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TRAVEL: Family Adventures on the Amalfi Coast

By Jackie Burrell
Sunday, December 28th, 2008 at 5:56 am in Family Travel.

The Hallers on the Amalfi Coast
Looking for travel inspiration? Italy is a perfect destination for families, says the Haller family, but “while Rome, Florence, and Venice are wonderful stops on any Italian vacation, don’t miss the stunning beauty of the Amalfi coast and the rich history of Pompeii.” Here’s the scoop on where to go, where to stay and what to do:

THE TRAVELERS: Chemical engineer Doug Haller, physician Christine Haller and their children Timothy, 17, Jameson, 14, and Madelyn, 11, of San Rafael.

THE TREK: “Our first trip for Tim’s graduation was to Paris and London, which was fabulous,” says Christine, “so we were eager to go abroad again when Jameson graduated from eighth grade last year. For this trip we chose two weeks in Italy. A highlight of this vacation was our time spent in Southern Italy along the Amalfi Coast. Jameson was interested in volcanoes as a young child, so a visit to Pompeii prompted this itinerary.”

BEST BEDS: “We highly recommend the cliffside Hotel Minerva in Sorrento with spacious tile-floored rooms and air-conditioning — a real plus during the 102-degree heat wave. We had two rooms with large terraces that overlooked the Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius looming in the distance. We watched in awe from our terraces as scooters and buses navigated the curvy road below on their way to the Amalfi coast villages. There is a rooftop swimming pool and snack shop, and nice outdoor dining with impeccable service and stunning views.”

The Hallers on the Amalfi CoastBEST EATS: “You can’t go wrong eating in Italy — the pizza and pasta are indescribably delicious and perfect for our ‘selective’ eaters. We had our best Naples-style pizza of the trip at Pizzeria Aurora in Sorrento and fantastic gelato in the late evening. Don’t miss sampling the limoncello (adults only!), an Italian liquor made from locally grown lemons, available in many area shops. The kids stocked up on the best sour lemon drop candies found anywhere.”

COOL SIGHTSEEING: “Pompeii is rich in history and architecture and very moving as there are human stone casts of the victims frozen amid their daily routines by this catastrophe, and trapped through the ages in the rubble of the city ruins. But, much remains intact, including grooves of the chariot wheels seen in the stone-block streets; remnants of pizza ovens and flour mills can be seen in the bakery; predecessors of modern-day granite countertops and sinks remain intact in the private homes of the wealthy residents. We elected to tour Pompeii on our own with just a guidebook, but recommend instead a guided walking tour because it is challenging to find specific sites of interest, and the guides appeared to be extremely knowledgeable.
The Hallers on the Amalfi Coast
“Our hotel was walking distance to the quaint town of Sorrento where you can take a ferry over to the scenic island of Capri. We elected instead to hire a driver to tour the picture-perfect coastal towns of Amalfi and Positano, shopping for local ceramics along the way, and enjoying a delicious lunch prepared by ‘Mama’ in a small, family-run restaurant in scenic Ravello, perched 1,000 feet above the Mediterranean Sea. The buses are less expensive, but having a personal car and guide was wonderful for finding local spots without hassling with crowds, traffic or parking.”
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Has your family been somewhere wonderful? Share your photos, favorite hotels and outings, and travel tips by e-mailing us. Or click “comments” and share your travel tips right here.
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Looking for more family travel tips? Check out the family travel archives and these blog posts too:

U.S.A. DESTINATIONS
Luges and Presidents on Mt. Rushmore
Kauai with a Toddler
Colonial Williamsburg with the Kids
New York City and DC with a Theater-Going Family
New York City with a Baseball-Loving Family
California Beach Towns
A Midwestern Road Trip with Rollercoasters
Yosemite with the Kids
The Big Island & Volcanoes
Puka Dogs & Ice Cream in Kauai
Lakes & Glaciers in Yosemite

THE REST OF THE AMERICAS
Vancouver with the Kids
Cancun Family Adventures
Penguins in Patagonia

EUROPE
Backpacking to Pompeii with Teens
Hogwarts & London
Greek Islands with Teens
Rome with the Bambino
London with Teens
Paris avec le bebe
Sweden & Norway with Teens
The Cote d’Azur with Teens
Off the Beaten Path in Paris
Family Adventures in Venice
Croatian Adventures

ASIA
China with Children
Myanmar with Philanthropically-Minded Teens

AFRICA
An African Safari with the Family
A Moroccan Adventure

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