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Which towns in AC should we go with a driver & which ones by private boat?

Which towns in AC should we go with a driver & which ones by private boat?

Jun 28th, 2010, 12:40 PM
  #1  
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Which towns in AC should we go with a driver & which ones by private boat?

My husband and I will be staying in both Ravello and Positano. So we will sight see on our own for those locations. But we also want to go to Capri, Pompeii, Naples, Amalfi, Sorreneto. Which towns should we got to by driver and whic ones should we go by boat? Also, does anyone recommed a boat to hire?/I guess I would prefer a private tour??
rjbriskin is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 12:48 PM
  #2  
 
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If you can afford private drivers and boats, you should take your wish list to those people and ask them to work out an efficient plan for you.
zeppole is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 12:53 PM
  #3  
 
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You cannot get to Pompeii by boat. And I think it is a waste of money to hire a boat to get to Amalfi or Sorrento, or Naples. If you hire a boat you want to see great scenery. Let them take you to hidden coves where you can swim and have a picnic. You will see the gorgeous coastal scenery en route.

OR: Go to Capri by ferry and THEN hire a boat to take you around the island. I would set this up once you arrive, with the hotel.

Which hotels did you decide upon?
ekscrunchy is online now  
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:29 PM
  #4  
 
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I agree w/ ekscrunchy. There are plenty of cheap boat options between the coastal towns and Capri. Boats to Capri run from both Positano and Sorrento, although sometimes, even on nice days, they can be cancelled from Positano due to "rough water." I only mention this because it happened to us. This is less likely from the bigger port in Sorrento.

If you'd like a boat tour of Capri, try to book something with "Gennaro e Salvatore", a small company located on the town dock in Positano. They run small groups for 8-hour trips to Capri. I don't think it includes admission to the famous Blue Grotto, which is done separately. ( You transfer from their boat into a much smaller one if entrance is possible that day. Again, much depends on the water conditions while you're there.)

The best way to get to Pompeii is with the local train from Sorrento. It takes about 30 minutes and leaves you at the front entrance. Very easy. You can either take the boat from Positano to Sorrento, or the SITA bus, but I prefer the boat.
Weadles is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:55 PM
  #5  
 
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It's all true, but I think with 5 days in the area, 2 of them in Ravello, and a desire to see Amalfi, Sorrento, Naples, Capri and Pompei, they may need someone to organize this for them, and whisk them around a bit.

I only used these people to drive me to several places in the area, and was very happy with them. You might ask them what their rates would be to give you a tour of the places you are interested in, minus Capri, since they are a limo service.

http://www.benvenutolimos.com/tours.asp
zeppole is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:51 PM
  #6  
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ekscrunchy-We ended up booking 2 nights in Ravello at Hotel Caruso and 4 nights in Positano at Palazzo Murat. I hope I made good choices. I was told by a friend to charter a private boat for the day?? I guess you guys don:t agree?? Doed anyone know of a company to recommend?
rjbriskin is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 05:01 AM
  #7  
 
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I think chartering a boat is a great idea; just do not have him take you to places you can easily get to by bus or taxi. Silly, for example, to have the boat take you to the town of Amalfi and then have to leave the boat and walk around. If you rent a boat, stay on the boat and get off only to swim and maybe to eat a great seafood lunch that you will ask the driver to bring along. Or have him take you to a seaside eatery that can only be reached by boat. Or even go fishing, if you like that sport.

They will know. Or take me with you and I will arrange and even bring the wine!

I would also ask the hotels; I am sure the Caruso has contacts because their clientele would likely do this often. Murat should know, too.

Write to them now and ask about pricing and contact info.

And the company Weadles recommended above also has private rentals:

http://www.gennaroesalvatore.it/


PLEASE promise to write a report about your trip and about the hotels.
ekscrunchy is online now  
Jun 29th, 2010, 07:09 AM
  #8  
ira
 
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Hi RJ,

For private limo transfers, I suggest Limousine Service Sorrento (Renato Cuomo)
www.cuomonet.it and Francesco. http://www.francescomarrapese.com/

They can help you plan your guided tours as well as take you around.

There is a ferry that goes from Sorrento to Salerno with stops in Positano and Amalfi, which gives you a very nice view of the coast.

A private boat could be very good for Capri as the last ferry back is fairly early.

Enjoy your visit.


PS >We ended up booking 2 nights in Ravello at Hotel Caruso....<
Why not http://www.palazzosasso.com/ ?
ira is online now  
Jun 29th, 2010, 09:50 AM
  #9  
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ekscrunchy By all means feel free to join us but remember to bring the wine!!!! I think I should contact Gennaro e Salavatore and look into the Capri tour because it includes the Blue Groto which I definately want to do or do you think I should go for the Amalfi Coast tour??? What are your thoughts on the 2 hotels we booked? I was leaning towards Tour of Italy for a driver instead of the Limo company recommended. What do you think? I ALWAYS post a trip report whne I get back. It's a great way to share recommendations to friends in the future if they are traveling to places we have been too.
rjbriskin is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 09:54 AM
  #10  
 
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I guess I'll throw a wrench into your plans now. In thinking about your itinerary, it seems to me it would make more sense for you to base in Sorrento for two nights instead of Ravello. From Sorrento, you could easily visit Naples and Pompeii without too much effort. You can also easily get to Capri from there on the hydrofoill ( all of about 20 minutes).

I know that Ravello is a very pretty spot, and certainly the gardens are very appealing, but it is remote, and its out of the way for the rest of the wish list on your itinerary.

BTW, you seem to prefer grand hotels, and there are definitely at least a couple of those right in Sorrento with stunning views of the Bay of Naples from many of the rooms.
Weadles is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 10:06 AM
  #11  
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Weadles- Thanks for your input. First of all I can't get out of the Hotel Caruso in Ravello because they take one night up front-non-refundable. But I also scheduled a cooking class with Mama Agata which is in Ravello which is a whole day commitment.So I think I have to keep Ravello. But I am still confused as to how to get to Capri, Amalfi, Sorrento,Pompeii, by what mode of transportation and what to combine together.
rjbriskin is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 11:37 AM
  #12  
 
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The Caruso is glorious and in no way should you be sorry that you chose it above other hotels in Ravello! I doubt very much if Ira has stayed in either hotel and I am therefore not sure why he is recommending one over the other.

I would not recommend the first limo service recommended by Ira (I had a rather distressing experience with him which I chose not to delve into here) and neither Ira nor I have experience with the second company he mentions.

Again, not sure that Ira is the best person to give advice, having spent only about 4 days in the area, on a trip almost 10 years ago that did not, according to his trip report, include a trip to Capri and that did not include a stay at any of the hotels you will visit.

Do not stress out over this! Please write to the hotel and ask for suggestions about drivers. You can get around by bus/taxi/ferry to the nearby towns on the coast including Amalfi.
But you cannot access many of the tiny coves and beaches without a private boat.

Since you are already staying in two of the nicest locales on that stretch of coast, there is not all that much touring that you need to do anyway, other than taking a boat ride along the coast and perhaps visiting Amalfi. I would skip Sorrento on this trip since your time is limited and you will surely want to spend lots of it at the hotel pool (Ravello) or the beach (Positano)

As I suggested above, the private boat tour from Capri is a great option, but it has been so long since I've done this that I cannot offer much help on the details. I think it is a tossup between doing the boat along the Amalfi coast or around Capri. If having a private boat allows you to circumvent some of the crowded scene at the Blue Grotto, and if you are set on the Blue Grotto, then you might choose the Capri option. You will not go wrong with either. As gorgeous as this area is by land, it is twice as lovely when visited from the sea, and with a private boat: Sublime.

Remember to take into account the weather issue, as Weadles mentioned above.

Perhaps the best compromise is to book the group tour with Gennaro, for Capri, and then take a private boat tour of the coast. I would do this from Positano
ekscrunchy is online now  
Jun 29th, 2010, 12:13 PM
  #13  
 
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A couple more ideas: When we stayed in Capri a few years ago, we simply hired one of the "captains" down at Marina Grande for a private boat tour. It was simple and cheaper than going through our hotel in Capri. If you don't want to go out w/ Gennore e Salvatore, you could take the boat from Positano to Capri, and when you arrive, try to negotiate a private tour with the "captains" who are only about a five-ten minute walk from where you arrive. IF for some reason, they are no longer there, take the funicular from the landing in Marina Grande up to Capri Town. Almost as soon as you get off, there is a tourist office on the left-hand side. They should be able to help you arrange a boat tour, or at least direct you to someone who can help.

Just remember that even with a private boat tour, getting into the Blue Grotto is not guaranteed. And as far as I know, no matter how you do it, you'l have to transfer either from a larger tour boat or a smaller private boat into a tinier boat in order to get through the entrance of the grotto.

Now about drivers... We have always used and always recommend tourofitaly.com. The Garguilos (spelling) are definitely a highlight of our trips to the AC. The dad used to be a cruise ship waiter here in the U.S. and he is absolutely hysterical, charming, and totally reliable. His son is great, too. And if you're lucky, they might take you to meet the rest of the family for lunch, or to one of their favorite neighborhood trattorias.

Ask the Garguilos about the best way to arrange the towns you want to see. Sorrento, Naples and Pompeii are all within striking distance of each other, and while it would make for a LONG day, you might be able to get it all in. But ask the experts!!!
Weadles is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 12:22 PM
  #14  
 
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rjbriskin,

i'll just offer this too:

You and your husband might do well to discuss in advance -- or maybe you already know the answer! -- about whether you want to spend sometime in the Amalfi living like gods (i.e., luxuriating in the Caruso with absolutely nothing to do but drink the local nectar, gaze at the blue and the statuary, meander to the local feast, paint your toenails after dangling them in the poor and otherwise catch up with your reading and sleeping and --

OR

You won't want to waste a moment of being in glorious Italy and want to head out of the hotel every day for another famous sight.

If it is the first, plan to enjoy your 2 days in Ravello, guilt-free, bring a book, forget the world. Swim, walk, snooze, eat, drink, be merry. You can catch up with your sightseeing when you move to Positano.

If it is the second, either pack ekscrunchy in your bag (she will bring the wine, trust me) or be in contact with a trip planner who will efficiently organize a sightseeing agenda for 5 days and get you on your way to Rome having seen it all.

Personally, I think the hallucinatory beauty of the Amalfi coast ought to stop people in their tracks, and that bouncing from one sight to another can be less than just standing on the balcony, sipping wine.
zeppole is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 12:24 PM
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Ooops -- I meant to write "dangling your toes in the pool" -- !!!

Must have been a Freudian slip.
zeppole is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 01:00 PM
  #16  
 
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I'm curious why you have asked in two threads about hiring private transport in Italy when the public means is convenient and far, far less expensive. I'm not trying to be confrontational, but I wonder if your source of advice to do so thinks it's too daunting to go on your own, or what is the reason.
charnees is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 01:12 PM
  #17  
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ekscrunchy and weadles and zeppole- Thank you all so much. I am going to call the Garguilios of Tour of Italy and ask them what the best trip would be for us to do by car and then plan the boat trip. As you can tell I like to plan out my trips in adavance including dinner reservations!!! BTW- Has anyone here experienced the cooking class wat Mama Agata's???

charnees-Whenever my husband and I travel we always hire a private driver. I find that you get to see so much more and they bring a local flavor to the trip as well as bringing you to places that you otherwise would not see.
rjbriskin is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 07:12 PM
  #18  
 
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Thanks for the answer.
charnees is offline  

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