Last Updated on October 26, 2023 by Ingrid & Alex

I’ve been asked at some point if planning an Amalfi Coast and Puglia itinerary would be possible so I had to do it! Mainly because I had been on the same roads a few years back, and loved everything about it.

While I only have 5 days, this comprehensive itinerary will be a bit longer and will take you through some of the most beautiful villages Italy has to offer.

I will offer you 2 options for the itinerary, depending on the airport you will land at. Expect to find here all the information you need to self plan your vacation in Southern Italy: what to see, where to stop, where to stay, and most importantly, how to get around.

Without further ado, here are my 2 options for an Amalfi Coast and Puglia itinerary.

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Amalfi Coast and Puglia itinerary

First and foremost: a few useful tools to plan your vacation

I always check for the best flight options on SkyScanner. It is easy to use and it shows the best flight options depending on your requests, in real-time. 

Use the tool to check whether it is better for you to land in Bari or in Rome/Naples.

For completing this itinerary, I strongly suggest renting a car. It will make your trip easier, you will have more flexibility, and I have split the days so that you won’t have to spend too much time behind the wheel.

My go-to car rental company is always Discover Cars. It is a great aggregator that will help you find and book the best option for renting a car during your trip, helping you save up to 70% on your car rental. They have a pretty good cancellation policy that would give you options in case your flight or travel plans change. You will most probably need a car to get to most of these places, especially if you want to keep a schedule. Get your best offers here!

If, however, you prefer getting around by train (I will include all options in the itinerary), Rail Europe is the place for train tickets and rail passes.

Another place to look for trains is the official site of Italy’s railway, Trenitalia.it, or Omio.com – an aggregator that will show you all available options (buses, boats, trains).

How many days will you need for the Amalfi Coast and Puglia itinerary?

While I get it that we all have limited free time on our hands and that we also want to see the most with the time we have, I strongly encourage you to take things slowly.

Ideally, you would spend 2 weeks between the Amalfi Coast and Puglia, but we can also work with 10 days.

When to go on an Amalfi Coast and Puglia vacation?

My strong suggestion would be to skip the peak season, between July and August. That’s when Italy is the most crowded, and it is also when temperatures get high and humidity skyrockets.

Go for the shoulder season instead and visit Southern Italy during spring or fall, anywhere in April, May, September, or October.

Prices will be more affordable, it will be easier to find great accommodation options, and you won’t have to endure the heat of summer.

The perfect Amalfi Coast and Puglia itinerary

Option 1: land in Rome or Naples, see the Amnalfi Coast, make your way to Bari and Puglia

As you can tell, there are 2 options to this itinerary as well, meaning that you will actually have more than only 2 itineraries.

Depending on the time you have available, and what you want to see and do, but also plane tickets, you can choose to fly into Rome or Naples.

Of course, Naples will place you the closest to the Amalfi Coast and would be the best option when you have a shorter time available.

If you choose to land in Rome and spend some time there, here are a few valuable resources that will help you plan your stay:

What to do and what to see in 2 days in Rome

How to get from Rome to the Amalfi Coast

Moving forward, I will assume you choose to land in Naples.

Day 1 – spend one day in Naples

Day 2 – Take a day trip to the colorful island of Procida

Day 3 – move to Sorrento

Day 4 – Go on a day trip to Capri Island

Day 5 – Positano, and Amalfi

Day 6 – Ravello and other smaller towns

Day 7 – Go back in time in Pompei and climb Mount Etna

Day 8 – Make your way to Matera and spend the night

Day 9 – Head over to Bari

Day 10 – Alberobello and Martina Franca

Day 11 – Polignano a Mare and Monopoli

Day 12 – Brindisi and Lecce

Day 13 – Ostuni and some time at the beach

Day 14 – Leave from Bari

Day 1 – Spend one day in Naples

Amalfi Coast itinerary - day 1 Naples

Naples is a mix of vibes and it almost feels like two worlds have collided here. Its streets are hectic but hide many wonders waiting for you to discover them.

Spending one day in Naples shouldn’t be too hard and you will find it easy to fill up the day. 

As the Italians say “Vedi Napoli e muori” meaning if you get to see Naples you can die because you’ve seen the most beautiful place in the world. Visit the Castel Del’Ovo perched by the sea, go on a stroll along Spaccanapoli and see the old town, stop by the Cathedral, enter the splendid Church of Santa Chiara and admire its colorful and vibrant gardens, climb the hill and see Naples from above from Castel Sant’Elmo, and do leave without eating a pizza at the famous Sorbillo. After all, pizza comes from Naples and you simply cannot skip this. 

Where to stay in Naples

I suggest avoiding the area close to the train station and going a bit further away in the Centro Storico (old town).

Another great option I also liked is the Lungomare Caracciolo area, even though it is a bit further away from the train station, but there’s a subway stop in Piazza Amedeo.

How to get around Naples

You won’t need to rent a car just yet since getting around Naples is easy by public transportation or even on foot.

Day 2 – Visit the colorful Procida Island

Procida island
Photo by Erwin Doorn on Unsplash

One of the most colorful places in the world and a not-so-well-kept secret in the Bay of Naples!

Take the ferry from the port of Naples and spend between 30 and 60 minutes on the boat, depending on the time you choose to go. A return trip can cost below 50 USD and you will have the whole day to explore the island. Check out ferry timetables and prices here!

If you would rather have everything organized in advance, you can always choose a day trip from Naples to Procida. The trip includes a traditional local lunch you can enjoy while being charmed by the colors of the island, and you won’t have to worry about a thing – just show up at the ferry. 

Book your day trip to Procida here!

On the 4 square kilometers island don’t miss out on seeing Marina Coricella because this is the perfect place to be for sunset from where you can admire the houses painted in pink, yellow, and blue. Climb all the way to the Terra Murata, the highest point on the island, enjoy a fresh lunch at one of the restaurants along the sea just by the fishing boats supplying you the fish.

Day 3 – Move to Sorrento

Sorrento, Italy

Sorrento is enchanting and will keep you busy for the day with its aristocratic vibe,  historic buildings, and beautiful marina. 

While Sorrento might not be one of the cheapest seaside resorts in Italy, you don’t have to break the bank to spend a few hours exploring it or sipping a cup of strong coffee with a sea view.

Take a stroll in Marina Grande and don’t leave without a few pictures of the colorful buildings and boats. Discover the hidden San Francesco Cloister, get lost on the narrow streets, taste some limoncello, or simply have a coffee in Tasso Square.

The laid-back vibe of Sorrento will charm you and will leave you wanting more.

You can make Sorrento your base camp since it will be easy to travel around the Amalfi Coast from here.

Where to stay in Sorrento

  • Monica B & B in Sorrento – set up high on the hills above Sorrento, peaceful and quiet. With fresh breakfast, breathtaking views, they provide a shuttle to/from the main city area to the villa every couple of hours.

Find out when they are free here!

  • Grand Hotel Aminta – great all Italian traditional food, beautiful pool, incredible views, and a convenient shuttle bus.

Take a look at their prices here!

Check that rooftop pool out here!

You can also check out my comprehensive guide for apartment-style accommodation in Sorrento!

Day 4 – Go on a day trip to Capri Island

Capri Island_Marina Grande
Photo by Julia Worthington on Unsplash

Getting from Sorrento to Capri on a day trip it’s easy by ferry or private tour. Spending one day on the glamorous island would be enough to scratch the surface and see the most important attractions.

You can read my comprehensive guide for a day trip to Capri, packed with useful information.

Day 5 – Positano and Amalfi

Coasta Amalfitana

Spend the day exploring 2 of the most charming towns in Italy: Positano and Amalfi.

You can get from Sorrento to Positano by boat or bus, and from there go further to Amalfi by bus.

SITA SUD links Sorrento to Salerno and you can buy a bus ticket from any newspaper stand in town. Make sure to check the bus timetables and do note that during the peak season, buses have delays and you might not be able to get on the first one.

Another option would be to rent a car and drive the Amalfi Coast.

Just be sure to leave early from Sorrento because during summer it will be difficult to find a parking space in both Positano and Amalfi.

Even though Positano is small there are plenty of things to explore on a day here.

Boats come and go, and hoards of people wander up the stairs taking them through the winding roads, but you can also find hidden gems and not-so-crowded places with views that will take your breath away. 

Relax at the Spiaggia Grande (the beach in Positano), go for drinks at Franco’s Bar for sunset or make your way to Il San Pietro di Positano for a sunset dinner, taste the locally made limoncello, shop for some colorful beautiful Amalfi Coast ceramics to take home, and take countless amazingly beautiful pictures. 

40 minutes away by car, Amalfi is more relaxed and less pretentious than Positano. There is basically one main street, carved between the mountains, packed with souvenir shops and restaurants.

Day 6 – Ravello and other towns on the Amalfi Coast

Ravello Amalfi Coast

Don’t skip a climb all the way to Ravello – apart from the stunning views, you should visit the most stunning Italian villas: Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo.

Villa Cimbrone dates back to the 11th century, is a luxurious boutique hotel, Michelin star restaurants, and an impressive botanical garden that is open to visitors daily from 9 AM until sunset. Most tourists come here for the famous Terrazza dell’Infinito – the panoramic belvedere point. 

Villa Rufolo is a “younger” establishment dating from the 13th century, having been built by a wealthy family with the same name. With such a long history, the location is nowadays popular for its beautiful garden and a breathtaking view over the Gulf of Salerno and the Amalfi Coast.

Other towns worth visiting: Vietri sul Mare with the colorful mosaic and one of the widest beaches on the coast, Atrani – a small and charming village minutes outside of Positano, Maiori – an authentic sea resort.

Day 7 – Go back in time in Pompei and climb Mount Etna

Pompei from Sorrento
Photo by Mahdiye JV on Unsplash

No visit to Sorrento would be complete without a day trip to Pompei

Step back in time and stroll through the ancient ruins of the city destroyed thousands of years ago by the eruption of Vesuvius. Admire the well-preserved ruins, artwork, and frescoes of this UNESCO World Heritage site on a guided tour. 

Next, the car will take you to 1000 m altitude, up on the volcano, from where you can go on a walk on the edge of the crater. 

When you don’t want to worry about transfers, timetables, and tickets, choose to go on an organized tour to Pompei and Vesuvius. You will have everything included and you’ll just have to pay attention and take plenty of pictures as memories. See more here!

Day 8 – Make your way to Matera and spend the night

things to do and see in Matera

Unfortunately, there are no trains linking the 2 Italian towns, and thus the easiest way would be to drive from Sorrento to Matera. The shortest road is 250 kilometers long and will take you roughly 3 hours and 15 minutes.

The Sassi of Matera, or the rocks of Matera, is the main area of interest in the most picturesque town of Basilicata. As part of UNESCO World Heritage, it is mandatory to spend one night here in a cave hotel.

Stroll through the streets of this fascinating town, take a picture from the balcony in Piazza Pascoli – one of the most important viewpoints in Matera, or enjoy some local food at one of the many restaurants around.

If you are visiting during summer, make sure to bring a hat or a scarf to cover your head – the village is made of stone and the sun will be reflected making you want to look for water and some coolness.

If you need one more reason for heading to Matera, the city is not only part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1993, but know that it is The 2019 European Capital Of Culture. 

Where to stay in Matera

Of course, staying in the heart of the Sassi is a must, and here are a few fantastic options:

San Biagio Materapartment – simple Italian-style apartments with a stunning view of Matera. Just imagine having your breakfast with some pastry and a strong coffee on that terrace. See more here!

Palazzotto Residence&Winery – as the name says it, this is a unique hotel, set in a traditional cave “palazzo” with a winery where you can enjoy some local wines. See more here!

Locanda Di San Martino Hotel & Thermae Romanae – another stunning cave hotel in the Sassi di Matera, with beautiful terraces and a Roman wellness center unlike anything you’ve ever seen. See more here!

You can skip this step altogether and take the train from Naples to Bari. There aren’t direct trains, and the best one has a change in Caserta.

Day 9 – Head over to Bari

Where to go for Europe winter sun

Bari is roughly one hour away from Matera if you choose to drive there.

Alternatively, check the Ferrovie Appulo Lucane website for the exact train timetable and for the option to book online. There are direct trains from Matera to Bari Centrale and it takes roughly 1hour and 40 minutes.

For your time in Puglia, you can choose to stay in Bari, or you can go outside in one of the smaller and more charming towns.

If you want to stay in Bari, choose an accommodation option in Bari Vecchia or around the harbor.

However, my suggestion is to stay outside of the city and go to a trullo house or a place by the sea.

Masseria Le Cerase is a traditional white house with a stunning pool, perfectly located for daily trips to the sea or Alberobello, Polignano a Mare, or Ostuni.

Check the prices here!

Trullieu Guesthouse Alberobello – even though the Trullo guesthouse is located extremely close to Alberobello’s center, it is still hidden from all the noise and fuss. And it also has a free close-by parking space.

Book your stay in a trullo here!

Furnirussi Tenuta – not only the rooms are spacious at this hotel, but they also have a big lake-like swimming pool.

Check out that pool and book a room!

Masseria Le Fabriche is a stone house in the middle of vineyards. You can easily imagine why this is a wine lover’s paradise destination. Explore also nearby beach Conte d’Ayala.

Book a stay in the vineyards here!

Get lost in the Bari Vecchia and the Murat (the Old Town) of Bari, step inside the Basilica of San Nicola and the Cathedral of San Sabino, go for a stroll on the seafront promenade and admire the Bari Castle, taste some oysters and fresh seafood, and don’t leave without taking a picture with the Teatri Margherita.

Day 10 – Alberobello and Martina Franca

4 days in Puglia

Less than one hour by car from Bari, the charming town of Alberobello awaits your visit.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Alberobello is not as the name says it, a “beautiful tree”, but a rather small charming village famous for its trulli houses. 

While you can see the dry-stone wall houses with the cone-shaped roof scattered all over the region, Alberobello has 2 whole districts made out of trulli: Rione Monti (the more touristic area), and Aia Piccola (the less explored district). 

The houses were built like that for a reason back in the days, they manage to keep a somewhat stable temperature, especially during hot summer days, but today they are very charming accommodation options. 

From Bari, you can get to Alberobello by bus as well, but most options aren’t direct.

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Your next stop will be in Martina Franca, a much lesser known and explored town in Puglia.

It is only 20 minutes outside of Alberobello by car, and it was easy for us to find a parking space.

The town is bigger than Alberobello, and the main attraction you’ll head towards will be the walled town, delimited by four Renaissance and Baroque gates. 

The old town can be easily explored on foot in a few hours, and that’s what we did. 

We stopped for a coffee at a bar right next to Porta di Santo Stefano, and we entered the walled town right in Piazza Roma where we admired the beautiful Palazzo Ducale. Further on, we let ourselves get lost on the streets and we stumbled upon the Basilica di San Martino in Pizza Plebiscito, the Chiesa di San Domenico, and many buildings with beautifully ornated balconies. 

Day 11 – Polignano a Mare and Monopoli

4 days in Puglia

One of the most popular destinations for the sea and beach, Polignano a Mare was packed with local tourists when we visited in August.

Spiaggia Cala Porta is the main beach that attracts locals and tourists alike. Right behind Domenico Modugno’s monument, who welcomes you to the sea with its wide-open arms is where everyone that wants a perfect picture goes.

The town with one-story high buildings, with colorful balconies, is so lively, filled with little stores with local clothing and everything your heart desires. Flowers in windows, restaurants, cafes, the Grotta Palazzese restaurant – carved in stone, where you have to prepare all year long to pay for dinner.

Monopoli, Italy

Monopoli is only 15 minutes away from Polignano, and it’s a whole different world. A small town with a unique vibe, stepping on its streets you will feel like in an old Italian movie.

On our visit, the air felt damp, I felt it in my hair, on my arms, and in the smell, I started scenting as we approached the port.

Someone was playing old Italian songs at his guitar, luring tourists to gather around and listen to him, and maybe leave a euro or two as a Thank you.

Old fisherman meeting up and catching up over the day, most probably talking about what the day had brought; old ladies with their chairs outside of their shriveled building doors in the Old Town. That’s how authentic Monopoli is.

Day 12 – Brindisi and Lecce

Brindisi in Puglia
Source: Pixabay

Both Brindisi and Lecce are for sure some of the less explored towns in Italy, especially by tourists outside of the country.

Learn about Ancient Rome from the columns in Brindisi, stroll through the beautiful port area, enter the Cathedral of Brindisi, be in owe at the stunning Baroque façade of the Basilica di Santa Croce in Lecce, spend some time in Piazza del Duomo and admire the historic old town, and don’t forget to drink some wine!

Day 13 – Ostuni and spend some time at the beach

4 days in Puglia

The white city, with a special vibe! This is one place I absolutely loved and somewhere I would go back to whenever I have the chance. 

Set upon a hill, only 35 minutes by car and a little over 1 hour by bus away from Martina Franca, Ostuni lured us in with its magical white streets, colorful doors, and flower-filled windows and stairs. 

As we parked on a steep street climbing all the way to the top of the hill, it was clear from the hanging laundry on the small balconies outside, that people were living their normal all Italian lives here, it wasn’t a touristic area, and you could feel the true local vibes.

We wandered through the maze of medieval streets, beneath the arches, along with the neverending buildings, we stopped to admire the Arco di Scoppa in Piazzetta Cattedrale, took a picture by the famous green door, walked along the city’s defensive walls packed with history and offering an impressive panoramic view. 

Since we were famished, we had a delicious lunch at one of the restaurants we encountered along our walks, beautifully decorated with colorful ceramics. 

When you just had enough of walking around towns or simply want to spend some me-time and just relax, a day at the beach is always a good idea.

Day 14 – make your way to the airport in Bari

Option 2 – Land in Bari, explore Puglia, drive to Matera, and finish it off with a stay in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast

Yes, the second option is basically the first option, but the other way around. If you find better flights for Bari, you can fly out of Naples or Rome.

As mentioned before, you can always include Matera as a day trip from Bari, so that you can take the train directly from Bari to Naples when you want to move from the East Coast to the West Coast. Getting from Bari to Naples (or Sorrento) can prove to be a bit challenging by train, but not impossible. The best options I see have one change in Caserta.

Other Amalfi Coast Useful Travel Guides

2 days in Amalfi Coast Itinerary

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5 days on the Amalfi Coast

7 days on the Amalfi Coast itinerary

Affordable stunning hotels on the Amalfi Coast

Your ultimate guide for where to stay in Positano

Rome and Amalfi Coast 10 days itinerary

Other Puglia Travel Guides

4 days in Puglia Road Trip

The Perfect Weekend in Puglia itinerary

7 days in Puglia itinerary


5 responses to “The Ultimate Amalfi Coast and Puglia itinerary: 2 options designed for you”

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  2. […] was traveling with a friend and we had planned to visit Puglia and the Amalfi Coast, thus we needed to rent a car. Traveling only within Puglia would have been possible without a car […]

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