Capri | Classic Journeys Blog
  • Faraglioni rocks visible from Giardini di Augusto in Capri, Italy

    Capri and the Amalfi Coast

    Before I joined <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a>, I spent seven wonderful years guiding tours in Europe, and I always started my tours with the same speech: “At the heart of every travel story,” I would tell my guests, “is a love story.” The story you tell your friends and family about your trip will be that love story.”<br><br>As both a veteran guide and a frequent traveler to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italy/" target="_blank">Italy</a>, I can safely say that nowhere is this more true than on Italy’s stunning <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Amalfi coast.</a> Love is certainly woven into the region; it’s said that it was named after a nymph who was romanced by the legendary hero Hercules. For the sake of love, it seemed like the perfect place to take my husband. We had gotten married the previous spring. I’ve been all over Italy and the<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"> Amalfi region</a> holds a special place in my heart. This would be Jason’s first time in Europe, and we were both excited to have our first <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys adventure</a> together.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SGr&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BiH" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>During the drive up to the rim of Mount Vesuvius, the most infamous volcano in human history, my husband Jason had a huge grin on his face. “It’s not going to erupt, is it?” <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">Our guide Sergio</a>, who’s no doubt heard this question hundreds of times over his guiding career, paused. “Probably not.” Another pause, and then a laugh from Sergio. Still, there’s a gravitas to Mount Vesuvius, destroyer of Pompeii, and its power is almost tangible beneath your feet. Jason devours history books; he’d told me that this was the part of the trip he was the most excited about, and reiterated that as we were getting ready for the walk to the summit that morning. The guide in me wanted to advise him that our jaunt to Vesuvius was just day one of our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys Amalfi coast trip</a> and that he should pace himself because as awesome as Vesuvius is, all sorts of wonderful things lay ahead. This was his first trip to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italy/" target="_blank">Italy</a>, so I decided to not give him any advice and to let everything be a surprise.<br><br>The trip to the island of Capri almost made me regret that decision. There’s nothing quite like zipping across the placid Mediterranean in a high-speed ferry; the Alsicafo provides a very smooth and very fast ride across the Gulf of Naples, and my husband would have been very happy riding around in it all day. Once we got to the island, he didn’t need any convincing to stay. Capri has been called the world’s most beautiful island, and this isn’t Italian pride talking: with its warm blue waters, stunning peaks, and vibrant villages, it’s unlike any other island we’d ever been to. Staying at the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/hotels/" target="_blank">Grand Hotel Quisisana</a> certainly added to the experience; the five-star accommodations and incredible staff made us feel like royalty. “Tiberius had the right idea,” Jason observed on our second day there, referring to the ancient Roman emperor who made Capri his seat of power. “Rule the Roman Empire from paradise, eat great food, swim in that warm water; it’d make the job much less stressful.”<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SGr&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BiC" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>After two days in paradise, it was back to the mainland — hardly a letdown. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/hotels/" target="_blank">Le Agavi Hote</a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">l</a> in Positano looks like it came with the cliffs; that somehow, millennia ago when the rock formations were rising from the sea, a resort eventually just grew out of the sheer granite face to overlook the ocean. When you stay at Le Agavi, the only way to get a bad view is to close your eyes. We’d be here for the next three days, the resort serving as a stunning home base for our adventures in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Amalfi region</a>.<br><br>As I learned as a guide years ago, reinforced by my current role with the Classic Journeys team, it’s the people you’re with that make the trips worth taking. Of course, as with everything in life, pizza helps. We were invited to join pizza maker Luca and his family for a lesson in how to create the wood-fired pies that have become a global favorite. Sipping wine that the family had aged in their own barrels, flour up to our elbows, sneaking bites of delicious fresh buffalo mozzarella, and laughing with our hosts over our amateurish struggles with the dough, I exchanged a happy glance with Jason, and I knew that it was here that my old introduction to my travel groups once again proved to be true. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SGr&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Bi7" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>For more information on our Amalfi Coast tours, like the one Kelli describes, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italy/" target="_blank">explore our Classic Journeys Italy trips here. </a>

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  • Positano view of Amalfi, Italy

    8 Must-Do's in the Amalfi Coast & Capri

    Situated on the &quot;ankle&quot; of the Italian boot, Amalfi has a mild climate. Orange trees line village streets. Breezy seaside footpaths around <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">Ravello and Positano</a> encourage a nice slow pace perfect for absorbing the atmosphere. Settle in for two mellow days on the glorious island of Capri—one of our favorite places in Italy. Make time for Pompeii, and unlike most visitors, you&#39;ll see<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank"> Amalfi</a> in the best way—in the company of an Italian friend who knows the ins and outs of life on the edge of the sea. Here are our 8 musts you should experience while visiting the Amalfi Coast and Capri<br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">#1 Pompeii</a></b><br>Head to legendary Pompeii, the most famous archaeological site in the world. Buried in volcanic ash in 79 AD, Pompeii is famous for its excavations that reveal a complete city, including streets, shops, buildings and many beautiful villas.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SQh&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CNt" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">#2 Capri</a></b><br>Take a quick ferry ride from <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">Naples to Capri</a>, then wander to hidden lookouts unknown to tourists. From these lovely vantage points, take in the island&#39;s gorgeous views.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SQh&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CNy" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">#3 Anacapri/Marina Piccola</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">Anacapri</a>, one of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">Capri&#39;s </a>picturesque villages, has a great historic center of town that is easy to explore on foot. Additionally, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">Marina Piccola</a>, one of the most fashionable corners of the island gives you the opportunity to relax at a private beach club and swim in the crystalline waters.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SQh&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CO3" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">#4 Sorrento / Positano</a></b><br>Explore the charming historical center of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">Sorrento </a>before arriving at your cliffside hotel in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">Positano </a>which clings dramatically to the hillside, offering spectacular views of the coast.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SQh&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CO8" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">#5 Ravello</a></b><br>Start your morning with a scenic journey along the coast to Ravello, perched high on a ridge above <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">Amalfi </a>offering spectacular views of the coast.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SQh&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012COS" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">#6 Amalfi</a></b><br>Take a walk along a footpath that follows a beautiful valley inland, through an area luxuriant with vegetation, including rare ferns. The walk culminates in the town of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">Amalfi</a>, where you can wander the little streets.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank"><img alt="Amalfi" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SQh&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f8ob" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">#7 Praiano</a></b><br>Enjoy a scenic walk along the coast to a charming monastery dating to the 14th century. Dramatically situated on a cliffside promontory, the monastery has beautiful frescoes that have been carefully restored by local artisans.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SQh&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CON" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">#8 Cooking in Positano</a></b><br>Learn how to make your own pizzas in a real wood-fire oven while enjoying a barrel tasting of a local family&#39;s wine, sampling the famous mozzarella cheese from Naples and the local fior di latte all while savoring jaw-dropping views overlooking the sea and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">Positano</a>.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SQh&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CNo" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>If you&#39;d like to do all these activities, plus a little more, without the hassle of logistics—join a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys walking and culture trip </a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">to the Amalfi Coast &amp; Capri</a> You&#39;ll have the trip of a lifetime!

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  • Amalfi Coastline, Italy

    At Home with Sergio & Ulysses

    You have to love a father who names his son Ulysses. My friend Sergio and his opera-singer wife christened their only child in honor of history’s most epic traveler. “They wanted to embed wanderlust in me,” laughs Ulysses. When I asked Sergio if it was true, he confirmed the family tale with a trademark mustachioed smile that his fan club of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> guests would recognize instantly.<br><br>Almost 25 years ago, Sergio met us in his native <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Naples </a>to scout our very first Classic Journeys’ trip to the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Amalfi Coast</a>. In our debut year, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Amalfi </a>was one of just six itineraries we offered. Every year since, it’s been one of the most popular trips, and Sergio has been with us all the way. As a teenager, Ulysses (his name is Ulisse in Italian, but he prefers the English pronunciation) interned in our office in California. Over the last 16 years, we were almost as proud as his father to watch him become an accomplished guide for several companies, one of which named him their European tour leader of the year multiple times. He’s been one of our most popular local guides for a decade or so, and with the upcoming birth of his first child, we like to think the third generation is on the way!<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Sergio &amp; Ulysses overlooking harbor in Naples" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPR&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f88L" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>“It’s wrong to call this a job,” Ulysses insists. “Every day, I wake up happy for another chance to show guests around the places and the secret corners where I live and where I grew up.” As for Sergio, I suppose that at some point in history, he met a stranger. But I’ve never seen evidence that there’s anyone he doesn’t know in his native <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Naples, Capri or Positano</a>. He makes it sound deceptively simple: “I’m lucky to have many friends. Many have known Ulysses his whole life. Our friends are your friends, too.”<br><br>The depth and sincerity of their ties have blown us away again and again. None of the guides that other companies shuttle in from the U.S. or Canada — no matter how gung-ho or well-versed in guidebook facts — can match their connectedness. For proof that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, look no further than a family house that sits on a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">cliff above Praiano.</a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="View from hills of the Amalfi Coast" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPR&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f88Q" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>For generations, the family that lives in that house worked the land for the monastery that’s even higher up the slope. The monks are gone now, but the family remains, tending their terraced vineyards and gardens. All <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> guests know this because — thanks to the good graces of Sergio and Ulysses — the family invites you to lunch after you meet the artisans who are restoring the monastery’s frescoes.  Signora Grazia will wave you out to the terrace where you can see <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Positano</a> and all the way to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Capri</a>. Over at the barrel of “grape juice” (aka homegrown wine), you’re instructed to twist the spigot and fill your glass as often as you like. In the cave built into the cliff behind the house, there’s a disk of pizza dough for you to stretch, top to your taste, and bake in the wood-fired oven. Lunch on that terrace as you chat with the family and soak in the view is some kind of heaven — a deeply authentic moment that no tourist can experience at any price.<br><br>The greatest gift you can receive as a traveler is the rare thrill of feeling at home in a place that couldn’t be farther from your everyday life. From the first “Ciao!” you hear from Ulysses or Sergio, you’ll feel that great sense that you are right where you belong. When you visit the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Amalfi Coast</a> with Classic Journeys, you become an instant part of the extended family they have created … and add an unforgettable chapter to your own lifelong odyssey.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group on a hike in the Amalfi Coast" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPR&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f88V" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"><b>LOCAL MATTERS</b></a><br>When you compare tours, be sure to ask if your guide will be a native of the place you’re visiting. All guides on all of our trips are locals. They have deep roots in the region that assure you a very personal, totally plugged-in view of the people and culture you’re there to discover. A lot of them have been a part of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> family for 10 years, 20 years and even longer. Many operators tout the guides they import from around the world on their Instagram feeds. Nice and well-intentioned they may well be, but if your goal as a traveler is to get the most immersive feel for a place, local truly matters!<br> 

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