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Florence to Positano via train to Naples or Salerno – which do you recommend?

Florence to Positano via train to Naples or Salerno – which do you recommend?

Aug 20th, 2013, 06:00 PM
  #1  
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Florence to Positano via train to Naples or Salerno – which do you recommend?

We (two sixty–something couples) will be traveling from Florence to Positano on a Saturday in mid-June of 2014. We have narrowed our options down to taking a train to either Naples or Salerno then have a car service take us to our hotel in Positano. For several reasons (mostly less hassle – more convenience), we have ruled out the options of taking buses or taking ferries from either city. We will spend four nights in Positano and we have decided to then have a car service take us to Naples to catch a train to Rome.

It seems there are pros and cons for going via either Naples or Salerno but we are leaning towards Naples. In May of 2001 my wife and I flew in to Naples, picked up a rental car and drove to Positano. I had originally set it up to return the rental car in Salerno to take a train to Rome. However the people at my hotel in Positano said it would be much better to drive to the Naples Centrale train station rather than Salerno so they talked me in to it. I guess their recommendation to not drive to Salerno is why I’m leaning towards Naples.

There probably isn’t much difference between either option but in your opinion, given our situation, is there any advantage for choosing Salerno or should we just stick with Naples? Thanks for your help.
john183 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2013, 06:35 PM
  #2  
GAC
 
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If you were taking public transportation, you would be better off connecting in Salerno to the ferry boat to Positano (April through October only).

However, if you're intent on hiring a private car/driver to take you to Positano, you should go to Napoli Centrale. There is no advantage (and only wasted time) going all the way to Salerno in this case. The advice you were given by the hotel people is accurate, especially if you will have a driver.
GAC is offline  
Aug 21st, 2013, 07:27 AM
  #3  
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GAC - thanks for the info. The two guys in our group were originally thinking about taking the less-expensive ferry from Salerno but the other two members in our group (who shall remain nameless - LOL!!) pulled rank and the decision to hire a more-expensive driver was made. Once that decision was made, I was pretty sure Naples became the obvious choice for us but I just wanted to make sure we weren't overlooking anything by not choosing Salerno.
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Aug 21st, 2013, 07:32 AM
  #4  
ira
 
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Hi John,

Via Salerno is much easier and more scenic.

The ferry dock is at the piazza della Concordia, abt 3 blks downhill from the train station.

The ferry docks in Positano at the foot of the town.

For Ferry schedules Positano – Amalfi - Salerno (P.zza della Concordia):
See http://www.coopsantandrea.com/it/ser...ea/servizi.asp

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Aug 21st, 2013, 08:14 AM
  #5  
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ira - your logic is exactly what us guys used in our argument to take a ferry but we were outvoted 2 to 2 in favor of hiring a driver. Thanks for the ferry schedule and the info - maybe a less autocratic group than ours will heed your advice. LOL!!! Are you saying the actual drive is easier and more scenic to Positano from Salerno than from Naples? Is it about the same total time (train time plus drive time) from either city?

One thing I see in favor of Naples is there seem to be a lot more frequent trains from Florence to Naples than to Salerno - especially on a Saturday. I'm not sure if I checked the schedule correctly but that is how it seemed to me.
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Aug 21st, 2013, 09:55 AM
  #6  
 
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Did you only check Trenitalia? Italorail runs this route also. They list their travel time Florence/Salerno as 3:21 or 3:31 depending on train. Italorail doesn't require a change in Naples and offers more options for this route that don't require changing. Many of the Trenitalia trains do so if you book with Trenitalia, you would probably want to select a train that doesn't require changing.

http://www.italotreno.it/EN/timetabl.../overview.aspx

If you decide Naples, Positano shuttle is 35€ per person:

http://www.positanoshuttle.com/posit...-booking-page/

FYI - You can catch the Sita bus from Salerno to Amalfi at the Salerno train station.

As for scenic, the Naples transfer would probably take a highway until close to Sorrento where it would switch to the coastal road. You would have views from Sorrento to Positano. The Salerno route would be all coastal.
kybourbon is offline  
Aug 21st, 2013, 11:12 AM
  #7  
GAC
 
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There will be somewhat more scenery on the long coastal road from Salerno to Postiano than from Naples to Positano, although the former involves longer time on the train from Florence (making the Naples connection the logical choice if proceeding to Positano by road).

The optimal solution using public transportation is connecting in Salerno and proceeding to Positano by ferry boat from the Concordia Dock 800 meters from the train station. This solution is available from April through October, except when adverse weather causes the boats to be cancelled.

Hiring a private car/driver from Naples is expensive but also extremely convenient and provides the maximum in comfort, privacy and flexibility.

The cheapest solution is going by road on the bus: from Salerno to Positano (changing buses in Amalfi), 7.60 Euros (UNICO COSTIERA 24-hr. ticket); from Naples to Positano, 4.10 Euros (Circumvesuviana commuter rail to Sorrento), plus 3.80 Euros to Positano (with the UNICO COSTIERA 90-min. ticket).

The ferry boat from Salerno to Positano costs 12 Euros, and is most worthwhile compared to taking the slower bus.

From November through March (when the ferry boats don't operate), your only public transportation option is to travel by road or rail/road.
GAC is offline  
Aug 21st, 2013, 11:22 AM
  #8  
 
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Car transfer are usually quickest but not along the often bumper to bumper IME Amalfi coastal road - boats are comfy and fast. Boats from salerno may run more often and cost less and are easier to get to from the train station I believe than in Naples where you must transfer by taxi or bus to the port a few miles away
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 21st, 2013, 11:51 AM
  #9  
 
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Have you priced train tickets on both routes - you may find that Rome to Naples or Rome to Salerno may have vastly different pricing and that could be a factor - perhaps a 9 euro ticket is available on one route but not the other - that may be the determining factor. For lots of great info on Italian trains check out these info-laden sites - www.seat61.com (good info on discounted tickets); www.ricksteves.com and http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id12.html. And also check both 2nd and 1st class - sometimes discounted first class tickets may in some scenarios be almost as cheap as 2nd class due to the vagaries of the Byzantine tiered booking of tickets. Maybe first class on one route may be just a few euros more than 2nd class on the other route (well both trains use a common route if talking about faster trains to Naples but the fare system may show various options for each destination.
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Aug 21st, 2013, 12:02 PM
  #10  
ira
 
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Hi J,

> Are you saying the actual drive is easier and more scenic to Positano from Salerno than from Naples?

From Salerno you take the ferry. The scenic part is looking up at the cliffs as you go along the water.

You can also get off at Amalfi and take the SITA bus along the coast drive to Positano, but then you have to walk down from the road to the town.

From Naples you have to take the Circumvesuviana commuter train to Sorrento and then transfer to the SITA bus.

>Is it about the same total time (train time plus drive time) from either city?

I can't recall, but I think that the combination of scenery and ease of travel (the ferry doesn't fill up the way the trains and buses do) makes Salerno the better choice.

>...we were outvoted 2 to 2 in favor of hiring a driver.

In that case, see if you can make a stop at Pompei Scavii on the way from Naples.
...........................
ky notes
>If you decide Naples, Positano shuttle is 35€ per person:<

For 4 people that's 140E. I think you could get the same price on a limo.


ira is offline  
Aug 21st, 2013, 12:05 PM
  #11  
ira
 
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PS,

Positano is pronounced with 2 long "o"s.

Pose it a Know
ira is offline  
Aug 21st, 2013, 12:19 PM
  #12  
WWK
 
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In July, our transfer from Naples-Positano was E120 for four passengers. We booked with Guemar Travel, based in Sorrento this time and were very happy with the service. It was a bit cheaper than the drivers - who shall remain unnamed- that we've used in the past. BTW, very comfortable van with great AC, and plenty of room for luggage.

If you want to avoid some traffic, especially on a Saturday (!) in the summer, I'd suggest leaving Naples as early as possible in the AM. There is tons of traffic as the day wears on, but if you leave early enough, you may avoid a lot of it.
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Aug 21st, 2013, 12:21 PM
  #13  
WWK
 
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A last note: Just wanted to add that I hope you know about the fast train between Naples and Rome. Trip time is about 70 minutes. Despite many trips to the coast, I only found out about this two summers ago!
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Aug 21st, 2013, 12:52 PM
  #14  
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Wow! Lots of responses - thanks.

kybourbon - I did only check Trenitalia - I'll check Italorail tonight. Thanks for the info.

GAC - We've reached the stage in our lives where we need all the privacy, comfort and flexibility we can get. Thanks for the additional info.

PalenQ - It's too early to get exact pricing but from what I can tell, it is cheaper and faster to get to Naples than Salerno - plus there are many more options (direct trains leave hourly from Firenza SMN). As of right now anyway, it looks like we will be going with a car from Naples to Positano. Thanks for all the train info links.

ira - hopefully anyone that finds this thread looking for this kind of info can use all the great responses to help make a decision - but for us - it's going be a driver.

WWK - I was hoping to find something in the low to mid E100 Euro range - thanks for the tip. Unfortunately we are not super early risers while on vacation so it will probably be around 12:00 or 13:00 before we get to Naples from Florence. Oh well, we'll just relax in the car - and maybe enjoy some Prosecco along the way. And yes we are aware of the fast trains to Rome from Naples - that's why we are for sure leaving through Naples and not Salerno - only 70 minutes will be nice.
john183 is offline  
Aug 21st, 2013, 05:38 PM
  #15  
 
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>>>For 4 people that's 140E. I think you could get the same price on a limo.<<<

Same thing Ira. Private transfer.

Since taxis have a set fee in Naples to various cities on the coast, limos/private transfers will be in the same ballpark.

http://www.comune.napoli.it/flex/cm/.../IDPagina/1193

The traffic Salerno to Amalfi has never seemed as heavy to me as Sorrento to Amalfi. YMMV.
kybourbon is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 05:21 AM
  #16  
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kybourbon - Thanks for the link about the transfer fares - looks like we should be able to find a somewhat reasonable fare from Naples to Positano.

I just checked the Italo train link you provided above. Very interesting. I searched the forum for Italo reviews but did not find many so I'm thinking about starting a new thread on that topic. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
john183 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 07:36 AM
  #17  
 
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For the experience you can't beat the train to Salerno and the easy transfer to boat along the always scenic Amalfi Coast - may take a bit longer but a lot nicer than driving on crowded roads at perhaps a snail's pace -seeing the lovely coast is a great way to arrive in any Amalfi town.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 24th, 2013, 08:38 AM
  #18  
 
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Italo trains are now running to Salerno as well and many reports glow about the trains - brand new rolling stock and maybe cheaper prices than trenitalia so chekc out Italo to Salerno as well.
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