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Amalfi Coast, Italy Travel Guide

FODMAP travels - Amalfi Coast Eugene and I on the beach in Positano, Italy

The Amalfi Coast has been on my bucket list for years!  When I found out we were going to Italy for our friends’ wedding, I knew it was the perfect time to go.  As you can see from the map below, starting from Naples down to the coastline, there are a ton of different towns to pick from to visit.  With that being said, it can make it challenging to plan where to stop and see.   I did my best to recap my FODMAP travels of where we visited and where I wish we had time to see!

Map of the Amalfi Coast.

Map of the Amalfi Coast.

Sorrento

We decided to stay in Sorrento for the entire time after doing a great deal of research.  Sorrento is a bigger coastal town than some of the others which makes it a great place to go in and out of either by ferry or bus.  Plus based solely on affordability, it was much more reasonable than Positano and Capri.  I did learn the hard way that the ferry system stops early (the latest usually leaving around 6 PM) so my initial plan to stay in a visiting town for dinner and come back in the evening was not possible by ferry.  There are other options to get around like renting a car and taking a bus but if you read my Lake Como driving experience, I was more than happy to be on the water!

STAY:

We prefer to stay in Airbnbs when we travel especially when we travel internationally.  Not only are the prices usually much less expensive than a hotel but you have an entire apartment to yourself!  The one we stayed at in Sorrento was located a hop away from the main square and we had a full kitchen, balcony, 2 bathrooms (thank goodness), living room and bedroom.  It was perfect!!  Just make sure that you pay attention to details i.e. air conditioning, elevator, etc.  I don’t have advice in regards to what hotel to stay at but location wise, anywhere near the main square is a great area.

DO:

Explore – Walk around and get lost because you really can’t get too far off the beaten path.  We did almost all of our souvenir shopping in Sorrento.  Not only were the prices MUCH more reasonable but there was a great selection.  I highly recommend buying your leather and linen goods here as well as lemon and olive oil products.

Shop – Unfortunately I don’t have the exact name of most of the stores we went to but our favorite place to buy leather wallets, belts and purses were from Mary Shop.  We had such a fun experience shopping with the staff and were also able to negotiate on price.  The quality of their products was of high quality especially compared to the reasonable price tags.

Tara Sorrento -This was a quality linen shop where we got some of our favorite items including shoes for my husband, linen top for me and we got the cutest linen dresses for our friends with babies.

Leather shopping in Sorrento.

Leather shopping in Sorrento

Me in the middle of the square in Sorrento.

Shop til you drop in Sorrento

Cooking Class – I highly recommend taking a cooking class while you’re in Italy.  I did a ton of research before choosing Chef Carmen’s Cooking School.  The value and price of were inline if not better than most of the options I saw.  I emailed ahead of time with my food allergies (a long list as you know) and I heard back from her that this would not be an issue.  I had the same experience when we did a cooking class in Barcelona.  The class consisted of 12 people most of whom were around our age and newlyweds.  The class began at 4 PM and was over around 7:30 PM and after we sat outside and visited for another 30 minutes or so with our classmates.  The menu selection was AWESOME!  We made gnocchi (gluten free for me), filleted sea bass (my first time filleting a fish) sliced potato coated sea bass, eggplant roll-ups, (I made eggplant boats instead), and tiramisu.  We left stuffed and having learned so much.   Chef Carmen also emailed us after the class her e-book with tons of recipes, not only the ones we learned in class.  I cannot wait to try the gnocchi out at home!

Mollie learning how to make gluten-free gnocchi in a cooking class in Sorrento.

Learning how to make gluten-free gnocchi

Eugene & l during the cooking class in Sorrento, Italy

Eugene & l during the cooking class

A whole sea bass on a green cutting board, ready to be filleted.

Learning how to fillet sea bass

We made homemade gnocchi - final product in a white and green bowl.

The final product – gnocchi!

Limoncello Tours  – Limoncello is sold EVERYWHERE in the Amalfi Coast and is typically drunken after dinner.  My husband isn’t a big drinker and I don’t drink at all so I had a sip but it was too sweet for me.  We did enjoy stopping at Giardini di Cataldo to walk around the lemon garden and see the actual process it takes to make Limoncello.  Even for us non-drinkers, it was a cool experience!

Me standing in front of a lemon garden in Sorrento, Italy.

Giardini di Cataldo – lemon garden

EAT:

SOOOOOO MANY GOOD RESTAURANTS HERE!!!  Not only was I able to eat easily with zero issues, my husband was able to eat “normally” and not forced to eat gluten-free.  With that being said, we shared gluten-free pizzas on more than one occasion and he was SHOCKED at how good it was.  In the U.S., the gluten-free pizzas typically taste like cardboard. gross. :/

Ristorante Tasso – This restaurant was literally a step away from our Airbnb and was on my list of restaurants to try before coming.  We came straight from the airport here and were starving.  I was pleasantly surprised to not only have gluten-free bread given to start the meal but also gluten-free pasta and pizzas available.  I decided to try a small amount of dairy as I’ve heard dairy in Europe can be easier on the stomach to digest.  Unfortunately for me, I am definitely lactose intolerant but that was not the fault of the restaurant.  Back to the actual pizza, the crust and texture was absolutely perfect and tasted like the real deal.  We both loved it so much we came back on our last night and I ordered the same pizza (cheese removed and given to my husband) and added grilled vegetables to it.  Delicious!

Gluten Free Pizza and a salad at Ristorante Tasso, Sorrento

Gluten Free Pizza at Ristorante Tasso, Sorrento

Foreigner’s Club – The views here overlooking the water are absolutely stunning!  I recommend making a reservation just to make sure you get one of the best spots at the restaurant.  The wait staff was so accommodating and helpful and the food was delicious.  We also had a live band playing music during our entire dining experience.  It was wonderful!  The menu has a whole section for gluten-free and vegetarians.  I had gnocchi which was specifically made with a garlic-free tomato sauce.  It’s such a nice change to be able to eat somewhere and not get dirty looks because of food allergies!

Gorgeous view while eating dinner in Sorrento, Italy.

Gorgeous view while eating dinner.

Gluten-free gnocchi with a garlic-free pasta sauce in Sorrento, Italy.

Gluten-free gnocchi with a garlic-free pasta sauce!

O’Parracchiano – I was recommended this restaurant by a fellow Instagrammer and I’m so glad we went! Not only was being inside the restaurant like sitting in a secret garden but the waitstaff was so hospitable.  The menu selection of seafood, steak, and pasta was immense and the gluten-free pasta I ordered was so delicious.  I enjoyed my meal so much, I ended up wearing it on my dress.  Our sweet waiter brought over an Italian version of Shout (It worked so well that I’m trying to find it here) and a brush to help get it out.  When I think of Sorrento, I think of this beautiful restaurant.

A big bowl of gluten-free pasta with tomatoes and basil at a restaurant in Sorrento, Italy.

Delicious gluten free pasta

A spot corrector and brush on a white plate to help with a spaghetti sauce incident on my dress.

The waiter brought this to me after my spaghetti sauce incident on my dress HA!

Eugene and I at a table surrounded by flowers and trees in Sorrento, Italy.

The beautiful atmosphere at the restaurant

Trattoria Da Emilia – This restaurant I read about before coming to Sorrento and the reviews led up to the hype.  This family-run restaurant is located along the Marina Grande.  We arrived at 11:45 to find the staff eating lunch inside before opening.  We happened to come at the best time as we got to sit right in front of  the marina.  The seafood was SO fresh and delicious.  It was a great place to stop for lunch and enjoy quality food at a reasonable price.

A plate of pasta and fish in Sorrento, Italy.

Delicious lunch from Trattoria Emilia

Eugene and I sitting outside of a restaurant in Sorrento, Italy.

Sitting outside at Trattoria Emilia

GELATO: This deserves its own category just because of how much I ate of it!  What I love the most about gelato in Europe is the availability of gluten-free cones.  I have not found a place in the U.S. that has gluten-free cones and I have looked!

We love Puro – This restaurant stands out from the street not only because of how cutely decorated it is but also all of the vegetarian food options.  There is a full menu available but I only taste tested the gelato.  The swings were an added bonus as it was the perfect rest stop to eat gelato and get on WiFi.

Strawberry and chocolate gelato in a gluten-free cone in Sorrento, Italy.

We Love Puro Gelato

Antica Gelateria Sorrentino – This was my favorite of the two gelato places that we tried in Sorrento.  The staff was fun and playful and there was an area of tables and chairs along the alleyway that you could stop to enjoy your treat.  The gluten-free cone and dark chocolate sorbet infused with orange were SO good!  I had to control myself to not get a second portion!

Positano

Positano is the quintessential town of the Amalfi Coast.  We went on a day trip here from Sorrento by ferry which was only 40 minutes.  I was told to book the ferry tickets ahead of time as, during the peak travel months, tickets can sell out.  It was nice to not have to hassle with buying tickets while in the Amalfi Coast but it is totally doable.  Right when you get off the ferry, you are inundated with shops and restaurants.  The shopping and restaurants were more mid-range compared to Sorrento.  This was where I bought gorgeous leather shoes and earrings.  Spending a day here was the perfect amount of time as after walking up all the Cobblestone steps, you are ready for lunch and relaxation time at the beach.

Beautiful landscape views of Positano, Italy.

Beautiful Positano!

Leather sandals to be sold in Positano, Italy.

leather sandal shopping in Positano

DO:

Walk Around, Explore and Shop – there are so many beautiful views and sights to take in that you don’t need an actual plan of action.

Relax on the Beach –  after exploring the town and eating a delicious lunch, we were ready to be beached whales!  The cost to rent chairs and an umbrella is expensive BUT you’re on vacation so why the heck not.  It was 4o euros to sit in the front row which includes an umbrella, 2 chairs and access to the bathrooms.  The cost goes down depending on how close you want to sit on the beach.  Beware that this is NOT a sandy beach but instead made up of black rocks.  It is extremely painful walking on the beach which made for some pretty entertaining people watching as people run from the beach back to their seats.  This was the only time the entire trip we went to the beach and it was a perfect way to spend a few hours.

EAT:

We were given a few restaurant suggestions like Chez Black but were recommended by an Instagram friend to check out Ristorante Buca di Bacco which is also a hotel.  The restaurant was extremely accommodating to my food allergies and was able to order the lemon risotto dish which was delicious.  This was my husband’s most “average” meal but the views looking out to the beach made up for an average type of food.  I would try a different restaurant next time around but it was definitely yummy.

Gelateria Buca di Bacco – this was my favorite gelato that I had the entire trip even without gluten-free cone options!  The vegan dark chocolate gelato had actual pieces of candied oranges!! I could not get enough of it!!

Gelato flavors in a store in Positano, Italy.

Delicious Gelato in Positano

Capri

Capri is absolutely stunning and a completely different vibe from Sorrento and Positano.  This coastal town is high-end with high-end restaurants, hotels, and shopping.  Name brand stores are located here and with that comes lots of tourists! Getting to Capri was easy, we took a 20-minute ferry from Sorrento to Capri.

DO:

Tour Capri by Boat & Visit the Blue Grotto –  We were recommended by another couple to buy tickets once we arrived in Capri for a boat tour through Laser Capri Boat Tours.  For only 18 euros this gave us a two-hour tour (it was actually closer to 2.5 hours) with a guide from the boat captain and a chance to stop at the Blue Grotto.  It is extremely important to note that the entrance to the Blue Grotto is cash only and is 14 euros PER person.  To do that entire experience and not have the money to enter the blue grotto would have been so upsetting.  I highly recommend taking the first boat tour of the day which begins at 9:30 AM.  Not only does it start getting hot quickly BUT you have to wait for close to an hour to go inside the blue grotto.  As you wait for that hour, you are rocking on the boat which is where taking Dramamine ahead of time REALLY got me through the experience.  I was also so happy to be on a bigger boat than a small boat because the waves would have felt even worse.  I noticed a lot of sea sickness on the other boats but it seemed like everyone on ours was fine.  The way it works is you go from your tour boat to a small rowboat that fits at most 4 people, not including the guide.  To enter the grotto, you literally have to lay down into the boat which made for a pretty intimate experience with whoever else you shared the rowboat with.  Once entering the blue grotto, you understand what all the fuss is about as the reflection of blue light is absolutely magical!

The Blue grotto - amazing blue water inside the grotto in Capri, Italy.

Blue Grotto, Capri

Eugene and I on the boat to see the Blue Grotto.

Waiting on the boat to see the Blue Grotto.

Walk around the Town Square – to get to the town square you can either hike (at that point it was noon and we were hot and tired) or take the three-minute funicular ride.  The fast-moving station was packed with people but for three minutes was totally doable.  Once we got off, we were in the heart of the square.

Garden of Augustus – for only one euro a person, you can walk through these beautiful grounds and see some of the best views of Capri. 

Eugene and I in front of views in Capri, Italy.

Stunning views from the Gardens of Augustus

EAT:

Ristorante Panorama – our friends’ hotel recommended this restaurant as a great place for pizza (gluten-free pizza wasn’t an option but my husband ordered pizza and he loved it!).  We walked in for lunch with no reservation and sat at a table overlooking the water and lush landscapes.  We spent the most amount of time sitting at this restaurant out of anywhere we ate as the views were absolutely STUNNING!   I ordered sea bass for my lunch and was completely satisfied.  The waitstaff was entertaining and playful which made it that much better.

Eugene and I sitting outside to eat lunch in Capri, Italy.

Beautiful views at lunch

Pizza on a white plate for lunch in Capri, Italy.

My husband’s delicious pizza

Buonocore Gelateria – this was also recommended by our friends’ who said we would smell the waffle cones and know where to stop!  I actually saw the line of people before the smell.  The gelato was good BUT there were not as many options that were dairy free.

I'm eating lemon and strawberry gelato in a gluten-free cone in Capri.

Gelato in Capri

If I was to do it all over again I would have made a point to go to Ravello.  There just wasn’t enough time to squeeze it all in.

Want to check out more of my international travel guides?  Florence & Venice, Cabo San Lucas, Greece, and Spain.

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  • Taylor
    July 21, 2018 at 12:39 am

    I’ve been wanting to go to Italy for so long!!!

    • fitfabfodmap.com
      July 22, 2018 at 4:09 pm

      It’s such a beautiful country!