SORRENTO AND AMALFI COAST GUIDE

Locals call it the Costiera Amalfitana or Amalfi Coast. It is a must-see destination. Although it is only 30-miles in length, this stretch of coast with its vertiginous landscape of sheer drop terraces surrounded by peachy-hued villages is Italy’s most famous.

Its laid-back charm has attracted many artists, writers, musicians, royalty and celebrities over the years. It was even designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997 as an “exceptional example of a Mediterranean Landscape, with exceptional cultural, and scenic value”.

It is a beautiful stretch of land that wraps around the Salerno Gulf. The landscape is rich in citrus groves and pebbly coves. There are also picturesque towns with magnificent villas, Michelin-starred restaurants and churches.

It is known for its romantic beaches and world-class restaurants. But, it’s not just honeymooners who flock to this famous stretch of coastline. The Blue Ribbon Road connects the towns with the clifftops. Further inland, wildflower meadows, orchards and vineyards bloom.

The Path of the Gods is a trail that takes hikers on a journey through farmland and lemon groves. It also features breathtaking views of valleys, caves, and gorges. Classical music lovers can spend hours at Ravello, a lofty venue for classical music. From April, the impressive calendar of outdoor concerts and performances in this picturesque hilltop town that inspired Wagner’s work springs to life.

The area is home to some of the most iconic Roman ruins, including Pompeii, Herculaneum, and lesser-known Paestum, Velia. You can also watch your children’s excitement while they zip from one town to the next on a hydrofoil, or visit the area’s mysterious green and blue sea caves. The Amalfi Coast is a perfect example of la dolce Vita.

When should you visit
Seasonal activities are possible on the Amalfi Coast. The coast is open from late April through October. Many hotels, restaurants, and public transportation options close down in November.

Summer is the most popular season to visit the area, but it also means that the area’s costs rise and traffic jams along the famous coastal roads. Spring and late summer are great times to explore the area. The temperatures are cooler and journey times are shorter. Also, the main resorts are less crowded.

Practical Information
Currency – Euro
Time Zone – Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT)
Language spoken – Italian Hospitality staff can speak English fluently.

Moving around
Airport:
Public Transport: In peak seasons, the public transport system is reliable and regular on both land and water. You can take the ferry from Naples to Sorrento or you can travel by train with Trenitalia, bus with Curreri Viaggi, or both. It is easy to get to the other resorts along the coast with the SITA bus service once you arrive in Sorrento.
Car hire: The airport has a lot of car rental companies. However, it is difficult to drive here due to narrow roads, heavy traffic, and sheer drops. If you’re nervous about driving or new to international driving, don’t bother.

It’s good to know
You can reach the emergency services by dialing 112.
You should always have a valid European Health Insurance Card, (EHIC), with you.
You must have proof of identification with you when you go out. Your passport is essential if you are renting a car.
Lunch (pranzos) are usually served between 12.30pm and 3pm. Most formal restaurants close after lunch. Dinner (cena) is served between 7 and 8 pm. You don’t have to be disappointed if the restaurant appears empty when you arrive.

Social Etiquette
Italians are friendly and open-minded people. Don’t be surprised to see a cafe owner or waiter greet you as if you were a friend. Although the local language is Italian and it is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country, many of these staff speak English.

It is always appreciated to learn the language. Here are some phrases to help you get started.

Ciao – Hello / Goodbye
Buongiorno – Good morning
Buon pomeriggio-Good afternoon
Buona note – Good night
Thank you for your consideration
Grazie – Thank you
Si – Yes
Non – Not
If you really struggle, you can always ask for help at ‘Parli inglese?’ – Can you speak English?