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Amalfi Coast vs Lake Como in Early Spring

Amalfi Coast vs Lake Como in Early Spring

Old Mar 14th, 2015, 08:21 AM
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Amalfi Coast vs Lake Como in Early Spring

Hi all, although this has been discussed before, might get different answers as we are:

- Early 30s Couple
- Going for vacation in first week of April (the days before Easter, and can't change dates), for 4-5 nights, will probably have a car with us. Also, we would probably use Airbnb for accommodation.
- Preferring: Amazing scenery (both will do I guess), walking around, with light hiking, quaint streets and chic cafes and restaurants
- Wanting to avoid: overly crowded areas, bad weather as much as possible, although we both like chilli evenings.

What's you take on this, and which cities/villages in either Amalfi coast or lake Como?

Thanks,
Daniel
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 08:38 AM
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Its very early for both locations, but if you don't mind many restaurants being closed, I guess OK. You will be able to find somewhere to eat. Be sure to ask about heating. I believe the laws Still dictate when heat has to be turned off and you might be in the between time where the building is cold and no heat available. I personally experienced this in Sicily in mid-April. The hotel found a space heater for me, or I would have had to leave during an uncommon cold snap.

I've visited the Amalfi Coast at the end of March and it was very quiet. Walking around Pompeii was gorgeous, perfect temps and sunny. 2 nts of heavy thunderstorms, but days were nice. SITA buses basically empty except for locals coming/going on errands or work.

May in the lake areas of northern Italy was perfect. Gorgeous gardens, again 1 nt of heavy thunderstorm but days perfect temps and blue skies.

I guess April will be slightly better for both.

If it were me - I'd be heading for Tuscany or Umbria. Spring is spectacular there with the green fields of wheat. Might be too early for the red poppies though. I think they are more May, June.

Any of these 3 locations will fulfill your requirements and focusing on just one location for a short visit is very wise.

Buon viaggio!
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 08:39 AM
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Neither will be overly crowded that time of year and both have amazing scenery, chic cafes and restaurants, quaint streets. If you like seeing snow capped mountains in your scenery, then Como. Rain could be a problem in both places that time of year and Lake Como should be a bit cooler. If you choose Como, I would choose a place in the mid lake region. Both places have ferries to take you town to town. I have no experience with the ferry on the coast, but the one serving mid lake Como is about 15 Euro per person and can be used as a hop on, hop off. Staying on the boat will give you a pleasant 2 hour tour of that part of the lake.
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 09:13 AM
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Hords from Northern Europe usually begin to invade Northern Italy between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. In those days, it can get very difficult to get accommodation around Lake Lugano or Lake Maggiore, although all hotels are open.
Hiking trails will not be affected by this kind of tourists and will be all but crowded.
Weather is always unpredictble, in April and May even more than in other months.
Boats between Como and Bellano Tartavalle will begin to run frequently from March 29th
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 09:25 AM
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Amalfi of course as it is further south and the weather will be better than the northern italian lakes...IMO
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 11:45 AM
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Thanks for the replies so far, and we haven't considered going to Umbria instead, maybe we should. So far seems like Amalfi coast wins though. Which part of it would you recommend most?
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 12:22 PM
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Too early for the lakes--we had snow in mid-April one year.
I would spend 2 nights in Sorrento and 3 in Positano---seeing Pompeii from Sorrento.
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 12:24 PM
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Amalfi coast "wins" only in the sense you have posted on a public message board, received X number of answers on a Saturday afternoon, when a great many people don't bother with computers and a great many Europeans are already doing something else for the evening. Personally, I would much rather be in Lago di Como on a misty or even rainy day than the Amalfi, and would always prefer to be on the Italian Riviera instead of the Amalfi On the other hand, if I were blindfolded and unable to go to the Riviera, I'd much rather be in the Amalfi than Lago di Como becasue the food and smell of sea and lemons is lovely

It can be blowing a storm in the Amalfi on a day when it is sunny and dry on the lakes, and vice versa. If you want to go to someplace with a great deal of natural beauty in Italy, there are so many places to choose from. Your description of what you want -- Amazing scenery (both will do I guess), walking around, with light hiking, quaint streets and chic cafes and restaurants -- is really a description of most of the rural tourist destinations in Italy.

Maybe if you should just pick what kind of food you like eat and what kind of drinks and desserts you like to have, because all of these places -- Lago di Como, the Amalfi, Umbria, Tuscany, the Italian Riviera -- have what you want in April, with the risk of rain.
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 12:41 PM
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Hi, Danielm, My DH and I usually travelled in March and we were in both Bellagio and Sorrento/Amalfi. As others have said above, it depends on the weather at the time. We were actually colder in Sorrento because of an usual cold front when we were there. It really can go either way.

There were still hotels not yet opened in Como area but we didn't feel that way about Sorrento/Amalfi. Watch for holiday schedules--ferries and trains have different times.

Of course you can google weather now--don't know how accurate that would be.

Since you mention hiking, I'm leaning toward the lakes. DH and I took the ferry all around and found it to be the more intimate area.

If you are interested in history, go to Amalfi and see Pompeii.
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 12:12 PM
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Thanks everyone for the great comments and suggestions. As it gets closer, and flights are booked to Rome, we are thinking of going to either Umbria or Tuscany for 4-5 days (3-4 nights).

Will that be too short to enjoy Tuscany? (assuming we don't mind skipping Pisa, Florence, and just want to do village traveling).

Thanks again,
Daniel
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 12:23 PM
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You can do serious damage in 3 or 4 days in Tuscany---with a car.
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 12:24 PM
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Hmmm, I would choose the AC, as it is further south and the ferries start running March 29. But I visit Positano each June so I am prejudiced.
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 01:00 PM
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Love the comment about "serious damage", is that so? Does that also apply to Umbria?
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 01:01 PM
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That is plenty of time to enjoy the villages and scenery of either Tuscany or Umbria. Since you are going around Easter, I would give a miss to Assisi if you pick touring in Umbria unless you really want to see it very badly because it would be the most crowded (Catholic pilgrims).

Pay attention to when car rental offices are open and when they are closed. It is very easy to drive around Tuscany and Umbria, far less so Rome.
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 01:12 PM
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I only realised that we are traveling during the "Holy Week", just before the Easter weekend. Will places be just as busy? Thanks for the advice regarding Assisi in case we head to Umbria.
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 04:43 PM
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I think only Assisi would be a problem -- and it is actually quite busy all the time. A lot of people do travel at Easter period, but almost all of them will be going to Florence, Pisa, Lucca and Siena. Cortona gets lots of tour buses, and ditto San Gimignano. And you can't rule out the possibility that some tiny town you head to will have a tour bus pull up just as you get out of the car. But it's one of the better times of the year to tour Tuscany or Umbria in terms of low crowds.

What you might experience is church altars being shrouded for Good Friday, or services going on inside which means you can't walk everywhere you like inside and gawk as a sightseer. Maybe you will run across an Easter procession. Certainly you will see a LOT of chocolate easter eggs. Hopefully some early flowers too.
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Old Mar 25th, 2015, 07:24 AM
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We were in Spoleto on Palm Sunday and Bellagio on Easter. The ferry schedule was curtailed on Easter Monday so we moved to a hotel in Varenna for easy train connection. Also, when we were there, the trains and busses were very busy the week before Easter.

On Easter Sunday, "everything" was open in Bellagio in the a.m. Oh, we reserved ahead for an Easter meal at our hotel--something for you to look into.

This is based upon one trip only so others can confirm or not.

Here's my report for that trip: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ellagio-tr.cfm
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Old Mar 25th, 2015, 07:34 AM
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Yes, but not both in that time.
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