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Thread: Sorrento or Positano?

  1. #1
    Toni is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Louisville,KY Posts: 1,002

    Sorrento or Positano?

    I'm working on planning a trip to Campania this fall. We'll be flying in and out of Naples and would like to spend 3 or 4 nights somewhere before heading to a 6 night stay on Capri. We'd like to see Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast towns of Positano and Ravello. It seems like Sorrento would be a more central location from which to explore those areas, but I'm wondering if it would be much of a hassle if we stayed in Positano instead. Could we easily get to Pompeii from there?

    After our stay on Capri, I'm guessing we should stay overnight in Naples before our flight out.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated... So far, I have only booked the Capri hotel and my travel dates are flexible.

  2. #2
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 7,621
    Our favorite hotel in the Amalfi coast is il San Pietro, just a walk outside of Positano. It is expensive but worth it. Be willing to pay more for a better room but they are all good. The food there is also the best in the town. Reservations for meals and especially your rooms must be made very far in advance because there are few rooms and lots of demand. The Hotel reminds of maybe IDF a little in that it is low key but very upscale- less is better- simplicity.
    Yes you can do Pompeii from Positano but it is a hike- not far in distance but very windy roads. We booked a car and driver and were glad we did. Friends though have had no problems in their rental cars making the journey.
    if you are in decent physical shape, there is a nice walk up the mountain/hill from San Pietro when you literally stumble upon a delightful place for lunch or a libation and a pretty little village with incredible views. Ask the front desk for a trail map.

  3. #3
    Jim Kelly-Evans is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2010 Philadelphia and Fire Island, NY Posts: 854
    Big town (Sorrento) vs small touristy town (Positano). I would stay in Sorrento and do excursions from there...it would be more central to see Pompeii to the North and the Amalfi coast to the South. If you can work in Herculaneum in addition to Pompeii it is well worth it and quite different than Pompeii. We actually like Amalfi (the town) much better than Positano. Positano is picturesque and worth seeing to be sure, but Amalfi is so historic and boasts a remarkable cathedral and just as much shopping or more than Positano. It's all good...so much to see and do.


    Beautiful Bay of Sorrento
    Cruise14Amalfi 012.jpg

    Amalfi
    Cruise14Amalfi 032.jpg
    "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy." - Dorothy Parker

  4. #4
    LMAC is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2003 Northern Virginia Posts: 1,518
    I'm with Jim ... stay in Sorrento for a night or two and take the train to Pompeii & Herculeneum ... that's what we did. AND then
    because we heard the roads were so bad we didn't want to drive to Postiano we decided to take the bus but the taxi driver who was taking us to the bus offered to drive us to Positano for something like 90 Euros which was 50 euros more than the bus and frankly was the best 50 euros we spent the whole trip. We stayed in Positano and took the ferry to Amalifi and then another ferry to Capri where we spent three nights. It was a good plan.
    Libby

  5. #5
    MIke R is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Stinson Lake - New Hampshire & Provincetown - Cape Cod Posts: 52,003
    absolutely Sorrento...
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

  6. #6
    Toni is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Louisville,KY Posts: 1,002
    Thanks for the replies.
    Jim, your photos are fantastic! Libby, I like your "best of both" approach and Shopper, I'll look into the hotel you recommend...

    We would really rather not rent a car, so will be dependent on public transportation and private drivers. We will definitely stay in Sorrento at least for a night or two and see the historical sites from there.

  7. #7
    MIke R is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Stinson Lake - New Hampshire & Provincetown - Cape Cod Posts: 52,003
    I wish I could tell you where I stayed but the name of the place is on an ash tray at home where I am not but it was a nice place ......
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

  8. #8
    MIke R is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Stinson Lake - New Hampshire & Provincetown - Cape Cod Posts: 52,003
    I just remembered it was Parco di Principi
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

  9. #9
    julianne is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2003 CT Posts: 3,065
    Toni, you may want to PM Lynn (lmj). Beyond the good tips you have already received, she will probably have a lot of information. Have a great trip.

  10. #10
    Toni is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Louisville,KY Posts: 1,002
    Thanks, Julianne. I have already made great use of Lynn's website, Romantic Italia, and I do plan to ask for her help when things have settled for her family...

  11. #11
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,429
    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    I'm working on planning a trip to Campania this fall. We'll be flying in and out of Naples and would like to spend 3 or 4 nights somewhere before heading to a 6 night stay on Capri. We'd like to see Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast towns of Positano and Ravello. It seems like Sorrento would be a more central location from which to explore those areas, but I'm wondering if it would be much of a hassle if we stayed in Positano instead. Could we easily get to Pompeii from there?

    After our stay on Capri, I'm guessing we should stay overnight in Naples before our flight out.



    Any suggestions would be appreciated... So far, I have only booked the Capri hotel and my travel dates are flexible.

    Hi Toni- I just came across this website- hope it helps http://www.venice-italy-veneto.com/b...lfi-coast.html


    Andy

  12. #12
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,429
    In case you go to less traveled places this is link to an Italian restaurant decoder. http://paulsmichel.wix.com/decoder


    Andy

  13. #13
    Toni is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Louisville,KY Posts: 1,002
    Thanks, Andy! That app is very cool.

  14. #14
    lmj is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2004 DC Metro area Posts: 881
    Toni, I agree with the Sorrento crowd, more to see/do and very convenient to your other destinations. However, just to throw another choice into the mix, have you looked at Praiano? That's where we'll be staying the next time we go to the Amalfi Coast, not a typical tourist destination (which is why we want to stay there) but still very convenient to other towns. We actually were planning to go there this month but I was offered a free stay at the Four Seasons in Florence so we'll be heading north instead of south when we leave Rome next week. I'll be updating my website quite a bit after our return at the end of April, stay tuned.

    Another beautiful, spectacularly romantic place to stay is Ravello. Very quiet, perfect for 3 days, just not as convenient to the other towns. We stayed at the Caruso but there are several less expensive (but still nice) choices there. If you choose Positano, take a look at the Palazzo Murat. I have been to il San Pietro and agree that it's beautiful, but really inconvenient for the way we vacation (ie, strolling around town, dining at different restaurants every night, etc.). For me the San Pietro is more a destination where you don't intend to leave, where you just want to plant yourself and relax vs. explore, and you really would want a car if you stay there. I'm with Libby, I am NOT a fan of driving on the Amalfi Coast road... I prefer taking ferries between ports or hiring a driver vs. renting a car. We've done it twice but aren't anxious to do it again... too stressful for a vacation experience IMHO.

    So exciting! Now I wish we were going there on this trip!!! PM me if I can help out any more.
    "But there's this one particular harbor, so far and yet so near..."

  15. #15
    LindaP is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2003 Albany, NY Posts: 2,792
    Toni, we stayed 3 nights in Praiano ( Lynn, you will love it) ....the hotel we were in was Casa Angelina. Our room was on the top floor, all white, with an awesome balcony , with olive trees, chairs and an endless view of the Amalfi coast......I still dream of that place!
    There was a rock pathway down to a rocky beach ( like the beaches of Capri) ....and a boat was available for rides to Positano.
    The town is very small, but the people and the restaurants were unforgettable .
    Good luck in your searches ( the fun part!) .....although I guess it's slow now that you're a Grandmother ! Congrats again!
    PS we are starting our search for a south of France/ Switzerland fall trip now!
    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance !

  16. #16
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Linda---look up the Glacier train through Switzerland!!! Amazing. And if you can, get up to Zermatt.

  17. #17
    Toni is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Louisville,KY Posts: 1,002
    Thanks, Lynn and Linda. I'm still working on this, but you're right that I have slowed down. ��

    Kathy, where are you going in Switzerland? I was surprised at how much I loved Zermatt. I was afraid I would find it to be too touristy, but I thought it was magical...

  18. #18
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 24,926
    We loved our stay in Interlaken, Mount Eiger and a few days in Zurich were fun too.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  19. #19
    seasalt is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 576
    Hi Toni,
    If you decide to spend a night in Positano, I highly recommend hotel Miramare. We stayed there last June and loved it's location and views. Ravello is not to be missed - dramatic and majestic. We loved Praiano too. You are in for a treat. It is a spectacular part of the world...
    Here is the view from Miramare...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20
    Toni is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Louisville,KY Posts: 1,002
    Thanks, Tatiana! Actually, the Miramare is pretty high on my list right now and I will be sure not to miss Ravello and Praiano.

  21. #21
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    Thanks, Lynn and Linda. I'm still working on this, but you're right that I have slowed down. ��

    Kathy, where are you going in Switzerland? I was surprised at how much I loved Zermatt. I was afraid I would find it to be too touristy, but I thought it was magical...
    Toni--- I wish I was headed to Switzerland (again)!!! I was last there a few years ago, and hiked all around Zermatt while some buddies climbed the Matterhorn. It was truly magical, and I want to go back!!! I was recommending it to Linda :)

  22. #22
    Toni is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Louisville,KY Posts: 1,002
    Oops... Sorry, I was distracted...

    I knew it was Linda...

  23. #23
    lmj is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2004 DC Metro area Posts: 881
    Loved the Miramare as well! You have lots of great choices, have fun researching! If you end up in Rome at all I can highly recommend the St. Regis. We're here right now and we're living it!
    "But there's this one particular harbor, so far and yet so near..."

  24. #24
    pabolNOO is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Mar 2016 Posts: 5

    Re: Sorrento or Positano?

    Sorrento is more package deal tourism, flatter, noisier and bigger, whereas Positano is more select, very steep with vehicles unable to get to most houses and hotels, there are just alley ways and steps between the building - and it's generally more expensive.
    Whichever you go to, make sure you visit the other and don't bother taking a carto either. The roads are narrow, twisting, vertiginous and in summer an endless traffic jam with parking almost impossible. The bus and boat servies are more than adequate for a couple of weeks holiday. Italy travel tips

  25. #25
    Grey is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2009 New York Posts: 2,006

    Re: Sorrento or Positano?

    Quote Originally Posted by lmj View Post
    Toni, I agree with the Sorrento crowd, more to see/do and very convenient to your other destinations. However, just to throw another choice into the mix, have you looked at Praiano? That's where we'll be staying the next time we go to the Amalfi Coast, not a typical tourist destination (which is why we want to stay there) but still very convenient to other towns. We actually were planning to go there this month but I was offered a free stay at the Four Seasons in Florence so we'll be heading north instead of south when we leave Rome next week. I'll be updating my website quite a bit after our return at the end of April, stay tuned.

    Another beautiful, spectacularly romantic place to stay is Ravello. Very quiet, perfect for 3 days, just not as convenient to the other towns. We stayed at the Caruso but there are several less expensive (but still nice) choices there. If you choose Positano, take a look at the Palazzo Murat. I have been to il San Pietro and agree that it's beautiful, but really inconvenient for the way we vacation (ie, strolling around town, dining at different restaurants every night, etc.). For me the San Pietro is more a destination where you don't intend to leave, where you just want to plant yourself and relax vs. explore, and you really would want a car if you stay there. I'm with Libby, I am NOT a fan of driving on the Amalfi Coast road... I prefer taking ferries between ports or hiring a driver vs. renting a car. We've done it twice but aren't anxious to do it again... too stressful for a vacation experience IMHO.

    So exciting! Now I wish we were going there on this trip!!! PM me if I can help out any more.
    Lynn--any thoughts on the best time of year to visit the Amalfi Coast?

  26. #26
    lmj is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2004 DC Metro area Posts: 881

    Re: Sorrento or Positano?

    Buongiorno! My favorite time of year to visit the Amalfi Coast (and Italy in general) is late May/early June, or September. Last summer I was invited to a friend's 60th in Amalfi in mid-July... let's just say that despite having my business class airfare paid for and all expenses taken care of when I was there (luxury villa, private yacht to Capri, driver for the whole week), I wouldn't do it again in July. The entire coast was mobbed, Positano, Amalfi, Capri town were ridiculously crowded and it was 100 degrees in the shade. The only respite was in Ravello, which was deserted for some reason. Oh, and Anacapri. I was the only person in the Axel Menthe museum and gardens... bizarre. I ended up just chilling out by the villa pool for at least 2 days, enjoying the spectacular view. So my view is, stick to the shoulder season or if you absolutely have to travel in July and August, head for the hills, to Ravello or Anacapri (Praiano was also fairly quiet). And have fun!!!

    IMG_0351.jpg
    "But there's this one particular harbor, so far and yet so near..."

  27. #27
    lmj is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2004 DC Metro area Posts: 881

    Re: Sorrento or Positano?

    And by the way, I'm now a Virtuoso Travel Advisor specializing in Italy and the Caribbean so if you need more detailed help (with hotels, tours, activities, transportation) I'm available.
    "But there's this one particular harbor, so far and yet so near..."

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