Sorrento vs. Positano

Old Feb 1st, 2005, 02:07 PM
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Sorrento vs. Positano

We are traveling to Italy in October for the 2nd time and want to check out Pompei and the Coast for a few days. Rick Steves recommends Sorrento as a base for this. I have always wanted to stay in Positano, but it seems like prices and travel options are better in Sorrento. Would we be able to get the gorgeous views here?
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Old Feb 1st, 2005, 02:15 PM
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Well, they are both different places and both have gorgeous views overlooking the Amalfi coast. It depends on what you are going for. I tend to think Positano is more romantic for couples, Sorrento is more of an "everyone" place (families, retirees, single travelers, etc) and is much larger than Positano. Conversely, if you don't like crowds, Positano might be the place for you. Between the two, I prefer Sorrento because it is a more central base in terms of boat/ferry, train, bus connections into Naples, Pompeii, and the surrounding areas. The hotel prices might be better in Sorrento too, although it has its fair share of pricey hotels as does Positano.

My hotel favorite in Sorrento is the Hotel Lorelei e Londres, Via Califano 12, about a 10-12 minute walk from the Circumvesuviana train station, overlooking the ocean and magnificent Bay of Naples. There is a Fodor's review of the property as well as travelers' reviews you could find under the "search" box option. Doubles with seaview are @ 95 euros a night, including breakfast (Sept 2004 price).
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Old Feb 1st, 2005, 02:17 PM
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Get ready for an odd opinion of this. Positano is spectacular. The view OF the town is the most spectacular part of it. Sitting on a terrace staring out into the open sea, however, if that's your view (and it rarely is) is NOTHING in my opinion, particularly at night. If you have a view from the cliffs in Sorrento, you see clear across the Bay to Naples and see Mt. Vesuvius in the background. It can be quite spectacular, both day and night.

You are right that it will cost more for both comparable hotel and for transportation in Positano than in Sorrento.

Sorrento does make an easier base for exploring the entire area. But there's no getting around the fact that Positano itself is a more "spectacular" destination.
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Old Feb 1st, 2005, 02:25 PM
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If you want easier access to Pompei stay in Sorrento and drive to Positano or take a boat.
We love them both. We stayed in Positano at Le Serinuse (sp?)
It was one of the best hotels in the world. Check out Expedia for deals. or call the hotel directly
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Old Feb 1st, 2005, 03:21 PM
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It is definitely much easier to get around the area from Sorrento, although I don't think the town itself has a lot of charm. But you can easily take the train from Sorrento to Naples and Pompeii, as well as a ferry to Capri -- and the SITA bus, of course, up and down the Amalfi Coast. I agree that unless you just want to stay put and look at beautiful scenery, you'd be better off in Sorrento.

We were there last November, and stayed in a Rick Steves-recommended B&B that we really liked (Casa Astarita), although it doesn't have a view. I have a trip report with photos posted on my web site. The Sorrento part starts at:
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Old Feb 1st, 2005, 05:32 PM
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I really suggest that you read the review at:

(That was from the post right above this one. (from nonnafelice)

I just now read the part on Sorrento, and then read a few more pages, and then went back to the Orvieta page and read that .....and I ended up reading the entire report! It's great reading and even has pictures interspersed. I loved this report!

In May, we're going to do as Patrick talks about and stay in Praiano and LOOK at Positano!

But saying that, the B&B in Sorrento where nonnafelice stayed looked very nice and we may visit there in October. I should have changed my name to Budget Brahmama on the boards, because I'm always looking for the best price so we can afford to do this as much as possible.

good luck and happy travels!
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Old Feb 2nd, 2005, 06:36 AM
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Thank you for your nice comments on my travel report. I agree with your philosophy: "always looking for the best price so we can afford to do this as much as possible."

Please keep us posted on any tips you find along those lines!
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Old Feb 2nd, 2005, 07:22 AM
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Hi nonnafelice,

Nice report.

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Old Feb 2nd, 2005, 08:16 AM
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Patrick, I am so with you on this one! I love the views in Sorrento. I stay at the Aminta, on the hill and the views are spectacular. has a webcam.

I think Positano is charming, charming, charming. And it's entire purpose is tourism. Sorrento is an Italian town that lives and breathes Italian life. For that reason, to me it's much more interesting. There is also a lot more to do and it's a lot easier to access the other places of interest on the Sorrentine Peninusula and the Amalfi Coast.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2005, 03:31 PM
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Stay in Sorrento and stay at the Bellvue Syrene (sp?). It is right on the cliff overlooking the sea. It is awesome. You easily walk to town in 2 minutes, the ferry to Capri, a drive to Postiano and to Pompeii.
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