Staying in Positano or Sorrento?

Old Sep 7th, 2018, 07:17 AM
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Staying in Positano or Sorrento?

We would have the ability to spend about 48 hours in the Amalfi coast area next May, probably Sunday to Tuesday afternoon.

It looks as if we could take a train from Rome to Sorrento in about 4 hours.

Our goal would be to spend one day on Capri, and another at Pompeii.

Looking online, I could not determine where the best place to stay might be. Is Positano prettier/a nicer place to stay than Sorrento? On the other hand, are excursions to Pompeii and Capri easier/faster out of Sorrento? If we do stay in Sorrento, does anyone know how long it takes to get to Positano and/or is that worth a visit if one is already seeing Capri and Sorrento?

Finally, does one have to worry about museums being closed on a Monday or Tuesday in Pompeii or elsewhere in that area?

Thank you.

mackstud is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2018, 07:36 AM
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DH and I based in Sorrento and from there easily took the train to Pompei and a ferry to Capri. We enjoyed strolling in Sorrento in the evenings.

By city bus, Positano was the first stop but we went on to Amalfi and it took over an hour because of traffic. Others can weigh in about a ferry from Sorrento to Positano and ferries from Positano to Capri.

If you are planning side trips, I'd suggest Sorrento over Positano. For beach, views (you can find hotels with views in Sorrento also) and relaxing, Positano. Others who have based in Positano can confirm or clarify.

Last edited by TDudette; Sep 7th, 2018 at 07:38 AM. Reason: typo
TDudette is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2018, 08:25 AM
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Hello, I went to Sorrento last October and stayed there for 7 days and based all of my day trips out of there. I really liked Sorrento, very convenient for train, bus or ferry to any of those places you want to go. Although people say Sorrento is not as pretty as the other locations, I found it very beautiful and probably a "little" less crowded then Capri, Positano, etc. Got the train very easily to Pompeii, took city bus to Amalfi coast, Ravello, etc. Sorrento is about 30 miles from the coast, but I would recommend ferry because the traffic can be very crazy going there, also the bus is kind of a hair raising ride with all twists and turns, but the drivers are very experienced. If you only have a short time and want to go to those places, I would recommend Sorrento.
maxman is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2018, 09:59 AM
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We've visited Sorrento & the Amalfi coast 4 times and have always stayed in Positano - and glad we did. I recall Sorrento being mobbed with large tour buses quite frequently, and it did not seem nearly as charming as Positano. Positano does not have any real roads in the area most people spent time in - so no traffic to dodge or buses to see. We took a very easy boat trip to Capri from Positano where we stayed for 2 nights. So the Capri thing is not an issue. But Sorrento is obviously better to get to Pompii. We visited Pompii on the way to Positano - not from Sorrento or Positano.
I would much rather stay on the Amalfi coast in Positano than on the Bay of Naples in Sorrento. I want to be "in" the "charm" in the early morning & late evening, than having to drive to it and arrive mid-day with all of the other day trippers who did not stay in Positano. Amalfi had a lot of tour buses also and was mobbed mid-day.

We've always visited the Amalfi coast in early September.

Web sites should tell you when museums & sites are open.

Stu Dudley
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Old Sep 7th, 2018, 10:28 AM
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Sorrento for sure for those two days - getting to Positano takes time from Sorrento and Sorrento as others above say best for Capri and especially Pompeii.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2018, 11:21 AM
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Pal - I stated that Positano is just as good as Sorrento for getting to Capri.

Stu Dudley
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Old Sep 7th, 2018, 11:59 AM
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Yes Stu but if they are spending both days at Pompeii and Capri staying in Positano is IMO foolish - they will take a few hours to get there and then back from Sorrento and see little. Since they want to see Pompeii and Capri staying in Sorrento is the only sensible thing IMO for just two days.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2018, 12:44 PM
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I didn't note that they will only be there for 2 nights.

IMO, their plan to stay in Sorrento and also visit Pompei & Capri with only a half day available on Sunday, full day on Monday, and half day on Tuesday is foolish. Why go all the way to the Bay of Naples - and then spend all their time elsewhere where another "trip" is involved. That's 6 trips in 3 days. Both Capri & Pompei are an all-day event if transportation is included.

Mackstud (or anyone else)
Post your proposed itinerary, including train/boat departure/arrival times - starting & ending in Rome.

Stu Dudley
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Old Sep 7th, 2018, 12:47 PM
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With only 48 hours and goal of seeing Pompei and Capri then Sorrento is better base.

Above someone mentioned that 'Sorrento was 30 miles from the coast'. What they meant by that was that Sorrento is 30 miles from the Amalfi/Positano portion of the Amalfi Coast. Sorrento itself is on the water/coast, it's not inland which that statement might lead someone to think.
isabel is online now  
Old Sep 7th, 2018, 01:04 PM
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If your primary goal is to see Capri and Pompeii from a convenient hub, I’d stay in Sorrento. The ferry to Capri takes about 20 minutes from there, and it’s also quick and easy to get to the train station to go to Pompeii. Capri has similar topography to the Amalfi Coast and would give you a taste, but it is not the same experience as the AC with its expanse of spectacular scenery and picturesque towns. Here’s a link to my trip report with a link to photos at Entry 27,
Solo in Italia May 2015: Sorrento, Amalfi, Paestum, Naples, Rome.
bon_voyage is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2018, 01:23 PM
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For 48 hours and your desire to see Capri and Pompeii, I join the chorus that Sorrento is the best choice. Even when we stay longer in the area, Sorrento is always our base. A nice small city, vibrant in the evening, good choice of restaurants, interesting shops, limoncello factory samples and a nice waterfront. If you have the time for the resort atmosphere, Positano is fine. I wouldn't plan to spend an entire day on just Pompeii; perhaps you could combine that with a trip to Naples (get a pizza and shop on the gritty Via Tribunali and, even better, combine your Pompeii tour with National Archaeological Museum where many of the Pompeii artifacts are stored). Make sure you go to Anacapri, our preferred village in Capri (and take chairlift to Monte Solaro. From the top, you will get a great view of the Amalfi coast from the best birdseye spot. I think you would need a third day to visit the Amalfi coast (Positano, Amalfi, Ravello).
whitehall is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2018, 02:43 PM
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Sorrento may be on a coast but it is not apparent from much of the town so in no way comparable to Amalfi Coast towns that spills down to the sea which is in full view from everywhere. Some Sorrento hotels however do have sea views so look for those.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2018, 07:02 PM
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I agree that Sorrento makes the most sense in terms of efficiency, but personally, I'd stay in Naples if my goals were to see Pompeii and Capri. But then, I love Naples, which I found to be a delightfully energetic, dynamic city. Not everyone likes it.

Some museums might be closed -- you'll need to figure out which ones interest you and then check their websites.

You are trying to fit this into the same trip that includes Rome? I don't think you told us how much time you have there, and so am not sure I understand why you think you have 48 hours for somewhere else.
kja is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2018, 07:50 AM
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with just 2 days and days which will be spent at Pompeii and Capri Sorrento makes better sense IMO than Naples. Naples is yes a great place but if have little time to explore it stay in Sorrento an easy city to navigate and not everyone likes Naples - I really do but for your plans Sorrento is best IMO.
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