My Amalfi Coast Birthday Pt. 1Amalficoast
My Amalfi Coast Birthday Pt. 1
Celebrating my Birthday on the Amalfi Coast Part 1
Happy Birthday to me! Last year when I set out for Europe in September I made a promise to myself to always visit some exciting country for my birthday. This year I chose to visit the Amalfi Coast because I fell in love with its beauty from a picture on a calendar at my old job. I used to stare at this picture everyday, imagining myself there while I counted down the clock til 6pm and I could leave my cubicle prison. I was always told visiting would be super expensive to visit by other travelers but I knew there had to be a way for me to make it work with what I had. Even with my ankle fracture and wearing a medical boot, I knew I could make it work. This trip was for me. It was for me to relax and enjoy; no hustle, work, fuss… I just wanted to feel free of all worries in the world.
The first thing I did was book my flights. I always check super late at night or super early in the morning when demand is low on google flights if there are no deals on carrier websites. I was able to snag a cheap flight from JFK to London Gatwick for $166 via Norwegian and then to Naples, Italy via EasyJet for $74.56. My return flight from Naples to NYC with a layover in Portugal via TapPortugal cost me $300.
I consider myself a pretty decent planner. I looked at the map of the Amalfi Coast and decided which cities to visit each day and researched points of interest to me in each location. I also booked my accommodations in whichever city I would end up in that night; rather than having one hotel for my whole stay. The only transportation I booked was a transfer from the airport straight to Ravello as I wanted to make use of the whole day before going to my hotel. I recommend downloading an app called GETTRANSFER as they have cheaper airport transfer options than you will find on the internet. I paid $108 to get from Naples to Ravello which was a good deal as airport transfers are quite costly along the coast but will get you anywhere 3 times faster than public transportation. My driver met me at the airport on time in his clean 2012 Mercedes and I enjoyed a smooth ride to Ravello.
As soon as I arrived in Ravello I visited Via Rufolo. You pay 7 euros for a ticket at the entrance. This “Garden of the Soul” as it is known, has the most amazing views of the infinitely blue Gulf of Salerno. It is encapsulated by exotic plants and cascading gardens. I spent my time marveling at the Moorish architecture and sweeping views. I met another amazing couple from the city. (Michael and Paule Rogol you guys are so nice and I wish you the best!)
before I continued the 15 minute walk to Villa Cimbrone.
Getting to Villa Cimbrone requires your walking shoes. There are many steps and hills to climb. I was carrying my luggage on my one good foot so I found it a little difficult; but for a fit traveler you will be fine. American author Gore Vidal once noted that the view from the Belvedere is the finest in the world. The stone busts at the Terrace of Infinity paved the way for breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and Cilento mountains.
The gardens themselves featured stunning pergolas, temples, and statues. Entrance fee was also 7 euros.
I took the journey back down the hill and through the tunnel where I caught a taxi to Furore for 80 euros. A little overpriced but I had to be there by 2pm.
Marisa Cuomo Vineyard
I was so excited to arrive at the Marisa Cuomo vineyard because I had read about her being the Queen of Italian wine and I LOVE a good wine! The winery has won dozens of international awards including the Oscar 2006 to Fiorduva for best white wine. YOU CAN READ ABOUT THE VINEYARD HERE
While touring the vineyard I learned about the process in which the many grape varietals are cared for by hand; many which are planted directly into the rock. I was lucky enough to come on a day when the French oak barrels of the dolomitic-limestone cellars were being filled with Fiorduva wine. My own private tour!
After being educated and amazed by the wine making process I was taken across the street to Bacco Furore, the Michelin Star restaurant for Marisa Cuomo; for a tasting menu paired with some amazing wines. I was met with the most delicious grilled octopus, linguine, and seafood scampi that I had ever tasted in my life!
I sampled two whites and a rosè that I still remember to this day. The Marisa Cuomo Ravello, a dry, fruity white is know my favorite wine that I plan to find at home. All of this was followed by the creamiest most delicious tiramisu I have ever had!
The real cherry on top? I only paid $84 for this whole experience, food included at MUSEMENT
While still in my food coma my lovely host called me a taxi to Minori where I would be staying the night.
It had to be around 4pm when I left Furore. I slept most of the ride and woke up at around 6:40pm when I arrived. The journey is not so long but the traffic around the Amalfi Coast increases your travel time. The ride only cost me 60 euros which wasn’t bad at all. I arrived at Hotel Europa where I met Narciso. I had arranged the stay on AIRBNB. The location was convenient; about a 10 minute walk to the beach and ferry; and the views…. Even more amazing? I only paid 20 euros for one night with breakfast included.
Arrange transfer ahead of time from the airport to make use of your day
If you plan on seeing the Amalfi Coast but don’t want the hassle of booking multiple stays; stay in Sorrento where you have ferry access
When visiting Minori make time for Sal de Riso to check out their amazing desserts