Gliding along Italy’s enticing Amalfi Coast to Positano

August, 2017

Imagine gliding along the stretch of spectacular coastline that hugs the indigo Tyrrhenian Sea, on the southern coast of the Salerno Gulf bound for Italy’s Amalfi Coast…

…more importantly, there’s always time for a cheeky Prosecco in Positano.

With the invitation to join my good friend from Rogliano on a day tour to the Amalfi Coast and Positano, who would be mad enough to decline another chance to see this gorgeous piece of Italy?

Rogliano to Salerno

The bus departs from Piazza San Domenico, Rogliano at 05:30hrs for Salerno, which sets the scene for the very long day ahead.

Rogliano, Salerno, CalabriaThe day tour cost €55 per person, which covers the comfortable bus and ferry trips only. Pack your lunch, towel, and swimmers as it’s hot but also expensive during peak season.

A three-hour smooth trip on the highway means that we arrive at the marina at Piazza della Concordia in Salerno early.

Apart from the stunning coastline that graces the Tyrrhenian Sea when travelling by boat or car, there is much history and gorgeous architecture to explore, whilst wandering up the cobbled alleyways in Amalfi and Positano: I can’t wait…

Amalfi, Italy


Although we’re waiting at the dock in Salerno, the TravelMar ferry leaves without us as the tour guide takes some time buying the 40-plus tickets for our bus passengers.

TravelMar, Salerno, Positano, Amalfi
Ferry travel routes (Map credit: TravelMar)

So, it’s a long hot wait of an hour for the next ferry at 10:40 hrs and our 40-minute trip.

Amalfi, Salerno, Italy
Starting the cruise…

With only an hour in Salerno, there’s not much time to take in any sights apart from the port’s vicinity. During a previous trip over the Christmas period of 2015/2016, a fabulous road trip along some of the the Amalfi coast resulted in quite dramatic scenery – I’m hoping for the same today.

Salerno, Castello di Arechi, Amalfi, coast, Italy
Castello di Arechi high on the hill

With a human presence dating between the 9th and 6th centuries BC, this would be an amazing city to explore further as Salerno also hosts a plethora of wonderful architecture, churches, and museums.

The Archaeological site of the Etruscans and Samnites in Fratte, which is famous for a large Necropolis, is also a worthwhile visit.

Salerno, Amalfi, coast, Italy
Salerno Marina

Although just thinking of driving the infamous and dangerous snake-like road along the Amalfi Coast sees many travellers breaking into beads of cold sweat – taking the ferry is much more picturesque.

The ferry trip treats a traveller to a very different perspective. One of calm and serenity for starters. But also, taking in a panoramic view of this whole stretch of dramatic coastline on your private (well almost) cruise, which isn’t possible when driving – wish I had a much wider lens on my camera.


This craggy piece of coastline is incredibly famous and stunning! And, of course this part of Italy draws an abundance of local and global visitors.

I imagine that the town of Amalfi is a more tranquil destination when visited out of the ‘madness’ season.

Amalfi, coast, Italy, boat
Stunning Amalfi

Today we’re in the peak of summer, which means high season and thousands of visitors flock to this town – it’s crazy and slightly claustrophobic for some.

Not only is the temperature soaring in the 40-plus degrees, but packs of sweaty bodies move exhaustedly around this famous town, vying for any scrap of shade just to rest in some cool. A cafe, restaurant, or tree, also makes a great escape from the heat. Even air-conditioners are struggling today so an icy Granita is a favourite of the day…

Street, Amalfi, coast, Italy, boat
Main street filled with tourists, Limoncello, and olive soaps

Still, when in Amalfi…

Some history

Lying at the foot of Monte Cerreto, this town was popular with the British aristocracy and upper class as a holiday destination, back in the 1920s and 1930s. Looking around, you can understand why – it is simply glamorous and beautiful.

The actual town is easy to walk around in a short time, although there are many cobbled back streets flitting off the main drag that warrant exploring. I’m sure these alleyways provide a much more local feel than the town’s tourist strip as after all, locals do still live in Amalfi.

The small beach at the base of the town is great for cooling down or just for a stroll.

During the earthquake of 1343, most of the old town and Amalfi’s inhabitants “slid into the sea”, which is the reason that only a few historical buildings of note remain today.

Sculpture, Amalfi coast, Italy, boat
Crafting artisans

Duomo di Amalfi and the Piazza Duomo

Hordes of tourists congregate at the steps of the Duomo or just to take in a refreshment in the Piazza.

A Byzantine facade graces this cathedral and although is a stunning example, the interior is built in a late Baroque style.

Duomo, Amalfi coast, Italy, boat
Duomo entrance
Duomo, Amalfi coast, Italy, boat
Stunning Duomo

Next time, I’ll look for the Ancient Staircase – I hear it’s worth the steep climb up many stone steps!

Food in Amalfi

Although we don’t indulge in lunch here bringing a picnic basket from Rogliano, we do partake in the obligatory coffee, pastry, and refreshments along the way.

Bar “Lo Scugnizzo”

On Via P. Capuano 15, this tiny little Bar with a few tables and chairs at the back, is an interesting experience.

Not sure what is happening today but staff and owner are having heated arguments. Not a great ambience when the owner venomously yells at her co-worker that she should shoot her husband/partner!

Two average coffees, one small nut tart, and a Ricotta stuffed Sfogliatella (common local pastry) cost €11. This is exorbitant for the quality provided but after all, we are in Amalfi and in the height of summer.

Bar Flavio Giola

Walk along Via Lungomare del Cavalieri 2 and you’ll bump into this extremely busy rest spot. Again, staff seem agitated with much arm waving and shouting. A very sugary lemon Granita sets you back €6. After a few mouthfuls, it’s left behind as it’s much too sweet and not how a Granita tastes at all.

Onwards to Positano

Scheduled to meet at the ferry (€8) wharf for the 15:00 hrs departure bound for Positano, the Tyrrhenian Sea is feeling kind today.

The 25-minute glide along stunning cragged coastline is smooth and comfortable.

I’m continuously amazed at how buildings are beautifully draped over mountains and hills in Italy, or perched high atop impossible-to-reach positions. And, on this brief journey along this striking piece of coastline we pass many…

Positano, Amalfi coast, Italy, boat
Misty coastline


Regardless of the village’s sheer beauty, famous for having been featured in several movies, and the published essay “Positano bites deep” by John Steinbeck, Positano is not for the faint-hearted, during high season.

A deluge of clothes shops selling similar garments, souvenir shops selling olive oil soaps, spices, shells, and Limoncello – coupled with cafes, restaurants, and Gelato shops vying for your euro, it is tiring. But unlike SE Asia, there isn’t constant badgering here, which is refreshing.

Positano is intoxicating.

The vibe, colours, impressive buildings, and plethora of great restaurants, makes for a memorable visit.

Positano, Amalfi coast, Italy, boat
Approaching Positano

Bursting with tourists sunbathing on a piece of precious available beach or walking every cobbled alleyway imaginable, Positano proves draining for some today.

Positano, Amalfi coast, Italy, boat
Crammed beach – no signs of going home yet

Frayed tempers and the heat are overwhelming for parents and young children.

Positano, Amalfi, coast, Italy
Busy art street

More bodies baking in the dying sun rays…

Positano, Amalfi coast, Italy, boat
Summer crowds

Food in Positano

Food is everywhere in Positano. Although expensive, you can hunt out a cheaper option.

Bar Buca di Bacco – Restorante La Pergola

Comfortably gracing the water’s edge on via del Brigantino, Bar Buca di Bacco is a restaurant, Bar, come pizza stop and has everything on offer, including wonderful ambience for a well-earned extended stop.

Rest your weary feet here for a Prosecco or two. At €4.50 accompanied with plump Sicilian green olives, crisps, nuts, and tiny cracker biscuits served in tiny delightful dishes, this is a meal on its own and excellent value.

Good service and staff are friendly, even for a super touristy destination where you expect waitstaff to lose their cool, whilst dealing with the onslaught of a demanding public.

If you’re buying from the self-service Bar, you can’t sit at the waterfront part as this is purely for restaurant patrons and table service. Instead, you need to sneak around the corner to the tall tables and bar stools. Not so bad as you can still see sea glimpses whilst sipping your refreshing bubbly.

A lovely and relaxing way to finish off an exhausting but fun day, whilst waiting for the ferry to whisk us back to Salerno.

Positano to Salerno

Hopping on the 18:30 hrs ferry (€12) for the 70-minute trip to Salerno, whilst the sun sinks slowly into the beautiful Tyrrhenian Sea, allows for one’s imagination to run wild.

As the ferry whisks you away from Positano’s stunning coastline, the rugged clifftops dotted with impossibly perched homes fade away into the distance, painting a memorable canvas.

Positano, Amalfi coast, Italy, boat
Until we meet again…

Leaving Salerno

With an exhausted group, it’s now time to walk the short path from the ferry terminal to the coach for the three-hour journey back to Rogliano.

Everyone is hoping to arrive before midnight. Although, not even an hour into the journey and the bus stops at a Services on the highway for a 45-minute dinner stop. With much grumbling as everyone just wants to get home, the time is agreed to 40 minutes. But in true Italian fashion, by the time the bus departs once again, it’s about a 50-minute break.

The return journey and western hills sees a large fire sweeping along and burning everything in its path – evidence of the drought and extreme heat that Italy is currently experiencing. Everything is so tinder dry from the lack of rain this season.

The air conditioning on the bus decides to break down on the return journey. We swelter even further during the three-hour journey until finally arriving in Rogliano at almost 1 am.

A very long, exhausting but excellent day is had by all!


If someone asked me whether I would do this trip again, I would say yes, but definitely not in August.

Walking around in this heat and the enormous crowds that swell in both Amalfi and Positano, does not make for an optimal experience.

As you can imagine prices are at their highest during August and it seems there aren’t too many places in which you can just sit and have a cool drink, without the obligation to buy food.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts on Italy at Image Earth Travel.

Positano, Amalfi coast, Italy, boat
Heading back…

18 responses to “Gliding along Italy’s enticing Amalfi Coast to Positano”

  1. 3sistersabroad Avatar

    Beautiful photos and a great post.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you – it’s a beautiful part of the world, as you know.

  2. Sartenada Avatar

    Very enjoyable post with gorgeous photos. Thank You.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you and great to hear from you! Hope you’ve been keeping well. 🙂

  3. gillmorris Avatar

    Fabulous Nilla. My parents have been to Positano and I would love to go there too. All being well I will be visiting Rome with my parents in April. I can’t wait.. Great post as always. Thank you for sharing 🙂 xx Have a lovely weekend xx

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thanks Gill!

      You’ll love it in April as it isn’t the crazy season, much cooler, and more enjoyable. I’ve seen over the past few days that Positano has been hit by bad flash flooding, so a lot of damage. I hope it’s cleared up by the time you get here. If you’re down this way, don’t forget to visit if you have time. 😉

      Noticed you’ve been hard at work getting published and with your exhibition – well done!

      Have a great weekend! 🙂 x

      1. gillmorris Avatar

        Thank you Nilla.. I think we are planning Rome and Florence but we have limited time. I am planning on coming for longer at some point so will definitely visit your area xx

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Great! Should be a lovely visit and see you soon 🙂 x

  4. Patty Avatar

    Beautiful travel report again. Added it to my list of place to go 😉

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Patty – very kind feedback and glad it’s on your list now 🙂 x

  5. The Year I Touched My Toes Avatar

    Hi Nilla, I was here in September this year and although not peak season it still was crowded. Fortunately it wasn’t too hot while in Italy and in fact we had some cool and wet days too. It was my first time to Positano and Amalfi. We took a local bus down from Sorrento to Amalfi and then caught a boat from Amalfi to Positano and then another back to Sorrento it was a great day. Louise

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Louise, glad you had a great time in Italy and shame you didn’t come and visit me further south.:-)

      I read the other day that commercial photographers will have to pay €1,000 and videographers €2,000 with a 30-day pre-submission request to council, for the privilege of taking photos/videos in Positano. Talk about corruption at its best!

      Not sure where that extra cash will go or how this will be policed.

      1. The Year I Touched My Toes Avatar

        Wow that’s pretty amazing. I wonder if that is happening anywhere else in the world? We did go down to Sicily for two weeks and it was the best. I’m in love with Sicily now.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        It looks official but really hope it’s not true as it’s a blatant money grab and opens the floodgate for the rest of Italy to do the same. I think I paid extra for my camera at some sites in SE Asia but haven’t heard this about Italy before…apart from inside certain churches, etc.

        Sicily is beautiful but only travelled around Syracuse region over 10 days in September – wonderful time! I have a Sicily post on the go, but I’m a post or two behind yet. Let me know if/when you publish your Sicily post. 😉

      3. The Year I Touched My Toes Avatar

        I will look out for it. I am way behind with reading blog posts at the moment. If I post on Sicily I will be doing it from a second blog which I have been umming and ahhing whether to start or not. For months! Louise

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Know what you mean, so am I – life has a habit of taking up loads of time! 😉
        Trying to find the time to keep this blog updated is challenging, let alone starting another blog. What will your second blog be about?

        Let me know where you post it as I’d love to read the post. Nilla

  6. Michael Andrew Just Avatar

    Excellent article and photos!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Michael and glad you enjoyed the post!

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