Help on getting to & from Matera, Italy?

Aug 11th, 2011, 08:14 PM
  #1  
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Help on getting to & from Matera, Italy?

We're planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast in September, and from Positano we are going to Matera a couple nights before heading back to Rome. I'm trying to figure out the transportation options to do this...my initial research suggests we go from Positano to Salerno (by bus? how long?), take the train from Salerno to Ferrandina (which station?) and then a 30-minute bus ride to Matera (having trouble finding info on this-preferably in English!). Anyone that can confirm, or provide a better suggestion?

On the return to Rome, I think the simplest route is a local train from Matera to Bari, and then a high-speed train to Rome. Hubby is suggesting we retrace our steps back to Salerno and take the train from there to Rome, he thinks it's faster but I think more difficult.

THANKS to anyone who can help!
seattle98101 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2011, 10:17 AM
  #2  
 
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Wish I could help you, but I, too, would like to know the best route(s). Anyone?
Holly_uncasdewar is online now  
Aug 12th, 2011, 10:43 AM
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Is driving out of the question? Sure will save time, and I have done that drive and it is not bad.
bobthenavigator is online now  
Aug 12th, 2011, 06:01 PM
  #4  
kja
 
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I visited Matera in 2007, so things could have changed, but here's what worked for me at that time:

I spent the preceding night in Salerno (because I visited Paestum and Salerno itself from there), and had taken a bus from Amalfi to get to Salerno. The train station is very near the stop used by the bus from the Amalfi Coast (not the same place from which the bus to Matera departed) and the walk between the two places is basically flat, but be sure to leave time to get your bearings and maybe even take a wrong turn or two - or take a taxi. The train station was a few blocks east and a few blocks south of the end of the Lungomare, where the bus from the Amalfi coast stopped.

To get to Matera, I began with a bus from Salerno. It departed right outside the Salerno train station, and there were people in the train station (I don't remember if they were train personnel or part of a tourist information office) who were very helpful. I think they were probably trenitalia personnel, because the bus was run by trenitalia and I'm pretty sure I bought my ticket in advance from one of the counters inside the station. This bus stopped at "Ferrandina-Pomarico-Miglionico" and took a bit over 2.5 hours to get there.

It dropped me at a station that appeared to be closed and abandoned, but after a few disconcerting moments, some other people arrived and not long after that (but later than scheduled) the bus to Matera came; this bus was run by Sita. My understanding was that the two busses, while run by different companies, were intentionally coordinated. The station never opened; I paid for my ticket on board. That bus did not run on Sundays. The location of that station was identified as "Ferrandina Scalo FS" on the Matera - Potenza timetable. It took about 1/2 hour to get there.

When I was ready to leave Matera, I took a train to Bari; it took about 1.5 hours.

Once I knew the station names and company names (thanks again to Steve_James), I was able to find the schedules through google.

Again, no guarantees that any of this information is up to date. Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Aug 13th, 2011, 12:44 AM
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Thanks so much for the information! So, "Ferrandina-Pomarica-Miglionico" on the train schedule is the same location as "Ferrandina Scalo" on the bus schedule?

We were hoping to get a train from Salerno, but looking on Trenitalia it seems to be a mixture of busses & trains. There's a train at 9:35, but doesn't seem to be a bus picking up at Scalo until 90 minutes after that train arrives in Ferrandina, which seems odd. If we take the 11:35 bus it does look like there would be an easy bus connection to Matera. We've never done a long bus ride in Italy, how was it?
seattle98101 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2011, 12:53 AM
  #6  
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Bob - We are trying to avoid renting a car this trip, although I know it would be more direct - but I think we'd still have to get from Positano to Salerno to rent the car? We're now thinking about hiring a driver for that portion of the journey, so we don't have to deal with overcrowded buses and possibly missing our connection in Salerno.
seattle98101 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2011, 03:11 AM
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Yes, you would have to get to Salerno to rent the car.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Aug 13th, 2011, 08:56 PM
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kja
 
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> So, "Ferrandina-Pomarica-Miglionico" on the train schedule is the same location as "Ferrandina Scalo" on the bus schedule?

Yes, at least when I was there in 2007. Exact same place. No need to even cross a street.

> There's a train at 9:35, but doesn't seem to be a bus picking up at Scalo until 90 minutes after that train arrives in Ferrandina

As I said, when I was there, the station at Ferrnadina was closed and there was no sign of life. I don't recall any place to sit. There was certainly nothing nearby. I just stood outside hoping against hope that my bus was really going to arrive. The bus on which I arrived had been a few minutes late - but still earlier than the scheduled departure time of the bus to Matera. When that bus was late, I admit a bit of trepidition, especially when another bus (on a different route) came by and stopped because it had engine trouble and could go no further without repair. I drew some comfort from knowing that trenitalia presented my two busses as interconnected ones, which I hoped meant that the 2nd would wait for the 1st if necessary, but I have no idea if that is actually true or not. But my bus did arrive shortly thereafter - with some equipment the bus with engine trouble needed. So, your choice: a long wait in what could be the middle of no where, or a shorter wait with questions if either bus is delayed.

> We've never done a long bus ride in Italy, how was it?

Sorry, but I have no specific recollections, and even if I did, they'd be 4 years old. It was not the longest bus ride I'd ever taken at the time - not by a longshot. I don't remember it being particularly good or particularly bad.
kja is offline  
Aug 13th, 2011, 09:33 PM
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There are quite a few train lines in Italy besides Trenitalia. The one in Matera is Ferrovie Appulo Lucan (FAL).
http://www.fal-srl.it/en/index.html

These bus schedules from the FAL website may help you select times.
http://www.fal-srl.it/it/pdf/orari_aut_Matera.pdf
kybourbon is online now  
Aug 14th, 2011, 03:37 AM
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Liscio and Miccolis run bus services between Salerno and Potenza

Liscio and Grassani run services between Potenza and Matera

Liscio and Marozzi provide bus services between Matera and Rome:

http://www.autolineeliscio.it/
http://www.miccolis-spa.it/
http://www.grassani.it/ita/web/booking.asp?nav=11-5
http://www.marozzivt.it/

Hope this helps ...

Steve
Steve_James is offline  
Aug 14th, 2011, 08:18 PM
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Thank you all for your help!
seattle98101 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2011, 10:11 PM
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We've also done the drive. Autoeurope will let you rent a car from Sorrento. Matera is so facinating. There is the area with the caves, and also the old town where people live. We almost missed the latter and are glad we didn't because it was lively, local and had a great passeggiata.
packed is offline  
Aug 14th, 2011, 11:17 PM
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One more suggestion: you can train to Ferrandina, and then have a driver pick you up to take you to Matera.

We did the reverse of this a couple of years ago.

I'm sure your hotel can recommend a driver for you. If not, post again and I will try to find the name of the very good travel agency that I've used in Matera, both for myself, and a client. They arranged for the driver we used. We were in a weird situation, and they made it very easy.

Matera is wonderful and the food is fantastic.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
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