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5 days Naples and area - please help with itinerary!

5 days Naples and area - please help with itinerary!

Dec 9th, 2009, 11:20 AM
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5 days Naples and area - please help with itinerary!

I'm still struggling with my itinerary for Naples and area for next year. We will arrive in Rome in the morrning after an overnight flight and have 5 days to visit Naples, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast. Can you give me some suggestions as to what is the best itinerary for this? We leave from Naples on the 5th night on the ferry to Catania. We have already been to Rome.
Lily is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Most people who prefer to base in a place like Sorrento than dicey Naples - a very intriguing old-world city but also with problems like garbage periodiccally piling up, street crime, etc.

Sorrento is a pleasant watering hole that is very convenient to hop to Pompeii (a few minutes by train), for many ferries to Capri and buses that ply the thrilling Amalfi Coast cliff-hugging road - or in season ferries go between Sorrento and Amalfi towns like Amalfi and Positano - there are also boats between Sorrento and Naples. Naples itself is more remote from the Amalfi - so i would suggest staying in Sorrento and day tripping to Naples and its wondrous museums, churches, etc. and also then easy day trips to Capri and the Amalfi and nearby Pompeii.
Palenque is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 11:53 AM
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Couldn't disagree more. Naples is a fascinating, vibrant city, Sorrento a package tour destination.

My advice, assuming you will be there in season, is three nights in Positano, then two days in Naples, one of which you'll spend at Pompeii. From Positano you'll be able to visit Capri and Amalfi and still have a day for the beach.
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Fra - i have stayed in Naples for several days and yes it is a fascinating city et al

but the typical American tourist at least will by far prefer the Sorrento or Amalfi base - that is just reality, right or wrong

but i agree Naples is a great city - a unique city now it seems that unlike most Italian cities has retained a really old - some call it tattered - look like most Italian cities had when i first went to Italy decades ago - laundry strung between windows over tiny dark lanes, etc.
Palenque is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 01:35 PM
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Hi Lil,

You can fly from FCO to NAP or you can take the shuttle train to FCO and the train to Napoli Centrale. Either way, go directly to Naples.

There is limo service from the Naples train station to Sorrento and all of the towns on the AC.

If that is too expensive, we can help you get to your town if you tell us which it will be.

I would also spend my last two nights in Napoli.

ira is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 02:16 PM
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I based in Sorrento because it made the transport easier, but I agree that Naples is a worthwhile destination. Maybe my TR will help with itinerary planning - see http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...om-s-italy.cfm
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 06:40 PM
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Well, I guess I'm not the typical American tourist, because I would never want to stay in Sorrento (after passing through several times) and LOVED Naples!

But, I feel if you want to experience the Amalfi Coast - STAY on the actual Amalfi Coast. Positano, Praiano, Amalfi, Ravello, Minori, others.
Dayle is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 08:18 PM
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Are you counting your arrival day as one of your five days? If so, you really have only four days to explore a relatively large area. One day the AC, one day Capri, one day Pompeii, one day Naples. Unless you change hotels, you'll be tied to public trans schedules and, depending on the time of year, large crowds of tourists trying to get to the same places you are.

You should prioritize what you want to see/do. As Dayle points out, if you want to see some towns on the AC, you should stay on the AC and probably devote more than one day. But is a second day there worth skipping Capri? You decide.

Naples is great. If you spent at least the last night there, you could leave your luggage at the hotel after check-out while you explore the city before the ferry.

I agree that, right or wrong, Sorrento is a good choice for some visitors. I enjoy the town, but I'm pretty much happy anywhere in Italy.
Jean is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 08:07 AM
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I can't help but say that anybody who thinks "laundry strung between windows over tiny dark lanes" disappeared from Italian cities "decades ago" really needs to get off the typical American tourist itinerary and visit Italy instead of the foreign tourist preserves of Sorrento, etc. A random walk through Bologna, Genova, Palermo, Pisa, Rome (yes, Rome), Verona, San Remo -- the list goes on and on -- will reveal plenty of CLEAN untattered laundry out to dry in the narrow streets where Italians actually live.
stepsbeyond is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 08:14 AM
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You can take a bus to Sorrento from the Naples airport. Spend the day or a few there. Walk through the amazing pottery shops and little restaurants that line the city. You have to walk through the lemon grove and drink some Lemonciello. Also, if you have time drive to a small town called Termini. Go to a Trattorria there called Ughenes sp? Ask around. They dont even have menus, but amazing food. We don't speak Italian so it took about 20 minutes to order, we just drank more wine!
LivetoEat is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 09:45 AM
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Thanks for all the excellent advice. We will take this trip in September and we will acutally have four full days as I was counting the travel day as one of the days.

I was thinking we would have to miss Capri so as not to be running the whole time. Pompeii is a must see as is the Amalfi Coast and I would love to stay in Postiano but I'm wondering about the travel time from Rome. I thought that to see the Amalfi Coast we would take a bus there and then a ferry back or vice versa as a daytrip from Sorrento?

The advantage of staying in Sorrento is that it is central to all of the places we want to see in the area. However, I'm not fond of very touristy places. Would Sorrento compare to say Montepulciano, i.e. touisty but charming or is it better described as congested and a little tacky? I have heard it compared to Blackpool but I haven't been there.
Lily is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 10:57 AM
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stepsbeyond - i have well traipsed all thru those cities - Bologna just last year and don't recall any strung laundry between buildings nor really the tiny lanes Naples has and many of the other towns as well - when was the last time you went to Italy - 1970?
Palenque is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 12:01 PM
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I don't know about Bologna, but I have photos of laundry hung out to dry in Venice in Nov '07 - main island and Burano. Many people prefer to save energy and dry their laundry naturally.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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I did not say you would not see it - laundry strung - but not to the extent i recently saw in Naples - everyone everywhere - a poor city - much poorer than other Italian towns.

And i love Sorrento at night when the main promenade is packed with, yes tourists - when you go out at night in Naples you better do your homework.

Naples now has enlisted former street criminals and pickpockets to warn tourists how not to get pickpocketed - that is very telling.
Palenque is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 01:40 PM
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Lily: Congested and tacky in parts. Much more touristy than a place like Montepulciano. I think you probably would be much better off in Amalfi, which is my favorite of the larger towns. Second choice, Positano or maybe Praiano if you do not care about being close (walking distance) to shops and a wide choice of restaurants.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 11th, 2009, 07:50 AM
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Amalfi and Positano are prettier than Sorrento by far because they are actually on the coast - well Sorrento is too but high up so from the town itself it is not apparent.

But Sorrento is a great located base from which to hop anywhere - quicker than from Amalfi for Pompeii, Naples or even Capri. And when i was in Amalfi the place was about the same being overrun with tourists as Sorrento.

I walked around Naples recently for a whole day and was appalled by the litter everywhere and broken streets, sidewalks, etc. Just not a place i'd want to stay for several days and i think the typical American would not either, being much more comfortable in Sorrento or on the Amalfi - that's an opinion of course.
Palenque is offline  
Dec 11th, 2009, 07:53 AM
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Thiefhunters in Paradise » Naples: capital city of pickpockets ...
May 8, 2008 ... Bob Arno steals from a pickpocket in Naples, Italy. ... Then he leaned toward the big guy and said, “I'll give you back your cigarettes if ...
bobarno.com/.../2008/.../naples-capital-of-pickpockets-part2/ -

pickpockets are a real real problem in Naples - one reason i advise American tourists who are not experienced travelers to base elsewhere
Palenque is offline  
Dec 11th, 2009, 11:30 AM
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Thanks again for the excellent info. I think I might try this:
Day 1 - from Rome direct to Sorrento
Day 2 - day in Sorrento or possible day trip to Capri?
Day 3 - from Sorrento to Pompeii by train on the third day
Day 4 - from Sorrento on the bus tour of the Amalfi Coast suggested by Rick Steves (I know - love him or hate him!)
Day 5 - to Naples from Sorrento in the morning so that we can spend the day touring Naples then get on our ferry late that night to Catania.

With this itinenrary I can incorporate most of your suggestions other than staying in Postiano or Amalfi. The convenience of Sorrento and some of the positive feedback about it has allayed some of my misgivings about staying there. Also we get to stay in one hotel for

Any feedback, recommendations? Any suggestions on the best way to get to Sorrento from Rome - Ira? Is a daytrip to Capri possible or recommended?

I know that we really need more time in this area but unfortunately we don't have it on this trip. Thanks again for all your help with this.
Lily is offline  
Dec 11th, 2009, 11:31 AM
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I meant to add we get to stay in one hotel for the 4 nights which I prefer to changing hotels.
Lily is offline  
Dec 11th, 2009, 11:41 AM
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rather than a day in Sorrento, where there is really nothing of touristic interest (but is a well-equipped lively watering hole base) i would definitely consider a day trip to Capri - boats go frequently from Sorrento - and yes take the boat trip once in Capri out to the Blue Grotto (depending on seas however - the entrance to the cave can be blocked in high seas - and just wandering around Capri is fantastic - tiny buses scoot around and there are nice walking paths - check out the ruins of Emperor Tiberius' cliff-edge villa, where he allegedly, once tired of his young boy toys he dallied with, just had them thrown over the cliff to the rocks hundreds of feet below. (Hope i have not mixed up Ischia, another neat island like Capri that is also a nice day trip). Anyway Capri is gorgeous and the boat ride there lets you see Mt Vesuvius and Naples spread out across the water.

The Amalfi Coast bus trek is awesome - cliff-hugging buses go about 2-4 times an hour all day and are dirt cheap. Get off in Amalfi, a really romantic old port and then stop at Positano if time on the way back - but the journey is the thing with these buses. Buy your bus ticket before boarding the bus - at a caffe or tobacco shop or perhaps bus company kiosk.
Palenque is offline  

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