I love to travel. Exploring old places with a new and fresh perspective is more than exhilarating, it's life changing!
I remember my trip to Italy like it was yesterday. I miss the cobblestone streets, the sea filled air, and coffee chats with my bestie. We found a great deal on Groupon, which included round trip airfare, car rental, hotel stays and quite a few complimentary breakfasts for one low price. Gotta love Groupon!
After landing in Rome, we hopped into our little Fiat rental, and headed for the Amalfi Coast. It was an amazing journey, and here are some tips that I learned along the way:
1. Save $$$ and learn to drive a manual car.
In Europe, stick shifts are the most common cars on the road. Our Groupon deal included a manual automobile, which posed some initial difficulty. We did have an option for selecting an automatic car rental; however, that change would have cost us an additional $1,000 USD. Not happening. So, I learned how to drive a manual instead (easier said than done.)
2. If you travel in March, bring an umbrella...and a jacket.
My friend and I chose to visit Italy just before tourist season. We wanted to get to know the beautiful country void of its large number of seasonal tourists. While there were virtually no tourists in Sorrento during that time, there was a lot of rain. In fact, it rained everyday. Neither of us were prepared for the rain, and the chilly temperatures that followed in the evenings also took us a bit by surprise.
3. Plan your schedule around the locals' - riposo
The riposo is the Italian version of "siesta." Each day, anywhere from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m., local businesses close down for a midday break. If you are the kind of traveler that loves a packed schedule, keep the riposo in mind and plan your meals and activities accordingly.
4. Bus tickets - buy them early.
When visiting Italy, I recommend buying bus or ferry tickets early. None of the buses or ferries have assigned seating. If there are multiple people in your party, purchasing tickets and boarding early can give you a better chance of staying in a group. It can also give you a better view!
5. Ferry tickets - buy them one way at a time.
This advice may seem as a contridiction to #4, but hear me out! Buying round trip ferry tickets is more expensive than purchasing one way tickets at each port. For example, buying a round trip ticket in Sorrento costs more than buying a one way ticket in Sorrento and then a one-way ticket in Capri. Secondly, you do not know how much time you will want to explore the island. Trips between ports are pretty well staggered (keep in mind tip #3) so you shouldn't have a problem finding an adequate return time.
So there you have it, 5 useful tips for visiting the Amalfi Coast. All based on my personal experiences. If you have any more useful tips, definitely mention them in the comments below!
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