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Itinerary suggestion for one week after Puglia

mismirr

10+ Posts
Hi, I'll be on a one-week tour in Puglia this October. After that, I then plan to spend 5-7 days in one area nearby (thinking Sorrento or Ravella?) I'll be alone without a car, and assume I'll be taking some day tours (Amalfi, etc) but would like to be somewhere easy to explore, go have dinner, etc, by foot. Any suggestions? I've spent a lot of time in the north but this is my first time in the south!
 
It could be a long and tiring transfer from Puglia to Amalfi Coast, but have a play around with route options in Google maps and perhaps tweak the Puglia plans to make for a shorter transfer e.g. perhaps ending in Foggia. Big decision is typically whether the come in via Napoli direction (e.g. Caserta) or Salerno direction. We find the latter less stressful, but if staying in sorrento, then Napoli direction makes most sense, as you can do it all by train (Salerno would end with the frequent coastal SITA bus).

A few thoughts:

- We noticed a significant difference in culture between North and South. I'd never say one is better than the other (vive la difference and all that), but that will be one aspect that you can observe at you leisure in Puglia especially, but also to a degree on the amalfi coast. In short, the North a bit more formal / the South a bit more intimate. It's great to reflect on the differences after you've experienced them.

- October a super time to hit both areas, though if you get a cooler or even cold day, you may notice they're slow to put the heating on. In general it's a super time of year to be active in exploring, and you'll get some warm days, but rarely anything hot, plus a little, but rarely a lot of rain.

- Sorrento is a good base to explore from if Pompeii, Herculaneum, Positano, Capri, Ischia and even Napoli are of interest. It's not technically amalfi coast and lacks the stunning views, but it's not difficult to get the the AC. For me it's a bit touristy, but that's a personal preference thing

- Ravello is wonderful for quiet contemplation and really soaking up the scenery. On my first evening there, I must have spent an hour entranced as I watched the late boats slowly traversing the coast. It conversely is a pain to have as a base for extensive plans for visiting other places. There's a regular bus service, but especially downhill, we always preferred the walk down to Amalfi (or Minori). It is however very possible to have a wonderfully active holiday based here, based around the wonderful array of historic paths, with just occasional reliance on the bus to connect elsewhere. The reward at the end of the day, is time in the central square, a lovely location to enjoy a more static passeggiata with a coffee, wine, beer or gelato.

- Other options? Amalfi sits nicely in the middle, especially if staying a short walk up inland so you get some views, but can walk easily to/from Amalfi, as it has superb boat and bus (and footpath) connections, as well as being a pick up point for organised day trips (try L'altracostiera, a long established agency based in amalfi). It would be my choice of base if wanting to see lots of different places. It's not as touristy as Sorrento, but not without that influence. It also has pasticceria Andrea Pansa, whose cakes ought to be tried.

Hope this helps
 
Followup question: if I end up staying at Amalfi, is there a particular area one might recommend that's easy to use as a base (without a car)? Or even a hotel? :)
 
Followup question: if I end up staying at Amalfi, is there a particular area one might recommend that's easy to use as a base (without a car)? Or even a hotel? :)
It's been a while since we stayed there, and things can change. I recall some fellow tourists speaking highly of Il Saraceno, which was a modest walk up to coast, but looks like it has closed. We once stayed in the one up near Pogerola (Grand Excelsior), which was quite old school in the full board dining experience, but had a nice pool. Served by regular non-touristy buses, but they also had their own shuttle bus service.

Since those early trips, we've reverted back to apartment stays for that sense of being closer to the local culture. L'Altracostiera themselves act as a letting agent, and had an eclectic selection on their books.

Without a car, is IMO the most advisable way to approach the Amalfi coast. There are lots of steep and winding roads, which can require reversing to enable cars to pass each other (and the buses), plus the coastal road can be very busy. It's easy to use the:
- SITA buses, which have regular services and even pretty impressive at putting replacement buses on when overly busy
- Ferries, if staying on the coast, these can be a joy, with the approach into Positano by boat especially recommended
- Walking. the Julian Tippett 'pocket' book in the sunflower series remains invaluable. Not always the best instructions, nor indeed covering all the best walks, but it's such a useful resource and makes for great planning

Ideally look for somewhere that's within an easy walking distance of Piazza Flavio Gioia (which is on the edge of the beach, where the buses go from, and a very short walk from where the ferries dock). How far is easy walking? That's your call, but I reckon 15-20 minutes is a good radius, but I'd definitely walk further for the right place. That distance would even include Atrani, but I'm wary of recommending it even though I love going there... as its unique architecture, built into the viaduct) means you'd miss the views of the coast. Well worth a visit though especially on a hot day, as the shelter it gives is rewarding. A'Paranza looks like it's still there - a wonderful place to explore the local seafood.
 
We spent the last 2 weeks of October on the Amalfi Coast a few years ago and the season ends abruptly at the end of October. Lots of places closed. It felt like all the visitors left.

Atrani was the setting for the recent Netfix version of The Talented Mr Ripley.

We’ve stayed in Positano, Praiano and Sorrento. Amalfi is where I would like to stay next. Positano is gorgeous but steep so lots of steps. Amalfi is flat on the main street up the valley, but you will be going up steps anywhere off the Main Street.

Have a look in the Italy Trip Reports forum and search for Amalfi Coast or Sorrento and you may find more information.

Sounds like a great trip!
 
We spent the last 2 weeks of October on the Amalfi Coast a few years ago and the season ends abruptly at the end of October. Lots of places closed. It felt like all the visitors left.
Nice!

(said partially in jest, but whilst I recognise I am myself a tourist, I'm much happier in the company of locals / Italians, than international tourists, and I'll accept some limitations on dining options)
 

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