Santiago Calatrava in Naples

Sitting above Naples and commanding a particularly regal view over the city and the Gulf of Naples beyond, the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte was once one of the several residences of the Bourbon kings of Naples. Originally conceived in the 18th century to display the royal family’s prestigious collection of art, it officially became a museum in 1950. Now one of the finest in Italy, it’s a must for art lovers visiting the area.

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Amalfi Coast 2020 Travel Inspiration

Now that the holiday season has wrapped up, it’s that time when we start looking ahead at the year to come. If you’re planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast in 2020, I’ve gathered together some special experiences to help with your planning or perhaps even inspire you to book a trip to the Amalfi Coast this year. This is by no means a complete list of all there is to see and do on the Amalfi Coast and the surrounding areas. (Psst … Moon Amalfi Coast is a great resource for that!) These are just a handful of events I’m looking forward to this year along with places in Campania I’m eager to explore more in 2020.

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New Bus Service from Naples Airport to the Amalfi Coast

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Planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast and flying into the Naples Airport? Then I have some good news for you! There’s a new bus service that goes direct from the Naples Capodichino Airport to multiple destinations on the Amalfi Coast. And it only costs €15 per person! Reaching the Amalfi Coast by public bus has always been a bit of an adventure. It was hard for me to even recommend that as an option for travelers, especially if they didn’t speak Italian. Thankfully, Pintour has launched a new bus service the connects the Naples Airport with all of the towns on the Amalfi Coast from Vietri sul Mare to Amalfi. That includes stops at Vietri sul Mare, Raito, Cetara, Erchie, Maiori, Minori, Castiglione (where you would get off to catch a local bus up to Ravello), Atrani and Amalfi.

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There are four departure times from the Naples Airport (9:00, 12:30, 16:00, 19.30) and four departure times from Amalfi (7:00, 10:30, 14:00, 17.30). The journey takes about 2 hours each way. Tickets cost €15 per person (€10 for kids under 12) each way, and can be purchased online here. For exact departure times from each stop along the way, check out the schedules below.

 

Bus Schedule for Naples to the Amalfi Coast

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Bus Schedule from Amalfi to the Naples Airport

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This is a much needed service on the Amalfi Coast – for both locals and travelers alike. The departure times from the Naples airport comfortably cover many of the flight times for travelers arriving to visit the Amalfi Coast. And for the departure, if you have a later morning or afternoon flight from Naples, this bus service has you covered, too. The only issue with departure times is for travelers heading to the United States since those flights often leave very early from the Naples airport to make international connecting flights in Italy or Europe. If you’re leaving at a flight around 7am like I often do when flying back to America, then booking a private taxi transfer will still likely be your best option. I know some of you will be asking, “And Positano?” That town is not covered in this bus service, and will have to be another post in itself! (Spoiler alert: It’s NOT easy.)

Note: I’m looking forward to trying out this bus service to the Naples Airport, but I haven’t used it yet personally. So for any additional questions on schedules or tickets, please contact Pintour here.

Book Review | Only in Naples by Katherine Wilson

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Given my passion for reading and great love of the Amalfi Coast, as soon as I saw the title of Katherine Wilson’s book Only in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia from my Italian Mother-in-Law I knew it would be a book I would enjoy. And I certainly did! With Katherine’s engaging writing style and lighthearted yet perceptive look at her experiences in Italy, it was the perfect beach read this summer.

The book follows Katherine from her arrival in Naples as an intern at the U.S. Consulate in Naples to meeting her husband and being welcomed into his family. As the title suggests, there are many lessons along the way, and I enjoyed seeing how her relationship with her mother-in-law grew and developed over the years. Naples has always fascinated me, and I loved the glimpse behind the scenes of family life and the author’s impressions of the city over the years. She captured the spirit of Naples when she wrote, “I should have realized by then that in Italy, and particularly in Naples, anything is possible. Magic happens.” Some of that magic filters through her stories and fills the pages with that intoxicating blend of light, chaos and vibrancy that is Naples.

The “Lessons in Food” part of the title carries through the entire book, and will most certainly have you hungry along the way. Knowing that readers would be tempted the stories of her mother-in-law’s cooking, Katherine painstakingly documented some of her best recipes that she lovingly writes about in the book. So as soon as you’re done reading you’ll be ready to tie on your apron and get to work whipping up the dishes in your own kitchen!

While sometimes the Amalfi Coast feels very different from Naples, some of Katherine’s stories really resonated with my life here and had me laughing out loud. For those of you Amalfi Coast fans, there are even some stories about the author’s summer holidays in Positano.

If you love Italy, and especially the Naples area, put this book on your reading list. Food, family, Naples – what’s not to love?

Intrepid Naples with Carla Coulson

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Photograph copyright Carla Coulson

Many travelers zip through Naples on their way to Sorrento or the Amalfi Coast, or think of it as just a point of arrival or departure for exploring the area. But that means you’re missing a remarkable place, full of history and energy and an Italian allure all its own. I could get lost in the images of photographer Carla Coulson. When I found out recently about her photography workshop in Naples, I couldn’t resist sharing about it here. Her photos capture that impossible to pin down allure of Naples – intensely beautiful, gritty, vibrant, diverse. I asked Carla to share more about this city she loves and about her Naples photography workshop. May this encourage you to explore Naples as well on your next visit to the Amalfi Coast!

 

What first brought you to Naples and when did you know you were smitten?

I was in Lecce way back in 2001 in front of one of its beautiful baroque churches and all of a sudden I was encircled by a group of Neapolitan women. Somehow I ended up lunching with them and they were so proud and enthusiastic about their city I ended up taking the train a couple of days later to Naples. I stayed in the heart of Spaccanapoli in a funny old Pensione and walked out into the streets and couldn’t believe my eyes, in less than an hour I was smitten with the place. It was like street theatre on every corner.

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Photograph copyright Carla Coulson

You’ve described Naples as “raw, emotional, fast, voluptuous, confronting and generous.” Is is that blend of characteristics that draws you back?

I feel like you could draw a circle around Naples and it could be its own country. In ways it’s very Italian but in other ways it’s a whole new world, like Asia had a train crash with Italy! Each time I arrive in Naples I have the same feeling of awe as the first time I visited, there are so many contrasts and so much that still exists that has already disappeared from other parts of Italy. There markets and shops are overflowing with products, the architecture is grand and regal but with that “Cuban” faded patina and whole families glide around the streets of Vespas. I was warned each time I travelled to be careful but the Neapolitans were always so generous.

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Photograph copyright Carla Coulson

What emotions do you enjoy capturing in your photographs of Naples?

I love to capture their passion for life, love, faith, family and music. Neapolitans are very easy and open with their emotions and it makes it a joy to take photos in Naples.

 

Why did you choose Naples for your photography workshop?

I wanted to offer a unique opportunity to travel somewhere that maybe a lot of people hadn’t been and where there is a rich daily life that is inspiring to photograph. It would have been easy to go to a place like Venice but Naples makes my heart beat harder and I have always followed my heart. I think the people coming on the workshop will have the time of their life and start a life long love affair with this special place.

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Photograph copyright Carla Coulson

What is the one thing you wish every traveler knew about Naples?

There is so much to learn from Neapolitans, they have a great sense of humour, l’art d’arrangarsi (the art of getting by) which makes them extraordinarily creative when the chips are down but the one great life lesson we all could learn from Neapolitans is to live for the day. I have never seen a population take these words and truly live them. I have been told over and over again in Naples “that tomorrow can wait.” I think this is a beautiful way to live as you get the most out of today without the anxiety of thinking about the future.

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If you’d love to take your photography to a new level and discover Naples at the same time, then you’ll want to check out the Intrepid – Naples Unedited photography workshop with Carla Coulson. There aren’t many spots left, so don’t miss your chance!