Italy=Rome+Amalfi+Tuscany

Feb 5th, 2009, 04:26 PM
  #21  
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Our flight leaves at 1:00 pm so I imagine we need to be there for 11 am. We could leave SG very early and either drive to airport or drop off car at Orvieto and take train in. Car rental has suggested we drive to the airport as we pay the same for car and th airport is outside of Rome so driving wouldn't be stressful. Your suggestions are appreciated. Joy
JoyT is offline  
Feb 5th, 2009, 04:45 PM
  #22  
 
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JoyT,

You should be at FCO a minimum of 2.5 hours before flight. Earlier if you have to drop the car.

Potential problems with dropping the car in Orvieto and trying to train to FCO: trains strikes and probably need a change of train at Roma Termini. Just drive there and hope for no traffic jams!

Better to stay in Rome the night before!
Dayle is offline  
Feb 5th, 2009, 04:52 PM
  #23  
 
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If you're willing to leave at dawn, you can certainly drive to the airport. ViaMichelin estimates 3.5 hours. You should hope for no traffic problems, and you'd better know exactly where to go at the airport to return the car.

I like to be closer to the airport the night before a flight.
Jean is online now  
Feb 5th, 2009, 05:04 PM
  #24  
 
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Check out Autoeurope for car rentals. Be ready for those autostradas! Yikes, we found the safest option to be hugging the slow lane at all time
PamSF is offline  
Feb 5th, 2009, 05:07 PM
  #25  
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Thanks for your quick responses. Sounds like the safest thing to do is come the night before and stay in Rome.
I have another question regarding travel.
We leave Positano and neeed to get our car rental by 1:00 pm in Orvieto (on the Saturday). Not sure if we should
1) go from P by bus to Sorrento train to Naples, train to Orvieto or
2) from P take SITA bus to Salerno and train to Orvieto.

Obviously the fastest most direct route will get us there by 1:00. Any suggestions. Your advise is greatly appreciated. Joyt
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Feb 6th, 2009, 02:01 PM
  #26  
 
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Whichever way you go, you need to be at the Naples train station at 8:54 a.m. to catch the first of two trains (change in Rome). If both trains are on time, you'll arrive in Orvieto at 11:48 a.m.

The SITA bus from Positano to Sorrento takes about an hour, and the Circumvesuviana train from Sorrento to Naples takes about an hour. Add a little time to make this connection.

If you go via Salerno, you have to catch a train there at 7:30 a.m. which will take you to Naples for the 8:54 a.m. train.

Someone else will have to advise the travel time from Positano to Salerno, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's two hours.

Frankly, if this was my trip and I absolutely had to be in Orvieto by 1:00 p.m., I wouldn't start out on a bus. I'd pay for a driver to take me to either Salerno or (probably) Naples.
Jean is online now  
Feb 7th, 2009, 06:14 AM
  #27  
 
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Hi Joy,

Am coming into all this quite late, but as I live in Positano, perhaps my input will be worth something!

POSITANO

First of all, going all the way to Salerno, which is further south, doesn't make any sense. Either you have to take a SITA bus to Amalfi and change buses there for another to Salerno (takes almost 2 hours), or you can catch the ferry from the Positano jetty at 08h10. It makes a stop in Amalfi and then continues on to Salerno - it's about an hour. From where you disembark in Salerno you've got quite a trek to get to the train station. It would be best to take a taxi, but there aren't taxi's waiting by the dozen in that area.

A private transfer to the train station in Naples would be the most hassle-free. They'll pick you up outside Palazzo Talamo, no lugging your suitcases down to the jetty or up the road to get to the bus stop (you could use a porter service - 5 to 10 euro a suitcase.) Cost of a privatE transfer is 180 euro for 4 people. Taxi's are known to rip you off, so rather avoid them.

Alternatively, the SITA bus to Sorrento where its last stop is at the Circumvesuviana (local)train station. Train it to Naples.

Train to Tuscany will stop in Rome Termini station. To Rome from Naples, if you take the Eurostar or Altoveloce, will get you there in an hour and a half. They cost a bit more than the Intercity, but you'd be far more comfortable and you save on travelling time. The 'trenitalia' site that others have suggested you look at will give you departure, arrival and travelling times.

Palazzo Talamo is in a great spot with fabulous views. Rooms not very big but nicely appointed. You don't have steps to contend with to get to the hotel (a big plus!)+ you're right near a good selection of restaurants and an easy walk down the road to get to the centre of town,shops, beaches, jetty & restaurants.

If you'd like some guidance as to excursions (boat, walks, guided tours to Pompeii, Paestum, Ravello, Amalfi and more - and who to use etc), restaurants, or have other questions or area's of interest you'd like to know more about, please contact me and I'll steer you in the right direction.

Getting to Positano from Rome my suggestion would be to go by train to Naples, then get on the Circumvesuviana to Sorrento, then take the SITA bus to Positano. You could also take a tram down to the Naples port and from there take a ferry to Positano. Just remember that when you get to the Positano jetty, you're either going to have to lug your suitcases to Palazzo Talamo yourselves - and it's all uphill - or a porter can be arranged to meet you and take your luggage up for you - you'll find it there by the time you arrive by foot!

It really is non-sensical to travel from Naples all the way down to Salerno only to have to back-track up to Positano - it'll just add more hours of travelling and schlep getting from train stations to ports - & ferries are infrequent - and the bus trip another 2 hours.

Or otherwise a private transfer where you'll be met at the train station and brought directly through to Positano.

NOTE: If any of you suffer from motion sickness, it would be advisable to take something before getting on the bus to Positano. The Amalfi Coast drive is spectacular, but its snaking twists and turns and sheer drops down to the sea do tend to get have an adverse affect on some!

ROME

If you're still looking for accommodation options in Rome, there's a very nice hotel, close to the Spanish Steps, called Hotel Panda - funny name for a Roman hotel, but nevertheless, rooms are clean, nicely appointed and prices are really reasonable. (www.hotelpanda.it)in Via della Croce. Breakfast not included but the street below offers all sorts of dining options and you're sure to find a cafe to enjoy a cornetto and cappuccino - or just around the corner in Via Condotti (the road famous for all its high-end branded shops)you'll find the oldest coffee shop in Rome where poets like Shelley and Keats used to write.

From this location you can easily walk to Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Piazza del Popola, Via del Corso (big road with grat shopping) etc., etc. There is also a metro station practically on your door-step, and being just 3 stops away from Termini station, you'd be there in a matter of minutes.

Rome is a wonderful city to discover by foot and even if you walk all day, your discoveries will be such fun any tiredness one might ordinarily feel just doesn't seem to exist!

Alternatively, outside Termini station, you can get a Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour which takes you to all the main tourist sights. The buses keep coming round so once you're done visiting, say the Vatican, you hop back on and contine to the next place along the route.

TUSCANY

There is a FANTASTIC restaurant in San Gimignano called Ristorante Belsoggiorno, which you'll find in the hotel of the same name. You'd need to book, but a dinner there would be a real treat! Traditional Etruscan dishes wth a twist, each dish will leave yo salivating for more, prices reasonable and the view out over the Tuscan landscape is sublime - one wall is just windows and watching the sunset sky change to night from there is quite dreamy.Tel. no. 0577-940375. You'll find it near the Porta San Giovanni.

When you leave Tuscany and make your way to Fiumicino, on the autostrada from Siena to Roma will take you approx. 3 hours, so if you leave at 06:30 (given that San Gimi is a bit further north) in the morning, you should be there by 10, giving you enough time to return the rental car and check-in on time. Road signage is good and the route quite direct so you should be fine making your way there.

May is a wonderful time to visit Italy - not outrageously busy and a splendid canvas of springflower colour...its magic and old-world charm will captivate you and you'll be planning your next trip before you've even left!

Regards and happy travelling!

Amanda
vademecum is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 10:28 AM
  #28  
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Thank you, some terrific advise and very much appreciated. In regards to tours and must sees in Amalfi area should we prebook or is it better to work with our Hotel? They have encouraged us to wait till we get there. We are staying at Vittoria in Positano. We would like to go to the Blue Grotto for sure and hoping to visit Ravello and Pompeii. Looking forward to just wandering and enjoying wht comes our way. Thanks again for all your thoughts. Joyt
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Feb 12th, 2009, 01:25 AM
  #29  
 
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Hi!

Best advice would be NOT to go through the hotel (any hotel) for any type of excursion as the provider of services (taxi's,etc.)tend to tack on 20% to then pass on to the hotel. This is prevalent throughout Europe. They are biased and not necessarily looking after your best interests.

A trip to Capri,Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples, Paestum and towns along the coast is definitely a must. I know of several people who have used the local services of an English-speaking (first language) certified guide for tours to all of these places. They can be tailor-made to suit you and what you want to see and do, and you'll have really good fun and laughs along with it. Check out www.positanoadventurewalks.com. You may want to consider pre-booking these so as not to be disappointed. They (a he and a she)also do walks into the mountains, along the Sentieri degli Dei, into the valleys where you'll see secret gardens and ancient ruins - it's spectacular! I've done it myself and feel like I've had the best kind of therapy after!

For a group of 4 for 8 hours, a day trip is 250 euro excluding bus, ferry, entrance fee's - this whether to Capri, Pompeii or elsewhere.

In terms of boat excursions, there are a few operators, but there's only one really worth considering and that's Cassiopea. www.info-cassiopea.com. I think that's the address, otherwise google them. No lecherous skippers, speak English well, warm and genuinely hospitable, and are truly passionate about sharing their knowledge of the coast. Prices good too; have received many positive comments about them.

Enough for today!

Ciao!



vademecum is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 04:54 AM
  #30  
 
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Thank for the info, Amanda.

Going to Amalfi via Salerno looked a bit out of the way to me as well and it is good to read the advice of someone who lives there.

I am wondering about the 180 euro charge for a private transfer from Naples to Positano--Two of us paid 100 euro from Naples airport to Amalfi last spring; depending on the route, I suppose the drive to Positano may be longer, but still..

I hope you will continue to offer your on-the scene tips.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 16th, 2009, 06:02 AM
  #31  
 
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Buon giorno from a beautiful crisp blue Positano day!

A private transfer from Naples, whether the airport or train station, is usually 100 - 110 euro one way if there're just 2 of you. More than that a bigger vehicle is needed to accommodate more people comfortably, as well as their luggage, hence the 180 euro charge (which could be split between each passenger.)

Hope that answers your question...and hope you're also planning a trip back here soon!

Amanda



vademecum is offline  
Feb 16th, 2009, 06:13 AM
  #32  
 
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Thanks, Amanda! I hope to be nearby, in Ischia, later this year, if all goes according to plan.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 16th, 2009, 11:43 AM
  #33  
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Thank you, will follow up on those websites for tours while on the Amalfi coast. Feeling on top of this leg of our trip. Thank you very much!
JoyT is offline  
Feb 19th, 2009, 03:53 PM
  #34  
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We are trying to determine if we should take a train from Naples to Sorrento and then a ferry to Positano or a bus to Positano. We are arriving on a Tuesday, May 19th. Your advise is appreciated. Thanks, Joy
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