Naples vs Sorrento

Old Feb 25th, 2015, 03:34 PM
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Naples vs Sorrento

My fiance and I are working on planning our honeymoon for September 2015 in Italy. We are planning to spend a week in Rome then fly out of Naples at the end of our trip. I like the idea of the Amalfi Coast but don't think we'll spend that much time on the beach (since we go a lot at home) nor do I want to go to Capri. My fiance definitely wants to go to Pompeii as well as the archeological museum. I've read a lot of the trip logs on Sorrento vs. Positano and I think Sorrento would be better for us but now I'm debating whether we should just stay in Naples since travel would be easier. We'd like to see:
- Pompeii - 1 day
- Naples Museums (and city) - 1 day
- Path of the Gods - 1 day

If we're planning on Sunday-Thursday (flying out Thursday) in the area, is it worth it to split between 2 hotels? It seems like all of our spots are doable from both locations. I've read a lot of trip reports for Sorrento and Positano but not a lot of pro-con. We're also not planning to rent a car/get a car service. Thanks for your help!!
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Old Feb 25th, 2015, 03:58 PM
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For the destinations you mentioned, Naples/Sorrento is a wash in terms of visiting these destinations.

However, the Naples and Sorrento are very different locales. Naples is a big, somewhat chaotic city while Sorrento is more like a resort base. Naples is not for everyone. Some get totally turned off by the grittiness. Compared to Sorrento, you can feel the vibes and the energy in Naples, while on the other hand, there are many narrow chaotic side streets where groups of men just hanging around in the middle of the day.

For Sorrento / Positano, there are differences.
Positano is a great location if you mostly stay there. It is tougher to get in/out to visit places outside the Amalfi Coast mentioned compared to Sorrento.
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Old Feb 25th, 2015, 04:04 PM
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Read up on the Circumvesuviano train.... somewhat rickety train from Naples to Sorrento, right past Pompeii. We did 3 days/2 nights in Sorrento from Rome (passed through Naples train station) and really enjoyed it, including one day in Pompeii (Sorrento to Pompeii in the morning, back in the evening). No car needed.

Take an umbrella to Pompeii... no shade! Food in the Pompeii cafe is fine. Downtown Sorrento at night is very active and fun. Delightful stay at "Villa Oriana Relais" B&B on the hill above Sorrento... two thumbs up!
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Old Feb 25th, 2015, 04:10 PM
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I would just stay in one location in your situation. You can do everything you want from either place.

In 2012 we spent a few days in Naples, staying at the Hotel Piazza Bellini which we liked a lot, it is in the heart of the centro storico and was only a few minutes walk from the Archeological museum which we really enjoyed. (we spent the whole day in there with a break for lunch)
The hotel is also a short taxi ride from the train station.

We also spent six nights in Sorrento and from there we took the Circumvesuviana train one day to Pompeii.

It depends on what atmosphere you want for your 4 night stay I guess. Sorrento is a good sized town which is walkable and has lots of cute shops, restaurants etc and sort of a laid back feel.
We stayed in a great hotel with a view of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius which I never got tired of looking at. ( Hotel Mediterraneo ) I felt it was a great spot for a relaxing holiday.

Naples we really enjoyed too but it is busy, lively, kind of in your face but in an interesting, engaging way.

I think the Path of the Gods may be easier to access from Sorrento, although Naples is only a short train ride away really.

For your shortish stay and the things you want to see/do, I'd make it either Sorrento or Naples, not Positano. (and we went to Capri for the day and sort of wished we hadn't, it was October and was still wall to wall people, so I think you are wise to leave that out.)
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Old Feb 25th, 2015, 04:17 PM
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I made a wrong turn on my way to Sorrento and ended up in Naples. What a nightmare! Although I like vibrant cities (I live in NYC), I am so glad I was not staying in Naples! I know you are not driving but I don't think I would even feel comfortable crossing a street there.

Obviously, my choice would be the calmness of Sorrento.
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Old Feb 25th, 2015, 06:04 PM
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>>>I think the Path of the Gods may be easier to access from Sorrento, although Naples is only a short train ride away really.
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Old Feb 25th, 2015, 07:19 PM
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I will do something I rarely do, which is to disagree with joannyc! I LOVED Naples! I found it dynamic and energetic and FULL of places that I wanted to see for all sorts of different reasons!

That said, I know that some people don't like Naples. So the idea of splitting your time may make sense...

BTW, congratulations, best wishes, and hoping you enjoy your honeymoon!
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Old Feb 25th, 2015, 10:46 PM
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I'm a big fan of Naples, which has many fabulous attractions beyond the wonderful museum, but if I were planning to hike the Path of the Gods in September, I would stay in Sorrento. I would want to get an early start on the trails on the day of the hike because of increasing heat as the day wears on. You might also want to take a ferry to get to the coast, since motor traffic can get jammed along the Amalfi coast at that time of year.

If your departing flight leaves very early in the morning, you might want to relocate to Naples for your final night, but you should stay somewhere other than near the train station and take a taxi to the airport (35 euros, 25 minutes) If your only interest in Naples is the archeological museum, another possibility you could consider is to spend your last day/night in the town of Pompei, and take a taxi to the airport from there (25 minutes, about 40euros). If that idea appealed, then you could plan to visit the archeological museum on your way from Rome to Sorrento (stow your luggae in Napoli Centrale train station while you visit the museum, which you can walk to from the station).

But if your flight departs later in the day, you can use public transportation from Sorrento to get to the Napoli airport.
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Old Feb 25th, 2015, 11:51 PM
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The Path of the Gods is on the Amalfi Coast from Nocelle to Bomerano. You'd need to stay in Positano to access it without too much travel or hassle. The Amalfi Coast is more than just beaches. There is, of course, the hiking. There is also boating, visiting villages seldom explored, such as Scala and Furore and enjoying the food and atmosphere.

However, if you're set on Sorrento or Naples - just think of the type of atmosphere you prefer. Naples is a big city of one million people and Sorrento is a resort town. Both have good access to Pompeii. It just depends on what sort of experience you prefer.
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Old Feb 28th, 2015, 05:25 PM
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Kia, I didn't really see anything of Naples itself. Soon after I turned off I realized I had made a mistake and tried turning around. It was rush hour and there were just sooooooo many scooters, cars and pedestrians going whatever which way they wanted without any regard for traffic signs, signals, etc., it was uncontrolled chaos!!!

Watching a show on Naples right now, looks like it could be interesting.... If not driving! ;-)
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Old Feb 28th, 2015, 05:29 PM
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@ joannyc -- I most assuredly did NOT try driving in Naples! ;-) If you ever see it, I'll be interested to know what you think.
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Old Mar 1st, 2015, 04:18 AM
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I agree with the people who say stay in Sorrento (or possibly spend the last night in Naples). I love big cities ( originally from NY) and I am very glad I visited Naples, but much prefer staying in Sorrento. Usually for only 4 nights I'd say stay in one place, and both Pompeii and Naples are easily done from Sorrento but in your case I'd consider doing that last night in Naples. If you think you want more than 2-3 hours in Pompeii (we spent 5, and some people spend even more), then I'd do it as a day trip from Sorrento, otherwise I'd do in en route to Naples (if you choose to do the last night there).

Path of the Gods would me much easier from Sorrento - even from Sorrento it's going to take at least an hour each way to get to the start/end points. From Naples it would be over two each way. It's not just the time of the actual train/bus rides - you have to wait for the connections as well. But consider also that there are many other hikes in the region, Path of the Gods is just the famous one. There are quite a few right on the peninsula that Sorrento is one.

So - from Naples to Pompeii by train is about half an hour, another half hour to Sorrento. Then you need to switch to a bus - and they don't run all that often so it could be quite a wait if you didn't time it right. Then 45 min to Positano, over an hour to Amalfi. Then you have to switch to another bus (and wait for that one) to get up into the hills where the Path of the Gods starts. That's why Sorrento makes sense if you want to do things in both directions since it's sort of in the middle. Plus its a very nice town.
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