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Amalfi Coast in March

Hello,

My friends and I will be travelling to Rome and the Amalfi Coast in March. We have booked an airbnb in Positano and we are now ironing out the details. I had heard that since it's the off-season, a lot of restaurants would be closed but after contacting a few to check, I'm a little disappointed at just how many are closed. So far, I've only heard of a few that are open. Does anyone have any suggestions for restaurants that will be open in March?

Also, we will be staying in Positano for 4 nights/3 full days. I would love some help with planning an itinerary, especially since March seems to be a uniquely challenging time to visit. While we plan to just relax and take in the views of Positano, I'm worried it will be a ghost town. We are interested in taking a day trip to Capri but I know the ferries won't be running from Positano. Therefore, I am almost considering doing a Sorrento/Capri combo day trip. Thoughts on this? What other towns/attractions are worth visiting?

If you've visited the coast during the month of March/offseason, I would love to hear any tips you may have. We are pretty flexible with what we do so please feel free to suggest things/restaurants on the entire coast, not just in Positano.

Thanks so much!

Note: I know March is not an ideal time to visit but unfortunately, it was the only time that my group could travel this year. It's been a big bucket list item for us for a while, so we want to visit and make the best of the offseason.

Posted by
5256 posts

I've been to Sorrento mid February and as far as I can recall (2014) pretty much everything was open. The ferries were running to Capri, plenty of restaurants open and you could even indulge in gelato. It wasn't cold, I was in my typical shorts and t-shirts if the temperature is 16c and above, however the locals were still wrapped up in their winter coats, scarves and hats despite the temperature being above 20c.

It was a good time to explore Herculaneum (had already visited Pompeii) as the temperatures were perfect and it wasn't busy at all.

I can't speak for Positano in particular but for us, our long weekend in Sorrento in February was fine, not much noticably different than in the summer with the obvious exception of the heat.

Posted by
847 posts

I was there in March a few years ago. Definitely not a ghost town but there were plenty of places that were still closed for the season (shops, restaurants, hotels) and a lot of places were getting ready for the season with painting, repairs, etc. going on.

Amalfi, Ravello and a hike would be things you could do. Sorrento/Capri combined day trip also. Your larger problem (than some restaurants being closed) is risk of bad weather. I had a couple of glorious days but also a couple where it poured rain all day - not much to do there in that case. So staying in Sorrento would make more sense, not only for ease of day trip to Capri, but also to Naples which has shopping/museums, etc to fill up time if it's raining. But sounds like you are already booked in Positiano. It would still be possible to take a day trip to Naples but more time consuming (bus to Sorrento, then train to Naples) (or more expensive if you hired a driver).

Posted by
4105 posts

At this time of year, Positano will be basicly empty. If Jay from Chicago chimes in he can give you the true experience.

Sorrento, will be a better base at this time of year, some places will be closed, but plenty of restaurants will be open. If you hit cold or rain while there, you can also head into Naples for some indoor sites.

Posted by
1944 posts

I would consider staying in Positano in March a challenge--but it can be done, with plenty of advance preparation. To be honest, though, Sorrento is a much better base that time of year because almost everything is open, is easier to get from there to Naples, Pompei & Capri. But it has nowhere near the scenery of the A.C. itself, which has some of the most spectacular views on Earth, period. That's definitely worth something in the equation.

The only restaurant I guarantee will be open in Positano is a little hole-in-the-wall (literally, because it's kind of hollowed out into the rock) steps from the Sponda bus stop--seem to remember it's on the upper level of the main road, where the buses traverse--called Li Galli Bar. Awesome food--we sat for lunch at a rickety table on the road and they brought out antipasto, calamari, a hamburger panini. Really enjoyed it, before we took the SITA bus back to Sorrento, where we based for that trip.

Before we went to Li Galli, I left my wife by the bus stop and jogged down the hill a little to the lower level of Positano to do some reconnaissance, and saw absolutely nothing open, nary a soul--pretty much a ghost town. And this was March 8, for what it's worth.

Similarly, a couple years before that almost at the exact same time of year, we had based in Salerno and took the bus to Amalfi--which is about a half-hour bus ride from Positano. Seemed like a little more was open there. In fact, the day we visited we found a place on the water--Lido Azzurro Ristorante--that was their first day open for the season.

Personally, I've heard such horror stories about the Amalfi Coast in high season with its gridlock, bus lines, etc., that I think March is a great time to visit--you basically have the area to yourself. Be advised, however, if the weather turns nasty--and it certainly can in March on the peninsula--you're gonna be kind of stranded in Positano without much to do. At least in Sorrento or even Salerno there will be people about and places open to wait it out.

But in an AirBnB in Positano, I assume it will have a view, and I trust it will be near the main road for the SITA bus, unless you plan to drive. If the weather's bad, make sure you have rations and potent potables in the fridge, and a good book to read. Nothing wrong with that!

Enjoy your planning!

Posted by
2047 posts

We stayed on the Amalfi Coast in March. It was sleepy, but lovely with bright skies and pleasant weather. If you take a bus ride down the coast, Ravello is lovely. We took a wonderful cooking class there from Mamma Agata. It was pricey, but a full day with great recipes and lots of food and wine. Also, we enjoyed the Patisserie Sal De Riso in Minori. It has great pasteries and meals, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have discovered that visiting tourist towns off season can be very pleasant, as the businesses that are open often give more individual attention.

Posted by
1944 posts

I have discovered that visiting tourist towns off season can be very
pleasant, as the businesses that are open often give more individual
attention.

Quite right, Becky. I've even found in cities like Rome & Florence, in February & March shopkeepers & waiters are much more chill, much more willing to converse with you instead of giving you the bum's rush.

Posted by
15576 posts

I stayed in Sorrento on my first visit south of Roma and loved it - in February. But I didn't go to the Amalfi Coast at all. 2 years ago it was time for me to see the AC - again in February, and on Jay's advice, I stayed in Salerno and loved it too. Salerno is more interesting than Sorrento (plus it's cheaper, both food and rooms), with a large sandy beach, a seaside promenade and a well-preserved medieval center. I used 2 of my days to explore the AC, and was more than happy to return to Salerno for dinner (lots of options, some really excellent). I didn't get to explore Positano because I couldn't find parking (yeah, I rented a car). The other towns were pretty sleepy and most of the visitors seemed to be day-trippers on guided tours. There wasn't much open for lunch in Amalfi, and the place I chose was below par - except for the price. I stopped twice at Sal de Riso in Minori because of a recommendation for gelati and pastries. The pastries are to die for. After eating one, I couldn't even manage a gelato tasting. But on my second visit, I did take a small box of goodies back to my hotel.

I was unimpressed by the villages themselves - there are many more charming ones everywhere else in Italy, but the views are spectacular.

Posted by
143 posts

I was there on the off season last year, the last week of October. We spent 3 nights in Ravello and 2 in Positano.

Restaurants were open; the weather was glorious for the first 3 days, blue skies, amazing hikes, summer dresses on during the day, sweaters and coats during the night. The gardens and villas in Ravello were without crowds. Sipping Prosecco outside.

The weather turned the last two days; we were in Positano by then. It was busier than Ravello or than Amalfi town. We still managed to walk around, have a great lunch at Le Sireneuse. But it was raining often. The ferry to Capri was canceled because of rough seas.