Sorrento area homebase

Feb 28th, 2014, 09:51 AM
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Sorrento area homebase

Hi, I am going to be traveling to Sorrento in September and I am looking for an area to use as a homebase for day trips around the area. We stayed in Lucca on our last visit to Italy and absolutely loved it and I was hoping to find some thing similar this time around. What we loved was 1) Close to trains as this will be our main mode of transportation 2) Things to do and see in the town it self - restaurants, shopping, grocery, markets, etc. 3) Not to crowded. We really wanted an apartment over a hotel since it really felt more relaxed and spacious. Any suggestions for a good homebase? Thank you!
carrieminn is offline  
Feb 28th, 2014, 09:54 AM
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There are no trains on the AC. Sorrento is the end of the line - and that is a small local train from Naples - not the regular main lines.

Sorrento is good because of that connection, ferries to Capri and down the coast and the SITA bus (which will be mobbed and very slow). You need to check the hours for the latter two carefully.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 28th, 2014, 10:20 AM
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If you are travelling to Sorrento, that is your base. You can take the train from there to Pompeii, Herculaneum and Naples. You can also take the ferries to Capri. You can take a very infrequent ferry to Positano and Amalfi, or the (often insanely crowded) bus to the villages on the Amalfi Coast.

If it is your intention to mainly seeing the villages on the Amalfi Coast, then you should stay somewhere on the Amalfi Coast.
ekc is offline  
Feb 28th, 2014, 11:03 AM
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I don't think we wanted more than a day on AC so we will probably be good by Sorrento. My concern was that Sorrento seemed big and crowded. I may be totally off on that assumption as I've never been there. We are really looking forward to all that is around that area - Capri, Pompeii, and I believe the Greek ruins are a day trip from there as well.
carrieminn is offline  
Feb 28th, 2014, 11:53 AM
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Sorrento is yes bigger than the towns along the Amalfi, which are also more romantic - from Sorrento though it is on the sea you can not really see it from the town center - but I've stayed there a few times and found it a really nice welcoming place - tons of hotels and at night an ambience with folks out strolling, etc

but its utilitarian nature is it key - close to Pompeii - buses along the Amalfi or boats - Pasestum for the Greek ruins is a longish train trip - consider taking a boat to Salerno - the bus takes forever and then go by train from Sorrento straight to the ruins. A group tour may be quicker - lots offered from Sorrento.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 28th, 2014, 12:02 PM
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Sorrento has a lot to offer. It is relatively flat (at least the main portion is, there are plenty of hillsides/hotels with outstanding views of the Bay of Naples and Mt Vesuvius)which makes for easier walking (Positano is basically all hills). The transportation options to Pompeii (local train), Capri, Amalfi (town) and Positano (ferry) are easy and relatively cheap, the town is charming, and the passagiata a blessing. Also, lodging will be cheaper than Positano. Check out the views from Minerva and Settimo Cielo!
zorrosf is offline  
Feb 28th, 2014, 02:53 PM
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My husband and I visited Sorrento in May of 2013. We stayed in a guesthouse called La Piazzetta on Sant’Antoninto Square for 4 nights. Our apartment was so modern and clean. The kitchenette allowed us to save a little money on meals out. We made fresh coffee each morning in the fun Bialetti coffee pot that is provided (and Valentina taught me how to use it). There was a two burner stove top, a nice sized refrigerator and plenty of dishes and cooking utensils. It was a short walk to the train station, to the beach, and to shopping on the Corso Italia. We even planned a trip to the laundromat there, which allowed us to take fewer clothes for our 15 days in Italy. We booked a day trip along the gorgeous Amalfi Coast. We chose to go with Aldo's Limos and it was just my husband and I with a great and very personable driver, Pasquale in a small van. (Taking a bus seemed just too scary and we wanted to be able to see everything!)We also booked a tour to visit Caseificio Michelangelo, a local family's cheese factory. The owner's daughter, Sarah, came to pick us up and drive us to the cheese factory where we got to watch her uncles and cousins making cheese (we got to braid our own mozzarella) and she provided an amazing array of cheese, bread, and red wine for us to to feast on after the tour, so there was no need for lunch that day. For a small fee, Sarah took us to visit a family olive oil factory (Garguilo's) in the hills above Sorrento where we had a free tour and free tasting of some amazing olive oils. We also purchased some olive oil and paid to have it shipped home to California so we could do our own tasting with our family.
We found the best gelato in Sorrento at Gelateria David. They were friendly and welcoming and their gelato and granita's were delicious, refreshing, and most reasonably priced.
It is so easy and fun (and inexpensive) to take the train from Sorrento to Pompeii. We arranged to take a walk there with Walks of Italy*. An archaeologist who had actually worked on some of the recent excavations of Pompeii was our guide. The wealth of information that she shared with us totally enhanced our tour. We would not have understood what we were seeing without her.
We also took the local train, Circumvesuviana, to Naples where we got the more modern train to Rome.
*Walks of Italy is an amazing company. We went on 9 tours with them in Venice, Florence, Pompeii, and Rome. Their guides are always experts and their groups are never over 12. On 3 of our "group" tours, my husband and I were the only people, but Walks of Italy won't cancel a tour even if there is only one traveler.
CaliforniaDreams is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 04:02 AM
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Thank you for all the great information, looks like I need to start looking for a place in Sorrento! Do you think mid September will be warm enough to swim in the sea?
carrieminn is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 05:34 AM
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It was last year.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 05:43 AM
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I have been in Sorrento twice but never noticed if there is a beach on the Bay. But the bay is way below the main town. Sorrento in short is not a beach resort. And I would not consider swimming in the Bay of Naples. Pretty but polluted.
RJD is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 06:35 AM
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There's not really a beach, but there are sunbeds and swimming down at the marina grande.

you really want to head for somewhere with a pool if you want to swim.
annhig is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 07:34 AM
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Never thought of Sorrento as "big," but you can get south-ish toward or actually above the Piccola Marina and lose the bigness sense.
HKP is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 07:51 AM
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You seem to want to avoid crowds, but this area even in September is not the best one to avoid people. It's one of the most popular tourist areas in Italy.

It will depend on when in September that you go. The second half is much better once Europe's schoolchildren have gone back to school, whilst the first two weeks will; be very busy.
Rubicund is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 08:16 AM
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We stayed in Sorento in May 2013. At that time there was lots of tourist activity but not crowded. Hopefully September will be similar. The train is a commuter type that ends in Sorrento so is perfect for trips to Pompeii and Herculaneum.
We took the Golden tours bus excursion to Paestum to see the Greek temples. It included an hour stop in Salerno so we a two for one experience. highly recommended.
I thought you might enjoy seeing images of Sorrento and the day trips we took.

You can see our trip report here
stanbr is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 08:27 AM
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If you don't want the big thing heed HKP but I think she's confused - Marina Grande is actually the little villagey harbour nestled under the steepling cliffs with fishing boats and half a dozen restaurants.
I can personally and highly recommend Casa Gilda, a wonderful appartment for 2+ .My wife and I and our three young children stayed last october, when, incidentally, my 3 and 6 year olds were in the water every day. The beach isn't great but then children of that age aren't sophisticated consumers in my experience so were perfectly, or indeed, extremely, happy with the sands despite their shortcomings.
It's a fifteen minute walk back up to the main part of Sorrento - not too strenuous, we did it with a baby in a pushchair as well as with the aforementioned young boys every day with out complaint.
The House is fantastically situated with the best little terrace looking down over the harbour and boats. And Vesuvius and the twinkling lights of Naples across the bay. In fact I can't for the life of me imagine a better located appartment in town.
We also managed ferry trip to Amalfi and then bussed upto Ravello and a train trip to Pompeii. All with the three children - so it can't have been that arduous. The ferry leaves from the big commercial port at Marine Piccolo which is below the main town (which you get down to via an elevator inside the cliffs) and left at, from memory, 10.30 am. There were other sailings later as i recall.

So - in summary - search VRBO ( I think - if not try out your Google-fu) for Casa Gilda. It's v. reasonably priced - comfortable (but, take heed, not luxurious) and get yourself the best self-catering spot in Sorrento, away from the noise of the town centre but close to restaurants and not so far away from Piazza Tasso that you can't sample the bright lights too should you so desire.

If you'd like more info please just shout - really I think this is the perfect solution for you (assuming you're not more than 4 adults).


Dr D
Dr_DoGood is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 08:34 AM
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Look at this...

That's parctically the view from the lounge (the bedroom and terrace are on the first floor (second floor for you colonials). The lady in the picture appears to be Carolina - she of the Frutta on the sign. Her shop is immeditely below Casa Gilda on the path leading down to the harbourside.

Doesn't that whet your appetite?
Dr_DoGood is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 10:40 AM
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Sher is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 12:15 PM
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We used Sorrento as a base to explore the area--Capri, Pompeii, AC towns. It worked well for us.
Gina_07 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 01:44 PM
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Dr DG - on our College trip to Sorrento a couple of weeks ago, some of our party were staying in apartments just above the marina grande. they were very nice - modern, very well equipped and very clean. tiny balconies, but great views.

IMO Sorrento made a very good base for exploring the area too.
annhig is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 01:49 PM
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Again, Dr. DG -thanks for this correction, re: name of the "marina" cove to the south(ish), and I'm going to file your info in case we are lucky enough to return and refresh my memory of place names.
HKP is offline  

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