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Amalfi coast in April 2011 - lots of questions

Amalfi coast in April 2011 - lots of questions

Dec 16th, 2010, 04:00 PM
  #1  
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Amalfi coast in April 2011 - lots of questions

Hello - I have read through quite a few posts on this area on this site, plus the Fodors guidebook, and I'm still struggling and hoping some of you seasoned travelers can help.
I have never been to the Amalfi coast before, but here's what I'm hoping to find - a small hotel, with sea views. I would prefer to stay away from the more major touristy towns such as Positano for a couple of reasons - one, I assume it would be less expensive, and two, less touristy. Looking for inexpensive - is 80 - 100 euros per night for two people reasonable since it's off season. Since we will be travelling in April, though, I think everywhere will be pretty quiet. I'm OK with fairly quiet, but not looking for completely dead!! I would like to be able to walk from the hotel in to a small village where I can sit and sip a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine!) and soak up the atmosphere. We will be using public transportation and staying 4 - 5 nights. What town / village do you recommend, and what hotel would you stay in? Would Amalfi be a good base since it's off season? I thought about Praiano but I believe Bobthenavigator indicated on an earlier post that it may be too quiet at that time of year. Thanks all!
gillybrit is offline  
Dec 16th, 2010, 04:16 PM
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We went last summer. We stayed in an apartment in Atrani. It is only a 15 minute walk from Amalfi, but much less touristy. They had a terrible flood in September so I don't know if the piazza has recovered, but it is just what you describe. There is also a SITA bus stop so public transportation is easy.
Carla is offline  
Dec 16th, 2010, 04:29 PM
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GAC
 
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I really like the Hotel Lidomare in Amalfi. Some rooms have partial sea views. Also don't discount Atrani, Minori, Maiori and Cetara. All are on the SITA bus line between Amalfi and Salerno, and therefore very easily reachable. Bear in mind that Easter falls in the second half of April, so it won't be terribly "quiet"! The small ferry boats operated by Cooperativa Sant'Andrea between Positano/Amalfi/Salerno may be operating at this time, to supplement the SITA bus service. The 3-day UNICO COSTIERA ticket (18 Euros) might be a good choice if you plan on using the SITA buses each day. For just 2 Euros more, the 3-day UNICO CAMPANIA 3T Tourist Ticket will also allow you to travel throughout the Campania Region by bus and regionale train. Finally, the 3-day Tutta la Regione CAMPANIA ARTECARD (27 Euros) might also be worthwhile (in lieu of the transportation cards) if you plan to visit museums and archeological sites, since to also duplicates the 3-day UNICO CAMPANIA ticket.

www.sitabus.it
www.coopsantandrea.it
www.unicocampania.it
www.artecard.it
GAC is offline  
Dec 16th, 2010, 04:32 PM
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IMHO Amalfi isn;t really any less touristy than Positano - since they are both right on the coast. I have only been there in mid/late May and neither place was overrun with tourists - and we were able to get a nice discount on our hotel in Sorrento. By then the pool was open, although I think the sea was too cold for swimming (we didn;t try since their wasn;t a beach). Any time after Easter most things should be open - although I'm not sure when the summer ferry schedule goes into effect - much faster than waiting for an interminable bus.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 16th, 2010, 04:40 PM
  #5  
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Great advice on the tickets GAC - thanks.
Thanks also for the sggestions for some of the other towns. How do I choose between them?! I am aware of the dates for Easter (I work for the company that makes Marshmallow Peeps - which will only mean anything to US users of thsi site!) but will most likely avoid the days before and after Easter..
Still looking for specific recommendations for hotels (small) and a specific town - anybody know if Atrani is still suffering from the flood that Carla mentioned? I will check Hotel Lidomare but I think I prefer NOT to stay in Amalfi...although I'm not sure why...just a gut feeling. Thanks again
gillybrit is offline  
Dec 16th, 2010, 05:44 PM
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Le Sirene in Praiano would meet your criteria but it an uphill walk into town. Too steep for me but Ira did stay there and he too is a retired guy like me. The Bar del Sole is the bar for coffee in the AM and it is all close to the SITA bus stop and at least 4 good places to eat. I assume oyu have seen my photo gallery.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 16th, 2010, 06:29 PM
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GAC
 
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This hotel in Minori would fit your price range, as well as being much more "quiet" than Amalfi:

www.hotelsantalucia.it
GAC is offline  
Dec 16th, 2010, 06:57 PM
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GAC
 
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FYI The Hotel Santa Lucia website specifies that the hotel is 50 meters from the seafront in Minori and the SITA bus (westbound to Atrani/Amalfi and eastbound to Maiori/Cetara/Salerno train station) stops directly in front of the property. Could not be more convenient!
GAC is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 12:00 AM
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It never ceases to amaze me at the folk who in fact are actually "tourists" not wanting to go to a so-called touristy area....wtf... There are some very nice cozy parts of Positano..last year we stayed in an area more residential and had nice restaurants in walking distance and a market..
"tourist" is where you find it and mostly it is in you own mind.....
russwuf is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 03:39 AM
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Amalfi itself is still quite small - it can't really expand due to the geography (like Positano it's more or less wedged into a narrow steep river valley descending to trhe sea). I really like it and have stayed there twice. Although it is touristy (although shouldn't be bad in April) IMO it's much less touristy than Positano as it's not *just* a resort but a 'real' town too - not wall to wall tourist boutiques like Positano. It has the best transport connections on the Amalfi Coast, and since it won't be beach weather I assume you will be planning to do daytrips ? I'd also say a much higher proportion of visitors to Amalfi are themselves Italian, while most Americans seem to stick to Positano. Even in the summer, only a small part of Amalfi is ever crowded and once the day trippers are gone it's pretty much like a normal Italian small town IMO.

I stayed in Positano itself once and subsequently several times in a small place a couple of bays along - basically a beach bar/restaurant with rooms - and much preferred the latter, but it would be no good (and in fact not even open) in April.

Somewhere like Maiori seems bigger and is less attractive to me as it's on a flat section of coast and so more sprawling and modern-seeming.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 03:52 AM
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We were on the Amalfi Coast for 5 days starting from May 1 this year, and while not the overrun horror stories I've heard about, there were plenty of other tourists around, enough that I get what you're saying. However, I think it's a tradeoff between wanting to be out of the fray and being so remote that it's a hassle to get anywhere...

There were lots of little hotels and guest houses all along the roadway between Positano and Amalfi. The SITA bus will stop at any of them as long as you ask the driver beforehand. (FWIW, I'm not sure what bobthenavigator's comments on Praiano were, but I certainly wouldn't call it "completely dead" on May 1.) IMO, one of these lodgings would afford you a quieter feel but still without being too remote.

I'd also add that IMO, Amalfi definitely has less of a "touristy" feel than Positano. Additionally, the people we saw out at night there were Italians on holiday, not other Americans. We chose to stay there because the hotel rates were so much less than in Positano, and were very happy with our decision. (We stayed in neither a small hotel nor a small town, but really enjoyed our choice of lodging - the Hotel Miramalfi, about a 15 minute walk east of the center of Amalfi, along the coast road. Every room has a sea view, and in some ways it felt like a small hotel: we only ever saw/heard other guests at breakfast, and the staff was very helpful.)
ggreen is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 04:18 AM
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I am in the Amalfi camp for all the reasons outlined in the previous two posts.

I will also add that I stayed in Amalfi for the week preceeding the May 1 holiday a couple of years ago and the entire area was as far from dead as I am. Everything was up and running, shops and restaurants were open, there were lots of people in the streets. We heard almost no English until reaching Positano, where we went on a day trip.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 06:49 AM
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Months vary, as do years, but here are the overall 2008 figures for tourist "Presences" - heads on pillows - in some of Campania's main resorts.....

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/image/130860382

Not unlike Capri, Amalfi is somewhere that attracts many visitors by day - yet its presences total is only 25% higher than that of Positano... though there's a surprisingly big difference in the respective splits between Italians and foreigners, which does rather echo scrunchy's final words?

Peter
A_Brit_In_Ischia is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 07:23 AM
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That is fascinating! Thanks so much for posting it.

Ravello, too, gets a preponderance of foreign visitors. Sorrento, too. I am surprised that Vico receives more foreigners than Italians.

And despite the reputation for attracting Germans, Italians far outnumber foreigners on Ischia. A bit less so in the Forio area. Although we stayed first at a hotel that attracted a German-speaking clientele, I did not notice hordes of Germans in my wanderings around the island. It puzzles me that, although many people on this forum are seeking off-the-beaten path destinations in Italy, very few make it to Ischia...it seems to me that 9 out of 10 Amalfi-coast-bound people on these forums head for Positano.

Question: What does "presenze" signify? People already lodged there, as opposed to people arriving?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 07:42 AM
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GAC
 
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"Arrivi" = number of people arriving
"Presenze" = number of hotel-nights
GAC is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 07:47 AM
  #16  
GAC
 
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"Arrivi" = number of people arriving
"Presenze" = number of hotel-nights
GAC is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 08:56 AM
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That's right and, roughly, one divided by the other gives the average length of stay!

Peter
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Dec 17th, 2010, 09:32 AM
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Thanks, guys! You are both such valuable contributors here.

Again, that list is fascinating....
ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 02:31 PM
  #19  
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Thanks to everybody for their help. As far as being a tourist, and yet wanting to avoid touristy areas, here's where I'm coming from - I don't particular care to shop on vacation - I just want to chill out and watch the world go by, preferably Italians not American tourists and I always figure the less touristy places tend to be a little cheaper. Is there something wrong with wanting to see some of the local culture and absorb the atmposhere? As far as Ischia - is it an easy day trip? I'm assuming Amalfi makes a good base for day trips since it's one of the larger towns? Any other hotel recommendations for Amalfi?
Thanks
gillybrit is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 03:05 PM
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Gilly: I just have time to answer part of your last post now. Amalfi is a great base for day trips.

As for Ischia, while you can get to Ischia easily, the island itself is a bit large to cover in one day from the Amalfi Coast. See this thread for more info; note that the OP planned to come from Naples:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-to-ischia.cfm

Better to try to plan a day or two on the island, I think. Hotels are much more reasonable than on the Amalfi Coast, and the bus system is great.

Here are two threads about Ischia that I began; the second is my as of yet incomplete trip report; I am happy to answer any and all questions:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...the-island.cfm






http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-its-spell.cfm
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