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To Amalfi Coast or not to Amalfi Coast...

To Amalfi Coast or not to Amalfi Coast...

Mar 30th, 2013, 04:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 41
To Amalfi Coast or not to Amalfi Coast...

HI, on May 2nd or 3rd, will travel with my 20 year old daughter from Rome down South and back in ONE WEEK.
And while she prefers the Amalfi Coast, we're flexible and open to suggestion, but figure we'll head south...

We're not really into museums and sightseeing as much as hanging out in a piazza or a beach or seaside joint, going for a hike or a long walk, stumbling upon charming little towns,

Capri could be fun, a friend suggest Pompeii and Puglia, but I'm dizzy with possibilities...

And not sure about whether to train or rent a car, but if anyone has any suggestions, feel free, I'm sure I'm not giving enough info to get great responses, but figured I'd give it a shot factoring in time of year...

And if you know of specific hotels you recommend, would like to spend less than $125 a night for the two of us.

sohoprom is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 94
Hi Sohoprom,

We've been to Rome twice now and on our second visit we spent four or so nights in Sorrento. The Amalfi Coast is definitely beautiful, but, personally, I got a lot more out of Rome than the AC.

During our fist trip to Rome we spent our time rushing madly from one tourist site to the next. Exhausting, to be sure! But for our second trip we barely entered a church or museum. (Except to visit St. Peter's first thing in the morning -- it's *amazing* empty of people -- and to climb the dome, something we didn't do the first time we visited.) We spent our time strolling the streets, exploring shops, taking pictures, eating, drinking... It was wonderful. Personally, I think there is so much to see and do in Rome that you could easily spend the week there!

We took the train to and from Sorrento. I know a lot of people drive the AC, but it's not something I'd want to do. The traffic was heavy, the roads were very curvy, and parking looked to be a nightmare when we visited in September. (But May might be a completely different situation.)

The one thing that really struck me about the Amalfi Coast is how vertical everything is. Yes, of course, you've seen pictures, but it's not the same as experiencing it. I'm not a big fan of heights and found the entire visit disconcerting. :/

If you do visit, I recommend spending a day at Pompeii and another day on the island of Capri. We took the chairlift to the top -- recommended -- and walked down the Phoenician steps. (I don't think my husband has forgiven me for either yet. He certainly has not forgiven me for the "walk" down from Ravello to the coast. Not recommended.)

One thing we hadn't considered when initially booking the trip was the transportation issues. The first week of September was considered off-season and there were less boats (and possibly buses?) running. You might want to investigate further for a May visit. When on vacation I like relying on my feet to get me everywhere I want to visit. When we visited the AC the seas were rough, boats were cancelled, buses were packet, and it was a little stressful. (But I still wouldn't have driven!) ;-)

I hope this helps!
bibliotecaria71 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,159
Hi S,

The AC fits what you tell us you want.

The only sand beach, I think, is in Positano. The other towns have small coves.

We stayed at the www.lesirene.com in Praiano, which we greatly enjoyed.

If you are coming from Rome, I suggest taking the train to Salerno, the ferry to Amalfi and the SITA bus to Praiano.

This is very scenic and more comfortable than taking the train from Naples to Sorrento.

It also works if you wish to stay in Amalfi or Positano.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 10:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 69

I went with two close friends to Italy for eight nights. We wished we could go for a longer length of time, but you work with what you've got! We spent our time in Rome and on the AC. We loved the whole trip!

We stayed in Positano at Casa Albertina. It was terrific. We took half board. I can't remember if it was required, but we didn't regret it. The dining room balcony where they serve breakfast and dinner is beautiful. It is a family run establishment,very clean, and well located.

We were glad we chose Positano and took a private car tour (with stops) of the Amalfi Coast. That was great.

We spent two nights (felt like one full day) in Capri and were glad we made the effort. We stayed in Anacapri, but I wish we stayed in Capri on or near Via Tragara. No real complaints though.

Altogether, we did three nights in Rome, three nights in Positano, and two nights on Capri. This may be more than you want to do, but all three of us had been to Rome before (just not together), so it worked out well for us.

Have fun!
Livinright is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,336
I love the Amalfi Coast, but I think your budget is going to be tough even in early May, especially in Capri and Positano. You might try some of the lesser known towns or a B&B, but I don't have any specific recommendations for that. Good luck!
Weadles is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 4,718
Your interests suggest a night or two on Capri, more if the weather is nice. Sorrento is a nice base for getting to Capri, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Vesuvius. There are many posts here on this coast to give you other ideas. (Click my name to find my long trip report, if you want to.)

As to the trip from Rome, we used non-refundable deep discount train tickets from Rome to Naples, then the Circumvesuviana commuter train to Sorrento. Driving the coast is insane.
AJPeabody is online now  
Mar 30th, 2013, 01:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 41
thanks all, very helpful and appreciated!!

sohoprom is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 02:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 41
By the way, I was told that Capri is a TOURIST TRAP. I typically try to avoid these, as I'm sure most do, but wonder whether in early May whether it's an issue?
sohoprom is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 03:24 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 225
We went to Capri in mid May, and yes it was touristy even at that time of year. But then again, the entire AC seems to exist for tourism now, and can be quite pricey. We actually based ourselves in a small village called Vico Equense (so as NOT to be too much in the midst of the tourist traps) and took the 10 minute train ride south to Sorrento (which was really bustling), or 30 mins north to Pompeii. We also caught the ferry from Sorrento to Capri, which was easy. We hired a driver and went to Ravello up in the hills for a day, which was really beautiful and seemed more peaceful.
rosemaryoz is offline  

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