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Help with planning few days in Amalfi Coast in September

Help with planning few days in Amalfi Coast in September

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Old Jul 1, 13, 1:28 pm
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Help with planning few days in Amalfi Coast in September

Hi everyone,

I'm planning the last few days of my upcoming honeymoon (mid September this year) - we are finishing our Italy trip by visiting the Amalfi Coast.

Pretty broad set of questions, but for two people who have never been there before, wondering the best way to spend the ~2-3 days (1 full day, 2 days with some travel on each end) we have there.

1) Where's the best town to stay in as home base? And any specific hotel suggestions? Looking to stay somewhere nice but do not want to break the bank - ~$500 max a night and only if that's really worth it I think.

2) We're coming in from Rome and then flying out of Naples. I'd been planning to rent a car and drive, but the few threads I've read often suggest that driving in the area is terrifying. Is there a good way to get from Rome to the Amalfi and then from the Amalfi back to Naples without renting a car?

3) What attractions do you think of as the "must sees" in the area? Our first day we will leave from Rome in the AM, so not a full day. Then a second full day. And then the last day I think we will head back to Naples that night for the AM flight.

Thanks very much for any advice you can give!
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Old Jul 1, 13, 2:05 pm
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Here's a recent thread that will give you some early thoughts:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/italy...in-advice.html
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Old Jul 1, 13, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
Here's a recent thread that will give you some early thoughts:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/italy...in-advice.html
Yeah thanks for the tip there! I read that one earlier today and was definitely very helpful, though a lot of the advice seems specific to a late November trip. My hope is that mid-September is not too late in the season and that more things will be open etc.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 3:06 pm
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Just got back from four days in Sorrento. Did Pompeii and Herculaneum one day (drove to both). Did Amalfi and Positano another day (drove the Amalfi coast drive). Did Capri one day (boat from Sorrento).

Driving is "interesting." If you are a really good and careful driver (which I consider myself to be), it's doable. But it's not fun for the driver. Fun for the passengers, with great views.

Positano -- can highly recommend a lunch at Buca di Bacco Hotel restaurant. It's right on the main beach in Positano. Had a great lunch there (one of the best I have ever had). Hotel looks pretty solidly booked in mid-Sept. though.

Have only ever driven there the two times we have been to the Amalfi Coast, so I can't help much on alternative transport.

I will say that I was quite glad that I happened to get upgraded to a Volvo with automatic on our trip. I drive a manual well, but it would be a really challenging drive in a manual car.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 8:41 pm
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What is/isn't fun for driving is a very personal thing. Personally, I find driving the Amalfi Coast/Drive a blast (but I have done a lot of hours in race cars). Sure, you need to concentrate and pay attention (for example, as the road winds along the coast, you can often see the road on the other side of the inlet and get an idea of upcoming traffic).

What is probably most disconcerting to many is that the locals use the full road to hit the apex of the corners and thereby move along at a pretty good clip (and they know the road and what's on the other side of the bend). The car of choice for many of the locals is a Smart Car whose short wheelbase helps for a fast drive. If you decide to drive (and IMO it really is the only way to get around there), just drive within a pace that you are comfortable with and if traffic backs up behind you, let them pass in places where it works, don't feel a need to drive like them unless you are comfortable doing so and stay within what is comfortable. You'll be fine.
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Old Jul 2, 13, 10:10 am
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Your budget may be fine for a 4*(Rufolo, Graal, Marmorata in Ravello)
Exception looks to be the Hotel Palumbo, a 5*.
The top players in Positano are well above $500, but for 1-2 nights stay you wouldn't spend too much of your time in a room anyway.
Whatever, act fast, as I see most accomodations are sold for September.
I would call terrific rather than "terrifying" driving in the coast.
Without a car, an option is the train from Rome to Salerno, then ferry to Amalfi (the port is right in front of Salerno railway station). Both Trenitalia and Italo serve the route.

From Salerno depart also SITA bus.
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Old Jul 2, 13, 12:25 pm
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On the hotel front, Santa Caterina in Amalfi is great but probably over budget unless you can find a deal. Last time I stayed there it was early October and I got a great deal via Amex Plat - as I recall it was 3 nights for 2 at a rate of $395 per night.
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Old Jul 2, 13, 2:43 pm
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Driving the Amalfi Coast is indeed challenging and not fun for many drivers, me included -- at least when I'm in the vacation mode. Those who understandably relish the driving challenge probably are missing most of the fabulous scenery.

One option not mentioned is to hire a car and driver. I've used a very good driver a couple of times. He drove us from Naples train station to Positano and back (about $100 each way), and also from Positano to Paestum and Pompei. If the OP is interested in this option, PM me and I'll share his contact info.

Sirenuse and San Pietro are the top hotels in Positano but might be over the budget limit. Two good restaurants there are Vincenzo's and Mediterraneo.

Rufolo is a good hotel bet in Ravello.
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Old Jul 3, 13, 4:47 pm
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Booked a nice looking hotel in Amalfi proper. Planning to do the train to Salerno then ferry to Amalfi as suggested above, and then my hotel offered a transfer from Amalfi to Naples airport for 100 euros which seems reasonable enough.

So we will have a half day and 2 full days there. Thinking Amalfi for the half day, Positano for a day, and maybe Pompeii / Herculaneum for a day. Would also like to see Capri but not sure how to fit all that into the few days.

Any suggestions on which of those sights / towns to prioritize?

(and PM sent re: the driver recommendation, thanks!)
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Old Jul 3, 13, 7:10 pm
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Originally Posted by jspector View Post
Booked a nice looking hotel in Amalfi proper. Planning to do the train to Salerno then ferry to Amalfi as suggested above, and then my hotel offered a transfer from Amalfi to Naples airport for 100 euros which seems reasonable enough.

So we will have a half day and 2 full days there. Thinking Amalfi for the half day, Positano for a day, and maybe Pompeii / Herculaneum for a day. Would also like to see Capri but not sure how to fit all that into the few days.

Any suggestions on which of those sights / towns to prioritize?

(and PM sent re: the driver recommendation, thanks!)
Think about splitting a day between Positano and either Pompeii or Herculaneum (if I were to do it, I'd do the AM at the one of the ancient digs and then go have a nice lunch and walk around Positano) and do either a day trip to Capri (more developed/touristy) or Ischia (less so) depending on your preferences.

IMO, Pompeii and Herculaneum are both very interesting but spending an entire day on both is somewhat redundant - Pompeii is bigger and gives you a macro sense of the city, Herculaneum is smaller and gives a somewhat more personal/intimate perspective as a result. But I am not sure the distinction is worth the investment of a whole day given the bounty available.
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Old Jul 4, 13, 10:52 am
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Consider substituting Paestum for Herculaneum.
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Old Jul 5, 13, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by donlind View Post
Consider substituting Paestum for Herculaneum.
absolutely correct.
Paestum is something so unique and well kept you won't find anywhere.
As long Pompeii.
Therefore Herculaneum could result redundant.
The logistic changes a little, as Paestum is about 30 km. south of Salerno.

In my view you don't have enough time to make Capri. Moreover the true atmosphere of Capri comes out after sunset, when last ferry of daytrip visitors departs to Naples.
The island is better enjoyed for slow pace travelers. At least a couple of nights stay is reccomended.
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