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Naples or stay in Rome?

Old Aug 12th, 2012, 02:27 PM
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Naples or stay in Rome?

I'm in the early phases of planning for a trip through Italy in late 2013. I'm pretty excited because I've narrowed down a trip through the entire country to one that only includes key areas that I MUST see. The only part of the trip that's still in the air is whether or not to do Naples. I've read some not so great things about Naples, and the only real reason I was planning a few nights there was for easier (shorter) trips to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast. For those that have been to these areas, would it be a huge hassle to stay in Rome and do day trips to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast? Or does it just make more since to stay further South?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 02:37 PM
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It's better to spend a few days on the coast if you have the time than to do day trips from Rome. What time of year?
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 02:40 PM
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Thanks. I'm thinking either September or October. Is it hard to get from Rome to the Coast? If I stayed along the Coast, would it be hard to get to Pompeii from there?
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 04:10 PM
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I think it's close to impossible to do a daytrip from Rome to the Amalfi Coast. Maybe if you had a private driver meet your train in Naples.

You can do Pompeii in a long day, either by yourself or on one of the bus tours that leave from Rome.

However, as kyb says, it's better to stay there for a few days. If you base in Sorrento, it's easy to get to Pompeii and Capri. To get to the actual Amalfi Coast from Sorrento, you can take a bus; they shouldn't be so crowded in September or October.

Sorrento is a big town or small city on a cliff overlooking the Gulf of Naples. It's a pretty town, lush with volcanic-ash-fed greenery. There are a number of hotels and restaurants, and it will still be lively in October.

To get to Sorrento from Rome, take the train from Rome to Naples Centrale station, then go downstairs to catch the commuter train, the Circumvesuviana, to Sorrento. This train will pass the Pompeii Scavi stop. You could even stop there, store your bags, see Pompeii, then continue on to Sorrento. Or make a daytrip of it from Sorrento.
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 04:37 PM
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lhamilton07, welcome to Fodor's! There are a lot of us on here who are fans of Naples, and even more who have written favorably about the Amalfi Coast. You can do a search of the forums and come up with a wealth of information: logistics for the train from Rome, how to swing a day trip from there, what are the best towns for visiting various sites, and more.

Look for posts by A_Brit_in_Ischia for links to things like ferry schedules and museum info. The member named GAC posts a lot of train information. Threads marked as trip reports are good to read for first-hand experiences. If you click my name, I've been commenting on a very recent post about the Amalfi Coast for this October...
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 04:50 PM
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The fast AV Trenitalia train from Rome to Naples takes 70 minutes (about 45€). The Circumvesuviana from Naples to Sorrento takes about 75 minutes (4€). To see Amalfi/Positano and other towns along the coast, you catch a bus or ferry in Sorrento. Ferries aren't frequent and less frequent in Oct. (schedules tend to cut back Sept. 15). Sorrento is a bit of a transportation hub since the commuter train ends there and you can catch buses and ferries/hydrofoils.

You can also take the Marozzi bus from Rome Tiburtina station to Sorrento (about 20€). It takes about 3 1/2 - 4 hours (makes a pit stop halfway at Autogrill).

Another option, if you want to stay on the Amalfi Coast, is take the train from Rome to Salerno and then catch a bus to Amalfi.
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 04:55 PM
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I love Naples, but if you are not staying in Naples to see Naples, and only to visit Pompeii and the AC, then stay in Sorrento instead - the easiest way to go and very nice, especially since it will not be high season.

Do stay over. A day trip from Rome to Pompeii is just doable, but a day trip to the AC from Rome is not worth it, IMHO.

You could visit Pompeii either on the way down or the return to Rome and have one day to tour the AC.
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 05:08 PM
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Seeing Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast from Rome would be a couple of day trips - with a lot of time in transit versus sightseeing. Naples has a great archeo museum but IMHO is not the most pleasant city.

I would spend 3 nights in Sorrento (much more pleasant than Naples - but with easy access to Capril by ferry/hydrofoil, Pompeii by train and down the coast to the smaller towns by bus.
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 09:46 PM
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You might want to take a look at my trip report; click on my name to find it.
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Old Aug 13th, 2012, 12:47 AM
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For somewhere handy for all you've asked about, perhaps consider a stay in the small Amalfi Coast town of Vietri sul Mare - the first after it extends out from the "mainland", and pleasantly less tourism-driven than many of the others!

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/vietri

Particularly easy to reach from Rome - simply come down by rail to Salerno, then the two places almost run into one another, with a variety of bus links, a train service or just a short taxi ride!

.....................

Good connections to the Pompeii site: either by taking a local train from that "Vietri sul Mare - Amalfi" station, just above the town - the only one that's actually on the AC.... to arrive at the Trenitalia station in Pompei (marked in red on the map below), with then just a bit of a walk to the quieter Piazza Anfiteatro gate:

http://www.unicocampania.it/files/mappe/pompei.pdf

... or else by catching the CSTP line's bus #4 - which will eventually drop you near its main 'Porta Marina' entrance.

................

Being handy for getting back to Salerno also opens up several other possibilities...

- a boat trip to the resorts along the coast, or even on to Capri... with perhaps these people, whose routes mostly stay open till the end of October:

http://www.coopsantandrea.com/index_en.asp

- going by train from there to visit the glorious Greek temples at Paestum....

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/paestum

- or simply stopping off to visit that historic city itself:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/salerno33

In the other direction from Vietri the local line continues on to Naples, where there's southern Italy's finest archaeological museum - with the cream of the finds from not only ancient Pompeii and Herculaneum, but also the many other sites discovered all over the Campania region:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/nap_archaeol

... plus plenty enough other stuff to make a day's visit worthwhile:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/mainlynaples

Elsewhere in the area:
http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/tele

So much Italy, so little time?

Peter
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Old Aug 13th, 2012, 08:21 AM
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Hi lh,

>would it be a huge hassle to stay in Rome and do day trips to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast?

YES.

I liked Naples. It's what Italy should be.

Watch "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow". If you don't like it, don't visit Naples. Stay in Sorrento or the AC.

Fly into or home from Naples airport.

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Old Aug 13th, 2012, 10:34 AM
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I agree with the other posters. It would be a shame to skip this part of Italy, and a nightmare- I think- to try to do a day trip from Rome.

We stayed in Naples this summer and really liked it. More so than Sorrento, which is a great base for day tripping and exploring other parts of the AC, but not that interesting in and of itself.

Naples has the fantastic (!) archaeological museum, easy access to Pompeii and Vesuvius,Capri and Ischia, a beautiful waterfront, and amazing food. Of course there are neighborhoods to avoid, but that's true in almost any major city. Only you can decide if that makes you too uncomfortable. I thought Naples seemed much more Italian and real than Sorrento, which reminds me of a fast-growing suburb, complete with British fish n chip shops.
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Old Aug 16th, 2012, 08:20 PM
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Thank you all for the tips! It was my first post on Fodor's and I learned so much. Thank you!
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