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Amalfi Coast view of fjord with bridge above and ocean inlet with two people below

European Adventure Amalfi Coast

La Costiera Amalfitana

After a 2 hour bus ride, I finally arrive at Bomerano in Agerola to start exploring the Amalfi Coast. The first stop on my itinerary and the start of my very first adventurous outing which would be hiking the popular and notable ‘Path of the Gods.’ Bomerano itself is a quaint little town. Its only tourist exposure is for those wanting to hike this popular trail. The town revolves around it with B&B’s, bars and restaurants named after the trail. Not really much else going on. Especially at night when restaurants would close as early as 9 pm which would make it challenging to find a decent meal at times.

It was interesting staying in a town like this and really seeing firsthand how the locals live. It was definitely one of those places where you easily overhear conversations and find out about everyone’s business. Every little detail. I speak limited Italian and I was already finding out way too much about my neighbors. More than I wanted to know that’s for sure. You walk through the neighborhood and see residents making wine out of a garage in their home or a lady who raises chickens in her backyard. This was all part of everyday life in Bomerano.

The next day I find myself on the ‘Path of the Gods’ as planned. This is a beautiful and scenic trail all throughout that goes from Bomerano to Positano. It’s that type of trail that forces you to stop and admire its beauty at every turn and of course also take plenty of pictures. At one of these scenic picture points early on in the trail, I meet Ben who was nice enough to stop and indulge me in a picture of myself.

We ended up hiking the rest of the trail together and taking plenty more fantastic pictures. Turns out Ben is a professional photographer and even has his own photography website. I got to know Ben better. We ended up having some really good conversations and exchanged helpful travel tips. He was visiting from Austria and was also looking to check out similar points of interest along the southern coast of Italy.

We continue hiking, taking more pictures and navigating past slower hikers along the way. As we start descending the multitude of steps towards Positano, we run into two girls who are also on the same mission of reaching this beautiful seaside town. Their names are Rialda and Arti, both visiting from the Caribbean island of Trinidad.

No strangers to great weather and beautiful beaches, they too fall in love with the gorgeous scenery along the way. Of course this means stopping and taking more pictures. Luckily we have Ben, and the occasional friendly person who also volunteers to snap a couple of shots. After descending what seemed like hundreds of steps, we finally make it to Positano.

Once in Positano we immediately head for the beach and jump in. We swim and float along amid the gorgeous scenery of Positano in the background. We get to know the girls better, exchange more travel tips and make plans for exploring other scenic towns along the coast. Turns out we’re all staying in the same little town which again isn’t all that surprising considering that close proximity to this trail is the town’s primary claim to fame.

After walking around Positano for a bit, the girls and I decide to make the most of our day and extend our journey to the town of Amalfi. Ben decides to head back up the trail to Bomerano and take more pictures along the way. So we bid goodbye for now but make plans to meet up the following day.

After an incredibly scenic and equally treacherous bus ride along the coast, the girls and I finally make it to Amalfi. This town is just as beautiful but also just as packed with tourists, if not more. We explore a bit of the town and take plenty more pictures and the obligatory selfie here and there. Turns out they also own a selfie stick and decided to make good use of it that day.

We make plans to meet up for dinner that night and buy our tickets for the bus ride back to Bomerano. Of course we couldn’t leave without first indulging ourselves in a tasty offering of gelato. The gelato was good as usual, the service not so much but again this was typical of Italy all throughout my trip. We line up a half an hour early to board the bus. I excuse myself to use a nearby restroom before the hour long trip back and leave the girls in line.

When I come out, there’s a mass of people trying to board the bus, pushing and shoving to get on. This was also fairly typical especially in this southern part where the only mode of transportation is the bus. The girls were able to get on, but I end up having to board a second bus also headed to Bomerano at that same time.

These winding bus rides along the Amalfi Coast are not for the faint of heart or those who are prone to motion sickness. The way these bus drivers are forced to navigate, at times one way roads, is quite impressive indeed. Nighttime adds another layer of uncertainty to an already treacherous ride. I arrive in Bomerano that night and try to reconnect with the girls to meet up for dinner as agreed but with no luck.

Turns out, they had to switch buses because their original bus broke down and they made into town much later than anticipated. They also missed their stop. I guess I was lucky not getting on that first bus after all. I end up having a nice, quiet dinner at a nearby quaint little restaurant. The food was good and not too pricey. I found out the next day that the girls ended up eating at that same restaurant.

The following morning Ben picks me up in the town square in his rental car. We head off along the coast on a mission to find the famous ‘Fiordo di Furore’. I welcome the experience of driving and taking a break from having to deal with public transit. The new challenges that come with driving are navigation and parking. Ben proves to be quite the efficient navigator with help from his German speaking navigation system, or was it Austrian?

Parking proves to be quite the challenge, however. After much searching, we end up finding a perfect tiny spot on the winding road close to a tunnel entrance. After pulling off a crazy parking job, we walk across the bridge that overlooks the colorful gorge down below and down towards the Fiordo. We have arrived!

The Fjord was just as advertised. An amazing, iconic natural structure that was created through years of erosion. A small ocean inlet that leads to this gorgeous tranquil little beach cove surrounded by a natural rock arch overhead that completes its picturesque beauty. It gives that feeling of being in a truly unique and magical place. It’s clear to see why it’s one of the most photographed places along this stretch of coastline.

Surprisingly on this day it was somewhat empty. We took plenty of pictures and swam in the tranquil yet a bit chilly waters. One of my favorite pictures from this trip is me floating in the ocean with those iconic arches in the background. After taking our fill of pictures and soaking in all the scenery along with a bit of sparse sunshine, Ben and I decide to continue our journey.

I had planned to meet up with the girls during this time but once again they ended up having transit troubles. Ben and I head for the town of Atrani. This time we find an easier parking spot close to Ravello and walk down towards Atrani. We find more breathtaking picture spots along the way with gorgeous views of the town, ocean and mountains in the background.

We finally meet up with the girls on the beach of Atrani. Turns out they ended up next door in Amalfi once again. Atrani is just as beautiful as Amalfi but with fewer hordes of tourists as it’s lesser known. I join them in a swim and enjoy what would be my last frolic in the ocean on this trip.

Ben decides to head further up the coast and take more pictures of beautiful seaside towns along the way including Cetara based on my suggestion. Being that it was getting late and faced with the prospect of another long bus ride back to town, I decide to stay with the girls and keep exploring more of Atrani. After taking our time exploring, we walk to Amalfi to board the bus back to Bomerano.

This time we arrive super early and we’re the first ones to queue in line. When the bus arrives, once again, theses masses of people rush the bus. They seem to almost appear out of thin air and be completely oblivious to the existence of a line. Being mostly locals, they know exactly which bus and what time it arrives and know when to push on to get aboard. Even though we were the first in line, we end up having to push and shove our way inside and barely get seats on the bus but at least this time we’re all together.

We arrive at Bomerano and decide to have dinner before it gets any later and our eating options dwindle. We end up at this local restaurant bar based on Ben’s recommendation that has the word ‘Burger’ in the title but oddly enough doesn’t have any on the menu. The owner and cook here is really friendly and makes us a very tasty juicy steak dinner. One of the few times I actually got friendly service in Italy. He even asked how our meal was and if we enjoyed the way it was prepared.

The girls and I continue our conversation and exchange more travel tips. They tell me more about Trinidad and life in the Caribbean and how I should make it a point to visit sometime. Through the course of our conversation we find out that we have quite a few things in common and that we’re all headed back on a bus to Napoli in the morning. I was pretty sure of the bus schedule as I had looked it up prior to my trip but one thing to keep in mind when visiting this part of Italy is that schedules can change or be completely non-existent. We call it a night and plan to meet up again in the morning for our 2 hour trip back to Napoli.

The following morning as I’m preparing for my departure, I get a text from Rialda with a PDF of a different schedule than the one I showed them the previous night. Turns out the schedule had in fact changed and the bus was now leaving much earlier than anticipated. Keep in mind this was the only bus headed all the way through to Napoli that day. I swiftly finished my preparations and rushed to the bus. I was able to catch the driver before he left and convinced him to wait for the girls. Once I mentioned it was two girls that I was waiting on, he easily obliged.

The girls arrived pretty quickly and we were all able to take off together again this time. This particular bus driver was incredibly nice and a real gentleman. He helped the girls with their bags and even woke them up once we reached our stop. He must have figured out we were headed for the train station with all our luggage and made a stop close to the station instead of the port where I had originally taken the bus from Napoli to Bomerano. This saved us from quite a bit of walking. Really cool guy and I wish I would have taken a picture of him to share.

With some time to kill before my train, we end up having some coffee and tea at a nearby coffee shop and also find a battery charger for Rialda at a nearby store. The girls had a later train to catch as well. They were headed towards Rome and I would be heading onward towards Venice. We said our final goodbyes and promised to possibly meet up again on a future trip.

Not sure if I was meant to meet up with Rialda and Arti on this trip or if it was just by pure chance. But what I am certain of is that I would have missed the bus if it wasn’t for them which would have thrown the rest of my trip entirely out of whack.

Onward to Venice

Trip photos

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