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mgfit Mar 14th, 2004 07:57 AM

Amalfi Coast Area
We are planning a trip to the Amalfi area. We are planning to spend about a week in that area and looking at staying in Sorrento as our home base. We do not want to rent a car (we have done this in Italy before and have already had that pleasurable experience!!!). How possible is it to see Amalfi, Positano, Agropoli, Capri, Naples and Pompeii without a car? It seems like once you get into this area, bus is the best public transportation. Any feedback on experiences taking the bus in this area between Sorrento and these cities? We are well travelled ane experienced travelling abroad so we can navigate well. Any recommendations or suggestions? Also - what is the hydrofoil experience to Capri like?

kybourbon Mar 14th, 2004 08:23 AM

The circumvesuviana train line runs between Naples and Sorrento with Pompeii being one of the stops between the two. The sita busses are for Sorrento to Positano and Amalfi. There are hydrofoils and ferries to Capri with the hydrofoil being faster and costing a few euro more than the ferries. Try the following websites:

ira Mar 14th, 2004 02:25 PM


You can also take ferries between Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Salerno.

mgfit Mar 18th, 2004 04:46 PM

Thanks for the info. That will help us in planning. Is Sorrento less "touristy" (if that is a word...)? I have heard the whole area is very tourist like. We don't have to stay in Sorrento, we just liked how it sounded.

Any recommendations???

Has anyone been to Agropoli? We want to take a day trip there as my Great Grandmother was raised there before coming to America. Any feedback on Agropoli???

crckwc Mar 18th, 2004 05:37 PM

Hello, mgfit, You'll love the Amalfi area! Yes, Sorrento is touristy and the traffic is somewhat heavy yet it is charming and is a good hub for train and bus connections. One of our favorite smaller towns is Ravello which we visited via bus from Sorrento (a most thrilling adventure!), changing once at Amalfi. Walk up to Hotel Villa Cimbone in Ravello for a memorable view. I'm not sure if the hotel is open -- it's been under renovation -- but you can tour the fabulous grounds. Naples is an easy train ride from Sorrento but we didn't like it -- big, noisy, dirty, with only a couple of worthy tourist sites. Capri and Pompeii are must-sees. Have fun!

walkamalfi Mar 19th, 2004 12:30 AM

Another vote for Ravello,also take in the Non-tourist town of Scala and the picturesque villages of Pontone and Minuta,directly across the valley from Ravello. They are only a 10 minute drive or 30 minute walk away,but you will feel you are in a different world.

KayF Mar 19th, 2004 12:53 AM

We had 6 nights in Sorrento, using it as a base as you plan to. It was ideal, we caught the buses to Amalfi, Ravello, Positano. You can catch the train to Pompeii Scavi (the other Pompeii station is the town). The boat to Capri took about 20 mins, easy trip, we walked down to the port - steep steps going down - and bought tickets and hopped on the next boat. Not expensive. Once on Capri you can catch the funicular up to the town. We walked to Villa Jovis, quite a hike but worth it, which is the 2000 year old ruins of Emperor Tiberius' villa.
Not sure if you are on a budget like us but we stayed at the Palazzo Starace in Sorrento, very central, clean and good value. It's like an apartment, not a hotel. If you do a search on this forum you'll find lots of accommodation suggestions for Sorrento. The Foreigners Club, down towards the water, has terrific views from the terrace. Anyone can go there and have a drink or a meal. The old town is nice for a wander around.
The buses do get quite crowded and sometimes you'll have to stand but after having seen the traffic and near-misses we wouldn't drive on that coast road.

crazymina Mar 19th, 2004 11:07 PM

Re: the SITA bus...

From Sorrento to Positano, sit on the right side of the bus. Left side coming back. The road is very twisty and as previous posters have said, the bus gets very full with people crammed in and standing. This means if you sit on the side that does not face out to the water, you will be facing the hillside. It's hard to see out to the water because of the people standing, and if you are prone to motion sickness, this is not a fun ride. Being able to focus on the water will help! The last row of the bus is OK on either side, since it's elevated.

Don't be shy about pushing your way forward. The Americans and Brits seemed to get left behind a lot. :) You'll see a line for the bus...until the bus pulls up. Then it's a mad mob and every man for himself!

In Positano, I highly recommend the Dona Rosa restaurant. Perhaps for lunch would be nice. It's actually up in the town of Montepertuso (I hope I have that right) and it's either a 5 minute cab ride up from the base of town or a grueling 45-1 hr hike up hundreds of stairs. We did the stairs and worked up an appetite. Loved the restaurant so much, we did the stair hike again to eat there twice.

Ravello is a lovely place to stop for coffee. We actually rented a scooter and had a blast on the roads (and yes, it IS a bit scary but we got into the spirit of dodging buses - worth it because I hated fighting to get on that bus). We had lunch in Amalfi, but in all honesty, the day we went, that place was a zoo!

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