Day 9: I was super excited as we were going to Positano - a quaint little town on the Amalfi Coast. This was a place which was “Love at First Sight” for me when I saw pictures online. It is a task getting there from Rome (2 trains with about an hour's journey in each + an hour's journey by bus + walking) but definitely worth it. It took us about 5 hours from Rome to our hotel in Positano. We took the 8:48AM train to Naples which arrived at Naples around 10:15AM. We then took the 10:41AM local Circumvesuviana train from Naples to Sorrento which reached around 12noon. It was pouring on the way but luckily got sunny later on. We missed a SITA bus due to the long queues and then had to wait for about half an hour for the next bus. We got a bus at 1PM and were lucky to get a window seat on the right side of the bus to get to view the amazing Amalfi coast. On reaching Positano, the bus stops on the main road and you have to walk down to your hotel, we had to walk quite a bit with our bags. We checked in at Hotel Royal Prisco at about 2:30PM. Had lunch and then headed down to the beach. We then walked through the lanes of Positano, bought some pizza, wine & limoncello to enjoy an amazing dinner on the balcony of our room under the stars.
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265 Kms from Positano
If Rome can be described as the city of ancient wonders then Florence is certainly the city of medieval marvels. Known as the cradle of Renaissance, Florence is also the birthplace of the most famous Italian poet - Dante Alighieri and the city where Leonardo da Vinci underwent his apprenticeship. But what amazed me is how underrated Florence is as a tourist destination. Whereas Rome is a pretty hyped up city, Florence is more of a hidden gem. It does not get the same glory as Rome but is certainly no less glorious. To use a cricket analogy, if Rome can be called Sachin Tendulkar then Florence is definitely Rahul Dravid.
268 Kms from Positano
Rome 3 days Youth Hostel: Des Artistes This hostel is clean and close to the train station. Their roof terrace and buffet breakfast is a favourite among the travellers. Hotel: Tuscolana This is a value for money hotel five minutes from the metro line and half a block from the city bus line. There are some graffittis that spoil the neighbourhood's ambiance, but don't let that get to you. It is situated in a safe middle class neighbourhood.
138 Kms from Positano
Sperlonga is a beach town that is about halfway between Rome and Naples. It is easily accessible via the slow train line towards Napoli and get off at Fondi-Sperlonga and then you just take a quick bus ride to the main city. It’s only an hour and a half from Rome or Naples so many Romans and Napolitanos spend July and August here. It is close enough to either city so that if god forbid they have to work during their holidays it’s an easy commute. Sperlonga has a long beach promenade lined with restaurants and shops and then the soft sand beach runs parallel to it. The beach is mainly covered in a blend of colorful beach umbrellas and most Italians will spend all day on the beach, not leaving until around eight thirty or nine when the sun goes down. The town is also great to explore and is located on a hill that you can climb that gives sweeping views of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
306 Kms from Positano
Palermo, the regional capital of Sicily, is one of those cities with its own very distinct, almost tangible atmosphere, a place of mystery where reality often outperforms the traveller’s imagination and preconceived stereotypes. Visiting Palermo is still somewhat of an adventure in a world where so many places have become tourist-friendly to a fault. You won’t find many restaurants with menus translated into 5 different languages, you may have trouble communicating in English in many places, and some parts of the old town center have remained untouched since they were bombed during the war.