Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast

Dec 22nd, 2012, 10:58 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast

I am planning to celebrate my 50th birthday in Italy in June. I have been to Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Tuscany, and the Lake Como area. Now, Cinque Terre and Positano (the Amalfi Coast) are on my bucket list. After perusing all the guide books, I am more confused than ever. It seems to be too much to combine the two in one trip. I know June is a busy time of year, but I really want to be there on my b'day; so, any suggestions? Does it make sense to combine CT with Pisa? I may end up traveling alone; so, that is also a factor as I would enjoy being in a place with enough to keep me occupied...don't necessarily want to just lounge on a beach as I live in Florida. Is there any place/thing I may not have considered? Thanks for any advice!
GulfGirl is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 11:04 AM
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How much time do you have?
The AC offers so much more with naples, capri, Pompeii etc.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 11:19 AM
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Unless you are a hiker there is little to do in Cinque Terre to keep you occupied for longer than 2 days. The Amalfi Coast offers much more. Naples, Sorrento, Pompeii, the towns on the Amalfi Coast, Capri could keep you busy for a week or 10 days.

It you decide on the CT, think of another destination to go along with it. Pisa is good for a half day so you'll need something else.
mamcalice is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 02:00 PM
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One you get to Positano, trying to sightsee in Naples or Pompei involves hours on public transportation or extremely expensive private taxis. You can go to Capri and to a few other towns on the Amalfi, but basically that coast is about (a) views and stair-climbing and (b) shopping. If you want to see sights of interest, you do well to move around a bit, not pick Positano as a "base."

Le Cinque Terre is even more limited. There are marvelous small towns Tuscan around Pisa that you could combine with a brief stay in le Cinque Terre -- but again, it is advisable to move around a bit.

When you ask " Is there any place/thing I may not have considered? " -- if you are talking about Italy, I would say that you have not seen most of what is exceptionally charming and beautiful in Italy. You have seen nothing of Umbria -- much of which is easily toured by train -- you have seen almost nothing of Emilia-Romagna, which has fabulous art treasures and food, and is again quite easily toured by train. You could go to Taormina in Sicily for views as beautiful as those of Positano or le CInque Terre, and take in some of the Sicilian islands as well.

Also, Pisa airport and Naples airport are extremely well connected to most other fantastic European capitals. For a very small amount of money, you can fly from Amsterdam to Pisa (or vice versa) or Brussels to Genoa, Munich to Genoa, Paris to Naples, London to Naples.

Meaning: You can have a great birthday trip starting in a great european capital, and capping off with olive trees and cliffs along the Riviera, or lemons and blue coves in the Amalfi. Or vice versa. Depends on how much time you have and what your style is.
goldenautumn is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 02:16 PM
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You can have a great vacation on the AC - if you really want a combo of sights, history and beach. I would stay half the time in Sorrento and half on Capri - a place with good beach access.

Sorrento gives you easy access to Naples and Pompeii by train and down the coast by ferry (way better than the bus). And from there you can easily take ferry or hydrofoil to Capri - worth spending 3 or 4 days exploring and relaxing.

Agree that staying in the middle of the coast really limits your movements - since the buses can take forever, and can be so crowded you have to wait for the next one to get on - even standing.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2012, 10:42 AM
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Thank you all so much! This was my first post and your replies were exactly what I was looking for! So, new question: if I have 7-10 days to spend, is it conceivable to fly from the States to Genoa, take the train to CT for a couple of days, take the train to Pisa for half a day then the train on down to the AC for the remainder of the trip? Am I trying to cram too much into one trip? Thought I could then fly home or somewhere else from Naples.
GulfGirl is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2012, 12:47 PM
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You'll get fairly black-and-white responses to the question of whether you are "trying to cram too much into one trip." Some people will say yes and others will say no. Probably more than one person will wonder why you are flying all the way to Italy to look at pretty sea views from the cliffs the whole time, and bothering to relocate in the middle of it to do it.

Logistically, from the time you get off the plane in Genoa, you are looking at about 3-4 hours of travel before you walk through the door of your hotel in le Cinque Terre.

If you leave fairly early in the morning from le Cinque Terre, you can go to Pisa, park your luggage at the train station, and see the tower and be back on a train again by 1pm in order to reach Naples by 5pm. In order to get to Positano from there, you either take a 100 euro+ taxi ride for an hour, or you can use a combination of commuter train + bus, which will probably take you closer to 2 hours.

If you fly to the US from Naples, you will most likely need to spend the night in Naples in order to catch an early departure flight. If you fly to another European destination, you might be able to stay on the Amalfi your last night and take an afternoon flight the next day.

For reasons of weather or other logistics, you might look into doing your trip the other way: fly into Naples, head to the Amalfi. From there, travel to Pisa. If you arrive before 4pm, you have time to park your luggage at the station, see the tower and still arrive in le Cinque Terre in time for dinner. You can fly out of Genoa airport or fly out of Pisa (in which case you might want to save seeing Pisa until the last).

Only you know if that is "trying to cram too much in" when it comes to your travel style. In terms of the destinations themselves, unless you wish you had more time to shop, everything there is to "see" in either of those areas is obvious the first day you are there, although many people want to add a day trip to the island of Capri if they are staying in the Amalfi, or Ravello, or like I said, have a long shopping list they want to accomplish.
goldenautumn is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2012, 12:49 PM
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Look for flights into Pisa. It's a bigger international airport than Genoa. Spend a day in Pisa getting over jetlag and sightseeing. Then train north the the CT for 2 nights/1 day. Next take the train down to Naples and switch (in the station) to the Circumvesuviana commuter train to Sorrento. Or go onward by bus to the AC proper.

Alternatively you could train through to Salerno and take a boat or a bus back to Amalfi or elsewhere on the AC.

As others have said, there's lots to see around the AC. A 10-day trip would give you more time to smell the roses along the way.
Mimar is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2012, 01:52 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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I also would recommend the Amalfi Coast which offers many possibilities. The Cinque Terre in my opinion as lovely at it is, is over rated by tourists , it amazes me that there is so much to see in Italy and sometimes it can be equated to other far more interesting places. Guess there is nothing like marketing or simply the way things are ....
Graziella5b is offline  

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