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namaka Apr 12th, 2009 06:45 AM

Capri, Amalfi, Sorrento and Pompeii Questions?

1. Upon arriving in Capri, what is the best way to get our family of four w/ four bags up to Anacapri?

We will be there towards the end of June and understand that we will be competing with the DT in taking the funicular to Capri town and also the buses from there. I read that there are buses that go straight to Anacapri but am not sure. Nevertheless, with our luggage and the crowds, would it just be better to taxi and if so, what do you think it is running these days. I read 20e but that didn't seem quite right. If you have any other suggestions, they are appreciated. Same to come back down when we leave. Should we just hire a porter? to take our bags to Anacapri and then just brave the funicular and bus ourselves?

2. Is there someplace (tourist office?) that sells or gives out detailed maps of Capri?

3. We would like to take a boat tour around the island but do not want to stop at the Blue Grotto and wait to see if we can get in? Would like to take a boat tour that perhaps skips the Blue Grotto. Is there one available? Aside from sitting at the Blue Grotto waiting and rocking, how are these boats in terms of getting seasick? Obviously a lot depends on the person and the roughness/or calmess of the water but in general!

Plan to see the Blue Grotto, but would rather skip the transfering into the smaller boat and the waiting (and rocking) from the larger boat in hopes of not getting seasick as many have mentioned. Thinking of taking bus/walking and waiting on shore.


Want to let the kids relax and hang out at the beach swimming. I know the beaches are not great, sandy beaches but the kids don't care if the can swim.

1. Can you suggest some nice places to swim? Have read about a couple places where you rent the chairs, umbrellas, etc- how much should I expect to pay pp for this?
Any suggestions on your favorite places. Read about some nice coves that can only be reached by boat? Also read that the Green Grotto near Amalfi has beautiful water but lots of jellyfish (that sting?). Is that true?

2. Staying in an apt and would like to purchase some groceries. Any suggestions?

3. Once in Amalfi, we plan to take daytrip to Positano and then leave to Capri. Can we buy our ferry tickets in advance or only on the day of?

4. Have read different things about the ferrys/hydrofoils. I know the ferrys are slower and thus cheaper but I am wondering if they are better or worse for possible seasickness than the hydrofoils.


We will be arriving from Capri and plan to drop our bags and head over to Pompeii for the day.

From the marina, it says to take mini bus to Piazza Tasso and walk 4 blks to our apt. at Via Padre Reginaldo Giuliani, 56 - 80067 sorrento.

4.Is it all uphill? Just thinking about how hard it might be with the kids and bags. Easy or suggestions?

5. We will then take train to Pompeii. Will we get a detailed map of Pompeii at the entrance?

6. We are taking the Curreri sp? bus from Sorrento to Naples Airport for our flight out. I am not sure where we will need to catch the bus in Sorrento. Can anyone offer any insight as we will need to take the 6am bus out?

Thank you in advance!

ekscrunchy Apr 12th, 2009 07:17 AM

Amalfi: There is at least one supermarket just off the main street. There are also various smaller food shops selling produce, cheeses, meats, etc. Most of these are along the main road through town.

The Amalfi beach is nice. We were there in May and they were charging 10 euro per day for 2 persons--two chairs and one umbrella. I suspect this price may rise in June.

Jellyfish is a seasonal thing. Just because there were jellyfish at one time near the Green Grotto does not mean they will be there when you are there. You can get there by bus from Amalfi.

There is also a nice beach in Atrani; you can walk there easily from Amalfi, on the road or through the town (lots of steps that way)

There is a long, large beach in the town of Maiori; you can get there easily by bus from Amalfi.

There are also smaller beaches in coves all along the coast. For example, near Furore. A boat would be the ideal way to reach those smaller beaches. But most are also accessible by bus if you are prepared for many steps.

I suspect you can buy the ferry tickets a day ahead, but there is no real reason to do this as they are easy to purchase on the day of travel.

ekscrunchy Apr 12th, 2009 07:18 AM

Note: By "main road" through town, I do not mean the coastal road, but the road that cuts through the town of Amalfi and rises up into the hills.

jetsetj Apr 12th, 2009 07:32 AM

On fishing boats the use evaporated milk to get jellyfish sting out of eyes.

artsbabe Apr 12th, 2009 08:02 AM

<3. Once in Amalfi, we plan to take daytrip to Positano and then leave to Capri. Can we buy our ferry tickets in advance or only on the day of?>

Yes to either. We bought ours the day before just to confirm departure time and availability.

<4. Have read different things about the ferrys/hydrofoils. I know the ferrys are slower and thus cheaper but I am wondering if they are better or worse for possible seasickness than the hydrofoils.>

We chose the hydrofoil for that very reason. No problem on that at all, plus I used my SeaBands to be extra sure. It was worth the extra cost for me not to be queasy.


<4.Is it all uphill? Just thinking about how hard it might be with the kids and bags. Easy or suggestions?>

I don't know where your apartment is per se, but once you are up the hill from the marina and at Piazza Tasso, Sorrento is level.

<5. We will then take train to Pompeii. Will we get a detailed map of Pompeii at the entrance?>


Re timing, once you take the ferry or hydrofoil, take the bus up the hill, find your apartment, leave your bags, walk to the train station, get your train tickets, wait (or not) for the Circumvesuviana, get to Pompeii, wait in line for tickets, etc..., it will be noon at the earliest. Can you go on another day?

namaka Apr 12th, 2009 08:18 AM

Great replies,yeah!

Thank you for Amalfi beach and grocery info- exactly what I has hoping for. Now, I know that we will have several options for swimming and relaxing.

ekscrunchy and jetsetj- I am now more at ease about the jellyfish. After researching for well over a year, I found two separate posts about jellyfish yesterday so it kind of surprised me. Just want the kids to be safe!


3. I am kind of the obsessed planner so if I could get the tickets ahead of time, I can plan to be out the door at such and such time. Otherwise, the kids will want to sleep till noon and it'll take forever to get them moving. Works much better with a set plan.

4. Does that mean that the hydrofoils are less likely to make you seasick? I would be willing to pay the extra as well if I were sure. Read conflicting things on this. Do you remember how long the ride is to Capri? Where you also coming from Amalfi?

4. Great to know that Sorrento is level once we get to the Piazza as we are about four blocks up the road. Will definitely make the walk.

5. After much thought this was the day we decided to do Pompeii so no, we cannot go on another day as we are leaving for Dublin the next morning. This was also why we chose to stay overnight in Sorrento. I think it'll be okay if get there around noon and come back around 6pm. That sounds like plenty of time to me?

namaka Apr 12th, 2009 12:11 PM


Steve James, where are you? I know you'll have the answer on where to catch the Curreir bus to Naples because I think you suggested that to me.

Anyone have an opinion on how best to get us and our bags up to Anacapri?

Or if there is a tourist office or store? where we can get a map of Capri?

Lastly, on whether we can take a boat tour w/o having to sit in the long boat line waiting to get into the Blue Grotto?

ekscrunchy Apr 12th, 2009 12:39 PM

Namaka: Take a look at this thread I started last might be helpful.

artsbabe Apr 12th, 2009 12:51 PM

No, we did the hydrofoil from Sorrento to Capri and return, and it was less than an hour, for sure. Perhaps 40 minutes...? I didn't research it extensively, but I heard or read that the hydrofoil would be better than the ferry. Since it, of course, rides a bit above the water by design, waves are less likely to affect it.

That time in Pompeii certainly should be plenty. Remember that it is likely to be hot and there is little if any shade -- water, hats and sunblock!

madameX Apr 12th, 2009 01:26 PM

An assortment of replies:

Re: Capri. Contact your hotel and see if they can make any arrangements for you from the boat to the hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Luna in the main town. We were met by a hotel rep who whisked our bags away, by some miracle got us to the head of the funicular line, and said he'd met us at the hotel with the bags. Perhaps your hotel, or whoever you rent from, can arrange to do some of the lugging. Personally, unless you travel with minimal luggage, I'd ask the hotel to arrange for a porter of some kind. You can decide on the way back if you want to do the logistics yourself.

We took cabs very few times. I don't remember the cost, but Capri isn't a cheap place. There are buses around, but I wouldn't want to manage a bus with luggage.

With rising sea levels (or sinking Capri?,) the only way to see the Blue Grotto is to transfer to one of the small boats.

We hired a private guide (the hotel arranged it) for a boat tour that circled the island. Of course, the guide had a basic plan that most tourists would want to do, but we could request whatever stops we wanted, jumps in the water, or places to skip over.

We were fortunate re: calm seas; we were there in June. A problem with the slower ferries was the weak A/C. We'd don't like supercooled environments, but the cabins were ofen very stuffy and uncomfortable (but yes, probably better than without the A/C.)

We got maps of Capri from somewhere, but can't remember where. We probably had something before we left (a download) but the hotel also had area maps.

Re: Amalfi/Positano: I'm a little confused - are you going from Amalfi to Positano, walk around a bit, and then leave for Capri, i.e. with your luggage? If so, what do you plan to do with the luggage? Positano is very hilly in parts.

Re: Sorrento: Once you are up the hill in Sorrento, it's pretty flat, although I do not know the specific street you indicate.

Re: Pompeii: I agree with a previous Fodorite: do Pompeii another day than when you leave from Capri. It takes some time to get from your hotel in Capri to the harbor; then take the boat; then disembark; then drop your bags at the hotel; then get the train; then enter Pompeii.

There are a number of guides for hire where you buy your entrance ticket to Pompeii. A map comes with your ticket. The official guides wear an license (often on a lanyard.) We hired Giovanni (I think that was his name) who was a really charming older man, smallish and wiry in stature, and carried an umbrella against the sun (green, I think, but this was a couple of years ago.) He was very well versed and trained in the history of Pompeii, and very personable. He also seemed to enjoy children.

We did not have children with us, but I remember one incident when we walked by a toddler in a stroller, and she began to yelp. Giovanni stopped and exclaimed, "Maria Callas! Where have you been?" in the right tone of voice and with a big smile -- like grandpa would do. The child ceased the yelping, and began to smile and giggle.

Make sure you get off at the right Pompeii stop. Two of them have the word "Pompeii."

julia1 Apr 13th, 2009 09:00 PM

If seasickness is a problem for any of you, please do plan ahead for it. Get the wrist bands and take some Bonine with you. And take one tablet before you get to the dock. I've seen people sick on both the traghetti and aliscafi (ferries and hydrofoils).

One year I made the crossing from Sorrento to Capri three mornings in a row. The first was fine, the second and third were miserable for many of the passengers. When the crew began to pass through the cabin handing out bags before we were even out of the port, we knew we were in for a rough crossing. It's not just the waves, it's also the wind which can toss the aliscafi around.

The real advantage of the aliscafi is that the trip is over more quickly. But the advantage of the ferry is that you can get outside for some fresh air. When people are sick on the aliscafi, there's really no way to get away from the odor.

The Curreri bus leaves from Piazza Tasso, I believe. Your hotel can help you with that information. At this time the first morning bus leaves at 6:30. I don't know if buses run earlier in the summer.

There are buses directly to Anacapri from Marina Grande. There are two queues, one for Capri town and one for Anacapri. The buses are small and fill up fast, so you may have to wait through several departures. There are also grand topless taxis near the bus stop. I don't remember exactly what the taxi cost the last time I took one, it's been several years because I usually take the bus, but I think it was in the neighborhood of 30 euros.

You'll be glad you're staying on the island. It's a completely different place after all the day-trippers have left on the last afternoon ferry. Here are some images, if you're interested:

artsbabe Apr 14th, 2009 08:02 AM

We sat outside on the hydrofoil in January, so you don't have to be inside.

kjalaska Apr 14th, 2009 08:55 AM

Do you have to stay in Sorrento? If you really want to see Pompeii why not get a hotel there close to the ruins and walk the few minutes to the ruins. It will save you so much time instead of wasting it traveling on the train. We loved our stay in Pompei, it is a nice little town, not as glamourous as Sorrento but you can always take the train or bus to Sorrento, after you leave the ruins, for dinner and sightseeing. Don't forget to take drinks and snacks with you inside the ruins, the cafe was closed in Feb and may not be opened when you are visiting, there are shops along the street selling very good calzones and drinks.

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