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Do I need a car for four days at Sorrento/Amalfi Coast

Do I need a car for four days at Sorrento/Amalfi Coast

Feb 27th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2
Do I need a car for four days at Sorrento/Amalfi Coast

My wife and I are going to the Amalfi Coast for four days in late April. We are flying into Naples and after four days, taking a plane from Naples back up to Venice. Our plan is to see the cities on the Amalfi Coast one day, go to Capri the second day and Pompeii on the last day before the trip to Venice.
The question is should we rent a car or would life be easier if we got transfers and hired drivers to take us around? Are the buses and public transportation a pain or would they work well for the tourists?
Thank you.
nittany1995 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,004
If you consider staying in Sorrento I believe a car is a liability. The Sita busses run along the coast at predictable times. The train to Pompeii is a piece of cake and of course you must take a boat to Capri anyway. I was in Sorrento last spring with a car and it never moved our of the parking lot during my stay.
DRJ is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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Hi nittany1995. I've traveled this area quite often.
IMHO, If you are only going to spend one day exploring the Amalfi Coast,(there are no cities-more like towns and villages). I think you would have the best experience and learn the most about the area if you hired a driver to show you the sights and take you to a nice place for lunch. There are many recommendations on this boards for private drivers on the Amalfi Coast. Then, if you are staying in Sorrento as your base, you can easily take the Circumsuviana commuter train back and forth to Pompeii ("Pompeii Scavi is the stop you want) and the entrance is just across the way from the station. Trains run often, and it's not a problem.
You can also take buses and ferries along the Amalfi Coast, but in this case I really think a private driver is your best option.

Feb 27th, 2006, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 515
Hi nittany, I totally agree with DRj about the train to Pompeii-it is a piece of cake. However, a caution about the busses. DH and I took a city bus from Sorrento thinking we'd explore many of the towns along the coast. It took over an hour just to get to Amalfi and that was in March! Two busses can't pass each other-someone has to give way! Car much faster. By all means find a driver for the coast. If you search, I'm certain someone has posted names before. Have a wonderful time.
donco is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 11:17 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890

We've always had a car in Sorrento - but that was because we were using it to come from somewhere (Rome) and go on to somwhere else (Florence or Venice or ?). It's handy to go to Pompeii. In April the traffic on the coast road shouldn't be that bad - and we both enjoy driving it - you can stop where/when you want. And if you're a little timid you can take an inland road and then drive it south to north (keeping on the inside).

But - many hotels in Sorrento - esp the less expensive ones - don;t have parking. And to rent the car just for Sorrento makes less sense than if you already have one.

Do you prefer to control your own destiny and abhor waiting for buses trains - then get a car. If you don;t mind public transport (and it seems you don;t since you're taking the train to Venice) it should be much less inconvenient (mobbed, late etc) in April than in the summer.

nytraveler is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 692
Private drivers and ferries (or hydrofoils) are the way to go. We used Francesco Marrapese when we were in Positano last September (picked us up, took us to Pompeii where he got us a guide, drove us to Ravello for lunch, then along the Amalfi Coast).

Then we took the ferry from Positano to spend the night on Capri - if you can manage a night on Capri it's wonderful (particularly after the daytrippers have left).

Let me know if you want more info.

knoxvillecouple is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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nittany, we were in Sorrento for four days this past november. We rented a car for one of the days just to have the "fun" of driving the Amalfi coast.

Well, it was fun at times but even in November, driving a tiny smart car, we could not find a parking space in Positano or Amalfi, drove around, through or over Praiano not sure if we even saw it, fought for road space with a zillion scooters and finally parked in tiny little Atrani.

From there we met some helpful Australians who advised us to catch the bus rather than drive to Ravello, which we did. Even buying a parking ticket in Atrani was more than a simple task.

If you want the personal fun of driving, rent the car; we did have fun and more stories to tell then we ever expected. If you don't like messing with annoying little mosquitoes, excuse me, scooters leave the driving to a guide.

The bus was fine for the trip to Ravello but we spent more time than we would have liked waiting, and waiting and waiting

We absolutely loved Sorrento. Have a great trip. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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>DH and I took a city bus from Sorrento thinking we'd explore many of the towns along the coast. It took over an hour just to get to Amalfi ...<

That's about right. The coast road speed limit is 30 mph and the distance is 20 mi.

Buses do have to stop at each town.

ira is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Hire a car. It sounds an extravagant but it is actually more cost effective than renting a car and then being unwilling to move it after you've (a) seen what the Amalfi drive is *really* like and (b) tried to find a parking space.

I can heartily recommend Benvenuto Limousines for totally reliable and courteous service, with good English speakers to help you make your plans.
nessundorma is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 04:50 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
nessundorma -

We went in May several times and never had any trouble finding a place to park (circling for no more than 15 minutes anywhere) in either Amalfi or Positano.

But - if you're used to mall parking and just driving in and getting out of the car - I guess that may seem like a lot of trouble (this is normal in NYC - as is parking in a place barely larger than the car).

As for driving the Drive - to us it's fun - not fast given the traffic and curves- but fun - and certainly faster than the bus - since you don;t have to continually stop for people to get on and off.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 05:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Good grief, nytraveler. I've probably driven in more small towns in Italy and more square miles in NYC than I have malls anywhere.

I'm happy to hear of your good luck in finding parking places in the Amalfi and that you enjoyed the road. Other people's experience is different than yours, and I'm sure nittany is happy to have all the different input.
nessundorma is offline  
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