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It's decided: Heading to southern Italy in late July and need help with itinerary!

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Mar 4th, 2018, 08:05 PM
  #1
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It's decided: Heading to southern Italy in late July and need help with itinerary!

So we have decided to head to Italy this summer to a region we have not been before, Campania/Basilicata/Puglia. I'm not quite sure how much we would be able to see, especially considering the time it takes to go from place to place. The places we would love to visit are: Herculanum, Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, Almafi coast, Matera, and Alberobello. So we need help figuring out where is it best to stay and how to get around. We are 4 adults and 3 young children and we will have about 8 days in Italy (+ 2 of travel to get to and from Naples).
Our preference would be to rent a house/apartment that could accommodate everyone (3 beds/2baths) for the period we plan to stay in each area. I initially thought 3 days in Almafi Coast, 2 in Matera, and 3 in Puglia somewhere. Another option would be 4-5 days in the Almafi Coast area and 3-4 in Puglia. That is all taking in consideration the fact that we would take short day trips to the places mentioned above, which means renting a van (or two cars). I understand that the Almafi Coast, for instance, will be packed! So we may need to stay in Naples, which I imagine will have more options. We are totally open to that. Just would love to stay on the coast for part of the trip, at least. Although I understand that this area is in high demand that time of the year, it never hurts to investigate and see what we can do. This brings me to the following questions:
Is it possible to find rentals for less than one week in these areas? Any recommendations of concierge services that can assist with accommodations and car rentals? Any car rental companies you can recommend? Or reliable rental property agencies? We are open to hotel staying as well, so any advice there would be most helpful. If we rent a car(or cars), how difficult is it to park, especially at these historic sites? Any other reliable means of transportation?
I would truly appreciate your awesome suggestions! Thanks in advance!
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Mar 4th, 2018, 08:17 PM
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kja
 
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8 days? You could easily spend that much time in any one of these regions, and if your wish list is possible, it certainly would not be one that I, personally, would find enjoyable -- and I say that as a solo traveler who faces far fewer challenges than you will face with 4 adults and 3 children. All I can say is: Good luck!
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Mar 4th, 2018, 09:02 PM
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Would it still be too much if we dropped Puglia? We would really like to visit Herculanum, Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, Almafi coast, Matera, and Alberobello. (1 site per day). Was hoping to find a place to stay that would grant us the opportunity to go sight seeing in the morning, so we can take it easy in the afternoon/evening. That is if the commute to these places would take no more than one hour to get to and from. If not possible, what area shall we consider hunkering down at?
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Mar 4th, 2018, 09:11 PM
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You have seven people and eight days, and two regions, 3 if you count Naples. I think you would be wise to pick one region, find a place large enough to accommodate all of you, and then plan day trips. Car travel on the winding roads of the Amalfi coast will be difficult in summer. If you perhaps stayed near Sorrento, you could take the Circumvesuviana train to Herculaneum, Pompeii and Vesuvius as day trips, but you need to plan more than one day, with kids. It will be hot.
Puglia/Basilicata is probably worth 8 days just for that region. Every time you move you lose a half day or so in the logistics. I would rethink some of this plan.
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Mar 4th, 2018, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by camileaos View Post
Would it still be too much if we dropped Puglia? We would really like to visit ... Alberobello.
IMO, you need to do some research. Alberobello is in Puglia.

socaltraveler has given you some great advice.
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Mar 4th, 2018, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
IMO, you need to do some research. Alberobello is in Puglia.

Yes, you are right! I figured if we made it to Matera, we would be able to make it to Alberobello. It looks like we should either stay cin Campania OR Puglia. Not both.

socaltraveler has given you some great advice.
Agreed. Iím taking it all in! So I truly appreciate any advice!
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Mar 4th, 2018, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by socaltraveler View Post
You have seven people and eight days, and two regions, 3 if you count Naples. I think you would be wise to pick one region, find a place large enough to accommodate all of you, and then plan day trips. Car travel on the winding roads of the Amalfi coast will be difficult in summer. If you perhaps stayed near Sorrento, you could take the Circumvesuviana train to Herculaneum, Pompeii and Vesuvius as day trips, but you need to plan more than one day, with kids. It will be hot.
Puglia/Basilicata is probably worth 8 days just for that region. Every time you move you lose a half day or so in the logistics. I would rethink some of this plan.
We would skip Naples, I think. Unless itís impossible to find accommodations in our areas of interest. I like the idea of Sorrento, especially if we can get to most of why we would like to see. Or we decide to go to Puglia and fly to Bari, instead of Naples. What would your preference be?
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Mar 5th, 2018, 06:56 AM
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Maybe renting an apartment/villa on the Amalfi coast that has a pool; since the children are young, maybe have a rotation of who stays at the rental while the other adults travel and see the more distant sites? People like Sorrento because it makes it easier for transportation, but I am partial to the beauty of actual Amalfi coast; I always elect to stay ON the Amalfi coast, even if less convenient.

If I were you, I would find a place that has amazing views of the Mediterranean sea , a terrace to have dinners at home and a pool for the kids. Book it for a minimum of 4 nights, more will be better.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 07:03 AM
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Alberobello looks nice in pictures; in real life it’s a bit of a tourist trap. Almost anywhere in Puglia is more attractive IMO. Trani, Polignano al Mare, Locorotondo, Martina Franca are small towns we enjoyed. Lecce was our favourite, a small city with a great atmosphere.

Puglia is even farther south than the Amalfi Coast, and will probably be even hotter. With kids I would stick with Amalfi Coast if you haven’t been there before. It’s more obviously beautiful with more things to do as a family. However you might want to check availability of lodgings before you decide.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 07:15 AM
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Herculaneum AND Pompeii? We visited Pompeii this past August. Our driver dropped us off and said he would give us at least 3 hours to explore. I wanted to leave after 30 minutes, but my wife said we had to stay for at least 1 hour. I'm glad I got to see it. I know some folks spend days, months, years studying it. Me? I got the idea in the first 30 minutes and thought it was quite repetitive. That's just me. Good luck with your planning!!!!
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Mar 5th, 2018, 07:16 AM
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If your plan is to fly in and out of Naples, then I would stay in the area, maybe split between Sorrento (for its accessibility to Pompeii and Herculaneum), and then further down the Amalfi Coast for its beauty. A villa with pool would be nice for the kids. Also consider a few days in Naples. You could take a day trip to Capri, but it will be crowded in the summer.

Save Puglia for another trip.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 10:07 AM
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Having traveled with children in Europe in warm weather, I cannot stress how important it will be to have a swimming pool for them. It will be their reward for all the sight seeing which they will tire of quickly, no matter how important the sites are that you visit.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 01:09 PM
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With only 8 days I would spend the whole time based in Sorrento with day trips. And don't rent a car - with that number of people you either need two cars or a van and the towns in Italy are not made for driving or parking large vehicles. From Sorrento you can easily do day trips by bus and / or boat to Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, etc., by train to Pompeii and Herculaneum and Naples, by boat to Capri and Ischia. Way more than enough to keep you busy.

I can recommend the Ulisse Delux - they have a pool but I think it's extra. But it's reasonably priced nice enough hotel. I've stayed there twice. Third time I stayed somewhere else but decided next time I'm going back to the Ulisse. It's name says it's a 'hostel' but there are just a few large rooms, most of the place is a normal hotel. https://www.ulissedeluxe.com/

Matera is close to four hours from Sorrento so I wouldn't go all that way unless I had more time than you do. And Alberobello another hour. And if you are going that far there is way more to see/do. I would choose one or the other - either Amalfi Coast/Sorrento/Pompeii - or - Matera and Puglia. But for the latter you would want a car and as I said, your size group makes that problematic so for this trip I'd choose the Amalfi region.

Here are trip reports I've done to both areas - you can get some idea of what there is to do and how long things take.

Amalfi Coast, Rome and Croatia - Images of three hot but wonderful weeks
July in The Mezzogiorno – 3 weeks in Southern Italy: Amalfi Coast & Puglia

Photos are now at: Zenfolio | Isabel's_View | Italy
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Mar 5th, 2018, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by isabel View Post
Matera and Puglia. But for the latter you would want a car
Actually, a car isn't necessarily necessary for Matera or Puglia -- it depends on what you would want to see and experience.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 05:42 PM
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If you go to the Amalfi coast, I wouldn't recommend Sorrento. I much preferred Positano. It is more magical with amazing views, and you can go the beach and take a boat to Capri.
If you go to Puglia, I wouldn't stay in Alberobello. We did that last year for 7 nights and I really regretted it. Fasano di Savalletri is a much better location. It's very close to nice beaches. From there you could explore Ostuni and Polignano a Mare. I personally wasn't a fan of Ostuni but there is a great restaurant 5 kilometres away that is worth visiting.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 09:27 PM
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Thanks everyone! This has been most helpful!
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Mar 6th, 2018, 12:11 AM
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1) you will find that getting up on the side of Vesuvius at that time is very very hot. You need to take a lot of water and ensure all kids are well covered up. Frankly I might leave the kids back at the ranch.
2) The fact that Puglia is a few 100km a bit further south than Naples is not going to influence the heat levels as much as the amount of wind blowing at that moment
3) I would go for at most two centres, Puglia does get busy but no way as busy as the ACoast. More to the point the prices, even at the height of the season will always be lower in Puglia than AC which is just a draw for world wide tourists partially because it is so pretty and partially due to a continious marketing policy for the last 50 years.
4) If a member of my family was doing this I would advise them to drop Naples and AC, I might look at a second base up in the "spur" of italy around Foggia and the national park there.
5) I might take a villa but in Puglia I might take a Masseria, a bit like a large B&B, often courtyarded, with cook on site,a pool etc, they can prove very economic and with info on where to go.

Last edited by bilboburgler; Mar 6th, 2018 at 12:14 AM.
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Mar 6th, 2018, 05:32 PM
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Thanks everyone!
Any recommendations on vacation rentals in Campania and Basilicata? Possibly a realtor or agency that is specialized in vacation rentals?
Thanks!
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Mar 6th, 2018, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Masterphil View Post
I know some folks spend days, months, years studying it. Me? I got the idea in the first 30 minutes and thought it was quite repetitive.
A+ for honesty. I feel the same way in some art museums. Letís move on. Weíve already seen a Renoir.
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Mar 7th, 2018, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by camileaos View Post
Thanks everyone!
Any recommendations on vacation rentals in Campania and Basilicata? Possibly a realtor or agency that is specialized in vacation rentals?
Thanks!
Gosh, havn't used an agency for years. Looking around there are people like
https://www.mrandmrssmith.com/
https://www.homeaway.co.uk
https://www.emmavillas.com
https://www.jamesvillas.co.uk
https://www.agriturismo.it/
booking.com
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Vacati...n_Rentals.html

and of course you can just use google map, go to the area and search for "villa"
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