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Can a person with bus anxiety stay on the Amalfi Coast and not rent a car?

Can a person with bus anxiety stay on the Amalfi Coast and not rent a car?

Old Nov 17th, 2004, 07:47 AM
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Can a person with bus anxiety stay on the Amalfi Coast and not rent a car?


I am in the early stages of planning our first trip to Italy for October 2005. My thought right now is a week in Rome and a week in Positano. When travelling in other countries in Europe my husband and I have always rented a car for the convenience. My early reading on Rome and the Amalfi area indicates a car would be more of a problem than a help.

I am very apprehensive about relying on public transportation rather than my own car. I have some issues with riding a bus due to experiences in the past and I am wondering how easy taking the bus will be instead of having a car. My plan right now is to stay in Positano and take day trips by bus from there.

I have read that in Rome and the Amalfi area the bus is probably going to be crowded, people are going to rude or crude, my personal space is going to be violated, my purse will probably be the target of a thief and I will have to fight someone to get on and off. This does not set well with my "Minnesota nice" upbringing. It's an exaggeration but I imagine myself getting on a bus and never being able to get off until the driver pushes me out the door #39;(

Have I read some of the wrong postings here and am I imagining problems that don't exist? I am thinking that travel on the bus in Italy is only for the experienced bus rider. Thanks for any help you can give me and no I have never found a support group for my "bus anxiety" Deborah

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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 07:55 AM
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If you are afraid to mingle with other people, then you presumably won't be going in any Italian bars or restaurants or visiting any busy tourist sites either.
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 08:01 AM
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Geoff, That is not my concern at all, I have riden the metro in NYC, DC, Paris, and London when it was so crowded you couldn't breathe. I know the exact route on them because it is all well posted. I have no problems with trains or planes. I love being in the thick of things but I have some concerns about public buses. I want to know if I am imagining a problem that does not exist. Thanks, Deborah
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 08:48 AM
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Hi, on an Amalfi Coast bus in Oct. it will probably be crowded with more tourists than locals. They shouldn't be ruder than any other bus rider and you should always watch your purse.

The bus can pick up some speed and lurch around those corners hiiiiigh above the sea and when you are riding high in the bus you look straight down over the cliffs. If the thought of this gives you anxiety you had better not try it. In that case hire a local driver to take you on day tours in a car.
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 08:53 AM
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Well have done both - felt more in control when I was driving and felt like I needed to crawl out of my skin on a bus - had nightmares of bus hurtling over guard rails. Now when I drove I still had some white knuckled moments when it was me and a bus in opposite directions on narrow lanes / curves sections - but I lived to tell both stories - actually I believe I did get sick when I got off the bus - sheer fear. But I'm a chicken when it comes to heights and speed.
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 08:54 AM
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>...am I imagining problems that don't exist?<

Yes.

The bus route is from Sorrento to Amalfi. The driver announces the towns along the way. You won't get lost.

Have a nice trip.

Sit on the right side going East, unless you get vertigo.
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 09:01 AM
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DeborahAnn -

We stayed in Sorrento in March 1997 and decided to take the bus to Positano for a half day visit. We stopped at the tobacco shop and picked up a bus schedule and started out on an adventure. It was the BEST bus ride we ever took. The bus was not crowded and we felt utterly confident in the bus driver as he whipped his bus around the cantilevered twists and turns in the road. We could not imagine trying to drive on this road.

The return trip was even more memorable, as we spotted Comet Hale-Bopp, (we followed Hale-Bopp from southern Italy to Amsterdam) and by the time we arrived in Sorrento, everyone on the bus was looking skyward. We did have a bit of a wait (1/2 hour) for the bus when we left Positano, but I think the bus we were trying to catch was a few minutes early, which we missed, and we ended up taking the next bus that came along.

If you have an up-to-date schedule, I don't think you should have a problem with the buses on the Amalfi Coast. Just use caution, as you would travelling anywhere (maybe a little extra cautious in Rome), and have a great time. Peace. >-

Robyn
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for the information, I was hoping October was a shoulder season in Positano. I do not like heights but I think I would put more trust in a bus driver who has driven a particular road many times rather than my husband who would have alot less experience.

I am relieved to know that the driver calls out the stops. Each day we would be traveling new places so nothing would be familiar. I read in one posting where the person didn't know she was supposed to get off in the middle of the bus and not at the back or front, this was in Rome. I know I don't have to take a bus while in Rome but don't see a way to avoid it if I want to to day trips while in Positano.

I am thinking that the buses in Positano have only two doors or just one. Does the bus stop at every stop on the route or only if you indicate you want to get off and how do you indicate that. Once I get comfortable with the bus use I can get on with planning my trip. Thanks for your help, Deborah
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 09:19 AM
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Hi DA,

October is shoulder season, but there are still tour buses.

>..you want to get off and how do you indicate that...<

Per favore, Signore - Praiano? (or other town)

It's not grammatical, but it works.

In addition to the SITA bus, there is a smaller, orange bus that runs between Positano and Conca dei Marini.
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 11:13 AM
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I, too, don't like to ride on buses there (Amalfi area) but it's due to an issue with motion sickness. We stayed in Positano for 10 days and never got on a bus. Went everywhere by foot, boat or taxi (except those small buses in Sorrento that take you from the boat docks up the hill to the town). You shouldn't have any problems.
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 11:19 AM
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I stayed in Sorrento about a month ago (2nd week in October). The busses to Amalfi were extremely crowed, with people standing in the aisle, like sardines. Once the bus reached Positano, a whole bunch of people got off, which allowed the Positano people to board for the rest of the trip.

However, the return trip was even more crowded, if that's possible. The day I got off in Positano, I almost didn't make it onto bus for the return to Sorrento (around 5:40 pm). I only got on because we pushed our way on through the back door of the bus. One couple we were talking to while waiting in line (more of a crowd than a line) said they had already missed two buses because the drivers didn't even stop - no room. On the plus side, I didn't worry about pickpockets because there was no room to move your arms, which made theft physically impossible.

I found out later that the ferry between the towns wasn't running that day due to rough waters, and that may account for the crowded buses.
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 11:21 AM
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PS: On AC you might have a crowded bus so take that into consideration. Be sure and stamp your ticket either inside the front door or the rear door then just stay near the door for exiting. It is better to exit out of the rear door, but you can do either really. There are buttons to buzz when you want to exit too. They usually won't stop unless alerted to do so.

You know you can avoid all of this by taking a taxi or a private driver, if you really have a phobia.

This is all a part of the traveler's experience.


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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 11:26 AM
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I forgot to add - when the bus to Sorrento came, one couple started shouting "helpful" tips to the crowd that this bus didn't go to Sorrento. Later, I realized they were probably trying to increase their chances of getting on the bus by discouraging others from boarding. It was an "experience."
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 12:18 PM
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Another option would be taking a boat for many of your day trips. There is boat service between: Positano- Amalfi, Positano-Capri, Positano- Sorrento, Positano-Naples. For short trips or splurges, you could also hire a taxi.

Good luck!
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 12:37 PM
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I am getting very mixed signals here, but this is helping with my planning. I want our first trip to Italy to include adventures but not necessarily brawls to get from point A to B. It looks like there are enough options if bus riding gets "rough". Jolie, I was hoping October would find the buses less crowded. Thanks for the help. Deborah
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 12:44 PM
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SeaUrchin, I don't know if what I have is a phobia. I do know that when I was 5 and my first day of kindergarten I was dropped off on the wrong street about two miles from my home. I remember walking down the street crying and someone taking me into their home. I have had several incidents since then, adventures you could say, but in general I would choose other means of travel. Knowing what to expect is a big help. Thanks, Deborah
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 01:50 PM
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Bus transportation on the Amalfi Coast is very affordable, and a good way to get around, although the ferry boats are more comfortable and scenic.

In September, the busses were always crowded, and that means some people will be standing.

You won't get lost if you are getting off at the final stop, but if you want to go to an intermediate stop, you need to signal the driver, or else he may not stop. I don't recall the driver calling out stops.

I personally think that driving in the AC should be left to the locals.

Taxi is very expensive, but you'll get some good conversation with your driver. The cost from Positano to Sorrento was 50 euro.
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 02:10 PM
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Donnie, thanks for the information. I am making note of all the possibilities we could encounter when we ride the bus and I am confident we can take this trip and not rent a car. I will have almost a full year to learn enough Italian to get us where we want to go. Thanks for all the help. Deborah
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 02:23 PM
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I hope I didn't sound flippant about your phobia. I have acrophobia so I know how it can be.

I am glad you are getting other options here so if you just can't get on a crowded bus you will know you have alternatives.
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 06:30 PM
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SeaUrchin, you were not flippant at all. When I selected the Amalfi Coast I thought it would be like the Cote d'Azur where we drove everywhere. If I have enough information about how to ride the bus I will be fine. I just need to know all the ins and outs so I don't end up at the end of the bus line in the middle of the night.

I've made mistakes on the metro while traveling and thats easy to correct but to me getting off at the wrong bus stop is worse because the buses going in the opposite direction don't even stop at the same place, for all I know it could be across the road and down the street.

Are bus stops clearly marked in the town or do you just have to "know" where they are. I am trying of avoid sounding obsessive compulsive about buses quot;> Thanks again, Deborah
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