My son and I recently visited Sorrento for 8 days, on our own, and took a day to see the coast, visiting the towns of Positano, Amalfi and Atrani. We did not do Ravello, just too much hassle on the bus. Doing this using public transportation, the Siti buses from Sorrento, takes patience and fortitiude. Try to pick a day that isn't too hot ( we were there end of Sept in a 'heat wave' ) and a day with temps above 80F will be more difficult to enjoy the sights, unless you love hot and humid. The line to catch the bus in Sorrento at the train station is long ( we arrived at 11am, having been told they are worse earlier), and had to wait for 3 buses before we could get on with a seat. (about an hour+)You don't want to take this bus and have to stand for an hour to Positano. Sit on the right side if you can for the best views. I found Positano difficult to navigate, confusing winding streets, all down hill which means you have to walk back up for the bus to Amalfi. Mostly expensive boutiques, not my thing. Had it been cooler, my impression would have been more positive, but the views are lovely. Waiting for the bus to Amalfi, again crowds of tourists , the stop is just on a street corner, and the buses seem to run when they want, not very often. However, since lots of folks get off in Positano, you can usually get a seat to Amalfi. But they pack the buses to standing room. Amalfi is a delight, and much more walkable than Positano. We walked to Atrani, about 15 min away. It took us 3 trys to find it ( the Rick Steves guidebook directions were terrible), and you just have to walk along the highway next to the water, which has no shoulder or sidewalk, heading east, around by the Hotel Luna sign, keep going on the highway(eventually you see a tunnel and sign "Atrani") or take the steps under the Luna sign, and they should take you up the the alleys that lead to Atrani. Very charming- no tourists. Back to Sorrento from the waterfront where the buses are parked was a mob scene at 6pm, people gather for the bus like 30-40 min before it leaves. We did get a seat, but only because we went for the 2nd door of the bus, not the front door. Sit on the left if you can, for gorgeous sunset views. I'm sure crowds diminish in later Oct. but so does the bus frequency. We had a nice day, but there were moments when I wished I had booked a tour.
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