Amalfi Coast Tour

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by jennyloohoo, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    And back in those days, the people who worked for the govts.
    And maybe a few of the folk doing their bit for private enterprise, one hand on gun, your passport in the other and an asking price for its return on the table.

    I have seen the pumps within the last few years in Italy, I don't know if they are still connected. Still lots of "due tempi" around.
    We used to have the pumps here in the UK too, but they disappeared decades ago.
  2. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    So it turns out Motorent will not let us keep our suitcases at the shop during the rental. They are small carry-on size, but there is no way we can carry them on the scooter.

    Does anyone know if train stations have lockers?

    Another option might be dropping them off at the hotel in Naples that we will be staying at after we return the scooter.

    If anyone has other ideas, that would be great.
  3. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    I have found that European hotels are quite accommodating to their guests. It can't hurt to ask before you go. (On the other hand, American based hotels can often be dickheads.)

    Btw, when is your trip?
  4. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    French and German train stations did\do - info of itself is no use - but it holds out a glimmer of hope for the Italian system.

    I either am rapid transiting in a cheap chain hotel - no chance. Or enjoying a smaller family run place, which as Riteris says tend to be more customer orientated. (Flowery Twats not withstanding).
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  5. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I've been scrambling to figure it out. The train stations charge by the hour, as they are oriented toward day tourists. It would be over 40 Euro per bag by the time we got back.

    There is a new service called something like BagBnB luggage that charges 5 Euro/day. Not bad. They require online reservations.

    We fly out Monday! I feel like I'm cutting it close figuring out details so close to departure. The hotel may be the best solution for us. I emailed the hotel we are coming back to in Naples (should I start calling it Napoli?) and they said it would be no problem to store our bags while we are riding. We will just stop by there on our way out of town before we head to Pompeii on the train. This will actually be better not having to handle so many bags on the train.

    Edit: I wonder how much time and money it will take to get a taxi or bus over to the other hotel just to drop off bags. I may go ahead with BagBnB because they have a location right at the train station we will leave from, which is 2 blocks from our hotel the prior night. 2 days x 2 bags = 20 Euro.
  6. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    At least you have viable choices.

    Last time I was in Paris, we left two people's seats of bags in the "prison" at the Gare du Nord (that is what it felt like - all glazed brick and iron bars and railings). You rented by the day, and had a range of sizes\prices to chose from.
    I'm sure it wasn't much.

    We had left out hotel, and had the whole day, before getting the Eurostar back to London.
    Which turned into a bit of a nightmare. Some poor sod had felt desparate enough to throw themselves in front of the previous TGV, and our driver came across the aftermath. Around 1000tons at 200mph takes no prisoners.
    The attendants came and closed the curtains, but wouldn't tell us what was wrong at the time. We had to wait for two hours while the unfortunate was moved away.

    Our minor inconvenience in comparison was missing our connection on non transferable tickets. I insisted we brazen it and just walk through the barrier. Just as well, as we had maxed out the cards out in Paris, and the next train north was the last that night in our direction.
    The ticket guys didn't bat an eyelid.
  7. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner (Negativus Supersonicus)

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    It this the place?

    https://www.booking.com/hotel/it/re...checkin=2017-09-26;interval=2;track_spadnt=1;
  8. thewildcallsjon

    thewildcallsjon Aesthetic Voyager

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    that link goes to booking.com with lots of different places, the place i was describing was Villa Oriana Relais in Sorrento.

    http://www.villaoriana.it/

    you can find it on booking.com by searching for that property. Try different dates in advance for a better price, i only stayed a night, and managed to get it at a steal at £25 a night. Shame looks like the price has gone through the roof to £234 for one night (thats after the 'discount'). Im sure you could find somewhere else for a good price in Sorrento, i tend to choose a place based on the rating, look for cheap places that are rated ''Exceptional/9.5'', but always check the reviews & pictures first, some are fake ratings.

    Also stayed here a bit down the road from Amalfi in Raito: Hotel Raito Wellness & SPA
    but that also looks to have had the prices pumped up something ridiculous for the summer. I do not really recommend this place. Villa Oriana Relais, great if you can get it cheap, but im not one to usually blow more than £50 on a hotel room. After experiencing Morocco, where you could get a 5 Star for £20, it puts into perspective things somewhat..
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  9. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Basically that not a lot of people want to go to Morocco - ergo the room rates.

    There are other factors, but generally tourist facilities will charge what the traffic will bear. Most are seasonal and have to make enough in the high season to tide them through the low.
  10. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    There is also the factor that the cost of living is quite a lot less in Morocco.
    Most EU countries have an enforced minimum wage and maximum hours of work regulations.
  11. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz Long timer

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    Still do, for Naples at the Stazione di Napoli Centrale
    as well as the Naples Airport
    "Bei den Kurzzeitparkplätzen am Ausgang der Ankunftshalle befindet sich die Gepäckaufbewahrung. Dort können Passagiere ihr Gepäck abgeben, wenn sie es während eines längeren Aufenthaltes nicht bei sich tragen wollen. Die Gepäckaufbewahrung ist rund um die Uhr geöffnet. Am ersten Tag betragen die Gebühren für die Aufbewahrung sechs Euro, an jedem weiteren Tag sieben Euro."

    Luggage storage/ lockers at the Arrivals section, near the exit to the short-term-parking area. Open 24/7, first day 6 Euro, consequent days 7 Euro/ day
  12. thewildcallsjon

    thewildcallsjon Aesthetic Voyager

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    View from Sorrento

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    View of Amalfi
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  13. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Update: Well, I'm back from my trip, and had some time to upload some photos to the cloud so I can post them.

    Scooter: Since so much of my planning was around the scooter rental, let me start there. If I were advising someone trying to do the same, I would recommend they simply get their International Driving Permit with motorcycle endorsement, and show up with no reservations. Motorcycle, scooter, and small car rentals were all over the place. Almost none of them are on the internet, however, so there is no way to get hold of them prior to your trip. Most of my trouble was due to struggling to obtain a reservation, when I really didn't need one. They looked at me like I was some sort of email nutcase.

    Anyway, we got our Malaguti 250. It was as advertised, but the mirrors were so loose they just flopped around the whole time. At first it seemed like a big deal, but after a while I would just grab a mirror by hand to see what was behind me. As some have said, traffic was crazy. You literally have to cut off cars and buses, sometimes playing chicken with them, to get through almost every intersection. It sounds very dangerous, but I saw no accidents the whole time. Most areas traffic is flowing under 35 mph, so that may have something to do with it. I topped it out at one point doing about 65-70 mph. In all honesty, a full size motorcycle would have been a burden on some of those small streets.

    The scooter did fine, and the centrifugal clutch was adjusted perfectly to take advantage of the scooter torque curve. It even had a clip near the floorboard to secure a backpack between your feet, as well as the 320 liter Givi on the back. The helmets were new, so we were pretty happy about that.

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  14. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Food: We also discussed food here, so thought I'd touch on that.

    Pizza: That pizza place that was recommended was pretty good. The crust was thin in typical Napoli style, but it was the ingredients that made it. You see, the place is also a meat market. They cure their own meats, use fresh ingredients, and it really comes out in the taste. To be honest, Napoli style pizza isn't my favorite (I like thicker crust), but enjoyed it anyway.

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    Limoncello: Lemons seem to be the main product of the area, and you can get lemon everything. Limoncello was my favorite. There was a little icy machine down in the pedestrian shopping zone that had frozen limoncello. I stopped by there as often as possible to refill my glass. There is nothing like it when it is 95 degrees and 95% humidity. The lemon soda was good too.

    In general, people in that part of the world take pride in their food. Even their meat slicers are high end. :lol3

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    The seafood was off the charts good. Although the Euro is pretty strong against the dollar, you get a lot of food for you money. Mixed grilled seafood was anywhere from 15-30 Euros per plate, but that same plate would cost $60 or more in the USA. Squid and octopus were both very common, but they also had fish, prawns, and lobster.

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    In Santorini Greece, we went on a sunset sail catamaran where we ate fresh caught/grilled seafood that was so good I can't even describe it.

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    Beer: The beer in that part of the world was about the same everywhere. They like lite beer something like lager or pilsner, which is actually refreshing in the hot weather. Beer is not the primary drink, however. Wine is. Beer was the most common thing to drink while walking around, however, simply because 50% of all shops had a small refrigerator full of tall cans of Croatian/Greek/Italian beer you could buy for 2 Euros and keep walking.
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  15. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Luggage:
    As we checked out of our hotel in Naploli (Naples), they offered to hold out luggage until our return from Amalfi. If I hadn't already paid for our BagB&B, I would have just done that. The place we stored our luggage was in a shitty part of town closer to the train station, so it worked out OK. There are lots of north Africans in Napoli, but I never felt in danger.

    Cleanliness:
    Most of the old cities in Southern Europe are very dirty. Trash piled wherever the wind blows it, graffiti everywhere, etc. I was pretty surprised. This includes Naples, Pompeii, Athens, and even Vienna Austria. Frankfurt was clean, as were the small towns on the Amalfi Coast and Greek Isles.
  16. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    So how about some pictures? On this trip, we went to Dubrovnik Croatia, Athens & Santorini Greece, and the Amalfi Coast (Napoli, Amalfi, Positano, Sorrento, and Pompeii). We had flight layovers in Frankfurt, Vienna, and Rome.

    Dubrovnik: an old walled city that has been well restored after the war in the 1990s. Still a burgeoning tourist destination, it feels a little undiscovered with back alley restaurants, underground bars, and bars right at the edge of the water. They are a free and warm people, with a harsh air about them like Russians.
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    Vienna: I've never seen so much grafitti, and to my surpirse that is where the young people seem to hang out at night. Trashy is trendy now, I guess. We were only there a night when we missed a flight.

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    Athens: Also a dirty city, but they don't revel in it. There are nicer areas, and of course the ancient tourist sites. The women were amazing. Had I not had my wife with me, I would probably not come home. I must have fallen in love 3 times in 4 blocks. I love long haired women, and Greek women have long hair like nobody else. We found a restaurant on top of a hotel with a great view of the Acropolis.

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    Santorini: As a geologist, the fact that the island is a volcano was pretty interesting. It blew up a couple thousand years ago, and destroyed the Minoan civilization. When the people began to build again, they did so up on the ridge to be safer from the pirates. The stark whit buildings were amazing. I loved walking through the maze of streets, always with a Greek beer in hand.

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    ATVs are street legal in many of these places:
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    We rented a Fiat 500, which had an automatic transmission and traction control, apparently. Was a piece of crap. It would not climb a hill to save its own life. My wife literally had to get out and push at one point (I would have done it myself, but happened to be driving at the time :D). On flat ground it was fine.
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    The original Fiat 500 was everywhere, and a great little car. I want one now...or maybe a Fiat 126. Fun little cars. (Note how big they are compared to a scooter :lol3).
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  17. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Positano: this a an exhausting place to navigate on foot due to the elevation changes, heat, and humidity. Absolutely worth it, though. We didn't buy much, since goods were high priced, and we didn't have a lot of storage on the scooter. We did manage to bring some extra nice clothes for a night out on the town.

    The view from our balcony:
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    Dinner at sunset:
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    Sorrento: a much flatter town, perched above a cliff. Many of the resorts have stairs down to the water. Tons of scooter/motorcycle rental shops here that aren't listed on the internet. The train from Naples/Pompeii goes all the way to Sorrento, and train employees are there to help you get the right stops.

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    Lots of interesting motorcycles not available in the USA.
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    Some of the scooters there were pretty impressive. At one point, I saw a race between a scooter and a Ninja (I think it was a 500cc). The Ninja gave up at about 80 mph, and the scooter won! Those guys don't care how they look, since that will just get them stolen. The motors can be up to 500 cc on some of the roughest looking scooters you've ever seen. They uncork them so they are loud as hell, too.
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  18. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    I am happy to read that you two had a good time.
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  19. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    That Yamaha Tricker 250 looks fun. Dry weight 118kg, I see.

    "Tricker isn’t just transport, it’s your own super-sleek, ultra-minimal urban entertainment system."
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