Getting Around Italy

May 15th, 2004, 05:49 AM
  #1  
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Getting Around Italy

We're going to be spending a week in Tuscany and will be renting a car to get around during that time. From there, we're traveling to Positano for a week. Question -- is it better to turn the rental car in and take a train from Florence to Positano, or drive there? Thoughts?? Thanks!
jmbagyi is offline  
May 15th, 2004, 06:26 AM
  #2  
 
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I know many people will disagree but I would keep the car - because it will make getting aroung easier onec you're there. We stayed in Sorrento and found the car very convenient for a variety of day trips to Naples, Pompeii and along the coast. Just make sure your hotel has parking available.
nytraveler is offline  
May 15th, 2004, 06:35 AM
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This has got to be one of the most frequently asked questions on this board! IMO, you do not want or need a car on the Amalfi coast. Parking is hard to find and expensive, traffic kind of mind-boggling esp in summer months. Most importantly the driver will not get to actually enjoy the scenery as he/she will be battling other drivers and the huge number of buses and trucks, negotiating hairpin turns while trying to avoid running off the sheer cliffs, and generally trying to negotiate the roads which, as John Steinbeck so eloquently said "are just narrower than the width of two cars. . . ." It's not a whole lot of fun for the passenger, either, as you see your life flash before your eyes and wonder if your spouse is really up to the task. . .

Take the train from Florence to Naples (about 4 hours, good scenery). Some trains require a change in Rome although there are many trains which do not. I always use rail.ch, the Swiss Rail website for finding schedules, as I find the Italian rail website hard to use, but you can try it yourself at trenitalia.com . To continue on public transport to Positano, you have a choice of ferry, train or bus (or combination thereof). With luggage, my suggestion would be to have a car and driver meet you at Naples train station and take you down the spectacular coast to Positano, will take just over an hour without any stops. Cost will be between 80 -100 Euros depending on the car service you use. See suggestions below. You could easily stop off for 3-4 hours in Pompeii on your way, you would pay the driver for the wait time, about 35 Euros as hour. If you want to use public transport, there is luggage storage at the main entrance to Pompeii (Porto Marina).

I have used Positano Car Service for this trip several times and have always been happy. Tehier website is http://www.positanocarservice.com, and you can e-mail them for a quote at [email protected] . Another service recommended here is Renato Cuomo, his website is www.cuomonet.it and e-mail is [email protected] . Also ask your hotel for a quote, it is always good to have a few quotes to compare.
Cicerone is offline  
May 15th, 2004, 05:40 PM
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Drive as far as Sorrento or Salerno and drop it there. Then, get a driver or take the bus to Positano.
bobthenavigator is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 01:39 PM
  #5  
ira
 
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ira is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 07:00 AM
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If I can co-opt your question, does it make sense to look for a bus instead of a train. I doubt that I'll be able to talk my wife into packing light and 28 inch suitcases and trains don't mix as well as i would like. Putting them into a bus luggage compartment might be easier. We would be doing Rome-> Florance and Florence -> Venice.
soos is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 07:20 AM
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The Italian railways are so fast, frequent and cheap that there are very few bus services in competition. Buses normally run where trains don't go, or where the train journey is convoluted. Between Roma, Firenze and Venezia, the train service is by far the best means of travelling.
GeoffHamer is offline  
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