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  • Rebecca Wong

10D9N Italy Itinerary : Rome, Sorrento & the Amalfi Coast



Starting 1 June 2022, Italy has dropped all entry rules for international travellers, which means both vaccinated and non-vaccinated visitors can enter test and quarantine-free.


The country has also abolished its Green Pass requirements for visiting attractions and restaurants.


Now that one can visit the country with ease, it’s time to make a trip to the land of ancient monuments, pasta and gelato.


I visited Italy this summer and had a fabulous time, travelling to places like Rome, Sorrento, Capri and the famed Amalfi Coast. Here’s how I planned my trip, as well as advice for having the best travel experience.


Summary of my itinerary


Day 1: Landing in Rome & travel to Sorrento

Day 2: Exploring Capri

Day 3: Visit to Herculaneum

Day 4: Full day-trip to the Almafi Coast

Day 5: Path of the Gods hike

Day 6: Travel to Rome and Vespa Tour

Day 7: The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Day 8: Castel San't Angelo and Vatican City

Day 9: Trevi District Food tour and Trastevere tour

Day 10: Leaving Rome


Map of the places I visited in Italy

Here’s a map of all the places I visited in Italy so that you can plan your itinerary according to location.




Italy is HUGE and long, so I wouldn't recommend seeing it all unless you have two weeks or more. As we had 9 full days there and it was summer, I chose to explore Rome and the Campania region in the South (encompassing Sorrento & the Amalfi Coast).


Day 1: Landing in Rome & travel to Sorrento

I took a red-eye flight via Etihad Airlines from Singapore to Rome, with a transit at Abu Dhabi, and landed just before 6am.

Leonardo Express Airport Shuttle

Getting from Rome's Fiumicino airport to the central train station: As we were basing ourselves for 5 nights in Sorrento, we then took the Leonardo Express Airport Shuttle from Fiumicino Airport to Roma Termini train station. As of June 2022, tickets cost 14 euros. The journey takes 32 minutes, with departures scheduled every 15 minutes.

Getting to Sorrento from Roma Termini train station: Travelling to Sorrento isn’t the most convenient process as there’s no direct train, but it’s definitely worth the trouble!

Train cancellations

Once we reached Roma Termini, we were due to board a high-speed train to Naples on the Frecciarossa. However, our train was cancelled, as were many departures that day due to a train derailment the day before.

Thankfully, we managed to book fast train tickets with another train company Italo, though that train was delayed and reached Naples train station 45 minutes behind schedule.

Once at Naples, we chose to hire a private driver to Sorrento to save time. We booked this directly with our hotel for 90 euros one way.

Views of Sorrento Bay

Where I stayed in Sorrento: I stayed at B&B Sorrento Flats for 5 nights, and couldn't have had a better experience. The owner Luigi is the very definition of hospitality, helping us rearrange our private transport to the hotel when our train got delayed. He texted us regularly to ensure we had everything we needed, and recommended us some fantastic restaurants in town.

Our room at B&B Sorrento Flats

The accommodation was great too, with a clean room, comfortable bed, plenty of space for two, all the amenities we needed and high-speed Wi-Fi.

Location-wise, everything was perfect. It was a 5-minute walk to both the train station and Sorrento’s town centre.

Gnocchi at one of the best restaurants in Sorrento

For lunch, we visited the well-reviewed La Cantinaccia del Popolo. This was one of our best meals in Sorrento, I recommend the gnocchi and fish ravioli.


Yummy gelato

We were tired from the flight, and chose to take it easy for the rest of the day. We stopped at a lemon grove near our hotel, and had gelato at Gelateria Amorino to end off the day.

Day 2: Exploring Capri

We were up bright and early the next day for our boat trip to Capri.

Getting to Capri: You can take a public ferry from Sorrento’s port, but for convenience I booked a tour via Getyourguide.com. I can’t recommend the tour company Lubrense Boats enough, the guides and boat skipper took great care of us and we had more than enough time to explore the island.

After being picked up from a hotel in central Sorrento, we were taken to the port in the commune of Massa Lubrense, where we set sail on a luxury boat to the island of Capri.

Our ride to Capri

Approaching the island

We enjoyed two swim stops off the coast of Capri, and were given 4 hours to explore the island with a packed lunch of Caprese sandwich and soft drinks on the boat .

Getting around Capri: Capri is pretty big and not exactly a walkable island. While one can get around by bus, buses are often crowded during the summer with no seating room. We chose to share a taxi with other travellers on our boat tour. A trip from Marina Piccola to the centre of Capri or Anacapri cost around 25 to 30 euros, and a cab can take around 6 people.

Chairlift to Monte Solaro

Views from Monte Solaro


On the island, we chose to visit the commune of Anacapri. There, we took a chairlift up Monte Solaro, which offers stunning views of the coast below.

Gardens of Villa San Michele

The sphinx statue

We then had a stroll around the town centre and visited Villa San Michele, built on the ruins of an ancient chapel dedicated to San Michele. Here, you can take a stroll through the beautiful gardens and see the iconic, ancient Sphinx statue which overlooks the coast.


Marina Piccola

After that, we chose to chill at a restaurant at the Marina Piccola. If you want to relax by the beach, pack a swimsuit and chill at a beach club along the Marina Piccola. It’s worth going for a swim too - the waters are turquoise clear on a sunny day.


Faraglioni rocks

A dramatic sea grotto

After we were picked up from the island, we sailed past the dramatic Faraglioni rocks, three towering formations which jut out from the sea, as well as several sea grottos.

Returning to Sorrento around 6pm, we had dinner at the very touristy Fauno Bar. While the service was great, my husband and I felt that the food was average. Some dishes like the carbonara weren't authentic as well, being cooked with ingredients like cream.

Day 3: Visit to Herculaneum

The Campania region has a number of ancient ruins you can check out, the most famous of them being the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum which were destroyed during Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD.

Wandering the streets of Herculaneum

We chose to visit Herculaneum, which is more compact and better preserved than Pompeii.

Getting to Herculaneum from Sorrento: We took a half-day tour with GetYourGuide as well, which departed from Sorrento train station in the morning and took an hour to reach the station Ercolano. The ruins are about a 10 minute walk from the train station. On hindsight, I recommend a tour which includes bus transport, as our guide didn't accompany us on the return journey and we ended up on the wrong train back.

Ruins of Herculaneum


Our booking included a two-hour guided tour of the ruins itself. It was fascinating to see how some of the ancient structures still stand to this day, including intricate mosaic tiles and decorations both on the floors and ceiling.

Beautiful decor


Statues still standing

We visited ancient bathhouses, saw centuries-old paintings and even a dock for boats. Thankfully, many of the buildings have ceilings and roofs which are still intact, giving us shade from the scorching sun.


Pizzeria da Franco's margherita pizza

The tour ended around mid-afternoon, after which we had a late lunch back in Sorrento at the fantastic Pizzeria da Franco. Whatever you do, order the margherita pizza!

Via San Cesareo

We then explored Sorrento’s city centre, including shopping street Via San Cesareo with shops selling everything from fresh produce to leather bags, sandals and everything lemon ( including alcoholic drink limoncello, which the town is famous for).


Do try the addictive and refreshing lemon granita, a drink made of lemons and crushed ice.


Fresh fried shrimp & calamari at Trattoria Da Emilia

Sorrento’s Marina Grande

Dinner was at a place recommended by our hotel owner, Trattoria Da Emilia. Located along the sea at Sorrento’s Marina Grande, we enjoyed the fresh fried shrimp & calamari, as well as the spaghetti alle vongole.

Day 4: Full day-trip to the Almafi Coast



I’ve been dreaming about visiting the Amalfi Coast for so long, so it was surreal to actually be there in the flesh.


The scenic Almafi Coast

Arguably, one of the most beautiful parts of Italy, it comprises 50km of coastline with gorgeous, seaside cliffs and colorful houses perched on them. The most popular towns are Positano, Ravello and Almafi.


Getting to the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento: I researched this a ton but ultimately decided on a full-day guided minibus tour, by (you guessed it) Getyourguide. Our tour company was Travel etc. - Gray Line Amalfi Coast. While one can take public SITA buses from Sorrento, these are usually crowded in the summer, and timings can be unreliable. The public ferries tend to be more reliable, but since I was looking to visit multiple destinations, a guided tour seemed most practical.


The scenic Positano

Our tour begin at 9am from Sorrento, and we first stopped at the ridiculously gorgeous cliffside village of Positano. One of the highlights of the tour, a walk through this quaint town involves climbing up and down many many steps. The higher you go, the better views you get!


Positano Spiaggia beach



Highlights include the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta church and Positano Spiaggia beach, from which you can catch picturesque views of the village and its colourful houses perched on the cliffs.


Positano's pretty streets

Or simply wander through the narrow streets, where you’ll find art galleries and boutiques selling clothes.


View of Positano by ferry

An hour and a half is usually enough to explore Positano. After which, we took a ferry to the next town of Amalfi. If you’re coming in spring or summer, a ferry ride is highly recommended as you get the best views of towns along the Almafi coast.



The town of Almafi

Over in Almafi, we had slightly over an hour to eat and walk around before our boat tour (an optional add-on with the guided tour). Personally, I found the town centre of Amalfi extremely crowded and touristy, with one too many souvenir shops.


Duomo di Amalf

I recommended a photo stop at the Duomo di Amalfi, a church in the town centre with an impressive, ornate facade.

Lemon Risotto at Ristorante La piazzetta

We opted for lunch at the Ristorante La piazzetta, and I was completely wowed by the lemon risotto, which had the perfect balance of sweetness and savouriness.



After lunch, we took a boat trip organised by our tour around the coast, where we saw more of the coastline, stunning villas on cliffs and smaller towns like Atrani.


Seeing a sea grotto up close

Our boat even went up close to a sea grotto. I highly recommend the boat trip as an add-on. The best way to see the Amalfi coast is really by sea!


Villla Cimbrone

The last leg of our trip involved a bus ride to the resort town of Ravello, which is only reachable via land. We had an hour to explore the town, and made a beeline for the famed Villa Cimbrone.



Its garden terrace was one of the filming locations of the first Wonder Woman movie, serving as a setting for the fictional island of Themyscira. With such stunning views, it’s not hard to see why this spot was chosen!


We only had time for one villa, but you can chose to visit Villa Rufolo instead (or both if you come on your own). Its nearer the historic centre and boasts some lovely landscaped gardens.


Roasted octopus at Cucu

After returning to Sorrento, we had dinner at Cucù along Corso Italia (Sorrento’s main shopping street). It was here I had the best roasted octopus, along with delicious tagliolini.


Day 5: Path of the Gods hike


I was initially hesitant to do this hike along the Amalfi coast due to my fear of heights, but the views looked so stunning that I couldn’t resist!


Views from the Path of the Gods hike

Getting to the Path of the Gods: We booked a half-day guided hike. Our bus brought us to the trailhead at Bomerano, from where we embarked on a 7.5km round-trip hike along the coastal cliffs, turning back near the town of Positano.


So is the hike doable for those with a fear of heights and recreational hikers? The answer is yes! The path isn’t as narrow or strenuous as I thought it would be, and is mostly flat save for one or two steeper sections. There are certain parts where it’s a little scary to look down and see the plunging cliffs, but you won’t fall unless you intentionally jump off.


More stunning views wherever you turn

Conquering the Path of the Gods

Many steps are carved into the trail as well. Do wear proper hiking shoes to avoid slipping though!



Our tour included a break at a Shepard’s hut as well, where we snacked on bread, cheese, wine and fresh honey.



It was also lovely to see mountain goats along the way, a mere feet away from us.


We returned to Sorrento around 3, and rested before having dinner at La Cantinaccia del Popolo again. The gnocchi was just too good to resist!


After dinner, we took a stroll along Sorrento’s port, and ended our day admiring the sunset from Villa Comunale di Sorrento, the town’s city park with arguably the best views of the surrounding cliffs and Mount Vesuvius.


Day 6: Travel to Rome and Vespa Tour


Sadly, it was time to leave Sorrento. Thankfully, Rome was our next stop- another beautiful locale!


We returned the same way we came, via private driver to Naples and high-speed train to Rome.


When booking a driver from Sorrento, note that traffic to Naples can get a bit crazy, so buffer an extra 45 minutes to get to Naples train station.


Where I stayed in Rome: After arriving in Rome, we took a taxi to our hotel Suite Art Navona. I have mixed feelings about the hotel. The location was perfect, a stone’s throw away from the centrally-located Piazza Navona. It was also easy to walk to other attractions like the Pantheon and the Vatican City.


However, there were a few kinks such as an overflowing shower, slow Wi-Fi and poor temperature regulation of water in the shower.


Lunch was at Mamu just next to the hotel, which served very decent lasagne and suppli, a fried Roman snack consisting of cheese, rice and tomato sauce.


After lunch, we booked a very memorable Vespa tour around Rome with DearRoma.


Exploring Rome by vespa

If there’s one activity you do in Rome, let this be it! We were picked up from our hotel and chauffeured around Rome for three hours, and saw both famous highlights and others which are difficult to access via public transport. If there are particular attractions you wish to stop at in Rome, you can also let the tour agency know.

St Peter's Square

Aventine Hill

The Colosseum

The Orange Garden

Pyramid of Cestius

We stopped for photos outside locations like Castel San't Angelo, the Vatican’s St Peter’s Square, the Colosseum, the Baths of Caracalla, the pyramid of Cestius, the Orange Garden and Aventine Hill which offers panoramic views of the city.



With our trusted Vespa guides

Our Vespa guides were really knowledgeably on the history of Rome as well as the origins of the numerous landmarks, making this a part history and part-sightseeing tour.


Riding on a cold, windy day

It unfortunately poured during the first half hour of our tour, making it cold and windy as we rode around on the vespas. Nevertheless, we still enjoyed the thrilling ride, with safe and capable drivers who skillfully weaved through Rome’s chaotic traffic. If you have flexibility in your itinerary, I recommend googling the weather in Rome, and booking the tour on a sunny day.

Al Forno della Soffitta

We chose to drop off at the excellent Al Forno della Soffitta for dinner, where we enjoyed one of the best Neapolitan-style pizzas and amatriciana during our entire trip.


Day 7: The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill


Our day started with a short walk to Piazza Navona, Rome’s most famous public square with three photogenic fountains.

Piazza Navona

Pantheon

From there, it was a 5 minute walk to the Pantheon. This ancient Roman temple is Rome’s best preserved pagan worship site. Unlike the other pagan temples, the Roman rulers found this too beautiful to destroyed, and it was converted into a Catholic Church.


The Pantheon's interior

Entry is free and it’s interior and dome-like structure is indeed impressive.


We then took a 30-minute walk from the Pantheon to the Colosseum.


As our timed entry was at 1:30pm (we booked skip-the-line tickets to avoid queueing), lunch was at the nearby Contrario Vineria con Cucina, where we were served an excellent lime panna cotta for dessert.


The Colosseum's interior


After lunch, we visited the Colosseum. Even though it was my second time here, I was still blown away by the architectural marvel. Don’t forget to stop by the mini exhibition on the second level which details the Colosseum’s history and construction -you’ll pass it on your way to the viewing arena.

Outside the Colosseum

A visit there takes about one and a half hour, after which we stopped for photos outside and visited the nearby Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, also covered by our ticket.


The majestic Roman Forum



The Roman Forum was particularly striking, with its ancient ruins still standing proud. One can only imagine what the place looked like in its full glory, where it was the centre of day-to-day life in Rome and hosted public speeches and ceremonial proceedings.




Walking around these sites in the hot summer sun can be really draining, so I recommend taking a break in either a cafe or your hotel room before heading back out for dinner.


We ended the day at Pizza in Trevi, a site near the Trevi Fountain with yummy pizza.


The Trevi Fountain

Romance in Trevi

At the famous 18th century fountain, a proposal was taking place. The fountain is overwhelming crowded almost all day though, so don’t expect to get it all to yourself for photos!


Day 8: Castel San't Angelo and Vatican City


Our morning started with a walk from our hotel to Castel San't Angelo, built by the emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and family.


Castel Saint Angelo

View of Rome from Castel Saint Angelo

We toured the museum, which featured exhibits on the history of the building, and its changing functions over the years (including being a fortress used by popes). The top level has a great view of the city as well.

Forno Feliziani

Lunch was near the Vatican at Forno Feliziani, a deli where food is weighed and charged by the meter. They serve staples like pizza, lasagne and even fried rice, along with delicious pastries such as maritozzo.

Outside the Vatican Museum

After lunch, it was time for our Vatican Museums tour, which houses an immense collection of art amassed by popes from the seventeenth century onwards. Another interesting fact: the Vatican City is its own separate country, and one of the smallest city-states in the world.


I recommend booking skip-the-line tickets for this as well to avoid long queues - the crowds can get particularly overwhelming during the summer.


We booked ours via HeadOut, which involved meeting the guide first at their office near the Vatican Museum. The guide then escorted us to the museum and collected our tickets for us, leaving us to explore the museum on our own.


The Vatican Museum's exhibits

Intricate hallways

When we visited on a Saturday afternoon, the museum was incredibly packed. I recommend setting aside at least 2 to 3 hours to tour the entire museum, which houses impressive sculptures and Renaissance artworks, and even contemporary pieces. Simply follow the signs and crowd and you’ll end up at the Sistine Chapel at the end of the museum.


Of course, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo is indeed a work of art. Unfortunately, you don’t get to take pictures of it, so simply savour in the beauty along with the many other tourists crowding the hall.


While the chapel has a side exit that leads directly to St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican’s other main highlight, you can’t use it unless you're on a guided tour.


To head to St Peter’s Square and Basilica, exit the museum the same way you came in, and walk around the walls of the city to St Peter’s Square.

St Peter’s Square

Entry to the Basilica is free, but do bear in mind that queues can get long as well. We skipped visiting the Basilica this time, but I went in on a previous trip and reckon it’s worth queuing for. The church itself is massive, with a beautifully-designed interior.

Roman-style tripe at Achille Al Pantheon di Habana

Dining Alfresco in Rome

After all that walking, we headed back to our hotel to rest, then proceeded for dinner at Achille Al Pantheon di Habana. Located near the pantheon, this place is great for people watching with its lovely alfresco setting. They serve huge portions of carbonara too, and the tripe (stomach lining of cattle) is a must-try dish unique to Rome.


Day 9: Trevi District Food tour and Trastevere tour


Our day begin with a late morning food tour by Food Tours of Rome. We met our guide at Campo de Fiori, the city’s most famous farmer’s market.


Norcineria Viola

The tour started with a stop at the nearby Norcineria Viola, a butchery which has been around since since 1890.


We sampled some yummy cheeses and hams like salami and prosciutto, before venturing back into the market to check out a stall selling various types of truffles, pesto sauces and liquor in flavours like coconut, raspberry, melon, pistachio and chocolate . The melon and chocolate flavours were especially delicious.


Various types of flavoured liquer

Roman-style crunch pizza

Our third stop was a hole-in-the wall deli selling scrumptious Roman-style crunch pizza. These typically come in thin rectangular slices, and taste more crunchy than doughy.


A restaurant with Roman ruins

Pasta galore

After wolfing down the pizza, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant built into the side of an ancient roman theatre. There, we chowed down on delicious parmigiana, as well as three different types of pasta.

Two Sizes tiramisu

Our cappuccino stop

Gunther Gelato

And as they say, there’s always room for dessert. We visited Two Sizes for undeniably the best tiramisu in Rome ( get the caramel flavour), had a cappuccino stop and ended the tour with refreshing gelato at Gunther Gelato.


Along the way, we also passed by landmarks like the Pantheon, with our guide providing us various tidbits on the history of Rome.



Our tour ended at the Trevi Fountain - just a 10 minute walk from the famous Spanish Steps, the widest and longest staircase of Europe built in the 1700 and definitely worth a photo stop.

Trastevere

Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere

After 4 hours of non-stop eating, we walked off our calories by heading to the neighbourhood of Trastevere. Arguably Rome’s most hip, bohemian neighbourhood, the area is bustling with activity in the evening, featuring buskers, bars, artisan shops and some of the best restaurants in Rome. The Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere is also worth a photo stop.

Suppli

Carbonara and cacio e pepe

Our dinner was at Nannarella, a popular restaurant where we had arguably our best meal in Rome. Try the fried artichokes, suppli, carbonara and cacio e pepe!


Day 10: Leaving Rome


Sadly, all good vacations must come to an end. We booked a private driver (50 euros) with our hotel straight to the airport in the morning for our flight back to Singapore.


Leaving Rome is like waking up from the best dream. Luckily, you can always visit again!


Advice for visiting Italy in general


  • Train delays / cancellations are a thing, and we encountered a bad one on our first day in Rome even on the Frecciarossa (fast train). If you encounter fast train cancellations, try rebooking another train departure on either the Frecciarossa or Italo sites, instead of queuing at the ticket offices. You’re bound to see long queues at the ticket counters.

  • At Rome Termini, there are different counters for ticket refunds and new train bookings. Ask that you are queuing for the right one to avoid wasting time. Also, bear in mind that online cancelled ticket requests are refunded via future train credits on Frecciarossa. Not the most ideal, especially when you are unsure when you might be returning. I suggest heading to physical counters to see if they might be willing to do a CC refund.

  • If you want to see Southern Italy highlights like Capri, Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Amalfi Coast, I suggest basing yourself in Sorrento. It’s convenient for taking a day trip out by train, bus or guided tour to each of these attractions, and enough in the town itself to keep you occupied.

  • It gets really hot in summer, especially down in Sorrento. Bring ample sunblock and a pair of sunnies during the months of June to August.

  • Italians eat late. So if you want to secure a table at a popular restaurant, bear in mind that most are packed from 8pm to 10pm during peak season. Coming during 6 to 7pm would make it much easier to secure a table.

  • Rome is pretty walkable so you can get around the city centre without actually taking a bus, plus metro lines are pretty far apart. If you do need to take public transport, tickets can be bought from various Tabacchis (cigarette shops) all around the city.



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