Stay on Almalfi Coast or In Salerno?

Old Jul 6th, 2014, 08:27 AM
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Stay on Almalfi Coast or In Salerno?

Next year a week in Rome, a few days in Naples, a few days in Sorrento.

Want to see the Amalfi coast, but from what I've read, there's not much there but scenery. No beaches or sites to speak of, although the coast is stunning, of course. We won't have a car but will be staying in apartments cooking for ourselves, so we need relatively easy access to markets, etc.

Was thinking we should just take a bus from Sorrento up (over?) the coast and stay in Salerno a few days.

Don't see much on the forum about Salerno except as a place to catch various forms of transportation, but it looks like it could be a nice town.

Any advice? Anyone spend any time in Salerno? Any tips or pointers on Salerno?

Thanks.
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 09:57 AM
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There is a reason why the AC is a world class vacation destination---stay in Positano or Amalfi.
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 10:02 AM
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bobthenavigator is right. Positano doesn't have a great beach, but it does have a rocky beach with lots of people swimming.

Sorrento makes for a better base than Salerno, but it doesn't hold a candle to Positano or Amalfi. But better to just stay in Sorrento and take a bus to the other towns than to stay in Salerno, in my view.
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 11:30 AM
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Thanks for an experienced viewpoint. Appreciate the advice.
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 12:15 PM
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Sorrento is a great place to stay because it's a larger town with more shops and restaurants - and easy to get to other places from.

For the true atmosphere of the tiny villages cut into the cliffs go to Amalfi or Positano (we found a one-day drive from Sorrento was enough and spent the rest of out time going to Capri, Pompeii and the Archeo museum in Naples - from an incredible hotel in a gorgeous garden right in the center of Sorrento).
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 01:18 PM
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See for yourself !

http://www.slowphotos.com/photo/show...y.php?cat=4481
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 01:26 PM
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Not true about there being no sights on the Amalfi coast. The duomos of both Ravello and Amalfi are worth visiting for their art treasures. Both have Romanesque origins with Arab influence. The Amalfi cathedral has a set of bronze doors, among the first to appear in Italy. Inside there are some wonderful frescoes and cosmati work. The cathedral is adjacent to a 9th century basilica and there is a nice cloister.

Ravello’s cathedral is a world heritage site. The bronze doors here are especially noteworthy and date to the 1100’s. Inside there is a wonderful pulpit and an ambo with mosaics. Especially charming is the story of Jonah and the whale on the ambo.

(Salerno also has a noteworthy duomo with similar stylistic influences and dating from approximately the same period.)

Along the Amalfi coast there are also some lovely hikes, if you enjoy wandering away from the towns.
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 01:27 PM
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Salerno itself is a pleasant city, but I would stay there in addition to, not instead of, time on the Amalfi Coast.
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 01:27 PM
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Meant to add that Salerno would be a good base if you wanted to see Paestum.
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 01:33 PM
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First of all, there are no beaches in Sorrento or Salerno either.

Only a handful of people would prefer to stay in Salerno over Sorrento as a way of seeing the Amalfi coast. There are much better transportation connections from Sorrento to the Amalfi coast and a great deal more tourist amenities. It is a hub for tourists.

About the only reasons to choose Salerno over Sorrento is that (a) you want to visit Paestum as part of your trip and (b) you dislike being in tourist hubs surrounded by tourists and would like to understand more about the culture and history of Italy and (c) better eateries, but that is a wash if you are cooking for yourselves at night and lunching during daytrips.

Something else that might influence your decision is what time of year you are taking your trip. Buses and ferries emanating from Sorrento and the Amalfi coast are a lot more crowded in summer than those leaving Salerno.

Under any circumstances, if you choose Salerno, it is easier to take the train there. Not the bus.

If you can afford it, then staying in Positano or the town of Amalfi makes sense if your primary goal for being in the area is experiencing the Amalfi coast. You can find enough food shops and markets to keep you going. If you think you will get bored in tourist villages and would like some cultural fascination right at hand, then Salerno is not postcard pretty but it is certainly more interesting and rich in treasures than Sorrento or the Amalfi coast towns.
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 01:36 PM
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You might be interested to read the Salerno portions of this recent trip report

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rip-report.cfm
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 01:41 PM
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Just as an aside, I think the Amalfi coast is beautiful but I would never go back there. Apart from traffic jams, it is easy to see this church or that on the coast , as well as the scenery, as a pop-in day trip. I didn't find actually staying there all that rewarding, because the villages are really touristy and so are the restaurants. Sorrento has the same difficulties. But I found Salerno really interesting and hope to return some day and spend more than one night there.

But it is not a postcard town or quaint village.
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 01:51 PM
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>>Was thinking we should just take a bus from Sorrento up (over?) the coast and stay in Salerno a few days
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 01:54 PM
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"There are much better transportation connections from Sorrento to the Amalfi coast"

I wholeheartedly disagree. There are only 2 ferries per day between Sorrento and Positano/Amalfi. There are at least 8 ferries per day between Salerno and Amalfi/Positano, and more on the weekends.

I just returned from an 8-day stay in Positano, where we rented an apartment so we could cook meals (and do laundry), and would disagree that you can easily see the AC as a day trip. In addition to the excellent trip report listed above, here is also a good blog post about staying in Salerno over Sorrento:

http://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/tra...coast-holidays
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 06:29 PM
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I loved Salerno -- its cathedral has some magnificent features, its waterfront is spectacular, it's diocesan museum has some awesome carved ivories, it has an interesting medieval district, and it is a great point of departure for Paestum.

That said, whether it would be a good base for your visit to the Amalfi Coast depends on what else you choose to see and do.

Plus ditto mama_mia.
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Old Jan 11th, 2016, 08:13 PM
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Hello
I found your post about Salerno and was so happy to read about the town and the beauty you described.
I will be visiting with a group of 20 people and have been given hotel recommendation but none of these have worthy reviews
I was thinking of splitting the group up into a few B&B's close to each other. There will be some seniors on the trip too,
Any advice is appriciated
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Old Jan 11th, 2016, 08:19 PM
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@ Scando -- On your other thread, I suggested a hotel that DOES get reasonably decent reviews, even though I personally prefer looking through reviews on TripAdvisor and booking.com to anything that a specific, unknown Fodorite might suggest. Good luck!
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Old Jan 12th, 2016, 06:09 PM
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Hi KJA
I did check out the Hotel Plaza and it seems to be very well reviewed
Thanks and I do agree with TripAdvisor which has always worked well for me
Thanks
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Old Jan 12th, 2016, 06:24 PM
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I was considering staying in Sorrento as my base to visit the AC as well as Naples and Pompeii.

Change of plan and I'm going to Naples and Pompeii while still in Rome.

So does it still make sense to stay in Sorrento to enjoy the AC? Or should I stay in Positano or Amalfi?

The options are never ending...I keep going round and round on this...I can't figure this out!
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Old Jan 12th, 2016, 07:23 PM
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@ Judy_Rosa -- it depends on what you want to see and experience! Take a calendar and a map and mark them up with your options. Only then can you decide what meets your interests and needs best. FWIW, I would not try to visit Naples or Pompeii from Rome -- too much time in transit for too little time in either place. And I would only stay in Sorrento to see the Amalfi Coast if I was also using it as a base for Pompeii. But that's just me; YMMV.
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