Note: My boyfriend and I went on a weeklong trip together in September of 2014. We’d booked two nights in Naples first, followed by five more days at the coast.
First rule of thumb: when in Italy and taking a bus, never plan with hours and such. The bus will arrive, but when and in which state is a big question and planning based on the time schedule is a big no-no. Also, be very patient with the sellers of bus tickets: I don’t speak Italian, their English isn’t great, so confusion can and will arise. Other than that: being polite will get you almost literally everywhere. Use this information wisely!
Anyway, we weren’t completely aware of this rule of thumb, which caused immense frustration for The Boyfriend (I’m used to Belgian public transport, so I’ve had some sort of experience there), but we really didn’t care that much: as soon as the bus picked us up to drop us off in Amalfi, we were in absolute awe. That coast line is so unbelievably breathtaking, it’s not even slightly funny. What makes it even more breathtaking is the way the Italians drive. It’ll be repeated often: Italians have absolutely perfect control of their vehicle (mostly) and seem very intent on proving this to each person they pass. Utter nutterness, but once you get used to it, it’s fun to be a passenger in this situation.
Amalfi is gorgeous: a small city (the cities are mostly small here) with beautiful churches (yet again more weddings taking place), a cathedral that I had to take note of for my dad (it was named Sant’ Andrea) and these little streets and shops that I couldn’t keep away from. If I’d had a million euros and ten more suitcases to fill, I would’ve come home with more clothes and various dust catchers and cooking aids than I could’ve ever used, but my happiness would have been complete. Alas, it was not to be as I had to transport everything back to the hotel by bus and ten suitcases and one million euros were nowhere to be found, but it was immense fun to look around and dream. Ah. Holidays are made for dreaming, or am I the only one in this aspect?
Unfortunately, it was in Sant’ Andrea that I received a phone call from our Jetair liaison in which he mentioned that the excursions we had paid for yesterday would have to be changed, as they could not be provided to us. He tells us this, after talking everything through the evening before. Needless to say, I wasn’t pleased. Nothing was to be done about this, unfortunately, except for a big complaint after our trip to the office where we booked the holiday, as I’m still not overly fond of the way he phrased everything. After convincing The Boyfriend that no, he shouldn’t be calling the boy back to call him every name in the book, we meandered on and found our bus back. Not completely back, though, as our next stop was one I’d underlined in pretty much every book I’d found on the Amalfitan Coast: Positano!
Now, every town here is small and cute, seemingly reminding me of Greek towns (Santorini springs to mind, though I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting yet), but Positano seems to be the most gorgeous and most wow-factor-possessing of them all. Sorrento is extremely nice, Amalfi is wonderful, but Positano tops them both without even trying. No wonder everyone wants to get off the bus here. Second rule of thumb: if you’ve got claustrophobia, don’t walk into the smaller streets, as the crowd here is huge. We had the luck of finding a small table for two at a restaurant that seemed hidden away but had a part of their tables outside, overlooking the bay. So I’m very pleased to say that we had a fabulous lunch with a view that’s hard to beat: a sea that was so completely blue I’d be hard-pressed to find a matching colour in my pencil box, cute boats sailing around and the town of Positano seemingly at our feet. Couldn’t have figured for a better introduction!
The rest of the day was spent eating even more ice cream, walking past some beaches, watching The Boyfriend swim in the sea (I’m not a huge sea-swimmer, the water is too salty for my sake) and watching a group of wedding guests (and the happy couple) making their way past us on the secluded beach we’d found. Whoops? The bus ride home was still crowded, but less so, though I must say I was glad to get off and find our hotel again. Dear coast line, we will see you again!