After we docked in Rome, we took a train to Salerno to begin the second leg of our trip – the Amalfi Coast. Amalfi and Positano are everything you think that it is going to be and more. Excellent views, delicious food, and kind people. We loved our time there.
If you read about our Greek Isles Cruise experience, you might remember that this was a rest and relaxation trip. The goal was to spend time together as a family and recharge our batteries.
When we got off the train, we were picked up by a driver that was recommended by the hosts of the home we rented. If your hosts offer transportation, I highly recommend taking them up on it. You might pay a little more than using public transportation, but it makes the whole travel day so much easier. And I have found that when we take the hosts up on the offer, they are incredibly helpful with recommendations and sharing local knowledge.
The drive from the train station to the house was an experience. Shockingly (this is sarcasm) I did very little research before planning this trip. I have seen glorious pictures of Amalfi on Instagram, but I never really considered how one gets themselves into the homes on the cliffs or the actual geography of the coastline. Let’s just say, the ride was a white-knuckler and poor Clay got so car sick. I prayed that he wouldn’t actually get sick (thankfully he didn’t) but the poor guy was absolutely green and riding the literal struggle bus.
We made it to the house and soon discovered the theme of our trip – and essentially living in Europe – STAIRS. So. Many. Stairs. There were about 100 steps from the driveway to the door of our apartment.
(The view from our patio. Not bad.)
The apartment overlooked the Tyrrhenian Sea. It had a beautiful patio where we spent a lot of time playing cards, eating breakfast, and reading. It was not huge, but it was perfect for us. It was really clean, had a washer, and the hosts were really helpful.
So the first day, we went back down the stairs to venture to get some groceries. So – a little back story – Wes Hester is not great with a couple of things. Bridges, crowds, the kids being close to edges, heights, traffic. I basically took him to ground zero of all of his fears.
We start to walk into town and there is little to no sidewalk on the street. There is about a foot clearance to walk. Cars are whipping around hair pin curves and they can’t see if people are walking on the shoulder, you can feel them go by you. It’s absolutely bonkers. By the time we got to town (about a mile and half from our house) he was a wreck and I was formulating a Plan B in my head. I wasn’t going to waste vacation time with him not being able to enjoy himself every time we left the house. I was ready to abort and head to another destination.
Eventually we made it to the town of Amalfi, had a lovely evening, and the trauma of the walk was starting to go away. It might have been the Pino Grigio, it might have been the glorious gelato, or the lemony pasta we had for dinner. I silently decided to give it another day and if it was still too much, we were going to pack our bags and go somewhere else. By the end of the second day though we were pros and having a good time. I asked if Wes wanted to bail, but he decided to ride it out and I am so glad he did because we loved it.
Amalfi is breathtakingly beautiful, but not exactly the most kid-friendly place I’ve ever been. If I had little guys, I wouldn’t recommend it. Big kids that can walk a lot and do stairs and don’t need a stroller? Sure thing. If I had a hard time with mobility, I also would pick another destination.
Europe does not have ADA laws like they do in the US, and I would often wonder how older people or people with disabilities managed to live there. They obviously do, I just would imagine that life would be difficult. Everything is built up and has steps. But – if you are fortunate enough to spend time in this gorgeous part of Italy, you will cherish your time there forever.
We spent our days soaking up the sunshine and mostly on the beach. The beach closest to us was our favorite. The only problem with it was that is was 473 steps down and 473 steps back up. No exaggeration. It wasn’t so bad getting down, but getting back up was a DOOZY. But when you are down there, it is glorious. There was a great restaurant right on the beach. Wes and I had a great lunch while the kids played in the sand. They didn’t want to hang with us, it wasn’t like we didn’t invite them. It was there that I discovered how delicious limoncello and Processo on ice is.
We went to a few other beaches, but that one was our favorite. We also took a day trip to Positano. We took a bus and thought that we weren’t going to make it. I really can’t explain to you how narrow the roads are and just how fast the buses go. We didn’t plan the day well and it was during siesta, so a lot of things were closed. Positano can be so crowded, but we did get lucky and it wasn’t too bad the day we were there.
The one place that we wanted go to was Capri, but we ran out of time. You can take a boat and spend the day on the island. If there is ever a next time, we will for sure do that.
Want to see more of Amalfi? Here is a little film I made.
We had a really early flight out of Naples to Stuttgart, so we decided to stay in Naples the night before. That’s when I discovered a 4-star hotel in Europe is completely different than one in the US. I’m not a germaphobe at all, and I wouldn’t let the kids put their bare feet on the ground. It was so bad that we just had to laugh about it, and it has become an inside joke with the five of us. I will say that we had the most incredible pizza and dessert that I’ve ever had in my life across the street from the hotel.
We flew to Stuttgart that morning and started our new life.
If you are in the market for a couples trip, a vacation with older kids, or just want to take in gorgeous views, Amalfi and Positano is ideal.