When Randolph and I started planning our trip to Italy we spoke about what kind of trip we wanted to take. (Note: We planned this kind of on a whim within the span of a few months, not years. Planning your next trip doesn’t have to be such a huge deal. I understand, it’s mostly about time and money, but if you can swing the time, there are a ton of small ways to save while traveling! So, get to planning…NOW!) We decided against anything super touristy and wanted to be able to have more control over our transportation than our past trips to Europe. I’ve been on a couple trips where we took trains, taxis, connecting flights (which is totally doable and awesome) but I felt like I wanted the freedom that I’ve had in the past on road trips back at home.
Where to Stay: Maiori, Casale Della Nonna Airbnb (depending on how many people you have traveling with you, there are 3 different options at this place)
Option 1: La Casa degli Artisti (Note: this is the one we booked, but can sleep 4)
Option 2: La Casa dei Contadini – 5 guests
Options 3: Il Casale della nonna – the whole place
If you’ve never used Airbnb, here’s my referral link!
Once we landed in Rome, we picked up our rental car from Enterprise at the Rome (FCO) Airport. It was the smoothest rental car pick up I have ever experienced. Then off we went to Maiori, located in the Amalfi province of Salerno. The drive from the airport to our parking lot was about 3 and a half hours. This drive is definitely not for the faint of heart – narrow, windy roads, with very confident Italian drivers. R took this drive on like a champ though! If I were behind the driver’s seat it would have probably been another story.
The owners of our Airbnb in Maiori were extremely helpful and booked a place ahead of time for us to park our car for our 3 night stay in Maiori. The parking place is called Aldo Parking – they shuttled us to the end of the stairs to our Airbnb. You can also pay them to help you carry your luggage (per bag) up the 300+ stairs it takes to get to Casale della Nonna (worth it). We carried our smaller bags only paid them to carry my big luggage. The guy didn’t even seem to break a sweat!
When we arrived to the house the sun had just finished setting, so we didn’t get to see the gorgeous view from our terrace until the next morning. There was a welcome basket waiting for us in the kitchen when we got inside. For an extremely small fee, especially compared to the amount of food provided, you can have this waiting for you as well. It included a pot of homemade tomato sauce and meatballs, a bag of pasta for you to prepare, along with a salad, a seriously delicious grilled veggie platter (including eggplant, which I’m not usually a huge fan of but that version made me want to try to make it at home), a huge ball of mozzarella and tomato slices, bread, fruit, espresso grounds and some other snacks! Some of the fruit and veggies were grown in the garden on property. There was also wine and limoncello in the refrigerator made by the hosts! The food lasted us 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts and a couple snacks. We enjoyed our first dinner out on the terrace after cooking the pasta and re-warming the sauce. The temperature outside was pretty perfect for an evening meal outside. Afterwards we cleaned up, got ready for bed and lit a fire in the fireplace. It got pretty chilly inside in the evenings. We got to bed soon after, and slept about 14 hours…whooops! That’s what we get for putting down the blackout shades and not setting an alarm.
We woke up around 2pm on our first full day in Maiori, which was slightly disappointing but we made the most of it! We made breakfast, enjoyed it on the terrace, got ready and headed down the stairs into town. The weather was perfect for a sundress. A lot of the shops close to our place were closed since it was Sunday, but once we got to the main drag closer to the water a lot more places were open. We walked along the shore and stopped into a gelato place called Geljada and a wine shop to buy a bottle to have with dinner. We wandered in and out of a bunch of adorable little corners of the town. I definitely recommend you do the same! After awhile we headed back to our place, dropped off our purchases then decided to walked up the stairs a bit further, through all of the lemon groves. It was a so beautiful! When we arrived back officially, we soaked up the last few minutes of sunlight outside — R read a book and I updated my Instagram story. We then prepared the leftover dinner and hung out by the fire again!
Thankfully we woke up earlier on day 2. We had breakfast out on the terrace again, got ready, then headed to the ferry just before 11am. You can purchase tickets at a window right by the water — we purchased a ticket to Positano (11 euros / person one way) and hopped on. The view of all of the little towns from the water is pretty spectacular. From Maiori, you have to hop off in Amalfi to switch boats, but it’s pretty quick. We ended up getting a small bottle of Prosecco on the boat from Amalfi to Positano and it was delicious! There is always reason to celebrate right? In all honesty Positano is adorable and has stunning views, but is SUPER touristy. One of the unexpected and most exciting things about Positano is the amount of sea glass and washed up pieces of tile on the shore. I spent a good 30+ minutes picking up treasures along the water. We grabbed lunch at a place right by the beach called Hotel Bucca Di Bacco. We shared Tuna Carpaccio, Fried Ravioli with Ricotta & Salami, a Cheese & Charcuterie board, and a half bottle of wine. It was delicious, not spectacular, but our server was wonderful. I would say to stick to the Ravioli and perhaps the Cheese & Charcuterie Board. We didn’t try any of the main dishes, so you could always try those! The view is nice and the upstairs of the hotel is really cute (head upstairs to the bathroom). We walked our way up the narrow windy streets alongside other pedestrians, scooters, buses and cars – past assumedly shops to see some pretty epic views. After we made our way back down, we bought another ferry ticket to Minori (the town just adjacent to Maiori). We got a patisserie stop recommendation, so we had to go – it’s called Sal De Riso and there are way too many to choose from. We asked the gal behind the counter what the most popular ones were and got her 2 recommendations (one to eat at the counter and one to have back at our place after dinner). After consuming the Pear Cake deliciousness we walked our way back to Maiori – it was a quick one but slightly sketchy alongside all the cars with a little bit of pavement to walk on, but it was part of the adventure and I still felt safe the whole time. We decided we would grab some food to prepare at home and stopped in a market called Le Bonta Alimentari, where a man said he would make us lasagna from scratch if we would come back in an hour. We agreed, slightly regretting our decision because at that point we really just wanted to get back to the house. We ended up grabbing some bread and fruit for breakfast the next day and a bottle of wine for dinner on our walk back to our place, killing some time. After an hour had passed R walked back down to grab the lasagana and some prosciutto – holy moly was it worth the wait! Definitely do the same. It was 15 euros for 4+ servings of super fresh homemade lasagna.
On our last morning in Maiori, we made our toast, fruit and coffee for breakfast, finished packing up and then were on our way. One of the guys who worked at Aldo Parking came up to the Airbnb to grab my luggage and direct us down to our ride back to our car. We unpacked the shuttle, repacked our car, paid them and were on our way – off to Tuscany! (Look out for the Tuscany post coming soon)
Corey, Miss Foodie Problems