Lou’s Clues – Amalfi Coast Italy

Positano ItalyStart your Amalfi Coast experience by staying in Sorrento as your base if you only have a few days.  To get to Sorrento from Rome you can take the fast train to Naples.  You will need to take the local train to Sorrento by purchasing tickets at the Naples train station.  Ask for directions to the ticket booth of the train to Sorrento.  It is located down stairs.   We can also arrange a private transfer from Naples train station to your hotel.  As the local train stops very often and can be crowded, you may want the private transfer or take a taxi from Naples train station to your hotel.  As with all taxi service be sure to negotiate the full rate before getting into the taxi. 

Enjoy the best of Sorrento and go to the Tasso Square area in the historic part of Sorrento.  This is the place to try Lemongello.  Some of the stores give samples.  Visit the small shops that make hand crafted wood inlaid products.  These craftsman are some of the best in the world.   The market area is very interesting and has much to offer. The very best Pizza in all of Italy is made in Sorrento at Aurora Pizzaria.  Eat your pizza as the locals do with a little olive oil on top and don’t forget to consider something from their antipasto buffet.  This Pizzaria is located in the Tasso Square

Another fun thing to do is the go the Tarantella show.  It is not the best entertainment that you have seen but is interesting and can be fun to see the 17th century Neapolitan folk dance that looks very much like the Spanish Castanet dance that you see in Spain.           

For more adventuresome travelers take the SITA bus (check the schedules) to Ravello enjoy all the great vistas along the way. Then take bus to back to Amalfi, then back to Positano, see Positano on foot and take ferry back to Sorrento from Positano at days end.  Know the ferry schedule ahead so you do not miss it.  It is fairly easy to just take the bus and ferry back. I think it is effortless and so memorable.  The only down side to this is if the buses are very busy or in bad weather the boats may not be going.  Be sure and get a seat on the right hand side of the bus when leaving Sorrento if possible, for the best view. Each of the towns I am recommending here are walking villages.  The farthest away is Ravello, but this is my favorite small village with great restaurants and the very best views.  As you enter the village, turn left and walk all the way to the end of the road ending in gardens that just seem to hang over the cliffs of the Amalfi coast.  If you have the time this is also a wonderful place to overnight and perhaps treat yourself to a summer evening concert.  There are also some hiking trails in this area.

Refer to http://wikitravel.org/en/Ravello for additional information- summer concerts also

For a nice 1 day private tour of the Amalfi coast hirer a car and driver or taxi. Rick Steves recommends Monetti taxi service and they are located in Sorrento. The following is their web site. http://www.monettitaxi17.it/English.htm.  Breton Village Travel can also make arrangements for you.

  
Another great one day trip from Sorrento is to take the train to Pompeii which is very easy to do.  When you get off the train in Pompeii just follow the signs and people to the entrance which is only a couple of blocks away.  I do recommend that you join a group for a guided tour.  There are plenty of guides waiting by the ticket booth.  The official guides all have ID cards on, so you will know them.   After the tour if you want to stay a little longer on your own it is just fine, take your time and absorb the history and culture of this town that was destroyed by a Volcano in 79AD.  

One more daytrip from Sorrento is to Capri and Blue Grotto.  While this is a lovely trip if you have the time,  I wouldn’t do this over the Amalfi coast trip.  The highspeed ferry leaves from Sorrento on a regular schedule.   Again, check the local schedule to plan when to go and when to come back. After arriving at the port in Capri  I would recommend taking the local bus to AntiCapri and then the chair lift to the top of the island.  If you like to hike a bit, take one of the trails and walk back down, or take bottle of wine and cheese and just set and enjoy the view.  Don’t miss going to the village of Capri by either taking the vehicular from the port or the local bus from AntiCapri.  The rich and famous people watching is the best here.  Window shopping is equally as interesting.  Many travelers have heard of the Blue Grotto.  While it may be a little over rated, the experience of taking a short boat ride around the island to the entrance and then in row boats entering the caves is nice.  Once in the cave the sight is remarkable, everything is blue. Watch your time on the island the last ferry back to the main land leaves early evening depending on the time of year you are visiting. 

Refer to www.amalficoastweb.com for bus and ferry schedules

I hope the following 2 web sites help http://www.costadiamalfi.it/english/timetable_ferries.htm    http://www.coopsantandrea.com/index_en.asp   

Happy Travels

Lou Lint