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Suggestions for touring Amalfi Coast from the US naval base in Naples

Suggestions for touring Amalfi Coast from the US naval base in Naples

Jan 24th, 2013, 03:37 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Suggestions for touring Amalfi Coast from the US naval base in Naples

Hi all. This site has been very helpful as I begin to narrow down our options. We are planning a trip to Italy in late August/early September for about 3 weeks. We are in our mid 50s and never been to Europe before. We are not interested in shopping at all. We are more about soaking up the atmosphere and learning about the history, do some people watching, and taking pictures.

Our son's family is stationed at the US naval base in Naples so we will stay there on weekends and venture out during the week when they are working. I am still waiting for a good price on airfare but right now it appears 8/27-9/16 will be our travel dates. I have no idea if this is a good itinerary, if it's too much, if I am missing something, or if anyone has any better suggestions.

Tentative itinerary:

Arrive Naples Wed Aug 28 - spend rest of week with family in Naples
Monday Sept 2 - travel to Amalfi coast for 3 nights (Sorrento, Positano, or Amalfi?)
Thurs Sept 5 - travel to Paestum - stay overnight (is this worth doing?)
Fri Sept 6 - Paestum and then train back to Naples
Weekend - visit Pompeii / Herculaneum with the family
Mon Sept 9 - travel to Rome for 2 nights (hotel suggestions?)
Wed Sept 11- rent car in Rome and drive up to Florence/Tuscany for 2 nights (hotel?)
Fri Sept 12 - train back to Naples (or should we just drive back?)
Weekend in Naples with family
Tues Sept 16 - depart Naples

I am not sure where to stay on Amalfi. I have heard the pros and cons about each place. We are not fancy people so simple hotels / B&Bs are fine. Most important would be central location and easy access to public transportation. Thanks for any suggestions.
PigPen is offline  
Jan 24th, 2013, 04:40 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,701
Will you have a car for Paestum? It might be easier to visit Paestum from Naples as a day trip (train or bus CSTP?). The same is true for Pompeii/Herculaneum. They are only 30-40 minutes by train from Naples.

Two days is not enough for Florence/Tuscany (or for Rome).
kybourbon is offline  
Jan 25th, 2013, 01:52 AM
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I was trying to do as much as possible without a car. I will reconsider the schedule for Pasteum - maybe stay on AC for an extra day? I was afraid 2 days each in Rome / Florence was not enough. I may skip Florence this time around. My son will be stationed in Naples for 3 to 4 years so I hope to do one more trip before they return.

Do you have any suggestions about a base of operations for Amalfi coast?

PigPen is offline  
Jan 25th, 2013, 02:48 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,071
Most people probably will suggest Sorrento as a base on the AC, mostly because of access to public transportation -- train, bus, ferry, etc. -- and other facilities. For a short stay, it's not a bad choice. From there, you can take the ferry to Capri for a day, or use bus service to visit Positano and Amalfi.

Personally, I prefer Positano, but Sorrento might make more sense for you.
downtownbrown is offline  
Jan 25th, 2013, 04:07 AM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 597
To see Rome and Florence, consider staying in Rome the entire time and visiting Florence as a day trip from Rome by train. Or skip Florence this time around.

I otherwise think your itinerary is fine. Paestum is very much worth the overnight. You can relax and enjoy the mozzerella farms and the beach as well as the extraordinary site and its museum. There are nice places to stay right in the area. You can find them on Tripadvisor or booking.com. I think driving between Paestum and Naples is a total drag. I suspect many people here have never done it, but I have, and I wouldn't be interested in doing it again.

I see no reason for you to stay in Sorrento. Pick an Amalfi town.
goldenautumn is offline  
Jan 25th, 2013, 06:21 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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>>>I will reconsider the schedule for Pasteum - maybe stay on AC for an extra day? <<<

Paestum is not easy to reach from by public transport from the Amalfi coast. You can take the train back and forth to Paestum from Naples (you can't do that from the Amalfi coast - no train), but not all trains stop there (it's a tiny station). You can't trek around to the beach or mozzarella farms in the Paestum area without transport. If you just want to visit Paestum and the museum, take the train from Naples for a day trip or check the bus (I think there are several per day).

Your 2nd week could be spent in Rome or Florence as you can easily catch a train to either.
kybourbon is offline  
Jan 25th, 2013, 06:38 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,254
One suggestion for that first weekend? All of you come over to the nearby island of Ischia - where we'll be celebrating our patron saint, San Giovan Guiseppe della Croce:

See here for photos of the festa from previous years:

... and here for more about our island - a popular visit for base personnel:

Either send the youngsters back, so they're ready for work for work on Monday, and stay on the event's climax - which falls on the evening of September's first Sunday - or you could head off more or less when they would, taking the Alicost line's afternoon boat to Positano, Amalfi or Salerno.

In recent years the timing's been much as shown here, for 2012:


Other sights elsewhere in the area:


Towards the end of the section on Paestum there you'll find details of the trains - be SURE to note the yawning gap in the morning services, which may require you to make an early start whether going from Naples or Salerno?


You'll find that four days in Rome will fly by....


And lastly, this may be useful in choosing somewhere along the Amalfi Coast, although you should double-check any prices etc, since it's a few years old now!


A_Brit_In_Ischia is offline  
Jan 25th, 2013, 07:48 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 161
Paestum is fantastic. You can reach it by train from Salerno too.

Sorrento is not on the AC and I don't regard it as a good base for the AC for that reason

We like Positano but it's all personal preference as you know from your reading. If you stay in Positano or Amalfi, you could (ferry and train times allowing) take the ferry from there to Salerno
(gorgeous ride) and then walk less than half a mile to the Salerno train station.

If you look on trip advisor, you will find many reasonably priced and very well reviews B & B s along the AC.
Texastrips is offline  
Jan 25th, 2013, 08:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,645
For your time on the AC, I would stay in Positano. It is easy to catch the ferry in Positano to visit Amalfi/Ravello, Capri and even Salerno.

Paestum is definitely worth the visit. Here is a post about visiting Paestum via public transport from Salerno. http://www.europeupclose.com/article.../#.UQK7DfIZ7r-

While in Positano, I recommend a tour with Christine of www.discoverpositano.com. The tour is a couple of hours and you learn alot about the history of the town and the area and you get to sample local cheese and salami too!

I also agree with either skipping Florence or seeing as a day trip from Rome.

No need to rent a car for any part of your trip.

While in Rome in June, we stayed at B&B Al Centro di Roma. It was a tiny B&B in a great location that was clean and had great airconditioning. Pretty basic, but it was centrally located and I would stay there again.

I agree with Peter that you should take a day with the family and hop over to Ischia.
ekc is offline  
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