Italian Days and Nights?

Jan 10th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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Italian Days and Nights?

I posted last week that my husband and I will travel to Italy in June, and asked questions about the Amalfi Coast. I have more questions! It seems that we will need to fly into Rome because our travelling companions want to attend a medical convention there. Fine, I love Rome. It is the only place in Italy I have ever been. My question is, what is the best way to get to the Amalfi Coast in June, based on experiences by people who have done it? My son says to take the train. But there are two couples and I want to see Ravello, Sorrento, Positano, etc. and I'm wondering if a car is unreasonable for some reason. Also, how long to stay in each town and/or which town to stay in? Obviously I am just beginning the planning and I need first hand advice. I am open to suggestions. I am the poster who is taking the trip to Italy because of a disappointing medical diagnosis and would like to see the beauty that Italy has to offer before I lose my sight (boy that sounds melodramatic, even to me). Is the Amalfi Coast the place to go??? Or are there other places in Italy I should see?Thanks you.
rbnwdln is offline  
Jan 10th, 2005, 12:28 PM
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rbnwdln is offline  
Jan 10th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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Personally, I wouldn't rent a car. You can take a train to Naples and the Circumvisuviana to Sorrento. I would base myself in one place (my preference would be Sorrento, but many here will say Positano or Priano). It's easy to take busses or boats to the places you want to go.
Grasshopper is offline  
Jan 10th, 2005, 01:12 PM
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rbnwdln, sorry about the diagnosis and may you enjoy many wonderful sights in Italy.

The Amalfi coast is beautiful, the views in Ravello are magnificent. If you want to treat yourself to the most comfortable way to travel from Rome to Ravello, consider hiring a private driver for the day, who will make many wonderful stops on the way.

We stayed at Hotel Nazionale a Montecitorio on Piazza Montecitorio in rome. Loved it. Great location. From there we had a pre-arranged driver who picked us up at and drove us in a van to Sorrento, stopping at Vesuvius and Pompeii on the way, making it a full day's excursion. Then we spent 2 nights in sorrento. From Sorrento we had another pre-arranged driver take us on a day-tour in his comfortable minivan, stopping at Amalfi, Praiano, Positano, and Ravello. At Ravello we visited Villa Cimbrone, which is very beautiful and would be a memorable place to stay. Wonderful gardens and ocean view. then our driver took us back to our sorrento hotel. This driver, who I highly recommend, was Giovanni Benvenuto at He was a very careful driver so I relaxed on the hairy, scary Amalfi coast drive and we all enjoyed the scenery. He was very pleasant to spend the day with and explained things along the way.

Then when we left Sorrento we had a driver take us from Sorrento to the Naples train station. There we got the Eurostar train to Florence. A very enjoyable train ride.

Amalfi/Praiano/Ravello was beautiful. I was also entranced with Tuscany, where we stayed in Florence and siena and had a driver take us along the lovely chianti area on the drive between florence and siena. I much preferred Siena over florence. For me, Amalfi/Praiano/Positano/Ravello was lovely and I'm glad I saw them. I wouldn't go back because once is enough. But Tuscany stirred something in my soul that loves beauty and peace, and I long to return to tuscany for a week.

Have you seen St. Peter's in rome? It is magnificent.

What about Venice? I'll never forget my first sight of Venice.

My second cousin went to the Amalfi coast on his honeymoon and they rented a car and drove, much to their regret. They didn't enjoy driving on the steep, narrow, curvy roads at all, though they thought it was a beautiful area.

Buon viaggio!
Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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rbnwdln, it just occurred to me that I could send you some photos by e-mail if you want to see some of our photos of Ravello, Praiano, Positano, and Amalfi. It might help.
Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2005, 01:15 PM
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rbnwdln, Ahhh! I keep forgetting something. If you want the photos my e-mail is [email protected] but if you write please mention AMALFI in the subject matter or else I might accidentally delete you thinking it's junk mail.
Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2005, 02:38 AM
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For POSITANO or AMALFI I always think the nicest way to arrive is by boat from SALERNO.
From Rome you can reach Salerno by train in about 2.5 hours.
From Salerno station it's a 500m walk to the jetty.

For SORRENTO you can go by train via Naples as Grasshopper said.

Another option for either Sorrento or Positano in summer is the direct Rome-Sorrento-Positano bus service (Operator Marozzi).

Like Grasshopper I probably wouldn't rent a car. You can get everywhere on the Amalfi coast by ferry and bus.

Hope this helps ...

Steve_James is offline  
Jan 11th, 2005, 02:54 AM
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rbnwdln, in my opinion you have received some very good suggestions from other Fodorites.

Regarding your sight, may I ask if you have gotten a second opinion from another Doctor? I ask this as I had a family member that was given a diagnosis that within a year or two he would loose his sight. Evidently the Opthamologist was wrong because this person still had their sight when they died twenty years later.

Prayers to you, and wishes for a beautiful and wonderful trip in Italy
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 11th, 2005, 04:12 AM
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Hi rbn,

The best, and most expensive way (about 400E) is a private car from Rome to your hotel.

I go with Steve. Train to Salerno in the morning. The ferry dock is about 3 blks SEof the train station. Ferry to Amalfi and take the bus to Ravello or Praiano, or continue on by ferry to Positano.

If you want to stay in Sorrento (more convenient to Pompeii and Naples) train to Naples and hire a car to take you to your hotel (this also works for Positano and Praiano) about 100E.

Train schedules are at

Ferry schedule from 2003

Salerno (P.zza della Concordia) Positano: 5E
08,40 09,40 - 11,30 14,10 15,30

You might find the AC portion of my trip report helpful. It also has a link to pix of Praiano.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jan 11th, 2005, 07:11 AM
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I know most people will disagree with this - but esp for 4 people I would reco using a car. June is not as crowded as August - and as far as I can tell this is the only potential negative.

A lot of people say the driving is scary or dangerous - it is not either - just a narrow road, crowded, with low speeds. If you are reasonably confident drivers and don;t have a special fear of heights - in which case you will have trouble on the AC anyway - you will do fine. Just be sure your hotel offers parking.

(We have been to the AC twice - staying in Sorrento once and Amalfi once- both times in the spring with a car and had no problems at all. The car was great for day trips - without waiting for a bus - or paying huge amounts to a driver.)
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 11th, 2005, 08:13 AM
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I have to disagree with nytraveler. I've been to the AC quite a few times, and a car is a liability in the summer months. There's considerable traffic ( especially on the weekends) and very little parking in most of the towns along the coast. And then there's those hairpin turns, and backing up for trucks that are coming in the opposite direction... Not the way I'd choose to spend my vacation when public transportation (take the boats as much as possible between towns) is relatively easy.

As for where to base, how much time will you have on the coast? If you have a week, you could split your time between Sorrento and Positano. From Sorrento, you could do easy day trips to Capri and Pompeii. From Positano, you could easily do day trips to Amalfi and Ravello.

Good luck with your plans, and best of luck with your health problems!
Weadles is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 09:19 PM
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topping... for my own future reference...
rex is offline  
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