Is it safe to stay in the Amalfi Coast if I'm traveling alone?

I've traveled to Italy many times alone and have gone on a tour as far south as Sorrento. I studied Italian in Firenze for several months about 7 years ago.
As a solo woman traveler, is it safe to travel through Naples to stay along the Amalfi Coast? Which Amalfi Coast town do you recommend I stay in or use as a base?

My upcoming Italy trip at the end of May (a little over a month away!) has me in
Rome to start (5 nights)
Unplanned Time (5 nights)
Turin (3 nights)
Fly from Turin to Paris
I'd like to break up this city - city trip with some time along the water. But I am struggling with the logic of going further south to the Amalfi Coast when I should go north since I have to be in Turin to fly out of Italy.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions!
Joanna (San Francisco, CA)
P.S. I have already been to Cinque Terre (2xs) and Lake Como (1x)

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
5150 posts

Joanna, I travel solo to Naples and the Amalfi Coast often. If you are unsure about staying in Naples, just change trains there and continue to Sorrento. Sorrento would be a good base if you want to be around lots of English-speaking tourists, it's beautiful, but it's not on the Amalfi Coast. I prefer Positano or Ravello, but there are a number of small towns along the coast that will break up your city-to-city trip. You will likely meet other women traveling solo (I always do).

Posted by Sandra
Illinois
288 posts

Yes it is safe to travel solo thru Napoli and to lodge there and stay awhile. My family there recommends the Chiaia District or Piazza del Plebiscito for lodging.

I was just in Napoli in December 2013 and it was magical. There is No place like Napoli. It was Christmastime and unforgettable. I want to be in Napoli for every Christmas. Even my family in the North says no one does Christmas like Napoli.

I travel alone and this last time I lodged near the top of a very old crumbling hill street in Quartiere Sanita in the north of Napoli. Next time Im staying nearer to the famous Mercatini streets and Spaccanapoli. I like the local color of Napoli. It's so vibrant and alive!

Dress in dark clothes and dark shoes. Wear a RS neck wallet and money belt. I wear a dark scarf around my neck to hide the ribbons of the neck wallet. Get a good map of Napoli and know where you want to go. So much to see and do and eat!

Napoli is Not a city you pass thru on the way to Amalfi. It's OK.

Posted by joanna_12
31 posts

My top reasons for going to the area are the food, beautiful scenery and fresh air.
I'm afraid I'll stick out like a sore thumb though because I'm Chinese American. My last trip 7 years ago, I had a little issue when I traveled to a town in Sicily where there was an overly aggressive man following me. I speak some Italian but it's very upsetting to be hassled.
How long does it take to get to Sorrento and then onto Amalfi? Is 3 nights enough?
Any recommendations for places to stay in Sorrento or Amalfi or Positano? It would be great to find somewhere inexpensive (like less than $100 for one person).
Oh, I just found out that Positano was the setting for a scene in Under the Tuscan Sun. It looked beautiful!

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
5036 posts

Very safe. Of course there is always the possibility that some man interested in meeting an exotic looking Asian American woman tries to approach you, but that can happen anywhere, even in California and that doesn't mean that person is going to do you any harm. I used to do that a lot in youth and eventually I found myself married to an American woman.

I also prefer the Amalfi coast to Sorrento.

Positano, Amalfi, Praiano, Atrani etc are all good. If you feel up to it I also suggest you rent a Vespa. You will love it and when you are back you will buy one in San Francisco.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
5150 posts

You can try booking.com and filter by price. The reviews are written by recent guests. You may find less expensive options in Amalfi or Praiano. I found a good price at Ravello Rooms a couple of years ago, great location.

At Napoli Centrale, follow the signs for Circumvesuviana. Buy your ticket, go downstairs (make sure you choose the stairway for destination "Sorrento". The trip takes a little over an hour, Sorrento is the last stop so you can't miss it. Trains leave every half hour or so.

Exit the Sorrento train station and the buses to Amalfi will be out front. I think you can still buy the ticket from the driver. There are two stops for Positano, ask the drover which is nearer your hotel (you'll either be walking up or down depending on which stop you choose). If you stay in Ravello, there will be a local bus at the Amalfi bus station. The trip from Sorrento is about an hour, I think, but it could be more - I get so engrossed in the scenery that I forget about time. I'm sure a more level-headed poster will have more accurate info.

Three days is enough. No amount of time is too much.

Have a great time!

Posted by Larry
Carmel, CA, USA
599 posts

Hi Joanna up the coast, I can't speak directly to your concerns about traveling alone as a woman, but I have traveled alone a lot, including an upcoming trip in just ten days now, that will include three nights in Naples and then four nights in Sorrento. In both those places I will combine exploring those burgs with day trips to ruins, coastal towns, etc. I always seek out well-located, very positively-reviewed, value-priced lodging for one, with free wifi and good access to public transport. After ample research, in Naples I will be staying at the Orsini46 B & B in the Santa Lucia area, near Piazza del Plebiscito. In Sorrento at Il Nido, which is located outside Sorrento, but with a regular and free shuttle into town, and also it is right on the bus route. The reviews of both, on TA and elsewhere, highlight not only the inns and the services, but also the quality and helpfulness of the people staffing them. You might check them out. Best to you, Larry (down the coast)

PS: You do mention liking "fresh air". I've read many things about Naples, both very positive and very negative, but have never seen anyone mention "fresh air" as one of its features. I have read references to Naples having more congestion and less green space than other Italian cities. Of course, it is also on a coast with access to a bunch of day trips via boat. There must be plenty of fresh air out there.

Posted by PSP2PDX
8 posts

This is a great question about a woman traveling alone. I'm 63 and have thought about spending a year doing just this sort of thing. Right now I am looking for longer term rental properties to have a home base. If anyone knows a good rental agency I would be appreciative of any referrals. Thanks!

Posted by Charlene
Centennial, CO, US
1065 posts

Joanna -- To answer your original question, I think the Amalfi coast would be safe, and beautiful, with lots to do. However, if you would like to explore another option, you should look at the Adriatic coast. Take a train from Rome to Bari. From there, you could train or bus to Matera for two nights. Then head back to the coast and spend three nights in Polignano a Mare or Monopoli -- then fly from Bari to Turin (Ryan Air, $49). You would see a completely different part of Italy. Fabulous food. Gorgeous scenery. Not nearly the crowds of tourists. Google all of these places, and check them on Trip Advisor.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
6990 posts

When traveling alone, I did not experience any different safety issues or unsafe feeling in this part of Italy versus any other. (I once stayed in a camping cabin near Pompeii that had only screens in the windows, not glass, and that felt weird, but you're not going to do that.)

Posted by joanna_12
31 posts

Thank you everyone!
I am encouraged to check out the towns along the Amalfi and Adriatic coast and make a decision. Time is running out to commit!
Rooms seem to be booking up in the most popular towns. Appreciate any further advice!

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
5292 posts

Curious as to why it is recommended to wear dark clothes and dark shoes? This is Italy, where light clothing in the summer is the norm. Wearing dark clothing is for winter in Germany perhaps, certainly not for Italy.

Posted by Angela
Vancouver, Wa, USA
570 posts

I'm going to be traveling solo to that area in October, and am only slightly concerned about the scam artists and pick pockets you find anywhere tourists are likely to be. But then, I am in my 40s and rather heavy set. I have a single friend who also travels to Europe a lot who is blonde, blue eyed, & busty. What she does to discourage the men is to wear a fake wedding ring. If she gets any unwanted male attention she points at the ring and walks off.

Posted by Quirite
Rome, Lazio, Italy
337 posts

" [...] I have a single friend who also travels to Europe a lot who is blonde, blue eyed, & busty. What she does to discourage the men is to wear a fake wedding ring. If she gets any unwanted male attention she points at the ring and walks off.

Oh, come on! Where do you think you're going - a land populated by lustful, ill-mannered savages who just can't wait to jump on a foreign woman? IMHO the whole harassment issue has been slightly overblown...

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
5150 posts

I think some people confuse harassment with innocent flirting. Ignore it and it goes away in almost every instance.

Posted by Lois
San Diego, CA, USA
82 posts

I have a question concerning travel to Sorrento so I thought that I'd post it here since we are talking about that area of Italy. We will be flying into FCO Rome airport on Sunday afternoon and will continue on our way to Sorrento. I know about getting the local train in Naples but my concern is getting from the airport to Naples. What is the best way, public transportation or taxi? I know that the taxis are quite expensive from the airport into Rome so public transportation seems more attractive as long as it is safe for us with our baggage (we travel lightly but we still have a suitcase and small backpack each). What train station in Rome should we head for to get to Naples? Thanks in advance for any replies.