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Help me plan my trip! What would you do with 5 days in Rome/Amalfi Coast?

Help me plan my trip! What would you do with 5 days in Rome/Amalfi Coast?

Feb 15th, 2016, 07:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Help me plan my trip! What would you do with 5 days in Rome/Amalfi Coast?

We will be flying into Rome on May 2nd in the AM. We would like to spend that day sightseeing in Rome, then somehow get to Amalfi Coast area to spend May 3-7 before flying out of Naples to Santorini on May 7.

Given that timeline, where would you spend your time in Rome/Amalfi?

What is the best way to get from Rome to Positano?

What are some must-see things? Ravello? Capri?

Is Naples worth seeing? I've heard good and bad reviews.
mdeck0601 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2016, 09:08 AM
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Welcome to Fodors. This type of question comes up here often, so you may want to look at some of the Amalfi threads and the destination tab up at the top of the page.

The way you are thinking has a bit of a problem with Rome. It looks like you arrive in Rome, want to see some of it, and then get to Amalfi the same day. This is impractical, as the Rome to Amalfi link takes at least half a day with several changes of travel mode unless you spend 500 euro or so for a private driver. Why not just either stay and see Rome, or fly into Naples and skip Rome, where you would only have a couple of hours anyway?
AJPeabody is offline  
Feb 15th, 2016, 09:16 AM
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We did something similar back in September. We did use a car service from FCO to Positano, the same day we flew in.

We did it to get to Positano and to our vacation quickly and knowing we are usually tired after the flight from the US to Rome. The car service was right at 500 euros (just under) but we were there in about 3-3.5 hours.

We did spend one night in Rome the night before we flew out and did some revisiting of Rome.

You are welcome to check out our trip report but we did very a little. Our goal was mostly "Prosecco by the pool", so was short on lots of touring (we skipped Capri). Despite the lack of activity, it was still a great trip.

denisea is offline  
Feb 15th, 2016, 09:28 AM
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It looks as though you are doing our trip in reverse… we will actually be flying from Milos to Rome then onto almafi coast. The way to the Almafi coast that looked the best for us was to take the train into Naples in the morning, then hire a driver to take us to our hotel in Praiano. We are using the same driver to get us back to Naples three days later.
As far as that portion of your itinerary goes… I would suggest staying in Rome for at least two nights. Site seeing in Rome after a long flight will beat you up pretty good. I did the Sistine Chapel and museum tour immediately after landing in Rome one year. I couldn't imagine waking up early the next day and jumping on the train. That gives you three nights in positano. The private driver is going to be a total of €240. It's a little expensive but I figured The convenience of the whole thing was worth the extra.

stevectravel is offline  
Feb 15th, 2016, 09:39 AM
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It looks like you really want to spend just 3 or 4 hours in Rome - which really makes no sense.

Agree that I would head straight to the AC. Either fly into Naples instead of Rome or take the train Rome to Naples and get a driver from there to your hotel. There is no way I would trek on the local train and interminable bus after that - with all of your luggage - after a long flight.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 15th, 2016, 10:11 AM
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You could also take the train from Rome to Salerno, then the ferry from Salerno to Positano.
ekc is offline  
Feb 15th, 2016, 10:43 AM
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I would spend two nights in Rome. I love Rome and go there frequently, but a couple years ago we were traveling with my husband's brother and SIL and they "weren't really interested" in Rome but "wanted to see something at least". Their flight landed mid morning and by the time they got to the hotel, had light lunch, etc, it was at least 3 or 4 by the time we got out. We took them on a couple hours walking tour of the "Heart of Rome" and had an early dinner. The next day we did the 'ancient' sites (Coloseum, Forum) and then walked through Trastevere over to Piazza San Pietro. Dinner and the evening in the piazzas (Navona, Rotunda, Campo di Fiori). The next morning we got an early train to Naples, and then train to Sorrento and we were there by late morning.

They were really glad they 'saw' Rome and while it wouldn't be my first choice to spend so little time there it did work that they saw quite a bit and we were definitely not rushed (they move very slow, at least compared to my usual pace). Of course they had people (me) who knew their way around, where to get the tickets without waiting in line, etc. But if you plan it carefully anyone can do this.

We had five nights on the Amalfi Coast that trip and looks like you'll only have three. If it were my trip I'd stay in Sorrento (much easier on the arriving/departing days - plus I really like Sorrento) and do day trips to Amalfi/Positano (I'd go by boat, and take the bus between them). Another day maybe Capri and the third Pompeii or stay around Sorrento itself or another day trip to Amalfi/Ravello. These day trips, unlike some day trips in other regions where you are taking a train through boring countryside, the getting there is half the fun. I can think of little else I'd rather do than take that boat ride, and even the bus ride is magnificent (unless you get car sick) so doing two day trips is not redundant.
isabel is offline  
Feb 15th, 2016, 12:21 PM
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Just head straight for the Amalfi Coast if that is your primary destination. Half a day of bleary eyed sightseeing in Rome with the additional need to store luggage somewhere is somewhat pointless.

Get to Naples on a train and then have a driver pick you up - it costs 120 euro Naples station to Positano.

Isabel - there is only one ferry service per day between Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast so it makes no sense for the OP to stay there and rely on that form of transport.
Blueeyedcod is offline  
Feb 15th, 2016, 01:53 PM
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Blueeyedcod - not sure what you mean. I have stayed in Sorrento multiple times. The ferry from Sorrento to Positano (and on to Amalfi) leaves about 9:30 am, and the return ferry back to Sorrento leaves Amalfi/Positano around 3:30-4 so it makes for a fine day trip. Plus, they could take the bus one way or the other and get even more time. I usually do two day trips from Sorrento to Amalfi/Atrani/Ravello/Positano (not all on the same day) when I'm in the area, although my stays are usually closer to a week. Then on other days, trips to Capri, Ischia, Pompeii, Naples - those are all easy from Sorrento.

Plus, there's another thread going on right now with a similar question and on that one YOU suggest they stay in Sorrento.
isabel is offline  
Feb 15th, 2016, 02:06 PM
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Isabel - I know you are a fan of Sorrento - but the OP wants to see the Amalfi Coast - so they should stay there - not day trip there on a once a day ferry service or a crowded bus.

The other thread - the OP wanted to see Pompeii and Herculaneum if I recall correctly - different issue totally. It's easier to see those places from Sorrento.

No need for the shouty capital letters.
Blueeyedcod is offline  
Feb 15th, 2016, 06:57 PM
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Might be fair to point out here that Sorrento is not technically on the Amalfi Coast. I would agree to stay on the Amalfi Coast

Back to the OP, I do regret that we didn't get to Ravello, so it is on the list for next time we get to the AC.
denisea is offline  
Feb 16th, 2016, 04:18 AM
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I hated Sorrento and loved Amalfi coast. The traffic in Sorrento was insane. Never saw such horrible driving in my life. Driving Amalfi was less frightening!! Positano is wonderful.
PVR340PLA is offline  
Feb 16th, 2016, 04:32 AM
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Yes the 'where to stay' and 'Sorrento is not technically on the AC" debate has been going on here for years. I just want the OP and others reading this that have never been to the area to know that many people find Sorrento a great base - something you wouldn't know unless people like me spoke up and explained it's attractions. Most people have heard of Positano from songs and movies, and the pictures of it are fabulous (in fact I have a photo of it on my wall, it IS the drop dead gorgeous from a distance). But there are other options of places to stay that are just - or more- wonderful depending on what you want to do. The OP on this thread mentioned Amalfi, Ravello, Capri and Naples. For those I say Sorrento.

Saying Sorrento is not 'technically' on the Amalfi Coast is misleading. It's like saying someone should stay in Staten Island on a NYC trip because it is 'technically' in NYC. 'Technically' can be pretty misleading sometimes.

PVR340PLA - how many days did you stay in Sorrento? Cause if you didn't stay there and just drove through it I agree it would seem awful. In fact it is awful, but so is everywhere in that region. What about Sorrento did you hate?
isabel is offline  
Feb 16th, 2016, 04:36 AM
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I agree with the others. Skip the 3-4 hour day in Rome, and head straight for the AC. The fast train from Romes to Naples is just over an hour. Then arrange a private transfer to your hotel.

There's also a shuttle bus from Rome airports to Positano. Positanoshuttle.com. I've never done it that way, but sounds appealing with luggage in tow, etc.
WWK is offline  
Feb 16th, 2016, 02:42 PM
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Isabel - it is *not* on the Amalfi Coast. Nothing at all technical about it. It is on the Sorrentine Peninsula.

As for the great base argument - I agree - if one wants to see Ischia, Pompeii, Oplontis, Vesuvius and the plethora of sights along the CV rail line.

However if its Ravello, Amalfi, Positano or another AC town/village then Sorrento is just a monumental pain for sightseeing.

It also no views unless you're up in a lofty hotel room or snag a front row seat at the Foreigner's Club. It also has no beaches unless you want to pay lots of euro for the day at Marinello's private beach.

The only spot the OP can't see from the AC is Naples and they can easily have a half day visit on their way out of the Amalfi Coast. There are ferries between Positano and Capri.
Blueeyedcod is offline  
Feb 17th, 2016, 06:12 AM
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Sorry Isabel, but it seems like your Staten Island example is exactly what you are asking the OP to do....they want the Amalfi Coast but you are recommending Sorrento (close, but not on the AC....just like Staten Island would not be the recommendation for most asking where to stay in NYC when they want Manhattan). I am not sure how pointing out that Sorrento is not really on the Amalfi Coast is misleading. It wasn't intended to be a personal attack or an insult.

I am sure Sorrento has many wonderful qualities, but I would not want to have to travel to the AC everyday when I could stay there and eliminate the ferry ride to/from everyday.
denisea is offline  
Feb 17th, 2016, 10:24 AM
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I like Sorrento as a base for some things, but you might want Amalfi.
Aside from the Sorrento Amalfi debate, the fact is, you do not have five days.

May 2, Arrive Rome in the morning, get luggage, get into city and to hotel. Allow for jet lag. You will not have more than a few hours and not time to really see anything.

May 3, Check out and get to the train station or hire a car. At any rate, getting to the Amalfi Coast and to your hotel will take 1/2 day minimum. So 1/2 day of sight seeing at most.

May 4, Amalfi Coast
May 5, Amalfi Coast
May 6, travel to Naples
May 7, Depart for Greece.

Looked at carefully, skip the hassle of getting into Rome and checking into and out of a hotel for one night. Seriously not worth it! Head straight to the AC or Sorrento, depending on which sights you want to see.

You have to travel to Naples anyway, so my personal suggestion (again depends on your base) would be to head to Naples on the 6th. Stash luggage at the storage at Pompeii, and see Pompeii on the way to Naples. Evening in Naples and if there is time, a bit of Naples sight seeing on the 7th.

May 2, Arrive Rome, on to the AC or Sorrento - completely a day of travel.
May 3, 4, 5, AC
May 6, Pompeii and Naples
May 7, maybe a bit of Naples, fly to Greece.

Depending on your flight time, you may need to be in Naples the night of the 6th. If the flight is later on the 7th and you get a driver, you could still stay on the AC the night of the 6th, and do Pompeii as a day trip, but plan it carefully.

If you have to spend the night of the 6th in Naples, the trip into Naples will eat up some of that day anyway.
You have to do all of this travel, no way to avoid it. It is only a matter of how and when you do it. Getting to the AC and doing things there takes time. I love the train and ferries, hate busses and not fond of roads, even with someone else driving. Hiring a driver is expensive - so choose your base based on what you want to do and see.
Sassafrass is offline  
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