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Help with itinerary for family of four Italy

Help with itinerary for family of four Italy

Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 01:33 PM
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Help with itinerary for family of four Italy

We are planning a two week trip to Italy in July and would like help with our itinerary. We will fly into Rome and spend one night. We are having a hard time finding a hotel for four people. The next day we will go to Positano and be staying at Villa Rosa. What is the best way to arrive in Positano from Rome? Train to Sorrento then a ferry or bus? We do not plan on having a car. We will be here five nights and would like suggestion for day trips. Our children are 8 and 13 and good travelers. The next part of the trip is another area we are not sure about. WE are going to Lucca and will be staying at Casa Biancalana outside Lucca. Is it better to take a train to Rome and then rent a car at the train station (is there a rental place there?) and drive to Lucca to see more of the countryside or to take the train to Lucca and then rent a car for day trips? Any suggestions for places to visit or eat while here? We thought the Cinque Terre would be fun one day. Is that too far? We will be in Lucca 6 nights and then head back to Rome for two nights. Since we only have two day in Rome what are some highlights that our kids and us would enjoy? Recommendations for restuarants? Any info on helping fine tune our itinerary would be much appreciated!
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Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 02:04 PM
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To make it one less hotel change, it would make much more sense to continue on to Positano when you arrive. Then you would have 3 nights in Rome all at the end. Much better. Actually, I would also take 1 night from Lucca and have 4 nights in Rome. There is so much to see there and lots the kids would enjoy.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 02:13 PM
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I am not sure but i do not think a train goes to Positano, we took the bus from sorrento. If you would like to see the bus ride visit my web site, emilyandjim.info. It will take a while to load but you can see why i did not rent a car to take to Positano...
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Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 02:31 PM
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Iirc, the Hotel Portoghesi in Rome has quad rooms that sleep four.

There are several options for travel between Rome and Positano. I enjoyed arriving via the water because it's really a great way to see Positano for the first time.

You can take a train from Rome-Naples and then a ferry to Positano (it was a short bus from the Naples train station to the port, very easy to find and navigate), or train to Sorrento and then a ferry to Positano. An alternative is to take a train to Sorrento and then take the SITA bus to Positano.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 07:24 PM
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Could you possibly fly into Naples? There is bus service from the Naples Airport to Sorrento. From there you could take the bus to Positano or hire a driver (in either Sorrento or Naples) to deliver you directly to your hotel.

I agree with the suggestion that you take a day or two from Lucca and add to Rome. I'm not sure I'd make the day trip to the Cinque Terre. It has a different atmosphere from the Amalfi Coast, but not that different, and it will be crowded.
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Old Dec 4th, 2007, 05:38 AM
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>>We are having a hard time finding a hotel for four people.<<

As a rule of thumb, for a family unit such as yours, it's a good idea to seek an apartment (or agriturismo). Of course that means you'd have to stay put for more than a night or two...
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Old Dec 4th, 2007, 05:49 AM
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There are quite a few hotels in Rome with quad rooms but what is your budget per night? I highly recommend the Del Senato. They have a senior suite where we stay with our two girls but it is around 500Euro per night. Other hotels with quads are the Santa Chiara, Ponte Sisto, Mozart and Residence Barberini. I too recommend traveling to Positano on your arrival day and adding a day, or two, to Rome. If you can, fly into Naples and either take the bus to Sorrento or hire a driver to take you to Positano. With five nights in Positano, I'd take a daytrip by ferry to Amalfi and then bus up to Ravello. Another daytrip would be Capri. Finally Pompeii.

As for getting to Lucca, I might take a ferry to Salerno and rent the car there. While in Lucca, I'd do more "Tuscan" daytrips rather than the Cinque Terre which, as others have said, is very similar to the Amalfi Coast and will be crowded in July. From Lucca, you can easily daytrip to Pisa, Florence, Volterra, San Gimignano and Siena.
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Old Dec 4th, 2007, 05:58 AM
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Santa CHiara hotel in Rome also has quad rooms.

Frequently hotel websites and even the booking sites (like Venere and Expedia) don't list quad availability because many of the smaller hotels only have 1 or 2 quad rooms to offer. Sometimes they're actually triples and they put in an additional bed for a quad. If you haven't already, email hotels directly and ask how they can accommodate a family of 4. They also may have 2 interconnected rooms.
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Old Dec 4th, 2007, 06:14 AM
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I agree--start in Positano. Train to Naples and then a private driver to Positano. Long day but better than the alternative. Get the car in Sorrento when you leave and drive to Lucca. Long drive but very doable.
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Old Dec 4th, 2007, 07:25 AM
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Thank you for all the suggestions. I think it is much less to fly into Rome and if we rent a car in Sorrento do we have to return it there as well? Has anyone stayed at the hotel in Positano or Lucca? Any restuarant suggestion? It is sure helpful to hear from those of you who have been to these places. What are some highlights in Rome that our kids would love?
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Old Dec 4th, 2007, 08:00 AM
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Here are some of my trip reports and travel notes that describe what my kids enjoyed, including restaurants and gelaterie:

http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/rome/chills_thrills.htm

http://www.slowtrav.com/tr/tripreport.asp?tripid=1088

http://www.slowtrav.com/tr/tripreport.asp?tripid=288
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Old Dec 4th, 2007, 08:03 AM
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For returning your car, you dont have to drop it in the same place you pick it up. We rented a car in Sorrento and dropped in Orvieto...no problems
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Old Dec 4th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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I just did a quick search on airline prices and to fly into Naples rather than Rome is not significantly more expensive. It may even be the same or less if you take into consideration the price for four tickets on the Leonardo Express to Rome and then four train tickets from Rome to Naples/Sorrento. For example, four tickets (three adult, one child) from JFK to Rome are about $5400 and the same tickets from JFK to Naples are $5800. If flying from Chicago, the difference is only $300.
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