Getting around the Amalfi Coast

Old Mar 1st, 2009, 07:22 AM
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Getting around the Amalfi Coast

Our long awaited trip to the Amalfi Coast will finally happen in May. Thanks to this board I have learned a lot and have made hotel reservations for 7 nights in Positano.
My question is how to get around the AC. For example, is it reasonable to assume that we can get on a SITA bus and go to Amalfi for the day? Then the next day, get on the bus and explore another area? How long a bus ride are we looking at and how much does it cost?
This is purely a vacation - leisurely time spent exploring this area. I see us shopping, hiking, eating, seeing the sights and sipping limoncello. Not including the hotel or air travel is $150/day for two for food, transportation and any museum etc. entrance fees realistic?
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 07:29 AM
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Consider a rental car if you want to explore other towns.
I have driven the AC 2 times and it was fine. You can stop where you want for as long as you want.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 07:33 AM
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I also personally prefer a car. I have driven the AC route several times and other than a few interesting encounters with buses, I have had no problems. As for the $150 cost for items other than hotel and airfare, it is feasible but it really will depend on your personal plans. You can budget yourself to stay within that number. Good luck.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 07:48 AM
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You certainly can get on a bus in Positano and travel the half-hour or so to Amalfi, tour that town, and return to Positano. We took the bus from Amalfi to Cetara for dinner one night. But you are somewhat constricted by the bus schedules. Having a car would offer more freedom, at the cost of possible annoyances when searching for a parking place. If you plan to have a car, you might look for a hotel that offers free or reasonably priced parking.

I think you can do all right on $150US (118 euro), but you would have to be somewhat circumspect when choosing restaurants. For example, if I recall correctly, our dinners (for 2) cost in the range of 60-80 euro most nights with house wine. You can certainly eat for less money if you do light meals or pizza on some nights. But remember that I stayed in Amalfi and had two meals in Cetara; my guess is that Positano food and drink costs are higher.

I think that you might try to increase that figure to 130 euro or so if you plan to linger at cafes over drinks, etc.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 07:54 AM
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We are also going back to the Amalfi area in May (3rd time)...we rented a car both times and it makes a lot of sense to properly explore the area...the driving is easy and May is not too busy on the roads....we have taken the buses also...St Agata to Positano, St Agata to Amalfi, and while the buses can be convenient, you cannot depend on actually getting on the bus you want due to overcrowding...the buses can be literally jammed with no room available, especially on return trips from Positano/Amalfi in the later afternoon/early evening. Sometimes you may have to wait for over two hours to get on a bus. The only drawback with a car is parking...but if you dont mind parking a little outside town and walking a bit into the towns you should be ok. Enjoy!

Mikek
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 08:03 AM
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Your hotel may offer some parking.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 08:06 AM
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I spent a week in Priano on the Amalfi coast last year. I took trips every day on the SITA bus back and forth along the coast and found it a great way to travel. Bear in mind that driving on the amalfi coast can be a bit hair-raising - loving views of the coast but a bit scary when you meet buses and traffic on narrow roads with cliffs on the side. So, I was happy to leave it to the bus drivers. Buses were regular - could be a bit ovrcrowded but that was part of the Italian experience.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 08:07 AM
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I hadn't even considered a car. I will check into that possibility. Thank you!
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 08:26 AM
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travelernow,

If you do consider a car, be sure to ask if your hotel has parking and what the daily cost might be. Could add a lot. Personally I'd rather spend that money on sightseeing, food and wine!

Also, as long as the weather is nice, take the ferry or a boat along the coast at least once. The views from the water are wonderful!

Yes, everything is more expensive in Positano. It's very "resorty".

Buon viaggio!
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 08:38 AM
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With a car you can get to lovely areas off the main road - up in the hills and onto the Sorrentine Peninsula (Massa Lubrense, etc). You'll be able to park the car and take a hike or walk where there are few, if any, other tourists. You can also reach Pompeii and go up to the cone on Mt Vesuvius.

Be sure to include a visit to the Isle of Capri during your stay (overnight would be preferable).
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 08:52 AM
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You can buy a bus pass (usually from your hotel) for 6 per day (that was the price in Sept.).
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 09:32 AM
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There are four of us going in mid-April. We don't want to rent a car. Will the buses be crowded in mid-April? We will be staying in Amalfi from Friday until Tuesday with plans to visit Positano and Ravello.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 09:46 AM
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ira
 
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Hi TN,

The SITA buses go along the coast road from Salerno to Sorrento.

The ferries ply the route, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Salerno, with side trips to Capri.

Your hotel will be able to give you schedules and directions.

A nice daytrip is to ferry to Salerno, train (the station is 3 blks from the ferry) to Paestum for the Greek ruins, train back to Salerno and take the SITA bus back to Positano via Amalfi.

>is $150/day for two for food, transportation and any museum etc. entrance fees realistic?<

Depends on how much wine you drink and how much gelato you eat.

Assuming bkfst at the hotel and light lunches, you won't have to skimp on dinner if you figure about 45E pd pp. ($115 for 2)

Enjoy your visit.


PS: I wouldn't bother with a car.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 10:25 AM
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I would expect crowds on the buses even in Mid-April. Especially during the holiday period from about the 3rd through the 12th, which is Easter. The 25th is also a holiday which means crowds that weekend. Crowded buses mean standing room only.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 12:48 PM
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Thank you for the responses. It looks like we won't do a car (maybe the next trip) and will rely on the bus. I'll let everyone know how we do. I have added more money into the budget because we are planning on drinking lots of wine and eating lots of gelato.
After Positano we will spend 2 nights on Capri and 3 nights in Rome. I have to see the Sistine Chapel since we're so close.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 01:28 PM
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I agree on renting a car in May. The roads are less crowded then and you can have akot more freedom that you will waiting for buses. Driving the Amalfi Coast is really easy. Parking can be a little tricky (you need to make sure your hotel has parking) - but we never had trouble finding a place to park in any of the towns - in May. (Caveat: coming from NYC we are used to parallel parking on both sides of the cars in spaces only a tiny it larger than the car - and looking 15 or 20 minutes for a place to put one is normal for us. Although we generally found a place in 5 or 10 minutes.)

You need to realize that these aren;t cities but small towns built into the sides of a mountain - and they're very close together along the coast: Amalfi to Positano is only 12 miles, with another 10 or so to Sorrento and about 15 more than that on to Pompeii.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 02:40 PM
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ira
 
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hi tn,

>I have added more money into the budget because we are planning on drinking lots of wine and eating lots of gelato.<

Don't forget the limoncello.

FYI, most shops will offer you a sample of a very yellow liquid from the freezer. Let it warm up before you taste it. It probably has various colorants and artificial flavors. They will not always be listed on the label.

Good Limoncello is a greenish yellow and doesn't need the freezer. A fridge is sufficient.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 03:04 PM
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Good limoncello is NOT greenish, Ira! I think we have discussed this before here. What on earth do you think would give it a greenish color?
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 03:19 PM
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Well regarding the limoncello..all of my Italian friends buy the true AC coast limoncello and it is not greenish. They all keep the bottle in the freezer. They are gourmets when it comes to wine and limoncello. So with all due respect ira I have to agree with ekscrunchy.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 04:46 PM
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Well, having lived in NY and DC, I'm accustomed to crowded buses, but it will be new experience to my California lady friends. We will be there April 17-21, so we may miss some of the holiday crowd. Thanks, ekscrunchy.

I will give a full report when I return, including my take on limoncello. I'll even take photos for all to see if limoncello is yellow or green.
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