Coastal Roadtrip Through Italy Van Life
There's no better way to explore Italy than with a road trip. You can see the most visited locations and discover lots of hidden gems along the way. After traveling to over 80 countries, Italy is still one of my favorites and this was an unforgettable trip along the western coast of it.
Roadtrip from Cinque Terre Italy to Amalfi Coast in 4 days
Train to Cinque Terre
Since it's not possible to reach Cinque Terre by car, we parked in the nearby La Spezia and took the train to the first of the five towns that make up Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore. With a day pass you can hop on trains between the towns all day and then make your way back to your car in the evening.
Vegan Picnic at Britta Cafe
If you sit at a restaurant overlooking the sea, you will pay at least 20€ for your meal (and these restaurants are not always the best quality food. We found a great hidden gem, Britta Cafe, that has fresh sandwiches for less than 5€ and offered delicious vegan options.
Visit Doria Castle
You can't go to Vernazza without climbing up to Doria Castle. The 360 views of the colorful town surrounded by waves crashing against the shore will take your breath away.
Visit Hot Spring Waterfalls
You've definitely seen photos of these famous waterfalls online. Naturally heated, bright turquoise water cascades down past a stone old mill. The springs of sulphuric waters form large ponds with a temperature of 37.5° C, creating free and open-air thermal “pools”. I'd highly recommend getting here early as they can get crowded.
Lunch in Bolsena Village
Many Italian restaurants close in the afternoon so if you're looking for a late lunch, you may not have much to choose from. We were lucky to find i Sapori del Castello and it was one of our favorite meals in Italy. I'd highly reccomend trying the Pinsa, similar to pizza but with a cloud like crust.
Pedalo Adventure at Lake Bolsena
The best way to cool off on a hot summer day at Lake Bolsena is to rent a pedalo and once you've pedaled in to the lake a bit, to jump in for a swim. Our only regret was not getting one with a slide on it so you can slide in to the water. Next time!
Vegan Lunch at Casa e Bottega
You may need a break from all of the pasta and pizza you'll be eating on this trip, and there's no where better for that than Casa e Bottega in Positano. The menu is filled with delicious options made up of colorful, organic and local ingedients. We went two days in a row and ordered the same salad which had different vegetables each day, all depending on what is locally available!
Kayaking Beach Adventure
One of my favorite activities in Positano is kayaking and beach hopping. While the main beach can get quite crowded, within 10 minutes on the kayak you can get to a cove with a fraction of the tourists and some fun cliff diving.
Take away Pizzas at Pergola
Most hotel rooms in Positano have breath taking views and with restaurants getting crowded for dinner, I'd recommend getting a takeaway pizza at a fraction of the cost only 9.50€ each (Pergola is great, you can watch as they make it for you!) and eating it on your balcony. Nothing better than a private dinner for two.
Home Made Breakfast at Hotel Casa Conzena
We parked our van on top of the hill and stayed at Casa Cosenza while in Positano, We found it very affordable at 160€ a night, it's got to be one of the most beautiful places I've ever stayed. Our balcony was the size of our whole room and we loved having breakfast while watching the sun dance across the colorful buildings.
All Day Boat Tour
You can't go to the Amalfi Coast and not go on a boat tour. You'll get to see some of the most stunning Italian towns from the water and the mesmerizing cliffs that surround them. Some of my highlights were swimming up to a fresh water waterfall, passing by the smallest town in Italy and taking a small tour of one of the grottos. If you're traveling in a group it would definitely be worth renting your own private boat! About 450€ for the day. We joined a group tour for 89€ each.
Scenic Hike 'Path Of Gods'
Undoubtedly one of the most stunning hikes I've ever been on. If you don't have the time to do the whole hike, we took a taxi up to Nocelle and walked up from there. It was great to see Positano from so high up and the sunset was breathtaking. We even stopped for sorbet at Rifugio dei Mele on the way back. You cannot come to the Amalfi Coast without coming to the Path of the Gods!
Before you travel
- Bring light comfrtable clothes that you can walk around all day in and bring a reuasble water bottle to stay hydrated, Southern Italy can get very hot in the summer and there is lots of steep walking especially in Positano.
- Bring a dry bag or water proof back pack to store any gear you don't want to get wet during any of the water activities.
- Book Positano accommodation in advance as this is a very popular destination. We stayed in Casa Conzenza which was very affordble and perfectly located.