Amalfi in March

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Walt Hoehler
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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.

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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.

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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
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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.
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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.
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Ian Sutton
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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.
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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.

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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.

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Brent C l a y t o n
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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.
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Ian Sutton
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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).
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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.

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