Amalfi Coast in October - Help!

Sep 17th, 2007, 08:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14
Amalfi Coast in October - Help!

I'll be flying into Rome on Sunday, October 8th. I've got my public transportation from Rome to Sorrento all figured out. If everything goes as planned, I should arrive at my hotel around 5pm in Sorrento. That evening I plan to eat, relax, and sleep. After that I've got three full days available for the region, but I'm not sure the best way to do things. I know I want to go to Pompeii and I know I want to go to Capri. I'm not sure how to spend my third day. I don't want to hire a driver or take a tour. I would like to see more of the Amalfi Coast, but I'm not sure which places to go and how to get there and back. From the forums, the highlights sound like Positano, Ravello, and Amalfi. Another place I'm interested in is Paestrum, but I'm not sure I have time for that. Can I get some suggestions on the best way to do this third day? I'm fine with the Sita bus or the Metro del Mare for transportation. Thanks for any help.
lowlybworm is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 09:31 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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i just took the same trip! as you probably know, you can take the circumvesuviana train from right in the middle of sorrento back to pompeii. lets you off at the gate! for capri, you take the hydrofoil down at the marina (piccolo, i believe). we spent one day going down the amalfi coast and i would HIGHLY recommend this. aside from getting a car and driver, there are 3 ways to get around. the SITA bus works perfectly well, is very inexpensive and quite comfortable (like a tour bus). you can take it in one, or both directions from sorrento. first stop would be positano, then amalfi. from there you can switch to another bus to go to ravello which is up the mountain. you can also take the hydrofoil to either positano or amalfi. we took the hydrofoil to amalfi, then the bus back to positano (which lets you off at the top of a very steep, long climb down). i wanted my husband to experience the amalfi drive, so we did the bus that part of the route, but since he is afraid of heights, i didn't want to torture him with the bus ride up to ravello. i've been there though, it's beautiful. if you start out early enough, you might be able to sqeeze ravello in, but doing all 3 is a push. once in positano, we went all the way down the hill (which is the main st through town) and had lunch at a lovely restaurant (in a hotel) overlooking the water. that is where we decided the climb back up the hill was too onerous and decided to take the hydrofoil back to sorrento instead of continuing on with the bus. each of the 3 towns has a slightly different flavor and all are charming. the views from both the bus and hydrofoil are breathtaking. if you take the bus, try and sit behind the driver. the show alone is worth the price of admission. lots of conversation and gestures with passing drivers on this very narrow, hairpin turn road. it's hilarious. another option would be to simply rent a car which you can do right in the middle of town (near the train station). your hotel should even be able to set this up for you. we were 'forced' to rent a car to go to pompeii since it was easter sunday and the trains had stopped running at noon! i was very nervous about it, but it worked out fine and was actually kind of exciting. you probably need to be able to drive a stick shift. it was a small 4 seat car and cost about $60 for the day. after we did it, we were a little sorry we hadn't driven ourselves down the amalfi coast because it seemed like there were lots of cute places to stop along the way. that said, it isn't for the faint of heart! italian drivers are insane! one note about renting, they are very blahze when you pick the car up (insurance IS included). when you drop it off they do scrutinize it. so best not to let them rush you out the door, go over the car for existing scratches or damages before you drive away.
vicki51 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 11:17 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2
Hi, I'm taking a similar trip, but leaving this week. I'm travelling with siblings and everyone is in disagreement about the best way to get from Rome to Sorrento. How are you going?

I'll send a reply about my experiences and recommendations in that region before your take off date. Plan on! Ann
ahamilton45 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 12:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14
From FCO airport, take Leonardo Express to Termini Station
o Leaves every 30 minutes
o €11/person
o 31 minute travel time
take the train to Naples (I found times and rates on
take the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento
o Departs every 20 minutes
o About an hour trip
o around €3.50/person

With this plan, I'm arriving at the airport at 11:00am and am hoping to be in Sorrento by 5pm.
I'm eager to see how your trip goes.

lowlybworm is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 12:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,021
Hi Ann - An alternative to taking the train plus Circumvesuviana via Naples is the Rome-Sorrento bus service (- operator: Marozzi).

Journey time: 3hrs 45' approx. Fare: € 18.

This is a relatively easy option if you have luggage as it avoids any problems at Naples station.

It's also cheapest.

For details see:

Hope this helps ...

Steve_James is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 01:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,021
Hi Lowlybw - If you want to include Paestum it may be easiest to combine it with Pompeii. Here's how:

- Take early Metro del Mare MM2 to Salerno:
dep. 07.30 Sorrento
arr. 09.15 Salerno Manfredi

- Take 09.42 train (- or bus) to Paestum

- Take 14.04 train from Paestum to Pompeii (- arr. 15.00)

- Return to Sorrento by Circumvesuviana early evening.

Alternatively if you prefer not to use Metro del Mare you could do Paestum as a return trip from Pompeii F.S after visiting Pompeii.

For train timetables see:

For your Amalfi Coast day you can easily visit Positano, Amalfi and Ravello using a combination of ferry/hydrofoil and bus services.

For Amalfi Coast ferry timetables see:

You can find all Amalfi Coast bus timetables on:

For Metro del Mare hydrofoils see link above.

Hope this helps ...

Steve_James is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 02:01 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Wow, one day back and forth to Naples and seeing Pompeii, one day Capri, and the third trying to fit in the coast towns, I am exhausted just reading your post!! When are you going to relax and enjoy the lovely Italian lifestyle sitting in a cafe with a coffee just watching life go by? Kind of kidding, but not really. If you want to go to Paestum, IMO you should seriously consider doing that INSTEAD of Pompeii. It is much less visited, smaller, very interesting and well preserved. It is also much less of a hassle to get to (esp. for you from Sorrento, you are basically back tracking all the way back to Naples). I think going to Paestum may give you more time to really enjoy the stunning coast. Unless you are really, really into Roman ruins (which few people are), I think you will find Pompeii too huge to really see much or appreciate it. While Pompeii is very well preserved and has lots of interesting bits, people tend to peter out after 2-3 hours, and miss some of the best bits like the amphitheatre and the Villa Misteri which are two of the more interesting parts, IMO. Therefore, I would opt for Paestum which is much more doable, cheaper, much less crowded, etc.

There is so much to see and do on the coast in terms of natural beauty, great walks, little churches, lovely little towns, gardens (Villa Cimbrone for sure) ferry rides, private boat trips, shopping, restaurants, etc. With only 3 full days, your time will be well-filled. If you really feel you have to do Pompeii, then I would skip Paestum; however I would do Pompeii on the way back to Rome, as an afternoon before you get on the train to Naples.

Check the classical concert schedule in Ravello and Conca dei Marni. These are held from spring through late fall, outdoors if weather permits in a spectacular setting overlooking the sea. Not quite as atmospheric if it rains, as you will then be moved indoors, but still a great evening. Their website is

There is a very good walking guide to the Capri & the Amalfi coast published by Sunflower books. This is very useful and will give you ideas for other places to go besides the towns you have listed. It is also very helpful for Capri, as many day trippers tend to stick to the area around the marina and the main plaza of Capri town (with the obligatory trip to the Blue Grotto), when there is so much more that is easily accessible that is not crowded and offers stunning views and a slice of village life. Their website is They rate hikes by difficulty and time it takes to complete all or each section, and give good directions on how to reach each walk.
Cicerone is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 04:39 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 609
This is how we spent our three full days in Sorrento--
1. One day IN Sorrento. We took a boat ride, went swimming, walked all over town (Sorrento is criss-crossed with paved paths; get a map at the tourist bureau), shopped, sat at the cafes...a whole day can be spent very enjoyably right in town.
2. Train to Naples and then 2nd train to Pompeii (spent nearly 5 hours there but don't eat at the cafeteria since the food is dreadful beyond words, buy a sandwich at the train station instead when you arrive) and then back to Naples to explore the city. This was a very long and exhausting day on your feet but so interesting!
3. Ferry to Amalfi, bus up to Ravello, walk back down through the hills to Amalfi and ferry back to Sorrento. A lovely day.

We could have stayed three times as long and not fit in all the things we missed but there always has to be a reason to return!
mermaid_ is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 04:59 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 227
Your plan is fine. You can see Pompeii and Vesuvius or Herculaneum on day one, Capri on day 2, and on day 3 take a bus from Sorrento to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello -- easily doable in one day. You can spend an hour or two in Positano (walk down to the waterfront, stopping at shops and the church), an hour in Amalfi (the cathedral is the only real draw here), and several hours in Ravello (two gardens, restaurants and shops--gorgeous ceramics shops). You could do Paestum, but that's a full day and you will see more on any of the other three days outlined above -- I'd save it for another trip.
gabriele is offline  

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