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Naples to Amalfi Coast trip report

Minneapolis...
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Naples to Amalfi Coast trip report

Not sure this is the place to post it, but wanted to share my experience for the benefit of others. My husband and I traveled Sept 22 to Oct 5, with 1 night in Naples (to see the archeological museum) 3 nights in Sorrento, 1 in Anacapri, 1 in Sorrento, 3 in Positano and 3 in Rome. The idea was to see Pompeii and the Forum, etc, in Rome, relax and stare at the sea from sunny balconies, wander in hill towns, eat seafood. We did all that, but with a level of hassle and complication that marred the experience.

We are experienced travellers - age 67, accustomed to an hour walk or more every day, comfortable with public transportation and independence. Have traveled throughout Europe, also to Rio, Quito, parts of Australia, Thailand, Bhutan, etc. We dislike tours, prefer to educate ourselves in advance (took a course on Pompeii), like to be on our own. Using trains, the SITA bus and ferries seemed the right choice for us.

Here's what we found: lots of time spent waiting for buses, ferries in disorganized crowds. Then there's the anxiety about whether you'll get stranded when there's no room on the return trip. SITA buses horribly crowded, no matter how early you show up. Unless you luck out with a front-row window seat the views consist mostly of the shoulder or rear end of the person jammed next to you. My husband and several other passengers became ill on a ride from Positano to Amalfi with a lead-foot driver. Ferries are ok, but seating outside is very limited (and only on the back), the windows inside opaque. Not quite the picturesque sea voyage I'd pictured. Ferries were not running on 2 or 3 days during our visit, despite blue skies and mild weather. The Circumvesuviana train also very crowded, with a 4 piece band playing ear-splitting "Volare"! The day we went to Pompeii we stopped first at Torre Annunciata to see Villa Oplontis. We returned to the station (no station agent), waited an hour, then a recorded announcement said 'no trains'. Apparently a wildcat strike shut things down for the rest of the day. Got a cab to Pompeii, a nice guy who returned later to drive us to Sorrento. Streets everywhere very crowded with a non-stop cacophony of cars, Kamakasi motor scooters, masses of tourists trudging along behind pushy tour guides. Every restaurant had pretty much the same menu. I like mozzarella, tomatoes and olive oil but not twice a day. Seafood overly salty and oily. Best meals we had were a slice of pizza from a stand in Anacapri and a sandwich lovingly made by a butcher in a back street of Amalfi.

My conclusion: Sept/Oct is not a quiet time. Hiring drivers - much costlier than public transportation - is probably the way to go. We did this much more than we had anticipated. I wouldn't return unless I won the lottery and could stay in a private villa with access to a yacht. Oh, and throw in a chauffeur and a chef who can venture beyond olive oil and basil.

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Naples to Amalfi Coast trip report

Yeah, it is crazy - it is high season until the end of October. The buses are a nightmare. I always a book a private car service and avoid all the public transportation except for the ferries, which have basically been okay when I was there.

Sorry about the weird menu choices; I have never had a problem finding many many choices of items to eat.

The lottery would be a good thing....

Portland, OR
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2. Re: Naples to Amalfi Coast trip report

Which ferry did you take that did not have much outdoor seating? I have traveled via ferry between Positano and Amalfi and Salerno several times and have never had a problem finding a seat outside on the upper deck - always plenty of room.

It is too bad you couldn't find restaurants with good menus. I agree that tomato and mozzarella can get boring after a while, but nearly always have great varied meals when I am visiting the AC.

I am with you on the lottery!

Minneapolis...
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3. Re: Naples to Amalfi Coast trip report

Re Menu choices: I don't eat mammals, so that limits the choices for me. Chicken was always a "grilled breast". Very little variety in preparations, herbs and spices. Risotto was always seafood or mushroom. No borrowing from other cuisines, every place we tried stuck to Southern Italian standards. We enjoyed some well-prepared dishes, but not as often as I'd hoped.

Minneapolis...
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4. Re: Naples to Amalfi Coast trip report

We took the ferry between Sorrento and Capri and another from Sorrento to Positano. There are perhaps 25 seats outside on top and the days we travelled those got filled very quickly. I did stand outside and enjoyed the sea air and coastal views.

5. Re: Naples to Amalfi Coast trip report

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