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2 couples exploring itinerary options to Italy - would appreciate input

2 couples exploring itinerary options to Italy - would appreciate input

Old Jun 8th, 2005, 10:36 AM
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2 couples exploring itinerary options to Italy - would appreciate input

Couple #1 has traveled to Italy 3 times in 3 years concentrating on Rome/Tuscany/Venice. Couple #2 has never been to Italy. We are looking forward to traveling together. Couple #1 would like to briefly explore the Amalfi coast during this 1 week vacation. Couple #2, having never been to Italy, is open and agreeable to any plan but would like to see Pompeii so...how does this sound to those who have traveled south of Rome as well as the Tuscan area?

Saturday - fly
Sunday - train from FCO to Rome to Naples. Prearranged driver to Sorrento.
Monday - Sorrento/explore Amalfi coastal towns
Tuesday - train to Pompeii
Wednesday - prearranged driver to Naples. Train to Chiusi (Autoeurope says Hertz has taken over this location)pick up rental car for exploration of Tuscany
Thursday - explore Tuscany
Friday - explore Tuscany
Saturday - return rental car to Chiusi, train to Rome for last night before early departure.

I welcome and appreciate the pros and cons to this idea based on others' experiences. Thanks!
dorkforcemom is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2005, 10:54 AM
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Not bad and very doable. I would change one thing--if you can. Try to fly direct into Naples and avoid the Rome scenario. My son, Mr Go, is doing that as we speak---flying LU into Munich and connecting to Naples.
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 11:15 AM
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You don't say where you are coming from and whether jet lag is a factor but looking at your itinerary I say, "Fly into Naples. Have a driver take you to your place in Sorrento. Then pick up a rental car when you leave Sorrento and return it at the airport when you fly home. Logistically it makes everthing easy and flexible. Usually there is no drop off fee within Italy.
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 11:59 AM
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I loved your suggestion about flying into Naples. I quickly checked into that option and, unfortunately, coming from DFW using FF miles at this point only has Rome as an option. Which brings me to my next question...what would the cost be to hire a driver from Rome to Sorrento as opposed to taking the train to Naples and hiring a driver from there? Perhaps comparing the two would be beneficial. Thank you!
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 12:43 PM
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A private driver from Rome to Naples could easily cost a thousand euros, and seems completely unnecessary: there are fast, comfortable rail connections from Rome to Naples.

From Naples, a private driver to Sorrento makes a lot of sense, especially if you're jet-lagged. I've taken the Circumvesuviana commuter train (slow and uncomfortable) from Naples to Sorrento, but can't recommend it. I prefer the fine, fast ferry from the Naples port across to Sorrento.

For Monday, for the treacherous Amalfi coast, a private driver would be ideal unless you have nerves of steel. The local drivers on this stretch of road are fearless maniacs.

The Greek temples of Paestum south of Salerno are very worthwhile, but you'd need a car, which you could rent in Sorrento. This drive, which you can make over the peninsula avoiding the Amalfi coast, is quite easy by highway and also scenic. Likewise the drive from Sorrento to Pompeii is very easy. Both trips could be done together on one day, even at a leisurely pace.

All in all, your trip sounds lovely and you'll have a spectacular time.
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 12:59 PM
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Hi d,

I take it that you are returning to Sorrento from Pompeii.

Since you have to fly into Rome, my suggestion is to keep going that day all the way to Sorrento.

Pick up the car in Sorrento on Wed and drive to your Tuscany location.

On Sat return your car to Orvieto and train into Rome for your last night.

See www.novarentacar.com and www.autoeurope.com for alternative car rental agencies.

Have a nice trip.



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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 01:03 PM
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I've been quoted from 300 to 350 euro for a driver from Rome to Sorrento, for two couples I would do it.
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 01:05 PM
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Hey Dork

Sounds like a fun trip. We've been to all those places. While some posters may think the driving is difficult, we've always driven everywhere without a problem. Anyway, we like the drive up the S222 between Siena and Greve. Some think it's "touristy" but, it is beautiful so why not. Sounds like you'll be staying in Sorrento. We enjoyed Sorrento as our Amalfi Coast base as it was a busier town and we had plenty of activity at night, shops, restaurants, etc.. We found the AC easy to navigate although it depends on your time of year. Remember to drink the limoncello. The lemons on the AC are as big as oranges or grapefruits.
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 01:33 PM
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IMO there's too much time spent getting from one point to another - a high ratio for a mere one-week trip.

I'd suggest dropping Tuscany (couple #1 has already been there) in favor of a more genuine effort to "explore the Amalfi coast". Stay put in Sorrento and enjoy that area (Massa Lubrense, etc), go to Capri at least once (maybe twice), to Ravello and the gardens there, Positano, Amalfi, etc, etc - and of course, to Pompeii (Mt Vesuvius too).

What a nice, enjoyable week you'll have!
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 02:31 PM
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Tuck may have a point. What time of year are you going?
If you are locked into flying in and out of Rome you can spend the first night there so your friends can see a bit of it and take a train the next day. Trains leave Roma Termini every hour for Napoli. I assume you will be packing light.
Additionally, Pompeii is nice but I preferred Herculaneum. It is smaller but the quality of the ruins are better. There is certainly enough to do using Sorrento as a base. I was there for 6 nights a few weeks ago and I didn't even make it to Capri because I decided to relax one day when my ankle got weird.
In the end you have to decide what appeals to you and what logistics you are comfortable with.
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 02:57 PM
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Thanks very much for everyone's thoughts thus far. I realize this is a long time off - we're planning for the first week of May 2006 (in order to use the FF miles) I think Couple #2 wants to see Tuscany as well as the Amalfi Coast. This question will need to be answered - would they prefer concentrating on the Amalfi Coast for the entire time or spending a day in the middle of the week traveling from the Amalfi coast to Tuscany (if they are determined to get an overview of both).
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 03:44 PM
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I agree with Ira's plan to pick up a rental car in Sorrento and drive to Tuscany from there. It's not a bad drive at all; we did it on our last trip. If you go past Sorrento down the Amalfi Coast, the driving is kind of hairy, but from Sorrento back to the main highway, it's basically just slow, not scary.

I do think, though, that you might want to keep the car until you leave, rather than drop it somewhere else and spend a night in Rome. It would be a lot easier just to drive to the airport and drop off the car there on your way home instead of schlepping all your bags into Rome on the train and out again to the airport, just for a single night's stay. Depending on what time your plane leaves, you could drive to the airport from Orvieto or thereabouts in about 2 hours (that's allowing time for the traffic jam that always seems to exist around Rome).

Another thought that just occurred to me: since you're only going to be spending a couple of days in Sorrento, you might want to price the difference between renting a car in Rome and driving directly to Sorrento as opposed to your plan of train and private drivers. Or if you think you'll be too tired to make that drive, maybe spend one night in Rome or nearby, then go on from there by car. Even though you won't really need a car in Sorrento, sometimes the weekly rate can be almost as cheap as renting the car for a couple of days less, especially if you factor in the other costs of train and private driver to get there.

Someone recommended doing Pompeii and Paestum in a single day trip -- I really can't see that. We spent a full day at each one, and would have been much too exhausted to try to do both on one day. Pompeii is to my mind definitely worth most of a day.
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 03:58 PM
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Looking at your itinerary, only 3 days has the word "explore" (not counting the "Tuesday - train to Pompeii"). The word "train" appears much too often.

#1 is the experienced traveler to Italy and should therefore answer the question and #2 would then be "open and agreeable to any plan" and can always return in another year to see Tuscany (as if in the two days there on this itinerary, one can get to "see" Tuscany).
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