Amalfi Coast itinerary

We are headed to Europe next year. The first week will be in Southern Ireland and they we are going to go to the Amalfi Cost for the 2nd week.

We have been as far south as Sorrento and Pompeii. We would like to stay at the Amalfi coast for a few days, how long would you recommend? Where would you stay?

Would it be too much to try and do Amalfi Coast and Sienna in 7 days?

Thank you!

Posted by Laurel
Rome, Italy
2808 posts

For a week on the Amalfi Coast, if it is truly 7 nights, I would split my time between Sorrento and Ravello. You can use Sorrento as abase to go to Ischia or Capri for a day, revisit Pompeii or go to Ercolano, spend a day in Naples. Ravello is high on the cliff overlooking the Mediterranean and is very relaxing. You can go to Paestum, Positano, Amalfi, Atrani, and many other tiny towns from here. Ravello itself has two magnificent villas to see, good restaurants.

I would not add Siena to this itinerary. Personally I would find it a hassle to take that trip. You'd have to get to Sorrento, then Naples where you catch a FrecciaRossa to Florence. From Florence you change to a bus or another regionle train to Siena. But it depends on your travel priorities: the outdoors and natural beauty of the AC, or the museums and churches of Siena.

Posted by Tom
Farmingville, New York, USA
340 posts

Ravello is a beautiful town. One of my favorite. I think 3 days on the Amalfi Coast is sufficient. It gives you one day for Capri and 2 days for the rest of the coast. We just came from Siena a few days ago. Some may disagree but I think Siena is just a day trip. You don't mention if you have been to Italy before so don't know what you might have seen already. If this is your first trip I would spend the second part of trip in Rome and make the day trip to Florence from Rome.

Posted by James
San Anselmo, California
300 posts

Siena is at least a 6 hour drive from the Amalfi coast, so hard to see how you could do "a day trip" to/from there. Here's the thing, you could spend a month on the Amalfi coast and not run out of things to do. "How much time" always seems like the big question, and no shortage of opinions from people to say "oh this or that place is only worth 27 minutes."

You could spend a day or a week in Positano (for example): it all depends on what your goals are, what you want to see, and how fast do you want to see it? Are you going to sprint from place to place, hardly getting your feet dusty before you run off to the next "attraction?" Personally, I'm not a fan of that kind of travel. However, if all you want to do is hit the highlights and move on, you could still spend a week in Amalfi coast and not see nearly a quarter of everything there is to see/do.

So, personally, I would start off with my usual advice (that was given to me): always travel as if you'll definitely be back somewhere - you can't, won't and don't want to see Italy (all of it or major part of it) in a week. So decide what your goals are, and satisfy them.

If you are centered in Amalfi, then you are talking almost 3 days to see Siena - a day to get up there including checking out of where you are staying, driving (or worse, taking public transportation which turns 6 hours into 10), arriving, etc., a full day to see Siena (and if you are going to go back in the evening (unrealistic unless you're driving and able to cop some No-Doz), you have to find somewhere to leave your luggage, etc. or stay another night), and then 6 hours or more to get back. Sounds like a waste of three perfectly good days you could use to explore Amalfi (town), Positano, Ravello, Salerno, Paestum perhaps: that's 4 days right there, a day for Capri (5), a trip or 2 to the beach, some hiking, and your 7 days is done (and overdone). It also takes a day or two to get the lay of the land somewhere - get your bearings kind of thing.

So anyway, as I was saying, no one can tell you how much time a place is worth except you, once you take into account all of your goals and what you want to see, and what kind of traveler you are. Finally, you can never do anything as quickly as you think - time always runs more fluidly when travelling, and what you thought you could do in 2 hours probably will take 4, 4/7, 7/all day.

Capische? LOL

Anyway, whatever you decide, have fun, and travel safely!


Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
6154 posts

You're probably on your way, now. Hope you're having a good trip!