Easter Week in Italy

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Dec 15th, 2017, 04:35 PM
  #1
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Easter Week in Italy

Hello! My teenage daughter and I are going to Italy in the spring - March 25 - April 2. We’re flying in and out of Rome. I’m planning on Florence and Rome. I’ve been to Italy several times (but not recently). I love both Florence and Rome but do find Rome a bit overwhelming. I’d love
some advice on traveling to Italy during Easter. My plan was to head straight to Florence, spend 5 days there, and then the last 3 days in Rome. I’m wondering whether I should switch that - Rome first? Where is it “better” to be on Easter (given that we have a morning flight out of Rome the day after Easter)? Research shows me that wherever we are there will be plenty of open sites and restaurants (yes?). What about trains - do we need to make reservations in advance or can we buy them while in Italy? I’m mostly worried about the Florence to Rome train ticket right before Easter.

And I’ve recently discovered that my ancestors come from a small town, Agerola, not far from Pompeii. I’m toying with the idea of doing a side trip to Pompeii but without a car I’m not sure how I could also get to Agerola.

Thanks for any advice!
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Dec 15th, 2017, 08:30 PM
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>>What about trains - do we need to make reservations in advance or can we buy them while in Italy?<<

We traveled by train from Bologna to Chiusi on the Saturday before Easter a few years ago. It was a hectic event. Lots of people, and many delays. We arrived at the Chiusi train station about 10 mins after the car rental offices were scheduled to close. Fortunately, Europcar knew that we had a reservation - and they remained open.

The train was 110% occupied. Yes - get a reservation.

Stu Dudley
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Dec 16th, 2017, 10:46 AM
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There are no extraordinary closings for Easter. Many restaurants have big set-menu dinners, which must be reserved, but there are plenty of other restaurants. Trains run on the Sunday schedule on Easter, and also on Easter Monday, which is a public holiday. The Vatican Museums are closed on Easter, as on every Sunday, and also on Easter Monday, which is a religious feast. Other museums have their normal opening hours.

Your travel to Rome on arrival on the 25th should be no problem. It's a week before Easter, and traffic is usually light on a Sunday. I wouldn't want to reserve that ticket in advance, because you don't know exactly when your flight will arrive and how long it will take to get through immigration. For the trip back to Rome, I would reserve in advance. For one thing, it's getting close to Easter, and also because you can save a lot of money by getting tickets in advance. (Discounted tickets are nonrefundable, so don't buy them at a discounted price if you're uncertain of your travel time. The full price "Base" tickets can be exchanged until one hour after the scheduled departure of the train.)

Stud must have been traveling on a regional train, because reserved-seat trains can't be more than 100% full, and most of the trains that stop in Chiusi are regional trains. If it was a regional train, there would have been no possibility of reserving a seat. The tickets for these trains are like city bus tickets. You buy the ticket and get on the first trains that leaves; or if it's too full, you wait for the next train. Almost all of the trains between Rome and Florence are high-speed trains, with 100% reserved seats.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 10:50 AM
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Thank you both very much!
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Dec 16th, 2017, 11:09 AM
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Our entire train trip was:
- Milan Centrale to Verona - where we stayed for 3 nights
- Verona to Bologna where we stayed for 2 nights
- Bologna to Chiusi on the Sat before Easter Sunday - where we stayed in San Quirico for 13 nights. San Quirico was a "zoo" that night
- Chiusi to Milan Centrale where we stayed for 2 nights.

The trains from Verona to Bologna and from Bologna to Chiusi were packed solid. I don't recall if we had a seat reservation or not. I'm pretty sure we did on all but the Milan to Verona segment. We sat in the incorrect cabin on the Bologna to Chiusi leg, and fortunately a very nice family was in the cabin with us and directed several people who were were suppose to sit in our seats - to another cabin where seats were available. This family was from Milan and were traveling on this train all the way to Rome to hear the new Pope give his first Easter address. The trains might have been unusually full because of both the Easter people going to Rome, and the new Pope giving his first address.

Stu Dudley (only my wife gets to call me Stud)
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Dec 16th, 2017, 02:09 PM
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Getting on high-speed trains Rome-Florence and back should be easy as there are so so many but to be sure book ahead at www.trenitalia.com and if book early enough get nice discounts on tickets over full-fare but those cheaper tickets sold in limited numbers so book early -but also book in stone as non-changeable from that specific train.

Not sure how far Agerola is from Pompeii but there are frequent trains from Naples to Pompeii - the modern town a bit away from the ruined old Pompeii and buses invariably go out to nearby towns. Check www.Rome2Rio.com for more info. www.trenitalia.com for trains Naples to Pomeii and from Rome to Naples - again discounts if booking early- www.seat61.com has tons of great info helping you book your own online tickets - for general info www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 02:14 PM
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The Stud was a typo. Tell your wife not to worry!
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Dec 16th, 2017, 02:25 PM
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Agerola is south of Naples, between Pompeii and Sorrento. If you take the Circumvesuviana from Naples to Pompeii, the same line, continuing in the direction of Sorreneto, will take you to Castellammare di Stabia, very near Agerola. There are buses from Castellammare to Agerola, and there may even be taxis.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 11:18 PM
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If you know the town your family is from, I really think you should try to go. Even if it is only for a couple hours visit. I did with my dad and it was a great experience.

Perhaps there is a driver from Pompeii you could hire?

FiveAlive
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Dec 17th, 2017, 07:55 AM
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It's a long day trip Rome to Agerola so spend a few nights near there - probably 4 hours from Rome each way.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 12:53 PM
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Yes, I was going to suggest that if a trip to Pompeii is in the plan, to go to Agerola afterwards, spend the night, and return to Rome the next day. That would mean that you'd have to bring at least an overnight bag with you, but Pompeii has luggage storage.

From Pompeii to Agerola shouldn't be a terribly long trip. The Circumvesuviana from Pompeii to Castellammare takes less than half an hour. I don't know how long you'd have to wait for a bus, or how slow the buses are, but the distance from there to Agerola isn't great. If you arrive at Pompeii as early as possible, and leave in the early afternoon, you might indeed be able to get a glimpse of Agerola and return to Rome the same night.

You might want to look up the surnames of your ancestors in the white pages:

https://www.paginebianche.it/

Put the surname in the field that says, "cognome" and put "Agerola" in the field that says, "località". Given names tend to be passed down in Italian families, so if you see first names that look related to your family's names, you might even want to call or write. For example, if you find a Francesco with the surname of your family, and if you have an uncle Frank, Francesco just might be a relative, especially if it's not a common name or surname.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 01:00 PM
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Agerola looks like a very pretty little town on a cliff overlooking the sea. It might be worth a visit even if you didn't have ancestral connections. You might want to cut some days from Florence and make Agerola the main focus of your visit. Apparently they have a dramatic Good Friday procession.

http://www.proagerola.it/en/events/t...s-and-folklore
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