Sorrento to Amalfi/Postiano HELP

Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 09:20 AM
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Sorrento to Amalfi/Postiano HELP

Ok - so once we get to Sorrento - I am very confused as to what to do. Currently, the plan is to go to Pompeii early in the day to avoid crowds. From reading posts on this board, it seems like 2-3 hours is adequate. Then we want to spend the rest of the day along the Amalfi coast.

So my question is - where and how do we catch the bus from Pompeii. What are the hot spots in terms of tourist attractions, the beautiful scenery, etc. I know people here have praised Postiano and the bus ride along the Amalfi Coast. I went to the SITA website - but everything is in Italian. Is this doable in 1/2 day (after Pompeii?). We are saving the 2nd day for a day trip out to Capri.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 09:37 AM
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Not knowing much about how you'll be getting to Sorrento and then getting around, I'll explain the route and then guess.

You can get from Naples to Sorrento in various ways; driver, commuter train or boat.

Depending upon your luggage situation, if you're travelling by commuter, you can get of at Pompeii which is mid-way between Naples and Sorrento and spend some time there.

The Amalfi bus doesn't go to Pompeii. It goes from Sorrento to the Amalfi coast passing Positano, Amalfi, etc.

I don't know how much time you've allocated for this part of your trip.

Two years ago we visited Sorrento for five days and passed on Pompeii. We're really not that interested in ruins.

From Sorrento you have a 30 minutes boat ride to the beautiful Isle of Capri. That's good for most of a day. You can spend the good part of a day wandering around the old part of Sorrento.

Depending upon you're time of year, you can take the bus to Positano, Amalfi and then up to Ravello. The bus ride is about 1 1/2 hours each way without going up to Ravello. I'm not that much of a fan of the town of Positano. Looks beautiful as you approach and leave but not much there. Amalfi and exploring Ravello were much better.

If you take the bus it requires a strong stomach. The bus drivers seem to drive with one foot on the gas, the other on the brakes and their hand on the horn.

However, fantastic views both up and down.

A little more subdued could be taking a boat back to Sorrento.

I've just decsribed at least 3 days without going to pompeii.

Explain a bit more about the trip and I can tell more.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 09:38 AM
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I don't think it's doable to go to Pompeii and Positano in one day. If you only have two full days in Sorrento, I'd stroll around Sorrento after your trip to Pompeii. You can easily do Pompeii in the AM leaving the afternoon/evening for local sites.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 09:48 AM
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I guess I should provide more detailed info about where, when and how. This is the part of the trip (Amalfi Coast region) that we need the mMOST HELP!

So we are flying into Naples from Paris and land around 6:40. From researching around - I realize this is too late to take a bus to Sorrento. And we didn't want to rely on the ferry since the last one is at 9. If for some reason our flight is delayed - we would be STUCK. And we definitely DO NOT want to stay in Naples.
So the plan is to take the train into Sorrento - therefore not having any time to site see since it will be evening. Also - no time for Pompeii at this time.

Another point I should make is that we are also not very excited about Pompeii or looking at ruins. But we figured it is a "must-see" and we should try it before we make judgements. Maybe not, huh? Sounds like it isn't for everyone.

1st day: Day trip to Capri
2nd day: Amalfi Coast (was trying to squeeze in Pompeii)
3rd day - Train to Rome - maybe we can stop by in Pompeii at this point???

we haven't booked ay trains, hotels yet. We are stil trying to figure out the logistics of the Amalfi days. we can always leave on the 2nd day after Amalfi Coast/Postiano - thereby giving more time in Rome?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 09:49 AM
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Hi HH,

Your posts are getting scattered, and its hard to keep track of what you want to do.

However, I take it you are going from somewhere to Pompeii and then you want to see the AC and return to Rome without going through Naples.

If this is correct, take the train to Naples.

Go downstairs and take the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento. Get off at Pompeii Scavi.

Get back on the train and continue to Sorrento. Just across the street from the Circumvesuviana station is the SITA bus stop.

Take the SITA bus to Amalfi. Change for Salerno.

Take the train from Salerno to Rome.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 11:39 AM
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Your new schedule looks better:
+ First full day to Capri;

+ Second full day to Positano/Amalfi (Pompeii is in the other direction).
You can easily do both stops in one day using the ferries.

+ The third day, as you take the Circum... to Naples, stop off in Pompeii for a couple of hours, then hop on again to get to Naples. Naples to Rome is only a couple of hours and there are lots of trains heading that way.

This two-full-day schedule will be rushed but will be a very nice trip with beautiful sights. You'll have time in the evenings to stroll around Sorrento which is very nice.

If you stop in Pompeii on your way back to Rome, my advise is to either hire a private guide (we did and really got a lot out of it) or rent the headphones (haven't tried that but others think it's good). Trying to find your way around by yourself is very frustrating.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 12:05 PM
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I'm not clear on where you are staying while on the Amalfi coast. Are you staying in Sorrento? If so, Parker's itinerary makes the most sense. If you are staying on Capri or in Positano I would do a different schedule. Keep in mind that the ferries do NOT run late or with most ending around 7 or 8 pm.

I am not into ruins either but found Pompeii to be one of the most impressive places I've been in Europe. The audio guides (hand-held not headphones) are great at Pompeii as each site is numbered and you just punch in the number you want to hear - no rewinding tapes etc.

It is possible to do Pompeii and Positano in one day. My cousin did this last summer by leaving Sorrento for Pompeii early (8am) to be there when it opened at 9. He wandered the ruins until 1 pm and then took the train back to Sorrento where he caught the ferry to Positano. I think he got to Positano about 2:30pm and stayed to wander the town and have dinner before catching a late SITA bus back to Sorrento. Maybe that isn't the most relaxing way to do it but he was very glad that he got to see both places.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 02:12 PM
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If your plane from Paris doesn't land in Naples until 6:40 pm, don't count on getting out of the airport until 7 or 7:30 pm. If you then need to get to Sorrento, (you said you were going to take the Circumvesuviana) you will need to take a taxi or bus from the Naples airport to the Naples Centrale train station, go downstairs there and find the commuter train which will take you to Sorrento. If you are comfortable doing this in the evening in Naples, that's fine, but I might avoid the stress and hire a driver to pick you up at the airport and take you directly to your hotel.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 10:10 PM
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Personally, I think it is silly of you to go to Pompeii just because you have heard it is a must do. You don't have that much time on the Coast as it is, why waste a chunk of it on somewhere you have no interest in seeing?

Hire a driver from Naples to your hotel. Hire a driver from your hotel on the second day to take you down the coast, stopping at places that interest you.

You are on a "honeymoon" from your name so do what you want to do and don't start out your life together doing what other people do or think you should do.

I will down from my pulpit now.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 02:22 AM
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If your concern is money (for private driver from Naples to Sorrento), I;m fairly certain there is a bus direct from Naples airport to Sorrento, and if you're staying in Sorrento, this might be the least problematic way to get there and avoid the expense of a driver. You can then use the savings for some sort of romantic meal-with-a-view!
Anyone know about this bus?
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 02:26 AM
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OOPS- I forgot you said you thouoght it was too late in the day for the sorrento bus. Sorry! (sheepish grin) I would still double check though.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 07:02 AM
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hi, no its not my honeymoon, that was last year in Hawaii! this user name has got to change, I think.

Anyway, so yes, that is the problem. we will be getting to the airport at 6:40 p.m. and therefore it is too late to catch a bus, as they stop running at around 6:00 p.m. So our only options would be to take the commuter train or the private driver as you all suggested. Yes we are staying in sorrento during the 3 days and taking day trips from there to Amalfi and Capri.

Yes, we really don't want to splurge on a private driver IF the commuter train is easy enough. Since we are staying at the Hotel Nido, there will be someone at the Sorrento train station to pick us up and bring us to the hotel. So that is one less thing to worry about. Approx. how much would a private driver cost from Naples airport to Sorrento (Hotel Nido)?

Also about Pompei - I keep getting mixed reviews. Its all so confusing. Some people say it is good even though they are NOT into ruins. Some people say its not worth going if time and interest to not permit. Hmmm - i don't know.

I definitely do not want to combine Pompei and Amalfi considering someone said we would only have 1/2 day. I would really like to go to Postiano and Rafella. So I think it would be best to spend the whole day to do that. Or is that too much time? And then maybe we can skip pompei all together.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 07:21 AM
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Here's my $.02

From your comments, skip Pompeii. It's not foremost on your mind, and you're tight on time.

I take exception to the comment about needing a "strong stomach" to ride the SITA buses along the coastal road. These guys know what they're doing. You would need a truly strong stomach to ride shotgun next to a novice driver who's never driven there before -- can't imagine you would be able to enjoy the ride all that much.

Don't worry about the bus schedule. The SITA buses run every forty minutes or so. Ride throug Positano, or maybe stop for lunch and catch the next one.

In Amalfi, the buses stop and park up against the seawall in the loveliest parking lot you'll ever see. Transfer to a Ravello bus and spend an afternoon up there.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 10:01 AM
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I stayed at Il Nido last summer. Gianni will help you work out all your travels when you get there. He kept telling us "In Italy no problems - only solutions". On his website he mentions Aponte travel agency so you might try them as their site says they do transfers. www.aponteviaggi.it
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 10:30 AM
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I couldn't agree more with metlc about the bus drivers of the Amalfi Coast, they are fantastic drivers!!! Try to get a seat on the side facing the sea, and it will be a glorious ride... Some of them have great personalities too. There are accidents on this road, but yes, it is inexperienced drivers who are involved in them.
If you take a bus, don't worry at all, just know that there are lots of hairpin turns. If you've been to Hawaii, think Road to Hana-it's a little like that, but more traffic in high season. I've driven it in winter in the rain and a quick hailstorm, and easily lived to tell the tale, just took it slow.
The town you might want to visit is Ravello, you will buy your ticket in Amalfi at a little shop across the square from where the SITA buses stop in Amalfi. If you manage to make it to Ravello, try to walk to the Villa Cimbrone and the Belvedere of Infinity for a View to Remember!
If you don't have much time, IMO, don't try to rush through and "Do" everything. Just enjoy the atmosphere, the magnificent views, the fine blue sea, the fresh air, and the food. All of these have a magic of their own. If I've learned anything from visiting the Amalfi COast, it's how to let go.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 11:43 AM
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I second the praise for the professional drivers on the Amalfi Drive. I have been on that road in all kinds of weather conditions and never been really afraid of their driving.

Well, maybe once late at night from Salerno to Praiano when I thought I saw the driver nodding off, but that is my perception.

I figure if that one bus on that one road is going to fly over the edge it is because of fate and if I am with an inexperienced driver (such as myself) it would probably be my fault.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 06:13 PM
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Oh yes, and here's a really obscure tip: a movie titled "Beat the Devil", starring Humphrey Bogart, Gina Lollobrigida, Jennifer Jones, Peter Lorre, and Robert Morley directed by John Huston, written by Truman Capote (what a team) the first half of the movie shot in Ravello, including scenes at Villa Cimbrone and the Belvedere of Infinity...1951-has a wonderful sequence of a 1950's busride along the Amalfi Drive BEFORE there were guardrails. Of course, for dramatic effect, they sent a car out of control. The movie is a little trashy, but fun to see the Amalfi Drive (and Ravello, unchanged) back in the day! You can get it online I think.
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