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Amalfi Coast Car rental Hotels Hotels, villas, appartments and B&B travel

Don’t take your car to Ravello or Amalfi, avoid driving the Amalfi coast at all costs!!!! (unless you drive a battle tank maybe)…


Why, you may ask. Well, consider these points:

  • The traffic along the coast road becomes just one long hot queue in the summer months.
  • The coast road is very narrow and winding, two buses cannot pass easily.
  • Overtaking is generally impossible.
  • If two coaches or buses or trucks meet then one must reverse.
  • You can easily damage your rental car and/or the wing mirrors.
  • Parking charges are in the region of 25 to 30 Euro per day.
  • On-street parking is between 2 and 3 Euro per hour IF you can find it

So, leave the car at home and let the bus or ferry boat take the strain!!!

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Amalfi Coast KTM Motorcycle and Bicycle Race Repairs Scooter Yamaha and Suzuki

New plan! New motorcycle sales operation. Watch this space

Ok so now I am established in my new property in the Tramonti region of Italy, and Tramonti is very close to the motorway. So what now? I am in touch with the guys who own and run the excellent dealership Celestini in Civitavecchia and they are not only an excellent Yamaha and KTM dealer, they are also distributors and they operate a fleet of vans which deliver bikes to smaller dealers in the bottom half of Italy.

So my idea is to become a Celestini sub dealer for Yamaha and KTM new bikes and perhaps even second hand bikes too.

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Amalfi Coast Car rental Motorcycle and Bicycle Scooter travel

Why you should never rent a scooter or a Quad when you are on holiday (unless you are a regular biker and you dress with at least jeans and gloves)…

I saw an article on the Independent web site recently discussing the dangers of renting when on holiday overseas, see here. The Guardian reported almost the same sad facts. The articles report that of course when you go on holiday your defences are down and you are vulnerable to accidents given that you do not know the local road uses and customs and on two wheels you are very exposed to everything.

This was evident to me without reading these articles. On the Amalfi coast there are many scooter rental companies and so in the summer months you can see the visitors buzzing around the place. In all cases the uses are given a helmet of course, and then because of the heat they dress for the beach so shorts, t-shirts and flip flops. And of course these small scooters are either 125 or 150cc so they can get up to 80kph, and given also that most renters are not experienced riders then you have a dangerous and explosive mix, bringing great danger.

The roads along the Amalfi coast then make their own contribution, as the roads are narrow, potholed and in the summer months carry alot of visitors as well as commercial and local traffic. And if it rains they become very slippery of course.

I therefore suggest that only experienced riders should rent these bikes and then of course wear at least jeans, gloves plus a jacket so that a small spill does not have serious consequences!! If you fall off at just 10kmh you will naturally put a hand down to break your fall, and your hand will bear the scars for weeks to come……

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Amalfi Coast Appartments and B&B Eat and Drink Hotels Hotels, villas, appartments and B&B Traditional food and restaurants travel

Some new ideas for Amalfi visitors

So how about an Amalfi Mozzarella Day? Wine Day? Amalfi History Day? Limoncello Day? Bread and Biscuit Day. Italian Beer Day? Cooking Day? Pottery Day? And so on.

With Daniela who runs the Hotel Aurora in Amalfi we often chat about what her customers really enjoy. The vast majority (about 85%) of her clients are from overseas, Europe and USA as well as Australia and almost everywhere. The beauty of the Amalfi coast needs no explanation, whereas the history and the culture is a slightly different story. Have a look at this for starters.

There are many organised tours in the area to see nearby Underground Naples, Caserta Palace , Pompei and the local Cathedral as well as several lemon and wine tours but there is little explanation of the incredible history of the town and the local area and of its people. Daniela is a born and bred Amalfitana and a massive fan with great knowledge of the local history and culture. Her family have been in the hotel business for several generations so there is little she does not know about the area. She and her family run a modern hotel in the town, the Hotel Aurora, as well as a much older hotel the Hotel Luna Convento which is inside a former religious convent. Parts of the convent date from the 1600s.

So our idea is to offer overseas visitors a series of small events in the English language, where we can explain some of the history as well as offering a taste of the amazing food and drink that was and still is produced in the area. Our idea is perhaps not a new one, but could provoke the interest of many of the visitors to Amalfi and could just promote some of the lesser known products and history of this lovely town and area.

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Amalfi Coast Hotels Hotels, villas, appartments and B&B Motorcycle and Bicycle Transport travel

Two new electric-assisted bicycles for Hotel Aurora

We just supplied two lovely bicycles to the Hotel Aurora Amalfi, for use by their staff and clients. The bikes are made by Torpado, an Italian manufacturer, and they are very robust and well made, and supplied and customised by our great friends in Roma Cicli Franchi. These E bikes have a large lithium ion battery on the rear carrier which give the bikes an autonomy of about 60 kilometers between charges, in normal or average use. Or once a month, whichever comes soonest.

The hotel staff and management seem very pleased indeed with these bikes and they already attract alot of looks and attention and questions, an added bonus. The idea is to give an extra service to the hotel guests and we have not yet decided how much we will charge to our clients. We are waiting for insurance cover and then we must write a disclaimer which the client will be asked to sign before using the bike.

What do you think??

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Amalfi Coast Eat and Drink Hotels Hotels, villas, appartments and B&B Traditional food and restaurants travel

Tramonti, an amazingly well-hidden jewel

Tramonti is only about 12km from Amalfi and it is on the mountain road connecting Amalfi to the motorway at Angri, so over recent years I have driven past Tramonti many times. My only visits have been with friends to an excellent local pizzeria.

Well, recently we have had a much closer look and exploration. I discovered for instance that Tramonti is actually made up of several small towns (13 I think) dotted around the hills of the main town. I know that whilst so far the area is very sleepy and many of the residents work on the land, it is likely to experience a property expansion in the near future for these reasons;

  1. There is a local government plan to construct a link using a cable car between the famous Amalfi coastline and the Naples -Salerno motorway, to make access to the coastal areas much easier, and
  2. The current land in the coastal areas (all the way from Salerno to Positano) is under massive pressure for new housing and/or hotels, so the Tramonti area is a likely candidate for development land at a reasonable cost.
  3. Amalfi council has just announced plans to build a bypass so that Amafi and nearby Atrani can become pedestrian areas, this is not a short term project of course.

So we explored and eventually found our new property in Polvica, and just up the road we also found a fantastic restaurant called Trattoria San Francisco. A local friend introduced us to the young couple Pamela and Francesco who run the place and the food is fantastic. They are part of the Slow Food movement and most of the food they serve is locally produced. But the real discovery for me of this wonderful place is that they have a beer made for them locally and the beer is GREAT!!!!

We have eaten there twice already and we will visit again for sure!!!!

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Amalfi Coast Car rental Car service Motorcycle and Bicycle Repairs Scooter travel Yamaha and Suzuki

Our new property!!!! Finally we have the keys

We have been searching for a suitable property for about two years, on and off, and we have finally found the property of our dreams!!! Last month we exchanged contracts and took possession of a stunning garage in lovely Polvica, which is one of the 13 small towns which make up the area called Tramonti. The location is perfect for the Amalfi coast, Tramonti is 6 kilometers inland from Maiori, which is them 6 kilometers up the coast from Amalfi.

The properties are actually 2, one very small “house” which is actually a single room with an outside toilet, plus nearby the amazingly modern and large garage. The house was purchased only to enable the purchase of the garage as only a resident is allowed to purchase the garage. The garage is amazing!! It is large and almost new, about 6 metres wide and 8 metres long PLUS it has a bathroom with a shower too. And upstairs on the garage roof there is a garden with a lemon tree plus a kiwi plant, and plenty of space for a BBQ and sunbathing!!!

We have already started to have work carried out by some local builders to ensure that both of the properties are in perfect condition, then I will take some pictures to add to this blog. Great news indeed!!

 

 

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Amalfi Coast Motorcycle and Bicycle Scooter Transport travel Yamaha and Suzuki

New idea: import some used bikes from Alf England in the UK

From my many years of motorbike ownership and experience in the UK and in Italy, I know that the two countries use and treat their bikes very differently.

In the UK the weather is not good for motorbikes so the season is very short and the annual mileages are often very low indeed. Bikes are really bought for passion and are generally treated really well and cleaned almost more than they are ridden. The average annual mileage can be as little as 2 to 3,000 kms and also the British owners will always follow the suggested service intervals so even an almost unused bike will have all of its service stamps in the book!! And virtually all UK bikes are kept in standard trim.

In Italy we have the opposite situation where the bike or scooter can be used almost all year round and servicing is not so strictly followed. Bikes cover many more kiloteres and see the service dealers as little as possible, so often the second-hand bikes are very well used and abused. Servicing is often not a priority and it is also unusual to see a bike of any kind in standard trim, scooters in particular are almost always modified by their owners. Here there is a huge aftermarket for the TMax parts for making the bike your own.

Result?? If I purchase a bike in the UK and bring it to Roma, folks here cannot believe the lovely condition and very low kilometers as well as the service history, so used bikes can sell very well here. For instance, I recently purchased 2 Yamaha TMax 530s from Alf England in the UK and took them to Roma, I sold the first one without trying, which gave me the idea (as I can fit 2 bikes into my trusty Vito!)

Look at these photos:

 

 

 

DSC_9149

The Honda VFR800 is a 10 year old bike and just look at the condition! The grey Yamaha TMax 530 is a 2014 model with some miles on the clock but again, she looks almost new. And the white TMax is 2015 with only 10k kms and almost better than new, she was sold as soon as my mate saw me take her out of the van.

Stop Press: Another white TMax 530 soon on the way, identical to the white one above. I must go to collect her soon!!

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Amalfi Coast Eat and Drink Hotels Hotels, villas, appartments and B&B Traditional food and restaurants travel

Some top places to visit in Amalfi

Bar Masaniello Simply the best bar in Amalfi if not the world (ok ok I am biased, I love the place). Indoor and outdoor seating, free wifi and the best selection of beer in the town without any doubt. Service is great and very friendly and the food is also really good, no rip offs here. Good music always to listen too and sometimes live music in the evenings

Boat Museum Situated right next to Masaniello, this place is quietly amazing. Few visitors will know the history, Amalfi was one of four Italian maritime States. The compass was (perhaps) invented here and the boat museum is located where they used to manufacture the boats! Well worth a 30 minute wander out of the sun

Hotel Aurora gardens You don’t need to be staying in the hotel to go and admire the wonderful terrace gardens and sit down for a happy hour or so looking out over the harbour. Good selection of beer and wine plus cocktails and tasty sandwiches. WHAT a view

Hotel Luna Convent Cloister. This hotel building dates from the 1200s (in parts) and has been managed by the Barbaro family for more than 200 years. The amazing cloister dates from the 1200s too and is well worth a visit and a gentle cup of tea. Living history

Paper Museum Amalfi still makes paper and this lovely Museum gives you a taste of the old times, methods and traditions. Lovely place

Panza Pasticceria The Panza family owns several activities in Amalfi and the most famous is this lovely old bar. You can sit outside right next to the cathedral steps and enjoy excellent coffee and home-made cakes in the sun

La Tonnarella If you wanna eat in this town then there are several excellent restaurants. But if you want a unique eating experience then try this place. You need to book (your hotel can do that for you) and the food price includes the water taxi to and from the beach eating place which is about a 15 minute ride from Amalfi centre. Stunning place and food and experience

Paper shop This shop sells all sorts of articles and is specialised in hand made paper, great for gifts to take home to friends and family

Lacoste and Colmar shop Wonderful shop in the main street with a good selection of branded clothes including these 2 great marques

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Amalfi Coast Appartments and B&B Car rental Hotels Hotels, villas, appartments and B&B Transport travel

Visit the wonderful Amalfi coast with a guide or just some practical guide-lines

We all know that the Amalfi coast is stunning and well worth a visit. Nothing new there. But the best way to get there? The best way to get around? What to avoid and why? All of these important points and more are not always obvious as the coast is very long, winding and varied and each town along the coast has its own quirks and characteristics.

Here follow a few insider tips and guidelines for you to consider before you visit and/or I am happy to offer more precise guidelines for specific visits:

  1. Avoid August. Period. Unless you love sweltering heat, massive overcrowding and traffic queues then it is better to leave well alone. July is also very hot and slightly less crowded. August swells the 3,000 Amalfi population to 30,000 per day.
  2. Do not bring a car unless you have to. The coast road is very beautiful but also very crowded and narrow. Driving in the area is not easy even out of season, and from May through to October is really slow and hard work. Or get a local to drive you.
  3. From Roma you can take a fast train from Termini station to Salerno station and this takes two hours or a bit less. Then from Salerno station a walk of only about 300 metres takes you to the ferry port.
  4. The wonderful ferry service works from April thro’ to October and covers the entire coast from Salerno to Sorrento. It is not expensive and hops along the coast, the ferry is probably faster than any road transport and you also get to view the coast from the sea as well as enjoy the sea breeze.
  5. Book early, as last minute is very complex and expensive and generally you will find only out of the way places. Folks still book the same room for next year when they leave their favourite hotel, like in the old days!
  6. Be very cautious of the giants like Booking, TripAdvisor and the rest cos they are not reliable on the coast. Simply put these giants cannot get the percentages they want here as the hotels and restaurants are generally full anyway, so often they seem to publish rubbish. Use the direct web sites for better information.
  7. Avoid taxis as they generally charge you a fortune, I guess because there are so few of them. If you have to then ask then to know the fee before you go and you can negotiate. Ask the hotel to book for you for some protection and always ask the fee in advance.

Any other information you require, just ask.