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Itinerary help for south Italy

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Dec 18th, 2015, 05:39 PM
  #1
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Itinerary help for south Italy

Hello everyone!
I am needing help deciding where to stay for the second half of my trip to Italy. I want to head to South on Jan. 2 from Rome and then return to Rome Jan. 6 in the evening.
I am traveling with my husband, and 3 children ages 9, 12, 17.
I was debating if to stay as base in Sorrento or Salerno, but I keep reading that Sorrento there's more to do.
A friend of mine said Salerno is better because of transportation for day trips.
For now, I have booked at Corso Italia Suites in Sorrento. (does anyone recommend?)
Is it convenient for day trips to Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, Naples and Capri (if the weather and transportation permits)?

If weather is good, I would like to go from Rome to Pompeii directly (leave luggage in the lockers) and then Pompeii to Sorrento. If I do that, should I rent a car? Or should I just use public transportation?
If I go Rome directly to Sorrento, what's the best way of getting there? Is it true that the bus/train rides are very limited this time of year?

We love quaint towns, good authentic restaurants, beautiful scenery. We like to feel like a local.
Help please!
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Dec 18th, 2015, 05:51 PM
  #2
 
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Sorrento does not have more to do. It really doesn; have much of anything to do except explore the town do a little shopping.

It does have many more hotels and restaurants than the small towns down the coast and much better transit to the places you want to do/see (Pompeii, Vesuvius, Naples, Capri if the ferries are running).

I would not do Pompeii on the way from Rome but as a day trip from Sorrento.

Have never been to Salerno so can;t compare.

But in Jan I wouldn;t go anyplace there (except possibly Pompeii) since a beach resort in cold and possibly rainy weather is just not a great idea IMHO.

There are so many other places in Italy to visit - cities that have a ton to see and do - why head to the beach?
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Dec 18th, 2015, 07:11 PM
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Your plan to go to Pompei en route to Sorrento is fine if the weather is nice. If it is not nice, you can stop in Naples, leave your luggage in the train station, and go to the archeological museum, which has many extremely important treasures of Pompei. Also walk over to the Cappello Sansevero, which would amaze the kids. Get a pizza while in town before moving on to either Salerno or Sorrento.

If you opt for Salerno, I would definitely consider renting a car so that you can see Paestum and the mozzerella producers. There are other historic sights right in Salerno (read up on the history), and you can also take the short ride to Vietri sul Mare (by car, bus or taxi) and visit the artisan ceramic makers. If the weather is clear and dry, you can drive along the Amalfi coastal cliff road and vist the towns there if you don't mind hair-pin cliff driving and nobody is afraid of heights -- especially the driver. (Do NOT go if it is foggy, and turn back if you see it is turning foggy.)

Sorrento is a very kid-friendly, safe place, and centrally located for excursions. At this time of year, with 3 kids, I would probably rent a car in Sorrento too. If the days are sunny, you can take a drive down the Amalfi coast, or go climb Vesuvius.

If you don't want to rent a car, you can take buses to some of the Amalfi coast towns from either Salerno or Sorrento if nobody in the family has a problem with motion sickness. Or if you have the dough, hire somebody to drive you in a van. Much more relaxing, and you can stop as often as you like, but it is expensive.

And there is a lot more to see in Naples than just the archeological museum and the Cappella Sansevero, so if you get antsy in either Salerno or Sorrento, or get rain, you can head to Naples for the day by train (leave a rental car parked and take the train instead).

Unlike nytraveler -- who often posts (or boasts?) that she never travels at all to Italy in winter -- I live in Italy and in January the weather in that area is often mild, sunny and lovely. Much more so than the rest of Italy with the exception of Sicily or the Italian Riviera, but it is easier to get to Sorrento or Salerno from Rome. Presumably you know you can't go swimming, but there is no reason not to go south to enjoy the sights and the views in the Amalfi on a nice day. You'll find enough food, and even if the wind blows, you'll stay warm climbing all those stairs.
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Dec 18th, 2015, 07:18 PM
  #4
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Thank you for responding. The only reason I thought of the south is because 2 years ago I was in Florence, Venice and Tuscany area. Thought it would be nice to see the south. But I also have given it second thoughts because of the cold weather. Is there a better suggestion?
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Dec 18th, 2015, 07:39 PM
  #5
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Sandralist, so you gave me some
hope that it won't be so bad. I'm so close to my trip, that it would be exhausting for me to rethink of where to go.
What do you think about the location of the apartment I reserved?
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Dec 18th, 2015, 07:44 PM
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It will be much colder in most other parts of Italy. Going to Naples, Sorrento or Salerno is about the best shot you have at getting daytime temps in Italy that are comfortable for outdoor sightseeing and yet still have options for indoor activity if it storms. Sicily is another option -- but you would need to fly there and back. Or stay in Rome. The only other warm-ish weather area (and this is no guarantee) is the Italian Riviera, and unless you stay in Genova there is very little to do if it storms.

If you are willing to bundle up, there is plenty more to see in Italy than Venice and Tuscany. If you go to Bologna you can use it as a base for seeing Ferrara and Ravenna, plus take pasta classes in Bologna and enjoy the town.

You could visit Torino -- which is chock full of interesting indoor activities that might appeal to teens and younger: Egyptian museum, car museum, movie museum, underground tours, chocolate tours.

Verona has several attractions and makes a good base for visiting Trento or Mantova or Milano by train.

Perugia is fun town in many ways and from there you can visit Assisi and Arezzo.

If you didn't go to Pisa on your last trip to Tuscany, you could go now, stay there, visit towns like Lucca and Montecatini Alto, and if the weather is fantastic, go hiling in le Cinque Terre.

It could be dry sunny weather in some or all of these places, but typically speaking are very cold in January, and if it storms, it snows -- with the exception of le Cinque Terre, where it will rain so hard it is impossible to be outdoors.
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Dec 18th, 2015, 07:48 PM
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Sorry -- we were writing at the same time.

The location of your apartment is fine.

I often travel within Italy in January, and I've enjoyed quite pleasant mild days in Rome and south of Rome during January. In Naples one year we walked around in puffy jackets, and that was it during the daytime. At night, we put on hats and scarves. It rained once for a few hours. It is much easier to go sightseeing south of Rome when the weather is cool than in the summer when it broils.
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Dec 18th, 2015, 07:53 PM
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Just an added thought:

If you decide to go to south, just brace the family that -- fingers crossed -- you don't get any rain, but if you do, you'll all go shopping, or to a pizza-making class, or some fun weird tours in Naples, and that you are bringing along playing cards or a scrabble set if worse comes to worse and it is going to be fun no matter the weather.
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Dec 18th, 2015, 08:01 PM
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Dec 18th, 2015, 09:04 PM
  #11
kja
 
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I haven't been to the area in January, but FWIW, I think Salerno is a seriously underrated city. Do consider visiting Paestum and its wonderful (small) museum from there. It's an easy train ride -- but IIRC, you need to buy your return ticket before you start out.

Enjoy!
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Dec 19th, 2015, 06:15 AM
  #12
 
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Not to disagree with the all knowing sandra (who for some reason insists she knows all about my travel everywhere - without knowing anything about it) you might want to consider the specific weather info about the beach resorts you are heading for:

In Sorrento in January:

the average temp is 46 degrees
it rains on 14 days
you have a 10% chance of a sunny day (many others are grey/dreary)

If this is what you want for your vacation - fine.

If it were me I would head to some other cities that have LOTS to do indoors (and Naples could be one of these, with a visit to Pompeii on a dry day)
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Dec 19th, 2015, 07:57 AM
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Nytraveler, how much more snotty and unhelpful do you want to be to the OP? I think she already knows it is "fine" with you if you disapprove of her vacation.

Nobody here is "all-knowing" to know you don't know what you are talking about 90 percent of the time you intervene to state your preferences for traveling in May -- period.. You just have to have been to Italy at least once in January, and in particular to the relevant area under discussion to know you are a fool. You have not been to these areas in January and you won't admit it. ,The OP is not asking about beaches. Neither Sorrento or Salerno even has a "beach." Don't you live on the Atlantic Ocean? Are you on the beach?

Furthermore, "average temps" -- it is at least time you learned this -- average the temp between 3am in the morning and 3 am in the afternoon. The OP and family are not going to be up at 3 in the morning, outside sightseeing. They are going to be out in the afternoon, during the wamest part of the day. They are not going for then entire months of January. They are going for 4 days in the earliest part of January. Yes they know they could get rain all the time. They could also get that in May -- when you go.

Anyway, there are enough links in this thread to accurate infomration from others who live in Italy and who at least have been there for the OP to ignore your theories.
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Dec 19th, 2015, 10:06 AM
  #14
 
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Sandra - jus give it up. Everyone (many) who disagree with you are not wrong, liars, fabricating their experiences, or trying to be a PIA.

Has it ever occurred to you that someone coming to Italy for a brief vacation may have different needs/interests/habits, etc that someone who lives there the whole time?????

You are certainly entitled to your opinion - but that does not mean it is the only one. As for my never going to Italy in winter - you have it BACKWARDS - I never go in summer since it is too hot. Have been quite a few times in all the other seasons.
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Dec 20th, 2015, 08:14 AM
  #15
 
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average temps, no idea where 3am or indeed 3pm comes from in the data that I see but I guess the OP probably only wants "typical" temperatures.

Generally you will not see much below 5C and not much above 12C in January in Sorrento, based on history. However with climate change I have just spent a sunny day at 18C in Yorkshire which would be a pleasant day here in August but has frankly left all the birds and wildlife completely confused, I can well understand that butterflies are dying out.

I think that might mean 37 and 54 F but it is so long since I've used those F things I can no longer spell them correctly or even remember what they feel like.
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