Help with Amalfi Coast


Apr 19th, 2017, 07:52 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Help with Amalfi Coast

Hi there, LONG time reader, but never post. I was hoping some of you could answer my questions as I figure out my birthday trip to myself. A little background: I will be a solo woman traveling (because my friends are all scared to leave the comforts of their homes) and was thinking of going to Amalfi Coast around the October 2017 timeframe. I have been to Italy and did the normal Rome, Florence, Venice tour around 10 years ago. BUT that tour was too exhausting and I do not want to repeat that kind of schedule. Plus, now have traveled a few more times by myself and am somewhat OK with my own schedule. So since I will be on my own, I was thinking about doing a cooking school for a day or two and then maybe Capri. There are sooo many cooking schools and I was wondering if someone can recommend one, I saw there was one school where you can stay at their property for a day or two. So if anyone can give me some recommendations, I would really appreciate. One a side note: I will not be renting a car, and will need to do all my travels by plane, train, bus, etc. (Coming from the US)

Ok, so that is it for now, I do have a lot more questions, but I will take this one piece at a time.

thank you in advance for your advice.

maxman is offline  
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Apr 19th, 2017, 09:33 AM
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Suggest you ask on Chowhound for a cooking school/class recommendation. However, depending on when you plan to go in October, you might be outside the tourist season when cooking classes are offered. Or you might need to do it Sorrento.
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Apr 19th, 2017, 12:03 PM
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Great idea to do a solo trip on the AC in October! Just a few questions before I can give you answers?

What are the cooking schools you are considering?

How long is your trip?

Where will you be staying?
ekc is offline  
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Apr 19th, 2017, 02:11 PM
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I too was thinking about Sorrento. Big enough to have plenty going on in the evenings, [and shops open then too] but small enough to feel comfortable, with great connections by bus, boat and train to anywhere you'd want to go.

[not quite the Amalfi, but that's easy enough to get to].

Can't recommend a cooking school but I can recommend a language school there if you want one.
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Apr 19th, 2017, 02:58 PM
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I believe others here have recommended Mamma Agata in Ravello....I can't speak from experience (I want someone else to do the cooking for me on vacation).

If you are interested in a wonderful wine tasting with a full, home cooked lunch, we so enjoyed Tenuta San Francesco in Tramonti. We went with "Swirl the Glass" but there may be other companies who offer a tour there. The winery and vineyards were lovely! The food was made on site and was terrific. I would do it again.
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Apr 20th, 2017, 11:17 AM
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Thank you for your suggestions. I guess I am trying to figure out what to do while there since I will be on my own. I did read about Mamma Agata and it had great reviews. Is that somewhere I can get to using public transportation? I am not familiar at all with this region but I know it looks beautiful. I dont want to spend my whole time there is a cooking school, maybe a day or two the most and would also like to go Capri. I have not yet made any reservations for anything yet, I was trying to build around the cooking school first so I can get my bearings of the area I need to be in.
Any other suggestions, welcomed. I will also get on internet to look at a map of the area.
maxman is offline  
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Apr 20th, 2017, 12:48 PM
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You can easily reach Ravello (where Mama Agata is located) via public transportation. I have not attended Mama Agata as it is out of my price range and I have heard that they do most of the cooking - not you. I attended the Buca di Bacco cooking class in Positano and really enjoyed it - totally hands on.

I rent an apartment at Casa Caldiero in Positano and love it. The location and views are fantastic and the owner is lovely. I have also rented an apartment at Villa Le Sirene in Positano and also love the views and the owners!

You can easily reach Capri from Positano and Amalfi (weather permitting). for ferry schedules.

I would also recommend a vineyard tour and lunch at Vigne di Raito. You can take the ferry down to Salerno and they will pick you up and take you to the vineyard (10 minutes away). You could combine it with a visit or tour of Vietri Sul Mare - famous for ceramics.
ekc is offline  
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Apr 20th, 2017, 01:09 PM
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I will not be renting a car, and will need to do all my travels by plane, train, bus, etc.>

If coming from Rome booking train tickets well in advance can save tons of money -anyway for lots of info on trains and where to go check; and (this one superb info on discounted tickets).

On the Amalfi no need to advance booking - just buy bus tickets or boats as you go.

I really enjoyed walking up to Ravello from Amalfi (the town) and back down thru vineyards - if time go for it.
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Apr 20th, 2017, 05:00 PM
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I agree with PalenQ.
I stayed at Sorrento for 4 nights.
Visited Capri on a day trip by boat.
Visited Amalfi, Positano by bus.
It is a beautiful drive but it can be risky. Roads are narrow and buses and cars come at high speed in both directions. The scenery is a big distraction.
I enjoyed the scene more from the bus. they are frequent and inexpensive.
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Apr 20th, 2017, 08:46 PM
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I strongly encourage you to get a good guidebook to the area, one that is particularly comprehensive -- perhaps the Rough Guide or Lonely Planet?
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Apr 21st, 2017, 04:42 AM
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I've been to the region three times - once with my husband, once in a group of 4, and once solo. I did the sames things basically on all trips so not sure if you feel the need for a cooking class for something to "do" or if you really think it would be fun to do. My point is just that you don't 'need' organized activities to enjoy yourself, even on a solo trip. (But I think a cooking class sounds great).

I agree that Sorrento would be the best base especially in October. First of all it's easiest to get to on arrival (when you might be tired and have luggage) so unless you can afford a private car it makes things more pleasant in the beginning (and end) of the trip. Second, it's much more central, so if you are interested in anything other than the Amalfi Coast itself it's much easier. Things like day trips to Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples - as well as Positano, Ravello, Amalfi and Capri (and also Ischia). Tons of possibilities for wonderful day trips. And as others stated, Sorrento itself is a bit larger (still a small town) so more options for restaurants, and more people around in the evening.

I have not been in October, but have been in July and March and in March a lot was still closed in Positano and Amalfi (for the season) so don't know if that would be the case for October. Still very worth going, but I was glad I was based in Sorrento.

There is a ton of hiking possibilities all over the region. So that's something to do as well as visiting the villages. If the boats are still running between Sorrento and Amalfi/Positano definitely do that at least once, but the bus is fantastic too, the views are amazing. Make sure you sit on the 'correct' side (depending on the direction you are going in).

Photos -
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