Buses, planes, trains, and ferries couldn’t keep us away! In October, my girlfriend Erin and I met up for a weekend in one of Italy’s most famous places: the Amalfi Coast.
In a perfect world, we all might have 2 weeks to spend at the Amalfi Coast. Heck, in a fantasy world we each buy a villa and eat amazing al dente pasta for the rest of our lives. But in the case of my friend Erin and I, we had the benefit of being in close proximity to this dreamboat of a country, had a three-star kind of budget, and had only 72 hours to make it all happen.
We decided on Amalfi with relative ease, perhaps before we fully realized the degree of logistics required to reach this famed coastline. But with a balance of thorough planning and flexibility, we made it all happen. Surely enough, it was a dream!
This is your guide to transporting yourself to, from, and around the Amalfi Coast from Rome.
First, let me explain how this gal and I met. Erin and I were both working for Northeastern’s N.U.in Program – she in Dublin, and myself in Thessaloniki. After hitting it off at training in Boston for a month this past summer (we became fast friends and dedicated running buddies), we were eager to plan a European rendezvous. With neither of us having been to Italy before and with Italy in the middle of Greece and Ireland, a weekend at the Amalfi Coast seemed like the perfect spot!
We quickly divided and conquered trip planning. I was the accommodation booking guru, and she the travel logistics magician. Her job was much harder than mine – thank you ERIN! ❤ ❤
Our travels went like this.
Ciampino Airport to Rome (bus), Rome to Naples (high-speed train), Naples to Capri (ferry), Capri to Positano (ferry), Positano to Sorrento (bus), Sorrento to Naples (commuter train), Naples to Rome (high-speed train)
Rome Airport to Roma Termini Station by bus
If you choose to fly into Rome, there is a bus that can take you from the airport to the city center. we flew into Ciampino and took the SITbusshuttle. You can book your transport with SIT in one of two ways. 1) When leaving customs you will see a desk where you can buy a ticket and ask the attendant to point you in the right direction to catch the bus. 2) Alternatively, you can purchase your ticket online in advance. The price is the same, and showing your PDF downloaded ticket on your phone to the driver suffices. The bus is €6 and will take you to Termini station. It’s about a 30 minute ride.
*There is wifi on the bus, although spotty, so download maps before arriving!
Roma Termini Station to Naples by high-speed train
We chose to take a train to Naples as it was fast, comfortable, and scenic. For first-time train travelers, the Termini station is a bit overwhelming as there are restaurants, shops, train timetables, and more. But fear not, there is great signage. If you like to know what you’re walking into, check out this website for images and further info on the station.
DO NOT BUY TICKETS BEFOREHAND unless you are absolutely certain you can be at the train at that time. Even so, some trains are delayed, so waiting to purchase your ticket is truly the best bet. Tickets are not refundable and are very easy to buy at the station. At Termi Station there is a big time-board which you can use to find which train is leaving the earliest to Naples. There are a couple different companies, so find that company’s office in the terminal and tell them you would like a one way ticket to Napoli. If you are not short on time, the longer trains are cheaper. We opted to pay a little more since we wanted to make the most of our time.
*There are two stops for Naples on the fast train. Wait for the second one if you are wanting to go to the city center to catch the ferry to Capri! (Not Naples Campi Flegrei, but Napoli Centrale. The Garibaldi station is the underground station and is also connected to the Centrale station.)
**Download LOTS of Dean Martin for the train!
Naples to Capri by Ferry
From the train station it is about a 20 minute walk to the pier to catch the ferry from Porto Di Napoli. (This is when it is helpful to have downloaded Google maps in advance!) The map location is a bit vague, and Erin and I wasted a bit of time going to the cruise ship port rather than the fast-boat ferries. Check out the ferry below to make sure you’re headed to the right spot! Once again we did not book our tickets online and able to get them when we got to the ferry.
If you get seasick, bring tablets because it was a choppy ride.
Capri to Positano by Ferry
First of all, I could not have anticipated how beautiful of a ride this would be! Erin and I had debated whether or not we should pay for a boat ride on either Capri or in Positano, but we were glad we didn’t because this scratched our itch of seeing the coastline! Have you camera ready. Views are STUNNING.
The tickets for the ferries on Capri are much easier to locate and decipher and are straight forward.
Positano to Sorrento by Bus
We took yet another SITA bus from Positano to Sorrento. You can purchase your ticket at local kiosks or corner stores. The stops are not especially well-marked, but if you ask your accommodation hosts or the locals in the shops, they are happy to help. A schedule for the bus can be found here. Again, I could not have anticipated such a scenic and beautiful bus ride! If you are heading from Positano to Sorrento, sit on the left side. If you are heading from Sorrento to Positano, sit on the right!
Sorrento to Naples by Train
The SITA bus drops you off right at the Sorrento train station, conveniently. Purchase your ticket to Naples for 7 euro, and immediately board the train! As this is a commuter style train, it is packed and significantly less comfortable – so get a seat early! The train ends at the same station you need to get to Rome.
Naples to Rome by Train
Here we ran into some problems with delayed trains, so once again it majorly benefited us that we did not buy our tickets beforehand. At this point, you know what to do. Check the time-table boards and go to the appropriate train company’s office to purchase your one-way ticket!
Rome to Airport
To get back to the airport you are able to catch another SIT bus by the Termini station. Again, you can pay cash at the bus or buy your ticket online. If you are traveling at a busy time, get there early to line up and consider buying your ticket in advance as people with pre-purchased tickets get priority. Buses run to both Ciampino and Fiumicino so make sure you are getting on the correct bus.
I hope this post helps you plan a smooth trip to the Amalfi Coast! As for me, my next trip to Italy will include a day at Cinque Terre. For friends with a week’s worth of time, check out these spot-on 7 day itineraries. Your wine goals, pizza fantasies, and dreams of Italian villas and cliffsides are about to come true. Cheers, friends!