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Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Ischa, Positano, Capri and what else?

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Hello!

My wife and I (in our early 30's) have decided on heading to the Amalfi Coast area for 7.5 days in October. I have a number of questions that I'm looking for some guidance on. I have tried to do some research but there is so much information I'm struggling a bit to care about the pieces that fit our questions/interest.

1. We can spend about $200 more (upgrading a frequent flyer ticket) to go October 9th to the 16th , versus for free from October 22nd to the 29th. Is it worth it to pay a little bit more to go earlier in October? I can't imagine there is a huge difference in weather, but it also sounds like these start to really slow down at the end of October. I did read in another forum that All Saints day on Friday, Nov 1st would probably be the true end of the season there, so maybe this is a moot point. Thoughts?

2. We are going to be traveling from the Midwest and we will have a very long ways to travel to get there. After basically 2 full days of traveling we will arrive in Naples at 8:25pm via Easy Jet. I was planning on having us spend the night in Naples and then the next morning make our way down to the coast. Where should we go? I've heard recommendations to base in Sorrento, but then others say Positano. Suggestions?

3. The list of places we thought looked great to visit are Amalfi, Sorrento, Ischa, Positano, Capri and Pompeii. We will have 7 full days plus most of the 8th day (our flight leaves from Naples at 9pm). What is a good itinerary for 7 full days to explore these places? Is this too many places? I am going to explore other threads on this topic and try and piece an itinerary together, but I wanted to ask anyways.

4. Should we stay for 1 or 2 nights on Capri? During this time of year, weather could be an issue, so should we just shoot for 1?

5. I was looking at the Hotel Excelsior Parco and La Minerva for our hotels. Seems like we can't go wrong with either, but any strong opinions on these?

6. I would really love to do some sort of boat tour to see the coast line. I don't have a preference on what city we do this, though Positano seems like maybe the best one? Any thoughts or suggested companies to do this with?

7. We love to do cultural attractions such as a cooking class, a bike tour, a concert, local bar, etc. We love to do anything that allows us to interact with the people that are passionate about where they live. Any places/tours we can't miss that fit this bill?

8. Should we go to Pompeii immediately after leaving Naples in the morning or do that later?

9. Since we will be overnighting in Naples, is it worth visiting Maschio Angioino' castle? This looks fantastic from the pictures, but not sure if we should spend a half a day of our time versus just being in the Amalfi area.

That's a lot for now!!!!!! Thanks in advance for any replies to any of my questions :). I will be sure to fill out the answers to these questions as I find them on my own too to help others.

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