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Solo trip to Sorrento/Amalfi - how long to stay?

I'm doing a solo trip out to Italy in October, landing flying in/out of Rome and am planning to spend the bulk of the trip in Sorrento/Amalfi area. I'll have 12 days (arrive Mon early am, leave Sat. morning), but I'm not sure if Sorrento/Amalfi areas will all look the same after a while and if I should add in somewhere else that's a little different (or hit stuff near Rome that I've visited)?

I'm game for suggestions of local places off the tourist path but may be geographically reasonable by public transport. Also game for anything active (I'm pretty athletic) or ways to meet others.

Loosely thinking the following - does this seem reasonable?:
-2 nights - Rome (wander about, visit old favorites)
-4 nights - Sorrento (home base to explore Sorrento, day trips to Capri, Herculaneum, and/or Naples?)
-3 nights - Amalfi (explore Amalfi, Positano, somewhere else??)
-1 nights - TBD
-2 nights - Rome (if i add more time back in rome maybe maybe do a day trip to Tivoli or Ostia Antica?)

I have traveled solo quite a bit (particularly in Italy) and I speak fair amount of Italian. But It's been a while since I've gone to such a touristy place (or since I've gone anywhere actually!!) so I'm just wondering if that area will get old after 7-8 days will fly by because there is so much to do (or conversely if I cut time in Rome and add more to the coast)?

Grazie mille!

Posted by
66 posts

Did this trip in 2019 and my answer is: spend as much time there as possible. There's never too much time on the Amalfi Coast as far as I'm concerned. :) When we went, we took an early train from Rome to Naples then picked up the Circumvesuviana train from there. We stopped in Pompeii on the way, dropped our luggage at the baggage storage there at the train station, then spent about 4-5 hours (includes lunch) seeing the sites there before retrieving our luggage, hopping back on the train, and proceeding to Sorrento where we stayed on that trip. You could do something like that with Herculaneum as well. It was a great way to do some sightseeing while in transit rather than devoting a separate day trip. I don't personally recommend Naples, aside from the pizza there's nothing to like about that place, it was dirty and seedy and we didn't care for it at all ourselves. And be careful in the train station there too, there are lots of "entrepreneurs" acting like friendly locals and giving you directions or even offering to escort you to where you need to be and then demanding payment.

Posted by
257 posts

Check out Ravello on the Amalfi Coast. Stunning views and if you catch the local bus, a little cliffhanger excitement on the ride.
Have you been to Lucca? Not far from Florence if you get that far north.

Posted by
1461 posts

You might want to head straight for Sorrento upon arrival, then consolidate all of your Rome time at the end of the trip.

Posted by
7472 posts

It seems you are flying in/out from Rome

That being the case I would be inclined to go on arrival day to Sorrento or your Amalfi Coast town and as already suggested do all you Rome days at the end.

And Ostia Antica would be time well spent

Posted by
2920 posts

Sounds like a relaxed trip, and you'll avoid the crowds in October. There are plenty of day trips to fill your Sorrento days. If you will visit either Herculaneum or Pompeii, then a trip to the Archeological Museum in Naples will really round out that experience. And the ferry back to Sorrento from Naples is nice.

In addition to the two towns on the AC that you mentioned, you might also want to check out little Ravello. There are many little towns along the coast between Positano and Salerno. And weather permitting, if you're up for a hike, check out the Path of the Gods.

If you've had your fill of ruins by the time you get back to Rome, you might consider a trip to Orvieto instead of Ostia Antica.

Posted by
2122 posts

Spend a night in Ravello, walk out to Villa Cimbrone
Spend 2 nights in Salerno and visit Paestum from there ( if interested, the temples are gorgeous and Salerno was a pleasant non touristy stop)
Ferry ride from Amalfi to Salerno (if operating) is really nice, great views
Direct train to Rome

We did 9 nights
Sorrento 4
Amalfi 2
Ravello 1
Salerno 2

Put your last 3 nights in Rome at the end

As a solo traveler you might enjoy joining a shared tour with Mondo Guides, don’t know your budget but they are affordable
www.sharedtours.com

Lots of other useful info here:
https://www.sorrentoinsider.com/

Posted by
8 posts

Wow this is all super helpful info, thank you! :)

I may stay less time in Rome on the front end to get down to Sorrento/Amalfi area and then can extend it. However, I think I will spend the first day in Rome itself - I actually land in FCO on the morning of my birthday and I have a feeling I won't want spend more of the day in transit after a long masked flight. But perhaps I head out the next morning for the coast instead of a 2nd night in Rome...

Interesting to see a lot of comments about Ravello. Will that be remarkably different than other coastal towns in that it's worth staying there?

Also another idea is to stay in Capri instead of a day trip there...? It seems beautiful but also pretty pricy....

Posted by
2063 posts

Any interest in Naples? It would have tons more to do--I like small villages myself, but if I were traveling solo, I would want museums, etc.
Another option is Salerno (or one of the mainland-end villages), as that gives you the opportunity to visit the Greek temples at Paestum.
You mentioned Herculaneum but not Pompeii--have you already been? (it's quite extraordinary)
Some things you might look into while on the coast to interact with other travelers: cooking class, boat trip, group hike.
If you find something in your budget on Capri, I'd reduce time in Sorrento.
The easiest options would be to just add a night to Amalfi. It's a great place for hiking. I would feel comfortable doing the round trip hikes that originate there as a solo female. Little Atrani right next door is cute too.

Posted by
6586 posts

Day trips from Sorrento: you left out Pompeii! Even if you have visited there before, return for more.
Yes to Naples too.
Stay overnight on Capri, several nights is even better.
Rome- after several visits there, we finally visited Tivoli and highly recommend it.

Posted by
8 posts

Yes, I have been to Pompeii - about 20yrs ago when I was in a study abroad program, we did a tour there before we started our semester. It was a great tour, but yes I suppose I could go back again... but I have also been told by friends that Herculaneum shouldn't be missed. Not sure if I'd want to do both?

Posted by
8 posts

Also, about my original question about how long to stay, I think there is plenty to do from Sorrento, but I am more wondering if there is a similar amount of things to do in/from Amalfi.... as a solo traveler? It seems like a very romantic place to be with, perhaps fewer activities. Hiking sounds like a great option though.

Posted by
4887 posts

If you look at the previous posts cited in my earlier reply (where the titles/subject show in the Rick Steves link, you will see that all of your questions have been answered. You have to read other people's reviews of Amalfi and so on, in order to make your own decision about how many days you wish to spend there.

The fact is that some people find Sorrento dreary and want to stay anywhere else. We spent five nights in Sorrento, and couldn't go to every daytrip we wanted to, even though Sorrento is the best location for daytrips. We can't give you a single answer, "Stay in Amalfi for X days."

Posted by
2063 posts

The only thing I can advise further is to read up on what there is to do from Amalfi in the neighboring villages--a lot of it is just about the scenery/nature. Amalfi itself has a cathedral, paper museum. Minori or Maiaori has a roman mosaic (sorry I always mix those two villages up). Vietri is know for ceramics, and Cetara for anchovies (colatura).
Salerno is a small city with a few places of interest.
If you have seen Pompeii, no need to see it again necessarily, though more of it has been uncovered.
Naples otoh has thousands of years of history...

Posted by
28 posts

If you're going to Sorrento, the Circumvesuviana train is the most common way to get there. Riding this train is like traveling on the New York subway in 1975--dirty, graffiti, pickpockets, petty thieves. Ride in the first compartment near the conductor and keep an eye on your luggage at all times. For details, see https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy/circumvesuviana-train-was-a-terrible-experience

Or take a taxi from the Naples train station to the airport (5-10 minutes), then a clean, express bus to Sorrento.
http://www.curreriviaggi.it/eng/autolinee.html

Posted by
3134 posts

Ravello is different from the other villages in that it is situated high above the coast; therefore, the views are spectacular. There is a a small, but pretty cathedral; and the two villas are worth visiting.
We did a day trip to Capri from Sorrento. I was sorry we hadn’t spent a night. If you go, be sure to see the church of S. Michele in Anacapri.
Since you have been to Pompeii, I would opt for Herculaneum. The two in a day would be overkill for me.