Rome to Positano in August of 2020

May 1st, 2019, 04:11 PM
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Rome to Positano in August of 2020

We are an American East Coast family, planning a trip to Italy in August, 2020. We will be six adults, two older and 4 younger, and two children under 7 years old. We are still fleshing out the itinerary, but we want to fly into Rome, stay there for 3 nights, then travel to Naples, visit Pompeii, then on to Positano for three nights. We will return to Rome for the return flight to the U.S. Some questions come to mind, namely what is the best method for traveling within Italy, especially for the Rome to Positano leg, and does anyone out there have tips for staying cool and comfortable in this part of Italy in August? Also, any Rome and Positano hotel recommendations would be appreciated. Thank you.

Last edited by cangel; May 1st, 2019 at 04:18 PM.
cangel is offline  
May 1st, 2019, 04:38 PM
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I'm going to make a guess that you would arrive Rome fairly early in the day, likely no later than 1:00pm and possibly several hours earlier than that. I suggest you not stop in Rome (other than to change trains) but immediately continue to Naples. It would take all of 2 hours from FCO to Naples and would save you one hotel check in/out. If you want to keep it really simple and can afford a splurge, you could hire a driver to pick you up at FCO and take you to your Naples hotel.

It would also be easier with that many people (plus luggage) to hire a driver to pick you up at your Naples hotel and take you to your Positano hotel and then pick you up at your Positano hotel and take you to the Naples train station. The train from there to Roma Termini takes a little over an hour. The alternative to these two drivers are buses and commuter trains which are often packed like sardines in summer. It's possible on the Positano-Sorrento-Naples journey that you might not all make it onto the same bus leaving Positano.

For helpful hotel recommendations, you should state a budget and some info on what you're looking for. A double + triple + triple, or a double + double + quad??

You could think about apartments, but you may have trouble finding one that has the configuration you want. I would want A/C in every place I stayed.
Jean is online now  
May 2nd, 2019, 02:48 AM
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It makes much more sense to to go straight to Positano, then back to Naples and finally Rome. That way you're not likely to have problems catching your flight home as you'll only be around 45 minutes from FCO, rather than 4 hours to be done on the day you fly.

With seven travellers + luggage you'll need a minibus from FCO and again on each leg unless you're prepared to travel by train with people and bags and the hassle that brings. It all depends on whether price is an issue or convenience is preferable, only you can decide. The same applies to hotels especially in Positano, where prices range from eye wateringly expensive down to mild bum clenching. Rome and Naples will have a wider range of room rates.
Rubicund is offline  
May 2nd, 2019, 08:56 AM
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Jean, many thanks for the helpful response. FCO to Naples is a great idea for the first leg, saving the last few nights of our vacation for the Rome segment, thereby making the return flight logistics much less stressful. As for some of our transportation in Italy, we were toying with the idea of hiring a driver and large van anyway. And you are spot on about arrival time. Although I can't get specific flight times this far in advance, the August, 2019 flights from both JFK and Boston are in the morning, allowing plenty of time to get to Positano (perhaps Naples?) for check-in. We will figure out hotels; plenty of time to do that. Thanks for the A/C tip, as well.
cangel is offline  
May 2nd, 2019, 09:05 AM
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Rubicund, thanks for the reply post! Indeed, traveling south from the airport makes the most sense, with the Rome stay at the back end of our vacation. The van idea is a good one; this same group hired a large bus-like vehicle, with driver, for a previous family vacation, and that made all the difference. Any thoughts on hotels in Naples? Thank you.
cangel is offline  
May 3rd, 2019, 07:14 AM
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Hotel recommendations are difficult without knowing your intended price per night and how many rooms you are looking for. If you give an indication of your budget it'll help us recommend.
Rubicund is offline  
May 3rd, 2019, 08:00 AM
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"We will figure out hotels; plenty of time to do that."

Don't underestimate how early Positano hotels are booked for high season summer, esp. if you have specific needs/wants. With small children, I'd pay attention to location and how much stair-climbing you'd be doing.
Jean is online now  
May 4th, 2019, 12:35 AM
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Jean is correct. The better hotels in Positano will typically be fully booked at least a year ahead. The slightly less expensive will be full at six months. If you're looking for several rooms and/or a particular configuration , then a year ahead.
Rubicund is offline  
May 4th, 2019, 05:16 AM
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If you just have seven nights, any chance you could be convinced to just visit Naples and the Amalfi Coast this time and save Rome for later?

There is so very much to see there and the region begs you to slow down and savor it.

I have visited Naples twice.

One visit: Hotel Excelsior, a 100 year old grande dame sort of hotel. It is on the waterfront. My room was fabulous but no view. Large - huge bathroom, big walk in closet, the room itself was large with two full/queen size beds. Perfectly lovely hotel in a lovely and boring area. Yes it was waterfront, and during the day a lot of strollers and people and families, but at night a snooze. A long walk to Spaccanapoli which is where the life is. But, also, it was only a ten minute walk to Gran Caffe Gambrinus and maybe 15-20 minute walk to the ferry point should you want to island hop.

Another visit: Decumani Hotel de Charme.. Excellent hotel, big rooms, reasonably priced, a just a short walk to Spaccanapoli itself. You are in the thick of it, here. Naples pulsating heart.

From Naples some day trips via ferry would be Capri, Procida, Ischia. I haven't been to Ischia but I've been to the first two and they are beautiful, good walking/hikng, great views, and the food!

I've been to Positano twice, too. The first time I stayed in what was more of an apartment /B&B than a hotel. Have to look it up. It was just up the hill from Sirenuse and right next door to Hotel California which was in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. My room was massive with astounding views. The shower had the best water pressure I've ever experienced LOL.

The second time I stayed in a hotel/B&B which is owned by the cousin of someone I became friends with on my first visit - a hiking guide named Lucia (Zia Lucy). In fact if you go hiking you should look her up, she is from there (as is her whole family, and they all have different businesses in Positano) and she is just wonderful.

This B&B was very reasonably priced and the rooms were pretty, and it was fairly well located in that you could easily walk to the beach, but, it was in a rather unusual spot in that it was kind of back against the mountains - really nestled into the hillside. You could see the water but from pretty far back - as I said, it's really nestled into the hills. That said, the price was very reasonable, it was well situated - very short walk down the hill and on to the pedestrian part of the village and then the beach. The room was lovely and amply sized and well appointed. The owner (her cousin) is such a lovely person! He was such a sweetheart! The day I went hiking and met Lucy at dawn he packed a lunch for me and left it outside my door with a smiley face on it. One day I walked back to the room and his Mama was making tomato sauce so I hung out with her a bit and watched.

Given a choice, it would be a hard call because on the one hand lovely people and it felt personal and warm, but not much of a view (but really reasonably priced - like half what I spent for the one with the stupendous view) and on the other hand, massive room, breezy and airy, stupendous view, but, it was almost self catering other than the fact that someone would drop off breakfast for you and clean up after you - and you barely saw them. There wasn't even much of a reception - I think the owner just had someone in the linen shop next door let you in and sign the papers. On the other hand the one with the view was even better situated and closer to the beach although the hillside one really wasn't far at all - just a short hop down the hill and then you're in the same pedestrian area.

Hard choice but I'd likely go with the view again. For twice the price. But if it wasn't available I'd be OK with the other one too. Or just go with something brand brand new and bang on the water. It's small, and it's all good.

If you are interested in either I'll dig them up.

Oh and if you cannot be persuaded to keep your visit to Naples/Amalfi Coast, then I agree to start south first.


Why not make Rome a day trip??? I did that on my second Naples visit - I think I was in Naples ten days or so (Positano was before that - I flew into Naples and went there first) and so I peeled off one day to go to Rome. Granted I had already been to Rome at least 4-6 times, so this was just to visit a few old haunts and have a good meal and then back again. It's an hour on the train.

If you haven't bought your tickets, fly in and out of Naples and just make Rome a day trip. Spend the rest of your time down south. You will need to be on point with what you want to see of course. But you can easily see the Pantheon and the Forum/Colosseum at least.

Last edited by flygirl; May 4th, 2019 at 05:21 AM.
flygirl is offline  
May 5th, 2019, 12:29 AM
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Sorry to hi jack the OPs thread, but may I ask flygirl if she could please give me the contacts for the two places in Positano? Were considering a trip to Naples and the Amalfi Coast, the previous time were were based in Sorrento and just did a day trip. Thanks in advance and my apologies again!
geetika is offline  
May 5th, 2019, 03:50 AM
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Jean and Rubicund, thanks for the tips on hotel booking lead time! We should begin to get right on that.
cangel is offline  
May 5th, 2019, 03:54 AM
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flygirl, great comprehensive reply post! The Rome/Naples split may be a bit ambitious with such a large group of travelers. Many thanks! The ferry day-trips from Naples is a great idea.
cangel is offline  
May 5th, 2019, 07:28 AM
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Hi again

Glad this is helpful!

Here are the two places. The B&B has three rooms, I hope the links work.

The owner is named Jacky. Such a sweet guy! I didn't book on Airbnb though since I knew his cousin he just held a room for me and I paid him cash.

The other one with the stupendous views was called Residence Alcione, I think it has 5 rooms?

I stayed in one of the suites. What a view!!

Given that this is August, yep, it is gonna be HOT. I was there in May one year and September another time and both times gorgeous. TAKE AN UMBRELLA. The sun will be relentless. I use umbrellas outside all the time (all the time) but you will especially want it in Pompeii - no shade.

The sea, though, will be breezy - boat rides, too. I just texted Jacky and he said the weather has been unseasonably cold and rainy so far. which is meaningless for August of course.

Naples will be full of museums and cultural things to see and do. Lots of markets. Lots of history and churches. The food. Pompeii.

The islands will be about pretty views and good food and if you are all up for hiking, Capri especially has simply outstanding places to hike (really, "walking") as well as some ancient history sites, too. Procida is flatter than Capri (not flat, but flatter) and somewhat bigger and has more roads - Capri has few roads and you will be walking, mostly - but it's also more compact and dramatic - it's basically a big cliff! If I had to pick one and only one for a day trip, I would say Capri. Dramatic and gorgeous.

Procida is lovely (also was in scenes from Talented Mr. Ripley) but also to me seems more like a place people live and go about their day to day. In fact friends of mine who used to live in Venice moved there, so I saw them on my last visit. It's utterly lovely and would be a pleasant day but not jam packed with as much to see as Capri which packs a lot into its compact size.

Capri is/was also the home of a lot of famous rich folks and you really get that sense walking around it, too, especially once you lose the crowds and just wander. Also as you wander around on your hikes you will see a lot of yachts parked down below.

From Positano there are so many little villages along the coast to visit. You can take boats to some of them, or, hire a driver. In August trying to use a bus will be very frustrating unless you get up super early. For instance the two times I hiked with Lucy we were at the bus stop at 630 AM, which was also good because it gets you to the hiking point early so that you are doing the Path of the Gods in the morning, not mid day (hot). Yes I also used an umbrella for the very sunny hike. It's a gentle downward slope of a hike from Bomerano to Nocelle which is a village far above Positano. And Nocelle is so cute! Tiny tiny but a few restaurants which have astounding views! If your family is up for a hike, perhaps 2.5 hours long but gently downhill as long as you start from Bomerano and go to Nocelle, then the Path of the Gods is an easy choice.

If you do stay longer, Ravello and Amalfi are two villages I'd recommend. Ravello is way up high, Amalfi on the coast.

In fact, if you are looking for a beautiful guidebook of the area, here is one I really recommend. My second visit, in fact, was to meet the person who photographed the book in order to take her photo course in Naples.

I'm running out of steam so I'll come back later.

I can also recommend a driver, too. No one is cheap and his is no exception. But you will be well taken care of.


There are a handful of ways you can go about logistics. You could pick either city as your same in/out point, or, you could pick one city to fly in and one city to fly out. I guess if you did want to give Rome one full day, you could move the troops to Rome two nights before you leave - IE take the one hour train ride to Rome one evening after your last dinner in Naples... check in to your hotel, spend the next day as your entire day in Rome, and fly home from Rome the following morning - no train ride back to Naples. That would literally give you an entire day from breakfast to dinner. Given that you just have 7 nights even that, though, is chopping up so much of the Naples/Positano trip.

I like the idea of going to Positano first and especially if you land in Naples. Something like:

Saturday night Positano
Sunday night
Monday night
Tuesday night Positano

which gives all day Saturday post-landing though all day Tuesday in Positano.

Wednesday morning car transfer to Naples.

Wed night Naples
Thurs night Naples
Friday night Naples
Saturday night? maybe you have 8 nights? Naples

That gives most of Wednesday and all of Thurs-Saturday in Naples and Sunday you fly home from Naples.

You can visit Capri from Positano or Naples. I have done both.
Procida please check - for sure you can visit it from Naples, not sure at all about from Positano. I visited it while in Naples.

Bottom line from the above - just two hotels to check in and out. and easily some day trips from each place.

In fact breaking it down more, I'd suggest do Capri from Positano, and use Naples as the base for Pompeii and if you choose, a day trip to Rome too, or fly home from there etc.

Last edited by flygirl; May 5th, 2019 at 08:21 AM.
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May 5th, 2019, 09:34 AM
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Wow flygirl, thanks a ton, have already bookmarked your suggestions, a huge thank you 👍
geetika is offline  
May 5th, 2019, 11:51 AM
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Look at Transfer and Tours in Italy for a transfer. I have used them and had very good service and recommended them to friends for a FCO to Sorrento transfer and they were also highly satisfied. It might cost a bit more but it would be much more convenient.
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