Easiest way to get from Rome to Sorrento

Old May 26th, 2009, 03:46 PM
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Easiest way to get from Rome to Sorrento

We land in Rome around 8am and, based on comments received here and elsewhere, decided to head straight to Sorrento and do Rome on the back end of our trip rather than both the beginning and the end.

Since we'll be coming from California with a 4-hour layover in Atlanta, I want to make sure I know exactly what I'm doing re: transportation before we leave.

My plan is to take the fast train from Rome to Naples and then the circum...(I forget the spelling) train from Naples to Sorrento.

I have a few questions my guide books haven't really answered adequately:
1) Do I have to take a train from the Rome airport to somewhere else to get the train to Naples?
2) Can I buy tickets online before I leave?
3) Would it be better to get a driver from Naples to Sorrento, given that we're likely to be pretty exhausted by that point? I've heard the train from Naples to Sorrento is notorious for pick-pockets, con artists and the like and am worried we won't be nearly as alert as we should be. Any suggestions for reliable, reasonable car services?

Thanks in advance for any and all input!
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Old May 26th, 2009, 04:00 PM
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1) You take the train from FCO airport to Termini train station in Rome, and then change to the train from Termini to Naples

2) You can try but few people succeed in purchasing train tickets online on the Trenitalia website. Anyway in case your plane is late, it's better to just wait until you land in Rome to purchase your tickets

3) I live in CA too and know well what a long haul it is. Honestly, you need to be careful of pickpockets in Termini and the train station in Naples, too.

We've taken the train from Naples to Sorrento and would do it again to save the euro, I don't think it's that bad. But it's not for everyone, and there are lots of driver recs on this board - just search put "sorrento driver" in the search board above and you should find some links.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 04:05 PM
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1) Do I have to take a train from the Rome airport to somewhere else to get the train to Naples?

<RED>You need to get to the train station which is inside Rome itself, You can take a bus or taxi.</RED>

2) Can I buy tickets online before I leave?<RED> Google it</RED>

3) Would it be better to get a driver from Naples to Sorrento, given that we're likely to be pretty exhausted by that point? I've heard the train from Naples to Sorrento is notorious for pick-pockets, con artists and the like and am worried we won't be nearly as alert as we should be. Any suggestions for reliable, reasonable car services?

<RED>If money is not a problem then taking a car service is better. This train reminds me of like a local subway train, carrying your bags and everything, by this time you will be tired, plus when you get to Sorrento you will have to take a taxi from thr train to your hotel. I wouldn't worry about pick pockets or con artists, just keep away from people and always say NO.</RED>
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Old May 26th, 2009, 04:06 PM
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Ah, so that makes 3 different trains we have to take, after our flight from CA that we have to wake at 3am to catch. I'm beginning to wonder if this 'head straight to Sorrento' idea was the best way to go after all.

But it's too late now. Hotels are booked and we leave in 6 days!
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Old May 26th, 2009, 04:11 PM
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The Circumvesuviana (light rail train from Naples to Sorrento) is only worrisome for pickpockets if you are not a seasoned traveler. I have been on lots of trains and didn't worry at all on the Circumvesuviana (or not any more than on any of the numerous other trains I rode in Italy). Just keep your wits about you like you should anyway. Pickpockets prey on people who aren't paying attention.

It's fairly easy to connect to the Circumvesuviana at the train station in Naples - just follow the signs. It's a short walk but inside the station.

When I flew into Rome in Oct 2007, I was headed north for Venice - I didn't buy any tickets ahead of time, just bought them at machines when I arrived. Cost me a bit more but I didn't want to worry about late flights and missing trains. Once in country, though, I bought some of them online (had my laptop with me) and had no problem purchasing from Trenitalia's website.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 04:14 PM
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I wouldn't worry too much. There are lots of trains to catch, particularly the Circumvesuviana, which is a commuter train. Landing at 8am at FCO, you'll probably be in Sorrento by 13:00 or earlier if you take the fast Rome-Naples train. The Italian trains are great. Just make sure you validate tickets before getting on the trains! (When it applies - the Rome-Naples train is probably pre-validated from the machine.)
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Old May 26th, 2009, 04:17 PM
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Or, bite the bullet and hire the same driver to get you at FCO and spend 3 hours in his car to Sorrento--about 300E.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 04:24 PM
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I plan on taking the Circumvesuviana from Sorrento to Naples in the fall. Because it is a commuter train, how awkward is it when taking luggage? I am wondering how much room we will have travelling with our suitcases on this train.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 04:37 PM
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There are also two buses that go from Rome to Sorrento: Curreri and Marozzi Might want to check them out.

My recollection on storage for luggage is that there's overhead storage, but not as roomy as on a trenitalia trains. I think I just put my bag in from of me. Some people with big bags stood in the space between cars by the doors. I think if you travel off peak you should be able to just put your bags on the seat beside you.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 04:54 PM
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I recommend you email a few drivers and get a quote from Rome to Sorrento. I believe they will charge roughly 100 euros which is certainly more than public transportation, but depending on your budget, may be very worthwhile after 13 hours on an airplane. They will meet you inside the Rome airport with your name on a sign. That can be very reassuring. Click on my name to get my recommendation for a driver. You will LOVE Sorrento.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 04:58 PM
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I hit the "submit" button too soon. In Sorrento, for gelato, try Davide and for pizza, Pizzeria de Franco.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 05:39 PM
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You will not find a driver that will transport from FCO to Sorrento for 100€. The cost will be closer to 300€+.

Curreri's bus isn't until 2 pm from Rome's Tiburtina station so that doesn't work for you. The same problem with Marozzi which has a bus at 7 am and one at 3 pm.

FYI - Some of the Circumvesuviana trains make less stops than others - sort of an express run. I don't really notice much of a travel time difference. The awkward part of luggage is in Naples train station where there isn't an escalator/elevator and you have to carry your luggage up a flight of stairs. The station was under construction when I was there in September so maybe they plan to do something about this. There is an escalator for part of it, but not all of it. Sorrento train station has an elevator and a ramp.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 05:44 PM
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Thank you, kybourbon and LAwoman, for your comments regarding luggage.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 06:49 PM
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My husband's wallet was lifted from his front pocket as he was getting on the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento. Just be aware and don't let anyone help you get on the train. If you see a group of rowdy teens hold your belongings tight.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 07:06 PM
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I don't recall any overhead storage on the Circumvesuviana. It's similar to riding the subway. Many times the train is packed and you may end up sitting on your luggage at the end of the car. Watch your pockets/luggage in the Naples train station, on the platform and on the Circumvesuviana. I was traveling alone and had no problem (had been there before), but a couple at my hotel arrived late one night because he had been pickpocketed in the Naples train station. Pay particular attention when the train stops if you are near an exit which would make you an easy target.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 07:32 PM
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Easiest: You can take the train to Naples Centrale, then have a driver meet you at the train. He will wait on the platform with your name on a sign, help you with your bags, then take you to your hotel in Sorrento for about 100 euros for 2 people.

If you take the Circumvesuviana, you will probably end up needing a taxi from the train station in Sorrento to your hotel, which will probably cost between 15-20 euros. Taxis are available outside the station.

For what it's worth: Trains from Rome arrive at Napoli Centrale, and Circumvesuviana trains to Sorrento leave from Stazione Piazza Garibaldi. The two stations are connected by two flights of stairs and corridors - go down the stairs to lower level and follow the signs for Circumvesuviana trains - a few minutes walk via underground passages.

Several different trains use the same tracks in Naples. From Naples the Circumvesuviana trains go to other destinations besides Sorrento - make sure you get on the correct train. Circumvesuviana trains are like metro or subway trains, with several doors in each carriage. At busy times many people stand. It's awkward with much or large luggage but do-able.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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Good pic of what to expect - train Naples - Sorrento:

http://www.stazionidelmondo.it/napoliportanolana6.jpg
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Old May 27th, 2009, 08:25 AM
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We hired a driver two years ago, Rome to Positano, which takes us past Sorrento. Will never forget the drive. Wildly gesticulating driver going about 90 mph on highway out of Rome, then, when nearing Sorrento, absolutely beautiful views and absolutely spine tingling, nails dug in, eyes-closed passing by busses on incredibly narrow one lane roads. We made the mistake of taking this drive on a Friday afternoon in summer. I think it was supposed to take 3 hours and took 5, or something along those lines. However, I would do it again if the alternative were multiple train and cab connections after a long flight from the states. Just avoid Friday afternoon and tell the driver to go at your preferred speed.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 08:28 AM
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We did the Circumvesuviana with luggage from Sorrento to Naples and then the train to Rome. We each had a non-carryon sized suitcase and daypack-sized bag. We found that each Circumvesuviana train had one car that had a luggage area, and we used this and sat where we could see the suitcases. The train didn't strike me as more or less safe than any other subway or train.

As of this past January, there was still lots of construction in the Naples train station.

Now that I recall, we had far more trouble dealing with our suitcases on the train from Naples to Rome because it was so full.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 09:21 AM
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I realize that it might be a bit more costly, but if I were you I would really look into the possibility of a driver straight from the Rome airport to Sorrento. Once you factor the total monetary cost using the three trains that it will take you (probably $100 for two people, plus the possibility of still needing a taxi once you get to Sorrento) against the total cost of a driver (could be up to $300, but for a last minute booking in this economy I wouldn't be surprised if you could arrange it for much less), think about the value of that cost difference to you in terms of the huge savings, both in terms of total travel time and stress. I'm not opposed to taking the train from Rome to Naples on a normal day, but when you have to do it after a long flight and after getting the train from the airport to Termini, and then you still have to worry about getting another train - from a different location - to get to Sorrento, my mind starts thinking about alternative options. There is an almost priceless comfort factor in walking out of the Rome airport after a long flight and just seeing someone holding up a sign with your name on it and letting them take care of getting you to the right place quickly, safely and with absolutely no worries. Think about it!
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