Amalfi in March

Tips, stories, and questions about travel-related topics
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Walt Hoehler
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2744
Joined: June 1st, 2009, 11:42 am
Location: NYC

Amalfi in March

#1 Post by Walt Hoehler » December 31st, 2018, 10:51 am

Our family (wife, me, teen girl, and teen boy) are headed to the Amalfi Coast in March.

We like to hike, eat, drink (the adults), and do some sight seeing. This will be for 3-4 days after staying in Rome for 3-4 days.

I have zero experience and am trying to get a handle on what there is to do, how difficult movement along the coast will be, how 'closed for the off-season' it will be, and whatever else I don't know.

I want to avoid spending hours on end driving along zig-zagging roads covering ground unnecessarily.

Please hit me with your best "do's and don'ts". Your help is very much appreciated.

Barry L i p t o n
Posts: 2646
Joined: November 8th, 2009, 8:59 pm

Re: Amalfi in March

#2 Post by Barry L i p t o n » December 31st, 2018, 1:52 pm

I can’t vouch for weather or what is open, but I’d check out Capri first. Wouldn’t need a car, plenty of hikes and if open, great food.

Of course Positano is also lovely but many, many, many steps up and down.

dbailey
Posts: 3523
Joined: September 7th, 2009, 8:44 am

Re: Amalfi in March

#3 Post by dbailey » December 31st, 2018, 2:11 pm

Tons of useful tips on the uk wine pages site...
Dan

Michael Martin
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6011
Joined: August 28th, 2010, 3:35 pm

Re: Amalfi in March

#4 Post by Michael Martin » December 31st, 2018, 2:21 pm

A stop at Pompeii or Herculeum combined with a trip through the history museum in Naples would be high on my list if you can wing it, but I love history.

Ravello is small and may be hard to get to without a car, but it was our favorite place on the coast. Cumpa Cosimo is a great restaurant there and the owner is a hoot. There might be some other threads on here mentioning her.

La Tre Sorelle in Positano is great as well, if they are open. Had one of my best meals ever there.

If you are a hiker, Path of the Gods is a must. It goes along the ridge line on the coast and is magnificent.

Photos are Ravello and Path of the Gods.
Attachments
CDF90B51-5566-4BD5-9C32-FCD92D144EAA.jpeg
4B3334BA-809B-4027-94BC-8E678A428AA6.jpeg
6C038014-6F75-49F6-8C19-CE92877372D0.jpeg
AD9B0B28-8A04-4E4B-9FE0-F29318DA6D66.jpeg
Last edited by Michael Martin on December 31st, 2018, 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Michael Martin
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6011
Joined: August 28th, 2010, 3:35 pm

Re: Amalfi in March

#5 Post by Michael Martin » December 31st, 2018, 2:32 pm

There is also a great hike out the back of Amalfi. It goes past old paper mills from hundreds of years ago when Amalfi was the center of fine paper production. I think it’s called Valley of the Mills.
Attachments
1043112A-2CD6-4530-A51E-7C0AA3A8CE6B.jpeg

User avatar
Ian Sutton
Posts: 5193
Joined: March 6th, 2014, 2:19 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

Re: Amalfi in March

#6 Post by Ian Sutton » December 31st, 2018, 6:07 pm

The walking is brilliant, up and down LOTS of steps (e.g. ~ 1200 from Ravello down to Amalfi). The Julian Tippett pcoket walking book (in the sunflower series) remains very useful. It's not super-detailed on directions, but it's good enough. Do however take good care if it's wet, as those steps become treacherous.

I agree with Michael on that Valley of the Mills walk - such a lovely flow to it, and so bereft of people (a world away from the Cinque Terre conveyor belt). Still there are countless walks, with a wonderful criss-cross of old paths / mule tracks, and we've made other routes not covered in Tippett. Another short, simple but oddly strenuous walk, is the brief hop from Amalfi to Atrani, and it's recommended for the unusual 'houses in the viaduct' architecture, but also A'Paranza seafood restaurant in Atrani

For only 3-4 days, it's worth thinking about what is a 'must see' for you. Is it the Greek temples at Paestum, extensive Roman ruins at Pompeii, or the more compact Herculaneum? Or is the walking the big appeal? (for us it is). At the same time, there is a decision to be made about a car. In general I'd say don't. The coast road is busy/gets clogged up, parking can be a nightmare, but not as much of a nightmare as the scary driving conditions on steep switchback roads. For getting around, the SITA buses are frequent and good, with highly skilled drivers who make it look easy. Plus walking can be a legitimate way to get around. Only go for the car if you really want to see Paestum, Pompeii & Herculaneum in this trip AND you and your family have no issue with scary driving landscapes.

Those thoughts should help you narrow down to a place to stay, be it:
Ravello for relaxation, stunning views and modest day trips often including a walk down and bus back up
Sorrento for ease of access by train & getting to Herculaneum/Pompeii by public transport
Positano for a pastel-scenic base (though if the ferries aren't running you'll miss out on the best view of the place)
Amalfi for ease of transport, to allow easy day trips to Ravello, Positano

There are other bases worth considering: Minoro, Praiano, Atrani, Scala etc.

Regards
Ian

p.s. Pasticceria Andrea Pansa in Amalfi. Should be a highlight for all the family.
Normal for Norfolk

Barry L i p t o n
Posts: 2646
Joined: November 8th, 2009, 8:59 pm

Re: Amalfi in March

#7 Post by Barry L i p t o n » January 1st, 2019, 3:02 am

Paestum and Herculeum don’t require cars, easy to get to by train.

Pompeii not as easy.

Tom G l a s g o w
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3845
Joined: February 19th, 2010, 2:01 pm

Re: Amalfi in March

#8 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » January 1st, 2019, 4:17 pm

We considered Amalfi in late March for our honeymoon. Weather and the fact that many places were closed kept as away. https://www.positano.com/en/when-to-go I think it’s likely to be wet. As a plus, the roads should be free of traffic.

User avatar
Brent C l a y t o n
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 5319
Joined: May 6th, 2009, 9:21 am
Location: Kew Gardens, NY

Re: Amalfi in March

#9 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » January 1st, 2019, 7:16 pm

Walt,

Go south to the Cilento. You won't regret it. I was there in 2016.

Some things to Google:
Castellabate
Cilento National Park
Paestum Greco Roman ruins
Agropoli

Tenuta Vannulo Buffalo Mozzarella farm
San Salvatore Winery (best buffalo milk gelato) they also have a tasting room in Salerno

a few links:
https://madonnadelgranato.wordpress.com ... io-castle/

A place to stay, ask for Arianna
http://www.borgolapietraia.com/en/

You can also scour my friends' website for other ideas in the area:
https://www.feastonhistory.com/#feast-o ... ania-tours

email me if you want any more info or suggestions.
‘Purveyor of Plonk’
Threadsinker
ITB Sales
IG@bigdaddyb420wine

User avatar
Ian Sutton
Posts: 5193
Joined: March 6th, 2014, 2:19 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

Re: Amalfi in March

#10 Post by Ian Sutton » January 3rd, 2019, 4:02 pm

Barry L i p t o n wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 3:02 am
Paestum and Herculeum don’t require cars, easy to get to by train.

Pompeii not as easy.
That's assuming you're on the different train lines (Circumvesuviana/Marozzi for Herculaneum and the mainline route for Paestum). Sorrento is on the former, but not the latter. Pompeii station is on the former line, and the stop is close to the site, so that is practical (from Sorrento).

Certainly it's possible, but with only 3-4 days, I'd hate to set expectations of it being as easy as hopping on a train. For getting around most of the coast, bus and (when running) ferry are the options (and walking within reason).
Normal for Norfolk

Michael Martin
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6011
Joined: August 28th, 2010, 3:35 pm

Re: Amalfi in March

#11 Post by Michael Martin » January 3rd, 2019, 4:36 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:
January 3rd, 2019, 4:02 pm
Barry L i p t o n wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 3:02 am
Paestum and Herculeum don’t require cars, easy to get to by train.

Pompeii not as easy.
That's assuming you're on the different train lines (Circumvesuviana/Marozzi for Herculaneum and the mainline route for Paestum). Sorrento is on the former, but not the latter. Pompeii station is on the former line, and the stop is close to the site, so that is practical (from Sorrento).

Certainly it's possible, but with only 3-4 days, I'd hate to set expectations of it being as easy as hopping on a train. For getting around most of the coast, bus and (when running) ferry are the options (and walking within reason).
I second the ferries, if they are running. We took them from Naples and Sorrento.

User avatar
Walt Hoehler
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2744
Joined: June 1st, 2009, 11:42 am
Location: NYC

Re: Amalfi in March

#12 Post by Walt Hoehler » March 5th, 2019, 11:35 am

Thanks to all of you. I will definitely use many of these recos.

User avatar
Dennis Atick
Posts: 6000
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 6:48 pm
Location: East Atlanta

Re: Amalfi in March

#13 Post by Dennis Atick » March 17th, 2019, 4:25 pm

Jumping into this thread as we are headed to the Amalfi Coast in June. Specific question that I don't think has been answered. And I know it wouldn't be Berskerkers if I got a straight answer, but here goes...Should we stay in Positano or in Capri in Anacapri area?
4 nights.
Many more options of places to stay on Capri (we are booking late by Positano standards). Our goal was always stay in Positano, but I've read an equal share of opinions that say stay on Capri and visit Positano. Not looking for any particular type of activity that makes either place more attractive than the other.
Thanks for any thoughts.
@decaturwinedude

User avatar
Ian Sutton
Posts: 5193
Joined: March 6th, 2014, 2:19 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

Re: Amalfi in March

#14 Post by Ian Sutton » March 17th, 2019, 5:02 pm

Hi Dennis
If you planned to be off out and about doing lots of day trips, then Capri would be a very bad choice. However if you wanted a stay that allowed you to explore the island (and it's coast) at your leisure, and enjoy the town in the morning and evening without the day trippers, then it might be a great option. It does have the extra logistical complication of getting there by boat, but at least there are services from Napoli, so logistics are barely any harder than elsewhere. The worst part is probably the dragging of luggage on/off the boat and that's not too bad an experience (we once stayed in Lipar-Aeolian Islands, so recall this aspect).

Positano makes more sense if you have your eye on day trips to Pompeii / Herculaneum, or heading up the coast to Amalfi etc. It's beautiful when approached from the sea, and day tripping to Capri is an option. The slopes in town are steep, so be pre-warned that it's a bit of a short sharp shock to trek up from the coast. Personally I'm not a fan, much preferring other locations on the coast, but others like it.

One further thought. If relaxation is key, give Ravello a look as an alternative to Capri. The views are stunning and again early mornings and evenings are very special. It doesn't seem to get as many tourists as Capri, but nonetheless it's restored closer to how I remember it (my first visit in 1990) once they've bused or walked back down the slope. Especially consider this if you want to explore the wonderful criss-cross of paths, as there is good variety of routes to be had from Ravello, including a lovely one not in the Tippett guide, which simply follows the valley inland through cool woodland, and you may not even encounter another person on these paths.

Whatever you choose, it should be a memorable holiday

Regards
Ian
Normal for Norfolk

User avatar
Dennis Atick
Posts: 6000
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 6:48 pm
Location: East Atlanta

Re: Amalfi in March

#15 Post by Dennis Atick » March 17th, 2019, 5:12 pm

Ian,
Thanks so much or the input. We are leaning Positano for the reasons you mention. But...I was just looking at Ravello as an option. Thanks again for all the info.
@decaturwinedude

Michael Martin
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6011
Joined: August 28th, 2010, 3:35 pm

Re: Amalfi in March

#16 Post by Michael Martin » March 17th, 2019, 6:10 pm

There’s more in and near Positano than Capri. You’d get bored in Capri after a couple days. With that being said I would vote for Ravello, but that is purely based on my personal experience in the town. It’s tiny, but has spectacular views, music events, great little restaurants, (check out the nearby village of Pontone as well) yet still on the mainland close to other towns.

User avatar
Dennis Atick
Posts: 6000
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 6:48 pm
Location: East Atlanta

Re: Amalfi in March

#17 Post by Dennis Atick » March 17th, 2019, 6:25 pm

Michael Martin wrote:
March 17th, 2019, 6:10 pm
There’s more in and near Positano than Capri. You’d get bored in Capri after a couple days. With that being said I would vote for Ravello, but that is purely based on my personal experience in the town. It’s tiny, but has spectacular views, music events, great little restaurants, (check out the nearby village of Pontone as well) yet still on the mainland close to other towns.
Thanks for the input Michael! You guys that recommend Ravello, have you had a car for those trips? Travel in the area is obviously a challenge.
@decaturwinedude

Michael Martin
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6011
Joined: August 28th, 2010, 3:35 pm

Re: Amalfi in March

#18 Post by Michael Martin » March 17th, 2019, 6:50 pm

Dennis Atick wrote:
March 17th, 2019, 6:25 pm
Michael Martin wrote:
March 17th, 2019, 6:10 pm
There’s more in and near Positano than Capri. You’d get bored in Capri after a couple days. With that being said I would vote for Ravello, but that is purely based on my personal experience in the town. It’s tiny, but has spectacular views, music events, great little restaurants, (check out the nearby village of Pontone as well) yet still on the mainland close to other towns.
Thanks for the input Michael! You guys that recommend Ravello, have you had a car for those trips? Travel in the area is obviously a challenge.
We had a guide. So they drove or we walked.

Jud Reis
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1391
Joined: February 8th, 2009, 10:50 am
Location: North Shore Mass.

Re: Amalfi in March

#19 Post by Jud Reis » March 17th, 2019, 7:01 pm

Dennis - do not drive the Amalfi coast - crazy roads. Another vote for Ravello - all the views, less of the crowds than Amalfi.

Post Reply

Return to “Travel Forum”