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Italy (Sorrento/Amalfi Coast) Itinerary Help

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Aug 14th, 2014, 05:02 PM
  #1
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Italy (Sorrento/Amalfi Coast) Itinerary Help

Hi all. We are going to Sorrento area in late September and wanted to get some suggestions for an open day we don't have planned yet. Here's our plan so far:

Arrive Friday so not much that day
Saturday: Explore Sorrento
Sunday: Pompeii/Vesuvius
Monday: Naples (museum, explore city)
Tuesday: Amalfi Coast (we have a driver for the day to explore the coast)
Wednesday: OPEN (Herculeneum? Paestum??)
Thursday-Saturday: Capri

So, we have that day open in the middle of the week in case we want to see more of the Amalfi coast or anything else. Was thinking of Herculenuem, but we are already doing Pompeii so did not know if this was overkill. Could do Paestum, but is that a worthwhile day?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. It is our first time to that area so really want to make the most of it.

Thanks!
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Aug 14th, 2014, 05:20 PM
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We really enjoyed Paestum two years ago. The 2600 year old Greek temples were amazing to see, the museum is good, there are not too many other tourists, overall just a great day.
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Aug 14th, 2014, 05:30 PM
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kja
 
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> Saturday: Explore Sorrento

I skipped Sorrento completely in favor of other locations in the area. To each his/her own!

>Thursday-Saturday: Capri

Everyone's style of travel is different. Capri is gorgeous, but for my preferences, that would be at least 1 day too many on Capri. YMMV.

> Was thinking of Herculenuem, but we are already doing Pompeii so did not know if this was overkill.

Herculaneum and Pompeii are actually quite different. Whether you personally would enjoy seeing both is another question. ;-) Lots of threads on these two places -- just use the "search" option. Here are a few relevant threads:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...in-one-day.cfm
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...m-249699-2.cfm
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...erculaneum.cfm

>Could do Paestum, but is that a worthwhile day?

Paestum is remarkable, and Salerno (through which you would probably pass en route to Paestum) is also well worth seeing IMO. Whether it would be worthwhile to you...?

>Any suggestions?

Depending on your interests, Naples could easily merit 3 or 4 days just to see some of the major highlights.

Do not miss magnificent Ravello!

Hope that helps!
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Aug 14th, 2014, 06:05 PM
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You will get endless opinions here. Mine:

Explore Sorrento: why?

Would you consider staying in Naples, somewhere on the AC (Positano, Amalfi) and Capri?

I find Capri lovely, especially if one ventures beyond Capri Town.

Paestum, to me, is amazing, but I thought Salerno was a bit seedy. I think Naples is a bit seedy too, but there are great things to see there.

If you're sticking with your original plan, I would choose a nice hotel and hope for great weather on the day you plan to explore Sorrento.
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Aug 14th, 2014, 07:00 PM
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Sorrento - I cannot understand the aversion to Sorrento so many people here have. I love this small town (bigger than the 'villages' of Amalfi, Positano but not a city by any means). It has lots of corners to explore - Marina Grande is the old fishing village and worth a visit (also has the best seafood restaurants). The lemon grove is nice, the cloisters are lovely. There are also numerous walks in that area of the peninsula . But unless you are also going to nearby villages or walks, if you are staying in Sorrento you may not 'need' an entire day just to 'explore' it. If you are staying there several days then you can explore it in the evenings after your day trips.

Herculaneum is much smaller than Pompeii and can easily be seen in a couple of hours. I suggest to people that rather than doing a marathon of five or so hours to see all of Pompeii, that you do a couple of hours in Herculaneum plus a couple in Pompeii - to see the best of both of them. Another option would be to combine it with Naples, depending on how much you want to see there. We spent a full day there which I felt was just right. I'm glad I wasn't staying there but I enjoyed the day. A lot of people hate Naples though and only go to the museum. Some people combine Pompeii and Naples on one day which I think would be a bit much, but Herculaneum plus either of them would work.

I also enjoyed a day trip to Capri but didn't feel that not spending the night was missing out on anything.

Paestum was great, the temples are amazing. I had car when we went there, I think trying to do it by public transportation from Sorrento in one day would be difficult (though I guess it is possible). I know I saw lots of organized bus day trips there from Sorrento though.

If you are still looking for something to fill an extra day, there are two other islands in the Bay of Naples - Ischia and Procida. We went to Ischia on our trip there this summer. It wasn't as 'great' as Amalfi/Positano/Ravello or Capri, but it has a really nice castle. We didn't have time for Procida but sailing by it looked really nice. Next time.
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Aug 14th, 2014, 07:21 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I had the first day in Sorrento just to see some of the town and not to schedule too much because I'm sure we will get a bit later start because of all the travel arriving the day before. But I could change that and venture out to one of these other places and leave another for the now open day. Thanks again!
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Aug 14th, 2014, 07:49 PM
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If you are hiring a driver for a day, you could head to Paestum first and come back through Amalfi/Positano. Depends on how much time you would want to spend in each.

On your open day, you might consider one of the small boat excursions various companies offer.
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Aug 15th, 2014, 07:11 AM
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Thanks again everyone. We are going to make a day trip to Paestum on that first day, we have arranged for a private driver. On that other open day we will likely spend a couple of hours in Herculaneum and then catch up on anything else we missed. Really appreciate all the input.
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Aug 15th, 2014, 05:19 PM
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From your planned itinerary, I'm not sure if the 3 day Campania Artecard Tutta La Regione (32€)will work for you or not. It's 3 consecutive days and would include entrance to Pompeii (11€), Herculaneum (11€), the museum in Naples (8€), Paestum (6€) and transport along the coast (buses, some trains) and in Naples (trams/metro/funiculars/buses). Only your first two entrances are free. After that you get discounts so it's only economical if visiting the more expensive sites first. If you are using a lot of the public transport (includes the Circumvesuviana) it might be worth it.

The 7 day card (34€) does not include transport, but has the first 5 sites free and then the other discounted.
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Aug 15th, 2014, 05:40 PM
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My husband and I were just there last year. We took a ferry ride right below the Hotel Grand Excelsior. We actually stayed there. Lovely views. You can take an elevator from the terrace of the hotel down to the ferry docks. Gate 4 E15 per person one way .Take the ferry to Positano and be sure to sit on the left side of the boat for great views of the coastline . Spend a day exploring Positano . We lunched at La Cambusa just up the hill from the beach on the left. It was lovely and they were so friendly . Little shop called Tenesa boutique was lovely just up past the restaurant . We walked to the top of the hill and bought bus tickets at a small gas station right before the bus stop. Took the bus back to Sorrento to enjoy the land views. Bus comes every 40 minutes. It was a lovely day.
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Aug 15th, 2014, 05:43 PM
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Thanks! We are actually staying at the Grand Excelsior as well. Thanks for the tips, we'll check those out.
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Aug 15th, 2014, 06:32 PM
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If you're taking the train to Pompeii, you may need that extra day. The one day we had allotted to see Pompeii on a similar trip to yours, it turned out to be a one day train strike. So we never got there. On the bright side, it gives us a reason to go back!
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Aug 15th, 2014, 08:09 PM
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