Amalfi coast home base with 3 kids

Old Jan 30th, 2020, 02:16 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by progol View Post
Is there a reason you're going first north to Florence and then back south to Vietri sul Mare? It seems like a long way around. Is Florence essential? Why not focus further south? Or visit a town like Orvieto, which isn't too far from Rome and is really a cool place for both kids and adults.
We don't fly into Rome until late afternoon on the 3rd. I don't want to hop on a 2 hour train ride right when we get there. I figured we'd see Rome for a bit before heading elsewhere. Honestly, I don't want to have jet-lag in a place I'm more excited about (AC or Florence). Rome was never my favorite...but perhaps I'll fall in love with it now that I'm older?? I did LOVE Florence though which is why I want to go back. Even if for just 2 days. I decided to do Florence before Amalfi because I figured the later in the season the better the weather may be on the coast.

Great news about Atrani. We're not too concerned with the beaches since the water will be too cold. Looking for convenience, ambiance, and budget. It sounds like Atrani has all three of those things.

As to to Pompeii, my oldest daughter really wants to go. I'll look into Herculaneum, but I'm pretty sure we're set on Pompeii. At the age of 11, I think she also likes the idea of saying she's been there. I get that. I remember being that way.

Paestum and that buffalo farm sounds more and more enticing....


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Old Jan 30th, 2020, 02:25 PM
  #22  
 
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I wouldn’t have thought to look for this without the previous mention of YouTube, but check out the Easter (Good Friday) procession from the Amalfi Cathedral,
.
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Old Jan 30th, 2020, 03:04 PM
  #23  
 
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Here's a +1 for Paestum, we enjoyed it more than Pompeii but I do get a child wanting to say they've been there. The treasures from Pompeii are all in the amazing archeological museum in Naples.
When in Amalfi for delicious pastries and coffee go to Pasticceria Andrea Pansa which is right in front of the cathedral in the centre of town. Piazza Duomo, 40. So good especially the sfogliatelle (which is good all over that area). Just be aware that if you sit down it will be more expensive than if you stand up at the bar. We did pay the premium to sit as we were tired and also wanted a good people watching place but we knew ahead of time to expect to pay more.
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Old Jan 30th, 2020, 05:11 PM
  #24  
kja
 
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Yes, there's luggage storage at Pompeii, both lockers and a manned desk unless things have changed. IME, google maps generally gives surprisingly accurate walking times -- about 10 minutes seems right. 3 to 4 hours seems on the short side for the huge site that is Pompeii. Be sure to take sunscreen / sun protection and water. And FWIW, I enjoyed Herculaneum, but it is different from Pompeii and was different to start. Each can be fascinating!

A full day for Positano seems like serious overkill to me. YMMV.

On April 9, where will you store your luggage while exploring Cetara?

I agree with dreamon about bus vs. ferry.

Can't imagine using YouTube for travel planning.
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Old Feb 1st, 2020, 12:28 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by bon_voyage View Post
I wouldn’t have thought to look for this without the previous mention of YouTube, but check out the Easter (Good Friday) procession from the Amalfi Cathedral, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnGzKenfvPg.
Wow!
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Old Feb 3rd, 2020, 01:59 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
Yes, there's luggage storage at Pompeii, both lockers and a manned desk unless things have changed. IME, google maps generally gives surprisingly accurate walking times -- about 10 minutes seems right. 3 to 4 hours seems on the short side for the huge site that is Pompeii. Be sure to take sunscreen / sun protection and water. And FWIW, I enjoyed Herculaneum, but it is different from Pompeii and was different to start. Each can be fascinating!

A full day for Positano seems like serious overkill to me. YMMV.

On April 9, where will you store your luggage while exploring Cetara?

I agree with dreamon about bus vs. ferry.

Can't imagine using YouTube for travel planning.
Hmm...okay. Maybe I'll research more about how much time we'll need in Pompeii. I thought half a day would be plenty, but I don't want it to be lame if we cut out too early.

Not much to do in Positano for a whole day? Ok. Any suggestions as to what else we can do that day?

Good point on the luggage in Cetara. We only have small backpacks so it may not be a huge deal if we just did a quick lunch. Not sure I want to do a bus ride from Vietri to Atrani with 3 kids and the winding roads. I was thinking we could do a bus ride to Cetara and then a ferry to Atrani from Cetara.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2020, 04:57 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by GillsinEurope View Post
Hmm...okay. Maybe I'll research more about how much time we'll need in Pompeii. I thought half a day would be plenty, but I don't want it to be lame if we cut out too early.
It really depends on your interests and preferences, but from what I've read, a visit of 6 to 8 hours is not uncommon. IIRC, there's a restaurant/cafeteria on site allowing for the occasional break. If it's a priority for one of your children, you might want to at least plan to be there as early as feasible so you have the latitude to stay longer if you want.

Originally Posted by GillsinEurope View Post
Not much to do in Positano for a whole day? Ok. Any suggestions as to what else we can do that day?
Several of us have mentioned Paestum and the nearby buffalo farms.

Last edited by kja; Feb 3rd, 2020 at 04:59 PM.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2020, 05:17 PM
  #28  
 
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In Pompeii I highly recommend a visit to the Villa of the Mysteries, which is a bit away from the main part of the town. It’s one of two indelible memories from my visit in 1969.

Positano lends itself to that Italian phrase dolce far niente. If your girls are into shopping, window or otherwise, Positano’s where it’s at. It also has a beach, not sure if it’s the typical rent a chaise situation, and then there’s lunch where you can park yourself in front of whatever view you find most appealing. I preferred Amalfi as a place to stay, but I was happy to have daytripped to Positano by ferry and had the views of the coast from the sea.

My experiences with the local buses in May was that they were packed so, yes, the ferry would be the better option from Cetara. Be aware, though, that ferries can be cancelled, https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopi..._Campania.html.
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 10:15 AM
  #29  
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You guys are being so helpful. Thank you. I've tweaked the itinerary a bit and this is what I have now. Bolded red parts are where I could use recommendations. Is path of gods too difficult for children? Should we play it by ear to see how the weather cooperates? Is a few hours in Paestum enough time to see buffalo and ruins?

Rome
April 4: Colosseum, Forum, Piazza Novona, Trastevere

April 5: St. Peter's, Trevi, Pantheon, evening train to Florence

Florence
April 6: Duomo, carousel, San Lorenzo Market, Market Central, Palazzo Vecchio tour

April 7: Accademia, Ponte Vecchio, Boboli Gardens, Galileo Museum, Piazza Michaelangelo
* Is Boboli Gardens/Pitti Palace good for kids?

April 8: Morning train to Salerno

Amalfi Coast
April 8: Vietri sul Mare (afternoon to relax upon arrival) OR...
* Possibly take an earlier train from Florence to Paestum to see ruins and buffalo farm before heading to Vietri for the evening. May be too long of a day. Unsure.

April 9: Cooking class in Vietri. Train to Salerno, then ferry to Amalfi. Walk to apartment in Atrani.

April 10: Lemon and paper mill tour (10-1:00). Lunch and explore Amalfi (shopping, cathedral, etc). Watch Good Friday procession.

April 11: * Early bus to Bomerano to hike path of the gods. Arrive Positano in afternoon for late lunch and exploring. Ferry or bus back depending on how long we stay.

April 12: EASTER SUNDAY. Taxi up to Ravello. Shop, eat, explore, Villa Rufolo if it's open. Hike back down to Atrani. Take Bus to Minori for dinner.

April 13: Morning ferry to Salerno. Train to Pompeii. Taxi to Ruins. 4 hours in Pompeii. Late afternoon train to Fiumicino apartment.
* Do you think ferry to Salerno/train to Pompeii is best or ferry to Sorrento/train to Pompeii is best?

April 14: Morning flight back home.
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 05:19 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by GillsinEurope View Post
* Possibly take an earlier train from Florence to Paestum to see ruins and buffalo farm before heading to Vietri for the evening. May be too long of a day. Unsure.
Are you planning to wear your backpacks while in Paestum? Is that allowed in the ruins? (I honestly don't know.) Can you actually get to a buffalo farm from the train? You can certainly eat the fresh buffalo mozzarella -- you can get that at almost any cafe or restaurant in the area.

If you pursue this plan, you might need to buy your return train tickets before boarding the train to go to Paestum -- that used to be the case. It's not hard to do, as the tickets are not timed; you certainly do NOT want to end up in Paestum with no way to buy a ticket.

Originally Posted by GillsinEurope View Post
April 13: ... Train to Pompeii. Taxi to Ruins.
As we already told you, it's a 10 minute walk. If that's too much to walk, I think you should rethink any number of your plans!
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 10:11 AM
  #31  
 
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Paestum is a fabulous site and, arriving in Salerno from Florence, you will be sooo close. Logistics would include what to do with any luggage and how to get around once in Paestum. Some ideas here, https://community.ricksteves.com/tra...tenuta-vannulo. I stayed at the Villa Rita and the father and daughter who ran it were very helpful. One or the other might know of a local driver.

Just looking at the map, the ferry to Salerno/train to Pompeii option appears to be your better bet. Also, the ferry to Sorrento arrives at the marina which is below the town.
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 12:24 PM
  #32  
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kja - I always forget about having our bags! Yes, we'll have backpacks coming from Florence. Maybe I'll look to see if there is luggage storage in Salerno train station or Paestum train station. I did see that there is a buffalo farm within walking distance from the ruins. I'd just have to time everything out to make sure we got back to the station that evening.

And taxi to Pompeii ruins simply because we'll have our bags at the train station and because I'll try to conserve my kids' energy for walking around the ruins. I heard it was more like a 20-25 minute walk from the station trenitalia pulls into.
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 12:27 PM
  #33  
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bon_voyage - Thanks! I looked at the Rick Steves thread and someone mentioned Barlotti, which is what I was hoping to do.
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 07:37 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by GillsinEurope View Post
kja - I always forget about having our bags! Yes, we'll have backpacks coming from Florence. Maybe I'll look to see if there is luggage storage in Salerno train station or Paestum train station.
Forget about those bags just once, and I suspect it will be a lesson you will long remember!

I think there's luggage storage in Salerno, but be sure to check it's hours -- IIRC, it was only open during limited hours. I would be astonished if there is luggage storage at Paestum. I could be wrong!

Originally Posted by GillsinEurope View Post
I did see that there is a buffalo farm within walking distance from the ruins. I'd just have to time everything out to make sure we got back to the station that evening.
I'm glad you found an option that works!

If it helps you plan, I believe I spent about 2 hours at the ruins in Paestum. One could spend less time, but its a VERY large site, so I doubt you could have a meaningful visit in less than an hour. You might plan on something in the middle, plus a bit of time to / from the train station (it isn't far). The museum on site is small and excellent, with some artifacts unlike any anywhere else in the world; I spent an hour at the museum, and would say it was not a rushed visit, so you might be able to get by with more like a half hour (depending on interests and pacing preferences). I didn't actually visit a farm, just ate a delicious, fresh buffalo mozzarella caprese at a cafe overlooking the ruins.

Originally Posted by GillsinEurope View Post
...taxi to Pompeii ruins simply because we'll have our bags at the train station and because I'll try to conserve my kids' energy for walking around the ruins. I heard it was more like a 20-25 minute walk from the station trenitalia pulls into.
Makes sense! The walk from the Circumvesuviana is the one that's about 10 minutes.
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