Positano v's Amalfi

Old Feb 11th, 2007, 10:56 PM
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Positano v's Amalfi

We are going to visit both of these lovely places. Would we best off staying in positano and using it as a base or should we stay in both? ta
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 04:47 AM
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Hi H,

There are only about 16 km separating them.

How long are you staying?

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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 04:59 AM
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I would also be interested to learn of the pros and cons of staying in both places. What is the overall atmosphere of Amalfi..less tourist-oriented than Positano? Less steps?
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 05:03 AM
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Yes, Amalfi is less tourist-oriented. It's also a better base if you are wanting to do day trips; as unlike Positano, the bus goes right into the centre. It is also better served by boat.
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 05:10 AM
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Caroline that is kind of comment I am looking for. I was in Positano years ago and even then I remember it as being totally focused on tourism to the exclusion of all semblance of local life... Thanks.
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 06:30 AM
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I'm not sure that it's a better base, Caroline.

Easier for Ravello - yes - and Paestum.

But Positano is easier for Pompeii, Vesuvius, Sorrento, Capri ...

Ferries/hydrofoils from Amalfi also stop at Positano - so they're equally well served by sea, I think.

Personally I think Positano wins hands down as the place to stay on that coast. Nowhere in Europe compares for setting IMO. But it depends what you want ...

Steve
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 06:48 AM
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I do prefer Amalfi myself but must admit that Positano is more stunningly beautiful, just to look at. And there are a couple of places in/near Postano that I like staying at, while being quite happy not to leave the confines of the hotel. But i really quite dislike "downtown" Positano with its wall to wall tourist boutiques.

And yes, there are fewer steps in Amalfi !

Steve, my problem with Positano as a base is that IMO it's difficult to get out of (and in to). And it only really impacts me when I arrive & leave, as I tend to stay put & don't do day trips. But as you know, from most hotels it's quite a hike uphill to either of the SITA bus stops and it can be a real scrum to try to fight your way on to a bus. There is the little orange bus but that can be even hotter & more uncomfortable (because) than walking up.

And it's true that there are more options by boat from Amalfi, isn't it ?

Positano is not so bad when the Metro del Mare is running - not at all during our 2005 visit but it started the day we left last year, so a nice cool comfortable ride back to Naples. But it took us 7 hours to get there from Sant'Angelo on Ischia !!!
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 09:59 AM
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This is good information. I could visit Pompeii and Vesuvius from Naples, so would not need to go to those two from the A/C. A concern of mine is that these coastal towns might be closed up tight in the off season...perhaps we could go right after Easter..

I realize that the views are tops in Positano but really we are not going to spend all that much time gazing out at them...I just want to avoid a totally touristed atmosphere. Do not want to have dinner at places where very other diner is a tourist like myself...

I've wondered why so few people on this site seem to base in Amalfi...Positano seems to be the overwhelming favorite here..



Steve, do you live in Positano? I've read many of your posts are you are so knowledgeable about that town and many other areas of Italy as well. Very informative.



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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 05:37 PM
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Hi Ira, We are thinking of 4 or five days. using it as a base. It would be nice to come to back to a hotel/appartment with a beautiful view at the end of the day. We have two boys(10 and 14) and one of them gets quite motion sick. I have read a lot of your journal from your trip and it has been very helpful. any advice will be appreciated.thanks. P.s I am new to the whole fodors thing and enjoying the advice very much. deb
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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Most of the hotels in the Amalfi Coast were still closed for the season and while surfing the internet I came across a hotel in Amalfi that would be open in early March, 2000. (Easter was early that year). We were pleasantly surprised by the town of Amalfi and the hotel we stayed at, down by the sea.

We were there for three nights and found Amalfi to be less tourist-oriented than Positano and it does have fewer steps. This early in the season there were few visitors and we really enjoyed the town and waterfront. We even saw a Good Friday’s parade. The word is parade and not procession because it was a parade with Minnie Mouse and the local children dressed in costumes.

We had a car, which makes a difference, and had no problem visiting Pompeii, Positano, Ravello, etc. We left our car in the parking at Pompeii and took the train into Naples to visit the Museum. We visited Paestum on our way to Puglia.

If I were to go back to the Amalfi Coast and had a choice I think I would stay again in Amalfi. It has a small town feeling which Positano, with all its beauty, does not have.
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Old Feb 13th, 2007, 07:28 AM
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Luhimari thanks for this information...looks like Amalfi would be the place....

Anyone have hotel recommendations?
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Old Feb 13th, 2007, 03:10 PM
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This was six years ago. We stayed at Hotel La Bussola. The hotel is right in front of the water and it had a carpeted dock with lounge chairs available for guests who wanted to swim.

The hotel was clean, the staff was friendly and the location was fantastic, about a 2 min walk from the main piazza. It even had a place to park our car. Our room was big, clean, somewhat outdated and with a great view of the harbor and the village. You could get some road noise at night, thankfully, we did not. It was an unpretentious hotel with a comfortable feel to it.

Go to their web page, you will like the photos and the music.

http://www.labussolahotel.it/
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Old Feb 13th, 2007, 03:19 PM
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Luhimari, thanks! I LOVE the music and the hotel itself looks just fine. Good to know!
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Old Feb 13th, 2007, 03:23 PM
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The waterfront in Amalfi town is about the worst, to me. There is a long section facing the water, that is filled with big tour busses and coaches. I find this very unattractive. I do think that businesses in Positano are tourist centric, but it isn't that much different in Amalfi.

It is not at all as if Amalfi town isn't a tourist town. Of course it is. And it's not, to me, anyway, as attractive as Positano.

Ira, (I think) likes Praiano. Still a tourist town (this is the Amalfi Coast! Every town is there for tourists). Maybe a smaller town such as Praiano would be a better choice.

I would have been very disappointed had I based myself in Amalfi. I didn't think it was as attractive as other options, and beauty is one of the main draws of the AC.

The views: to me, saying one won't spend much time looking at them is kind of like saying one is going to the Grand Canyon and not going to spend that much time looking at it.
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Old Feb 13th, 2007, 03:35 PM
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hidebs,

I was so motion sick on the Amalfi Coast. Using the roads killed me, both by bus and car and van. I was taking Xamamina as I always do, but was still so sick.

The only way I got around comfortably was by boat, sitting in the open. If you are going in season, you will do fine getting boats. Off season could be bad for that. We were there during the second half of September but I don't have the exact dates.

I have worn the scopolamine patch, which worked well for me. However, because of a chronic illness, I had problems after wearing it for some days. I don't want to put me gross disease out here, but I'm pretty sure your son doesn't have it.

You may want to consult the doc about the patch. I was with my daughter's high school trip to Italy, before the patch, and she was so sick. At one point, we couldn't get her back on the bus, and had to hire a driver to take us for a long part of the trip. I believe she was also taking Xamamina, which usually works for both of us, the coast from Naples to Amalfi is a killer for my motion sick daughter and me.

ekscrunchy: you are right, I'm sure about liking Amalfi better for your needs. I am on crazy meds right now and overreacted. Sorry.
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Old Feb 13th, 2007, 06:59 PM
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I totally agree with tuscanlifedit. In season, all of the Amalfi Coast towns are going to be swamped with tourists. At least Positano offers incredible views and restaurants along with the crowds. Amalfi, IMO, is charmless. It may be more authentic, but it totally lacks the ambience of Positano or Ravello.

By the way, one of my friends recently rented an apartment in Atrani, which is a town next to Amalfi. She paid about $1000/week in season ( late June) for a two-bed with enormous roof terrace very close to the beach. I think that she rented through sleepinitaly.com. If that's of interest, just post again, and I'll get the exact info.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 12:11 AM
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thankyou weadles, any info on the accomodation would be of great help.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 06:07 AM
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Hi Ekscrunchy - Sorry - I only just noticed your question.

No, I don't live in Positano. I wish ...

I live in England now (- near Bath) - but spent 10 years living in Rome.
So Italy's almost my second home - I go back twice a year at least

Steve
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 06:40 AM
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Hi H,

Motion sickness, vertigo and the AC just don't mix.

As noted in my report, we did a lot of sightseeing by boat.

You might want to stay in Amalfi.

From there, the road to Salerno is relatively flat, so you can visit Paestum easily.

Also, Amalfi will let you take the boat to the bottom of Positano and also to Sorrento.

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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 06:49 AM
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Thanks, Steve..you are so knowledgeable about the area and are always very helpful about Italian matters.
I wish you good travels!

Still undecided.
Off-season when I would visit, I am sure all of the towns have their pros and cons....
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