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Drive or Train from Lucca to Sorrento/Praiano?

Drive or Train from Lucca to Sorrento/Praiano?

Jan 1st, 2007, 04:22 PM
  #1  
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Drive or Train from Lucca to Sorrento/Praiano?

We are going to be in Italy for 3 weeks next summer, our final week will be in Praiano - our first time to that part of Italy. It will be the first week of July, so I know it will be crowded and busy, and we are a group of 7 so that makes it even more difficult.

We will have a car and will be driving from Lucca. It was recommended to park the car in a garage in Sorrento and take a bus to Praiano but then I've heard the buses are unreliable. For those of you who have traveled in that part of Italy before - what do you recommend?

We want to visit Capri, Pompei, Ravello, Positano, etc...

Any help is appreciated.
PSGMARTINO is offline  
Jan 1st, 2007, 04:24 PM
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If you have a place to park in Praiano, I would definitely suggest keeping your car.
itsmeagain is offline  
Jan 1st, 2007, 04:33 PM
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Well, we are told that parking is available on the street near the apartment we have rented - but it is not reserved.
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Jan 1st, 2007, 05:09 PM
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By all means, keep you car! You will be happy even if you have to pay to put it in a private car park for 20 euros or so a night!
itsmeagain is offline  
Jan 1st, 2007, 05:13 PM
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Is the driving really as scary as everyone says? Narrow windy roads, etc? We are pretty good traveling the roads around Tuscany and the autostrada but never inside the big cities like Rome or Florence. How does driving these stretches of roads rate in terms of difficulty?
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Jan 1st, 2007, 05:16 PM
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Where do you live? I think that driving is scary anywhere, but I have driven up and down the Amalfi Coast, all over Rome and Tuscany, and throughout Europe. Yes, there can be a lot of traffice on the coast road, but that just means that you can't drive fast. Just be as careful as you are anywhere!
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Jan 1st, 2007, 05:19 PM
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We live in California - Central Valley. We are very used to driving in traffic, but have heard that you're crazy to drive in Amalfi. But considering that it will be such a busy time of year, and filled with tourists, I can't imagine anyone will be driving very fast.
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Jan 1st, 2007, 08:25 PM
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Did you mean to say you will have 2 cars? You won't be able to fit 7 people in a car with or without luggage. Cars in Europe are smaller than in the states even if you think you are booking the same model.
kybourbon is online now  
Jan 1st, 2007, 08:50 PM
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First - if there are 7 of you you're not (I hope) renting a car but some sort of van or people mover. Keep in mind that finding parking for such a big vehicle will be difficult anywhere. (In europe almost all parking is parallel and if you have more than a foot longer than the car you're lucky. And no way would I rely on street parking. Assume you will have to pay for a garage and get info on location and availability.)

Second, driving the Amlfi Drive in summer is incredibly crowded and slow. The road is narrow, twisting and windy - but there is a large stone wall between the outerland the the cliff down to the sea. And going more than about 10 will be impossible due to traffic.

Third, your own vehicke is still better than the bus - since you won;t be stopping every few minutes to let people on and off and you won;t be packed in like sardines. (And I would rather be on the drive in a sitting position than standing up in a bus.)

But - if the traffic is so bad can;t you do some of the things you want from the other direction, using mostly more inland roads, and travel along the coast using a ferry?
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 1st, 2007, 09:01 PM
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Thanks for the responses - we will have only one car (van) and will have between 5 and 7 passengers depending on the day. We plan to rent a van that will seat 7 or 8 so should be OK there - but you're right that the parking will be difficult. We are open to any mode of transportation that will work - including ferrys. I guess we are trying at this time to figure out if we should park the car outside of Amalfi and rely on buses, taxis, or private transports or drive ourselves. Seems kind of silly to be paying for a rental car to sit in a garage and pay for an additional mode of transportation.
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Jan 2nd, 2007, 05:37 AM
  #11  
ira
 
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Hi P,

>Seems kind of silly to be paying for a rental car to sit in a garage and pay for an additional mode of transportation. <

Yes, it is.

I suggest that you drive from Lucca to Salerno and drop the car there.

Take the ferry from Piazza della Concordia, near the train station to Amalfi.

The ride is lovely and there is plenty of room on the ferry for your luggage.

For Ferry schedules Positano Amalfi - Salerno (P.zza della Concordia):
See http://tinyurl.com/j4ufa

From Amalfi, take the SITA bus to Praiano. Your luggage will be put in a compartment under the bus.

Buy your bus tickets at any tabac shop at the edge of the parking area near the buses.

If you can drop your car in Amalfi, it will save you about 30 min, but you will miss the boat ride.

Check driving times at www.viamichelin.com and www.mappy.com

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 05:42 AM
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A van that seats 7 will not hold 7 plus luggage. If you will look at some of the rental cars available on Hertz you will see Hertz says their 7 passenger minivan holds 7 passengers and 1 large suitcase and 2 small. You will probably need to rent something larger than a minivan or rent 2 cars.
kybourbon is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 06:25 AM
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Thanks Ira for the information. A ferry ride would be great. And looking at Hertz - it looks like we'll have to rent the 9 passenger van, in order to have room for the luggage.
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Jan 2nd, 2007, 03:58 PM
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Hi P,

Honestly, a 9 passenger van on the Amalfi road in summer sounds like my idea of a nightmare!

Recommend:

#1 cut back on luggage
#2 dump car in Salerno as Ira says
#3 stay in a town where you can use the ferry to get around
#4 don't go near a SITA bus, even if one does show up!

Buona fortuna!
Dayle is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 07:26 PM
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I know - it sounds very stressful to me, too - but that's the size of the family... not much I can do about that. I think we've decided to leave the car in Salerno. If we don't take Sita buses, how do we get around to see sites like Ravello, Pompei, etc - What would you recommend? I don't believe ferries are available from Praiano - so we'd have to get to Positano, at least as far as I can tell.
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Jan 2nd, 2007, 07:28 PM
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I neglected to mention that we've already booked a place in Praiano, so can't change to a city where there is a ferry. Again, it was hard to find a place large enough for all of us!!
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Jan 3rd, 2007, 03:46 AM
  #17  
ira
 
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Hi P,

>...how do we get around to see sites like Ravello, Pompei, etc - What would you recommend? I don't believe ferries are available from Praiano - so we'd have to get to Positano, at least as far as I can tell. <

The Orange bus travels between Praiano and the Positano waterfront. It also stops at the top of the town (as does the SITA bus), if you want to walk down.

You can take the ferry between Positano and Amalfi and Sorrento.

You take the SITA bus up to Ravello.
You will take the SITA bus back to Praiano, as the ferries stop running early (I think).

From Sorrento, take the Circumvesuviana to Pompei Scavi, and the SITA bus to Praiano upon returning to Sorrento.

Check www.autoeurope.com, www.gemut.com and www.novacarhire.com for van rentals.

Enjoy your visit.



ira is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 06:42 AM
  #18  
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Thanks again Ira, sounds like you know your way around there very well. And you apparently don't think the buses are to be avoided. I'll check out the car rental places, as well.
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Jan 3rd, 2007, 09:34 AM
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Hi P,

Ira visited in Oct if I remember correctly. Very different bus situation from high season. If you try to go to Ravello, you might want to consider a taxi or 2 for your group.

When I visited in Sept, there was a stampede to get on the buses. Then everyone had to stand packed in like sardines in the non-airconditioned, sweaty bus while the drivers took their 20 minute ciggy breaks.

Also, the return bus from Ravello to Amalfi scheduled for 3:00 pm never showed. So, by the time the next bus came at 4:30pm, there was a huge crowd waiting to get on, especially since it was the LAST bus. You would not believe the pushing and shoving! It was ugly.
Dayle is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 04:47 PM
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My sister and her husband were there in September also, and said the same thing about the buses. Are taxis easy to find out there - or is it worth hiring a private driver for the day? Any other suggestions? I am so excited to go to this part of Italy, as it looks so extraordinarily beautiful - but now have worries about how to get around.
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