Help with Summer 2015 Trip to Italy

Sep 29th, 2014, 06:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2
Help with Summer 2015 Trip to Italy

I am planning my 2015 summer trip for my family - husband and two children age 11 and 13 and would love some help! I have been reading these forums and doing lots of research on line but am still having a hard time figuring out our best plan.

We would like to visit the Amalfi Coast and possible Capri plus maybe Tuscany. We will have about 12 days- this is flexible.

My children are good travelers- we went to Paris and Provence 2 years ago and they LOVED Provence! So I thought it would be fun to see Tuscany. We enjoy taking in the scenery, eating good food, strolling around town, relaxing and getting the feel for the area.
I am thinking our trip would look like this:
4nights Positano
2 nights Capri
4nights Tuscany

Questions: We don't want to spend our time in Rome on this trip. Can we fly into Rome and head directly to Amalfi? (train to Naples and then hire a car to our hotel??)

I think we would like to stay in Positano- What are the best hotels/hotel locations?
What are the best day trips / activities with children?? Should we try to go to Pompeii ?

Should we add a few nights in Capri?
Can we fit in a few nights in Tuscany?? Not sure where we should base ourselves?
A place with a nice pool and beautiful scenery, near a charming town??

Anyone who has taken a similar trip and could give me tips...What did your children enjoy the most? I would greatly appreciate!! (I know I have asked a lot of questions)? thank you so much!
lilireland is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,511
I would look at flying into or home from Naples to save a ton of time and $$$. What is your home base?

I assume you are renting a car for Tuscany?
bobthenavigator is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Fly to Naples and back from Pisa if it's easy/cheap. If not, travel via Rome FCO. There are frequent rains from FCO airport to Rome Termini railway station where you can board a train to Naples and then another one to Sorrento. All these trains run about every 30 min.
The Sorrento - Positano bus is slightly less frequent

Naples - Tuscany:
There are tons of direct trains Naples - Florence and 2 direct one's per day with stops at Orvieto, Chiusi, Arezzo and Prato.
neckervd is online now  
Sep 29th, 2014, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,154
Hi lil,

>We don't want to spend our time in Rome on this trip.

Fly into Florence or Pisa and out of Naples (or VV)

You have a nice plan.

Florence is in Tuscany.
ira is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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The disadvantage of flying into or out of smaller airports like Naples or Pisa is that you can rarely get a direct flight, so you often end up with a layover in Rome anyway. At that point, I'm usually sick of planes and airports and would rather get on a train. If you can find a convenient itinerary that takes you into Naples, that would be fine.

If you fly into Rome, it would probably be better to get a train to Salerno rather than Naples, especially if you're taking a car service from there to your Amalfi Coast destination. I definitely wouldn't want to take the Circumvesuviana from Naples to Sorrento after an overnight international flight followed by a train ride. With two children it would be unthinkable.

There are frequent direct trains from Rome to Salerno, which take between two and two and a half hours. First, you have to take a train into central Rome from the airport, which takes half an hour. All in all, it would almost certainly be quicker than a layover in Rome or elsewhere in Europe, and landing in Naples, which is still fairly far from the Amalfi Coast.

I would split your time more evenly between the Amalfi area and Tuscany. They're two very different areas, and would be equally interesting for the children, I think. One night on Capri might be enough, or maybe three nights in Positano (or some other Amalfi Coast town). You could even visit Capri as a day trip, although they say it's much more pleasant after the day trippers leave.

Would you be renting a car for the Tuscany part of your trip? Without knowing that, it's hard to advise you where to stay. A car would be almost mandatory if you want to stay at an agriturismo.
bvlenci is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 19,737
You've already received lots of advice about transportation, so I'll skip that and address some of your questions.

If you do fly into Rome and not into Naples, you can train to Naples, but you'll have to train from the Rome Airport to the Termini and then change trains there. It's not a bad trip. Then, you can hire a driver to take you to your hotel on the AC. To Positano will cost you about 100 euros, and it really is the most convenient way to get there, especially for four of you.

Tuscany: Car recommended. Friends of ours based themselves in Arezzo and liked it.

Pompeii: I recommend a visit there, but it's going to be a little complicated if you're staying in Positano, unless you hire a driver for the day to take you there and back. Otherwise, you'll have to take a bus to Sorrento and then the train to Pompeii. Logistically, it would be better to go to Pompeii from Naples, but that's your arrival day, and you'll be in no shape to tour Pompeii.

Capri: For me, a one-night/two-day stay would be enough.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,913
For your stay in the Tuscan countryside, I highly recommend a base in/near the Val d'Orcia area. I feel it is the most beautiful landscape and there are plenty of wonderful towns and sights to explore nearby. I always stay at Fonte Bertusi, located just a few km outside of the town of Pienza. Wonderful hosts, lovely property, and surrounded by stunning countryside.

Fly into Naples, probably connecting in Paris, London, Amsterdam, or Germany. Fly home from Florence, Pisa or Rome.
zoecat is offline  
Oct 1st, 2014, 05:43 AM
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thank you all for the wonderful advise!! I really appreciate it. Flying into Naples home from Pisa sounds like a great plan! We will rent a car in Tuscany. Like the suggestion to shorten our stay in Capri to give us more time in Tuscany area. thank you all!! Val d' Orcia looks beautiful thank you for that recommendation also!
lilireland is offline  
Oct 1st, 2014, 06:31 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
Decisions like these ALWAYS depend on how much actual "vacation" time you will end up with. "About 12 days" could easily leave you with only 8 transportation-free days, and everything regarding time depends on getting to-and-from various destinations and the check-in times of the places you wish to stay.

I won't recommend region hopping to anyone, unless you have a minimum of four transportation-free days in each location. And that's my bare minimum to achieve enjoyment.

Moving your home base during a single trip and dealing with the packing and unpacking of luggage is exhausting for one person. You need to imagine what that will be like for a group of four.

Based on three decades of travel experience, I would pick a single region (for a two week period) and make the most of that. IMO, one night on Capri (or anywhere else) is insane. Why bother?

Also IMO, the water down south in the summer is much more exciting for kids. Tuscany is lovely (especially if your venue has a pool), but the regional beauty is quite different, and the getting around offers a very different visual impact; more green, less blue. If you must visit these two famous regions, I would do Tuscany first, and be sure to book a villa with a pool (just don't expect it to be heated), and then go south and finish your trip near the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea.

For me, ten days in the south barely scratches the surface. There's so much to see and do, and it's important to treat yourself and the kids to some leisure time and the simple pleasures. Personally, I would leave Tuscany for another trip. Tuscany deserves much more than four nights.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  

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