Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre???

Jul 20th, 2010, 06:43 PM
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Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre???

Unfortunately, I am very aware that Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast are on opposite ends of Italy, but if you could go to just one area, which one would it be? Sorrento, Positano, and/or Ravello, where to stay and eat? Or, Cinque Terre, where to stay and eat? Why?
vickifromoklahoma is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 07:04 PM
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For me, it would depend on the time of year and how many days.
Jean is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 07:49 PM
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If your a outdoors person and going on fringe offseasnons, CT.
brando is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 08:45 PM
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Thanks Jean and Brando. We are thinking about October. As far as 'outdoor persons' go, does sitting in a lounge chair with a cocktail count? We are thinking Venice and Rome for our sightseeing/adventure and Tuscany and Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast for our relaxing/laid back portion of the trip.
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Jul 20th, 2010, 08:48 PM
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Oh, probably around 4 nights...it's our 25th.
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Jul 20th, 2010, 09:19 PM
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Well if lounging is you idea, which sounds nice, I would vote for the amilfi coast, even though I hav'nt been there. The CT has only one nice beach and amazing part is on the trails. From what I heard the AC is more lounge chair kind of stuff.

My last pitch for Cinque terra, there is no moe refreshing experience then hiking wife you mate for a few miles with incrdible views, then swimming in the med where there is no beach and heading to a bar to drink a glass of wine and then doing it al over again for miles.
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Jul 20th, 2010, 10:37 PM
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Unless you're exaggerating, I think it would be hard to spend four days in either place just lounging around. IMO, the Amalfi Coast area in particular has too many beautiful and interesting sights to just stay in one place. But this is your trip. We've been to the Amalfi Coast in October and had perfect weather, but others here haven't been so lucky at that time of year. The Cinque Terre would likely be cooler with a higher chance of rain. Depending on the order of your itinerary, the AC option would probably involve less time overall spent on trains than the CT option.

I don't think you're going to be doing any swimming in either place in October.
Jean is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 03:59 AM
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It's funny, but the minute you said "sitting in a lounge chair with a cocktail", I thought "Go to the Amalfi!" To me, there is nothing of interest to do there but enjoy the staggering views and the high-end pampering, the more private the perch you have the better. In le Cinque Terre, almost no one knows how to make a cocktail. I've never seen a lounge chair.

As for le Cinque Terre, there is often a big difference in weather in the beginning of October and the second half. If you want to hike, it can be perfect if dry, because is not too hot. But it harder to spend all day in a lounge chair, even in the first half of October. You can get lucky with an Indian summer, but most of the time the weather has already started to turn.

For cocktails, it is better to go to pretty towns like Santa Margherita Ligure and Camogli, or perhaps Lerici and Portovenere (having a car there is best). You can also have beautiful hikes from both towns, plus boat trips to Portofino.

I could easily spend 4 days in either area doing nothing but enjoying the good food, the sweet air and the beautiful views, although I wouldn't base in the most famous tourist towns.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 08:21 AM
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We've taken two long trips to the Amalfi Coast area. Pompeii and Herculaneum were absolutely fascinating to us. Paestum was likewise very interesting, but in a different way. We've toured a farm where they make mozzarella (and give you a taste) and a small factory that makes limoncello (another taste). We explored many of the coastal towns and a few at the tip of the peninsula. We took a private, all-day boat tour that circled Capri and cruised the coast which was probably one of the most romantic things we've ever done. We enjoyed a quieter day wandering Ravello, stunned by the views from its high perch in the hills. We did a lot of walking/hiking on Capri and on the peninsula. We spent a few days in Naples but still haven't seen everything we'd like to and hope to return. We did make a very nice day trip to the royal palace at Caserta which is often compared to Versailles.

It depends on what interests you, but we found so much that we were already planning the second visit to the area while we were in the middle of the first one.
Jean is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 08:43 AM
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I don't consider Pomepii or Ercolanum on the Amalfi coast!

In fact, once you base on the Amalfi coast, you are almost certain to end up having too little time these sites, especially not if you try to cram them together.

Paestum is also not on the Amafli coast, and at certain times of year it can be quite dificult to get to.

Besides, I read vickifromoklahoma as doing some very intensive cultural sightseeing in other places, and looking for a spot for total relaxation. Naples doesn't sound like what they are looking for during this part of their vacation. If it is, I suggest they base in Naples to see Pompei and Paestum, which will spare them some very nauseating motor vehicle trips trying to rich them if they base on the Amalfi Coast.

I highly recommend a quite corner of Ravello. Or a quite corner of Capri (Anacapri.) Or a spot on the Sorrentine peninsula for untouristed hiking.

But I don't see the point -- and never have -- of paying a fortune for a beautiful balcony with a view in one of these gorgeous places and then breaking a sweat to go cheese factories and distilleries. It doesn't sound as interesting to me as a daydream in the shade.

I will also add that while I don't know vickifromoklahoma at all, I do know that many people are coming to Italy during the only vacation time they have in a year. They want to go sightseeing, but they also need a vacation of some sorts, some real leisure.

The Amalfi Coast is a perfectly beautiful place to FINALLY relax in a lounge chair with a cocktail until you are recharged. It is not a good base for sightseeing the rich treasures of Italy, and if it amuses you to go to a distillery or on a boat ride, fine. But it can be just as important not to if you are an overworked North American. That's Italy too.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 08:49 AM
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Sorry for my flying typos: "quiet corner of Ravello" and "quiet corner of Capri (Anacapri)"

but if you make the considerable effort to get to one of those quiet conners, enjoy the quiet! Don't set the alarm so you can first in line to clamber onto the diesel-spewing bus to get onto the diesel-spewing ferry to take you to some other pretty spot, where you can compete with a crowd for the table-with-the-pretty-view. Bring some wine or limoncello to the place you rent. They sell mozzerella at the local store.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 08:57 AM
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As Jean indicated there's lots to do in the Amalfi coast area. 4 nights/3 days wouldn't be enough to see everything. And it would be a shame to go there and skip Pompeii, Capri, et al. So maybe save the AC for another trip.

However, you could go to just Capri or Ischia (another lovely island in the Bay of Naples) for a relaxing 3 days.

Or maybe fly to Catania, Sicily and spend your 3 days in Taormina. It's a lushly beautiful resort town with great high-up views of the sea coast and a gondola down to the beach. Better weather in Sicily in October.
Mimar is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 09:01 AM
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What about Elba--how would that be weather-wise in October?
yorkshire is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 10:57 AM
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Or how about Ponza? It's much closer to Rome.

Jean recently enthused about Ponza here on Fodor's. Maybe she can fill you in.

Elba has the same weather pretty much as le Cinque Terre, maybe a bit more humid.

And sorry -- one more time -- there's only "lots to do" on the Amalfi coast area if you are willing to spend a large chunk of each day on public transportation getting to and from it, or large chunks of money speeding up the process. And there is NO SHAME in going to Ravello or any other beautiful place and simply relaxing for several days. This is just silly Fodor's arm-twisting for ants-in-their-pants tourists not to recognize that.

It was said earlier that le Cinque Terre is out of your way. It is MUCH simpler and cheaper to get to le Cinque Terre and day trip from there to sights in the area it would be "a shame" to miss than it is from a cliff without trains on the Amalfi coast. People just have a mindset that Pompeii is part of the Amalfi "area" and le Cinque Terre is "too far" from Florence. In reality, it is faster and simpler to get to le Cinque Terre and simpler and cheaper to do other day trips if you are incapable of going a day without sightseeing.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 01:14 PM
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Here is the thread where Jean and others enthused about Ponza:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...p-364281-2.cfm

vickifromoklahoma,

I'm reading you as saying you want a break from cultural sightseeing and a few days of relaxing with cocktails by the sea. I live not far from le Cinque Terre, and it is not a place I go to for cocktails because it caters to a hiking crowd. By mid-October, the weather can be iffy for cocktails outdoors.

The weather and bartending is much better in the Amalfi in your time frame. You will spend more to get there, and pay a lot for cocktails. But I can't think of another place as beautiful on the coast that you can go to in October and get a good cocktail.

Plenty of people to go to the Amalfi -- meaning Positano, the town of Amalfi and Ravello -- and feel guilty about not going to Pompeii or Naples or Paestum, because they are 90 minutes or more traveling time. All I did when I went to Positano was have a cocktail. Most people only go to lunch and a stroll through a garden in Ravello. Angelina Jolie goes to the Amafli to relax. So can you.

It is not a boxed-set with other places except in some traveler's minds. I think it is wrong to tell you to "save it for another trip" when you are willing to make the 2 hour trek just to get to the ticket booth in Pompeii.

If you will settle for a Campari and soda, there may be seaside places closer to Rome that are fairly pretty in October and not too shut down that would do you just fine. Perhaps some one here can suggest some. But do what you want if you choose Amalfi. I recommending using the car you rent in Tuscany to get there.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 05:35 PM
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I loved Ponza, but never having been there in October I hesitate to recommend it to vicki. Most of the island is hard to reach even in high season, and I'm not sure what services, hotels, etc., would be open/available in the fall. Perhaps Franco knows.

Vicki, I don't know where Zep got the idea I was suggesting you set your alarm clock and race around every day. I was just pointing out the many things we enjoying seeing/doing in the Amalfi Coast AREA. You can lounge around looking at the views every day, go strolling and shopping and eating great food, or decide to see/do a few things/places over four days. It's your trip, so you get to decide. No arm twisting. FWIW, we spent our 25th at Lake Como in late October. Definitely off season, very quiet, a little drizzly but very romantic (at least to us!).
Jean is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 01:22 AM
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The AC, honestly, the best, most beautiful place to relax that I've ever been.
Sassafrass is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 06:09 AM
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Please don't go for just that short of time....Italy itself is the most beautiful country. We spent a week in a villa in Clinique Terre and discovered the 5 cities!! We have also been to the Amalfi coast and can't imagine going for such a short time....soooo much to see and do!!
starrenee1 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 06:09 AM
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The Cinque Terre is one of my favorite places in Italy!
Roxanne66 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 07:33 AM
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I haven't been to the Cinque Terra but know people who have and loved it. I had the good fortune to spend a week on the Amalfi Coast and it was amazing. We stayed in a beautiful villa with breathtaking views of the sea; it was located between Amalfi and Ravello and an easy bus ride to either. We did day trips to Capri (fabulous!), Paestum/Vietri Sul Mari, and Naples/Herculaneum and enjoyed them very much. We also spent the better part of a day in beautiful Positano where the shopping is wonderful. For me, the best part of the Amalfi Coast is Ravello and should I ever travel to that part of Italy again, that is where I would want to stay. Ravello is not only peaceful and beautiful, it has interesting shopping and is a great place to purchase hand-painted pottery and Limoncello. Wherever you go, have a wonderful time. and make sure to have time to participate in that very Italian custom of "dolce far niente" - the sweetness of doing nothing.
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