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Best town to stay to leave for Umbria

Lake Macquarie...
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Best town to stay to leave for Umbria

Hello,

We are a couple of energenic 60 year olds. First time to Italy!!

We plan to catch the train from Rome to Naples and then the Circumvesuviana to the South Coast.

I am undecided whether to stay in Sorrento, Ravello or Positano.

We will be staying from the night of the 3rd until 8th May.

We want to experience "real Italy", meet the locals etc. We love to walk, explore and photograph.

All of the above towns sound so lovely and that is why I can't decide.

However, although I have not sourced out the train journey from that area, we would like to travel then to Umbri, so any info on the best access town for follow up travel would be appreciated.

Thanks, Chris

Lake Macquarie...
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1. Re: Best town to stay to leave for Umbria

Just an addition to above ...

Any recommendations for self contained accommodation would be appreciated in either of the towns mentioned.

We like to buy local produce and prepare most of our meals.

Thank you, Chris

Here & There
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2. Re: Best town to stay to leave for Umbria

Depending on your destination along the Amalfi Coast, you might find Salerno the optimal gateway town.

Is Positano Best Reached via Naples or via Salerno?:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g194863-i286-k5720…

If you prefer a more genuine experience, love to walk, and photograph, consider Ravello!

http://www.ravellotime.it/home_en.asp

www.ravellotime.it/en/ospitalita/alberghi.asp

ravellotime.it/en/…itinerari.asp

sorrento or ravello??:

tripadvisor.com/…44302848

Then take the train from Salerno to Umbria.

Vagabonda

Wilmington, DE
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3. Re: Best town to stay to leave for Umbria

I agree that the train is an easy solution. From Rome you can connect to Orvieto.

For the Amalfi Coast you can get to any of the towns you mention via private transfer from Naples for about 100 euro, if it suits your budget.

I'm in love with Positano, with easy ferry or bus service to the other towns. Amalfi and Ravello can be done in a day together. Do your homework on where buses pick up, for example the bus we got off of on Ravello dropped us in one place, to return to Amalfi the bus stop is on the other side - short walk - to the other side of town.

You'll find lots of discussions on this forum for favorite towns and why.

Happy Planning

Lake Macquarie...
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4. Re: Best town to stay to leave for Umbria

Thank you Vagabond and Trevi,

I have been reading pages of reviews (from several sources) and Positano has won me over!!

Am thinking of extending for another day (3rd - 9th May) maybe visiting Ravello, Atrani, Amalfi, Sorrento and Pompeii.

We are not really "beach people" (that is, lying on the beach) so maybe doing a day trip into the hills (by public transport, not rental car) would be nice.

Is this doable considering that the 3rd would be spent travelling from Rome and then getting settled in at our accommodation.

I have been sourcing out Villa Mirella (Chiesa Nuova). Is this a good spot?

Sorry for all of the questions, however appreciate the time given by experts.

Thanks, Chris

Wilmington, DE
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5. Re: Best town to stay to leave for Umbria

If this is your first visit to Italy, I wonder if you would be happier staying in a hotel vs. an apartment, so you will have the hotel staff always there to help you with recommendations? I haven't tried the apartment stay yet so I really can't compare. It seems to add to the to do list though - groceries and meals, etc.

As to location, I've now stayed on 'both sides of town' at the Hotel Marincanto and Hotel Miramare tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g194863-Positano_Amal… Don't underestimate the impact of the steep walk up necessary, though totally worth it, in the this jaw dropping location.

When I return, I will most likely choose accommodations on the Hotel Marincanto side. You can use Google Maps to search for both places and compare locations.

I liked both places, I really did. Both have tremendous views if you pick the right room. Both require a workout to walk up to the hotel from shopping and restaurants. The Miramare required 5 our 6 breathers to climb the 180 plus steps and I'm do lots of cardio at home! The Marincanto was easier in my opinion and in comparison, a 1 breather climb ;>).

The way I think about it exclude your travel days, plan on a minimum of two full days in Positano and then a day for Amalfi (a couple of hours) and Ravello (I wanted more time Ravello - a minimum of 4 hours to walk around the gardens and then have lunch or dinner here).

Since this is your first time on the Amalfi Coast consider that it is very time consuming to get from one place to another so less is more - e.g. the views are pretty much the same from Positano or Capri - so if there is something particular you want to see in Sorrento or Atrani then go - otherwise relax and give yourself a chance to really enjoy Positano.

During our first trip to the Amalfi Coast we chose to see Paestum (amazing but 1.5 hours away) and Pompeii in one day, on our outbound day as we travelled north. We hired a guide and driver to make this trip. We did this so we didn't have to travel out and then return to Positano. Everyone has there own preferences, but in my opinion you can overload your schedule trying to do too much.

This is an earlier discussion on Itinerary Planning and Lessons Learned that might help you: slowtalk.com/groupee/…

Ciao!

P.S. If you have other questions re: Amalfi Coast, you may want to start a new discussion since we're really not discussing Umbria here ... you may get more folks to weigh in on their experiences and recommendations for Positano.

Edited: 12 October 2012, 13:02
Lake Macquarie...
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6. Re: Best town to stay to leave for Umbria

Hello again Trevi,

Thank you for your detailed reply! I will give consideration to your suggestion re a hotel vs self contained and to source out a good location.

Other than our travel day, we have 5 days on the coast. We have always been "go slow" travellers. For example, our friends said we must do as much of Europe as we can in the 9 weeks away. Instead we have chosen 5 weeks in Italy and 4 weeks in France (only these 2 countries)!

I appreciated the comments on the "slowtalk' site. The comments re organised tours differed considerably, however I have booked a 3 1/2 tour with Walks in Italy tours (max 12 people) in Rome and I have tentatively booked with Christine for the Positano Walk.

I still need to source out the best way to get to Umbria, but thank you again Trevi for your detailed information.

Wilmington, DE
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7. Re: Best town to stay to leave for Umbria

Hi Warners,

Lucky you! I live and work for the day I can spend 9 weeks in Europe!

Where else do you plan to go in Italy / France?

As you can tell, I am a believer in small or private tours when I'm visiting a place for the first time, especially.

Hope it works out with Christine! She is incredibly special. The cost of her tours are very low comparatively, especially considering what you get. In addition to the walking tour, she and her sommelier husband do a wine tasting. Vincenzo trained for 3 years to become a sommelier and the requirements are so strict that only 30% of the over 100 candidates passed and receive certification. Who knew that Campania is a wine region! Not me.

If you like wine and decide to do it. I would suggest that you take the walking tour with her on your first morning after you arrive and save the wine tasting for day 2 or 3 just to spread out the fun.

Ciao! Happy Planning!

Edited: 13 October 2012, 21:41
Lake Macquarie...
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8. Re: Best town to stay to leave for Umbria

Hi Trevi,

I have already booked with Christine for the morning after we arrive!

After spending 3rd - 9th south coast, we head for Umbria (staying approx 8 days). I think train to Orvieto from Salerno ( where we will collect a rental car) and base ourselves in a farm house or similar.

After Umbria we will "do" Tuscany for approx 14 days in Tuscany.

From Florence we are thinking of getting the train to Marseille and then hiring a vehicle/train journeys for the month of May touring France.

I have not even looked at France re destinations etc - still working through Italy and all it offers!!

I love this planning!!

Wilmington, DE
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9. Re: Best town to stay to leave for Umbria

Salerno definitely works. Since you are going in that direction, maybe you can work in Paestum before you head north. Paestum is one of coolest things I've ever seen. If I remember correctly it is about 20 - 30 minutes beyond Salerno. If it were me, I would connect with the guide I mentioned in the SlowTrav post (see Rick Steves). Have a driver take you to her and wait for you while you tour Paestum. She can help you arrange it (she did it for us). You will only need a couple of hours there max to see the temples and the museum. Or, rather than having the driver wait, there is a train station near Paestum that can connect you back to Salerno then fast train through Naples, Rome and switch trains to go to Orvieto.

For Umbria, I've only taken a day trip there while we were staying in Cortona. We went to Todi and loved it. I've spent more time in Tuscany, Florence and Venice.

You might want to consider spending more time in Northern Italy. We love the lake region. The fast train from Florence connects to Bologna, then Verona, then Padua then Venice, if I remember correctly. Lake Garda is a small exercise to get to from Verona (about an hour by car), but you can get by without having a car once there (we hired a driver) very easily and just take the ferry around to the little towns around the lake.

I really like Verona more than I expected to (great restaurants, lots of pedestrian only space, shopping). It is a beautiful town. If you are lucky you can catch a performance at the Colosseum there (600 BC I think it is). We saw Michael Buble under the stars which was amazing but they also have an opera season if that's your thing.

10. Re: Best town to stay to leave for Umbria

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