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This week we are heading back to one of your favorite spots – the Amalfi Coast and this time we’re talking about a slightly different way of enjoying this wonderful coastline – on a self-guided walking tour!
In this episode, we talk to Karen Salter, who, having spent a lot of time in and fallen in love with Italy when she was younger, decided she wanted to celebrate her 50th birthday on the Amalfi Coast. Along with her husband she had an amazing adventure doing a self-guided walking tour along the coast, getting to enjoy so many spectacular views and experiences as well as a few misadventures along the way.
What you’ll learn in this episode
- Self-guided tours are a great way to tour the Amalfi Coast. Karen used a company Hidden Italy, who arranges everything for you, do airport pickups and drop-offs, moves your luggage between your accommodation for you and is there for any questions and any help you need
- There are choices of walks between towns meaning you can choose to do easier/shorter ones as well as the slightly more challenging/longer ones
- If you get a chance, a visit to the Ceramics factory, Ceramica Solimene in Vietri Sul Mare, is worth it for the amazing building alone. But it’s also a great place to pick up some gorgeous ceramic sounvenirs
- An experience, second to none, is the Walk of the Gods – Sentiero degli Dei – a well-known path between Praiano (or Bomerano if you don’t want an initial hour of uphill walking) and Positano
- Many people visit Capri for the day but it’s well worth spending a couple of nights there, as Karen will attest to and our Capri expert talks about in Episode #042: Come away to Capri!
- When booking accommodation – keep seasonal pools in mind. They often don’t open pools until maybe mid-May or late May/June, so even though your hotel may show a pool, it’s worth checking ahead to see when it’s open.
- The blue grotto can get crazy busy, even outside peak season, so consider trying one of the lesser-known but as lovely (and less hectic) grottos such as the Emerald Grotto or the White Grotto
- The chairlift in Capri that take you up to Monte Solaro, carries you over farms and houses of Anacapri, ending with incredible views across the island
- Carthusia is a wonderful, historic perfumery in Capri – the shop alone is gorgeous, but the divine scents and their packaging make for fantastic gifts (and treats for yoursefl!). As a designer, Karen hasn’t been able to part with the packaging as it’s so beautiful.
About our guest – Karen Salter
As a backpacker in 1991 she ditched a planned trip to Greece with her mates and instead enrolled in a one-month Italian language intensive in Florence. This is when her love for Italy was truly confirmed. Despite the oppressive heat of July she had the time of her life and really didn’t want to leave.It took 23 years of pining at home in Melbourne for Karen to return. In 2014 she took her husband and 2 young sons on a taster – Venice, Florence and Rome in 9 days.Her most recent trip was in 2016 to Rome and the Amalfi Coast and she cannot wait for her next one.In the meantime, she is working in her studio, painting pictures of Mid Century homes for her upcoming exhibition in October at Carlisle Street Artspace at the St Kilda Town Hall in Melbourne and practising her Italian on the Duolingo app.You can find Karen and on these channels:
Places mentioned in the show
- Ravello – glamourous town with spectacular views
- Villa Cimbrone – in Ravello this stunning villa was bought and renovated by British Lord Grimthorpe
- Valle delle Ferriere – national park featuring scenic walks among streams, waterfalls with historic ruins
- Amalfi – town set below steep cliffs on Italy’s southwest coast.
- Conca dei Marini – small town on a hill close to the coast and between Amalfi and Furore
- Vietri Sul Mare – home to ceramics factories
- Ceramica Solimene – factory in Vietri Sul Mare in a stunning and unusual building built in the 50s
- Praiano – quite town, perched on the coast halfway between Positano and Amalfi with great views on the Amalfi Coast
- Positano – one of the most picturesque places on the planet and likely the most famous on the Amalfi Coast
- Anacapri – town on Capri
- Monte Solaro – mountain on Capri with a chairlift and a great view over the Faraglioni Rocks
- Giardini di Augusto – botanical gardens on the island of Capri
- Karabiner – a coupling link with a safety closure, used by rock climbers.
- Hidden Italy – the company that Karen booked their self-guided tour through
Resources from Untold Italy
- Find more about the many towns and villages along the Amalfi Coast in Best places to stay in Amalfi Coast: towns, villages, hotels and villas and Beautiful Amalfi Coast Towns You Must See At Least Once, as well as our guide to Capri boat tours – the best way to spend a day in Capri
- Heading to the Amalfi Coast soon? Our digital Positano Guide is now available at the Untold Italy shop, full of load of useful info to carry with you, including beach clubs, best restaurants, walks, shopping, a packing list, local dishes to try and more – untolditaly.com/shop
- Listen: discover more about the Amalfi Coast in Episode 67: Exploring the Amalfi Coast by Road and by Sea, Episode #014: Amalfi Coast highlights, the historic side in Episode #061: New Discoveries in Ancient Pompeii, the romantic side in Episode #059: Romantic Amalfi Coast weddings and our most popular episode Episode #042: Come away to Capri!
- How to plan a trip to Italy – our article that takes you step by step through trip planning so you can avoid our mistakes
- Italy Travel Planning – our FREE online community where you can ask questions and get inspiration for planning your trip
- Travel shop where you’ll find items mentioned in the show
Prefer to read along as you listen? You can download a PDF version of the full transcript of this episode.