Amalfi Coast transportation

Jul 4th, 2013, 11:00 AM
  #1  
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Amalfi Coast transportation

First time Italy travelers and we are in a quandary whether to keep the rental car for the Amalfi Coast @ $40/day hotel parking, or wing it w/trains and buses. We want to see Sorrento, Capri, and Pompeii and will be staying in Positano driving down from Tuscany.

Should we drop the car off in Sorrento and wing it? How would we return to Rome from Positano. Is it difficult? We could always keep the car at the hotel, but we really want the flavor of Italy as well. Thanks in advance for your suggestions
dannat is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 11:48 AM
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What time of year is your trip? How many days will you be there? Where are you coming from in Tuscany? How many people in your group?

BTW, it's not just the $40/day hotel parking, it's also the daily cost of the rental whether you drive it or not.
Jean is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 12:18 PM
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Oct 1 - 15. We're doing Sienna, Sinalunga, Montepulciano, Orvieto, Sorrento, Positano, & Ravello = 3 adults. Your right, of course, re: $ of car rental.

Thanks.
dannat is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 12:18 PM
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Since Positano isn't that easy to get to or from, you may want to include the cost of alternative transportation in your calculations. Many people use a driver/car service, which will cost more that $40 (plus the cost of your rental) per day.

Wing it isn't my style, but some ways of getting out of Positano are by bus (hateful, IMO) or by boat. You can get a boat pretty easily to and from Sorrento, but another very good choice is Salerno.

Since you are going to Rome, you can boat, bus or get a driver from Positano to Salerno, and a fast train from Salerno to Rome. That would be my choice.

You could drive from Tuscany to Sorrento, ditch the car, use the boat/bus/or a driver to Positano (I would use a boat because the roads make me hideously ill with motion sickness) and then proceed as above.

You could also see Pompeii on the way south and thus eliminate the trip from Positano to Pompeii, which isn't that easy, and requires either a driver or bus/boat to Sorrento and the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii Scavi.

Leave Positano, get to Salerno, and Bob's your uncle, your on the train to Rome without a car.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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that should be "you're on the train"
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Jul 4th, 2013, 12:20 PM
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With the $$$ you would spend on the car you can hire private drivers for the key transfers.
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Jul 4th, 2013, 12:27 PM
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If you are off-season, say April to midMay or October, you may enjoy having the car so you can drive to Pompeii for one day trip, you might see Sorrento on you way to Positano at the start, etc. How many days you will be there is a good thing to know, and also how many of you there are, as driving back to drop the car at the airport in Rome could possibly be cheaper than train fare for 4 adults. You can also drive up to Ravello for dinner. We were there (yikes, over 10 years ago) and stayed in Priano 3 mights, and did day trips from there, although we did arrange a tour to Capri by bus and ferry that left from a nearby hotel. I think if we went back today, we would not bother with a car on the Amalfi Coast, but for us it was towards the end of a 3 week trip, and we dropped the car off at the airport in Rome and taxied in for our last 3 nights in Italy. I don't think we had to pay for parking our car there.
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Jul 4th, 2013, 12:30 PM
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Do not drive down from Ravello after dinner in the dark---very bad idea.
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Jul 4th, 2013, 12:31 PM
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hmm looks like a bunch of us responded at the same time. I concur with T and B I forgot Positano wasn't easy to get in and out of. We may have visited by boat...
uhoh_busted is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 12:32 PM
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We were young and fearless, then....
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Jul 4th, 2013, 12:50 PM
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Thank you ALL for your advice. So then, boats will be running from Positano to Salerno in Oct. and on Saturday?
If we visit Pompeii and Sorrento before returning car in Sorrento, is there some place safe to lock up luggage while touring? Upon turning in our rental car, we will first spend 2 nights in Ravello and then 2 more in Positano. Will it be easy to take a boat w/our luggage from Sorrento to near Ravello? I assume it is way high up from the water. Are cabs readily available. Please advise as I certainly need your guidance and expertise. Thanks again!
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Jul 4th, 2013, 01:35 PM
  #12  
WWK
 
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I don't know the boat schedules for October. In the summer months, there is boat service from Sorrento-Amalfi. You would then take a bus or cab up to Ravello.

BTW, I totally agree with the other posters who suggested ditching the car in Sorrento. OR... you could ditch the car in Tuscany, and take the Eurostar from Florence-Naples, then arrange a private transfer to your hotel in Ravello. When someone else is driving, it's really not that bad unless you've been out sampling wine the night before!
WWK is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 02:06 PM
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It's not that bad unless you have motion sickness. Then, it's bad.

Anyway, boats should certainly be running, unless there is dangerous weather. In that case, a bus or driver will do the trick.

There are frequent boats all over the area and certainly not just between Sorrento and Amalfi. However, a boat does let you off at the shore and not higher up. For Ravello, this will not be a problem because the boats dock in Amalfi on a large flat public area with lots of taxis and busses.

From Ravello to Positano, you just might want a driver or the hotel to arrange someone to take you.

A google search ought to help with guarded parking or left luggage in Pompeii.

May I ask why you are moving from Positano to Ravello or vice versa? They're awfully close together for a move. And unless you have a hotel in Positano that is near the shore or at the bottom of town, yes, both will be high up.

Taxis: depends. Do you have hotels? They should certainly be able to advise you on getting to them by a means other than a car. If you're staying in a small B&B, or even some hotels, it may not be possible to drive to the door with your luggage. It totally depends on where you are staying.

All this sounds like a lot, but remember that thousands of people descend on this area and all get around, no matter what their budgets or time constraints.

For me, on a budget, with motion sickness, I find it really worth my time to research all the options. Ferry schedules for all the AC towns, and to the islands, and between the major cities/towns in Campania, can all be found online.

Scroll down below the map on this search page for more information than you probably need:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...hp.g0SwkAj95xU
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 07:48 PM
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Sorry, Tuscanlifeedit,

Did not mean to make light of motion sickness along the Amalfi Drive. We did find it was somewhat alleviated when we traveled with transfer companies. However, once in town, we tried to take boats as much as possible between destinations.

To the OP:

There are porters on the town dock in Positano who will take your luggage to hotels further up the hill in town. All Positano hotels should be able to advise you and help with arrangements.

Lastly, I agree with Tuscanlifeedit that you don't need to stay in both Positano and Ravello. Ravello is an easy day trip from Positano. You can either take a boat to Amalfi then taxi or bus up to Ravello, or as suggested above, arrange a private transfer from your hotel in Positano.
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Jul 4th, 2013, 08:05 PM
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WWK, I was just kvetching. Thanks for the nice apology, but not necessary.

Everyone in my family has been sick somewhere between Ravello and Naples. My daughter was so sick on a bus trip to Vesuvio that she had to leave her school group. My mother was so sick when she got to Ravello that she fell and smashed her face. Me, I've been sick twice on the AC: once in a private transfer car, and once on the dreaded SITA bus.

On our last visit, we stuck to boats from Salerno for our major transfers.
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Jul 5th, 2013, 08:59 AM
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We are not going to this area until May of 2014....but was reading this thread with great interest....is it REALLY that bad driving the AC? Our plan was to rent a car at the Rome airport and drive to Positano, then do day trips through out the AC....for 5 days, 4 nights. We like the "freedom" a car gives us...... Thanks!
adelheid is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 09:10 AM
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ekc
 
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Adelheid, yes, it is REALLY that bad driving the AC, especially in May, which is the beginning of the busy season. In addition to the expense of parking in Positano, parking is very scarce in Positano and most other towns along the AC. The traffic is horrendous and the road is only 2 lanes that is clogged with buses.

I usually always recommend that people take the train to Salerno and then ferry to Positano, and use the ferries to get from town to town.
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Jul 5th, 2013, 09:17 AM
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>>>>Our plan was to rent a car at the Rome airport and drive to Positano, then do day trips through out the AC...<<<

Not a good plan after an overnight flight. Too much driving jetlagged.

>>>is it REALLY that bad driving the AC?<<<

The roads are narrow/curvy with lots of tour buses. There will be times everyone has to back up quite a distance (fold in your mirrors!) to allow passage. Many hotels don't have parking and parking is limited in all the towns so can be expensive.

I'm surprised people think the buses cause more motion sickness than boats.
kybourbon is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 10:09 AM
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KY, I have pretty bad motion sickness and had very little problem on the ferries due to their size. I would never attempt the bus on that road - riding in the front seat of a car with a slow driver on that road is almost too much for me.
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Jul 5th, 2013, 01:54 PM
  #20  
WWK
 
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Interesting to read these responses. We've visited the AC many times, and my husband always had much worse motion sickness in the SITA bus than he did on boats/ferries.

To adelheid:

I totally agree with kybourbon. You don't want to attempt this road after a very long flight. YIKES. Either take the fast train to Naples or Salerno and then arrange transfers, or arrange expensive pickup (!!) from FCO ( Rome airport).
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