The Amalfi Coast is one of the jewels of Italy’s long, boot-shaped coastline. Located on the southwest side of the country, the Amalfi Coast is nestled against the teal blue of the Atlantic Ocean and is a favorite destination for Italy cruise passengers. The region is home to mesmerizing hilltop towns with colorful buildings and relaxing beaches with unforgettable views.
On an Amalfi Coast cruise, you’ll dock in Salerno, the largest city along the coast. Spend your time in port visiting the top attractions of this beautiful coastline, strolling through the picturesque streets, and savoring local delicacies.
The pastel-colored buildings of Positano seem to be stacked atop each other like folded dominoes on the side of a steep hill. At the base of the hill, a scenic promenade curves along the harbor. Walk the promenade for postcard-worthy views and delicious eats, like pizza, coffee, or something more gourmet.
The Amalfi Coast is also home to a city called Amalfi. Though it’s not as famous as its neighbor, Positano, Amalfi still offers incredible views and an Italian charm. Observe coastal city life while you admire its impressive architecture. Don’t miss seeing the Piazza del Duomo, with its opulent cathedral that has a striped stonework pattern.
Head inland for a relaxed day at the hilltop town of Ravello, located halfway between Amalfi and Maiori. While in Ravello, spend time at the Villa Rufolo to stroll through its amazing gardens and see the breathtaking countryside and coastal views. In the town center, spend time in Piazza Centrale, a pretty square home to the small but lovely Ravello Cathedral and the Ravello Art Gallery.
Centro Storico, near the cruise port, is the city center of Salerno and offers a mix of historic and modern architecture with plenty of places in which to shop and eat.
Take a trip to the beautiful island of Capri during your Amalfi Coast cruise. A top attraction of this island is the Blue Grotto, a cave in the side of the island accessible by boat. Once inside, you’ll be mesmerized by the water’s magnificent shade of blue.
Sorrento is a bigger, more bustling version of Positano that has a big city feel. Though it’s not right on the coast, Sorrento is close enough that it’s easy to visit on an Amalfi cruise vacation. Concentrate your time by the wharf to take advantage of the sea views, restaurants, and shopping.
The Amalfi Coast isn’t just picturesque seaside towns. You’ll also find gorgeous, relaxing beaches to explore during an Amalfi cruise. Two of the best places to head for a beach day are Maiori and Minori. These two little beach towns are located near the city of Amalfi, but feel a world away thanks to sandy coastline, beach-adjacent shops and restaurants, and views of the teal ocean. Maiori is also home to the longest stretch of unbroken beach shoreline along the Amalfi Coast.
Seafood with an Italian twist is what you have to look forward to while in the Amalfi Coast. In Positano, try local favorite bavette con granchio di Positano, a dish made from bavette-style pasta and freshly caught crab. Spaghetti topped with local mussels is also a popular dish. Since the Amalfi Coast is so close to Naples, you’ll also find delicious pizzerias serving up Neapolitan-style pizza.
Italy is famous for its espresso, and the Amalfi Coast region is no exception. To drink it like an Italian, order a cappuccino before lunch and then switch to just an espresso shot after lunch—or spoil yourself by having it affogato style poured over gelato. For a refreshing drink, try limoncello, a liquor made with lemons and vodka.
Throughout history, the Amalfi Coast has served many different functions, including as a maritime republic and the location where the compass was invented. In addition, Amalfi has even been the site of ancient mythology, since it is said the name Amalfi refers to a nymph that Hercules loved who was buried in Amalfi as a desire of the gods.
Today, the Amalfi Coast is a tourist mecca known for its stunning views, delicious food, and coastal ambiance with Old World charm. The economy of the Amalfi Coast is very focused on the tourism industry, but agriculture and fishing also play a part. This creates a culture that has a relaxed “dolce vita” vibe with the hard-working roots that come from living off the land. The region of the Amalfi Coast also has a strong arts culture, with many museums in the region as well as festivals that focus on music and dance.
The Amalfi Coast cruise port is located in the city of Salerno, 35 minutes south of Naples. Cruise ships dock on the western end of the port, and passengers are shuttled from the ship to the port gate. The shuttle ride to the port gate is quick and only takes about 10 minutes.
You can arrange transportation to the Piazza della Concordia in the city center, which takes about 10 minutes via shuttle bus. Many people travel outside Salerno on shore excursions, in which case you will be told where to meet.
A particularly fun and scenic way to get around during an Amalfi Coast cruise port of call is on one of the ferries that connects the cities and towns of the Amalfi Coast. Ferries depart near the Salerno cruise port and connect with Sorrento, Capri, and Positano. Most destinations can be reached in less than 90 minutes. Positano is just 35 minutes away from Salerno via the fastest ferries that service the route. Be sure you understand the timetables properly so you can catch a ferry back to Salerno before your cruise ship departs. To experience the quintessential Amalfi Coast drive, a coach bus service runs up and down the coast, stopping in Salerno, Positano, Amalfi, and Sorrento. Taxis are also available.
Positano is the spot for unique artisan goods, while Sorrento is the overall hub for shopping. You’ll find brand name clothing stores and well as merchants selling local goods. For luxurious designer brands like Versace and Prada, head to the island of Capri and walk down its luxe main street. The city of Amalfi also has many places to shop throughout its downtown area.
All of the cities and towns located along the Amalfi Coast (and throughout the rest of Italy) use the euro. ATMs are located around Salerno and the other main cities and towns of the Amalfi Coast. Many businesses accept credit cards. Tipping isn’t expected in Italy, though a small tip is appreciated for great service. In addition, you’ll find a charge (usually just a few euros) typically added to the bill that covers bread, tableware, and any other extras. This is customary and part of dining out in Italy, so add it into your budget when eating out.