Naples and Salerno

Old Apr 27th, 2015, 08:05 AM
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Naples and Salerno

My wife and I are interested in going to Italy primarily to see the Amalfi Coast and Capri. I have been to Rome. Florence, Venice and Cinque Terre. We will probably go for 8-9 nights this summer. (Not worried about the heat since I live in Florida). Here is my question: Is it worthwhile to spend a night or two in Naples and/or a night of two in Salerno, or is my time better spent in the towns of the Amalfi Coast. Alternatively, we may spend a night or two in Rome and cut out either Naples or Salerno. I don't know how many nights are recommended for staying in Capri and the Amalfi Coast towns. Your suggestions are welcomed.
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Old Apr 27th, 2015, 08:33 AM
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It depends on what you want to see and do.
I'll let you work out the Rome bit, but I would split my time between Naples and a town on the Amalfi Coast. There is a recent post in progress on what to see/do in Naples.
Salerno is much more understanted, though it has its charms, and the best argument in its favor is the proximity to Paestum.
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Old Apr 27th, 2015, 08:46 AM
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Well of course it is totally a matter of opinion, so I'll give you mine.

I love cities in general, I'm a city person. But while I enjoyed a day trip to Naples, I'm glad I didn't base there. I've been to Rome (and Paris, London, etc) five or more times, I enjoy going there just to 'be' there, even though I've 'seen' the major sites. But Naples didn't do that for me. I considered it a 'site', like say Pompeii - something worth going to but not spending a whole lot of time there. There are some lovely buildings, the museum is very interesting, doing a walk through some of the neighborhoods was fun, the pizza is superb. But I was very glad to be staying in Sorrento.

That's why I prefer to base in Sorrento - it's small and calm (compared to Naples) but it's got decent transportation options to the entire area. We spent 8 days there one year and did day trips to Capri (boat), Naples (train there, boat back), Pompeii ( train), Amalfi and Positano (bus both ways), Amalfi and Ravello (boat). Another year we based in Sorrento for 5 days and did day trips (Amalfi Coast villages, Ischia - all by boat). I feel there are lots of options by basing in Sorrento - and then you can stay the whole time in one place without a lot of hotel moving.

Others prefer staying in Positano and/or Capri for a few days each and then moving on to Naples for a few days.

I would encourage you to find a way to get to Paestum. The temples there are amazing. It is possible to do it as a day trip from Sorrento or Amalfi, or I guess even Naples. We were renting a car for after we left the area so we drove. I would not suggest renting a car for that area, we only did it since there were four of us and we were moving on to Puglia where we needed the car. But spending a night in Salerno to visit the temples in Paestum would be another option.
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Old Apr 27th, 2015, 09:21 AM
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Concur with Isabel--Sorrento makes a good base to see the area. While not right on the AC, you can get to it easily and, if you have a car, can make a day trip to Paestum either directly from there or from Salerno. The Circumvesuviano train makes an easy connection between Sorrento and Naples and with Pompeii and Herculaneum, although not with Salerno.
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Old Apr 27th, 2015, 11:14 AM
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Napoli is the most Italian city of Italy. Many claim that, with a reason. Napoli has a bad reputation to tourists due to its high crime activity. This is false, The city is actually quite safe for tourists. Thankfully most tourists don't know that yet and still avoid it, keeping Napoli authentic and extra-original.
It's a paradise for tourists, the National Archaeological Museum, the Cappella Sansevero, the UNESCO city centre, thd amazing food (just for the record Pizza and Mozzarella are from Napoli), the Castel dell'Ovo, the old markets, the locals instead of tourists, the Vesuvius, the atmosphere of this city is something else... Please go, you won't regret it any moment.
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Old Apr 27th, 2015, 11:37 AM
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If your main goal is to see the Amalfi Coast and Capri, then I would divide your time between a couple of day on Capri and the remaining time on the Amalfi Coast.

Sorrento is near, but not on the Amalfi Coast and is nothing like the charming villages of the AC. While Sorrento is a good base for visiting Capri as a day trip, and Pompeii, Herculaneum, Vesuvius and even Naples, it is not convenient for seeing the AC, as you have a long bus or ferry ride to get from Sorrento to Positano, which is the closest village on the AC.

I really enjoy Salerno and often stop there on my way to Paestum (which is stunning BTW), so it could warrant a one-night stay if you wanted something different.

Naples is an amazing city but IMO needs more than 1 overnight.
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Old Apr 27th, 2015, 01:01 PM
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I would pick two bases--mine would be Sorrento and Positano---and day trips to Capri and Pompeii. I would forget Salerno for this trip.
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Old Apr 27th, 2015, 01:07 PM
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My wife and I stayed in a lovely B&B in Naples, and would do so again. It has enough to do and see to require a minimum of two nights in the city. Here' my trip report:
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Old Apr 27th, 2015, 01:59 PM
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correction: It has enough = There is enough
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Old Apr 27th, 2015, 05:36 PM
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It depends on the nature of your vacation. If you wish to see world class museums and history unsurpassed then by all means visit Naples. It has enough rich culture to last a year's worth of visits.

However, if your vacation is primarily sun, relaxing and water, then don't go there - just stick to your plans.

I would, however, get moving on booking something as Positano in July is a very, very busy place - as is Capri - as is Sorrento.
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Old Apr 27th, 2015, 05:55 PM
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I loved Napoli and am VERY glad I spent several days there! I found it very dynamic and energetic and fascinating, and there are some remarkable works of art scattered about the city, not to mention some glorious views. I wish I had given it more than the 2.5 days I gave it!

I also spent a night in Salerno and thought it suited MY purposes very well. The siesta in Salerno is quite long, so to see any of the city before heading to Paestum, it was more convenient for me to spend a night. I think Salerno is vastly underrated -- its cathedral holds some breathtaking elements, the collection of ivories at the diocesan museum is well worth seeing if you have any interest in that kind of thing, and the waterfront lungomare is, IMO, one of the most beautiful along that gorgeous stretch of coast.
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