popular to stay in the actual city of Amalfi or Sorrento. Positano is a small city on the Amalfi Coast with breathtaking views and I honestly loved every ounce of the small city charm that it had.
I knew I wanted a hotel with the view of the cliffs and balcony, so this was a must on my list for the hotel I chose, but also made it more pricey. If you’re balling on a budget, one way to save is by looking for rooms that have no sea view. I will say that it was 100% worth it for the view, especially when Jordan and I were just relaxing in our room with a bottle of Prosecco (a must in Italy—Prosecco is the Italian version of Champagne).
There are obviously the more well known hotels on the Amalfi coast or options to book an Airbnb, but I chose to look for a cute family-owned boutique hotel. In general I feel that boutique hotels have more charm and they personalize your experience in any way that they can. You also want to keep in mind your location because these hotels literally line up against the mountains/cliffs and have tons of stairs that can lead up to them. The hotel we chose, Hotel Poseidon, is off the main road (Via Positano) which made it very convenient to walk around from.
Hotel Poseidon was everything I could have asked for. They went above and beyond when they knew it was my birthday, not to mention our room was literally straight out of an Italian dream. Jordan arranged flowers to be sent to our room with a bottle a wine and when we arrived inside our room they brought them in as a surprise. It was so perfect, I cried. The hotel also had the option of booking a car service that they arranged to pick us up from the airport and also dropped us off at the train station when it was time to leave. HIGHLY recommend this if you are staying on the coast. The idea of taking your luggage with you to the bus, train, ferry and then up flights of stairs made it worth it to us.
The best part of the hotel was the spa. We arranged a couples massage on our first day which was amazing because we had just been in Barcelona and walked about 19 miles in two days…safe to say we needed it. The massages, the ambiance, and the staff were just about perfect. And I’m hard to please when it comes to hotels.
Step 2 - What and Where to Eat.
We were lucky that our driver from the airport to the hotel, Antonio (shout out to wherever he is), gave us a full history on Positano and the Campania region of Italy, especially when it came to the food. He explained to us why certain foods just taste better here and it basically comes down to the volcanic soil that grows the best vegetables, has the best water and olive oil, and makes for the best mozzarella cheese. So basically a rule of thumb: eat all the foods that go against your “diet.”
Zucchini, lemons, oranges, buffalo mozzarella (basically any cheese), tomatoes, pizza, and SEAFOOD. If you don’t like any of these things, then you may be the one person to not like the Amalfi coast. Jordan and I are firm believers that if a restaurant didn’t have good food in Positano, then it wouldn’t be open. In other words you can plan to go to specific restaurants but it’s not a necessity, it’s a culinary city and most restaurants there are already famous for something.
Since it was just the two of us, we decided to not make any dinner reservations and just take our shot at getting in at the restaurants we wanted to try. I love seeing where the locals go to eat or where they suggest, but the one restaurant that was on my list and did not disappoint was Le Sirenuse. I saw Kristie Dash eat here in Miami and she swore up and down how delicious it was, and that the only other location was in Positano. I felt like it was a sign since I was going to be there. Le Sirenuse is part of the Le Sirenuse hotel which you can easily spot because it’s a big red and white building. It is a Michelin star restaurant, so not a low-key dinner spot, but it was incredible. We got very lucky and basically bribed them for a table because it was my birthday, so if you plan to go MAKE A RESERVATION. We went on my birthday night, and were just in awe at the service, the food, and the vibes of the entire restaurant. They have guitar players that come serenade you at the table and lights that look amazing at night. They also have an outdoor area that was closed because it was cold but if you can try to, request to sit outside. At night the entire coast line looks amazing with all the lights of the buildings. It was a night I’ll never forget.
Other restaurants that were recommended to us (and are very popular so try to make a reservation): Buca Di Bacco and Chez Black. Don’t forget to eat lots of gelato. This is a splurge trip so what do you have to lose?
Step 3 - Where To Cocktail.
Order all the Limoncello and Aperol Spritzes that you can. But seriously, this area is well known for lemons and oranges as you’ll see them everywhere when you walk around so it’s the best place to drink these cocktails rather than anywhere else. For nightlife, we sort of kept it pretty chill and just drank throughout the day but one night we decided to do drinks before dinner and went to Franco’s. This is a cocktail bar that opens at 5 PM and stays open throughout the night. When we walked by earlier, I knew we had to come back because you can see the entire coastline as it is an outdoor bar. The vibes were so my style and after our first round of drinks I didn’t think I would leave. They have a color coded cocktail menu with drinks that are come in different colors. Order the Purple Haze cocktail.
After Franco’s, we went to another scenic and lounge-y spot for dinner called Rada. The restaurant is basically located on a cliff by the beach and has a club at the bottom of the restaurant. A super chic, fun spot and the food was delicious. Honestly, I would re-do this entire night if I could.
There are other bars on Spiaggia Beach that are cool to go to during the day, but again the best part about picking a good hotel is when it has a pool with a bar. We definitely wished we had more warm weather days to just enjoy this part of our hotel.
Step 4 - Boat Tours & Capri.
I knew that if I was going to the Amalfi coast that I had to at least make a trip to Capri if we didn’t stay there. Capri is a dreamy little island that is famous for it’s luxurious homes to famous people like Sophia Loren and Giorgio Armani. It has little towns throughout the island that are just about the most beautiful towns you can imagine. When you get off your boat or ferry, you can either take a taxi or a bus to wherever you would like to go.
We decided to do a boat tour with a small group (max 12 people) with Positano Boats. This company had the best pricing to us and there weren’t too many people on our boat. We thought about doing the private tour but this will cost you about $700-1000 euros. There are tons of services that do different types of tours but I would suggest to wait until you are in Positano or on the coast to actually plan it so you can gauge the weather. We ended up going on a different day than we wanted because the weather while we were there was a little cold (not typical for the end of April). I’m very glad we did the boat tour because it was Jordan’s favorite part of the trip since he loves being on the water. IF we were to do it again, I would have opted to stay on Capri for a few nights because we were only there for four hours with the tour and it went by in a second.
I LOVED every second on Capri and now I know I will need to come back. The streets, the views, and shopping were absolutely perfect. We didn’t get a chance to go to many parts of the island, but you must visit the main Capri city and Marina Piccola. Ana Capri is also amazing to visit but we didn’t have time to get there. We got lunch at a beautiful restaurant called Ristorante Ai Faraglioni and we had the best Champagne Shrimp Risotto.
Step 5 - Go shopping.
It’s Italy, so obviously the fashion and shopping are going to be amazing no matter what city you go to. The style in Capri and Positano is beachy as you can guess. But I would call it more of an elevated beach look rather than just flip flops and your beach shorts. A big trend I noticed that I felt I could bring back to even NYC was the Italian linen dresses. There are tons of stores that sell these, as well as hand made sandals.
One boutique you MUST stop in if you go is Palo-Borracho Open-Air Boutique. It’s like a backyard in the most beautiful place in the world, but fashion. Honestly, I want to turn my future backyard into this whenever that day comes. Please go and tell them you stopped in because of Soho Mini! My boyfriend’s mother offered to get me a beautiful linen dress from here that will be my new Summer staple. I am so thankful for this gift as I knew I was not leaving here without one. Everything in this store is handmade and they have been designing clothes for over 40 years. Get yourself or someone you really care about something special from here. It’s worth it!
Comment if you have any questions that I didn’t answer above. As you can tell, I loved my experience in Positano and want the same for you!
xox Soho Mini