Leaving Siena in the morning was a good choice, as it was thankfully not too hot to be carrying my backpack through the historic city to the train station. Descending the numerous amount of escalators and travelators to get to the station, I enjoyed a gentle ride to Florence, where I was on a mission for a coffee, toilet stop and somewhere to chill out while I waited for the train to Salerno. Turns out Florence station isn’t really made for connections, despite being a major train station. After venturing out of the station to find something to eat, joining the longest queue ever for the only toilets in the station and then finding out my train was delayed, I found a corner to sit down on the floor and wait it out.
Eventually on my way to Salerno, the high speed train was comfortable and we enjoyed a really smooth journey south. A short walk from the station took me to the B&B I had booked, which I didn’t have high hopes for as it had been a cheap booking and super last minute. I was greeted by the owner’s son who took me up to the 3rd floor of a block of flats where the B&B was, and the owner showed me around. Thinking I’d accidentally booked a shared bathroom room, I soon realised that I actually had a suite – a large double bedroom with balcony, spacious bathroom and separate lounge complete with a sofa and desk!
After having a chat with the owner, who instantly made me feel so welcome and repeatedly told me that anything I wanted or needed I should let her know, she gave me her number in case she wasn’t in the office when I needed her. I was so touched at how lovely she was, and it was especially appreciated when I’d been away from home for so long.
Salerno was just a base for me to use to explore from for the next few days, so after dropping my bag off and eating the most delicious croissant I’d picked up in Florence – who forgets to eat something delicious?! – I was straight out to explore. Spotting on the map just how close I was to the seafront, I made that my first port of call and was instantly wowed when I got to the front. Mountains. How did I not know what the Amalfi Coast was famous for? And from Salerno harbour the view of the Amalfi Coast is absolutely breathtaking, especially at dusk.
I snapped a few photos, enjoyed a walk along the seafront before spotting a sign for the Duomo and heading back into the side streets of the city to hunt it out, stopping in at another church on the way. From the outside, the Duomo was a bit underwhelming, and as soon as I stepped inside I was reminded not to judge a book by it’s cover, or…you know…a church by it’s exterior. Inside, the Duomo was huge and in complete contrast to the outside, and I had a quick tour before finding a supermarket, grabbing a bite for dinner and heading back to the seafront to enjoy the meal while soaking up the sunset views. It sounds absolutely amazing, but I must have sat near a wasps nest because the little buzztards swarmed around me the whole time! At least the view was good.
I was up early the next day as the plan was to visit Pompeii! After a quick stop at a pharmacy to get some bite cream to help with all the mosquito bites I was getting, it was just a short walk back to the station I’d arrived at the evening before. The metro to Pompeii was quick, comfortable and had stunning views out to sea as it crossed the hills before heading inland.
After walking around the historic site and city of Pompeii all day, I was absolutely shattered, and had just enough energy to rush to the supermarket before it closed to get some food to have a picnic in bed back in my room. I bumped into the owner as I came back, and she asked about my day and wanted to check everything was ok as I hadn’t eaten breakfast in the morning. I explained that I wasn’t big on breakfast and often waited to grab a snack until later in the day, and she double checked I didn’t have any food intolerances, and encouraged me to have breakfast the next day. Such a lovely lady!
Another day for exploring, I was up and ready to leave by 10am, which for me is early! As I went to leave the B&B, I couldn’t get my key to work in the door. I couldn’t work out where I was going wrong, and eventually called the owner to embarrassingly explain that I couldn’t get out. Turns out she’d locked the door when she’d left the night before, and it wasn’t possible to open the door from the inside. She rushed over and let me out 10 minutes later, and walked with me as I made my way to the harbour and she went back to catch her train for a meeting.
Today’s plan was to visit some of the towns of the Amalfi Coast. As Salerno is on the southern side of the Amalfi Coast which is home to towns like Amalfi and Positano, those were on my hit list for the day. If I had time I would try and go to Sorrento too, but I didn’t want to rush myself and instead just enjoyed a stop in Amalfi, a look around and then to Positano, a town I have wanted to visit for years. Possibly because I’d heard such amazing things about the town, I had built up an idea of what it’d be like. While it was pretty, it wasn’t really what I’d thought it’d be and I wasn’t too keen to hang around much longer than a quick tour.
I caught the boat from Positano back to Salerno as the sun was setting, so had a stunning sunset cruise back to the city. The boat stopped in Amalfi en route, and I had a slight moment of panic as nearly everyone got off that I was on the wrong boat and would be stuck in Amalfi for the night, but it thankfully continued on. I’d enjoyed my dinner so much last night that it was another dash to the supermarket before it closed and another bed picnic, followed by a super chilled out evening ready for a long day of travel tomorrow as I moved on to my next stop, Catania.