Sorrento or Amalfi?

Nov 18th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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Sorrento or Amalfi?

My husband and I are taking our second trip to Rome from March 29,2008 to April 11. We have seen most of the sights(Florence, Venice and lots in Rome). We would like to spend three or four days in the Amalfi Coast and have read alot of the reviews that say that Sorrento is the best place to stay as a base. Is it better to stay in Amalfi or Sorrento?
prudelia is offline  
Nov 18th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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Hi P,

Sorrento is better if Naples, Pompeii, Capri are on your schedule, because of more convenient transportation.

ira is offline  
Nov 18th, 2007, 04:03 PM
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Sorrento is not on the Amalfi coast - it's on the Bay/Gulf of Naples.

Sorrento is a popular place for the large tour groups because there are large hotels there, and it's easy to get to with a car/bus - which is why I prefer staying in Positano.

Amalfi gets many day-trip buses also - another reason I prefer Positano.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Nov 18th, 2007, 04:05 PM
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PS - there are boats to Capri, & buses & boats to Amalfi from Positano.

Stu Dudley
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Nov 18th, 2007, 04:54 PM
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Neither !
Positano is what you see as the Amalfi coast.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 02:12 AM
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I agree with Stu and Bob - Positano is the best place to stay.
Have a look:
(- with thanks to Mark)

Sorrento isn't even in the frame IMO ...


Steve_James is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 04:35 AM
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>> best place to stay as a base. <<

As a place to "stay", Positano (or Capri) would be best IMO.

As a place to "base" (meaning convenient for daytripping), Sorrento would be best IMO.
TuckH is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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Ravello is the best place to stay.

Too many tourists and Americans in Positano. Humid, crowded and food is not so great.
mweiner is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 07:31 AM
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But OP is going in March/April, so humid and crowded are probably not an issue...
ekscrunchy is online now  
Nov 19th, 2007, 07:52 AM
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Another vote for Positano. Yes, it can be crowded and touristy with all the daytrippers, but it's magical at night after they are all gone. And it's also reasonably easy to get places from there, because there is a ferry dock right at the beach.

But if you must choose between Sorrento and Amalfi, I would choose Amalfi. It's not as scenic as Positano, but it's a charming village and it's actually on the Amalfi Coast. Hence the name.
cheryllj is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 09:20 AM
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We found Positano to be the perfect place to stay.
Micheline is online now  
Nov 19th, 2007, 09:59 AM
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The choices are quite different and best for you will depend on what you are looking for. Sorrento can be good if you want to sightsee thru the area. You can take a train to Pompeii, a ferry to Capri and a bus along the coast (or splurge and get a private driver). Sorrento is on the top of the cliff - it is fairly level, except for where you go down to the ferries. Positano is very picuresque and VERY hilly so factor that into what is best for you. I think you will do alot of stair climbing! IMO Positano would be better for just relaxing rather than sightweeing the area. Can't speak to Amalfi - only went thru there, have not stayed. We have stayed on Capri several times - it is just lovely. Wonderful for hiking, charming gardens and outdoor cafes thruout the island - easy to get around by local buses.
suec1 is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 03:54 PM
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Sorrento has a lot more night life. Plus the transportation options are better.

It's easy to daytrip to any town on the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento.
Jim_Tardio is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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Hi ... I was disappointed in Sorrento (which is NOT on the Amalfi Coast) ... totally loved Positano (where you can catch a ferry to Capri, a bus to Amalfi and the other towns around). Amalfi is a nice town but, in my opinion, you just can not beat the beauty and character of Positano.

geminigemini is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 07:02 AM
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I'm going to throw in a vote for Sorrento based in part on when you will be there. We went to Rome and Sorrento the last week of March a couple of years ago. Had Francesco Marrepese take us on a drive of the Amalfi Coast one day which included stops in both Positano and Amalfi (btw - he's a great person to contact if you need a guide and driver). I was glad we had decided to stay in Sorrento because Positano and Amalfi were not really "open for business" yet. Most of the little shops in Positano were still cleaning out after winter and doing upkeep rather than being open for business. So I would be concerned that you would wind up in Positano or Amalfi and not have much going on.

We also loved Sorrento and were glad we stayed there since it was incredibly easy to do the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and Capri. We stayed at the Hotel Il Faro which is down in the harbor itself. There is a little shuttle that runs up and down the winding road. We tended to take the shuttle up and then walk down. The restaurant at the Hotel is fabulous and should be visited even if you stay elsewhere. It is called the Vella Bianca and the food there is to die for !

No matter what you do and where you stay in that part of Italy you will have a fabulous time. And definitely check out: as a driver and guide. Tall dark and handsome does not begin to describe him and his English is very good.
jcasale is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 08:47 AM
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One thing rarely mentioned is the stairs in Positano. The town is on a steep hillside and to go anywhere you must climb up and down. If youi're older, this might be a consideration.

Sorrento is easier to get around; mostly it's more or less flat and there's public tranportation down to the port.
Mimar is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 10:26 AM
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I thought a lot about this and decided on Amalfi as a base, mainly because it is more of a working town than Positano. I know the views from Positano are prettier and the place is more charming, but it is so tourist oriented, even more so than other locales on the coast. I prefer to base in Amalfi and visit Positano on a day trip. But I am in the minority here on these views, I am sure.
(I have been twice to the coast, but many years ago..last time we based in Sorrento)

Transport is fairly good from Amalfi to Pompeii, less so to NAples but you do not say you plan to visit Naples. Just a thought to make your life more complicated!
ekscrunchy is online now  
Nov 21st, 2007, 11:52 AM
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We've stayed in Positano 3 different times (4 days each) - at the Hotel Murat. We visited Amalfi by boat, bus, and by car on each occasion. We though Amalfi was a lot more crowded during the day (we were there in early Sept), because there's a large parking lot for the day trippers & tour buses just at the western edge of town. We were with frinds once, and the part they liked best about Amalfi was the sign that said you are leaving town (it was real hot & shoulder-to-shoulder crowded that day). We've never felt as crowded in Positano, and like the fact that there are no cars in sight if you spend all your time in the pedestrian section - which is what we did. We had no need to go outside of the pedestrian section - except to catch the bus to Amalfi & elsewhere. Of course, if you stay in a hotel outside of the pedestrian section, you will encounter cars.

Positano has a very nice footpath that goes along the coast at the edge of the water. The path is paved, and is actually on a cliff overlooking the water. This is a lovely walk to take at night. There are several lookouts with benches where you can sit, stare out at the ocean, have a drink, get romantic, etc.

Although the beach is flat polished stones at both Positano & Amalfi, I MUCH prefer the Positano beach. The view is so pretty from the beach looking back at the village, that I found myself looking at the town more than the water. Took lots of pictures from the beach.

The time we were with friends, we dined along the boardwalk next to the beach/port (at Chez Black) on all 4 nights. We sat at the same table and watched the "action" for hours. It didn't look like there was anything similar to this in Amalfi - but we did not dine there so I'm not first-hand sure of that.

Stu Dudley
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