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Italy Help

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Jan 30th, 2013, 05:17 AM
  #1
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Italy Help

Each xmas we make a jigsaw puzzle and give each of our kids(now 21 and 24) pieces in their holiday gifts. This is their favorite surprise! ( Last year we headed to London xmas day) They put the pieces together to discover where our family is heading for the yearly vacation (I travel a lot for work and it is a great use of points/miles). This year they found that they were going to help pick the destination. The great news is that we are headed back to Italy- we have never been S of Rome. We plan to spend a week on or near the Amalfi Coast and then a few days in Rome. We want to relax, do day trips- Capri, Pompeii, small AC towns... I would love to take a cooking class. We have been looking at Sorrento and Ravello. Am open to type of lodging. I know there is Hilton in Sorrento where I could use miles- they also have a quad room - 2 rooms 2 bathrooms together which would-be fun as we all end up hanging out in one room when we are in a hotel. The downside is that is a Hilton and I fell that you lose part of the experience - the upside is that I am a Diamond member so breakfast and lounge access are free. We don’t want to mess with a car. I would love any input to make this a great vacation. Our daughter graduates college in May and will start with Teach for America in June and I can't think of a better send off!
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Jan 30th, 2013, 05:28 AM
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Suonds like a great trip!

Check out www.summerinitaly.com for great apartments in that area. It might be nice to have the extra space and THE VIEW! That was our favourite part of staying in Positano - the terrace where we sat and drank wine and admired the lovely views.

They were very easy to work with as well.
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Jan 30th, 2013, 05:44 AM
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Thanks for the quick response-would you suggest one town over another?
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Jan 30th, 2013, 05:49 AM
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Sounds like a fun trip. We did something similar two years ago. If you can possibly work it into your itinerary, spend 2 or 3 nights on Capri. It is an entirely different place if you are there before and after the mid-day cruise ships and day-trippers. We enjoyed both Capri town and Anacapri and liked Capri even better than the AC.
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Jan 30th, 2013, 05:57 AM
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We wanted to stay on the Amalfi Coast and really fell in love with Positano. Alot of others stay in Sorrento, but we just werent intersted in staying there. I think there is an argument for either, its down to personal preference!
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Jan 30th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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Coincidentally, we did a similar trip a few years ago, when our daughter graduated from college. (She's about to graduate from grad school this year, and we're doing a trip to France)

Anyway, we stayed a week in Rome (Trastevere) in apartment. We used SleepinItaly.com, but there are many apartment rental agencies. I prefer an apartment, you get more of a local feel.
Your choice of places to visit sounds great...I agree that Positano is lovely, and I'd add Hercolano to your visit and a hike up Vesuvius, time permitting.
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Jan 31st, 2013, 03:21 AM
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Would you suggest in lieu if spending a full week in Sorrento that we cut that short and spend 2 nights on Capri? Also is Sorrento the best place to stay or is there another town possibly Ravello that might be better?
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Jan 31st, 2013, 03:51 AM
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I am one of the Sorrento lovers. For one thing, it's a nice little town. It's much bigger than Ravello, or Positano or Capri town - but it's still a small place. But you have more options for dining, exploring, etc. But probably it's main selling point is ease of getting to all the other places. You can take a boat or a bus (or combinations) to Amalfi, Positano and Ravello. You can easily get boats to Capri. You can train or boat to Naples. And Pompeii is an easy half hour train ride so if you are going there you can get there as it opens without getting up at the crack of dawn. I am normally not a fan of large chain hotels but if you can stay in the Hilton, with two rooms, for free in Sorrento I don't know why you would consider anything else. Save your money for other stuff.

Here's my trip report from our 8 day stay in Sorrento - http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rful-weeks.cfm
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Jan 31st, 2013, 07:36 AM
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I like Positano more than Sorrento, but you'll be fine with either as a base. I think Ravello might be better to visit than as a base.

BTW, re cooking class: The last time I was in Positano, walking down one of the streets to the beach, I noticed a spot where cooking classes were being held -- the kitchen was on a corner, with a large plate glass window so that passers-by could watch. It looked like fun.

Sorry, I can't remember much else about it, but maybe if you Google "cooking classes Positano," you might come up with something.
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Jan 31st, 2013, 08:02 AM
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L'Altra Costiera http://www.altracostiera.com/ is a rental agency based in Amalfi and owned by a native of Amalfi, Rosella Mottola, a lovely, very competent business woman who knows all the properties her company lists. We rented an apartment from her in Ravello with a balcony and stunning views of Minori and the coast.

In addition to rentals, her company also offers many tours and activities, including cooking classes (see lower righthand section of home page).

Best wishes with your plans! I love your Christmas gift to your children!
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Jan 31st, 2013, 08:54 AM
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We found Sorrento a fine base. As stated, it's a transportation node for the whole coast. Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Capri, etc are all an hour or so away, there are plenty of restaurants, shops, and so on. Click my name to find my (very wordy) trip report, that includes our time in Sorrento.
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Feb 4th, 2013, 09:20 AM
  #12
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Thanks everyone for your input. We are looking at either Sorrento or Positano based on the input and have it narrowed down to 2 small hotels. I decided the Hilton would be too big and not really give the feel I am looking for on this trip. I am so excited. Again thanks so much.
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