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Naples as a base for Amalfi coast exploration?

Naples as a base for Amalfi coast exploration?

Old Jun 24th, 2015, 05:48 PM
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Naples as a base for Amalfi coast exploration?

We will fly from Barcelona to Naples on Sunday August 23rd and remain in Southern Italy until we depart for Rome on Thursday (or Wednesday... not quite sure if we will want the extra day in Amalfi area or Rome yet) August 27th. Initially thought we would stay in Sorrento. We will most likely have a rental car. Now I'm thinking maybe it would be better to stay in Naples? Just keep the car at the hotel until the day we drive to Rome and use ferries instead. Other than one day on the water with Lucibello or Salvatore e Gennaro, we have nothing planned in the Amalfi area. We want to stroll around Ravello and Positano etc. just absorb the beauty as we will be doing a lot of historical things in Rome and Florence etc. Would you advise staying in Naples?

Thanks so much,
Lisa
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 06:08 PM
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IME, Naples is a vibrant, energetic, intense city. I love it; many find it too "gritty" and demanding. I would certainly NOT want to have a car while in Naples, but maybe that's just me.

From what you say of your interests, it sounds to me that Positano or Amalfi or Ravello would suit your needs better than Naples OR Sorrento, especially given your very limited time in the area. But even for those areas, I would not think a car would be an advantage but rather a liability.
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 06:44 PM
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Kja is spot on.
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 07:06 PM
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I feel the 'vibrant, energetic, intense' do nothing to describe the city - which is enormous and has its places of peace and solitude just as much.
You can completely avoid the 'gritty' (another word...eye roll) by choosing wisely where to stay.
However if you want to visit the Amalfi Coast then it would make your job easier if you stay in Sorrento. You can leave your vehicle there and explore. It's a much shorter journey to the AC by ferry and you have more chance of getting a seat on the bus if you're in Sorrento than if you're in Naples.
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 07:18 PM
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@ Sassafrass -- thanks!

@ Blueeyedcod, who wrote, "I feel the 'vibrant, energetic, intense' do nothing to describe the city - which is enormous and has its places of peace and solitude just as much."

Of course Naples has some incredible places of peace and solitude -- some of which are quite vibrant, IMO -- like the views out over the bay from Castel Sant'Elmo or the cloister of Santa Chiara. And some of us enjoy Naples's "grittier" sides -- no eye rolls needed. ;-)
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 07:24 PM
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Naples is a bit of a drive to do it back and forth. The best restaurants in Positano is in Montepertuso and the view at night in either place is breath taking. You guys will enjoy staying there more and be really relax. Get a hotel that has a pool and now youhave a choice between swimming in your pool or make the trek to the beach.
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 07:48 PM
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I highly recommend you not a rent a car upon arrival in Naples. The city is a lot of fun, but driving there is not. Your car will do you no good on the Amalfi coast, which will be one long traffic jam in August. Use ferries to visit coastal sights and the trains to visit places like Pompei (which should be visited VERY early in the morning in August, before the heat and sun becomes unbearable).

Naples shocks many people with its density of sensations. It teems with public life of every description, and has loads of visible poverty as well as great treasures of art and architecture, many in woeful states of disrepair, opening out into many gaspingly beautiful vistas of volcanoes and islands. I have stayed in many different quarters of Naples and found none of them "relaxing" when it comes to street life. (There are lovely b&bs and hotels with many soothing amenities, and hush-hush church and museum interiors and courtyards overflowing with treasures). Food in Naples is simply fabulous, especially at the height of summer. Sorrento is all about tourism, and they treat their guests well. It's a simpler proposition, but not as memorable or delicious.
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 08:10 PM
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>

Your opinion. I find Via Partenope/Santa Lucia supremely relaxing as there is no traffic and 'teeming street life'. Maybe you don't find it relaxing or maybe you haven't been there since this precinct was closed.

Mergellina is picture perfect and quiet.

The over-arching 'density of sensations' does nothing to put forward the other side of the story which deserves comment.

In any case, the OP wants somewhere that is convenient. Naples does not suit accessibility to the Amalfi Coast.
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Old Jun 25th, 2015, 04:05 AM
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First of all you MUST go to Pompeii - but definitely get there when it opens and get out before the worst of the heat arrives (there is NO shade).

Naples is a fairly large busy city - not what most people go to the AC for - relaxing beach vacation.

So it really depends on what you want. While there are pleasant areas it is not a "pretty-pretty" town.

Best to stay near what you want to do the most - since travel in the area is very time-consuming in summer. And a car is essentially useless either in Naples or down the AC. And getting to rome is easier by train.
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Old Jun 25th, 2015, 09:39 AM
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If you want to see Naples, Pompeii, Vesuvius, Herculaneum, then staying in Naples makes sense.

It makes no sense if you want to see Positano, Amalfi, Ravello. To see those you need to stay somewhere on the AC.
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Old Jun 25th, 2015, 09:48 AM
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I wouldn't drive the AC. I'll rely on the professional bus drivers who handle it daily. I've neither the necessary Xanax nor enough parachutes in case of emergency to work those roads. Riding on them is bad enough. And the Italians drive like bloody Europeans, that doesn't help.
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Old Jun 25th, 2015, 10:57 AM
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I want to see Pompei AND Positano, Sorrento, etc. I will stay in Sorrento and do Pompeii on the way to Rome.
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Old Jun 25th, 2015, 11:26 AM
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OP zenfoodist - I think you would be better to stay in Positano or Amalfi. There is only one ferry service per day to the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento and it will be packed. The lines for the SITA bus stretch 100-200 metres down the road. As you have boat tours booked, it makes more sense to stay actually ON the coast and see Pompeii on your way out.
However, you may find your options limited as August couldn't be any busier, so booking something soon would be a priority.
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