Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Amalfi Coast home base (

DrBlueCrab Apr 8th, 2008 06:18 PM

Amalfi Coast home base
My DH and I are going to Naples, Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast and Rome for 8 nights in October 2008. We are celebrating our 25th anniversary.

We are flying in and out of Rome and taking the train to Naples, where we'll stay for 2 nights. Then we will take the train (or a guided tour) to Pompeii for half-day there, and continue on to the Amalfi Coast, where we'll stay for 4 nights, then take train back to Rome and stay 2 nights before our flight home.

What AC town do you recommend we stay in? We were considering renting a car in Sorrento, and staying there for 4 nights, using the town as a home base while we explore the coastal towns along the Gulf of Salerno, including Positano, Praiano and Amalfi, and also Ravello. We also would like to take a day trip by ferry to Capri. Is Sorrento the best home base for the Amalfi Coast, or should we be considering one of these other towns for our 4-night stay?

Steve_James Apr 9th, 2008 01:33 AM

Hi Dr - With it's unique cliffside setting and spectacular views, personally I would always choose Positano.

Nowhere else comes close IMO. Take a look:

But you will get differing opinions on this - each of the Amalfi Coast villages has its 'fans' here.


Some more views:
(- with thanks to Sea Urchin)
(- with thanks to Mark)

Jake1 Apr 9th, 2008 02:33 AM

If your real focus is the Amalfi Coast itself, then stay in one of the towns on the Amalfi Coast, not Sorrento.

traveller1959 Apr 9th, 2008 03:34 AM

My preference would be Amalfi - it is a historically significant, charming town with a spectacular byzantine cathedral, a colorful market, shops, restaurants, beach etc.

Either by bus or boat you have easy access to other destinations from there (Capri, Positano, Grotta Smeralda..).

ira Apr 9th, 2008 04:12 AM

Hi Crab,

Do you have your tickets already?

If not, I suggest looking into open-jaw to Naples and from Rome.

I would stay in Positano or Praiano.

cheryllj Apr 9th, 2008 09:10 AM

Many people choose Sorrento because of its proximity to Naples and Pompeii, as well as the Amalfi Coast.

But I agree with Jake: if you are already staying in Naples and want to visit the Amalfi Coast, then you should stay in one of the towns on the AC, and not in Sorrento.

I would choose Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Praiano in that order. But you will love wherever you stay, because all of the towns on the AC are gorgeous.

ekscrunchy Apr 9th, 2008 09:14 AM

I debated about where to base myself for an upcoming trip, eventually settling on Amalfi. Try to find the long thread discussing the pros and cons of various towns on the A/C, and Sorrento.

robertino Apr 9th, 2008 09:53 AM

Hi Dr -

Another vote for Amalfi. Historical and beautiful, not as commercial as Positano. The town of Positano is also extremely hilly. Amalfi is also slightly more convenient, as you can visit Ravello - which you must - without transferring buses.

Do not rent a car for the Amalfi Coast. The driver will not be able to look at anything but the road, so will not be able to enjoy some of the world's most beautiful scenery. The driver's nerves will be shattered. And you will not be able to park your car. The buses are very nice and frequent and go everywhere. Leave the driving to the experts and enjoy yourselves.

I would consider stopping overnight in Sorrento on your way from Pompei to the Amalfi Coast. The views from Sorrento are pretty great - the whole Bay of Naples, Vesuvius... - and it's a nice lively town.

Have a great time!

DrBlueCrab Apr 9th, 2008 06:00 PM

You all are the best! Thank you so much for the recommendations.

Based on your input, I'm leaning toward Amalfi. (With apologies to Steve. We will definitely visit Positano, but it looks so very hilly!)

Can you recommend a place to stay in Amalfi? We are moderate-cost travelers, requirements are ensuite bathrooms, central location and cleanliness, and a great view would be a nice extra. Where did you decide to stay for your upcoming trip, Scrunchy?

traveller1959 Apr 9th, 2008 11:14 PM

We stayed at Luna Convento which I can highly recommend. I am afraid, however, that it costs a little more than moderate.

robertino Apr 10th, 2008 06:16 AM

Sorry, Dr. I stayed at the amazing Cappuccini Convento, which closed a few years ago. You might have luck on Tripadvisor.

ekscrunchy Apr 10th, 2008 06:31 AM

I am vacillating between the Luna Convento and the smaller Hotel Floridiana..

The first is (much) more costly but has views and a historic property (and the recommendation of Traveller 1959!!) I have to decide asap.

Take a look at Trip Advisor. There are a number of highly regarded hotels in Amalfi, including several with what I would call moderate prices (in the Euro 110-plus range). I had originally considered the Residenza del Duca but my partner balked at climbing the 80 or so steps leading to the entrance.

The Hotel Bussola also gets high marks from friends and from TA. Please let us know what you decide!

andrew8 Apr 10th, 2008 04:32 PM


mweiner Apr 12th, 2008 10:28 AM

Ravello is much, much nicer than Positano. Positano is just too crowded with American tourists. it is muggy and just too busy.

Ravello on the other hand sits over Amalfi on a cliff. you can always take a bus down to Amalfi and a ferry over to Positano to see what you are glad you missed!

Ravello is a small town of 2000 with medieval churches, great food, very friendly natives. Much classier!

andrew8 Apr 12th, 2008 10:38 AM

Dining is very limited in Ravello.
Ravello is only good for a couple days tops,only so much you can do there.
We stayed at the Palazzo Sasso and enjoyed it very much. Eating dinner there with that incredible view is a dining experience I will never forget.
Positano is hardly muggy,in fact you have a nice sea breeze on most days. Your overreating about the crowds in Positano.
Amalfi on the other hand, I would avoid.

ekscrunchy Apr 12th, 2008 12:10 PM

It depends on what you are looking for in an Amalfi coast base. I probably chose Amalfi because it has aspects that some tourists hope to avoid. And conversely, I did not care for Positano the last time I was there, as it seemed, to me, to be oriented solely towward the tourist trade.;tid=35089588;tid=34976244

LuxCoast Apr 23rd, 2008 02:06 PM

To explore Amalfi Coast, you cannot choose Sorrento as base. Probably the best town is Praiano, because is cheaper than Positano and there are a lot of hotels with free parking.
If you want to stay in a hotel, you can choose:
- Hotel Margherita, in the upper part of Praiano.
- Hotel Tramonto D'Oro, in Vettica Maggiore (you will find it on SS163 statal road)
- Grand Hotel Tritone, for a luxury solution.

If you want a self-catering accommodation in Praiano:

gabriele Apr 23rd, 2008 02:22 PM

The prettiest towns, in my opinion: Ravello, Positano, Praiano, Amalfi. Ravello being too inconvenient to get to/from, my vote is for Positano. Yes, it is hilly, but the main areas are not that steep that walking is uncomfortable. And the choice of hotels, shops and restaurants is good. Amalfi has lots of traffic running through and the port area is a major bus / transportation hub.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:39 AM.