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My Mini-Guide: The Amalfi Coast

Italy's Campania region includes Naples, Sorrento, Capri, and the famous Amalfi Coast. Here are some basics to get you started on your journey.

POMPEII: I recommend a tour guide for your visit in order to have a better understanding of the historical context and purpose of how the town was constructed. Luisa Private Guide is excellent and will make your visit far more interesting and fun than if you wander on your own.

NAPLES is very industrial, but it has some of the best pizza in Italy. Head to Di Matteo for some famous pie. Conde Nast's #1 pizzeria in "best of" lineup.

AMALFI COAST: If you rent a car, beware of the very windy roads and narrow streets. Rent a small car, or simply hire a driver so you can relax and enjoy the view. Check out Eduardo Shore Excursions for a local guide around those twists and turns. My personal favorites along the way were picturesque Positano and the unassuming hilltop town of Ravello.

POSITANO: It's easy to spend the day (or 2 here). An inexpensive dinner with beautiful views and massive amounts of food can be enjoyed up the hillside at Fattoria La Tagliata. When you wander down through the town to the beach, be sure to jump in the Mediterranean for the best view of the colorfully terraced hillside.

AMALFI: Was maybe my least-favorite town along the coast. It felt very touristy, but if you want lunch with a view, walk on out to pricier Hotel Luna and dine on the patio.

RAVELLO: Don't miss my favorite town, just 3 miles above Amalfi. Allow plenty of time to visit so you can make your own custom sandals, and then spend a pretty penny at Hotel Villa Maria for dinner...but it's totally worth it! Make reservations, and ask for the terrace. Oh, and order the souffles for dessert.

SORRENTO: Feels pretty touristy, but it's still worth a visit. Set atop cliffs, this town is fun to wander, especially at night. Get lost in the walking streets, and you may find some amazing souvenirs to take home. Just south of Sorrento is a casual seaside club, Conca Azzurra Resort where you can rent umbrellas and chairs, swim in a pool and the sea (if the waves aren't too rough) for the day.

CAPRI is an incredible day trip, especially if you spend the day with Ulisse Charter. They're excellent hosts, will pick you up and drop you off at your local hotel, and provide a customized tour of the island. Each stop allows for an opportunity to snorkel and swim, as well as a visit to the Blue Grotto. We didn't explore the island, and I've never regretted it.

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