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First Italian trip advice needed, please!

First Italian trip advice needed, please!

Old Mar 30th, 2016, 08:54 PM
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First Italian trip advice needed, please!

My family of four (hubby & children, ages 10 & 13) are traveling to Italy this early June. Flying direct from NC to Rome. Staying there 4 nights, heading to Sorrento for 4 nights, then back to Rome for a final night & flying out the next day. A few questions:

1) what's the best way to get from Rome to Sorrento? I'm thinking train to Naples, then either ferry or driver to Sorrento. Thoughts?

2) if we chose to rent a car, is the drive/traffic between Rome & Sorrento daunting?

3) once in Sorrento, what's the best way to get to Positano & rest of Amalfi Coast (assuming we don't rent a car)?

4) any specific suggestions of what to do while in Sorrento & Rome to experience the culture outside of typical "must-sees"?

5) advise on where to stay during last night in Rome somewhat close to airport?

Thank you!!
jdhav is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2016, 10:10 PM
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1) Best in which way? If you have $$$$$, you can hire a car directly from FCO to Sorrento. If you only have ¢¢¢, you can take train to Napoli then Circumvesuviana commuter train to Sorrento. If you have some $$ and some ¢¢, take a train to Napoli, then taxi or arranged car to Sorrento. Ferry requires transfer to dock, then boat, then dock at Sorrento back up to the town level.

2) For A to B type of transfer, a rental car does not make sense especially if this is the only rental. A short rental is very expensive and time consuming if you account for overhead in renting and returning a car.

4) Sorrento and Rome are popular destinations. If you really want to see something outside general areas on your first visit, you are venturing into special interest areas. What is your special interest then?

5) If you head out to Sorrento on arrival bypassing Rome, then you can eliminate this last night consideration by aggregating all your stays in Rome at the end. When are you arriving in FCO? If you are flying direct from CLT to FCO, you will be arriving at FCO around 9:45am, then you can be in Sorrento by 3pm. Depending on you accommodation in Rome, if you head out into Rome on arrival, you might not even be able to check-in. Would you rather want to kill time in Rome until you can check-in or use that time to travel to Sorrento and check-in in Sorrento instead?
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Old Mar 30th, 2016, 10:30 PM
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1) - Agree with Greg. If you have ample luggage I would spring for the car service which will be between 80 and 100 euro. Ferry is to convoluted with luggage as it involves multiple transfers - train, metro, walk to dock, ferry, taxi to hotel.
2) Do not rent a car
3) Get a good guide book and flag the places of interest. 'Local culture' in Sorrento will be hard to find in among the mobs of British tourists. Good luck with that. Get to Positano using the ferry and enjoy the views of the coast. Downside - there is only one service per day from Sorrento. Alternative is the red Coast to Coast bus. Downside - it is expensive and will take you to just Positano and Amalfi.
4) You don't need to stay close to the airport and waste a lovely evening you could have in Rome. Organise a car service to take you to the airport the next day and have one last night having a gelato and taking a walk around the charming historic centre.
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Old Mar 31st, 2016, 02:02 AM
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The car service cost from Naples to Sorrento is around €100, which I think is what Bec is referring to, but from Rome to Sorrento it's considerably more, maybe 300-400€. The trip takes around 3 and a half hours depending on traffic. Naples to Sorrento is under an hour, again traffic permitting.

Sorrento is a tourist town and won't hold that much cultural interest. Positano is about the views and the location on the hillside.

It makes sense if you can, to reverse the order of stay, so that you stay in Sorrento first, then back up to Rome pre flight. The car service or taxi back to Rome airport from the centre takes about 45 minutes and costs around €50. There is a set fare in a taxi from the centre, around €45 I think.
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Old Mar 31st, 2016, 04:19 AM
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>>1) what's the best way to get from Rome to Sorrento? I'm thinking train to Naples, then either ferry or driver to Sorrento. Thoughts?>2) if we chose to rent a car, is the drive/traffic between Rome & Sorrento daunting?>3) once in Sorrento, what's the best way to get to Positano & rest of Amalfi Coast (assuming we don't rent a car)?

I think others have answered that. You could also hire a driver for a one-day tour of the coast.

>>4) any specific suggestions of what to do while in Sorrento & Rome to experience the culture outside of typical "must-sees"?>5) advise on where to stay during last night in Rome somewhat close to airport?
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Old Mar 31st, 2016, 06:23 AM
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Incredibly helpful information, thank you! So, a couple follow up questions...

1) are drivers easily arranged at the Naples train station or can that be arranged ahead of time?

2) suggestions for day trips while using Sorrento as our base? We like active days!

Thanks, again!
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Old Mar 31st, 2016, 07:16 AM
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Pompeii is an easy daytrip by train from Sorrento. Other options: the Isle of Capri, Herculaneum (another archeological site), and, of course, the Amalfi coast towns, especially Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. There's also a number of well preserved Greek temples at Paestum, near Salerno just beyond the AC. Some people like to visit Mt. Vesuvius and the city of Naples (where there's an archeological museum with the best stuff from Pompeii).

Depending on your interests, I suggest you research these sites further in guide books and online. Maybe get your kids involved. The more you all know the more you'll enjoy your trip.
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Old Mar 31st, 2016, 07:53 AM
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The local train from Naples to Sorrento (same train station, just go downstairs and buy ticket which is about 4euro). The trains are often crowded but if you just have a carry on each (and tote or backpack) it is very manageable. Four people and luggage might not fit in a regular car so the cost may be more than people are listing above.

Easy day trips from Sorrento are Positano and Amalfi which can be done by bus (awesome scenery, but some people get motion sick on the curvy road) or boat (a boat usually leaves Sorrento around 9am and one heads back from Positano/Amalfi around 3-4 pm making for a pretty nice day. You can combine them, say take the bus to Amalfi, then boat or bus back to Positano and then boat back to Sorrento. While in Amalfi you can do the short (15 minute) walk to the neighboring town of Atrani which is lovely and much less crowded than the others. You can also take a bus us to the town of Ravello. You probably don't have time for all four towns in one day. Other day trip options are boat to Capri or boat to Ischia for the day (Capri is more famous, also more crowded, but has fantastic views from the upper part of the island; Ischia has a cool castle the kids might like and is overall less crowded). Pompeii is also an easy day trip (by train) from Sorrento.

Here's my photos of the area: http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/ital...aples__pompeii
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Old Mar 31st, 2016, 10:08 AM
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>>1) are drivers easily arranged at the Naples train station or can that be arranged ahead of time?>2) suggestions for day trips while using Sorrento as our base? We like active days!
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Old Mar 31st, 2016, 11:30 AM
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What Mimar said about day trips. Also, all of Naples is easily reachable from Sorrento by train and is a very interesting city to explore--see the Archaeology Museum then explore.
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