April in Italy

Old Sep 5th, 2018, 01:22 PM
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April in Italy

Hi everyone,
My wife and I are planning a trip to Italy to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary from 6th - 21st April 2019
I'm thinking of flying to Rome, then catching a train to Sorrento / Positano as a base to explore the Amalfi Coast and then catch a train to Florence, before flying home.
I've heard that a lot of things might be closed before Easter on the Amalfi Coast, is this true? Unfortunately I'm restricted to those 2 week before Easter, because I'm a teacher.
I wondered what everyone's thoughts on how long to spend in each area and what is the best way to do the Amalfi Coast for someone who's never been before? Is it best to move hotels every couple of days, or just stay one place and do day trips? We definitely want to visit Capri, so any tips on how to do that would be great.
thanks!

Last edited by dvdgrdnr; Sep 5th, 2018 at 01:27 PM.
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Old Sep 5th, 2018, 01:54 PM
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>>> I'm thinking of flying to Rome, .....then catch a train to Florence, before flying home.
Have you actually looking at flight booking sites to see if there are actual flights with schedule, layover considerations, carrier preferences, and the prices acceptable to you?
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Old Sep 5th, 2018, 02:14 PM
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A train to Sorrento from Rome Airport after flying all night may not be much fun but I assume you are staying in Rome a few days? Trains to Sorrento involve taking a train from Rome to Naples Centrale then shuttling over via walkways to the CircumVesuviana narrow-gauge train line to Sorrento then by bus to Positano (many folks like doing a private driver Naples to Positano which is much more dreamy than Sorrento, a neat watering hole but with few rave views over the sea like from Positano.

Sorrento makes a utilitarian base though if going to Pompeii -short train ride - or Capri and Amalfi.

And trains to Florence can be done via Sorrento/Naples or from Positano ferry to Salerno and direct trains from there to Florence. In any case be sure to book trains early - up to 3 months in advance I believe at Acquista il biglietto con le nostre offerte - Trenitalia and www.italotreno.com - competing railways using same tracks and stations - take whichever is cheaper. www.seat61.com has loads of great info on booking own trains - general info trains and what to expect like 1st vs 2nd classes also BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.

There are ferries Positano to Capri and to Sorrento (buses too but very slow) but you may want to stay a few days in each Sorrento and Positano.
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Old Sep 5th, 2018, 03:44 PM
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Things are open in April on the Amalfi coast, with most places opening around the first. Easter is actually a busy time, with various religious festivals, so expect your last week-end to be fairly crowded. Some people spend a few days in each of a variety of places. Our preference is to base ourselves in Sorrento and make day trips from there. Sorrento is larger than the small AC towns and will offer more shops and restaurants. Most posters here would suggest staying away from having a car. Trains, buses and ferries will get you around easily. And, Sorrento will provide you the best access to all of them. Naples, Pompeii, Capri (and make sure you go to Anacapri and go up the chairlift to Monte Solaro), Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Ischia, etc., are all easily reached from Sorrento. And, if you are ambitious, it's easy to get to Salerno and even Paestum. Happy Anniversary!
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Old Sep 5th, 2018, 07:31 PM
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I wouldn't say that places like Amalfi and Ravello are easy day trips from Sorrento. My idea of an easy day trip involves less travel than that would entail. Each to their own of course.
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Old Sep 6th, 2018, 10:20 AM
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Thanks for the responses everyone.
How long would it take to travel to Positano/ Capri / Ravello from Sorrento pls and is boat the best option.
Also how long would you recommend I spend in each spot? We have 2 weeks in total. I was thinking 4 days in Rome, 4 in Amalfi Coast and 4 in Florence. Does that sound like a good spread? Or shall we just do a week in Rome and a week in Amalfi Coast and visit Florence some other time??
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Old Sep 6th, 2018, 02:47 PM
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You can reach Positano in 50 minutes by Sita Bus and another 50 minutes via bus to Amalfi (Ravello involves another bus that takes a short hop above Amalfi). We took our daughter there on a return trip two years ago, and we enjoyed Positano, Amalfi and Ravello in one day. Some might prefer dinner under the stars on the AC, and that becomes difficult from Sorrento. The ferry to Capri from Sorrento takes only about 20-25 minutes. A good link for what to expect on Capri in April: https://www.capri.com/en/m/capri-island-in-april

With regards to your proposed itinerary. either would work for me, but it all depends on your travel style. Four days in each place will allow you to see the major sights. Some might want to settle into a resort a relax a bit. We can move about quickly and with carry-on luggage, so your itinerary works for us. For most of your trip, the crowds won't be bad that time of year. It will be a bit cooler in Florence, but spring in Tuscany can be wonderful.
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Old Sep 9th, 2018, 10:55 AM
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We went to Florence and Amalfi this past Spring. We went after Easter this year. The crowds in Florence especially on cruise ship days were beyond ridiculous literally wall to wall people in the squares and on the Ponte Vecchio. Even the other side of the Otrarno was super crowded the days we visited. The architecture and the art is of course stunning but much harder to appreciate fully when you are dealing with those crowds of other tourists besides yoursevles. We found the lessor known places enjoyable such as the Museum of the Doumo--they have a great terrace with a perfect view of the Dome and the original baptistry doors and the Bargello Museum--nice and quiet and fantastic pieces in their collection including the competition for the baptistry doors.

For the Southern area, we based ourselves in Sorrento and made day trips to Pompeii, Capri and the Amalfi Coast--we visited Ravello and Amalfi. It takes quite a while to get there by bus on the long narrow winding roads--factor in a two hour bus ride each way. In Ravello the Villa Cimbrone is excellent. The ferry to Capri from Sorrento is easy and quick. On Capri we really enjoyed Augustus Gardens beautiful views of the farglioni rocks below. The flowers are in bloom that time of year too. Sorrento is a lovely town to base for the areas you want to see. Plenty of restaurants to chose in the evening and good transportation to Capri, Amalfi Coast and Pompeii.

We landed in Rome and spent a few days there before taking the train to Florence then a direct train to Naples and onward to Sorrento. We spent the last night in Rome for our flight back the next day. If on a Friday evening in Rome that would be the best time to visit the Vatican Museums. They offer Friday evening openings from April to October. However, the Basilica closes at 7PM so best to see that before if you plan on visiting. We wrote months in advance to get a Scavi tour to tour underneath the Basilica to avoid the throngs of crowds waiting to enter the Basilica. There is a separate entrance for Scavi ticket holders.

Are you flying home from Florence or round trip Rome?
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Old Sep 9th, 2018, 12:15 PM
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Im thinking now we do Florence some other time to give us longer in Amalfi Coast.
So the plan at the moment is:
6 nights in rome
3 nights in sorrento and visit Capri and Pompeii whilst were there.
3 nights in Positano and visit Amalfi and Ravello whilst were there.
Does that sound like a good distribution of time for each place??
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Old Sep 9th, 2018, 03:43 PM
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I too did a day trip to Amalfi and Ravello - these are small towns so I did a wonderful hike from Amalfi town up to Ravello perched high above it - thru orchards and a lush valley then steep steps and walked down zigzagging thru vineyards to the coast. GREAT walks and views from Ravello were superb. If I had no hiked I could have easily seen Positano too - I say 'see' like in seeing just what the town - Amalfi- was all about and, small, I saw everything I wanted - even had a picnic apres hiking at the port - took SITA bus each way from Sorrento. And from the bus I saw a lot of Amalfi Coast. would have been neat to take ferry one way but I preferred the frequency and cheapness of the buses. Now this is no substitute for a stay on the Amalfi and relaxing in those towns and on the coast but it is easy enough to see the Amalfi by bus from Sorrento but ti does entail a lot of time on buses but always with scintillating views of the coast and small towns it skirted. The buses are world-famous for 'thrills' as they negotiate ever-so-slowly but not slow enough for many those sinuous hairpin turns on the sinuous coast road they ply.
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Old Sep 9th, 2018, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by dvdgrdnr View Post
Im thinking now we do Florence some other time to give us longer in Amalfi Coast.
So the plan at the moment is:
6 nights in rome
3 nights in sorrento and visit Capri and Pompeii whilst were there.
3 nights in Positano and visit Amalfi and Ravello whilst were there.
Does that sound like a good distribution of time for each place??
Yes, sounds excellent!
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Old Sep 10th, 2018, 02:59 AM
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I also think your Rome/Sorrento/Positano plan sounds great but I'd stay in Rome last if that's where you're flying home from.
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Old Sep 10th, 2018, 11:58 AM
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Well nice to stay in Rome after landing rather than shuffling on a long haul off to Sorrento or Positano - so maybe split Rome into some at first and some at last?
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Old Sep 10th, 2018, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by dvdgrdnr View Post
Im thinking now we do Florence some other time to give us longer in Amalfi Coast.
So the plan at the moment is:
6 nights in rome
3 nights in sorrento and visit Capri and Pompeii whilst were there.
3 nights in Positano and visit Amalfi and Ravello whilst were there.
Does that sound like a good distribution of time for each place??
Look into flying into Naples. If that isn't realistic or possible, I'd stay in Naples, rather than Sorrento, and I'd head there immediately after landing at FCO. It would take about two hours from FCO to Napoli Centrale, and there are fast train departures from FCO once or twice an hour nearly the entire day. Staying in Naples, you'd have easy access to Capri, Pompeii and the archeology museum in Naples.

From Naples, considering hiring a driver to take you to Positano
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Old Sep 10th, 2018, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dvdgrdnr View Post
Im thinking now we do Florence some other time to give us longer in Amalfi Coast.
So the plan at the moment is:
6 nights in rome
3 nights in sorrento and visit Capri and Pompeii whilst were there.
3 nights in Positano and visit Amalfi and Ravello whilst were there.
Does that sound like a good distribution of time for each place??
I don't see any mention of your interests or why you picked any of these cities. The honest answer to your question is who knows.

Why did you pick these cities? What are you hoping to see and do? Right now you seem to have a list of stops which might or might not bore you to death.
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