Italy - Should I go to the Amalfi Coast?

Mar 21st, 2008, 06:57 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 215
Italy - Should I go to the Amalfi Coast?

I will be Italy later this year. I have been before and I've seen the northern parts of Italy. I have never been south of Rome. I am debating where to go in Italy on this trip, and i'm thinking of the Amalfi coast, BUT....

I have seen many scenic coastal roads. In Hawaii, Queensland, Australia, the Great Ocean Road, Australia, Cape Town, South Africa, the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, the French Riveria, France, the Italian Riverira, Italy, Costa Del Sol, Spain, etc. How is the Amalfi Coast different?

I would like to experience something new on this trip, if not the Amalfi coast what can fodorites suggest in Italy.

Thanks in advance.
goingtobeijing is offline  
Mar 21st, 2008, 08:03 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 100
I have seen many pretty places also- but the Amalfi Coast is the prettiest!! Stayed 3 days Positano- ferried to Amalfi and Ravello. Everyone should go once-I say go for it.
TexasTiger is offline  
Mar 21st, 2008, 08:07 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,205
How about Sicily?
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2008, 06:36 AM
  #4  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,381
Hi G,

The AC is breathtaking.

When are you going?

ira is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2008, 07:34 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,156
So you've had your fill of fabulous scenery? The Amalfi Coast is different in that it is relatively densely built-up on a steep hillside accessed by one main narrow road.

The other thing about the Amalfi Coast area is the variety of things to do. From a base on the Amalfi Coast, you can visit Pompeii and Herculaneum, Naples, the isle of Capri, Mt. Vesuvius, and the Greek temples at Paestum.

Mimar, whose shoulder has just recovered from driving the road to Hana
Mimar is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2008, 07:46 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,020
I think we need to know more about your tastes before we answer this question. The A/C does have a winning combo of "charming" towns and striking scenery, but I would not travel there expecting the kind of endless breathtaking stop-in-your-tracks pristine views that you saw, for example, outside CapeTown or in parts of Hawaii. The geography is just not as dramatic. As mentioned above, it is is quite built out and very much on the well-beaten tourist track. I think its merit as a tourist destination derives from the combo of pretty views, the proximity to the attractions mentioned by Mimar, beach/water activities, and, for me at least, the food.

I think Sicily should certainly be a contender.

I will be returning to the AC next month so will post my own experience after I return.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2008, 08:35 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,020
You're fortunate to have experienced so many scenic places. I live in California and I think most will agree Highway 1 is a spectacular drive. We also visit Hawaii often and never tire of the beauty there. But we found the drive from Sorrento to Positano/Amalfi to have a specialness all its own! We were very impressed with breathtaking views and visits to both these cities. I can't imagine how anyone could be disappointed, no matter where they've been before. It's one of our favorite places in Italy.
Giovanna is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2008, 01:41 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 215
Thanks for all the suggestions and comments.

I have a few comments of my own, based on what I've read....

TexasTiger - have you been to any of the places I listed in the original post?

ira - "when are you going?", that is the million dollar question. I have had Italy on the agenda for years, but it just keeps getting put off, I am determined to travel to Italy this year. I am hoping to get a last minute deal on a charter flight during summer. If this doesn't work out, I will be going in October or November, when airfares come down. I know October and November are not the best times of the year to go.

ekscruncy - "I think we need to know a little more about you tastes before we answer this question"...I travel to see different things, I prefer new experiences when I travel. I prefer not to visit places similar to where I've already been. I was very disappointed with a trip to South Africa, (no fault of SA), I am trying to avoid another dissappointing trip. This is why I posted the question.

Mimar, it sounds like you were changing gears all the time, honestly, I'm not up for driving I will be travelling solo and I'm debating whether to take a tour from Rome, or go to Positano and base myself there, then take tours to the different sights in the AC.

thursdaysd and ekscruncy - I do appreciate you suggestioning Sicily, I was debating between Sicily and the AC, the AC appeals to me more than Sicily.

Giovanna - "you are very fortunate to have experienced so many scenic places". Yes, you are right. I think the reason why I listed those places is because I would like to experience something unique in Italy, and I don't want the AC to remind me of things I've seen elsewhere.

I am thinking the AC similar to Cinque Terre in scenerary. Also, I think of the AC as a crowded version of the French Riveriera. (ie, there are more buildings, people, etc in less space).

TexasTiger, thursdaysd, ira, Mimar, ekscrunchy and Giovanna, from your experiences is it easy to travel around solo and without a car? I don't speak Italian, did any of you have language problems during your visit?

Thanks.



goingtobeijing is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2008, 02:51 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,020
We didn't need a car. In fact the driver would miss most of the beauty. It's a two-lane, very curvy road and requires full attention. We took a SITA bus from Sorrento, where we like to stay.

The Circumvesuviana trains from Sorrento to Naples have stops for both Pompeii Scavi and Ercolano (Herculaneum).

We've taken ferries from Sorrento to Capri. They also go to Ischia and Naples from there.

My husband is of Italian descent and is able to converse in Italian, but we encountered many English speakers in that region.

I obviously can't guarantee you that you won't be reminded of places you have been, but I certainly wouldn't equate it with the Riviera. In my mind, it has a definite personality of its own.

Incidentally, I don't think Oct-Nov would be ideal months to visit. Lots of things close down at that time of year and I think the ferry schedule lessens. Hope this answers your questions.
Giovanna is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2008, 07:37 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,336
The Amalfi Coast has a distinct personality. It's nothing like Cinque Terre, and certainly, even in the summer months, not as painfully crowded as the French Riveria in August. (Although watch out for the SITA buses that connect the towns along the coast!)

There's a reason why poets rhapsodized about the views in Positano, although why they forget to mention the food (!!) I'll never know.

Anyway, I think the only real way for you to answer your questions is to go and experience it for yourself. But do yourself a favor and don't visit in October/November, when many hotels/ restaurants start winter hours, and the weather can be iffy at best.
Weadles is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2008, 04:07 AM
  #11  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,381
Hi G,

Up to mid-Oct the weather is still nice on the AC and the ferries will be running on the regular schedule.

ira is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2008, 06:10 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,020
You won't have any issues with the language on the A/C and you can easily travel around with out a car. Being solo is no problem there or anywhere in Italy.

The area will be jam packed in high summer with the attendant traffic jams and crowded buses. I would go off season..but that is just me..

What disappointed you about South Africa?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2008, 07:24 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,156
I don't recommend driving along the Amalfi Coast. Off season you can take the SITA buses; in season, the buses are crowded but there are boats linking the towns.

If you want to take tours, more would probably be available from Sorrento than Positano. For Pompeii, there are guides at the entrance.

Note: Sorrento is not on the Amalfi Coast but around the corner on the Bay of Naples. So if you stay in Sorrento, you're not staying on the Amalfi Coast.
Mimar is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 07:47 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 215
Thanks everyone for helping me plan my trip to Italy.

I have deceided to go to the AC only if i visit Italy between now and September, I don't think the AC coast is worth visiting when the weather is iffy.

eskcrunchy, you were asking about my experience in South Africa. I had started a thread on this topic in 2006, it is listed in the Africa forum, the title is South Africa-What a waste of time. You'll be able to find it if you do a search.

As for me, I'm busy reading different guide books on Italy, if the AC coast doesn't work out, I'm going to look into visiting other areas of the country.
goingtobeijing is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 08:06 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 21
Glad you have seen the Great Ocean Road, that is my part of the world. Now - I spent a week in Sorrento (in Italy, not Victoria!!) and felt this gave the best base not only to the Amalfi Coast but also Capri, Pompeii, Naples etc but the best bit was seeing all these areas on the local buses, we lurched and rumbled across 'goat tracks' with spectacular views then got on and off when we felt like it.
Edgie
Edgie is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 01:58 AM
  #16  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,381
Hi G,

>I have deceided to go to the AC only if i visit Italy between now and September, I don't think the AC coast is worth visiting when the weather is iffy.

We were there for the 1st week in Oct.

Off season rates.

Weather was perfect except for rain on 1st and last days.

ira is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 04:50 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,020
Thanks, Beijing..I will search for the SA report!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 05:06 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 426
We spent a week in Praiano mid-October last year. Scenery was spectacular but IMO not worth the inconvenience of getting around on the "amalfatina" highway. If you get car sick...forget it...you will get as far as Positano and want to stay put. Although we had a driver for part of the week and drove ourselves around once we figured out the "rules of the road" on this dangerous and narrow roadway, we can honestly say that we would not go back. Unlike Cinque Terra, where each town is accessible by train, getting around AC is just too much trouble.

Last year, early October weather was nice but it turned unusually cold and rainy mid-October. If you look at the dates when the off-season rates kick in, you will have a pretty good idea of when the weather gets cool (50F).
yellowbyrd is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 05:13 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,020
Beijing: I did a search on Africa and could not find your report..would you mind posting the link for me, as I would like very much to read it and see how our experiences differed. Just in case you have any interest, here is my (I am ashamed to say) as-of-yet-incomplete report from Fall 2007:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35088021



Sorry for steering this thread far off course!!! We will now zoom up to the Amalfi Coast..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 05:42 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,020
Never mind: I found your report. All I can say is that if you found "nothing interesting to see" in South Africa, and were not all that impressed by the scenery of the Garden Route or around CapeTown, I doubt if you will be impressed with the scenery on the Amalfi Coast..
ekscrunchy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:41 PM.