DIY Pompeii and Amalfi Coast Day 2: Cruising down the windy and windy Amalfi Coast by public bus
After the previous evening's nonstop dinner, I still got an early start because I wanted to see a bit of Sorrento before the morning bus down the Amalfi Coast.
The rain of the previous day cleared up this morning, so the air was crisp and from the promontory over the Bay of Naples, I could see Mount Vesuvius.
I then took a brief hike down to Marina Grande, a fishing village that's next to Sorrento but is considered a separate community.
There were a couple brave fishermen out on the pier, surrounded by violent waves (and again with Mount Vesuvius looming off in the distance).
I hurried back to the hotel, checked out, and then bought my SITA bus tickets at the convenience store on the lower floor of the train station, from where the bus was waiting. I caught the 11am bus, which got me into Positano at 12 noon.
The drive truly is spectacular, with a steep drop off the side straight into the sea. You really have to sit on the right side of the bus for the best views!
An hour on the bus drops you off at Positano - be sure to get off at the second stop, Positano Spor. From there it's a downhill walk down to the beach.
There was a really cute, tiny bus that went up and down part of the way, but the bottom most part of town is pedestrian.
Positano was a cute little town, and very quiet being in December. It seemed like a typical seaside town popular with out-of-towners, with lots of souvenir stores, clothing shops, and restaurants.
I thought an hour was honestly good for me to get a feel for the town (more than that I would have been bored, as I personally prefer big cities), so at 1pm I was already on board the next SITA bus to Amalfi.
It really boggles my mind, thinking of the skill of the engineers who built this road so many years ago!
Just 40 minutes later, I arrived in the town of Amalfi.
Amalfi is also a super quaint town, but it seemed just a bit more like a "real" town than Positano.
I had a most memorable lunch in a restaurant actually tucked right underneath the cathedral, which itself was quite a sight to see. (Read about the lunch here!)
I walked a bit around town, and then visited the cathedral. I could really see the Arabic influences with these stripes, much like at the Mezquita in Córdoba.
The green stripes in the tower here reminded me of the green in the Mudejar style of architecture in Teruel, Spain.
Before leaving the Amalfi Coast, I did want a last taste of the lemons from the region, so I got a lemon sorbet (and chocolate sorbet). It was raining again, but somehow I appreciated this last treat before getting on the bus.
I hopped on board the 5pm SITA bus for Salerno. You can see the bus going back to Positano and Sorrento next to it. I had originally thought to return to Sorrento (1 hour 40 minutes), and then take the Circumvesuviana from Sorrento to Naples (1 hour). But not only is that serious backtracking and seeing the same scenery again, I found that it could be faster to continue along the Amalfi Coast to Salerno (1 hour 15 minutes), and take the high speed rail from Salerno to Naples (40 minutes). So faster, new scenery, and more comfortable (since the high speed rail is quite a bit nicer than the rather rickety Circumvesuviana)!
The sun already was already going down at this point, and the road quickly turned dark about halfway into the ride. I read that there are a lot of tourists who want to drive the Amalfi Coast, but to me that's a crazy idea! I just feel like if I were driving, I couldn't enjoy the scenery at the same time, and the road seems like it could be quite dangerous with so many twists and a sheer fall to the sea. Plus when the bus has to navigate through the little towns along the way, I appreciated leaving the driving to the professionals!
At Sorrento, I didn't realize that the bus doesn't let you out right at the train station, so it was a maybe a 10 minute walk under the railroad tracks and a bit through the town of Salerno before arriving at the entrance to the station. Our bus was delayed, probably due to rainy weather congestion, so thankfully I didn't already make a reservation for the train, and also luckily there are a lot of trains that go between Salerno and Naples. I hopped on the next train available, the Italo train (the other operator is the national Trenitalia's Frecciarossa high speed trains).
In contrast to the Circumvesuviana, which is kind of jittery and loud like the NY Subway, the Italo train was fast, silent, and quite plush!
After just 40 minutes, we pulled into Napoli Garibaldi station. And that concluded my 2 day / 1 night trip through Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast!
Here are all of the posts in this Pompeii and Amalfi Coast itinerary:
This post: DIY Pompeii and Amalfi Coast Day 2: Cruising down the windy and windy Amalfi Coast by public bus