The Amalfi Coast and the cities nearby were my favorite place to visit in Italy, the perfect combination of good food, beautiful beaches, and a bit of culture and history. There are so many things to do and see there and besides saying that it so worth it going, I’m giving you a few practical tips:
The main way of moving thru the cities is by train (Naples to Sorrento) and by bus (Sorrento to Ravello). The train is very good and cheap to go to one city to the next, so if you are in Naples and want to go to the Amalfi Coast, the train is your best option to get to Sorrento. To visit Positano, Amalfi and Ravello there is a Bus, “Hop In, Hop Of” style: you pay one ticket and the bus passes by all the cities and you can get out and then come back or go to the next city. The ticket is valid for the full day. If you decide to rent a car, be aware that the road has many sharp curves, it looks really dangerous so be careful. And try to go up or down a hill with a Forniculare, a kind of train that goes up and down steep inclined slopes, just because it’s so different and so fun.
Like any city in Italy, food must be in your plans. I recommend eating all the Neapolitan Pizza you can and for dessert the famous Gelato (Italian’s Ice Cream).
Be aware that in every city there will be private and public beaches, and although the private beaches are bigger and prettier, there is no reason not to go to the public ones. The ocean is incredibly blue, and the water has a nice temperature, at least during the summer. Most of the beaches are made of small stones instead of sand, which can be a bit sore but at least you will not get out dirty by the sand.
The city that was buried by an intense rain of ashes during an eruption of the volcano Vesuvius is open for visitation. You can go to Pompeii by train either from Naples or from Sorrento. Even if you are traveling with a short budget, try to set aside enough money to buy the guided tour thru the city. All aspects of the city and the civilization’s history are amazing, and if you don’t hire a guide you will miss a lot of the history.
Another main stop is the Island of Capri. To get there you need to go on a ferry. There are a few ports and I went thru the one located in Sorrento. It’s okay to just spend the day there, but you also can stay in one of the hotels on the island. If you want to visit the Blue Grotto, you will need to arrive early and pray for the tide to collaborate, if the tide is too high it will not be possible to do the tour. In Anacapri, there is a cable car that provides a great view of the island. Besides that, make sure to enjoy the narrow streets and all the island charm. You may want to try the famous Limoncello too.