First Italy trip- input much appreciated

Feb 25th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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First Italy trip- input much appreciated

I?m new to this board but have read some other posts and found this to be a very useful and seemingly very well informed and cooperative group. I was hoping for some help myself. I?m planning a honeymoon (and first trip to Europe) for early September this year. Tentative itinerary:
DAY ONE: Fly from Boston to Rome
DAY TWO: Arrive in Rome around 10 am, get bearings, and hopefully so some sightseeing in the afternoon and dinner.
DAY THREE: Spend some time sightseeing around Rome and then catch early afternoon train to Naples and continue immediately onto Sorrento arriving around 4 pm. Dinner and night in Sorrento.
DAY FOUR: Spend morning in Sorrento and then noon time train to Pompeii. Return to Sorrento late afternoon on train. (30 minutes each way)
DAY FIVE: Take morning ferry (8:30 am or so) from Sorrento to Capri. Spend day/night in Capri
DAY SIX: Capri
DAY SEVEN: Take noon time ferry from Capri to Sorrento (or Positano if possible). Early afternoon bus to Positano. Sightsee, dinner, and night in Positano.
DAY EIGHT: Take afternoon (3 pm) bus from Positano to Amalfi and then catch bus to Salerno. Catch evening train from Salerno to Rome arriving around 10:15 in Rome. ( MAY BE TRICKY I KNOW)
DAY NINE: See more sights in Rome
DAY TEN: Take 1 pm flight from Rome back to Boston

I am hoping for some input regarding:
-Too hectic?
-Is there a ferry from Capri to Positano?
-Would it make sense to add another day for more Positano?
-Some of my train/bus connections are somewhat tight. Do you need much time for transfers and do things run on time?
-We are budgeting about $200 USD ($160 Euro) a night for hotel, is this adequate for 3-4 star (1st Class/Superior 1st Class)? It seems like there are actually good deals to be found in Positano/Capri for $125-180 USD, are these too good to be true? Can similar be found in Sorrento/Rome? Will there still be availability at this point? Is the internet a reliable method to reserve rooms? (I speak no Italian)
-Is the bus ride from Positano/Amalfi/Salerno worth it or should we just go from Positano to Sorrento and then train it from there back to Rome via Naples? Doe it make a difference either way?

I?m sure your comments will be quite helpful and also prompt more questions. Thank you in advance for your help.
rparmele1 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 01:39 PM
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Yes, it is much too hectic for my taste. But, then, I'm not you. Can't help you with hotels as we prefer pensions or smaller luxury hotels that don't qualify for more than 2 stars.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 01:47 PM
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I can't answer all of your questions, but that itinerary has way too much rushing around for my tastes. Especially for a honeymoon - we were so exhausted after our wedding we couldn't do much of anything in the way of sightseeing for about three days - and we stayed in the same time zone!

But it's your trip, and maybe you have a lot more stamina than we did.

Things do generally tend to run on time in Italy - Mussolini's best legacy, I guess.

StCirq is online now  
Feb 25th, 2004, 01:49 PM
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Minor issue, but to follow your trip, seems like more people say Day 0, depart, Day 1 arrive.

But maybe it is day one of your new life in marriage!? so who am I to pick?

Anyhow, yes, it is a little bit hectic. I wonder if you might be able to find an inexpensive onward flght to Naples (never leave the airport). nd then consolidate your time in Rome at the end.

In rome, 160 euro might end up being closer to 2-2.5 stars, rather than true 3 stars, but maybe you will find a gem at a bargain price. It won't kill your honemyoon.

If this is a "typical" Sunday honeymoon departure, and you arrive on Tuesday - - are you setting yourself up for something you have to do on the next day? (like go to work?). If that's true, despite how crammed your trip is, I might recommend shoertening by one day.

Congratulations on your imending marriage... and...

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 01:54 PM
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There is a regular bus from Sorrento to Positano, and regular ferries connecting Positano, Capri and Sorrento. Instead of trying to stay two nights in each of these places, why not just stay in one and take leisurely day trips to the others. My pick would be Positano.

Picking Positano as a base does make it a bit harder to get to Pompeii, but you will more than make up for lost time by not having to pack and move luggage around.
FHurdle is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 01:56 PM
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Last year I met this cute young couple starting their honeymoon after flying through Rome and training down to Sorrento.

They had left the day after their wedding and were so exhausted just from the stress of the wedding, planning the trip and flying that she had her shoes off and was popping aspirin and he looked like a deer ready to lie down in front of the appoaching headlights!

Take it easy, it is a honeymoon first of all, you can always travel together later.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 01:57 PM
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Yes, very hectic. But having said that, I have done something similarly hectic before.
To answer a few questions:

I would probably take the bus Positano -> Amalfi -> Salerno and then train to Rome. There are direct trains from Salerno -> Rome.
If you go Positano -> Sorrento, you'll need to take CV train to Naples and then change again for Trenitalia train to Rome.

There is a ferry from Capri -> Positano. Not sure if it runs in Sept, hopefully someone else will know.

Pack light, as you are moving around a lot!
yk is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 01:59 PM
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Thanks so much for all the repsonses thus far. I was afraid it was a bit hectic. As for timing, the wedding is on a Saturday, we are doing nothing Sunday, and planning to fly out Monday around 5 pm. We would get home and have the weekend to relax again before work. I may add in another day to the trip as well as cut down on some trvael. Thanks thus far.
rparmele1 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 05:58 PM
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Thanks again for all of your help. I've made some changes. Please let me know if this sounds better/easier. I added one day as well. Thank you again.
DAY 0: Depart Boston (2 days after wedding) around noon for Naples
DAY 1: Arrive in Naples sometime around noon. Get on a ferry/hydrofoil ASAP to Capri. Spend night in Capri.
DAY 2: Capri
DAY 3: Late morning/noon time ferry to Sorrento (or directly to Positano if possible) then on to Positano. Stay in Positano.
DAY 4: Positano
DAY 5: Take day trip from Positano to Pompeii (3-4 hrs) via Sorrento and return to Positano for evening.
DAY 6: Positano
DAY 7: Take bus from Positano to Salerno via Amelfi. Then board train to Rome.
DAY 8: Tour Rome
Day 9: Tour Rome
Day 10: Fly out of Rome to Boston in AM

This seems far less hectic. Again, people have been very helpful, both on this topic and on the board in general.
rparmele1 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 06:14 PM
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Greetings and best wishes on your marriage. Please take a deep breath and remember that the honeymoon is the most important part of this trip. Rome alone would be enough - Sorrento, enough, as well. When you look back on this trip, what sense of it will you want? If it were my honeymoon - oh, my goodness - were it were my honeymoon - I'd spend it all in Rome, wandering back streets, interacting with those wonderfully friendly Romans, visiting the sites that will take your breath away, absorbing 2000 years plus of incredible history but never having to make a deadline or push myself and my new spouse. I've been to Rome twice and each time wished for more - more la dolce vita. Wished for the time to meander and pretend and imagine. Pompeii will blow your mind away. Half a day is not enough. I guess it all depends on what you want - mandolins or madness. Slow down - and remember you are beginning a life together. Move slowly into it. I have to say that Italy is perfect for a honeymoon - maybe even more so than Paris, my favorite city. Good luck, my dear.
Shanna is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 07:12 PM
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Your revised itinerary is VERY reasonable, much better and will be a wonderful trip. It's a nice pace and will allow you to see a beautiful slice of Italy. Everyone has different opinions but as this is your first time to Italy, I think you've done a good job with this itinerary. Don't listen to people who say you need to spend the whole 10 days in one place - that's a nice luxury for people who have visited a place many times but not for your first trip.

Go ahead and book it and figure out your hotels. For hotel recommendations, there are plenty of suggestions on this site (just do searches like "Positano hotels") and you can always check reviews on You can definitely find them for $200 a night if you are a bit flexible - some places like Capri and Positano are quite expensive so you might not always find a 3 star, but it's doable.

You're doing this the right way by planning ahead. Enjoy.
mediterraneo is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 07:15 PM
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There is a bias on this board for staying in place more than moving around and it is my bias also. Think about your preferences as couple and make sure that it is okay with both of you to be moving around a lot. I like to get into one place and take day trips more than I like to move around to much. Do you think you might stay in one place for 4-5 nights at a time and pick just two places to visit instead of three? I know it doesn't seem like it now, but a wedding is intensely stressful and traveling can be stressful also, better to minimize that and enjoy each other.
tinarose is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 09:54 PM
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I applaud you on working out this great new plan! For your first trip you are doing a good job planning so far. I would keep this new trip and pick some nice hotels from the search box here and you will have a wonderful time.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 05:39 AM
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Hi rp,

Much better itinerary.

How important is Rome? A honeymoon on the Amalfi Coast in September would be terrific.

You could fly into Naples (a night there would be interesting. You could leave your luggage at the hotel and go to Pompeii, come back and) take the ferry to Capri.

Take the evening ferry to Positano and spend the rest of your time on the coast
and return from Naples.

The AC part of my trip report might help you.

Ira?s Trip Report

see also

Helpful Information: Italy

ira is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 07:06 AM
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Thank you all yet again.

Ira, I read most of your travel journal that you supplied the link to and found it very helpful. We've heard so many great things about Positano and are hoping to base ourselves there but it seems if we couldn't find adequate (unique mix of cost, amenities, and availability) accommodations there we really could not do much wrong by setting up anywhere along the coast such as Praiano, etc. Correct? Thanks. As for Rome, I think we are both excited about seeing it so we will probably try to work it into the trip. Your advice makes sense though too. Regardless, we're looking forward to it, now we just have to get some luck in booking it.
rparmele1 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 09:50 AM
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I've developed a formula that results in maximum enjoyment and minimum stress.

Do half as much in twice the time

Here's how - first I figure out everything I could possibly see and do in a given time period, say for two weeks.
Then I select the equivilent of one week's worth and then cut that itinerary in half.

I learned this in Florence the hard way. I started at 8am and finished at 7pm and walked all day and never stopped. I was exhausted all the time.
After that trip I made myself a couple of promises. 1. I would come back. I didn't have to do it all then or never and 2. I would leave plenty of time to wander and be lost, for opportunities to be surprised by what I stumbled upon by accident.

Now I put in effort on the front end of my trip.
I read extensively, so that I get the full flavor of the sights when I'm there, I get the benefit of the resonance of history and meaning.
If I particularly love Caravaggio or Fra Angelica or Miro I find out where their works are before I go. And if I see a church door in Rome, I go in.

Please accept my best wishes for many years of happiness.
Scribbler is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 10:10 AM
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Hi rp,

As I noted, room 12 at the Le Sirene has the same view as from the Le Sirenuse in Positano at a much lower rate.

The orange bus runs from Praiano to Positano on a regular schedule, and the SITA bus stops right near the hotel.

We will stay there again when we go back. Use the money you save over Positano to have dinner at La Strada in Praiano.
ira is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 10:53 AM
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Ira- I have an e-mail to Le Sirene about availablity in early September but haven't heard back. Will I be out of luck? How much lead time would you say I need to find something? Thanks.
rparmele1 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2004, 12:09 PM
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when are you traveling??
gmante6309 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2004, 02:39 PM
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Hi rp,

Have you heard from Le Sirene?
ira is offline  

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