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LTB Oct 5th, 2005 12:31 PM

Sorrento or Positano
Help, I am trying to plan my honeymoon and don't know whether to stay in Sorrento or Positano. We prefer to stay in the same hotel for the entire 5 days and take day trips if/when we like. I've heard Sorrento is a better place to stay if you want to take excursions but Positano is more romantic. My fiance and I like to sightsee, but this portion of the honeymoon (we are also traveling to Florence and Rome) is supposed to be more low key. Any advice would be much appreciated!

LadyOLeisure Oct 5th, 2005 12:40 PM

You are already going to two major cities. Sorento isn't necessarily big, but it's bigger than Positano. I'd go to Positano. You can take daytrips from there, too, if you want.

MaggieOB Oct 5th, 2005 12:49 PM

For a honeymoon Positano would defnitely get my vote. It is VERY beautiful and romantic. We stayed in Positano for two nights and then moved onto Sorrento for two more but I can understand that you would like to settle in. I'm pretty sure that from Positano you can take an excursion to Capri (we did it from Sorrento) and you should try to do that--more romantic beauty!! sorrento is great and we really enjoyed out time there but I think for what you are planning the winner should be Positano. Congratulations and have a wonderful time.

klar Oct 5th, 2005 01:07 PM

I'd do Sorrento! From there you can travel by very quick, cheap and convenient train directly to major sites such as Pompei, Herculaneum, and Vesuvius, all of which are outstanding and not to be missed, even by honeymooners. Shame to miss these when you'd be so near in Positano, and yet v difficult to travel from there (one beautiful but nightmare coastal road - You can only travel by slow bus or expensive taxi or hire car, not recommended unless you like Italian drving -style). Even on honeymoon, you can get bored in 5 days, and there's not a lot to do in Positano itself. Also, greater choice of hotels, restaurants etc. in Sorrento Have been to both

lovevenice Oct 5th, 2005 02:24 PM

I vote Sorrento. We spent 8 days there last May. You have more choices re: transportation (bus, train, boats, etc.) from there to Positano, Amalfi, Pompeii, Naples, and Capri. Whereas if you stay in Positano, you may only have access via bus (I'm not sure but you should definitely check - I don't think there is boat service to Capri from Positano.) We took the jet boat to Amalfi on 3 different days and took the bus back twice. The bus stopped briefly in Positano. Going round the many turns overlooking the ocean was definitely an experience to remember.

Pausanias Oct 5th, 2005 03:06 PM

We spent our honeymoon in Positano, at the Sirenuse. I suggest you do the same -- though you can use another hotel, as Sirenuse is ridiculously expensive these days. You can take all the trips you'll want to take -- Pompeii, Capri, Paestum without too much fuss -- and you're in Positano, which I think is a much more pleasant destination than Sorrento.

escargot Oct 5th, 2005 03:07 PM

Positano is lovely for your honeymoon. You have many options if you want to do a day trip. Capri is one. very romantic. of course, depends on time of year. Also, I love Ravello. I have also stayed in Ravello, but if you want pool, lovely bar, fancier, stay in Positano - but visit Ravello - the square is not to be missed, and you can walk between small pottery and shops and up to casa belvedere for lovely gardens, sculptures and magnificent views. also lovely places for lunch overlooking great vistas. I would visit either pompeii or herculaneum, i don't think you need to do both. we did both in one day, with a driver, on our way to naples to catch our train to rome. Having a driver take you works out well, they match you up with a private tour guide for reasonable enough when you arrive at each and wait for you, watch stuff you don't want to lug with you, etc. our hotel arranged. we have driven the coast road before and the only problem is if you are the driver, you really can't enjoy the view.
Are you going to Florence and Rome first? or last?
Also, is this a honeymoon budget or a budget....therre are some very romantic restaurants i could recommend in both places, especially cafe romolo - and some hidden treasures for inbetween that are reasonable but exc food. how many days in florence and how many in rome? say if you want and will offer some places. and congratulations !

LTB Oct 6th, 2005 06:08 AM

Thank you all for your responses. You are all so incredibly helpful! It seems I need to do a little more homework to see if excursions from Positano are readily available..I believe if we stay in Positano, we will stay at Sirenuse. Would love suggestions for restaurants, sights in either locale - we intend to be a bit more extravagent on this leg of the trip. Thanks again!

owlwoman Oct 6th, 2005 07:02 AM

Positano, hands down. It's the most romantic place we've ever visited. A hotel that's a little more reasonable than Sirenuse that we have sent many people to is Buca di Bacco. There was nothing like sitting on our balcony and watching Positano light up in the evening. Have a wonderful honeymoon.

rbnwdln Oct 6th, 2005 10:52 AM

We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in Positano last year and are planning on spending our 31st there this year because it was SOOOO romantic. I've only driven through Sorrento but I gotta tell ya, Positano is shangi-la.

Alberto01 Oct 6th, 2005 11:06 AM

I would choose Positano over Sorrento, but for romance, I believe Ravello or the isle of Capri are most romantic. Palazzo Sasso in Ravello, and any of the better hotels in Capri. From Capri you can visit Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, Pompeii etc. but for sheer elegance and romance, you can't beat Capri. Particularly for five days. Positano is very hilly and really is a small place. Capri you can picnic in the ruins of Tiberius, visit Anacapri and relax all in one. That said,
You're lucky to have the opportunity to honeymoon in any of the places mentioned and described by any of the people who responded.
Oh, yeah!! I just remembered. They just opened a brand new classic Marriott on Capri. Check out the website.

GEMINI100 Apr 12th, 2006 11:46 AM

Hi Alberto01. My husband and I will be visiting Capri and the Amalfi Coast in mid-October. Ravello was recommended as a base, but it seems a bit isolated from the other towns. We'll have our own car, but would prefer not to drive after dark. Is there a nightlife & a good selection of restaurants in Ravello, aside from dining at the hotels? Friends recommended the Villa Cimbrone and I've heard nice things about the Palazzo Sasso, but how complicated is it to get from those to the other coastal towns? Many thanks.

nessundorma Apr 12th, 2006 11:56 AM

Ravello is nice precisely because it is isolated. It's meant to be removed. There are several excellent restaurants of real note, however, among them Da Salvatore and Cumpa Cosima, along with the hotel selections, so you needn't drive after dark to have a good variety in your dinner choices. I didn't see any nightlife in Ravello when I was there.

If you are planning a lot of daytrips along the Amalfi coast, there is really only one route out of Ravello to the main Amalfi coastal road, about 15 minutes away. In October, you are not likely to encounter a lot of traffic, though.

Personally, I wouldn't stay anyplace but Ravello on the Amalfi, but I like lots of quiet. And Ravello is quiet.

GEMINI100 Apr 12th, 2006 12:18 PM

Hi Nessundorma. Thank you so much for responding about Ravello. If we stay in Ravello, do you think we'll have trouble parking in each of the coastal towns? Do you know how long the walk to Amalfi town takes? Also, would you recommend the Sasso and the Cimbrone equally? I understand the Cimbrone has been newly renovated. Do you know of any charming smaller hotels in Ravello?
Many thanks again.

nessundorma Apr 12th, 2006 12:46 PM


I don't know if you are aware of another thread currently going on about Amalfi, but I was very surprised that a poster there said she and her husband were unable to find a place to park in Positano and Amalfi during the first week of November!

I've asked her if she was traveling on a weekend day.

That said, it's no picnic parking in either town anytime because the streets are so tiny.

You can probably walk downhill from Ravello to Atrani and Amalfi -- but I wouldn't try it uphill. I've never done it, but I would guess 40 minutes, unless there is a staircase that goes down (not impossible) through the hills that cuts that time.

As for the Sasso and the Cimbrone, I've never stayed in either. The Cimbrone was under renovation when I was there, so I was unable to get any good sense of it. I think people generally give the Sasso the edge. I booked into a very simple but lovely double underneath the Da Salvatore restaurant -- 90 euros -- a night. It had a wonderful from its tiny private balcony. I've posted about Da Salvatore before on Fodor's and if you do a search you can come up with the phone number.

There is another moderately priced hotel which I think has nice views which is called, I beleive, Hotel Giardino. You might look it up on Tripadvisor to see if it is any good when it comes to service, etc.

I didn't have a car in Ravello. I took buses everywhere, although I also had a taxi driver take me to Ravello -- which isn't cheap, but it was still cheaper than the cost of renting and parking a car I mostly wouldn't have used.

nessundorma Apr 12th, 2006 12:47 PM

That other thread is called tips on "Driving to the Amalfi in October"

nessundorma Apr 12th, 2006 12:53 PM

I'll also add Gemini that I didn't find touring the other Amalfi towns particularly rewarding. They are mainly filled with tourist shops. Positano has a lovely position on the hillside, but unless you are enjoying from your villa, it's not clear to me what it offers daytrippers. (I had a drink on the terrace of Le Sireneuse, and that was nice, but perhaps the most expensive drink I've ever drunk!)

I didn't go to Capri. I went to Pompeii on my way to Ravello.

The charm of Ravello is to sort of ascend into the clouds like one of Wagner's gods and be set apart from the world. It's a place to relax and read, and step out of the pace of the modern world with extreme elegance. It's a rich person's paradise, because most of us can't afford to go all that way to just do nothing except stare at the view. That's why I booked by myself into a 90 euro double. I figured if it rained (and it did one afternoon), it wouldn't feel like such a waste.

And the restaurant was very good. I loved the limoncello homemade by the resident grandfather.

tower Apr 12th, 2006 01:34 PM

LTB:Since it's your honeymoon, I strongly recommend Positano, and like "Owlwoman" did, I suggest the Buca di Bacco, with a terrace room...we just stayed there about a year ago. Right smack on the elegant and beautifully situated establishment, great srvice, bounteous breakfasts and it's own upscale restaurant.

Now, as for excursions, during our 5 days there, we took the little launch to Capri, spent the day and returned. We took another boat one day to Amalfi, the local bus from there to Ravello and enjoyed it all immensely.

We hiked up to the church high above Positano with a picnic lunch, walked some trails thereabouts , and for the rest of the time, we relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed the town and the beach. I couldn'r recommend basing there any more than this. No, we had turned in our rental car in Sorento, spent one night there and then took the bus to Positano...and the bus back to Sorrento. We had visited Pompeii and Herculaneum on the way down from Rome. Be sure to ask for a terrace room at the Buca di Bacco. Should be in the range of 200+ E's by now.
Stu T.

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