Off to Italy

Oct 8th, 2004, 08:01 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 101
Off to Italy

My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy the end of July beginning of August for approx. 16 days, including a total of two travel days from and back to the NYC area. We plan on landing in Venice and traveling south to Florence, Rome, and then Sorrento, returning home from the Naples airport. I have many questions....

How many days do we devote to each area?
How difficult is it to rent a car in Florence and drive out into the country?
How far is it from Sorrento to Naples? I want to judge the amount of time we need to get to the airport for our return trip?
Any suggestions for hotels in any of the above places?
When we are in Sorrento, what areas are worth seeing? Capri? Positano?
When we are on the Amalfi coast, should we hire a driver to get us around?
How would we get to Naples for a day trip out of Sorrento? I've been doing tons of research and have heard that the train is not very safe. Is that so?
In regard to train travel, should we pay point to point or get a Trentalia Pass? I figure we'll take 3 to 4 train trips.
How much time by train is it from Venice to Florence, Florence to Rome, Rome to Sorrento?
To get to Sorrento, would we take a train from Rome to Naples, and then have a taxi take us to Sorrento?

Thanks for any info. HeleneW
HeleneW is offline  
Oct 8th, 2004, 09:08 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Wow Helene, Do you have an hour? I do not right now. You need to do some reading first at slowtrav.com--look under the planning section and then read some trip reports. For train schedules, go to trenitalia.com. You will not need a pass--tickets will not be that expensive. But, for starters, Venice to Florence is 2:50: Florence to Rome is 1:42; Rome to Naples is about 2 hours--then a local commuter line to Sorrento takes about :45.

With 14 nites in Italy, I would plan:
Venice--4 nites
Florence--3 with day trip to Siena
Rome--4
Sorrento--3 [or last nite in Naples]

Hope that helps. Go to slowtrav.com
bobthenavigator is offline  
Oct 8th, 2004, 09:44 AM
  #3  
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Thanks. I knew I had too many questions, and I'm probably just beginning.
HeleneW is offline  
Oct 8th, 2004, 09:46 AM
  #4  
 
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I more or less agree with bob, but if you've never been to Rome, I'd do 3 Venice and 5 Rome.
MFNYC is offline  
Oct 8th, 2004, 10:26 AM
  #5  
ira
 
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Hi Helene,

This thread will help you with many of your questions:

Helpful Information: Italy http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34443340

With only 14 days, I suggest that you either leave out Rome or Sorrento.
ira is offline  
Oct 8th, 2004, 10:36 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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You have an entire year yet to plan - plenty of time IMO. I always reference the "Let's Go!" guides for great recommendations on hotels, restaurants, etc. Also, the 'TimeOut Guide: Naples (and Amalfi Coast)' is good to reference. My suggestion would be to use public transportation (train, busses) while in Italy. It is easy to use, convenient, and economical. Plus you will avoid gas and parking costs, which can be quite high in Italy. I have taken trains and busses with ease (and my toddler with me!) to all the places you mentioned.

Since you essentially have 14 days of actual time in Italy, I would break it down as follows: 2 days in Venice, train down to Florence, spend 4 days there (includes a day trip to countryside), then train down to Rome, spend 4 days there, then train to Sorrento for 4 days there. While in Sorrento, that will allow you enough time to explore the Amalfi coast (Amalfi/Ravello, Positano) and neighboring island of Capri, etc. While on Amalfi coast, you can easily take the SITA busses around from city to city; also the boat/hydrofoils have departures all day to/from those places so either way you will have transportation. I would not hire a driver unless you want to spend tons of money (upwards of 200+ euros a day) for no reason.

To get from Rome to Naples, take the train, then walk downstairs to the Circumvesuviana train station. The ticket office windows will be on your L side as you approach the area. The Circumvesuviana train from Naples to Sorrento is not dangerous. There are departures every 15 minutes and the 3,20 euros ride is 65 minutes from Naples to Sorrento. It is a convenient way to get there. If you prefer to take a boat, you could hire a taxi at the train station in Naples (Piazza Garibaldi) to take you down to Naples' Molo Beverello port to then go to Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, etc. I would recommend the train though, since you will already be there in the station.

Reference the www.trenitalia.com website for more information. If you type in the city pairs you want (i.e. Florence, Rome) and the day you want to travel (i.e. August 3) it will pull up all the train times/departures and schedule. Please note that the schedule for 2005 is not out yet, but you can get an approx. idea by typing in today's date. Distances between Venice and Florence are 2:49 hours (EuroStar train) or 3:07 (Inter-City train) and there are departures every hour. Between Florence and Rome, the distance is 1:40. Between Rome and Naples, distance is ~1:45 (ES).
Huitres is offline  
Oct 8th, 2004, 10:48 AM
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Leave out Rome?! Sacrilege
But, I do agree that it would be better to cut out one of your planned stops unless you really thrive on moving around .

I rented an auto in Florence and found it very easy to get out of the city.

I use Autoeurope , and reserved our car from one (of two) they have on Borgo Ognisantti. It is close to the Arno, and hence fairly easy to get onto a main road out of the city.

but, would you be using this car to do daytrips from Florence? You will have so little time , that doing a daytrip or two (Siena is gorgeous) can more esily be done via train.

You certainly do not want touse the auto to get from Florence and drive into Rome.
(I actually found it fun, but my children were terribly upset that we drove around in circles for two hrs )

AS far as the train into Naples. It seemed fairly safe to me, and I was travelinjg alone at that point .
But one thing i did notice was as we got closer to the station, other women on the train were turning their rings around on their fingers, and a few took of some of their jewelry altogether. I joined suit and stashed my bracelet with my passport .

Have fun planning and have fun there!

nanb is offline  

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