Any exciting towns South of Rome, Italy

Old Mar 3rd, 2014, 06:00 PM
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Any exciting towns South of Rome, Italy

We will be picking up a rental car at the Airport in Rome, Italy, on April 19 around noon and will immediately start driving South. Our first destination will be Matera, but we'll need to rest after a 3 or 4 hour drive. Does anyone have a recommendation for a nice place to stop. We are thinking of Ostia, Anzio...(?). Thank you so much for your suggestions.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2014, 06:15 PM
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We loved Sorento and you may also go further south to the Amalfi.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2014, 08:43 PM
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Thank you, Sorrento will be part of our itinerary. From Rome we're going to Matera, Puglia, Sicily, Amalfi Coast, Positano, etc. We just need the name of a town or area South of Rome where we can rest after a 3 or 4 hour drive from the airport. We will be arriving in Rome around noon and will try to get out of Rome almost immediately. Obviously, we will be tired and will need to rest before continuing our trip. We thought of Ostia or Anzio but thought that perhaps someone else would have a better idea.
Thank you anyway.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2014, 11:58 PM
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I loved Salerno. Very pretty, close to Naples and Faggio. If you love History, Pompeii is an amazing place, but you said you will ezhausted.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 12:38 AM
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Matera is a little less than a five-hour drive from the airport, so if driving four hours is fine, you might want to drive straight through.

Ostia (by which I assume you mean Ostia Antica) is about five minutes from the airport, so you'd be better visiting that while you're in Rome. Anzio is less than an hour from the airport, and stopping there would involve a rather long detour, making your total trip about six hours.

The direct road from Rome to Matera passes through a very sparsely populated area once you're about an hour from Rome. Further on, it passes through the Campania area, where most of the interesting stops would be among the places you're planning to visit after Matera. It's pretty hard to find an interesting stop that doesn't duplicate your post-Matera plans and that breaks the trip in half.

With that in mind, two places you might want to consider are:

Sermoneta, a very beautiful and well-preserved medieval castle town, about an hour and fifteen minutes from the airport.

Montecassino, a huge and beautiful abbey, originally over 1000 years old, but totally reconstructed following the original plans, after being destroyed by an Allied bomb during World War II. There are some war cemeteries and memorials in the vicinity. Montecassino was founded by St. Benedict, who is considered the father of European monasticism. It's about an hour and forty-five minutes from Rome.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 02:14 AM
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Hi M,

>3 or 4 hour drive.

I consider any driving of more than 2 hr when jet lagged to verge on the suicidal.

How about an overnight in Sperlonga?
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g...Vacations.html

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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 03:20 AM
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Caserta and tour the palace the next morning.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 03:27 AM
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Curious - have you done this before after a TA flight? Some people sleep fine others do not.

Also, noticed you have Sicily as part of your itinerary between Pulia and Amalfi. Was that correct? If so, it sounds like an interesting trip by car.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 04:43 AM
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"I consider any driving of more than 2 hr when jet lagged to verge on the suicidal."

I would make that ANY driving while jet-lagged. And murderous as well as suicidal. Of course, the OP may only have a short flight.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 05:10 AM
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About 140 km. south of Rome is the town of Cassino, right off the A1. The Abbey, also known as Monte Cassino is wonderful to visit and has a great history.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 05:44 AM
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I would look for something a bit closer if you are coming off an overnight flight. I think 3-4 hours of driving is a bit much jetlagged.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 07:49 AM
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Good morning:
Thank you all for your wonderful and helpful replies. I am thoroughly impressed and I should've registered to this web site sooner. I agree with those who say a long drive when jet lagged is "suicidal/murderous" (my husband thinks it'll be OK - I don't, of course, so we won't be doing that...).
I have not heard of Sermoneta but a friend of mine suggested Sperlonga. However, if we were to go to Sperlonga we would be stopping there over Easter weekend and the consensus is that that town is mobbed during that Holiday - any comments about this area during Easter (?).
Next, Caserta - I'll have to research this town a bit more - it sounds interesting, though. How far is it from the airport?

What about GAETA

We have driven extensively in Europe but never concentrated in the South of Italy. We went to Positano many years ago and would like to go back this time.

We are in the midst of deciding whether to drive to Matera, Puglia, including Alberobello, Polignano di Mare, Lecce, etc. Taking the ferry at Reggio and drive Sicily, and then head North to Amalfi, Positano, etc.

Or go to Amalfi first, Matera, Puglia, Sicily and fly from Sicily back to Rome.

This sounds complicated, I know, but perhaps you may have taken a similar route while traveling the South of Italy.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 07:54 AM
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Hello again! I am sorry, apparently I submitted my response without reviewing it... but I think you get the gist. Martu518
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 09:29 AM
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How much time do you have for this? Want to make sure you don't short-change Sicily, which can easily take three weeks on its own.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 09:31 AM
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You might remember the Royal Palace in Caserta from Star Wars.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 09:38 AM
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I'm a big fan of both Sperlonga and Gaeta, but if I had to choose it would probably be Gaeta because, among other things, there are so many interesting places to visit just a bit inland.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 09:39 AM
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You might remember the Royal Palace in Caserta from Star Wars.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 09:49 AM
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I didn't assume that this trip would be taking place on arrival in Italy; people often pick up a car at the airport after a stay in Rome, especially if they're heading south. I do think that you might be too tired to make the trip safely immediately after a long flight.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 10:05 AM
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during our week-long's language course in Sorrento a couple of weeks ago, one lesson we had was about the main tourist sites of Campania, and this wonderful palace and gardens appeared on the screen before us. It turned out that it was Caserta - it's gone right to the top of my Must do list. it was described as a mini-Versailles no less.

I second what blv says about the wisdom of driving straight after arrival, but i would definitely want to find room for it somewhere in my itinerary.

How long do you have for this trip? it appears you are flying into Rome, where are you flying out of?
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 10:21 AM
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Sperlonga, Gaeta, and many of the other places mentioned are on the sea. Sermoneta is an entirely different kind of place. I think most people who are responding have never been there, and maybe haven't even heard of Sermoneta. It's a hill town, with a medieval castle, and, in my opinion, it's one of the prettiest small towns in Italy. (Spello is another, but entirely in the wrong direction.) I would say that it depends on your interests, but it may also depend on the weather. The seaside isn't exactly my favorite place in the rain.

If you're considering a place even closer to Rome, one of the Castelli Romani towns would be very close to the airport.
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