Episode #067: Exploring the Amalfi Coast by road and by sea

This article may contain compensated links. See our full disclosure here

Listen to “Exploring the Amalfi Coast – by road and by sea” on Spreaker.


We take a trip to the incredible Amalfi Coast, a place many of our listeners love or can’t wait to visit. It’s a dream destination for good reason, with a stunning coast line, mountains, a fascinating history, azure blue Tyrrhenian Sea, and, of course, wonderful food.

Show notes
We talk to Pierpaolo Guida of Joe Banana Limos & Travel (read the bio to learn how this curious name came to be!). Their family-run company has been helping travelers explore the coast for over a decade and in normal times Pierpaulo loves taking visitors around the Amalfi Coast, enjoying their laughs and smiles as they soak up the scenery.

What you’ll learn in this episode

  1. The Amalfi Coast, not only has beautiful sea, sky, and mountains but its coastline has been inhabited and terraced for centuries so there is so much of interest to see and admire (“satisfaction for the eyes” as Pierpaulo eloquently puts it!)
  2. Driving can be fun, but even for the most confident driver, it can be a challenge and at times nerve-wracking. The Amalfi Coast roads are pretty much just the one road, originally designed for chariots and donkeys!  Hiring a driver means you can relax, enjoy the views and scenery and let someone else deal with the unexpected (a road closure due to rockfalls or a long wait, waiting for a crossing goat herder)
  3. Take care when you are looking for a good driver or company to take us around the Amalfi Coast. Check for Registrations, Insurance, Experience, and Reviews
  4. The Blue Grotto is popular for a reason, but it can get busy – try the gorgeous White Cave instead
  5. Tours can be tailor-made. Think about what you want to do, see and eat, and don’t be afraid to splurge – the memories will last forever. As Pierpaolo put it, it’s “like a bank for the happiness!”
  6. Lots of restaurants can only be reached by boat, or by lots of steps. The steps might not be too bad on the way down, but after a long lazy lunch can feel more of a challenge!
  7. Forget 50 Shades of Gray, as Pierpaolo says, the waters on the Amalfi Coast offer 50 shades of Turquoise!!

About our guest – Pierpaolo Guida

Pierpaolo runs Joe Banana Limo & Travels with his brother Giovanni. They have more than two decades of experience in the tourism business.

Giovanni’s nickname ‘Joe Banana’, is the inspiration for the name of my company. Nicknames are really popular in the southern part of Italy, where basically, every family has one. Giovanni was given this nickname when he was 9 years old. His Grandad used to sell fruits using a three-wheel minivan, and he used to sit on the back trailer as he drove street by street through their little village. One day he was eating a banana while riding on the back of his grandad’s trailer when a few of his school friends saw him, and from that moment his nickname became “Banana”.

Giovanni began his career as a tour director and driver of tour buses, taking tourists from all over the world to visit the main cities around Europe. In 2010, he started his own little business with driving and guide services. He was soon joined by brother Pierpaolo, who started his career studying management of touristic enterprises and who with further studying and a lot of experience under his belt, in 2015 became a licensed professional tour guide.

Year after year they have grown and have added private boat tours, private guided tours, and other services, until the realization of their dream that was to become a travel agency. In this way, they feel they can meet all the needs of their guests.

You can find Pierpaolo and Joe Banana on these channels:

Food & Drink

  • Sfogliatelle – a shell-shaped filled Italian pastry from the area
  • La Torta Ricotta e Pere di Sal De Riso –  Ricotta and Pear tart, famously invented in Minori
  • Limoncello – the divine lemon liqueur that is the taste of the Amalfi Coast


  • La Tagliata, Positano – Pierpaulo says: “your mouth eats but your eyes eat as well looking at that view – it’s kind of like a double satisfaction”
  • Buca Di Bacco, Positano – A restaurant on the water run by a friend of Pierpaulos. Phone ahead to get a table in the little corner that is right out on the water
  • Le Bontà del Capo, Conca dei Marini – Great value with views of a 14th-century watch tower and waterfront
  • Torre Normanna, Maiori – a Norman watch tower set right in the middle of the water. Pierpaulo says: “you go on that terrace – you feel the owner of the world even when you have nothing!”
  • La Gavitella, Praiano Either reached by boat or down (and then back up again) 200 + steps!
  • Da Adolfo, Positano – run by Sergio, a friend of Pierpaulo, Da Adolofo is part beach club and part restaurant, reachable only by boat

Places mentioned in the show

  • The 13 towns of the Amalfi Coast:
    • Amalfi, Atrani, Cetara, Conca de’ Marini, Furore, Maiori, Minori
    • Positano, Praiano, Ravello, Scala – where all the missions started, is full of convents and monasteries, Tramonti, Vietri sul Mare
  • Massa Lubrense – a wonderful place to visit, not quite on Amalfi Coast, but between Sorrento and  Minori
  • Villa Cimbrone – in Ravello this stunning villa was bought and renovated by British Lord Grimthorpe
  • Raito – charming little village
  • The White Cave – a beautiful alternative to the famous Blue Grotto of Capri


  • APE 3 wheeler vans – the iconic 3 wheeler vehicles, synonymous with Italy and particularly the Amalfi Coast
  • The Grand Tour – the 17th and 18th-century custom of a traditional trip through Europe undertaken by upper-class young European men of sufficient means and rank. Adopted by many a tourist in later years – including Buzz as a young Aussie tourist.
  • Marcel Proust – French novelist considered one of the most influential authors of the 20th century

Resources from Untold Italy

Planning a trip to Italy?

We love travel in Italy and sharing our knowledge. Read our Italy trip planning guide or join our FREE Italy travel planning community. Our 115,000+ members are happy to answer questions about your itinerary, how to get from place to place, the best places to stay and fun things to do.

Sign up for our news and podcast updates where we share mini guides, tips, exclusive deals and more and we'll send you our Italy Trip Planning Checklist to say grazie! >> click here to subscribe


Prefer to read along as you listen? You can download a PDF version of the full transcript of this episode.

Disclosure: Untold Italy assists our readers with carefully chosen product and services recommendations that help make travel easier and more fun. If you click through and make a purchase on many of these items we may earn a commission. All opinions are our own – please visit our disclosure page for more information.

Please share if you found this article useful