Naples & the Amalfi Coast in 7 days

Apr 24th, 2019, 06:39 PM
  #1  
plr
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Naples & the Amalfi Coast in 7 days

I find this forum to be extremely difficult to navigate without having to go through a hundred threads to find a title resembling what I need help with. So I apologize if this has been discussed many times.

I will fly into Rome next Sept, and have 7 days before returning to Rome to meet friends. I am traveling solo and would love to hear all recommendations about:
--how to utilize this short time,
--sites not to be missed,
--how to best use public transportation or tour buses (Not rental car!),
--best 1-2 villages & hotels to base myself to do day trips for several days each,
and any other helpful suggestions.
So looking forward to your experienced help!!
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Apr 24th, 2019, 06:56 PM
  #2  
kja
 
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The answers to most of your questions depend on your interests, about which you do not speak. Depending on those interests, you might want to stay in Naples, Capri, somewhere on the Amalfi Coast itself (e.g., Amalfi, Positano, Atrani, perhaps Salerno), or Sorrento.

Depending on where you choose to stay, you will probably use a combination of ferries, buses, and trains to get around. Consult rome2rio.com for your options, but be sure to click through to the underlying sites, as the main web pages are not sensitive to seasonal variation in schedules.

A good guidebook or two would serve you very well.
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Apr 25th, 2019, 07:19 AM
  #3  
 
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Plr, Naples and the Amalfi Coast was one of my favorite trips ever. My report may give you some ideas, Solo in Italia May 2015: Sorrento, Amalfi, Paestum, Naples, Rome.
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Apr 25th, 2019, 10:49 AM
  #4  
plr
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Originally Posted by bon_voyage View Post
Plr, Naples and the Amalfi Coast was one of my favorite trips ever. My report may give you some ideas, Solo in Italia May 2015: Sorrento, Amalfi, Paestum, Naples, Rome.
Thanks for this, bon_voyage. I will read it tonight!
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Apr 25th, 2019, 11:05 AM
  #5  
plr
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Points well taken, kja. Hard to generalize, but I love exploring ancient ruins sites of all kinds (cathedrals in small doses), well-kept quaint "old town" sections of villages, archeological & some special interest museums (art museums, not so much), beautiful vistas, medieval castles (palaces not so much). I am recently retired and am a good walker, but not looking for extremely strenuous hikes.
Narrowing down my questions a bit:
--Which village on the stretch from Sorrento to Salerno would be beautiful, walkable in the evenings, and most convenient to any forms of public transportation to do day trips in the area for 3-4 days?
--Best reasonably affordable way to get from Rome to this village with 1 1/2 wheeled suitcases?
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Apr 25th, 2019, 11:11 AM
  #6  
 
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OK, public transit is easy to all those places on Amalfi - high-speed train to Naples Centrale then walk via marked walkways about 1/4 mile or bit more to the adjacent CircumVesuviana train station - a commuter train - just buy tickets at station - costs just a few euros to Sorrento - a great base for the Amalfi by world-famous Amalfi buses or occasional ferries. Good base for Pompeii and day trip to Capri and one along the Amalfi - say to Amalfi and back.

For lots on trains and booking high-speed train tickets in advance to score discounted tickets check www.seat61.com - general info things to see by train, etc - www.ricksteves.com and BETS-European Rail Experts.
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Apr 25th, 2019, 04:19 PM
  #7  
kja
 
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With those interests, you might want to see:
  • The Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum (surprisingly different, IMO) along with the extraordinary museum of archeology in Naples. I chose to visit them from Naples, but you can also easily visit them from Sorrento or Salerno (and with a transfer or two, from anywhere else in the area).
  • The Greek temples of Paestum, along with the small museum there (which holds some exquisite and very rare pieces).
  • Naples, with its historic center around Spaccanapoli and its castles (depending on what, exactly, you mean by "well kept.")
  • Ravello, for its incomparable views, lovely gardens, and medieval streets and palaces.
  • Capri for stunning views. Note that Capri is much more pleasant after day trippers leave, at least IMO.
  • And more!
Many people who want a single base stay in Sorrento. If you are willing to move once or twice, you have many options -- as already noted.
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Apr 26th, 2019, 04:28 PM
  #8  
plr
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Bon_voyage, I really enjoyed and learned so much from your TR!! Thank you for all the helpful detail you put into it! I am obviously at the very start of researching for my week in the area, and am a little overwhelmed at the moment. I need 4-6 weeks in this little region to feel like I have enough time to truly do it justice. Sigh~~~Guess I will have to narrow it down for now and plan a longer stay at a later date. Just learning that there are several different train lines is new to me, so you can see that I have Much to do to figure out my itinerary! I will return to your TR many times in the process. Thanks again.
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Apr 26th, 2019, 04:32 PM
  #9  
plr
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PalenQ, I really appreciate your notes & links re transit. I think it is my greatest weakness--or at least takes me the longest to sort out when planning any trip. I am glad to hear that it sounds very do-able. I hope that my having 1.5 pieces of luggage will not be a nightmare.
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Apr 26th, 2019, 04:44 PM
  #10  
plr
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kja, I thank you for taking the time to outline so many suggestions! I have actually been to both Pompeii & Herculaneum, and would love to return to each of them, but not enough time on this trip.....too many other incredible sites to see. The National Archeology Museum is one of the primary places I want to get to in Naples, as it was closed when I was previously in Naples. I also won't have time to get to Paestum this time, but absolutely will when I return to spend a full month in the region!

Yeah, "well-kept old towns" was an awkward way to describe what I mean. I only meant to say that I don't enjoy the really run-down and uncared for city neighborhoods. Hope that isn't still an awkward statement.

I will definitely consider staying in Ravello, but for some reason, I am not yet drawn to Capri. I am still wondering which Amalfi coast village has hotels that provide the most wonderful views, easy access to transit, and not really strenuous hiking, as this will be my little splurge for the week. I plan to stay in Naples for 2 nights, and one more base for the Amalfi coast before returning to Civitavecchia to meet up with friends for 3 weeks.
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Apr 26th, 2019, 04:58 PM
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If you go to Capri, you might consider hiring a small private boat and captain (a splurge for sure) but we did that once and it made Capri special for us. And, we much prefer Anacapri, a short bus ride from the more crowds areas. There is a chair lift there to Monte Solaro that will provide the most magnificent views of the Amalfi coast.
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Apr 26th, 2019, 10:33 PM
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So glad that you found my trip report helpful, plr!
Given that you’ve been to Pompeii and Herculaneum and Capri isn’t high on your list, I think your seven days will work out just fine. I will say that Naples has aged well in my memory. Two nights in Naples will give you only one full day; I’d recommend at least one additional day. I’d again choose Amalfi as a base on the coast, and it fulfills many of your wishes—lovely main piazza with an imposing Duomo, convenient for day trips with both ferry and bus connections, walkable in the evenings.
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Apr 27th, 2019, 06:41 AM
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any suggestions 9n captians? Also, about how much would I be splurging?
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Apr 27th, 2019, 04:12 PM
  #14  
plr
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Hello again, Whitehall! Thanks for the suggestions re Capri. You provided me with much valuable detail re driving in Sardinia, where I am headed in just 4 days, for 4 wonderful weeks! I'm going to need to pause on this thread now until June, when I can concentrate on developing a fantastic itinerary for Naples & Amalfi. I will be back!
And thank you again, bon_voyage!
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Apr 27th, 2019, 04:19 PM
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You WILL enjoy Sardinia. So big, so beautiful, and so much to see and do. But (perhaps thankfully), missed by so many. Travel safely.
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Apr 27th, 2019, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by tomc81 View Post
any suggestions 9n captians? Also, about how much would I be splurging?
I have no idea what that means -- but if you are asking about a trip you are taking to the region . . . you should start a new thread of your own.
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Jun 7th, 2019, 01:14 PM
  #17  
plr
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Just back from Sardinia, I think I just now understand tomc81's weird question. He's asking whitehall about boat captains & cost for a boat ride to/around Capri?
Now time to get my itinerary figured out for this trip!
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Jun 7th, 2019, 02:36 PM
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Yes, plr, I was asking about potential captains and prices for hiring a small private boat from Positano to either Capril or going East (as whitehall described.)
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Jun 7th, 2019, 03:22 PM
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plr, you're traveling solo, right? Any reason why you need 1.5 suitcases? Are you visiting royalty or going on a fancy cruise or attending balls? If you are going to adopt European habits and travel by train, I would suggest you adopt European habits and learn to live out of one very small (maybe 21" rollaboard) suitcase, no matter how long you are traveling for. We do this each and every time we travel by train (and cheapo European airlines). No one needs more than a very small suitcase for a trip, whether it be 1 week or 8. You can mix and match outfits, you can do laundry (in a sink if necessary, though I hardly ever do that), you can forgo lots of cosmetics and accessories. Trust me, you can learn to look very "put together" (if that is one of your goals) with minimal items. No one you encounter is ever going to see you again. You have minimal sartorial standards to uphold. Save your strength for the important aspects of the journey; pack super-light.
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Jun 7th, 2019, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tomc81 View Post
any suggestions 9n captians? Also, about how much would I be splurging?
It's been awhile, maybe 10 years. We went with a guy who called himself "Pizza Man" and it seemed everyone knew him then. I think we paid 100 euros vs. maybe 35 or 40 each on an over-crammed tour boat. Again, that was 10 years ago.
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