Italy- help with trip please!

Jan 14th, 2005, 10:20 AM
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Italy- help with trip please!

We fly into Rome for a day and then head off to Florence (plan on a couple of day trips to Sienna/Pisa) for 4 days and want to head down to the Amalfi coast for 4 days.

We are now debating between staying in Sorrento or in Amalfi for 4 days - using these cities as a base to explore the surrounding area..
Question is: which city of the 2 is a better vantage point, sorrento/amalfi. I've heard horror stories about the drivers along the coast!
Any insight into this would be appreciated.
nks267 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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Sorrento is not on the Amalfi Coast. Think of it as the next-door neighbor.

But in terms of where to stay, it really depends what you want to do. Day trips to Capri and Pompeii are much easier from Sorrento. However, Sorrento is a city, and may be less appealing to you than Amalfi.

That being said, I'm not a huge Amalfi fan. I think it isn't nearly as dramatically beautiful or memorable as Positano or Ravello.

Anyway, good luck with your plans!
Weadles is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 04:17 PM
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I'm going to pretty much say the same thing that Weadles said. I'm not a fan of Amalfi either. Tour busses can easily get there, so it's mobbed with day trippers. Positano is much prettier, and there are no cars in the main section - the streets are often no more than 4 ft wide, and they often go down stairs. The best thing to do is to settle in to Positano & take the excellent bus service and boats to everywhere else. I like Sorrento even less than Amalfi. They have large hotels that can accommodate very large organized tour groups - so guess who they attract?

You can take trains or busses for your entire trip, which is what I would do unless you want to drive around in the spectacular Tuscany countryside.

Stu Dudley
San Mateo (San Francisco), Ca
StuDudley is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 05:15 PM
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I am very confused with both Weadles and StuDudley's posts. Both seem to indicate they don't like Amalfi but love Positano? Positano is part of the Amalfi coast!

But for your question, as far as a place to be as a base to explore, yes Sorrento is probably best....however, not in my opinion the best. As Stu eluded to Sorrento is full of tourists and I don't think its really a great place to stay...if you like crowds and tourist shovels then ok but otherwise head for Amalfi...much more quaint and dramatic coastline. Do not listen to horror stories of driving, its your normal twisty roads with narrows streets...nothing anyone can't deal with. These are probably coming from people who say don't drive in Italy period, which couldn't be further from the truth, driving in Italy is very pleasant. To avoid the mass attack, yes I've driven in Rome, Naples, all the large cities and from Sicily to Milan and beyond those so can it...driving is not difficult that is if you aren't a generally nervous and intimidated type driver to start with. Have a great trip!
Traveler863 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 05:31 PM
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I'm pretty sure that Weadles and Stu were talking about the town of Amalfi, not the entire Amalfi Coast. Many people prefer Positano as a base over the town of Amalfi.
Jocelyn_P is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 05:44 PM
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Good catch, though I don't consider Amalfi really Amalfi so blot that out of memory. Postitano and Ravello are good but for real charm try Praiano or Minori. Happy travels to all!
Traveler863 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 05:46 PM
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Yes thats a no brainer, early flight stay at FCO Hilton. enjoy your trip!
Traveler863 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 06:30 PM
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Hi Traveler 863, I think your post re:
no brainer FCO Hilton, you meant to post on the Rome Early Departure thread rather then this thread.

BTW, I agree with you, I would do this also.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 07:37 PM
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I have to politely disagree with traveler863 about driving on the Amalfi Coast. I drove in Manhattan for 20 years, and most days didn't have to back up on a narrow street with no guardrail because a truck was bearing down on me from the opposite direction!

I guess if you're not fainthearted, this won't bug you, but it's not my idea of how I'd want to spend my vacation. Add to this the incredible traffic most days in the summer, and you can see why public transportation (esp. boats when possible!) is often best.

Weadles is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 10:49 PM
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Driving in Manhattan is a totally different ball of wax than driving Amalfi. I don't even need to differentiate between the two I think the readers here can form a good mental picture!

I agree, its definitely not for the nervous types....the roads are twisty and parking in towns tight however, there are some of us that enjoy that and have absolutely no problem with that....its part of our vacatiion.

For those going to Italy and deciding whether to drive or not its truly a personal decision. Only you know what type of driver you are and what you are comfortable with. In Italy, for the autostrade you need to be brisk for secondary roads again brisk and with towns get in there and park it, I've never not found parking! Have a great time!
Traveler863 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 04:10 AM
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Hi nks,

I can highly recommend the Hotel Le Sirene in Praiano.

See my trip report for more info.

ira is offline  
Jan 16th, 2005, 06:05 PM
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Thank you to everyone who replied..I think Postino may be the way to go..not a big fan of the tour buses.

Ira, thank you for the hotel suggestion, I will look into it...any other suggestions are more than welcome at this point!
nks267 is offline  
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