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Naples to Sorrento - by train or hydrofoil?

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Sep 18th, 2005, 09:38 AM
  #1
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Naples to Sorrento - by train or hydrofoil?

In the planning stages of a family trip for June 06. Will be traveling from Orvietto via train to Naples(could go in rental car but I'm thinking train would be better?), en route to Sorrento. Can anyone comment as to which might be the most convenient way to make the connection to Sorrento? We'll have some luggage and our two daughters(9 & 15). Would one route be more scenic than the other (I'm guessing the most scenic would be by boat?)? Also, if by boat - take a cab to the dock? Thanks for any feedback.
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Sep 19th, 2005, 03:23 PM
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The more scenic route would be by boat, but my understanding is that the boats are pretty irregular. We went the easy route in August and took the Circumvirsuviana train from the station in Naples to Sorrento. It is inexpensive, very frequent and takes about an hour.
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Sep 19th, 2005, 03:50 PM
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If you already have a car you may want to drive and turn it in when you get to Sorrento. It is autostrada most of the way.
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Sep 19th, 2005, 04:03 PM
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I always rely on public tranportation when in Europe, it can't be beat! You actually have several options:

From Orvieto to Naples via train, you could then take the #1 bus from outside Piazza Garibaldi down to the Molo Beverello port and catch a boat from Naples to Sorrento. Alternatively, you could just walk over to the Circumvesuviana train station contained within the Naples Centrale Station and take that all the way til it ends in Sorrento. Lastly, there is a 6 euro shuttle bus (Curerri Viaggi) that leaves every 30 minutes from outside of the airport terminal in Naples and is very convenient. It takes you directly to Piazza Tasso in Sorrento.

Of these 3 options, I would go with convenience. Remember that you will have luggage..taking that through the Piazza Garibaldi, down to the port onto boat might be challenging. I would just hop on the Circumvesuviana train since you will already be in the station, then get to Sorrento, unload baggage in hotel, then do your scenic walking around. If you do take the boat, please note that you will have to take a bus up the hill into town from the Marina Grande as that walk with luggage is very difficult.
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Sep 19th, 2005, 05:34 PM
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OK I always get beat up on the car issue, here is my point of view, when your back home do you drive a car or take the bus. The Sorrentino coast road is like the famous highway coast road in california. I would most certainly drive it, although some good skills are required, especially in Sorrento. If we were talking Capri where you must use a boat, for sure boat. June is not like August traffic should be reasonable. Hey just one opinion among many. I dont backpack back home, I dont take the bus and certainly not about to start on vacation. (5 star Traveller)
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Sep 19th, 2005, 10:44 PM
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Thank you everyone for your posts. Just the feedback I was hoping for. Actually, the car, train, bus etc... dilemma begins when I land in Rome. I have been trying to decide if we should deplane and pick up a rental car and head to Orvieto or make our way to the train station and go by train. Getting a car seems like the most convenient way to go, and will likely get us there faster. Not sure. If we picked up a car, theoretically, we could keep it and drive from there and drop in Sorrento, or drop in Orvieto and go by train. We are in Sorrento for a couple of nights then on to Capri for a few. Then to Positano. I figured we would return to Sorrento and get a rental again to continue our route along the Amalfi Coast, then drop it in Salerno and train back to Rome. Those are my preliminary thoughts. If anyone has additional feedback it would be most welcome. THX!
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Sep 20th, 2005, 12:11 AM
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Here are some thoughts, based on experience.

Getting to Orvieto from Rome by car with your family and luggage is a good plan, and a car os quite useful in tha part of the country.

But I think you are much better off taking the train to Naples/Sorrento, because while the drive from Rome to Sorrento is mostly Autostrada, it can get slightly confusing at the Sorrento end, as you approach the turnoffs for Castellamare di Stabia, and there are a couple of places where a wrong turn could end up in an "less safe" area. There is a somwhat scenic part as you approach Sorrento, with a view of the Bay of Naples.

If you do take the train/ Circumsuviana route, remember that in the Naples train station, the Circumsuviana train is on a lower level, and requires descending a bunch of stairs. Trains are frequent, and Sorrento is the last stop. It won't be scenic, and if crowded, you may have to stand up. It's the commuter train, after all, and is akin to a "subway" .

Considering that there are several of you, if you decide to take a hydrofoil or ferry, I suggest taking a taxi from the train station to the port, because at the train station, hiking across to the bus that takes you to the port with luggage could be a hassle.

I disagree that the boats to Sorrento are very irregular. I have used them many times, as do commuters beyween Naples and Sorrento. And it's exciting to arrive in Sorrento for the first time by water, because you can see all the old hotels perched on the cliffs and you get a sense of the place. There are taxis and a bus always waiting at the docks to take you up the steep hill.

On the Amalfi Coast, I think to have a car in Positano is really puts you at a disadvantage, and will actually slow you down in some ways. The parking situation is strained to the limits, and parking "garages" cost over 3E per hour. You will be sharing tiny roads twisting through the town with tourist buses (the big kind), and there are frequent traffic tieups. The SIta buses and local orange buses that carry everyone back and forth along the Amalfi Coast drive are excellent, inexpensive and offer fantastic views.

Another possibility: At the end of your stay on the Amalfi Coast, if you have time, you might consider taking a ferry from Amalfi to Salerno and then taking the train back to Rome. Just a thought, as you can easily get a bus to Salerno from Amalfi also.

Hope you and your daughters have a lovely time!
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Sep 20th, 2005, 10:22 PM
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bellastar - thank you for your time and thoughtful feedback. everyone's input has been so helpful. I really appreciate it.
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Sep 21st, 2005, 06:14 PM
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Here's a couple of websites about train and boat transportation from Naples to Sorrento. I have taken both and the hydrofoil is a much nicer ride than the train and they do run pretty often.

http://www.aliscafi.it/show_aliscafi_napoli.asp

http://www.campaniatrasporti.it/orari/eng/index.asp#
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Sep 22nd, 2005, 11:27 PM
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Thanks Scullysioux. I'm thinking we'll take the hydrofoil from Naples - sounds like this will be the most scenic route and fairly convenient if taking cabs to and from the dock area. I wonder if I can take a train from Orvieto directly to Naples or if we will need to change trains in Rome?
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Sep 23rd, 2005, 05:22 AM
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Bellastar was right on perfect. The only thing I will add is when you get in the taxi at Naples Centrale (train station) make sure they take you only to Molo Beverello (the closest port with the most aliscafo...jet boats) They may try to take you to a farther one so they will get a higher fare.

As Bellastar mentioned there are plenty of boats to and from Sorrento. I have read many times here that aliscafo stop early in the evening and that at some times of the year they don't run very often, etc. All of this is not true. People on Procida, Ischia, Capri and Sorrento work in Naples. The boats run often and late. There are also some that don't show in the schedule that run in the middle of the night. My family commutes to Naples from Ischia. If you've ever been on an Aliscafo at 8:00 am, you'd be one of very few with a suitcase.
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Sep 23rd, 2005, 07:14 AM
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There are two trains an hour from Napoli to Sorrento. The boats are much less frequent. It can be a difficult choice, but the train will almost always be quicker.
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