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Wonderful Ravello, mishap in Positano and unfortunate experience in Sorrento A&E

Wonderful Ravello, mishap in Positano and unfortunate experience in Sorrento A&E

Aug 7th, 2005, 06:48 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,214
Wonderful Ravello, mishap in Positano and unfortunate experience in Sorrento A&E

Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who helped me plan my solo visit.

First, stop Ravello for 3 days
I arrived in Naples airport and had decided to take the bus to Naples station, train to Salerno, then ferry to Amalfi and onwards to Ravello. However, when I stepped outside the terminal the only bus I saw was the 11.30am airport bus for Sorrento, so I thought as it was going in the right general direction that it would do and I wasn’t disappointed. Lovely drive to Sorrento (about 1hr 10mins) and the driver directed me to the train station where I got the Sita bus for Amalfi. The drive was about 90mins and wonderful. Bus for Ravello was just across the square in Amalfi - total cost 10.50E and spectacular views thrown in free. Sometimes spur of the moment decisions can work out!

My reason for going to Ravello was to visit a concert at the Villa Rufolo and although I had read other reports about the area I was totally unprepared for how beautiful and magical Ravello was. The gardens, narrow streets of steps, Main Square, churches, the music and the most wonderful views I have ever seen.

The highlight was the concert, the stage overlooks the coastline and it is all rather grand, the music was wonderful.

Ravello is very small and quiet with a few shops and all activity takes place in the square where the band plays in the bandstand every night. There was a procession through the town for ‘Alexander the Protector’ (the town saint I think) and it finished with a fantastic firework display which lasted 30 mins. As it is in the mountains, it is cooler than other areas, which was a godsend as the temp averaged 40c. There are few children other than locals and probably not a lot for children to do, more an adult destination.
Visited Amalfi when there which was just OK, however, the church is certainly worth going to - very interesting.

Next stop Sorrento for 7 days and a horrendous experience in Sorrento A&E

cambe is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 07:00 AM
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Cambe,thanks for the update,We will be doing the same trip soon.Looking forward to your future postings. Thanks again.
lilminkey is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 07:11 AM
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I too look forward to the continuation of your trip report -- in particular to finding out what "Sorrento A&E" is...
Eloise is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 07:24 AM
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We concur about the magnificence and beauty of Villa Rufolo. The view from Villa Rufolo is considered by many to be the best along the Amalfi Coast.
HowardR is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 08:17 AM
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Is it Accident and emergency...ER in USA??
ggnga is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 08:38 AM
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Ah-ha! Sounds reasonable. But like G.B. Shaw said, "England and America are two countries divided by a common language"...
Eloise is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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Ravello is on our list of places to visit while in Sorrento. 38 days before we leave.
Waiting for the next installment, cambe.
MyriamC is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 10:43 AM
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Also interested to hear about these mishaps and bad experiences in the Amalfi Coast...
hlocke1 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 12:08 PM
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Sorry, I should have know that A&E was ER in the US as I watch the TV series regularly.

As I had taken the bus to Amalfi, I decided to go to Sorrento by ferry and get a different view. It was lovely but if I had to choose one or the other I think the views are better from the road.

I had decided to stay for the remainder of my holiday in Sorrento as it was a good base for visiting the various places I wanted to see. Someone on this forum had said that Sorrento was tacky which worried me a bit. IMO it was not tacky but probably my least favourite of all the places I visited as it is quite big and very touristy.

Got a taxi from the port to my Hotel and settled in. Next day I took the bus to Positano. The bus leaves you at the top of the town and you either walk down or take the bus. I decided to walk as there are shops the whole way to the bottom and I love shopping. The shops were terrific and the views at every bend stunning. It took me 2.5 hours to walk to the bottom (should have been about 30 mins but the shops!!!). When I was there I walked around a bit and stopped for a coffee. Then walked to a shop up the town a little bit where I had seen a very nice linen dress and decided to try it on. The dress was displayed outside the shop and as I went searching for the label to see how much it cost I failed to notice the step into the shop and fell. The owner came running and brought a chair and some water but I knew my ankle was in trouble. I sat in the shop for a bit to recover from my humiliation, thanked them for their kindness and walked (all be it limping) to the nearest café. I had some lunch and took 2 co-codomol which I had brought with me. After about 1 hour I felt a bit better and walked to the bus which takes you to the top of the town and the bus back to Sorrento. I was in a lot of discomfort and can honestly say that I have never seen such kindness from both the Italians and the various tourists I encountered on my way back to Sorrento - Thank you. An Italian lady gave me her seat on the bus and then told me where to get off in order to get the bus to Sorrento. Got on the first bus that came along helped by various tourists but wondered why (I was the first on the bus) some people were changing to the opposite side of the bus but found out as we moved off. I had been on this journey before and the sea should have been on my left but it was on my right!! I was on my way to Amalfi instead of Sorrento. I knew from the previous journey that the bus stopped in various places along the coast and got out at the next stop (helped again by a lovely Italian Lady and then by tourists who were getting onto the bus). The stop was Praiano and it looked lovely. Unfortunatly because of my injury I was unable to explore it but I will definatly be going back there - my kind of place.

Got the bus back to Sorrento and taxi to hotel where I asked and was supplied with an ice pack. As soon as I put the ice pack on my injuried ankle I released that I needed to go to hospital. The Hotel kindly drove me to Sorrento A&E/ER. I was seen quickly by a nurse (who spoke English) and she got me a wheelchair to sit on. She then asked me what the problem was and asked for my passport. For all Brits reading this, she was not interested in my E111 or my private health insurance. I was in a waiting room and there were 2 trolleys in the area also. Both had elderly men on them with a drip and they had both kicked off the sheet which exposed them naked to everyone (nobody, the whole time I was there did anything to give them some dignity). After about 2 hours I was taken by a porter to the X Ray department and left there. The corridor and area I was left in had plaster pealing off the walls, it hadn’t been painted in years, all pained surfaces were down to almost the bare wood. The seat I and others were sitting on had a peeling painted frame but the actual top seat had been removed and a melamine board crudly nailed in place. However, what appalled me the most was the filth. There was dried in blood and all edges of the passageways and corners were thick with grime.

I was eventually x rayed along with 4 other tourists with similar injuries and found not to have a fracture but damaged ligaments. The whole time I was there (about 5 hours) I was never seen by a doctor but I do think the doctor saw the x rays. I was told by the nurse that there was nothing broken, just damaged ligaments and to go to the Pharmicia and get an ankle support and an anti-inflammatory. I asked how do I get there and she said take a taxi. I know they were busy and had very sick people who needed more urgent attention than a stupid tourist who couldn’t see a step but it was the only part of my trip to Italy that disappointed me.

Got the medication and rested for 2 days in the lemon grove at my hotel (they were great) Got up on the 3rd morning and it’s raining and cloudy. I was determined that my injured ankle would not deter me from doing what I came to ‘The Amalfi Coast ‘to do. Took my medication, sprayed my ankle with an icy spay, strapped it up an went off to Pompeii. Got the train from the Sorrento and in less than 30mins you are there. Luck was not on my side, by that time the sun had come out and it was hot!

I did not realise how big Pompeii was. I live in a small village on the outskirts of Belfast and thought it would be about that size but it is more the size of Belfast itself and maybe bigger. I rented an audio guide and off I went. The heat was more depilating than my gammy foot but I did my best. In that heat (44c) it was too much, I spent about 3 hours there and although I enjoyed it I felt it would have been better with a guide and definatly in a cooler season. I had intended to go on to Herculaneum but the heat was too great.

Returned to my hotel and read the guide book on the places I had visited which I thoroughly enjoyed. Next time I will visit in the winter, hire a guide and also go to the museum in Naples which has the original sculptures.

Next day Capri, which I loved. Took the bus to the port because of my ankle but the walk down the steps from the square in Sorrento and then the walk along the road looked tremendous.

Wat can I say that has not already been said about Capri. Took the

cambe is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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Next day Capri, which I loved. Took the bus to the port because of my ankle but the walk down the steps from the square in Sorrento and then the walk along the road looked tremendous.

What can I say that has not already been said about Capri. Took the hydrofoil from Sorrento (about 30 mins) and the funicular up to the main town. I loved it, a shopper’s paradise. However I preferred Anacapri for scenery.

It was not only hot but also very humid (It was worse than Singapore at the same time of year) and I desperately needed to get some air, so I made my way to the port and got on a boat that was doing a round island tour plus the ‘blue grotto’, The tour was great and I am going back to Capri for sure - all those little hideaways! The ‘blue grotto’ was IMO a waste of time, with all the other views and scenery in Capri it was very mediocre .

Last day was dull and a perfect day to visit Ischia but because of my ankle injury I had not done all of Sorrento and opted instead to go to the Marina Grande. Well, it was tacky - very tacky IMO.

Went for another stroll around the nicer places of Sorrento and back to my Hotel for dinner,

Got the Airport bus from the centre of Sorrento back to the Airport. It took 1 hr 30 mins for the return journey but that was I think because of traffic so you would need to add a bit onto the scheduled journey time but it was very efficient.

To Sum Up

I will definitely be going back to the Amalfi Coast but with changes

1. Check out the nearest private hospital before I go
2. Go in May/June or Sept/Oct
3. Spend 2 days Positano / Praiano, 4 days Ravello, Ferry to Capri for 3 days then 3 days in either Sorronto or Naples to revisit Pompeii and see the Museum in Naples.

If I ever win the Lottery I will buy a house in Ravello (having checked the nearest private hospital first!) and live happy ever after.


cambe is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 02:09 PM
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Ravello is definitely the most romantic town we have visited. We checked in to the Hotel Rufolo after a hair raising trip and opened the double doors to the small balconey. The sun was sparkling like diamonds on the Bay of Salerno in the distance, and overhead was a rainbow. The bay was rimmed by mountains and the whole view was the most breathtaking I have ever witnessed. That evening we went to a Beethoven concert at the Villa Rufolo. I will never forget that little town.
grace_omalley is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 03:41 PM
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Helen, I was so glad to read that you did not break any bones. I can imagine how much pain you were in. I think you must be very strong-willed, have a high tolerance for pain and be one very determined woman. After reading your experience I am certainly going to purchase travel insurance for our trip to Rome and Sorrento. I want to be sure if disaster strikes us in Sorrento I end up in a private hospital. Your experience in the hospital sounds very unpleasant. Didn't anyone suggest crutches or would that have been more of a problem than a help? I know they can be difficult to maneuver but at least those around you would show some consideration (one would hope).Welcome back and I hope you are doing much better. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 04:20 AM
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how are you doing?

DeborahAnn is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 05:28 AM
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Hi Helen,

You're a real trouper.

Thanks for an interesting story.

ira is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 01:01 PM
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Thank you for a great trip report, particularly the things to skip. Hope you are on the mend.
janemc is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 02:55 PM
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We had a similar experience last year in Tuscany. My wife caught her foot on the steps of our hotel and twisted her ankle. It immediately swelled up to twice it's normal size and we thought it might be broken. The innkeeper gave us directions to the nearest hospital near Montepulicano. No one at the emergency room spoke english but we managed to work our way through the system somehow. It took about two hours to get an xray verifying that nothing was broken. The hospital was a bit substandard to what we are accustomed to at home but not nearly as bad as the one you described. The good news (besides the fact that she had no broken bones) was that there was no paperwork and no cost associated with the visit.
BoulderCO is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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How is your ankle?? I am so sorry to hear about your injury, however I really admire your fantastic attitude and your determination to see everything despite your pain.
TexasAggie is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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Hi Helen,

Thanks for your report. I am also planning a solo trip. I had been thinking about any mishaps that I might encounter. You handled it very well. I am glad you enjoyed it enough to want to buy your dream home there. I guess it helps to be aware of hospitals and doctors in the area.

I hope you are feeling better.
Simone1 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 03:42 AM
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Thank you all for your well wishes. I saw an orthopaedic doctor yesterday and he said no major damaged done and I did the right thing walking about on it (good physiotherapy).

Simone, as a fellow Solo traveller taxis are very expensive for one person but public transport is both efficient and frequent and not expensive.

One other tip,I am not a big mobile phone user at home but took my pay as you go with me and phoned home and sent a few text messages. When I hurt my ankle I phoned home again and also received several calls from my family. I told them I was OK and then my money ran out on my phone. I tried to top it up using my credit card but you must register your card before leaving the UK which I hadn't done so was unable to use this facility. As I had told the family that I was OK I switched the phone off and went about enjoying my stay. I arrived back at my hotel from Capri and there was an email to the hotel for me - my family were frantic with worry as they were unable to get in touch with me. Lessen learnt, if you inform your family back home of an accident no matter how small keep in touch with them. I felt so guilty. BTW the phone box in the town was cheaper than a mobile!

cambe is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 05:00 AM
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So sorry to read about your accident but it certainly made for a memorable visit &, from our perspective, a fascinating story. Glad to hear you are on the mend.


p.s. Did you notice that I deliberately avoided using the phrase "trip report" in case you thought I was being sarcastic?
JJBhoy is offline  

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