We have been to Sorrento and Capri, but now I want to explore the Amalfi coast as well. What towns did you like the best to stay? Want to explore area as well as Paestum. Thank you!
With that information, I'd recommend staying in Salerno. We made that our home base as we explored the area and loved it. It is a transportation hub with trains, ferries and buses. Going south to north might help with crowding on the SITA buses, but we preferred the ferries. The view from the water (especially Positano) is magnificent. There is also a train that goes to Paestum which is just south of Salerno. Salerno has a very real Italian feel with the daily evening stroll. Young and old get all dolled up and stroll arm in arm, window shop, run into friends and stop to chat. The Lungamare is a lovely seaside promenade that also is a strolling site. Salerno can be reached easily on a Frecciarossa from Rome. You would love it.
I agree that Salerno is by far the best location from which to visit Paestum. I haven't been to Salerno, but I get the idea that it does not have as much "resort" flavor as even Sorrento, but it certainly can't be very much like Positano or Amalfi.
I'm not saying that I ever wanted to sleep in Positano. I don't care that much about cold-water swimming from pebble beaches, and bustling, noisy night-life. Even our three hours in Positano gave us an overdose of the same international luxury boutique stores you can find anywhere from Rome to New York City. We're not shoppers. But I do think Positano is a must-see; Just not a must-sleep for everyone. For many hedge-fund duuuudes, it may be a must-sleep.
I didn't "like" Sorrento that much, but we slept there five nights for the daytrip transit options. I thought Sorrento was a purpose-built, postwar, reinforced concrete resort product, but without real beaches. (I'd say the same thing about today's Ostend, Belgium! But I wouldn't say that about St. Malo, France.) I had hoped to visit Paestum from Sorrento, but it isn't practical.
Repeating that I have not been to Salerno, I want to suggest that feeling-a-part-of-provincial-Italy is a fool's errand between Sorrento and Salerno. (Yes, of course that's an OPINION. It's my opinion.) I am sure there are sweet inland towns with no tourists. But I wouldn't go to this area to stay inland in high season. My vacation time is too valuable. It is impossible to recommend a town without knowing your month of travel. Ferry schedules are greatly reduced off season, and busses are impossibly crowded in-season.
We stayed in Amalfi and Salerno
Liked them both
We did like Sorrento as well
We spent just a few hours in Positano that was enough
The daily passiegiata in Salerno was delightful and the train to Paestum was cheap and easy
Paestum was fabulous one of our favorite days
How many days do you have?
That, plus arrival and departure times may dictate needing two bases.
If you want only one, and you want it to be a village instead of a small city (though I agree Salerno is pleasant), then one of the villages at the mainland end of the Amalfi Coast would allow you to get to Paestum via Salerno but also visit the more famous AC villages by ferry or bus.
We are playing with 5-7 days in the area. Looked into staying at Paestem, but it seems far and beyond the ruins, there doesn't seem to be a lot to do. I do have accommodations for 2 nights in Priano and wanted to end there and work my way up. Just wasn't sure the other towns that would be best to stay in based on what there is to do and see. I will look further at Salerno based on feedback. We are a family with 2 boys 12 and 14. Thank you all so much.
We need to know the month as well--to advise on transport, but I'll assume between April and October when ferries are running.
If you intend to stay put and just relax, Praiano is good, but not for getting around because there is no ferry. But I'd do more than two days---by the time you get there you are basically turning around to leave! And you may need a night in Naples depending on what time your departure is.
I love the area south of Paestum--the buffala mozzarella tour is a favorite. Look at Santa Maria di Castellabate as well. For the AC, I'd look at Minori/Maiori as the kids can just chill at the beach.
For those who stayed in Salerno, can you recommend accommodations? Thank you!
We stayed at Hotel Montestella, it’s right along the pedestrian street
5 min to train, about 10 to ferry
It had been recently renovated, very modern, clean comfy rooms although small
decent bkft, we paid about 100 euros May 2019
One of our best meals that trip was at Mythos in Salerno - Greek food, excellent
There is also a really good gelateria near Mythos—Bar Nettuno
We stayed at Salerno Centro B and B. We enjoyed it, but for a family it might not be practical. They only have 3 rooms.
I stayed in Atrani and loved it. Kind of the best of both worlds. Quaint, very local-feeling town, some excellent restaurants, with a public (season depending), sandy beach to boot. You’re a short, if adventurous, walk to Amalfi and all of its superior ferry/bus connections. Seeing Paestum as a day trip via Amalfi>Salerno ferry would be quite doable. In fact, I regretted not doing so.
awr, is that ferry to Amalfi 12-months?
Consider my favorite town, Vietri sul Mare. Easy access to Paestum. It's the only AC town that has its own train station. Bus to all the towns. Has a decent beach. Areas to hike. Great food. It does not have ferry service, but Salerno is a 15min. bus ride away.
I've heard that there is a direct train from Rome to Salerno. Can anyone speak to this? What is the name of the Salerno station? Thank you all for your help!
There are direct fast trains--Frecciarossa---- that go between Rome and the main train station in Salerno. It's name is Salerno Stazione located on Piazza Vittorio Veneto. You can purchase these tickets online. You can check this out on www.raileurope.com. Try to take the direct train that doesn't stop in Naples. If you do, the trip is about 2 hours.
Kath, explore your rail options from Rome>Salerno on these two websites:
Trenitalia is Italy's national rail provider:
As you've traveled to Italy before, you probably have a passing acquaintance with how the trains work?
You haven't said when your trip will be but know that there will be timetable changes in mid-June (14th, I believe) so not all trains are currently showing for trips after that date. Timetables, however, also tend to change very little if at all so what currently shows for, say, a random Thursday in May at around 8:00 AM will likely remain the same (or close to the same) later in the year. Yes, there are quite a number of daily Frecce "fast train" runs from Roma Termini to Salerno (Salerno is the name of the main station) with no train changes.
Italo, a private rail company, also has no-changes service from Roma Termini to Salerno.
Editing to add, there's no direct (no changes) train service from Rome's Fiumicino airport to Salerno. For fastest option, you'd need to take an express train into Roma Termini and change there to a "fast" train onward to Salerno.
We are looking to go to Salerno from Trastevere on June 14th. I believe I can get tickets right out of Trastevere station. Just still unsure of how to book the kids. They are 14 and 12. I think I can get them 50% off bambi gratis (sp). Not sure how that works booking online.
Book Bambi Gratis here.
Be aware that you will be paying Base fare of 48€ per adult + 24€ per child. Total of 144€.
If you utilize the intercity train # 551 the cost is 12,90€ per person. Total 51,60€. The difference in travel time is minimal.
Edited math was not accurate.
There is a recent detailed and positive trip report on Salerno here:
Stayed in Sorrento and LOVED it!!!!
If you are wanting to actually see and stay on the Amalfi coast, that isn’t Salerno or Sorrento. They’re both great places to stay, but they’re just not the Amalfi coast. The little towns along the AC come alive after the tourist have gone for the day. I personally would stay in Ravello, Praiano, Amalfi, Atrani, Vietri, Cittara, etc........the challenge to get to this part of the world is part of the charm.
But if you’re limited on time and just wanting to see places and check off boxes then I would also definitely choose somewhere more convenient like Salerno.
Thank you all. We've decided on going up the Amalfi Coast starting in Salerno for 2 nights (visiting Paestum while there), then Amalfi 2 nights, Priano 2 nights and then taking the ferry from Positano to Capri. Any recommendations for dining or fun things to do in these towns are appreciated. Hoping this up the coast itinerary will give us time to dig in a little in each town on our way up the coast.