2.5 Days in Sorrento

May 23rd, 2014, 09:24 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
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2.5 Days in Sorrento

In late June my wife and I will be taking Trenitalia from Florence to Naples and then taking the Circumvesuviana to Sorrento. We will be arriving in the afternoon probably at approx 2-3pm and then have 2 more full days in Sorrento before we travel back to Rome.

Here is what I have come up with for our time in Sorrento:

DAY 1 - Tuesday (Arrive 2-3pm)
Walk around Sorrento Center, visit shops, enjoy scenery.

DAY 2 - Wednesday
Ferry to Amalfi Coast
Walk around (Path of the Gods)

DAY 3 - Thursday
Circumvesuviana to Pompeii Scavi

What do you think of this plan for our stay in Sorrento?

Are there specific sights you could suggest while in any of the locations mentioned (Sorrento, AC, Pompeii etc)?

Any details you guys have that can help plan this trip would be great!
Nightfawl is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 09:55 AM
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Hi nightfawl,

Day 1 looks good - Sorrento is a very pleasant place to stroll round and that time of year, even the non-touristy shops will be open quite late. I can strongly recommend a restaurant near the station for lunch or dinner - look out for il leone rosso. it's a typical italian restaurant and in the three meals that we had there in the space of a week everything was very nicely cooked and reasonably priced. When we were there in February we didn't need to book but in June you might well need to book for dinner. There is also a nice little harbour with a few fish restaurants but I can't make any specific recommendations as in Feb they were all shut.

Day 2 - I can't really comment as we went to Amalfi on a coach on an organised trip.

Day 3 - I think that to see Pompeii and Herculaneum in the same day is pretty ambitious. It is likely to be very hot and there is a lot to see at Pompeii if that is your main object. Honestly I think that i would pick one or the other and settle for making the most of your choice.

if you click on my screen-name you'll be able to find my TR from the week I spent in Sorrento in Feb. Our mornings were spent at a language school but we saw plenty of Sorrento and the surrounding area so you might find something of interest.
annhig is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 10:45 AM
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Visit Pompeii and then see how you feel about Herculaneum. It will depend on your energy level and how much time you spend in Pompeii. They are very close together and I found Herculaneum more relaxing that Pompeii. It is also more decorative. If you decide to go on to Herculaneum, as you walk from the train to the excavation site, there are several little restaurants where you can get a pizza or salad and sit for a bit of lunch before going on.

Glad you are taking the ferry down the AC. The views are stunning.
Sassafrass is online now  
May 23rd, 2014, 10:49 AM
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For visiting Pompeii understand there is no shade and it will be VERY hot. Bring iced water with you and a hat if possible - and get there as early as possible - so you're not there in the worst of afternoon heat. I would head back to Sorrento for a late lunch and a ice afternoon by your hotel's pool.
nytraveler is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 11:11 AM
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As you transit through Naples visit the Archeological museum which has many artifacts from Pompeii. I believe you can check your luggage at the station (most main stations have luggage consignment). There's a web site to find if there is a luggage check but the site is not working right now.


The pretty part of Sorrento is very small and won't take long to walk around. The shops will stay open late for tourists.

Heed the warning about Pompeii. I would add sunscreen and long sleeved shirts, long trousers, and lace up shoes with socks (forget the sandals and flip flops unless you want to break your neck). Bring a lot of water - there's one cafe but it's not in a central location and will be very busy.
adrienne is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 11:14 AM
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One night while you are in Sorrento, do go to the Foreigners Club. The views are fabulous. Prices are reasonable. I have had great food and average food, but the experience is lovely and romantic - stars over the Bay of Naples with Vesuvius in the background. Sometimes we just stop for drinks or something sweet.

Another great place for an evening drink or snack is on the terrace of the hotel Minerva - beautiful spot and beautiful views. It is worth a stroll up there. I once said to DH, "If you can't fall in love here, you couldn't fall in love anywhere."
Sassafrass is online now  
May 23rd, 2014, 11:49 AM
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Nightfawl, the info below is *very dated* (9yrs old) but the site info like locations is still the same.
Definitely Pompeii but besides Herculaneum there are other options, for me it would be the Archaeological Museum in Naples but that would make for a long day.
There is also the bus from Pompeii to Mt. Vesuvius and an excavated villa that is very easy to get too (Oplontis - Villa Poppea in the directions, halfway between Pompeii & Herculaneum)and pretty cool.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...lla-papyri.cfm OR http://tinyurl.com/4k5sorx
Rostra is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 01:10 PM
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I agree that the view of the Bay of Naples is fabulous at night from the terrace of the Foreigners' Club in Sorrento, but the food is awful and the bar staff does not know how to make a vodka martini!

Lots of English geezers doing the foxtrot to band music.

Order a negroni or an aperol spritz and you should be OK.

Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 02:22 PM
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For your day 2, taking a boat to Amalfi is a great idea but you may not be able to do the path of the gods that day.

We were in Sorrento (8 days) a few years ago and went to Amalfi/Positano a couple different days, once by bus and once by boat. Both were great. The day we took the bus we spent several hours in Positano, then continued by bus to Amalfi and walked around there, had lunch, etc. The day we took the boat we then took a bus from Amalfi up to Ravello and walked down through Atrani and back to Amalfi and got the boat back. That was doable in one day.

We are going back this coming July and I had hoped to do the Path of the Gods but in researching it, it looks like about a 45 min bus ride from Amalfi to where the path starts, then most people are saying it takes about 4 hours to do the walk, then another bus ride back to Positano (or I think there's an option where you can walk). However, the ferry from Sorrento to Amalfi seems to be at 10:30 (takes about an hour if I remember) and the boat back from Positano to Sorrento leaves at 15:40 - so the total amount of time doesn't look to be enough to do the Path of the Gods. Maybe someone else can correct these times if I am wrong but I think we're deciding we'd need to take the bus rather than the boat if we wanted to do the Path of the Gods. And the boat really is a lot of fun. On the other hand, there are tons of other walks you can do that are shorter.

Here's my trip report from the trip we did in 2010 - http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rful-weeks.cfm
isabel is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 02:32 PM
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You will LOVE Sorrento. As to Pompeii and Herculaneum on the same day,we were completely exhausted after a half-day at Pompeii. As we left, our 72 year old guide, Mario, was heading back to the entrance to try to hook up with more tourists. (The private guides congregate at the entrance. You can go without one, but it greatly added to our enjoyment and understanding. You can join other English speakers and form a small group to defray the cost). The idea of going to another such site for the afternoon is quite daunting. You will get differences of opinion, but I didn't think the Archeological Museum in Naples was worth the effort. For your second day, I recommend taking the ferry from Sorrento to Positano (nothing beats the view from the sea arriving at Positano) and then taking the bus back from Positano to Amalfi (sit on the left side) to get the sea views. Ferry back to Sorrento from Amalfi. Treat yourself to a pizza at Pizzeria de Franco and some gelato at Davide.
zorrosf is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 04:17 PM
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Two years ago in May we did see both Pompeii and Herculaneum in one day from Sorrento. We also had taken the fast train from Rome to Naples and the Circumvesuvuana to Sorrento. By the time we had checked into the hotel, it was about 2 or 3 pm and we also just wandered Sorrento, ate pizza, and arranged a late dinner. Nice.

The day in Pompeii and Herculaneum was a bit hard on the feet, but it had rained in the early morning, it was a bit cloudy, and heat was not a problem. We also ate lunch at an outdoor place at the gate to Pompeii.

Note that it is about a half hour walk from the train to Herculaneum (downhill, which means uphill coming home). Herculaneum is much smaller than Pompeii, and is very worth seeing.

In addition to bringing water, I would recommend using an umbrella to provide yourself with shade in Pompeii. If you want to see the art rescued/preserved from Pompeii, it is in the Archeological Museum in Naples, a quick subway and a short walk from the train station. The musem is worth about 2 hours. I do not know if there is baggage checking at the station, which is essential if you want to see the museum on your travel day. We did a day from Sorrento to Naples, and a day on Capri, but we had one more day than you and did not do Amalfi. For our trip, the 3 day Artecard Tutte la Regione bought at the Naples station paid the transport on the Circumvesuviana, the admission to the first 2 sites seen,, and half off the admission to any others. It also covered buses and subway.

If you click my screen name you will find a long trip report from our trip, with the Sorrento leg after Rome.
AJPeabody is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 07:27 PM
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>>>Bring a lot of water - there's one cafe but it's not in a central location and will be very busy.<<<

There are fountains in Pompeii where you can refill your water bottle so you don't need to bring lots of water. There are also vendors outside the gates selling bottle of water (often half frozen).

>>>Note that it is about a half hour walk from the train to Herculaneum <<<

I would say 10 minutes max. It's just a couple of blocks down the hill.
kybourbon is offline  
May 24th, 2014, 06:39 AM
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we did enjoy the national archeological museum in Naples [nearest metro is Cavour, then turn right out of the station and walk up a small hill for about 500 m until you get to the world's scariest traffic light crossing. if you survive, the museum is worth about 2-3 hours; there are the monumental sculptures downstairs, the treasures of Pompeii upstairs, and the rather arcane "pleasures" of il gabinettto segreto if you want a laugh.
annhig is offline  
May 24th, 2014, 07:30 AM
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The archaeological museum in Naples is closed on Tuesdays.

In Sorrento I recommend Il Bufalito restaurant, in the lanes. I had two very good meals there earlier this month. The views from the Sorrento cliffs are beautiful. The town and the Amalfi Coast towns were packed with tourists, even in early May.
aprillilacs is offline  
May 26th, 2014, 08:58 AM
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Thank you all for your replies. Very helpful as usual. Based on the info you have given to me, here is where I am...

Day 1 when we arrive, I will definitely try to get to Foreigners Club for dinner after walking around.

Day 2 when we go to Amalfi, I am intrigued by the idea of taking the ferry from Sorrento to Salerno and then Bus (SITA?) from Salerno to Amalfi and then Ferry back to Sorrento. I have a few questions about this:

Would it take up too much time to do this? I'm not sure what we should see in Salerno or if we should just enjoy the ferry and bus ride. Maybe it makes more sense to just ferry to and from AC?

I found a few resources for ferry. Can you suggest what option I should use and if I should pre-book?



Also, about Amalfi, I also think doing the Path of the Gods is too much. But another short path to walk and enjoy would be great if anyone can suggest? What else in Amalfi would you suggest?

Day 3 I also think Pompeii will be a lot to see. I don't want to be exhausted so I don't think we will have time for the Museum or Herculaneum but maybe a bus ride to Mount Vesuvius for the view? Is that a good idea? If not, we will just go back to Sorrento and relax the rest of the day.
Nightfawl is offline  
May 26th, 2014, 09:35 AM
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If it were my trip, I'd leave Rome early and see Pompeii on the way to Sorrento. The excavations are open until 7:30p in June. That would free up Day 3 for Capri or Naples or whatever.

Walking any of the paths above the coastal towns is a time commitment, even for the shorter walks. Not counting the hiking time itself, you have to get to the trailhead and then travel back at the end of the hike. Only you can decide whether you'd rather spend a half day doing this or doing something else.


Jean is offline  
May 26th, 2014, 10:14 AM
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If you were going from Rome, I would agree about stopping in Pompeii, but I think you are going from Florence and would arrive in the hottest time of day, and maybe not have as much time as you might like. So, for Pompeii, stick with going another day.

If you wanted to do more on that travel day, you could stash luggage at the train station and see one museum or something in Naples. The Veiled Christ in Cappella Sansevero is amazing.

I would suggest Herculaneum because it is beautiful and takes less time than Pompeii, but luggage storage there is near the ticket office at the site and is a bit of a walk from the Ercolano train station. Although I did that sort of thing when I was younger, I would not want to drag luggage that far and back, so do not recommend it.

IMHO, you will have beautiful views in so many places, it is not worth going up Vesuvius unless the volcano itself is something you want to do. To me, just a big hole in the ground, but DH enjoyed doing it - in April. I would not do it in June - hot and dusty.

I hope you are not disappointed with the Foreigners' club. There certainly is better food other places. It just so pretty at night there and a nice way to end an evening.
Sassafrass is online now  
May 26th, 2014, 10:31 AM
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The day we go to Pompeii we will not be carrying any luggage. We will take Circumvesuviana from Sorrento to Pompeii Scavi on Day 3 as early in the morning as we can, spend our time there and we don't leave for Rome until the next morning. That is why I figured we can always go back and explore Sorrento more for the rest of Day 3.

A lot of people have suggested that after walking a few hours in Pompeii, especially in June, it will be too exhausting to then go to another place like the Archaeology Museum or Herculaneum. So I guess I should just pick one.
Nightfawl is offline  
May 26th, 2014, 11:14 AM
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See Pompeii, then decide based on how you feel right then. Herculaneum, Naples or Vesuvius are not places you have to book or plan ahead. The same is true for stopping in Naples on the way to Sorrento. Plans are good to make sure you get to do the major things you want, but some things are fine just left for the moment.

There is not that much to see in Sorrento, though we enjoy walking through the lemon groves, the marinas, etc. so your evenings there will be plenty.
Sassafrass is online now  
May 27th, 2014, 03:44 AM
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Thanks - Yes, we will plan to only see Pompeii and if we feel we have the energy and time afterwards we will pick either Herculaneum or Mount Vesuvius.

As for Amalfi Coast, it looks like this is my only option for taking a Ferry from Sorrento, departing at 10:30 and return at 16:35. I think this will give us a nice amount of time to explore AC.


Should I pre-book this ferry ride?

Are there any scenic bus tours I can take in AC instead of walking up trails?

Any other ideas for AC?
Nightfawl is offline  

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