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Overwhelmed by Planning Options - Sorrento & Rome (whole slew of questions)

Overwhelmed by Planning Options - Sorrento & Rome (whole slew of questions)

Old Jun 9th, 2011, 05:50 AM
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Overwhelmed by Planning Options - Sorrento & Rome (whole slew of questions)

Hello. We just booked a trip to Sorrento (5 nights) & Rome (3 nights) in October 2011.

I've been pouring over forums and the internet for days trying to plan activities and tours, but I'm becoming overwhelmed by the sheer number of options!

Itenerary:

Sorrento - Staying at Hilton Sorrento Palace

1. Would like to visit Capri and do a relax boat tour for a few hours. Has anyone done this? Is it worth it? Will probably use Capri Relax Boats, but are there other options?

2. Day trip to Pompeii. Tour operator suggestions? If doing a day trip, how long does this take, including travel time?

3. Visiting Positano, Amalfi & Ravello. Best way to get there from Sorrento and how long does it take? We don't intend on renting a car, but what are our other options? I have seen suggestions of renting a Vespa or motorbike, but with curves of the road, I'm not sure if this a safe option. I also know there are buses, but are they generally crowded and will we be able to hop between the towns?

4. Beaches on Amalfi coast - any public access beaches on Amalfi coast or Sorrento?

5. Bathing Clubs in Capri...has anyone been to one? What is the estimated cost?


Rome - Staying at Rome Cavalieri

1. I know the hotel is further up a hill from the city center, but has anyone walked into Rome from the hotel? How long does it take? Are there any great restaurants around the hotel itself?

2. Rome's Catacombs - any tour suggestions? Do we need a tour or can we do this on our own? Is it worth seeing?

3. Papal Audience - We will be in Rome on a Wednesday, and being good Catholics , may want to go to the Papal Audience. Has anyone tried to get tickets? Are they are to secure?

4. Vatican Tours - what are a few suggestions for good Vatican tour operators? Should we see the vatacombs? Unfortunately, the Scavi tour is full.

5. Do you need separate tickets to get into the sistine chapel or is there one ticket for all Vatican museums? Once purchased, can you wander throughout the Vatican?

6. Angels & Demons tour...my husband wants to do it....is it worth the time of the tour or would our time be better spent going to see the sites ourselves?

7. Best way to get around Rome - taxi, bus or metro? Or should we rent motorbikes?

8. Great places to just WANDER.
ShellRay is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2011, 06:05 AM
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In October, the weather might not be all that great so I'm not sure I would book a boating excursion in advance unless you can cancel and get a refund.

I'm pretty sure most hotel pools will be closed in October. there were a few people on the beach in Amalfi when I was there about the 3rd week of September a couple of years ago. It really wasn't warm enough for it and I only say one or two people stick their feet in the water. No one was swimming. Perhaps your weather will be warmer, but I wouldn't count on it.

No vespas or motorbikes for Amalfi or Rome.

Your Rome hotel is out so you will need to taxi to the center.

You get tickets to the Papal audience from the American Church in Rome, Santa Susanna.
http://www.santasusanna.org/popeVati...peVatican.html

I've never heard of vatacombs. Where did you hear this term?
kybourbon is online now  
Old Jun 9th, 2011, 06:11 AM
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Thank you!

We will be there Sept. 29 - Oct. 7...so early October. Is the weather better then? When I checked the average temps, it says around 77.

"Vatacombs" was from When in Rome Tours...but now that I look at it, I think it's just a clever way of saying the Vatican's catacombs.
ShellRay is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2011, 06:14 AM
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Sorrento
2. Day trip to Pompeii. Tour operator suggestions? If doing a day trip, how long does this take, including travel time?
Pompeii is about half an hour from Sorrento by local train. One of the joys of staying in Sorrento is that is so easy to reach Pompeii from there. Depending on your interest level you could spend a few hours or all day there. There are tour guides at the entrance if you don't want to commit to a tour until you are there.

Rome - Staying at Rome Cavalieri

1. I know the hotel is further up a hill from the city center, but has anyone walked into Rome from the hotel? How long does it take?
It is more than 4 km from your hotel to the historic center of Rome (Piazza Navona), about an hour walk. The entrance to the Vatican Museums is 2.6 km, a bit more than a half hour walk. It is more than 6 km to the Colosseum.

5. Do you need separate tickets to get into the sistine chapel or is there one ticket for all Vatican museums? Once purchased, can you wander throughout the Vatican?
The Sistine Chapel is part of the Vatican Museums, a series of building and museums you wander through based on your interests. This does not include the Vatican Gardens or St Peter's Basilica.

6. Angels & Demons tour...my husband wants to do it....is it worth the time of the tour or would our time be better spent going to see the sites ourselves?
Only you can decide that. I am not a fan of organized tours. It is easy enough to visit the sights featured in the book on your own.

7. Best way to get around Rome - taxi, bus or metro? Or should we rent motorbikes?
Do not rent motorbikes—extremely challenging for a novice, never mind then you have to figure out where to park it. From your hotel location I suspect you will spending a lot in taxis. When in Rome, I mostly walk between sights, but I stay more centrally than you are. The bus system is most comprehensive. The metro system is limited, but is good for connecting a few key locations: Roma Termini train station, Piazza di Spagna, Vatican, Colosseum.

8. Great places to just WANDER.
The historic center between the Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna), Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and Campo di Fiori
Trastevere
Borghese Gardens
Gianicolo Hill
ellenem is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2011, 09:56 AM
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Your hotel in not IN Rome - it overlooks Rome. Walking from the hotel to the center of Rome is about 4 miles - you need to count on taxis each way.

Renting a vespa in Rome is close to madness. There are few traffic lights and inerections operte on the "chicken" principle. Most people find it challenging enough crossig the street - never mind ziping around on a scooter. The best way to get aroud the center is feet - you'll see the most by far. Take a taxi to and fro your hotel.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 10:15 AM
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IMO the comment on the weather for the AC was a little on the pessimistic side - I would definately expect very pleasant weather in the 70's, hopefully no rain but it will be past "the season". You can probably email your Sorrento hotel and see if the pool is still open. If so that may be your best option for sunning - the beaches in the area are for the most part pretty rocky. Beach clubs in Capri may all be shut down too. But unless your main ambition for the trip was a beach outing, don't let this info discourage you. Plenty to do besides toasting.

Best way to do the coast, private diver.

Pompeii can be done on your own if that works for you.
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