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Family of 5, Late Sept Southern Italy Trip Planning Help

Family of 5, Late Sept Southern Italy Trip Planning Help

Old May 25th, 2024, 09:53 AM
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For accommodations, if you are now just staying in Sorrento for a week, an apartment would have a lot of appeal to be able to eat breakfast in and do some easy meals in after a long day.

I think for a week, one room for 5 would be hard to find and very stressful. If in a hotel, 2 rooms, perhaps more modest, might work better and you would have the benefit of another bathroom. Also, one room could be used for naps or early bedtimes.
This is where your budget comes into play, if you don't mind sharing what you are hoping to spend on accomodations, some more specific help could be offered.
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Old May 25th, 2024, 09:55 AM
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janisj, typing at the same time!
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Old May 25th, 2024, 10:34 AM
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If you look at apartments in Sorrento, try not to stray too far from the center/train station area unless you're confident the property is on/near a city bus line. Sorrento is not village-size, and many apartments "in Sorrento" are far from the ferry dock, train to Pompei/Naples, bus to the coastal towns. Booking.com provides a map showing locations of apartments on their site and does a pretty good job of describing a property's "distance from center."

With kids, it would be much easier to stay within walking distance of the center. But here are the local bus timetables. You'll need to study a map of the area at the same time...

https://www.sorrentoreview.com/sorre...es--guide.html

You could also stay close to Sorrento near one of the train stops on the Circumvesuviana train line... S. Agnello or Piano, for example, are just a few minutes by train from Sorrento.

https://www.sorrentoinsider.com/en/n...train-schedule
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Old May 25th, 2024, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by chenzhao6966
Now, finding a hotel that can accommodate 5 in 1 room is difficult, but how strict are they with the occupancy limit? I found some rooms with 2 queen beds which we could fit (and have done before), yet the room is listed as 4 max. I know some countries are very strict on this (Japan for example), how is Italy on this matter?
In my opinion, you will need two rooms.
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Old May 25th, 2024, 11:42 AM
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Suggest a two bedroom/two bathroom apartment, perhaps a serviced apartment or aparthotel. I found a lot on booking.com, this is a good source and the reviews genuine. The advantage with a serviced apartment is you have a front desk in case you need help, etc. Price-wise this could be more economical than two separate hotel rooms, itíll also give you more room to spread out.
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Old May 25th, 2024, 05:00 PM
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Visiting Amalfi by ferry from Sorrento will give you the views without the carsickness. And there are flatter areas of town to wander.
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Old May 30th, 2024, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj
"Now, finding a hotel that can accommodate 5 in 1 room is difficult, but how strict are they with the occupancy limit? "

Most places will be VERY strict about occupancy - because of fire regulations if nothing else. A room for five would be unusual. You will most likely need two rooms, a suite with a sofa sleeper, or a vacation rental sleeping five. Some hotels might allow a rollaway but you'd have to arrange that with the hotel. (Don't ask about a 'cot' -- that would be a baby bed/crib-type - you'd want a sofa sleeper or rollaway)

Five people trying to get away in the morning all having to use one bathroom will be a hassle.
I see, thank you. Good call on the 1 bathroom too!

So scratch that idea, I will look for accommodations that can officially fit 5+
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Old May 30th, 2024, 05:17 AM
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Thank you everyone again (for some reason I didn't get notifications about the new replies, and I am just now seeing them)!!

After some time (more like hours) searching on booking.com and other sites, and using Google Maps street view to get a feel of the streets in Sorrento, I am having second thoughts. I just don't feel it's "wow" enough - if you know what I mean (granted, I realize now that the reason Sorrento was suggested was because of it is a good base for transportation to other destinations). I got this "impression" from reading and looking at many pictures/street view - so I could be entirely wrong!

I wonder if staying on the actual Amalfi Coast would suit us better. I already ruled out Positano (too expensive, too touristy). But what about towns like Minori, Amalfi or Atrani? I think staying in Amalfi/Atrani would be better transportation-wise, but I don't know if getting to places outside of AC would be too much of a hassle? Some things to do that I thought of:
  • Ferry to other AC towns. Since I heard buses around the coast line are rather miserable (crowded, carsick, long lines) + view of the towns is better from the water.
  • Pompeii (not a must, or maybe we could do that on our way to Rome, store the luggage at train station and spend 2 hours there?)
  • Paestum. This might be harder to get to from Amalfi.
  • Exploring nearby AC towns like Ravello.
  • Path of Gods would be too much for our little ones. But I found someone mentioning "path of lemons maiori to minori" which I thought would be very interesting!
  • Capri / Ischia - some say Capri is overhyped and recommends Ischia instead. But google tells me boat from Amalfi to Ischia is 2.5 hours - still doable for a day trip I guess but...
As I am writing this, I realized that perhaps I was trying to achieve contradicting goals... Choosing Sorrento means more options to do day trips to other places, but not as beautiful; then choosing Amalfi means we should probably just chill and relax, maybe splurge on a beautiful sea view room. Is that right? Am I going crazy?

As for budget, last night I found a really nice villa in Atrani for about $1k/night with a beautiful view, I think that's about the max we want to spend. Staying in Sorrento w/o seaview, is going to be much cheaper, like almost half of Atrani/Amalfi.
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Old May 30th, 2024, 06:45 AM
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Atrani doesnít have any transport options, but itís a beautiful little town, less than 10 minutes walk to Amalfi which is a hub. We spent 4 nights in Atrani in April 2022 and loved it, but we were stayed put on the AC and didnít venture anywhere further away.

Donít remember which day trips you mentioned, but remember Pompeii was one, this will be much easier from Sorrento. 1k/night seems rather high, we paid a little over Ä200/night for an apartment to sleep 4, we were right on the beach with a beautiful view.
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Old May 30th, 2024, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by geetika
Atrani doesnít have any transport options, but itís a beautiful little town, less than 10 minutes walk to Amalfi. We spent 4 nights in Atrani in April 2022 and loved it, but we were staying on the AC and didnít venture anywhere further away. Donít remember which day trips you mentioned, but remember Pompeii was one, this will be much easier from Sorrento. 1k/night seems rather high, we paid a little over Ä200/night for an apartment to sleep 4, we were right on the beach with a beautiful view.
Yes it does seem a bit high, I was very close to booking it last night (free cancellation in August) but decided to wait...
Yes Pompeii was one but wasn't a "must-go", I've included some other thoughts in my post above.

Would you mind sharing which apartment you were staying at? Are there a lot of steps involved when walking around Atrani/Amalfi area?
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Old May 30th, 2024, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by chenzhao6966
Thank you everyone again (for some reason I didn't get notifications about the new replies, and I am just now seeing them)!! . . .
Notification is not automatic -- you would need to specifically subscribe to the thread and set up e-mail notification .
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Old May 30th, 2024, 07:48 AM
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First of all, you won't receive notifications when replies are posted to your thread. You need to open the thread to see if there are additional replies.


"As I am writing this, I realized that perhaps I was trying to achieve contradicting goals."

Yes. And keep in mind that when you're traveling with a multi-generation group you can only do as much and go as fast as the slowest person. JMO but I think you're over-estimating the stamina and interest of the 4 y.o. and possibly the 7 y.o. for some of the sightseeing you're contemplating.

I don't know how many days/nights you've decided on, but you've listed at least 5 significant sightseeing goals. Presumably, if you want a "wow" place to stay, you'll likewise want to spend a day or two just enjoying where you are, giving the kids some down time, etc. IMO, to achieve all of this, you'd need to stay at least 8 nights in the area. If that's a possibility, as much as I dislike this sort of hotel change, you could split the nights between Sorrento and somewhere on the Amalfi Coast. If you don't have 8 nights, you have to decide whether the wow location is more important than the sightseeing goals. Only you can decide.
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Old May 30th, 2024, 08:12 AM
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Thanks Jean!

I listed those interests but they are not all "must dos", just something I've jotted down while reading thru the internet. I do agree that I should probably just take this part of the vacation as "preparing for Rome" lol.

Kids should get a kick out of boar rides so how about the following breakdown: 5 nights in Amalfi/Atrani + 6/7 nights in Rome

For the Amalfi part, we will just try the following (2,3,4,5 order can change):
  1. Arrival, walk about, recover from travel
  2. Explore Amalfi/Atrani/Ravello
  3. Visit other AC towns by boat
  4. Minori, path of lemons, easy hiking
  5. One day trip if possible (TBD)
  6. Leave for Rome
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Old May 30th, 2024, 12:09 PM
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I am really happy you are looking to increase the size of your accommodations. The relaxing part of your trip would not end up being relaxing with you all on top of each other!

How to choose where to stay in the area is hard. When we stayed we were in Positano and it did have the WOW factor but it also had the hassle factor. And that was for 4 adults. It is a steep hike up from the ferry and the Positano bus stop is in the middle of the route so it was often already full.

I think your priorities for where to stay should be an easy route to the ferry and the train, a flatter terrain, and a nice nearby beach and even better, a pool! It still will be hot in September. And you can still choose somewhere with a water view.

Get a driver to take you to Positano or somewhere equally WOW for a nice dinner and one day a driver to take you up to Ravello and other nearby interests for a fun lunch and beautiful vistas. We loved Pompei but haven't been to the other recommendations. We went first thing in the morning in May and it was rough by the time we left. I don't recommend it for the 4 year old and for the 7 year old, it would depend on his attention span. That might be a good one to split up for and let someone stay back with the kids.
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Old May 30th, 2024, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by chenzhao6966
Yes it does seem a bit high, I was very close to booking it last night (free cancellation in August) but decided to wait...
Yes Pompeii was one but wasn't a "must-go", I've included some other thoughts in my post above.

Would you mind sharing which apartment you were staying at? Are there a lot of steps involved when walking around Atrani/Amalfi area?
We rented the G&G Apt at Atrani from Luca, it sleeps four, youíll find it on Airbnb. Luca has other apartments too, you can email or whatsapp him for details. He also arranged a transfer from Naples airport, then again to Naples where we went after our stay at Atrani.

+39 339 221 1709

[email protected] https://www.alfierirooms.com

Amalfi and Atrani are mostly flat, very few, if any steps, Amalfi is a short walk away, anywhere from 6/7-10 minutes depending on where you want to go. Amalfi is a big bus and ferry hub, buses go via Atrani, but are mostly full and donít stop, unless someone is getting off. No ferries to Atrani.

Atrani has a small beach, right across from the apartment, which has a small balcony overlooking the seafront. Some good restaurants, surprisingly for such a small town.

Amalfi has a much bigger beach, we spent a morning there. Ä10 for the day, you get a lounger, umbrella and towels, also access to the bathrooms and shower. No obligation to buy anything, though of course thereís a bar and restaurant. The water was icy cold end April, but we enjoyed relaxing on the beach. The younger children and grandma might enjoy this while the others go sightseeing.

Ravello and Positano will be day trips, you can go to Capri or Ischia from Amalfi. But theyíre all in different directions, hard to do on the same day, so youíll have to choose. The Path of Lemons from Minori is beautiful and easy on the knees. Do stop for pastries at Sal de Riso, delicious 😋
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Old May 30th, 2024, 12:29 PM
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I replied with details of our Atrani apartment but the post has gone into moderation, hopefully itíll be available later today!

Like coral we also went to Pompeii early May just as they opened and it was pretty hot. No trees or shade, and it gets hotter as the day progresses. I wouldnít take the younger two, they can spend the day at the beach with grandma, itíll be much more relaxing for them.

Last edited by geetika; May 30th, 2024 at 12:32 PM.
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Old May 30th, 2024, 04:35 PM
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Thank you both, coral and geetika!

A pool would be nice, but seems like only high end hotels have them in Amalfi/Atrani and then we'd need 2 rooms for 5 = way over our budget. For example, 4 nights 2 rooms at Hotel Marina Riviera is $17k...

Maybe we save Pompeii for next trip when they were older and by then we could do the Path of Gods too!

I'm even looking at Ravello (yeah I know sorry I'm all over the place &#128514, so the thoughts are, if we are mostly going to roam around AC towns or just chill and relax, Ravello could work too? Plus I heard the view there is magnificent!
So on the 1 or 2 days where we need to take boats from Amalfi, we'd need to take a bus or taxi to Amalfi. Hmmm, seems reasonable?

For example, 4 night at Hotel Graal in Ravello, which has a pool and wonderful views (at least according to the pictures and reviews), is $3k+ for 2 rooms! The rate is similar to another good option in Atrani (albeit w/o pool). Idk if this is high or not but seems reasonable to me?
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Old May 31st, 2024, 01:34 AM
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Ravello and the views of the coast down below are stunning, but itís high up, quite far from the other towns by the water. IMO itís better to stay in Amalfi/Atrani and do a day trip to Ravello.
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Old May 31st, 2024, 05:15 AM
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Agree with Geetika that Ravello would be best as a day trip for your group. A longer stay there would suit honeymooners with knees in youthful condition who want to cocoon, hike, or attend the August music festival.

Atrani is a short walk to Amalfi: be sure to find the parking garage route rather than taking the scary road.

Have visited Paestum as a day trip from Amalfi. Is your crowd easy to herd? Ferry from Amalfi to Salerno (scenic, recommended), short walk from dock to train station, an hour or so on the train to Paestum, again a short walk to the stunning archeological site.

Consider saving on accommodation and splurging instead on a private driver from Naples via Pompeii or Herculaneum to your coastal destination. A private driver to Ravello could be money well spent too.
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Old May 31st, 2024, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by geetika
Ravello and the views of the coast down below are stunning, but itís high up, quite far from the other towns by the water. IMO itís better to stay in Amalfi/Atrani and do a day trip to Ravello.
I see. Btw i found the Airbnb you mentioned but unfortunately they are all booked out for September. Looks like a solid choice though!

Originally Posted by FTOttawa
Agree with Geetika that Ravello would be best as a day trip for your group. A longer stay there would suit honeymooners with knees in youthful condition who want to cocoon, hike, or attend the August music festival.

Atrani is a short walk to Amalfi: be sure to find the parking garage route rather than taking the scary road.

Have visited Paestum as a day trip from Amalfi. Is your crowd easy to herd? Ferry from Amalfi to Salerno (scenic, recommended), short walk from dock to train station, an hour or so on the train to Paestum, again a short walk to the stunning archeological site.

Consider saving on accommodation and splurging instead on a private driver from Naples via Pompeii or Herculaneum to your coastal destination. A private driver to Ravello could be money well spent too.
Thank you for the suggestion. I will try find a happy medium in terms of budget on accommodation + other places private driver for our group would indeed be very nice and money well spent.
How long did it take you in total to get from Amalfi to Paestum? From your description it sounds doable for us!

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