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Suggestions for Positano base on Amalfi Coast? & travel to/from Rome

Suggestions for Positano base on Amalfi Coast? & travel to/from Rome

Sep 12th, 2011, 07:24 AM
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Suggestions for Positano base on Amalfi Coast? & travel to/from Rome

My husband and I (both 30 yr olds) will be heading to Italy for 7 days in the beginning of October. We plan to spend 3 days in Rome then head to the Amalfi Coast for 3 nights. Our flight is in/out of Rome, so we have to head back to Rome for our final night before flying back to the states. I know this is a rushed trip but i've been to Rome before but never to the AC, my husband has never been to Italy. Any suggestions on traveling from Rome to Positano? I assumed we'd take a train from Rome to Naples but then from there i'm not sure how to go about it. I'd also like to spend a few hours at Pompeii at some point - so any suggestions how to go about that? As well as see Capri! We are not renting a car so any help with how to get about to see the amalfi coast is greatly appreciated!
SAT28 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2011, 08:28 AM
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If your flight into Rome is early in the morning, you can free up a half day or more by heading straight to AC on landing. I did this last year and was in Sorrento by 6pm and saved having to split the Rome stay into two. It make a long day, but many have done AC this way. Besides, if you land early in Rome, your hotel is probably not ready to check you in and you have to kill time anyway. Why not use that time to travel to AC?

From Napoli to Positano, there are several ways with different pros and cons.
1. taxi from Napoli-Positano. This would be fastest way. This would be in 100-120EU range.
2. circumvesuviana train from Napoli-Sorrento (very cheap, but 70min rather uncomfortable ride on a commuter train), then taxi from Sorrento to Positano, or SITA bus to Positano (if you are there before evening.)

Positano may not be a good base for what you plan to do within you constraints. If you stay in Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii, and Positano are very easy to get to. Also you have shorter trip from and to Rome. However, you are strictly not staying in AC.
greg is offline  
Sep 12th, 2011, 09:28 AM
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The Marozzi bus runs from Rome to Positano in summer, but I'm not sure they would be going ant further than Sorrento in Oct. It takes a bit longer than trains, but you don't have to worry about changes and your luggage is stored underneath.
Is it possible to fly into Naples and out of Rome or have you booked flights already?
kybourbon is offline  
Sep 12th, 2011, 10:26 AM
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The Marozzi bus from the Roma Tiburtina bus depot goes direct to Positano/Praiano/Amalfi only from June through September. For the rest of the year, the service terminates in Sorrento.


In October, you could take Trenitalia to Salerno, walk 800 meters to the Concordia Dock, then take the ferry boat direct to Positano.


Be aware that the ferry can be cancelled due to inclement weather. If that happens, you'd need to proceed from Salerno to Amalfi/Amalfi to Positano by SITA bus.



NOTE: This schedule expired two days ago, and a new schedule should be uploaded shortly.
GAC is offline  
Sep 13th, 2011, 07:09 AM
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Thanks for all your info - i think i should reconsider staying in Sorrento instead and have that as a base.

Greg - We will be spending our first 3 days in Rome after arriving from the states then head south to AC for a few days, but then have to head back to Rome for a night to fly out - as our flights already booked.

Any tips then for traveling from Naples to Sorrento? Then suggestions for our stay in that area? We would leave Rome saturday morning to head south, then have all day sunday and monday, but sometime tuesday have to head back to Rome for a wednesday morning flight. Could we see Pompeii that first day (saturday) since (i'm assuming) we'd arrive by early afternoon in Sorrento? I figured we'd spend half a day in Capri (sunday?) then head to Positano area/see the amalfi coast on Monday. Any help with suggestions for our stay would be greatly appreciated! I want to make the most of our stay down there!!!
SAT28 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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I did see you wrote Rome(3)-AC(3)-Rome(1) nights. What I was saying is that if your flight to Rome is early in the morning, why not do AC(4)-Rome(3) nights?

You mentioned your trip is rushed, so why not eliminate one trip-to-town, hotel check-in/out, trip-to-station cycle? You have to do what you are intending to do if the flight into Rome is in the afternoon, you have to meet someone in Rome upon landing, you already made a non-refundable accommodation payment in Rome, etc, but that is not obvious from your posting. The alternate itinerary has no impact at all with your booked flight. In fact you are back to Rome much earlier for your flight and even gives you more margin to deal with in (rare) case of a train strike.

Many people come here with an initial itinerary to stay automatically in Rome upon landing and then again the night before departure, perhaps that is how they travel at home. For your type of itinerary, there may be other options.

Besides Marozzi bus mentioned which also does Roma Tiburtina-Sorrento, there is also www.curreriviaggi.it It also runs the same route at different time of the day. The bus route eliminates any logistics through Napoli, but the schedule favors your return trip to Roma.

I have done Napoli-Sorrento by Circumvesuviana as well as by a taxi. The train is cheap, but it is about 70min on a uncomfortable commuter train. I would not want to do this during rush-hour in Napoli with luggage. There is also boat, but that requires making down to the Napoli dock by taxi, boat to Sorrento, then again bus/taxi up from the Sorrento dock to town.
greg is offline  
Sep 13th, 2011, 11:09 AM
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I based in Sorrento one fall and it was a nice utilitarian base with much easier connections to yes Capri, the Amalfi Coast (frequent buses to places like Positano and Amalfi and Ravello - a nice day trip is what I did but just to Amalfi and Ravello, perched high above Amalfi

and you could do Pompeii as a short day trip from Sorrento - perhaps even the same day you arrive - go to hotel unload and head back out if get early start from Rome.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 13th, 2011, 12:49 PM
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Greg- I don't know why I didn't think of heading straight to AC! I love your idea! Our flight arrives in Rome around 9am so we could just head straight to Naples/sorrento. Have 4 nights in AC then 3 in Rome. So we would have 3 full days in AC - would you recommend a day in Capri, a day to see the AC (by bus or by boat??) or utilize the 3rd day as well for the AC. Then the 4th morning see pompeii before taking the train back to Rome later that afternoon? That leaves 2 full days in Rome - which since I've already been should be good for my husband to see some.
SAT28 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2011, 01:26 PM
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100% agree with above reccos: use Sorrento as your base in the area,. MUCH easier to get to Pompeii from there. And actually, we preferred Sorrento to Positano, for a variety of reasons.

You can still see the AC from Sorrento--take the mountainside bus-an AMAZING experience--it will take you from Sorrento to Amalfi and Positano for a wonderful day trip. Just make sure beforehand to pop a bonine (meclizine) if you tend at all to motion sickness.

I think you asked about place to stay in Sorrento? What is budget?
CaliNurse is offline  
Sep 13th, 2011, 01:32 PM
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Calinurse- I would love for a sorrento recommendation - under 200 euros/nite
SAT28 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2011, 06:45 PM
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Well I would say definitely straight to the AC but stay in Positano - the charms of Sorrento pale in comparison and we personally have never seen the advantage of staying somewhere just because it's easy transport! You can probably arrange to see Pompeii on the way to Rome and that will save some doubling back.
We stayed this summer at the Villa delle Palme in Positano - great location, delightful family run hotel, get the room one the second floor with the big terrace - incredible to eat your breakfast out there and sublime! Well under your budget.
(this was our third visit and we previously stayed in Sorrento and along from Positano in Praiano).
If you like to walk, take the Path of the Gods - bus up from Positano to Nocelle to avoid the step climb. Amazing views. Walking down from Ravello to Amalfi is also great.
Texastrips is offline  
Sep 16th, 2011, 08:36 AM
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We have decided to stay in Sorrento instead of Positano! Thanks everyone for their replies!!! I think for our short stay this is a better option. Also, i have switched around our stay so once we land in Rome we will head straight to Sorrento, then after our stay in Sorrento for a few days head back to Rome - thanks again GREG!!

The travel options (from the Rome Airport) Rome-Sorrento and then Sorrento-Rome are confusing to me! Can anyone give me another reply of my options and which they recommend? I'd like the easiest route since we'll have just flown all night to Rome from the states and this is my husband's first trip to Europe so i'd like this to go as easy as possible -and we'll probably be exhausted.
SAT28 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2011, 08:32 PM
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Sat28, congrats on your decision!!

Once you take the bus to Positano, after having some time in Sorrento, i predict you will be glad for your decision to "base" in Sorrento.
Apologies for not responding earlier to request for a hotel/accommodation.

There are some lovely places we passed, wishing we'd stayed in them instead of where we did end up. We stayed at Villa Elisa Casa Vacanzae, which we'd not recommend (despite its glowing TA reports, which is why we chose it)
But its location was excellent, and i really ,really liked being near PiazzaTasso/ and on Piazza Sant' Antonion and a two minute walk to the "historidc" old part of town, filled with shops, restaurants. and sea views. there wre marvelous places we considered up in the hills, but we wanted to be easily able to just wlak out the door, without taking a shuttle bus (eg at Hotel Il Nido) you may prefer a place with a higher up sea view that is also affordable, such as Il Nido.

Wherever you stay, do stop over to the Foreigners Club, kind of a strange place,(it also has a basic Tourist INfo office open on weekdays) just to LOOK, at one of the views in Sorrento. Also, there's public square/park right on the edge of the Cliff, with marvelous views, and great photo op for sunsets.

Ok, here are some of the places we either passed, and later researched All are in your price range. Disclaimer: Check reviews on tripadvisor and other places as i am going strictly by the location and what we saw from the outside!

Sorrento City Center Hotel. http://www.sorrentocity.com/ we walked by it often, the lobby looked very modern .It is right on the main street, and about a three minute walk from the train station, which is also where you get the bus out out the Amalfi Coast.It is also a few steps from BAR RITA, a great place for a quick and delicious snack, eat there at counter, or take to-go, coffee, hot or cold food to go--cheap and delicious!!!!!! Wherever you stay, do stop in to this friendly deli/bakery where you can get yummy food. We usually walked around or traveled with something we had bought there, to get us through the day with inexpensive food. Also There is fantastic pharmacy (same side of street as Bar Rita) where they sell wonderful Italianl talcs, soaps, etc.

The main part of Sorrento is compact and easily walkable. So about ten minutes walk from Via Corso, is Magi House http://www.magihouse.com/ GREAT location in the "old city" right near the edge of town with a sea view (a two minutes) I recall this place as i though of Rudy Giuliani when we walked down the little street The place looked very modern within the old historic surrounding. It too looked very modern.

http://www.lacontessinasorrento.com/ Villa Contessina. Around the corner from where we stayed on Piazza Sant'Antonino. It is right by the Foreigners Club, and by the street you walk down to get to Marina Grande which is where you get boats for trips to Naples and the AC) . If we are lucky enough to return, this is the first place we'll check!!

Have fun planning!
CaliNurse is offline  
Sep 16th, 2011, 08:51 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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i hope the above FF threads help.

also (b/c the Marozzi site is in Italian) this may help:


If the bus stops at the train station in Sorrento, it will be an easy, slightly downhill walk to any of the hotels i listed above. Don't, unlike us, forget to bring google map direction printouts with you on your trip.
CaliNurse is offline  
Sep 16th, 2011, 11:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The FCO-Sorrento, Sorrento-Rome is confusing because there are indeed many options.

Since you are time constrained, leave out slower train and long distance buses which don't match well with your itinerary.
FCO-Roma Termini on Leonardo Express (all 1st class seats even if they don't look like it,) then Rome Termini-Napoli Centrale on high speed train(choice of 1st or 2nd class). You can buy both tickets at same time at FCO ticket office. Many say to use the machine, but I always see even longer wait at machines that take credit cards, and all I see are long line of clueless passengers using Trenitalia vending machine for the first time off the planes. If you are also taking Napoli Centrale - Roma Termini on return, you can buy all three tickets at same time. Don’t buy Rome to FCO ticket – see explanation later. They take U.S. credit cards. The older tired looking ticket machines do not take credit cards or large bills. Once you are at Roma Termini, you are probably arriving track 26 or 27. Look at the departure display and find your train track number. Use the "Sottopassaggio" ramp that on the left side near the head of Leonoardo Express to make a short cut without having to walk to the front of the station. Pay NO ATTENTION to anyone trying to help you in Sottopassaggio. They wear uniforms that look like Trenitalia employees. The real Trenitalia employee are different in two ways. 1. They wear uniform with “FS” logo. 2. They have never approached me. I had to approach them to ask if the train was the right one. It is not fatal if you missed the Sottopassagio. You just need to walk more.

Napoli Centrale-Sorrento: choice of
1. Circumvesuiana commuter train. Very cheap, ~70min, uncomfortable ride unless you are on one of the new trains with better seats. Double check you are going to SORRENTO and not SARNO. The station is "below" the high speed train from Roma. You meander inside the station complex to get there. Go down first to the ticket counter level, then again further down to the platform level. From Sorrento station to your hotel by taxi, again know your price by asking your hotel beforehand. Don't get in unless the driver gives you a price around the figure hotel told you. Many hotels are within walking distance also.
2. Taxi from Napoli Centrale to Sorrento. Know your price (~80-100EU) and DON'T get in unless the driver gives you an acceptable fixed price or you can be taken for a ride. I think you can arrange with your hotel to send a taxi for you. It can be near comparable price as on-the-spot taxi. For my hotel, it was significantly higher, so I did not take it. But if you have a cell phone, you can get the info on taxi (name for driver, for example) to you know you are riding the taxi your hotel arranged for you.
3. boat Taxi to Napoli Beverello port by taxi (know your price), then boat to Sorrento (if running and if schedule matches), then taxi/bus up from the Sorrento port to Sorrento city center/your hotel.

Sorrento-Roma: You have more options here since you are less time constrained.
1. Back track what you did to get to Sorrento – Circumvesuviana or taxi.
2. Use Curreri or Marozzi bus from Sorrento to Roma Tiburtina and skip Napoli altogether. Then taxi from Roma Tiburtina to your Rome hotel.

Roma Hotel – FCO. It usually makes sense to arrange a car or taxi. Here is the math. If you take Leonard Express, you still need to take a taxi to the station. So 2x14EU = 28EU Leonardo Express. Then about 12EU or so for taxi from your hotel to the Roma Termini for total of 28EU + 12EU = 40EU.
A (legitimate) taxis are allowed to charge the 40EU fixed price to FCO. So why bother with train? Make sure to reserve a taxi the night before especially if your departure from FCO is in the morning. A taxi can be hard to find at the last minutes especially when it is raining. I have also taken private transfer to FCO arranged by the hotel. While they were not the official Rome taxi, they still charged the same rate.

If you are foodie, IL Buco in Sorrento is a Michelin one star restaurant. Unlike a French countpart, the restaurant is quite casual and I saw only a few men even bother to wear sport jacket. It is not cheap, but for a Michelin stared restaurant, this one is quite reasonable at that rating level. I made a reservation while waiting for a train at Ercolano station and got a table for that same night in April.
greg is offline  
Sep 17th, 2011, 05:10 AM
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Many hotels seem to have nicer lobbies than rooms so be sure to check on recs on multiple websites. I prefer to stay in the hills above Sorrento as it's much more peaceful and you have views. Many hotels in Sorrento don't have views.

I've stayed at Il Nido several times. I find their shuttle times convenient for me. They don't run from about noon until four, but will pick you up at the train station when you arrive. You just have to call them.

I've also stayed at La Vue D'Or. Their breakfast, restaurant choices and views aren't as good as Il Nido and they are a bit further out. A few rooms at the front of La Vue D'Or might have better views.

Another hotel in the hills a bit closer in is Aminta. All should be in your price range if you don't want to stay in town. All will be on a Sita bus route in addition to operating their own shuttles.

There were big cuts to the ferry schedule this summer and I would think you won't find many time options at all for October.

>>>A (legitimate) taxis are allowed to charge the 40EU fixed price to FCO.<<<

A rate hike was requested last year (€45), but seems to still be under discussion. The €40 rate is only for 7am to 10pm. From 10p to 7a they can charge €50 (for four people including luggage).

You might find the Campania Arte Card Tutta la Regione 3 day (€27) a good bargain depending on what you want to visit. It includes three days transport (Circumvesuviana, Sita buses on the coast, transport around Naples) and two admissions (Pompeii is €11). You can purchase it in the Naples train station - cash only. It's in a little tourist office in a row of shops.
kybourbon is offline  
Sep 17th, 2011, 09:47 AM
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Staying in the outskirts of Sorrento is definitely more peaceful but also less convenient. Especially in October when the weather starts to change. Being able to easily walk to restaurants, buses, the Circumvesuviana train station, ATMs seems to me highly desireable, epecially when you can get good close-up views of the Gulf of Naples.

I looked at www.venere.com for hotels in your price range. There were several good possibilities.
Mimar is offline  
Sep 17th, 2011, 11:44 AM
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Agree with Mimar that convenience and easy walk fro hotel is more important on OP's limited time than view from hotel up in the hills.If tshe had more time, it might be different. Personally, i like being able to walk out my door and what i want to see is right there...plus, if i want to go back to the room for any reason, it is quick and easy, at least in Sorrento town.

O/w (time allowing) the hill hotels would be wonderful. We considered Il Nido (especially after gracious emails from the owner.mg) but in the end, convenience won out.
IF you still want the view from Il Nido. SAT, tou can take the shuttle up there for their dinner, which is supposed to be delicious!

KYbourbon, good advice. lol re the lobbies in Italy and other parts of the world! too true! (We cold start a thread on this topic alone!!!) Fortunately, the places i mentioned get good reviews for their rooms as well, and i know from passing by that their locations are excellent.

Ky: re ferry schedule cuts, no wonder we had trouble with fery times in June!!! They ended up being limited and inconvenient, but good came of it, as we were "forced" to take the SITA bus out to Amalfi and (on the way back) to Positano. The ride was fantastic, beautiful, fun, one of the best memories and days out ever!!

Greg, i noticed the more casual eating atmospheres too...loved that about Italy in general. Also , more places remained open between lunch and dinner,unlike in France where you were SOOL if you arrived past the "official " lunch seating times.
CaliNurse is offline  
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