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Amalfi Coast Late Sept '12 -- Best Lodging Town for Two Single Women


Aug 20th, 2012, 12:55 PM
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Amalfi Coast Late Sept '12 -- Best Lodging Town for Two Single Women

Hi Fodorites! My friend and I will be traveling to the Amalfi Coast and Rome in very late September through early October. We will have approximately 6 days on the Coast and 3 in Rome. We are two women in our mid 40’s, single, active and physically fit. I have read lots of posts and consulted the various guide books but am still not sure which town or two we should make our home during our visit. (We are not renting a car and will likely use public transportation.)

I’ve read that Amalfi and Sorrento have the best transportation options but that Positano and some of the other small towns are much more charming. We generally don’t like to stay among hordes of tourists and appreciate the beauty of scenic little towns, but we are also single and not looking to have a “very romantic” experience. We normally like to stay in upscale hotels but it appears that most are $500 and up for our dates or sold out.

During our time on the coast, we are planning to visit the various towns, linger, shop, hike, and enjoy the beauty.


Given that we have 6 days on the Coast, we thought it would be interesting to stay in two locations. Given the above, which two towns do you think would be most appropriate? I’ve heard Capri deserves a sleepover but I’m wondering if it will be dead in late September and not worth it.

As we will likely be traveling around a lot during the day, does it make sense to stay in a town where we would have to climb up or down 300 steps every time we wish to leave the hotel? We would probably appreciate the exercise but feel it could be a nuisance if we are doing it 3 or 4 times a day.

There also seems to be a tradeoff between having a hotel with a scenic view of the coast and being in the center of town. We have often found that after a hectic day, it’s convenient to have shops and restaurants and nightlife pretty close by. If we stay in Sorrento, it appears that this is definitely a factor. I'm not sure about the other towns.

We also actually found a Superior First Class hotel in Vietri Sul Mare that is pretty reasonable. What do you think of this as a location?

All advice is appreciated!!!
sueblue is offline  
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Aug 20th, 2012, 02:31 PM
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Have you considered renting an apartment? You'll get a lot more elbow room for your money, and you might get a nice view in the bargain or a private garden. Plus, if you were thinking of spending for an upscale hotel, you can probably get an apartment with two bathrooms and two bedrooms for an attractive price.

Up to you whether you want to climb stairs. If not, stay in the town of Amalfi or, if you want to avoid "hordes of tourists" (almost impossible in the Amalfi in your time frame), take a close look at Atrani.

All the towns are chock full of restaurants, but nightlife is not a feature of the Amafli coast towns except in August. You can probably find tourists hanging out in Sorrento until the wee hours at some bars, but Italians tend to turn in after dinner. The young hang out in parking lots with their motorcycles.
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Aug 20th, 2012, 02:40 PM
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The best places for public transportation links would be Sorrento and Amalfi. Best places for scenic beauty would be Positano, Praiano and Ravello.

Since you will be reliant on public transportation and will be "moving around" the Coast, you might seriously consider Sorrento and Amalfi.

Vietri sul Mare would be fine to visit Paestum, Salerno, Pompei, Cetara, Maiori, Minori, Atrani and Amalfi by public transportation, so it could be an alternative to both Amalfi and Sorrento (although Capri is better visited from Sorrento).
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Aug 20th, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Hi sb,

We very much liked our stay at lesirene.com in Praiano.

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Aug 20th, 2012, 03:08 PM
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In september 2009 we spent a beautiful week in amalfi, visiting the Coast and Capri(as day trip).If you like to stay in two places, go for Amalfi(almost flat) and Sorrento(a bigger town, almost a city).From the two of them you can easily reach Positano; while amalfi is better for Ravello and Salerno(if you like) and eventually Paestum; while Sorrento is better for Capri and Pompeii.Any way there is almost no chance of error.
Don't worry about "rooms with a view"; they are nice of course, but if not available or too expensive, remember you are never more than 2 or 3 hundred yards fron the sea and the views.
If you like, you can click on my name and read the full report.
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Aug 20th, 2012, 04:01 PM
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I think Vietra Sul Mare is a hike from the heart of the coast towns and you'll regret staying there. If you don't want to climb steps, skip Positano and look at Sorrento or Amalfi.

If it were my choice, I'd go with Sorrento only because it has such easy transportation options to Capri, Naples, Pompeii and the towns of the Amalfi Coast.

There are lots of excellent hotels close to the old - and most charming part- of town. If you post back a budget, you'll get lots of recommendations.
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Aug 20th, 2012, 04:07 PM
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Considering your inclinations, I would base in either Sorrento or the nearby town of Vico Equense - which, like Sorrento has some wonderful views of the Bay of Naples. We had stayed in the brand new high tech Cubo Apartments, overlooking the Bay of Naples from the back, if you are interested in going there, book the apartment which is on the highest level. Vico Equense is a nice town and has a train station. It is the town where you find the world famous pizza al metro restaurant. At Cubo apartments they even offer a light breakfast every morning, plus below the apartments they have a cafeteria/restaurant and casino, plus they are located extremely close to the town square, just up the road. Sorrento would also make a nice base, choose a hotel that is overlooking the harbour, really really beautiful view of the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius.

For your second stop you might consider staying in Praiano, which is only about 10km away from Positano, or maybe Amalfi town. For the spectacular cliff coastal views I would choose Praiano or Positano or Furore. For a livelier town I would choose Amalfi. Positano does have a lot steps, so take that into consideration.
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Aug 20th, 2012, 05:42 PM
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here is driver if you want to do site seeing or need to get around. i used him ... lui è molto buono!! http://www.francescomarrapese.com/mycar.htm
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Aug 20th, 2012, 06:30 PM
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Thanks everyone! We would like to keep our lodging cost to a maximum of $300 per night including breakfast and taxes if possible. Any specific suggestions for Sorrento, Amalfi and Positano that are extremely well located and nice? We hadn't really thought about an apartment but I guess we would explore that as well.

In Sorrento, has anyone stayed at the Palazzo Jannuzzi Relais? It is right across from the square.

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Aug 21st, 2012, 04:40 AM
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In Sorrento it is a MUST that you choose a hotel overlooking the magnificent harbour. The view of the Gulf of Naples and the Vesuvius is amazing - even better view than Vico Equense as mountain seems to be even closer. The square itself in Sorrento is nothing special at all. There are various beautiful hotels overlooking the harbour - I was gazing at them longingly when I was down by the harbour.
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Aug 21st, 2012, 04:51 AM
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In Amalfi, we loved the Hotel Floridiana, where we spent the better part of a week a few years ago. It is in the town center and will be well within your budget. I've made more trips to Italy than I can count and have experienced few hotels that come close to this one for service and general charm.

The town of Amalfi is bustling during the day, but you can walk away from the main street and wander almost alone through the covered walkways. There are quite a few appealing properties if the Floridiana is booked. Atrani, too, would be fine, as it is within an easy walk from Amalfi.

At that time of year, buses tend to be very crowded as service has been cut back but tourism is still high. For that reason, we regretted our choice of Praiano in late September of last year. (More accurately, we regretted having given up our car at the beginning of our stay there since we then had to depend on buses and taxis). Buses ran infrequently and when they did arrive, were jam packed, forcing us to stand. Taxis are very pricey.

Much better to stay in a town with ferry connections and/or a town at the terminus of bus lines (Amalfi, Sorrento), so you can be assured of a bus seat.

From Amalfi you have a choice of several bus routes, including routes to Cetara and Vietri/Salerno, and to Positano and Sorrento, as well as into the hills--Ravello, Scala, and other towns.
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Aug 21st, 2012, 10:19 AM
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>>>There also seems to be a tradeoff between having a hotel with a scenic view of the coast and being in the center of town.<<<

Many of the hotels just outside of Sorrento (up in the hills with views) run hourly free shuttles (usually until midnight or so) for their guests. The Aminta has views with a shuttle and isn't far out of town so you may want to take a look at it.
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Aug 21st, 2012, 10:20 AM
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$300 per night will not get you upscale lodging in any tourist area of Italy. And the whole Amalfi cost is packed with tourists - although late Sept will be better than August. If you are sticking with public transit I would stay in Sorrento since you have numerous options - not just the one bus that runs up and down the cost road.

As for the "cities" - Sorrento is a largish town and Amalfi, Positano, etc are small to very small towns. the closest actual city is Naples.

(We go in late May, with a car and stay in Sorrento - so we have both road and ferry options - and the town also has train towards Naples as well s bus service. Also a larger choice of restaurants and shops that the smaller towns.)
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Aug 21st, 2012, 10:24 AM
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Can't help with names, but in Sorrento, there were several gorgeous hotels along the water (some with private elevators to the beach). They were an easy walk to busses and train station as well.
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Aug 21st, 2012, 11:35 AM
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I stayed at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Victoria in Sorrento. It is a beautiful hotel in a park right off the main square and is on the cliffs along the water with gorgeous views. It does have a private elevator down to the marina. I don't think you could get a room there for $300 a night though.
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Aug 21st, 2012, 01:30 PM
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Thanks, everyone! I think we will stay 4 nights in Sorrento and 3 nights in Positano. We are thinking of renting a car in Positano for touring the Amalfi Coast. We are still thinking of using public transport in Sorrento because we will probably stay in town our first day, go to Capri for the second day, and maybe hit Pompei or Naples our third day. (My friend is reluctant to get a car because she's heard that driving is pretty difficult.) Does this make sense?

As far as the hotels, I've asked a travel agent to look into this for us because things are pretty heavily booked and the same hotels keep popping through on the Internet. The ones that are available don't look very nice.

What "type" of lodging do you think we can get for $300 per night? I generally stay at 5 stars in the US and with corporate rates, I generally do pretty well.
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Aug 21st, 2012, 01:33 PM
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BTW, thanks everyone for the hotel suggestions but most of the ones mentioned were booked or $500 plus per night.
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Aug 21st, 2012, 08:57 PM
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Stars in Europe are based on type of amenities (elevator, restaurant, etc.), not quality.

Are you searching hotels on www.venere.com?
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Aug 21st, 2012, 09:46 PM
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I'm pretty sure you'd have to rent the car in Sorrento and not Positano. Regarding driving along the AC, you'll get different answers here. Some think the drive is difficult, if not scary, and others think it's enjoyable, if not downright fun. My husband/driver falls into the second category, but we have found parking can be a pain. But where were you planning to go that you think you need/want a car? And that it would be more convenient than buses and ferries?
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Aug 21st, 2012, 10:31 PM
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For Sorrento maybe check out the 4 star rated Hotel Carlton International - http://www.hotelcarltonsorrento.com. It's showing € 200 for a triple room with full breakfast.
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