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Taxi (vs. "driver") for Amalfi Coast in August?

Taxi (vs. "driver") for Amalfi Coast in August?

Jun 14th, 2010, 09:34 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 16
Hello Ed Edwards,

I can't help thinking - - as I read through all these emails, that by the time you leave, you might have pulled out some of your hair!! So many choices and decisions. So many questions regarding buses/boats/timetables etc. So much precious time could be frittered away.

I understand, - - I spent months researching before I found
Giuseppe de Toro, and was certain that I had the right choice immediately from the first email I received from him. Remember - - - I have five other passengers who ALL thought this was the best tour of the whole twelve day trip!!! Also, - buses and large vehicles cannot go down the hill to Positano, just another possibility of wasting more time.

I really can't say whether or not a half day trip is possible with Giuseppe, - - email him and ask him directly, he's easy to get along with- - relaxed - - and can help with suggestions if needed. If you still want to see Positano - Amalfi and the gardens at Ravello, you can't possibly do it in half a day!. Giuseppe picked us up at 8am and returned us to the dock around 4.30pm. He is flexible and can customize your tour for you.

Good luck with whoever you choose, and have a wonderful time!
montanabrit.
montanabrit is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 09:49 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 16
marionfb,

Although I can't tell you how to get to the wonderful restaurant our guide found for us, I did dig through my "stuff" and found a few notes.

I remember S.Giovanni as the name of the Restaurant, and it was in a small town between Amalfi and Ravello, - - I THINK it was called Pontone.

Hope this helps. I'm not a pasta lover but my lunch was SO good that - had it not been bad table manners, I would have licked my plate!

Good hunting!

montanabrit.
montanabrit is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 11:41 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,712
I would like to know the price of the tour you took with that guide, Giuseppe. Many thanks.


This is the site for the restaurant in Pontone.

http://www.ristorantesangiovanni.com/eng/pontone.html
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 15th, 2010, 04:46 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,134
Some of us have recommended Ristorante San Giovanni for years and other drivers have it on their schedules also. Most any taxi or private driver you hire for the day will take you there and also to the many other excellent restaurants in the hills. Just ask them before you hire them. Negotiate the price too, for the day trips (with a taxi driver). In a car you are not tied down to the bus or boat schedules and crowded conditions.

I would say most of the taxi drivers in Sorrento have lived in the area all of their lives and know all the back places, just ask them.

It doesn't have to be a nerve wracking task to find a driver. name
SeaUrchin is offline  
Jun 16th, 2010, 04:48 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,712
I suspect that we have a driver posting his own recommendation right on this thread!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 16th, 2010, 02:00 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 16
Hi Ekscrunchy,
Read my review of June 11, - - all the prices are there. Sorrentotopcar Company is at least 50 euros cheaper than any other Co..and believe me, I hunted through many MANY websites before settling on this one. My decision was not based on price, that was just a extra bonus!!
If EdEdwards had more than one day to do this trip I would agree with some of the other suggestions, - but messing around with bus/ferry schedules etc. could be a huge timewaster,(especially in August!) and potentially ruin the chance of a relaxing - beautiful - unforgetable day.

I found it interesting that the Restaurant Giovanni has been recommended for "years" - - I never came across it in all my searches for local lunches!
Montanbrit.
montanabrit is offline  
Jun 16th, 2010, 02:22 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,712
You don't by any chance have any connection to the car company, do you?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 07:38 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 16
ekscrunky,
My only connection to the Car Company was the day we took the Amalfi Coast Tour. As a world traveller for more years than I care to mention, this Tour stands out in my memory as a beautiful day to remember. If I choose to share my joy with other travellers, should it matter to you??
I have read a lot of reviews from other travel sites and there are many honest - reliable companies who have rave reviews from contented customers - but I have never come across a posting from an obviously suspicious person who doesn't mind asking insulting questions!
montanabrit
montanabrit is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 07:51 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,712
It is an insulting question that I asked when I asked if you had a connection to the car company? Not a leap when you consider that your only posts here are ones that laud that company. And you've done the same on another travel board. Sorry, but that does make me suspicious!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 09:34 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 16
ekscrunchy.
The reason that my only posts here are ones that laud that Company IS BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY COMPANY WE USED!!!! If there were 30 other travel boards I would write the same reviews on EACH ONE. Then you would have a right to be suspicious!!
I've seen plenty of reviews on other travel forums giving lovely reviews of their choice of Company, and it's great that there are so many to choose from. It is not an easy decision. I had been searching for Amalfi Coast tours since the beginning of Feb., - - - in fact that is where I first got the name of Sorrentotopcar and I shall be forever grateful to the person who suggested them. So are the other 5 travellers who shared the tour with me!!
Sorry you don't have better things to do with your time - - - I thought that this forum was to help Ed Edwards with suggestions, rather than post insulting questions.
montanabrit
montanabrit is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 11:10 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,712
There are quite a few posts on this forum from people who have fairly obvious connections to car services in the Sorrento/Amalfi area. Here are two more (the poster has been banned, apparently, but has arisen like a phoenix):


maryennee on Mar 26, 09 at 6:55am
I used Sorrentotopcar and spend a beautiful day at the amalfi coast with Giuseppe. We made stops at Positano, Amalfi and Ravello and also a lot of other little villages along the coast. The highlight was the restaurant at ravello he raccomandated us...if you choose him I think you will have shurely a beautiful day!


maryennee on Apr 16, 09 at 5:07am
We used sorrentotopcar- giuseppe was a friendly and knowlegable english speaking driver. We saw Sorrento, the ruins of Pompei-with a guide- and Positano.

the highligth was the stop for lunch at the 'La tagliata' overlooking positano!


And now, because I actually DO have better things to do with my time, I will make my rather belated exit from this thread.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 12:20 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 16
ekscrunchy.
Oh I'm sure you will check back even if you don't post. I hope you will stick around until late Nov. when we will be returning from our 11th trip to the same hotel in Costa Rica, - - and our re-union with the FIRST Tour driver we met down there 11 years ago. I have never written a review about "Allan" because he doesn't have a web page, but you can bet I'm going to write a review about him on all the travel sights I can find when we get back. I'll tell whoever wants to know that he is a gem, his tours are STUPENDOUS and I'll explain how we've watched his two children grow up from small boys to great teenagers, how we go out to dinner as family, and what marvellous dinners they put on for us at their home - - how we keep in touch through the years, and how much we enjoy sending them homemade jam!! You bet I have some connection with this family and their Tour Company, I WANT them to get as much publicity as possible, they work their tails off, and I'll just put his email out there!!

Can't imagine why you didn't pick up on my reviews on our Trip to South Africa and the unforgetable safari in Botswana, - - I was so excited I couldn't stop talking, so maybe you'd have suspected that I had a private "connection" with Orient Express! Or with "TIGER TOPS" elephant safari in Nepal, - - after all Yadav who arranged the tour still swaps emails with me. I still have a "connection" with him. Or even my review on the Palace Hotel in Prague where we spent our 50th anniversary and were treated like Royalty! I RAVED about all of them.
Too bad you had to drop a bomb on "Maryenne" before you used a sneaky way out to get the last word!!
Montanabrit.
montanabrit is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 12:41 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,131
montanabrit, when I click on your name I don't see any of the reviews you mention--South Africa, Botswana, etc. What I do see is that you just joined fodors.com and have commented only on sorrentotopcar.
Marija is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 09:45 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 16
Marija, This forum has been running for 17 Days and there have been over 30 responses, but not ONE from you in all this time! Yet strangely enough you make a statement about my last posting just 20 MINUTES after I post it!!! Of course, knowing of your "Connection" with "Ekscrunchy" it doesn't take an Einstein to figure out why you are sticking your nose into something which is none of your business. "Dear EKS" has been flitting around Burma/ Shanghai and Hong kong sine June 3, and during this time has managed to write a BOOK for his adoring public on his "Asian Odyssey 2010" right up until 3 pm. today! How in heck did he find time to delve into the Amalfi coast forums and inject his snide remarks about "connections" - - a word which he obviously knows a lot about!
And aren't you clever to see that I just joined Fodor's. I just joined about a month ago under the sign name montanabrit, but I used another sign in name for years, and still use it on other Travel Sites for the moment. I know. When you have nothing better to do with YOUR time, you could search all the other travel forums and see if you can find me by the reviews I've given.
Now remember, this was begun by EdEdwards who asked for suggestions re: Positano/Amalfi/Ravello,and I gave him my very best shot, because I was excited about the trip I had just taken and wanted to share it with Ed.
I'm DONE with YOU MARIJA - "DEAR EKS" and any other minion he might want to do his dirty work for him. I DO NOT have to answer to anyone, except Ed, but I'm sure that he's already made his choice, and I wish him a beautiful day on the lovely Amalfi Coast.
montanabrit.
montanabrit is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 08:06 AM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10
Montanabrit, thank you for the name of the restaurant where you had lunch. I have noted it and hopefully will be able to stop there with our driver on our trip to the Amalfi Coast in just a few short weeks.
Marionfb is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 04:14 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 16
Marionfb, I do hope that you find the restaurant. Not only is the atmosphere lovely, the food is great and SO reasonable! We were at the end of our 12 day cruise in the Med, so you can imagine that we had tried out a restaurant in all the Countries and Islands that we visited, - - some of them pretty good, but all of them expensive! On our last day - the tour of the Amalfi Coast - - - just everything seemed to fall into place and the whole day was perfect. Eating at this place was the icing on the cake. Bon Appetite!!
Montanabrit
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Jun 21st, 2010, 11:55 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,848
To Ed
I am someone who has visited the Amalfi Coast many times (over a dozen) over the past 10 years, and have traveled it using every combination of transport, although more recently I drive myself.

I will add this piece of information of what others have said. The Amalfi Drive has "rush hours" as it is used by locals, tourists, taxis, and those huge tour buses. Going out in the morning may be a very slow traffic crawl in certain parts of the drive, Same going back to Sorrento in the afternoon. It's a narrow road and things can jam up in the hairpin turns.

I think, if you have only one day, that a driver is your best bet and I also support Seaurchin's advice to go directly into Tasso Square on arrival in Sorrento to "shop" for a driver on site, using the price structure gained by your research. That is the only way to get someone you feel comfortable with because you'll see the person face to face. No driver on the AC is perfect, all have pros and cons. I have drivers I think are great (The one Weadles recommended here is one) , but it might be that you have other tastes. I know 3 or 4 in the area but wouldn't broadcast one over the other here on Fodor's. Both Seaurchin and I have been to the area multiple times, although never at the same time.

The idea that well-known San Giovanni Ristorante up in Pontone is some sort of new secret place known only to 1 driver is absolutely not true. I myself have been eating there for years, having first read about it in someone's trip report on another website. Since 2003 or something. I am friendly with the owner and his wife. Lovely people. The cruise ship crowds have been known to eat there too, as well as locals. I try to go on"off" hours when there will be fewer other tourists and travelers. Hikers will often come in as part of the hikes in the hills around Ravello. A little gratis taste of Limoncello or another local liqueur in often offered at many restaurants as a beautiful show of hospitality in the area.

I think catching the bus home later in the day from Amalfi town is not a bad idea.

I myself like to travel by Ferry, and see Positano from the water- there are few weights more lovely than Positano from the water. It's a hard call with only one day to spend.

I hope you have a lovely trip on the AMalfi Coast.

And finally, although I don't know ekscrunchy myself, it is true that drivers sometimes try to go on travel websites (Fodors included) and post glowing reviews of themselves to drum up business in a hotly competitive atmoshere. Best to proceed with caution and trust your own instincts.
bellastarr is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2010, 12:08 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,848
correction: "few SIGHTS more lovely than Positano from the water"
bellastarr is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2010, 09:05 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,134
Thanks, Bella, for the backup. I am not sure if the poster was advertising or just excited about the driver.

As we both know and some readers may like to know, the drivers in the area can easily take their fares to their own personal favorites. Sometimes they have agreements with certain restaurants and attractions and will just stop there and you will be treated nicely as they want the driver to return. If the passenger has done some research they can request a certain place to visit.

Ed, it is all very casual and after finding a sympatico driver you can just enjoy the day and relax. The only time I had a contrary driver was when an uptight travel companion of mine insisted on hiring someone who had advertised himself.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 08:43 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
We had prearranged transfers between the airport and our hotel and return, then some excursions along the amalfi coast from sorrento with amalfitransfer, owned by Anthony Buonocore(email:[email protected] , website: www.amalfitransfer.com ). We can't say enough good things about the punctuality, service, and friendliness of Anthony, a great driver!!
paolette is offline  

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