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Itinerary Suggestions - Amalfi Coast

Hello everyone!

Wife and I are taking our 2nd trip to Italy. We will be spending serveral days in northern Italy (Como and Milan), 3-4 days in Tuscany, and 4-5 days in the Amalfi area.

My question pertains to the Amalfi area. What do you all suggest for the best places/towns to stay? Should it be 5 days in Sorrento as a home base (We want to see Pompeii and maybe Capri), or would it be 2-3 days in Sorrento followed by a night or two at another nearby town with better views?

We are both 29, so hiking, walking, etc... are no issues for us. We love to experience the culture, the food, and soak up as much of the county as we can. Thank you!!!!

Posted by
1365 posts

We stayed at Grand Hotel De La Ville in Sorrento. Beautiful setting in a quiet and residential area. Amazing view of the Gulf of Naples and Mount Vesuvias. It has a lovely rooftop Garden and swimming pool. The rooms are comfortable and well appointed. One of the top Buffet Breakfasts we had on the Amalfi Coast. www.delavillesorrento.com

Posted by
50 posts

Sorrento is great as the base for exploring amalfii capri, pompeii .
The town is so pretty , great places to eat.Much more preferable than staying in positano.
Stay in the town centre, we had stayed at pallazo tasso. Even antiche mura hotel is very good.
It was super easy to catch bus, ferry or train from there, just steps away.
I found capri much prettier esp the the ferry which takes you around the island.
Positano was too crowded and nothing much to do.

Posted by
466 posts

Five days basing in Sorrento is great. Easy day trips to Positano/Amalfi/Ravello by bus and or boat. When are you taking this trip? Ferries go between Sorrento and those towns but only in 'season'. Buses are year round. If you are going in summer I'd go bus one way and boat the other.

Day trips to Capri are easy - you can use the regular ferries but there are also lots of smaller boat options that not only bring you from Sorrento to Capri but include a boat ride around the island and free time on the island. Another island option, much less crowded (but not quite as scenic) is Ischia.

Pompeii and Naples are both easy by local commuter train. Lots of people find they can do a few hours in Pompeii and then go on to Naples for a few hours and then back to Sorrento. Others find they need a whole day for each of those.

Here's my photos of the area - https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/f739967755

Posted by
1135 posts

We split our time like this:
4 nights in Sorrento- visited Pompei and Capri from there- with Mondo Guides- excellent!
Really enjoyed Sorrento, it's a lovely town with nice views from many spots, so many good restaurants to chose from and fun shopping/strolling. We also stayed at Grand Hotel de la Ville- for the view- which was fabulous. The rooms were gorgeous-tile and inlaid wood, large and comfortable, also has one of the best breakfast we've ever had in Italy/Europe.

We then moved to Amalfi- 2 nights- visited Positano from there and also really enjoyed Amalfi. Didn't care much for Positano- spent just a few hours, easy to get to bus/ferry from Amalfi. The views of those towns are better from the water than from the actual town.
As a last minute change we added 1 night in Ravello- fabulous views there! Loved the Villa Cimbrone. There are some nice hikes around /between Amalfi/Ravello

Last stop was Salerno- 2 nights- another delightful stay in a very non touristy town. Really good restaurants, nice waterfront to stroll along, really fun passiegiatta that takes place every single day apparently. Easy access to Paestum, easy ferry from Amalfi- from there we took train to Venice.

Where will you be departing from? You will want to be in that location the night before your flight so keep that in mind. IOW you won't want to be staying in Amalfi or Positano or even Sorrento the night before your flight home.

Posted by
10902 posts

"Where will you be departing from? You will want to be in that location the night before your flight so keep that in mind. IOW you won't want to be staying in Amalfi or Positano or even Sorrento the night before your flight home."

I want to emphasize this point, as it's extremely important. If you're flying home from Naples, most (but not all) of the flights from Naples that connect with flights back to the US leave Naples airport early. Possibly, too early to take the bus that goes from Sorrento to the Naples airport - meaning you'd have to book a taxi (€80-100).

If you're staying farther than Sorrento from the Naples airport and have an early flight, you would either need an oh-dark-thirty prebooked car (at even higher expense) or a last night's stay in Naples (the Naples airport is very close to the center of Naples).

Similarly, if you're flying home from Rome, that's several hours from the Amalfi Coast; you would need to get back to the Rome area the night before your flight home.

While it is difficult to get a later departure from Naples that still gets you back to the US the same day, it may be possible, depending on which is your home airport in the US. A colleague who hates early departures found an Aer Lingus itinerary leaving Naples around 11 AM that connected in Dublin and got her to Newark airport all in one day, so she was able to stay in Sorrento and take the bus to the airport that morning. But many US cities simply won't have such options.

Posted by
16 posts

@Harold

Thanks for the advise - but we are flying out of Milan and will be back in Milan the day before our flight.

Posted by
10559 posts

Matt, unless things have changed it looks like your trip is going to be "...in February or early March, when it’s not so darn busy."? I picked that up from one of your previous threads:

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy/2nd-trip-to-italy-recommendations

And don't confuse # of nights with # of days, OK? If coming from Florence, it'll take you some time to get down to the coast so 4 NIGHTS in that region translates to less than 3.5 days, and daylight will be rather short. That's still enough time but, well, you get the idea? Also, the smaller the location on the coast - Positano versus Sorrento or Salerno, for instance - the more time-consuming it can be to get there and to get around from, depending on where you want to go. The larger bases will also provide you more open tourist amenities, such as restaurants, in winter + ferry service to Capri. Ferries do not operate from Positano or Amalfi during the winter months.

As we previously discussed, weather could be a crapshoot that time of year so another plus for Sorrento (or Salerno) would be the ability to jump a train into Naples on a wet day to do some indoor sightseeing; there's little of that to be had on the coast.
I would choose Sorrento over Salerno if you want to do Capri: ferries take 2 hours from Salerno and there are few to choose from, if they even run to the island during winter.

Capri? I'll probably be the minority here but as you are hikers, I'd stay a night or two on the island. We really enjoyed our treks to various points, and it was a great way to lose the day-tripping crowds clogging the main parts of the two little towns (Capri and Anacapri), although the mob will probably be much lighter in winter. The island takes on a different ambiance at night when all those day-trippers go away. :O) Granted, many shops and restaurants will be closed but hoofing around the island can be done any time of year (assuming weather permits), the chairlift to Mt Solaro will be operating (you could hike down from the mountain if desired),

https://www.capri.net/en/e/bite-size-guide-to-the-island-in-winter

Hiking ideas (and you do NOT need a tour):
https://www.capri.net/en/traveller-search?todo%5B%5D=nature&all=1

You do NOT want to be in Capri on the night before a flight out of Naples or Rome. I wouldn't even want to be in Sorrento if that flight is in the morning.

Posted by
16 posts

@Harold

It’s good advise. People who never traveled here don’t understand that the schedules don’t always work out like we outline them!

Always best to be safe and be in your departure city, the day before it departs. We would never take that risk - although I’m sure many people have and gotten a way with it.