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gulf of naples italy for New Year's Eve

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Hi,

My family are going to the Amalfi Coast for the Christmas holidays, and fly back home from Rome, plane leaving from Fiumicino at noon on New Year's Day. I read so much about the lovely fireworks around the Gulf of Naples, which I would really love to watch. IWe shall be having a hired car which we will leave in Fiumicino Airport in Rome. Has anyone been to any hotel near the Gulf of Naples, and in which town? I have found accomodation in Vico Equense, which is a small town not too far from Naples. Has anyone been there on New Year's Eve and would you get a good view of the fireworks from the town? I have managed to fina a hotel which has a good view of the Vesuvius. I would prefer not staying in the centre of Naples, as I have a small child with a disability. I would also consider a nice seafront hotel anywhere along the coast, as long as it has a great view of the Gulf of Naples, preferebly further up from Sorrento, since we have a long drive to Rome early in the morning on New Year's Day - we shall have to depart hotel at around 6.30am, does anyone know whether we would find traffic at that time? Any comments would be so much appreciated.

Anna

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    I have this hotel on my list for the future; it is just outside Vico Equense, on the sea:

    http://www.capolagala.com/

    Another option; I have not stayed at either hotel but I did quite a bit of research about VicoEquense and these two hotels were among those I looked into and which might suit you:

    http://www.grandhotelangiolieri.it/

    This hotel receives good reports and would be less pricey than the first two:

    http://www.torrebarbara.it/


    Another option on the Bay of NAples:



    http://www.crowneplazasorrento.com/

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    Hi ekscrunchy

    Thanks so much for your reply. Capolagala will be closed in December, I checked. Grandhotelangolieri is too expensive, but I will check out the other two hotels. I did manage to find a hotel and apartment in Vico Equense, I am just not sure whether you can get the best of views from Vico for the New Year's Eve fireworks, and whether I would have to stay nearer to Naples. They say the fireworks there are the most beautiful in the world, so I do not want to miss them. I am also a bit afraid that I might find traffic at 6.30am to start my travel from Vico Equense to Rome

    Thanks again for your post.

    Anna

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    Hi ekscrunchy, thanks again for doing some research for me. Has lovely views but some people really did not have an enjoyable stay in it. I have found accomodation that I like in Vico Equense, I just want to make sure that I have best of views from Vico, as otherwise it is useless staying in that area, I just might as well find accomodation somewhere on the seafront nearer to Rome, to ensure we take an easy drive the next morning.

    Tks again, and I would appreciate any suggestions.

    Anna

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    Hi Anna - I can't offer much as far as hotel advice - when I was there I stayed in Nice at the Vesuvio - it was a lovely hotel, but not where you want to be.

    I just wanted to say thanks for reminding me of a great memory - I was in Nice on New Year's Eve, and the fireworks were absolutley amazing - they went on for hours. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

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    I can't be sure, but I would think that Vico Equense is too far for a view of the fireworks in the Bay.

    I would suggest that you check out Posillipo for a stay. I think Posillipo will be far enough out of Napoli central to be comfortable, and the views of the bay are famous. But you will get a better idea from reading traveler's reviews of hotels, since I've never stayed in Posillipo.

    If it's just for one night, and you want to keep within a budget, check out reviews of Best Western Albergo Paradiso.

    Residenza la Rose looks like a very affordable choice, but no views from the rooms, and perhaps not easily accessible.

    http://www.residenzalerose.it/en/holiday-homes/index.html

    There are of course hotels and b&bs in the Vomero district of Naples, or up by the Capodimonte museum in Naples that have spectacular views, such as the spendy San Francesco al Monte (but there are cheaper choices). Around Capodimonte you wouldn't have trouble finding hotels with parking. But even though they are well-removed from the busy center of Napoli, you might find that on New Year's Eve there are parties at the hotels, and elevated prices at the places with good views of the bay.

    Have you tried asking on the TripAdvisor message boards for Sorrento and Napoli? It's possible you can see the fireworks from Vico Equense, but people over there might be able to nail that down for you if you don't get an answer here.

    Have a great holiday.

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    Thanks everyone for your post and suggestions, they are very much appreciated. It is so great to know that you can find so many helpful people in the Fodors site. I still have not booked the last day yet. Still so indecisive. We were still thinking on whether we should sleep the last night somewhere near Rome, as we are afraid that we meet up with traffic and get stuck in a jam and miss our noon flight from Fiumicino Rome. Has anyone been anywhere near Naples, and would there still be traffic at around 6.15am, the time we plan to leave? I should think that we would make it in 3hrs 15 minutes from Vico Equense to Rome. I searched other hotels, some which you mentioned above, but I still did not see one that I really liked or was within my budget, as you often read so many bad reviews, and unless a hotel gets a 4 and a half out of five I never book it. Sorrento is even further away from Rome than Vico Equense, I just hope that I can get a good view from Vico as from Sorrento, but the Apartment hotel I liked did seem to have a good view, and anyway, we could still go nearer to the shore. I would go further towards Naples, and even further, but hotels with gala dinners are either too expensive, or the other extreme, with bad reviews. So I guess I will settle with Vico Equense and pray that we will arrive on time. Vico seems to be a quiet town, and it also has a couple of good restaurants, and near to Pompei, Sorrento etc. My children also want to go to Edenlandia, which is open during Christmastime, and the funpark is only less than an hour away by car. As I said, we were thinking of staying in Rome in our last night, but to stay in the outskirts is like staying in any hotel in New Year's Eve, whilst staying in the very centre with good accomodation is sooo expensive in Rome, and also I read in some reviews that in some parts of Rome, like Piazza del Popolo, it can be quite tough, with some guys even putting fireworks in empty bottles and throwing them around!!! And to just stay in a restaurant and find a hotel nearby for a New Year's Eve Dinner would be like staying anywhere else, although of course I never tire of Rome, but of course it would be difficult even to sightsee in a car with traffic on New Year's Eve, never mind the parking. And also it might be a bit difficult to enter Rome centre late in afternoon with all the traffic. So that is why we went back to our original idea on staying at the Amalfi Coast New Year's Eve. There is also Gaeta, but I guess that there would not be such a lovely fireworks display from there, although we were considering staying further up the coast. The fireworks at Nice must also be so wonderful Cynstalker, so you think it would be worth staying for the ones at Amalfi Coast? Our main and only concern now is whether we would make it by 9.45 am to Fiumicino.

    Thanks again to all for your concern.

    Anna

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    If you have not booked the last day yet, here are my thoughts:

    If you haven't already asked around on the TripAdvisor message boards to see if you can rustle up some locally based advice about the feasibility of your plan, I would try that. You also might find a local who posts on Slow Travel.

    Even if you book Vico Equense, watch the weather forecasts while you are traveling and be willing to bail -- even if it costs you - if the weather looks rainy for December 31.

    It would be nice to be able to reassure you with confidence you should just "go for it," but I do worry you may be cutting it pretty close. If missing the flight back is an easily solved problem, then take the small chance you won't make the flight and don't mind worrywarts like me. If it's a huge problem, I don't want to be too negative and scare you out of a fun evening, but I think it's hard to predict if you will make that flight. I'm guessing there might be long lines at security on January 1 at FCO (but who knows?) At a minimum, you need to carefully plot in advance your route from Vico Equense, including dropping off your car at FCO. If you've never done it before, ask for detailed directions (you can find them on Slow Travel).

    I think all bets are off on New Year's Eve whether you will find empty roads at 6:15 am around Napoli and Rome. (You are certainly right that much of the celebration in central Rome can be alarming.)

    My inclination, if I was unwilling to book an airport hotel and find a way to make it fun, would be to at least stay north of Napoli, rather than risk trying to get around Napoli before dawn -- not because it's unsafe, but because people might still be reveling or trying to get home from revels so long as the sun hadn't risen -- and it won't have risen at 6:15 on Jan 1.

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    Hi Zeppole,

    Thanks so much for your reply. No, I have never tried Tripadvisor message board, although I am a member. We do go abroad quite often, but usually I always check on Tripadvisor reviews, plan my holiday carefully, and that's it. We have returned from Fiumicino Airport three years ago, and even on New Year's Day, but we were coming from Assisi, which is much nearer to Rome, and easier and quieter to drive. If I remember well the plane had left at 1pm in the afternoon, not at noon like this coming New Year. We had found no problem whatsoever at Fiumicino and no traffic, as most tourists leave Rome the day after so they remain for New Year's Day Celebrations. So my husband, who will do the driving is familiar to Fiumicino. My biggest worry, as you also so rightly advise us, is getting from Vico to Fiumicino. You are right, and that was my biggest worry, that we might get stuck in some highway close to Naples, as I also read that people celebrate till dawn in that city, and it is one of the most celebrated in New Year's Eve. I truly regret now that I did not book the flight for 2nd January. No I can't afford to lose plane, as on 2nd January the flights are much more expensive. So I will probably take your advice and spend New Year's Eve somewhere nearer to Rome, forget the fireworks over the Gulf of Naples, or we might even stay in central Rome, but nowhere near Piazza dei Popolo, maybe still in a central location and a good restaurant very close by. Even if we get stuck in traffic in the centre of Rome, we still would have plenty of time to arrive to Fiumicino since it is so near, leaving hotel at around 8.30am would be fine. I was also thinking of spending the evening in the outskirts of Rome, but I wanted to stay somewhere special, like near the coast to see some fireworks, not just for a Grand Gala Dinner in a hotel out of nowhere, I can do that in my own country or anywhere, and I want to make the most of my holiday. But I think I will take your advice and not stay in Vico for New Year's Eve, as even a road accident along the way might cause a traffic jam, and I read that the drivers in southern Italy really drive like mad. This is our first time at the Amalfi Coast, as we always went to Northern Italy. We shall be staying for one night at Montepertuso and have dinner there at a well known restaurant called La Tagliata, and I was going to book for two (or three nights if we stayed for New Year's Eve at Vico Equense) I found two accomodations that I liked, the Le Ancore Hotel, and Cubo Apartments, which have just opened. These apartments offer breakfast and even have a bar and sushi restaurant below, and it seems also a lovely view of the Vesuvius, so we can have dinner or some entertainment there. Le Ancore is in an extremely quiet location on the beach in Seiano facing also the Vesuvius. Seems lovely as well, but probably nothing going on there at all in the evening, and all restaurants there might be closed, although of course we will have a hired car. I liked both these accomodations, but for less the price we get a whole apartment at Cubo Apartment Resort, as it is called in their website. I planned to stay there as on the 29th December there is a live nativity scene there, and I just love them. Also Vico is close to Pompei ruins, the sanctuary and also to Edenlandia, as we want to spend a few hours there. Hopefully we will be able to do all that in one whole day!!!! For Christmas Eve we are going to Abbadia San Salvatore to see the festivity and bonfires there on New Year's Eve, then the next two nights will be in an griturismo in San Gimignano called Palagetto di Sotto from where we plan to visit Florence, and then our last night in Tuscany will be at Agriturismo Settesoldi, we will visit Pisa during the day before checking in at this Agriturismo late in the afternoon. It received such raving reviews that I had to try it out, and rest a bit from our rather hectic voyage. I just love going around places, as there is so much to see in this world, and lovely accomodation that I just can't help organizing a holiday that way. But for once if we go on holiday next year we will plan a cruise, and relax for once. Anyway, thanks again for your comments, and you are right, it is a bit risky to stay in Vico New Year's Eve, at least we should lodge somewhere that skips Naples to be more on the safe side. I am still considering Rome as I just love that city, although it might be a bit chaotic for my husband to drive in central Rome on New Year's Eve in the afternoon and find our accomodation, but we did it once in London about 6 years ago, and if you manage to drive there I guess you can drive anywhere on New Year' Eve. Thanks again for your comments. I have only recently joined Fodor's, and it feels so wonderful, it is like having family who are experienced helping you out plan your holiday, and sharing your concerns.

    Regards Anna

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    Well, now that I know you are experienced travelers -- and you have more experience of Fiumicino on New Year's than I do! -- I'm sure you're making the right choices. I do agree with you that the possibility of an auto accident or jam-up around Naples really does make Vico Equense too risky.

    I don't know why you have to drive into central Rome. Couldn't you just drop off the car at Ciampino airport and take a taxi or bus in? And then take a taxi to the airport the next morning? Or the Leonardo Xpress since you don't have to be there until 9:30?

    Another possibility would be to see Edenlandia or Pompei, and then drop off the car in Salerno and take the train to Rome. It's a 2-hour train trip, with no switches.

    I'm going to toss this out, but I'm not sure even I would do it: Book a hotel facing the piazza del Popolo, but stay inside the room with a picnic and not go outside!

    http://travel.aviewoncities.com/hotel/searchresults?currencyCode=EUR&userCity=Rome%2C+%2CIT&additionalDataString=vrBookingSource%7ChotSearch&locale=en_US&searchParam=49b70b91-073f-4f9f-9a9a-7adcac2ba24c&searchType=LANDMARK&cid=71006

    Or perhaps one of Rome's seven hills with a view over the city?

    I agree with you for your next trip to should pick a very relaxing itinerary! Have a great time this trip.

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    It's too bad that you'll miss out on Naples' fireworks. I'm sure New Years Eve in Rome is a fun time, but in Naples every family has its own huge stash of fireworks, making the whole bay erupt in what looks like "World War III."

    If you want tips on what to do in the Naples/Amalfi/Sorrento area, check out
    http://www.wikinapoli.com/to-see

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    Hi everyone, especially zeppole who has posted so many replies to me. It was a tough decision, trying to weigh whether it was worth it or not to risk staying near Naples Bay and driving up early in the morning to Rome. I corresponded with a couple of Italian reviewers, one from Rome and another from Naples for advice. They both wrote that early in the morning there would be no traffic, and we should arrive to Rome Fiumicino in about three hours' drive. So we are staying in Vico Equense at the Cubo Apartments as they have an adjoining restaurant with a New Year's Eve dinner, and also a bar and games room that my two boys who are both in their late teens, would for sure enjoy. It also has a nice view of the Bay of Naples, and the apartment is brand new and also has breakfast service brought. The last review posted to me made me yearn again to stay around the Bay of Naples, plus the reviewer from Rome suggested that it is a bit dangerous to walk around Rome around midnight, so really just staying in a hotel is like staying anywhere!!! And Piazza del Popolo would be extra busy and chaotic, so I did not want to find any hotel in the square for sure. Hope I made the right decision and that we'll manage to make it. We will try and leave 3 and a half hours before the time we want to arrive at the airport, so New Year's Eve we will sleep only for about 4 hours, but that is what everyone does!!! We shall sleep back home. Thanks again everyone for your suggestions, they were very much appreciated. i will write back a review after we return from holiday. Tks

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    Well, I for one will be delighted to read of your adventures.

    Please be sure to post back about your stay in Vico,as it is a town that had been on my "travel radar" for a while now...it seems as if it might make a good base for exploring...

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    Hi ekscrunchy, zeppole, and all others,

    We are back from our holiday, safe and sound thank God. We DID manage to make it on time for our flight from Rome, we left Vico Equense at 5.30am, we had a very easy ride with no traffice, and were in Fiumicino airport abour three hours or more before plane left. Ekscrunchy hold your breath before you read this, as this time our holiday was certainly an adventure, my husband did moan every now and then about all the driving he had to do in nine days, but we saw so very much of both Tuscany and the Amalfi coast, it was worth it. We arrived at Fiumicino on the 24th December around 10.30am, and left for Abbadia San Salvatore, a Tuscan village in the provence of Siena on Monte Amiata, a mountain with curving narrow roads. We were staying in a tiny village about 12 km away from Abbadia San Salvatore called Tepolini, and the B&B which was lovely and run by very dedicated staff is called Borgo Tepolini. But if anyone intends to go to the Fiaccole di Natale at Abbadia San Salvatore for Christmas Eve, I would recommend that you stay in Abbadis San Salvatore, as it was quite a scary experience for me when we were driving back at 3am to Tepolini through winding mountain roads. There are plenty of B&B and hotels in Abbadia so it would be no problem. Christmas Eve at Abbadia San Salvatore was an experience of a lifetime in my opinion. From November the villagers start preparing for this event, they build up fire wood looking like huge cones, they make about 45, all over the village, in squares, corners etc, and nearly near every fiaccole they make stalls where they offer hot wine to which they add fresh orange juice, apples etc, and they also serve homemade pastries etc done by the locals, everything is for free but of course they request a donation for the expenses. They also sell roasting chestnuts, and near some fiaccole they also do carol singing.. We went to the midnight mass at the abbey which lasted for more than two hours, and made our way back to Tepolini, in the night time the winding mountain road seemed so scary to me because of the mist and wet road. Anyway, but we made it safe and sound. On Christmas day we had lunch at Borgo Tepolini, the owners made us a wonderful homemade five course Tuscan meal, and about 5pm we headed for San Gimignano, where we booked for two nights in a lovely Agriturismo called Palagetto di Sotto. It has the most beautiful country views, but at the same time is only about 800m away from San Gimi. So in the evening we went to the town and walked through its lovely narrow medieval roads, it was really deserted as it was Christmas Day. Next morning we were served a lovely breakfast and my schedule told me that we were going to Florence. We arrived there around noon, and walked around the centre, the square, the church, walked over the Ponte Vecchio bridge, and had lunch there. At around 4.30pm we left Florence and my husband drove to Casole D'Elsa, another lovely medieval village where the village transforms into Betlehem, and all the locals young and old dress up, and all the front rooms in the narrow roads tranform themselves into olden days caverns, with the locals working according to the traditions of that time, culminating in the square there is was the nativity scene. Of course you have to pay for entrance. After about two hours we left Casole D'Elsa, and before heading to San Gimignano we stopped for just 30 minutes at Volterra which was quite near, but it was freezingly cold there, as this old town is on a very high hill, and it was around 7pm or later, but at least I can say that I had a quick view of the main street and square of Volterra, then we went back to San Gimignano, again to the centre of the old town, and had dinner there at around 9pm, a lovely bistecca Fiorentina, then went back to Palagetto di Sotto, always by car. Monday morning we had breakfast, and one of the staff of the agriturismo gave us a small tour of the wine cellars of the farmhouse. We packed our bags and headed to Pisa, we walked along its main road, and took pictures near the Tower, but we did not go up it as we would have had to wait till 5pm. Then we went for one night to Agriturismo Settesoldi, a very small farmhouse which is also on a mountain, and a winding road to get to it, the last 200m is unpaved. We arrived around 5pm, and for the first time in our holiday we just stayed there, chatting with the really friendly owners. They made us a lovely 4 course homemade meal, and served us delicious wine and their homemade olive oil. We were their only guests, they only have about 4 rooms to let, and the owner has this policy that there are no tvs in the farmhouse and that during dinner you listen to lovely background classic music. A great experience. Next morning we left Agriturismo Settesoldi on our long journey to the Amalfi Coast, but on the way, as usual at my insistance trying to defy time, we stopped at Siena. We visited the square and its ancient roads, and continued our long journey. We finally arrived at Positano on our way to Montepertuso, which is a village on the mountain above Positano, at around 8.30pm, and on one of the main narrow roads of Positano an elderly man, a tourist fell ill and must have had a heart attack, and there was an ambulance blocking the road. So we were at a standstill. Paramedics were trying to revive him, but in vain, and by the time he was taken away in the ambulance it was 10pm. We finally found our way up at Montepertuso, naturally another high winding road, and it was 10pm. We checked in at the B&B, the landlady was so very sweet, and the B&B is new and clean, it is called Il Pertuso. We had dinner booked at the nearby La Tagliata restaurant in the village, and luckily they still served us so late in the evening. Montepertuso has nice views, but if I had to go again to the area I would prefer staying in Positano or even nicer at some cliffside accomodation in village of Praiano which has wonderful views. Positano was like a living christmas tree, all lit up with Christmas lights. You see all the hills surrounding the coast all lovely and lit up, again a unique experience. The next day we checked out of the B&B and headed for the Amalfi coast. We stopped for a few minutes to take photos in Praiano, then we stopped in Furore and visted the Grotta della Smeralda, to get there you have to take the lift, and then we went for a short boat trip around the Grotto. Then we drove the Amalfi coast up to Ravello, we did not stop there, but I just wanted to make sure I visited this village high up on the hillside. The views resembled those from Montepertuso in my opinion. Then we passed through Maiori which has a lovely long promenade, then we had a late lunch, and on our way back stopped at Amalfi. It got dark by then, and the town had such lovely Christmas lights and decorations, in the main square of Amalfi they were even performing a live pagaent, which we watched for just a few minutes. Then we headed for Massa Lubrense, on the Sorrento Coast, where we booked to stay for one night. I found a lovely guesthouse, which also has a great restaurant with genuine food, called Relais il Pennino. The owners of the guesthouse are very friendly, and the rooms have the most beautiful views from the back, but face a very quiet square at the front. Massa Lubrense is a very sweet quiet small town. We had dinner at the restaurant, and in the morning we checked out and drove about 10km to Sorrento. The main square and streets did not impress me much, but the harbour is breathtaking, it has the loveliest open view of the Gulf of Naples and Vesuvius. If anyone intends to stay in Sorrento make sure you find accomodation with a coastal view as it is spectacular, even on New Year's Eve the fireworks must be so clear from here. At about 1pm we drove to Vico Equense, which is also about another 10 km drive from Sorrento but towards north. We checked at the Cubo Apartments, which are really brand new and high tech, below there is also a bar and sushi restaurant, which was always surprisingly quite empty. The apartments are siturated on a busy main street, but at the back of the apartments, especially the ones on the higher floors, have the most wonderful view of the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius, and at the very top they have a terrace where everyone can enjoy the view. There is a private closed car park just in front of the apartments to park the car, it was paid for us by the owners of the apartment as part of the New Year's Eve package, but you definitely need to park your car there, I think it is 15 Euro per day, as the road is a busy one close to the square. After we checked in and refreshed ourselves, everyone (except my poor hubby who had to give in) wanted to go to the funfair at Edenlandia, which is on the outskirts of Naples. Vico Equense is very nice, not so noisy with traffic and the people seemed to be very educated, but as soon as you leave Vico Equense, and arrive at Castellamare di Stabaie, the traffic, chaos and views of garbage began. We got stuck in the roads in the town quite a long time being just two days before the New Year, and also on our way near Naples, but we finally arrived, and my two teenagers enjoyed themselves. My youngest, who has both intellectual and physical disability, enjoyed seeing the lights and sounds of the funfair. We left the fair at around 7pm, and it took us over two hours to arrive back to Vico Equense, in the main town of Castellamare, again it was all chaos with people doing their last minute festive shopping, and people crossing streets everywhere, motorbikes appearing out of nowhere etc. Thank God my husband is a very good driver. We arrived at the apartment and the owners were waiting for us as they prepared some sushi appetizers and apperitiv, all complimentary, which they delivered to our apartment. But my two boys, who are in their late teens, were still hungry, so I put on my jacket and went to buy tak-out pizza at the famous Pizza al Metro of Vico Equense, which was just a two-minute walk. I bought them the metre pizza, which was of course cut up for me, and fried squid and prawns, which were delicious, and headed back to the apartment. We could not even eat it all up, but we did stuff ourselves!! Next day we visited Pompei, the Basilica of Our Lady, and the ruins. I was a bit disappointed with the ruins as I thought we were going to see more antique stuff, not just a ruined village. We had a light lunch there, and then went back to Vico Equense, again it was a nightmare to drive in the traffic through the little towns, but we somehow managed to arrive at Vico Equense at around 6pm. Then we got ready for our New Year's Eve dinner at the restaurant below the apartments, of the same owner. It was good, but I was a bit disappointed, even though it was a seven course meal, the food was too rich, in my opinion it was not worth the 100 Euro per person. Then at midnight we left our table and went to the rooftop terrace to see the New Year's Eve fireworks, yes they are truly spectacular, as the gulf literally all lights up and also the town of Vico Equense, even right above us, all the houses and hotels, restaurants near the beach etc light up fireworks, and you can see them even from the hills far away. They really are magical Maybe you can see them even closer and better at Castellammare di Sabaie, on its coast, but Vico Equense is a much nicer and quieter town to stay in. Whilst we were driving on the coast on our way to Pompei and Edenlandia, I noticed a hotel on the main coastal road exactly before you reach the town, called Crowne Plaza Castellammare di Stabaie, which seemed to have the best of views of the Bay of Naples and the Castle where they light up a lot of fireworks, which I would recommend if anyone would like to go there for the New Year's Eve fireworks, but as I said be aware that it is not in the town and is close to the main road, in fact you have to drive through a tunnel under the road to reach the hotel exactly on the beach. Anyway, we watched the fireworks, and the kids wanted to go to sleep. One of the owners told us that at the square after midnight a live festival was going to be held, and Italian famous singers were taking part, so me and my husband walked to the square, which was only about 50 metres or less away, and stayed for the festival for an hour or so. We went back to the hotel, slept for just a couple of hours, packed everything and left at around 5.30am for our 3 hour journey to Rome. The roads were literally deserted, I really worried for nothing. We arrived home happy but tired. We really enjoyed our hectic holiday, but maybe next year we will take a more relaxing holiday, my husband deserves it for sure for the driving he did in this holiday. I am sure we would not have been able to visit and park so easily in so many towns and cities if we did not have the Disability Card, that enables us to park in the reserved parking for the disabled, it saved us a lot of time as we could drive right into the centre of villages, towns and cities and into the centre of things. I hope you did not find my review boring, but I felt I had to write it as a thank you all for your suggestions. Anyone who is going abroad soon, make sure you have a great time, and plan your holiday well beforehand, where to visit etc, as it sure saves a lot of time, and you will be able to visit more places. Cheers.

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    Ciao Anna! I am SO grateful to you for reporting back on what sounds like a truly unforgettable vacation! It is great to read about Vico Equense, especially, since I've had this town on my list for a while and have not made it there yet. I am most impressed that you actually were able to sample the famous pizza al metro! And staying in Montepertuso also sounds like a great idea--with views like those from Ravello, but with easier access to the sea, it certainly would be worth considering. Here is the website for the "your" B&B, in case anyone is interested:

    http://www.ilpertuso.com/indexeng.htm



    I will be saving your report for the future, as it contains so much good information about places that are a bit off the usual tourist trail. You certainly covered a lot of ground..I guess your hubby needs a vacation right about now!

    December sounds as if it was a perfect season to visit the Amalfi Coast! More and more I am convinced of the benefits of wintertime travel in southern Europe.

    Again, thanks so much for posting your report!

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    Just for your information---The owner and pizza maker at Pizza al Metro BELIEVE IT OR NOT comes from Fort Lee, New Jersey! I knew him in New York, and visited him many times in Vico Equense.

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    Hi, Thanks for your reply ekscrunchy & Waldo. Montepertuso is probably more accessible than Ravello to the sea, and nearer, although of course you still have to drive up a mountain, but it is not a difficult drive as I was fearing, we experienced worse ones in Tuscany for sure. I was impressed that all the Amalfi Coast roads had secure guard rails, unlike some hills with narrow roads in Tuscany. Montepertuso, has some very good restaurants as well, but unfortunately we had no time to sample their food. I would have loved to go also to Il Ritrovo as it had such good reviews, it seems more upscale than La Tagliata from the outside. We were really lucky to enjoy really good weather, it was nice and sunny and no rain, I think southern Italy is much easier to drive in Wintertime, you are right, considering it was Christmastime, we did not find that much traffic on the Amalfi Coast's narrow roads, as I usually read in reviews, we only really always got stuck in the roads leading to Castellamare di Stabaie and Naples area, but someone told us that around that area a highway was closed so all traffic had to pass through the main town, and it was a real chaos with everyone doing their last minute shopping, fish shops were especially crowdy as in southern Italy is is customary to cook seven different dishes of fish for good luck on New Year's Eve. Yes, the pizza al metro is very good, it was literally one minute walk away from the apartment. I do not know who the owner was, there were so many employees, but it is very efficiently run. They put the pizza in two boxes for me since it was a take-out, and it is very reasonably priced. A one metre Margherita is only 9 Euros, they can also make a metre pizza with three different toppings, for just 18 euro, and their fried seafood is really good, like in all restaurants in the coast, but it was really reasonably priced at Pizza al Metro. The restaurant is really big and was quite full, but there are so many employees working there that service was really quick even for a take-out. I liked the centre of Vico Equense, especially since I wanted to do some quick last minute shopping on New Year's Eve, I love buying some Italian pasta and sauces to take back home with me, and the grocery shops just up the road were still open around 7pm. The feeling and atmosphere seems to be a bit different from Amalfi Coast, even maybe how the houses are built, as of course it is in the provence of Naples, but we did have a nice view from our balcony of the sea further away, and it is central to Pompei, Naples etc. The apartments where we were staying were right in the very centre of Vico Equense, if you prefer staying in the hustle and bustle. It has its advantages as you feel the atmosphere of the town. We had shortlisted two accomodations in Vico - the Cubo Apartments and Hotel Le Ancore. Hotel Le Ancore is not in the centre of Vico but down on a beach, exactly on the seafront and it is preferable to have a car for transport, but the Vesuvius seems to be right in front of you, and the hotel has great reviews.. Whilst we were driving, I also noticed Torre Barbara, it is right on a motor road leading to the town of Vico, you can't walk around the hotel for sure, but it did seem to have a gorgeous view of the Bay of Naples and the Vesuvius. Vico Equense would be the closest town I would stay in that is nearest to Naples and Pompei, as once you leave this town the chaos begins. Massa Lubrense is even quieter and extremely close to Vico, but the town is not maybe as near the coast as Vico, but we still had a lovely view from our room. If I had to visit the area again, I would still prefer to stay nearer to Amalfi coast, but it is a matter of opinion, and it is also great to experience different places, I always try to squash in as many as possible. You are right hubby did probably need another holiday with that driving, and he did complain a bit, but he just loves anywhere in Italy, for food, culture, the people etc. and after our holiday he said it was worth the hastle. But our next holiday, I still have to start saving up for it, it will be a more relaxing one for sure, it's hubby's turn to wind down now, - I already have my plans, this time three or four days taking it easy with accomodation in one place near the Lake Maggiore, maybe from there visiting southern Switzerland, the lakes and the Alps, then we go for a week's Mediterranean cruise from Venice or Rome, hopefully this coming Summer or the Summer after, depending on finances. I sure enjoyed Christmastime in Italy though, as they really know how to celebrate and decorate their towns and villages. They also organize so many unusual activities and live cribs like no other country. When doing some research where to go for our Christmas holidays, I was also interested in Citta' di Castello in Umbria for Christmas Eve. In that town they also do an unusual event on the eve of Christmas. Apparently there is a river passing through the town, and decorated and lit up canoes descend down the river to the town, and in each canoe, I think about a hundred of them, there would be a father Christmas and as soon as they arrive to the town they are greeted by the villagers and the Father Christmases hand gifts to the children near the water's edge. But of course we could not be in different places at the same time, so we had to make a choice. Even on the Amalfi Coast, whilst driving they even make little cribs stuck on the cliffs of the roads, and in every town you can go and view a crib. If you go to Vico Equense make sure you to to this restaurant called Vic's Street. It is one of the few regrets I have that I did not manage to have the time to go to. It had so many lovely reviews about its good genuine food, and it must have been very close to our accomodation as it is in the centre of the town, but really I had no time. Try not to miss it if you stay in Vico. You are the type that seems to love trying out and visiting different places, just like me, I have never ever had a holiday where I stayed a whole week in one place except when staying with relatives, it will be the first time if we go on a cruise. I will have to start adjusting as I get older though for sure. I would also love to visit the Cinque Terre in Italy one day, and Italian riviera, but that is not on top of the list for now. Enjoy your stay if you manage to visit southern Italy again, especially Amalfi coast. I had been dreaming and researching on this area for quite a few years, and it did exceed my expectations, the scenary is so unique. You do have to be an experienced driver though, and also when travelling to many hilltop towns in Tuscany. Regards.

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    Ana thanks again for all of the great information. I will link this thread that I began long ago about Vico in case anyone else is interested in getting a little off the beaten path. Now you have really sharpened my desire to go there; I would add it on to an Amalfi Coast trip, I think.
    How can we NOT go, now that we know that the pizza guy at the most famous pizza spot in town comes from Ft. Lee, New Jersey!!?? Here is their link, in case anyone is wondering:

    http://www.pizzametro.it/vis_dettaglio.php?primo_livello=menu&id_livello=9



    http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/vico-equense-sant-agnello.cfm

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    Hi Anna,
    Enjoyed reading about your trip. We are planning a very similar trip for this December (traveling w/ husband & two children 12 & 15). Based on your advice we have booked a room at Cubo Apartments for New Year's Eve. However, and I apologize if I'm misreading...but it wasnt' 100% clear to me if you actually watched the fireworks from there or if you just heard that the view from their roof top terrace was good. If you did watch...how was the view? Would you go back or try to stay in Sorrento or Naples? I suspect this will be a once in a lifetime adventure for us and want to pick well. Hope to hear from you soon.

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