Naples, Sorrento and Rome; Secret Spots?

Old Jun 4th, 2020, 06:09 PM
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Naples, Sorrento and Rome; Secret Spots?

We will be visiting Naples, Sorrento and Rome November 2020, please help us with off the beat path suggestions that we can add to our trip. Thank you!

TRIP SUMMARY
Naples 3 days
Sorrento 3 days (Pompei and Capri included)
Rome 6 days

(for instance....Paris has free invitation only department store fashion show; also has accordion player and actors who perform on Sunday afternoons; and then Edith Piaf style singers, street dancers and flea market)
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Old Jun 4th, 2020, 07:24 PM
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Have you been to any of these places before? I can come up with a few Rome recommendations depending on what you might have already seen.

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Old Jun 4th, 2020, 07:39 PM
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November weather is always iffy. Rome is also so well traveled I'm not sure much can be called hidden or secret.

There is the bar above the Campidoglio. A good place to get views over looking the city. Plus prices are in line with the rest of the city.

If the weather is nice you could head up to the Giancolo viewing area at noon to see the canon firing.
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Old Jun 4th, 2020, 09:48 PM
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Tracilee, Thank you for your reply
Naples: We had a brief stay in Naples 13 years ago. We walked Spaccanapoli St, spent a few evening hours where ferries leave port and hung out with locals and street performers.
Sorrento, Pompei, Capri: we have never been
We were in Rome 19 years ago. We saw the Pantheon, Forum, Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, we sat with locals and watched sunset with wine and cheese on the Spanish Steps, we took the metro to Cornelia street where we shopped and had gelato.

Last edited by donnae_b; Jun 4th, 2020 at 09:50 PM.
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Old Jun 4th, 2020, 09:53 PM
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Traveler Nick, great information! Thank you.
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Old Jun 4th, 2020, 11:24 PM
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If you go to the Campidoglio behind the buildings you get a better view of the forum then you do actually inside the area. The viewing area behind the Campidoglio is higher up. Novermber you likely won't have to fight off tour groups . To get to the area walk by the place with the posta sign which isn't a post office under the arch way.

If you go up to Giancolo go to the
Spanish Royal Academy and ask to see the chapel built by the Spanish crown. IIRC it used to be closed Mondays but open other weekdays during business hours. You need to knock at the academy door. Almost never a tourist.
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Old Jun 5th, 2020, 05:45 AM
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I second Traveler_Nick's recommendation to walk up Giancolo for views, and for those with an interest in religious history or architecture, seeing the Tempietto is a must-see. This tiny temple, within the church, San Pietro in Montorio, is on the site where St. Peter is said to have been crucified. Architecturally, its a gem, and is said to be the prototype for the basilica of San Pietro at the Vatican.

We had a fantastic visit to Rome in 2017, and I got many wonderful suggestions for that trip on a planning thread:
8 Days in Rome in March 2017 - planning thread

This past fall, we traveled through Italy and visited all of the locations that you are mentioning. I don't know if you're speaking of 3 full days or 3 nights (with 2 full days). While we did visit Pompeii, our absolute favorite site was Herculaneum, a site very easily visited from Naples.

In Naples, a must-see is the Archeological Museum - don't forget to see the Gabinetto Segreto (Secret Room or Secret Cabinet), the collection of erotic art - a must-see! But the entire museum is filled with remarkable work.

Naples has a wonderful flavor - we mostly walked, wandered in and out of churches and especially enjoyed the street, Spaccanopoli, and the small streets off of it. We enjoyed a trip up to the Museo di Capidomonte, one of the great art museums of Europe. There were other places we didn't have a chance to visit, but we really enjoyed the feeling of the city. We are New Yorkers, and it felt very familiar to us.

We also enjoyed our stay in Sorrento, and also visited Pompeii from there. We ended up taking the Red Bus - the tourist bus, as the lines for the regular bus were overwhelmingly long. Then again, you probably won't have any problem since it will likely be much less crowded than early October when we visited in 2019. We had stayed in Capri for 2 nights, and we found it overwhelmingly crowded and, of all the places we visited in 5 weeks of traveling Italy, we enjoyed it the least. Then again, you might find it much less crowded - but I don't know what it would be like in November, either. We had a lovely walk down to the Porta Marina Grande, where we had a seafood lunch on the waterfront. We had initially planned to visit Positano as a day trip, but I sprained my ankle and decided that a town built on a hill was not in the cards!

Then again, we had more time on the Amalfi Coast, and stayed 3 nights in Atrani, which was a wonderful place to stay and tour from. So not sure how much you want more ideas - there are always too many things to do and to see in the area.

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Old Jun 5th, 2020, 08:35 AM
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Rome Sorrento Positano Capri trip report

We did a Rome/Positano/Sorrento trip in 2017 with stops in Capri, Ravello and Pompeii in 2017. Our itinerary worked out great. Ravello, Capri and a boat trip for the day in Positano were definitely highlights. We also stopped for authentic Napolean pizza on our way from the Naples train station to our hotel in Positano. All the details are included in my trip report blog posts https://travelfam.wordpress.com/category/italy-2017/

The only thing I think we missed doing was the Walk of Gods to or from Positano. Looks like a workout but people we talked to really enjoyed it. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti..._Campania.html
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Old Jun 5th, 2020, 08:53 AM
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And more...from our recent trip, more photos than words, but there are a lot of photos from Naples and Sorrento, which will give you a flavor of the areas:
5 weeks in Italy, continued…Orvieto, Naples, Amalfi Coast, and back to Rome

And the Sorrento pizza place I mention, Pizzeria Da Franco, had the best pizza. Our favorite of the trip! Unfussy but good.

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Old Jun 5th, 2020, 05:48 PM
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You won't need a list of "secret spots" for Napoli - there are so few tourists that every place feels special! Even the most famous museums are never crowded.
I've never been to Sorrento, but still ... I'd suggest skipping it in November and spending all six days in Naples. The day trip to Pompeii is easy from Naples, and there are boats to Capri (though I don't know about the winter schedule). As a bonus, if it's rainy you'll still have plenty of things to see, do, and eat. I'm not sure how appealing the Amalfi Coast would be outside of summer. And if you have beautiful weather, I know people who rented cars and Napoli and did a day trip there. They loved it.
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Old Jun 7th, 2020, 04:52 AM
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<<If you go to the Campidoglio behind the buildings you get a better view of the forum then you do actually inside the area. The viewing area behind the Campidoglio is higher up. Novermber you likely won't have to fight off tour groups . To get to the area walk by the place with the posta sign which isn't a post office under the arch way.>>

second this.

Also it is then only a 15 minute walk via the Piazza Venezia up the Corso to the Palazzo Doria Pamphili which has a wonderful collection of paintings and art, and also a very interesting commentary by a scion of the family on the rooms of the palace. Nice tea shop on the ground floor and very few other visitors.
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Old Jun 7th, 2020, 05:00 AM
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Do they still have musical tours of the P. Doria Pamphili?
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Old Jun 7th, 2020, 10:28 AM
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Do they still have musical tours of the P. Doria Pamphili?>>

That I don't know, AJP, in fact I didn't know that they had ever had them. I remember seeing something about concerts there but that's about it.
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Old Jun 7th, 2020, 11:04 AM
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If I remember correctly, it was a weekend thing.
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Old Jun 7th, 2020, 11:59 AM
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Tracilee, Traveler_Nick, Progol, mjperry, Michael_Cain_77398, annhig, AJPeabody, THANK YOU for your comments, for linking us to your trip reports and past planning threads, to expressing highlights on past trips and to telling us little known gems about places we are going or perhaps place we should consider for our upcoming trip. I love it! I will share our itinerary once we get it finalized and will definitely share trip report when we return.
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Old Jun 7th, 2020, 03:38 PM
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Rome
The Galleria Borghese is simply incredible. Even if you think you don’t like sculpture, you will be converted. It is timed, ticketed entry, in groups. Be early to check in bags, etc. If it is crowded, walk straight through to the end and do the museum in reverse.
The Capuchin Crypt, several chapels all decorated with bones is unique and Interesting.

Naples
The veiled Christ in Cappella Sanservio is without doubt one of the greatest sculptures in the world, a must see.
The archeological digs under city. We took the tour and had fun doing this. Read about it first to have more knowledge about what you see.
Herculaneum is more beautiful and special in some ways than Pompeii. Do not skip it.

I love the Amalfi Coast, but not so much if it is cold. Be flexible. See if you have a really nice day and if you do, then do an AC excursion or a trip to Capri. If I could see only one place on the AC, it would be Positano.

If you do go to Sorrento, stay in a hotel with great views and good food. I suggest Hotel Lorelei Londres (look up the history of this place) or Hotel Minerva.
For a lovely evening of music and dancing, go to The Foreigners’s Club. Food is very good, views are fabulous! If it is warm, visit the outside terrace. This place may be a little hard to find. Look for the tourist office. When we are in Sorrento in Summer, we end almost every evenIng here.
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Old Jun 7th, 2020, 08:13 PM
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Thank you Sassafras!

Last edited by donnae_b; Jun 7th, 2020 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Did not mean to quote
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Old Jun 8th, 2020, 10:29 AM
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Thank you *Sassafrass*
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Old Jun 8th, 2020, 02:19 PM
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It's not a secret, but it is not on the main tourist track; the architecture is Gaudiesque:


or this modern architecture was not on the tourist track when we were there:


both are in Rome.
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Old Jun 9th, 2020, 11:40 AM
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That's fascinating, Michael.

Googlemaps tells me that the Gaudiesque area is to the north east of the Borghese Gardens but where is the other one?
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