Image Credit: Lily Abel
We decided for our first full day to visit Amalfi, the area that first drew my attention to this part of Italy. We got the tickets the day before for a bus that was leaving at 8.55am so we could spend the majority of the day there. The journey was around two and a half hours along scenic windy roads which made you both fear for your life, but also lookout over the the ocean in awe. We usedTramviawhich we found pretty reliable, just make sure you check out the return options as there were only three and we got the earliest. Amalfi was picture perfect, built into the mountains, next to the glistening, crystal blue sea. It was pretty rammed with tourists, so we wandered a bit out of the way to a deserted pier to get some nice pictures. We stopped off at a quiet restaurant that had a gorgeous balcony looking towards Amalf: pasta with a view. Afterwards, we went to the beach and sunbathed/swam in the warm sea.
The famous Volcano was unmissable. We in fact decided to do Vesuvius and Pompeii in a day, but most people do it separately. Once again, we booked bus tickets to Pompeii with Tramvia for the earliest time. We decided to climb the volcano first as it closed earliest. A word of warning: it was a very expensive day out and luckily we brought a packed lunch to save money. We got a bus from Pompeii to near the top of the volcano. It was a steep and windy 30 minutes on the coach and then a 30 minute hike up to the volcano. Obviously, the volcano is dormant at the moment so there was nothing rumbling in the centre, but the views from the top were breath-taking. It is definitely best to make sure you do it on a clear day!
We did this after hiking Mount Vesuvius and on arrival at the ticket office it was repeatedly suggested that it’s best to book on to a walking tour if you want to learn the history of the place. There are no signs with information on in Pompeii, the only way of getting information is booking on to a tour or purchasing a book. We booked on to the English 2.5 hour walking tour. The tour plus entry into Pompeii was 21 euros. If you are aged between 18-25, are in the European Union and have a form of ID the tour significantly cheaper! The place is vast and it would allegedly take you three days to fully explore the area. It has a fascinating history with incredible remains, especially those of the famous bodies that were found. Remember to bring snacks, plenty of water and sun cream as there is little shade, but there are some water fountains dotted around.
This was a last-minute decision, and we booked to go the evening before. We found coach tickets from Naples to Rome for a 16 euros return so we couldn’t say no! The coach was at 7am from the centre of Naples, so up at 5am, we walked 40 minutes into the centre to catch the coach. We arrived in Rome at 9.30am after a smooth two and a half hour sunrise drive. Immediately, Rome oozed a vibe of happiness, romance, class and beauty. It was a welcome escape from Naples. The cheapest option to get back to Naples was a bus at 6.30pm and we wanted to see as much as we could. So, first stop was Trevi Fountain, rammed with tourists, but still beautiful to behold. We then stopped off for a coffee as the tiredness was hitting. Re-energised, we visited the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. After this we stopped for lunch which consisted of a very large glass of red wine and pizza, to truly have the Rome experience. We then saw the Altare della Patria, the Colloseum, Arch of Titus, the Roman Forum (we did not pay entry to any of these, you can capture the beauty from the outside, plus it saves money), St Peter’s Square and the Tiber. We stopped off for gelato in St Peter’s Square and then found a quiet park to relax and read our books. It was an incredibly beautiful, sunny but tiring day and I would 100 per cent go back to explore over a longer period of time. We felt satisfied to have had the Rome experience in under a day!
Our base and truthfully, my least favourite part of the trip. We visited the outside of Castel Nuovo and went up Castel dell’Ovo for incredible views of Naples. We visited the National Archaeological Museum which was six euro entry as we had ID to prove we were between 18-25 years old and are in the Euro-pean Union. This museum was disappointing, with big sections closed off. We decided to head straight to Sorbillo, a famous pizza place in Naples. We were the first in a lunch rush, arriving at 12pm, we were top of the list for a table, so we didn’t have to wait long. They had a vegan option and it was so tasty. We spent the rest of the day wandering, extremely tired from the rest of our trips. I would recommend Naples as a base, however the majority of things to do were underwhelming. It was an intense five days away; the weather was perfect every day and I feel so grateful for the experience. There is so much to explore and we would have loved to go to Capri and have another relaxing beach day; unfortunately, we didn’t have the time or the funds. We saved a lot of money by walking to most places, bringing packed lunches and not bringing hold luggage and staying in a cheap hostel, although I would have rather paid a little extra for some more comfort.