Our family is planning to travel to the Amalfi Coast in mid-December including Christmas. Flying in and out from Naples. We are worried about weather and seasonal closures. Please let us know your experience with the Amalfi Coast in December. Many thanks.
Sorrento is not ( technically) 'the Amalfi Coast', but could be a place to be based at that time of the year. Wander the "Coast" towns as weather permits.
We were there in November of 2019, and stayed in Sorrento. It was just a bit quiet. We were talking to a restaurant server and he mentioned they were closing down the next day for a month. He said they open again mid December or so for the Christmas travel season. It was a little rainy for us, but check to see the averages. I pay more attention to data for the last 4-5 years, more so than overall averages. Thank you Global Warming.
I haven't been there in December but know for sure that most of the ferries do not operate that time of year. They DO run from Sorrento to Capri all year so that's a possibility if you want to do some hiking around the island (most, but not all, businesses will be closed). A few also run from Naples to Sorrento but there's no service to/from Positano, Amalfi or any of the smaller towns along the coast.
You can get around via SITA bus so it's not as if you'd be completely without transport. Oh, and the battered-but-cheap commuter train (Circumvesuviana) runs between Naples and Sorrento with stops including Pompeii scavi (open every day except Dec. 25th, May 1st and Jan 1st: http://pompeiisites.org/en/pompeii-map/) and Herculaneum (Ercolano); closed Wednesdays, Jan 1 and Dec 25th.)
When we were there the ferries had stopped running. The SITA buses were extremely busy. Standing from Amalfi to Sorrento was not fun. People were lining up a good half hour before the bus would depart. It might be worth, especially for a family, checking into having a driver for the day. Or check with your hotel to determine what options might be.
I had read about a hop on hop off bus as well . Is that currently running?
To my knowledge, there has never been a true HOHO service around the Amalfi Coast. This is the closest thing I know of, and they even state (under "Important Informations") that it's not a HOHO service; once you get off, you have to purchase an additional ticket to get back on.
It doesn't operate November to March. That said, travellinggirl, as the topic isn't about CURRENT travel (this bus isn't useful to the OP) you may want to start a new thread as people who may have used it are unlikely to see your question here.
We spent a week in Sorrento in mid-December 2011. It was fabulous! Cool-to-cold but great weather other than one thunderstorm one afternoon. We used Sorrento as a base to
- See Naples (used Rick’s book to take the self-guided walk and visited the archeological museum;
- Tour Pompeii with Gaetano Manfredi (best guide ever) in full sun, 45 degrees, almost no other visitors;
- Explore the Amalfi Coast by bus including a little hike between Amalfi & Atrani
- See Herculaneum, self-guided
- Relax in Sorrento, taking the evening passaggiata and admiring the extensive Christmas decorations.
There was also a Jazz Festival the week we were there and we went two nights. We left on Dec 19 and head to Rome so I don’t know what Christmas itself is like. We did use the Circumvesuviana several times.
Some restaurants and hotels were closed. I understand from locals that the week AFTER Christmas gets very busy with traveling Italian families.
Update on the City Sightseeing Coast to Coast Bus: I'm reading that it didn't operate last year, and hasn't operated this year either. That would explain why there hasn't been any reviews on their website since fall of 2019. Booking are also currently unavailable on TripAdvisor.
We actually used the red City Sightseeing HOHO bus to get from Amalfi to Ravello- May 2019.
The lines for SITA bus to Ravello were crazy long and we kept getting pushed out of line. We had luggage, it was a pain.
There was a small HOHO bus sitting there with the employee selling tickets for 5 euros- ride to Ravello. We happily paid that and boarded, the driver took our luggage and stored it behind him. There were only 3-4 other people on board, sat up on top in the fresh air. It was great.
The SITA bus ride back down from Ravello was jammed, the guy across the aisle was barfing out the window. Luckily it was a short ride.