Please help for Amalfi coast newbie!

Nov 13th, 2007, 02:05 PM
  #1  
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Please help for Amalfi coast newbie!

Hi,

I am in the infancy of creating a trip to the Amalfi coast. My biggest question is what city should I stay in? I had two people rave about Ravello and Positano. Also, should I only do a few days in this area and base my trip from Rome, or should I stay a week here? My wife and I are in our 30's and are very active. Thanks if you can help!

Kurt
Mango7 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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Spend the week on the Amalfi Coast.

Use Sorrento as a base - it's most central - easy to get to Ravello and Positano from there. Also easy to get to Pompeii, Mt Vesuvius, Massa Lubrense and the Isle of Capri from there.
TuckH is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 02:23 PM
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hi, I would spend the week in the Amalfi Coast. If you are not planning on having a car i would opt to stay either in Amalfi or Sorrento. The public transportation for both of these towns is very good. Both bus and boat service to many of the surrounding towns. Of course definitely plan on going to Rome at another time for at least 1 week. Have fun both planning the trip and actually taking it.
tdk320n is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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Ravello and Positano are both lovely and offer gorgeous scenery -- it's just a matter of what you are looking for. You can't go wrong with either choice.

Ravello is quieter and more remote. It's up very high in the hills and to get anywhere, you have to get down from that hill to the town of Amalfi below, which takes some time, esp, if you are depending on public transportation. It tends to be very couple-y and honeymoony imho, but if you are going with your wife, that should be a plus for you rather than a minus.

Positano is easiser as a "base" because it has a ferry dock right at the main beach, so you can catch a ferry to Capri, Amalfi, Naples, or Sorrento. It's a little busier and more crowded than Ravello, and it's not as high up in the hills, but then again, the highest part is pretty high up, and it has a beach also. So some people finds it combines the best of the AC, although others find it too "touristy" because it's mainly a resort for tourists rather than a real "town" with Italians going about their business.

There is also Amalfi and Sorrento, two other AC towns that people enjoy. Amalfi is flatter than Positano, so doesn't offer quite the same "wow" factor, but it's also more of a real "town" rather than a resort-ish place like Positano.

And Sorrento is even bigger and more of an actual town, but it also brings more crowds and tour groups and that sort of thing, so some people don't like it as much for that reason. Otoh, some people prefer it because it has more to see/do and it is more convenient to get to Naples and Pompeii than any other AC town.

If you want to visit the AC, definitely spend at least 2-3 nights there, separate from your nights in Rome. It takes a few days to appreciate all that it has to offer, and you will want to visit Pompeii and Capri, both of which deserve a day.
cheryllj is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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Ah, Mango, I remember you and the exploding eggs in Rome or was it Florence and were they exploding eggs, anyway, amusing I remember.

I vote for staying in Positano and taking daytrips by ferry or bus. I love Ravello! You will have so much fun!
SeaUrchin is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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I too like Sorrento as a base but it is not as scenic as the other places. But it is easy to travel around to the main sights from there. You might want to split your time between Sorrento and then go to Capri for several nights - it is much more enjoyable to stay several nights on Capri rather than cram it all into a day trip. That would give you a nice mix of sightseeing on the coast and chilling in Capri. There are wonderful hikes on Capri; by chilling I don't necessarily mean just sitting, but enjoying more of the natural beauty of the area rather than the tourist sites.
suec1 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 02:34 PM
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I forgot to say: my vote on where to stay is Positano, especially for a first-time visit. I like Amalfi and Ravello also, but Positano offered me the picture postcard views I was looking for (the "wow" factor I wanted), but it also was more convenient than Ravello.

On my next trip I might stay in Amalfi, because it's a really charming town, but you definitely don't get the same spectacular view from a hotel room balcony b/c you aren't as high up on the cliff.

If you really like "getting away from it all," opt for Ravello, or if you really like being "in the heart of the action," stay in Sorrento.
cheryllj is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 03:21 PM
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Tuck- I'm gonna do AC for a week thanks to you and the others! Thanks a bunch, it really helps

TDK-Thank you too

Cheryl- Thanks a bunch for the detailed response. This helps tremendously. We may just stay in Positano since Ravello is a bit of a hike, as you say. Going for the wow factor though! You helped a lot here, so thanks again. Will keep you posted..Bookmarked!

SeaUrchin- Positano it is! By the way, it was the wife that exploded, not the snake eggs! lol.

Sue- I never considered staying in Capri for a couple nights. Looking into this..thanks for mentioning it!

Thanks again & Regards,

Kurt
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Nov 13th, 2007, 03:23 PM
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Btw, Can anyone suggest the best online place to book a package to this area? Thanks again

Kurt
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Nov 13th, 2007, 03:29 PM
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I dono't know...while Positnao IS romantic and beautiful...we found it rather boring to base ourselves in actually. (Ravello even more so!! an afternoon in Ravello is more than enough for me) I would choose Amalfi over Positano as a base...actually...I would choose Sorrento, but my husband finds it too touristy and tacky (I still love it though no matter what he says!!) - he's a die-hard Amalfi fan though.
CasaDelCipresso is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 06:30 PM
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You say city - but these are really towns - some of them quite small towns. And while pretty and picturesque - and certainly a lot to do when you add in Pompeii, the Isle of Capri etc - there is not a massive amount to do - as in a true city like Rome or even Florence.

We always stay in Sorrento - since it has easy access - by car or boat - to everywhere in the area (at least in May) - and is larger so it has a greater selction of restaurants and shop. In midsummer, the ferries are probably most efficient to get to towns down the coast.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 06:39 PM
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I've stayed in Positano and Sorrento and vote for Positano. Too beautiful.

I am not at all familiar with packages to the Amalfi Coast. From where?
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 11:36 PM
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Great that you are staying a week. The first time we went to the AC, we had planned on two nights, but cancelled the rest of our trip plans and stayed near Sorrento, at the Hotel Minerva, on the cliffs just outside of town, for the week; taking ferries and trains to visit other places.

Everyone has given you good descriptions, especially cheryllj, but it is just so hard to visualize until you've actually been there. I like the idea of staying at least part of the time in either Capri or Positano.

Don't forget Paestum with its wonderful Greek ruins.

The Foreigners' Club in Sorrento is a fun place for dancing under the stars with Vesuvius in the background.

I don't think you really need a package tour of the AC. It is very easy to go about on your own with ferries, buses or trains.
Sassafrass is online now  
Nov 14th, 2007, 01:46 AM
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Hi Mango - For 'wow' factor, Positano wins hands down - no contest

http://tinyurl.com/3coedn

As has been said, you really don't need a package ...

Steve

Steve_James is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 06:37 AM
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Hi M,

I would spend a week on the AC.

You might find my travel report helpful: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34451044

>Use Sorrento as a base - it's most central...

Sorrento isn't on the AC at all. It is North of the western end. Useful if you want to visit Pompeii, Vesuvius and Naples.

ira is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 06:53 AM
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What time of year ?
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 06:41 AM
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A couple of years ago we spent 10 days in this area. Flew into Naples spent a couple of nights to see Arch Musuem with Pompeii exhibits, then on to Pompeii, then to Sorrento for ferry to Capri for three nights and the remainder of the time after a drive down the Amalfi coast in Ravello at the Palazzo Sasso. We LOVED this trip. For a week I think I would choose either Positano or Ravello and include a couple of nights on Capri. If you like hiking, there are good areas for this. Did you say what season you will go? This could make a difference. We went in May. Please do read Ira's trip report as it was extremely helpful to us. Happy travels.
mimipam is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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Thanks everyone! I haven't had a chance to respond at length, but I will soon. Thank you again!

Kurt
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Nov 15th, 2007, 01:42 PM
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Hi Kurt -

We had a week there and split it up between Amalfi and Sorrento. Amalfi is an interesting town and a super convenient hub - we took a direct bus to Ravello one day, and a direct boat to Positano another day. If you stay in Positano, you'll need to transfer buses in Amalfi to get up to Ravello.

After a few days we moved over to Sorrento for something different. It's a fairly large and lively town with great views of the entire Bay of Naples. We took day trips to Capri, Vesuvius, and Pompei from Sorrento.
robertino is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 04:35 PM
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Thanks Casa!

NYT- I'll consider Sorrento although I'm bendng towards Positano. Thanks!

Tuscan- We'll be leaving from Wash/Baltimore. Thanks for you reply.

Sassa- Thank you very much. I am leaning toward Posi and Capri.

Steve- Great to hear this! I'm so excited. Thanks..

Ira- Will consider Sorrento! They all sound hard-to-go-wrong

Carol- We're thinking March/April hopefully. I'm ready to go in January but my wife hates cool weather(We did Rome between Xmas and NY's) Thank you!

Mimi-That plan sounds fantastic. I appreciate you sharing with me!!

Robertino- I appreciate your info and will use it. Bookmarked!

Thanks again all!

Kurt
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