Italy: Naples and Amalfi coast

Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 01:25 PM
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Italy: Naples and Amalfi coast

hi - I need help!

I can't seem to find a clear idea of how to navigate the amalfi coast for 5 nights next August. (yes that's the only time we can go - 7 friends).

We'll be flying SFO to Naples.

2 nights in Naples: we plan to visit at a bare minimum the Archealogical musuem, Veiled Christ on day one. Day two we plan to go to Pompeii by train (30 mts) and back.

Day 3: I'm thinking since we're not particularly rich people and the $ is at a disadvantage to the Euro we should go to salerno. Base ourselves here.

Day 4: bus ride from Salerno to Sorrento and back??? (spectacular views abound?)

Day 5: Salerno to Capri and back.

Then we're off to Turkey for 10 days. What do you folks think? how can i best take in the Amalfi coast in 5 days??

thanks!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 02:30 PM
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For your stay in Naples consider http://www.bebmedea.com/ . We liked it.

Day one will be very limited as you are likely to arrive around mid-day. If you could add an extra day to Naples, you could just take in the old city on your first day, staying on your feet to stay awake.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...58744325/show/

You might want to take a look at my trip report; click on my name to find it.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 02:48 PM
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If you would state your hotel budget, we might have better suggestions than Salerno.

I would buy the 3 day Campania ArteCard Tutta la Regione (27€). It's the only one that includes transport down the coast (and metro/funiculars, etc. in Naples). It includes two free entrances to sites (you could use one day in Naples at the museum and the next day for entrance to Pompeii as your free entrances).
http://www.campaniartecard.it/#

I don't think I would use it on arrival day as that might just waste a day of transport, but it depends on where you will be staying. You can take the Alibus from the airport to Naples train station or port for a few euro.

Day 1 - Arrival
Day 2 - Museum (free with Artecard) - transport around city (free)
Day 3 - Pompeii 11€ (free with Artecard) via Circumvesuviana train (free with ArteCard).
Day 4 - Bus or train down the coast (bus free with ArteCard, certain trains free with ArteCard).

It's not clear how many days you have or if you were counting arrival day as a sightseeing day.

You might also consider staying on the coast first and ending in Naples so you will be close to the airport for your departure to Turkey. If so, you could use Sorrento as a base and transfer from the airport to Sorrento via Curreri shuttle bus (10€). Visit Capri (ferry or hydrofoil from Sorrento), then coast, Pompeii and Naples. Time the Artecard for the three consecutive days where you will get the most value.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 03:03 PM
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Salerno is a busy industrial town without a great deal of charm. Just north of Salerno is Vietri sul Mare, which has a bit more beach resort feel. I expect that you could easily connect to transportation hubs in Salerno, which is only a few miles south. There are hotels in Vietri sul Mare in the $120 per night range, which is cheaper than what you'd be likely to pay just north on the Amalfi Coast. Another thing to consider if you're in that area is a trip to Paestum, about an hour south of Salerno. The Greek temple ruins in Paestum rival those of Athens, and the crowds are considerably less. It would be an easy day trip, and I doubt it would be hard to find a bus or train, but I don't know the schedules since we were traveling by car. Enjoy the area!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 03:52 PM
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thank you all so much for your replies! To clarify the schedule:

as of now i'm planning to leave on a thursday night (day 1), arriving in Naples Friday afternoon. Planning to just walk around old town. (day 2)

Day 3 would be the museum and veiled christ. Day 4 would include Pompeii.

Day 5 - we would now head somewhere to the coast.
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9 -
Day 10 - we would fly out from Naples to Istanbul.

Since we're 7 of us it would be great after Naples to settle down for the remaining 5 nights in a villa/hotel somewhere along the coast (about $50-70 per night per person?) and then use that as a base to make day trips to ...ravello, capri..positano...sorrento...at a minimum.

ArteCard is a great idea - thank you - will defly get that. So sounds like Sorrento may be a good base? Thanks for the Paestum suggestion as well.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 04:48 PM
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We stopped in Pompeii on the way to Sorrento...and it takes about half a day to see. Sorrento is a good base for your trips to Capri and Positano. Try venere.com for lodging. The only other advice I can offer is 1) be SURE you have comfortable walking shoes for pompeii and Positano and Capri...and 2) Try not to eat in the cafeteria-style place at Pompeii (barf) if you are hungry, and do some research about where to eat in Capri. We didn't..it was raining...and we ended up at Restaurante Isidoro...where we had terrible food, got charged 3Euros extra because we split the slimy pizza, and the waiter was a jerk. Pretty place, tho You're gonna pay...so make sure it's at least good food.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 05:31 PM
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When we did a similar trip, after arrival in Naples, we took the train to Pompeii, stored luggage, saw the site, then trained to sorrento for three nights. Stayed at il nido and took busses to see the coast. Then last day with luggage, went to capri, stored luggage in a shop, visited Capri and took ferry to Naples for one night. See if that works for you.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 06:03 PM
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"We stopped in Pompeii... and it takes about half a day to see." The amount of time you need to "see" Pompeii depends entirely on your interest level. FWIW, we spent an entire day in Pompeii on our first visit there and didn't see everything. We spent another half day on another trip and still didn't see everything but probably all that we were most interested in seeing. Pompeii is one of the most fascinating places I've ever been, but I admit to a higher-than-average interest level.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 06:25 PM
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Without over analyzing it too much, I think I would
Day 1 - Depart home

Day 2 - Arrive Naples, continue straight to Sorrento (or
where ever you want to base for four/five days),
relax, walk around and enjoy a nice dinner.

Days 3 - 8 Play it by ear, depending on how you feel
Visit Pompeii one day
Take ferry or bus down the coast to Positano and/or
Amalfi one day.
Ferry to Capri one day (or go to Capri on day 8 and
spend the night.

Day 9 - head for Naples early in the day. Visit the museum,
see the museum with the veiled Christ.

Day 10 - depart

Alternatively,

Day 7 - go to Capri, spend the night

Day 8 - 9, Naples: See museums and Herculaneum (some think it is very worth while, others do not), or visit Pompeii from Naples one of these days.

You can see, since you want to see things there anyway, I would put Naples at the end for easy access to your flight, and somewhere on the Coast (or Sorrento on the Bay) for a first night to relax instead of Naples.

If you want to visit Paestum, others can offer different/better advice.

I would absolutely have a hotel with a pool in August. I would also (unless you are going to spend the night there) not have set days for Capri or Pompeii. That way, people can go off on their own and take as much time as they want in different places. Some people might choose some days not to tour. In August, I would not try to visit Pompeii on the day you arrive - not enough time and too hot mid afternoon.

The AC/Naples combined with Turkey sounds like the most perfect of all trips.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 06:56 PM
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Sorrento would make a better base than Solerno. It has easy connections to anywhere on the coast via train, bus or ferry, plus numerous hotels and restaurants.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 09:26 PM
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I also agree to go straight to Sorrento, rent a villa, visit the towns by boat or bus. You could even visit Naples on a day trip from Sorrento, instead of staying there. Try VRBO or HomeAway for villa rentals.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 09:37 PM
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So you have 10 days for Naples and the coast instead of 5? I would still head to the coast upon arrival and put Naples at the end. It really makes it easier to get to the airport on departure day especially if you have an early flight.

I would choose either Amalfi or Sorrento over Salerno for a base.

You won't find many villas that won't require a car although you can find apartments to rent.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 09:07 AM
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The villa rental is a pretty good idea if you have 7 people on a budget. You probably can find some kind of deal that works for you. I would think you could find something for $350-$450/nt (7 x $50-70)The only obstacle in high season is that you want a rental for less than a week. Still it's do-able.

I can recommend the Villa Punta Del Sole in Positano. It'll accommodate 7 and I think is in your budget. It's on VRBO.com. I think it would run you about $75/person/nt. Plus, you could save some money by having a meal or two at the place -- with a spectacular view of the sea.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 09:26 AM
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I agree with renting a villa - very affordable with 7 people. We rented Villa Le Sirene in Positano for a week last year and absolutely loved it. You not only save money on the rooms, but also on food as you can eat at "home". From Pos, we took a day trip via ferry to Capri, another day trip via ferry to Amalfi and Ravello, another day trip via ferry to Salerno and Vietri Sul Mare. Another day we spent relaxing on Fornillo beach, and another day we took the small boat to Laurito beach and had lunch at the beach bar there.

The website for the villa is www.villalesirene.com.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 10:55 AM
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we chose Naples(4 nights) and Salerno(3 nights) as a base and toured the Amalfi coast in August 2011.I can recommend Best Western Plaza Hotel in Naples(50 e/double B&B) and Hotel Plaza in Salerno(85 e/double B&B) just across the train station in Salerno.(both were early bookings via HRS and booking.com)
Day 1-Naples
Day 2- day trip to Capri&Anacapri(ferry from the molo beverello port-1 hr)
Day 3- day trip to Pompeii and Sorrento(train from Naples train station--circumvesuviana line)
Naples-Pompeii 40 min
Pompeii-Sorrento 30 min
Day 4-day trip to Ischia and Procida islands
Naples-Ischia 50 min
Ischia-Procida 20 min
Procida-Naples 60 min
Day 5-take the train to Salerno (30 min)exploring the town
Day 6-day trip to Positano and Amalfi
Salerno-Positano (70 min/ferry)
Positano-Amalfi (35 min/ferry)
Amalfi-Salerno ( 75 min SITA BUS for a late return or 35 min/ferry)
Day 7-day trip to Maiori,Minori and Ravello (bus)
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 10:58 AM
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forgot to ask if you need any help with your Turkey itinerary
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 12:20 PM
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wow thank you all so much fr your detailed advice - very very helpful. I was not keen on arriving in Naples and immediately departing for Sorrento (as the base) because I thought it may be too much travel after having traveled from San Francisco....on the other hand I understand it's just a 1 hr train ride at best? Do i not need to worry if flight is delayed into naples - how it may affect my train journey into Sorrento? Am i being overcautious...

I also get the advantage of being in Naples toward the end as it's easier to depart to Istanbul.

So it sounds like the recommendation is to land into Naples, depart via train to sorrento and base ourselves there. From there take day trips to Pompeii, Capri, Positano, Ravello, Naples (rather than staying in Naples even).....ok.

will look into the villas described here....

Also i know Amalfi coast is over priced and inundated with tourists in august....and not being able to really hang out in the ocean in any of the beaches is also...sad..although the views will make up for it....but should i consider maybe Portugal instead of Amalfi Coast (has anyone been??) - it's also full of beaches that you can swim in and warm...except a lot farther to istanbul And i thought Amalfi was always something I needed to see....i've seen pictures...it's beautiful.

Any beach town recommendations in Amalfi coast or easy day trips? I saw mentions of Fornillo beach and Laurito beach here....let me look that up...most of the beaches on the amalfi i read are not conducive to frolicking in the actual water...unless u like diving off of small cliffs/rocks...which i don't.

Turkey help yes I need - but let me first clarify my Italy itinerary first! Thank you all again!
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 01:10 PM
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Fornillo beach is the smaller beach in Positano. It has several beach bars and sunbeds for rent. We spent a fantastic day there in July - just got there fairly early, paid for our sunbeds and spent several hours before and after dinner on the beach and playing in the water - a very nice place to swim.

Our day at Laurito beach was our favorite of the trip - you catch a small boat at the dock in Positano and take a 10 minute boat ride to a small cove where there are 2 beach bar/restaurants and sun loungers to rent. Again, we had a wonderful day playing in the water and laying the sun, and had a fantastic lunch in our bathing suits in the beach bar.

Every place on the Amalfi Coast has tons of tourists in August. But if you go to the smaller beaches (or even take a boat ride) for the day it is very enjoyable and things are much quieter at night. Positano has lots of alleys and stairways where you can escape from the crowds if you want. Also, the villa I recommended above has a fantastic terrace where you can lay in the sun during the day and enjoy wine in the afternoon shade and dinner at night!

If you want to stay on the Amalfi Coast, don't spend all your time in Sorrento - it is not on the Amalfi Coast. It is a good base for Pompeii, Herculaneum, Capri, etc. - but IMO it lacks the charm of the tiny Amalfi Coast towns.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 01:15 PM
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true...i've heard that it's not charming and it's not really the amalfi coast either - it just seemed easy to get to from naples and well a convenient base for hopping to the other smaller coast towns.....but ok..it all depends onthe villa...if i get it in positano for our budget and for the # of ppl we are then...it's positano!! Thanks again for the beach info.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 02:50 PM
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>>>arriving in Naples and immediately departing for Sorrento (as the base) because I thought it may be too much travel after having traveled from San Francisco....on the other hand I understand it's just a 1 hr train ride at best?>>So it sounds like the recommendation is to land into Naples, depart via train to sorrento and base ourselves there.
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