Sorrento/Naples/Amalfi Coast

Apr 30th, 2012, 07:37 AM
  #1  
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Sorrento/Naples/Amalfi Coast

Going to Southern Italy end of May, staying in Sorrento for 5 days. Any suggestions on what can be combined in one-day trips using public transportation? Places we want to visit are: Naples, Pompeii, Vesuvius, Paestum, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello and Capri. Is it possible to see all in 5 days?
Pietro_Gallo is offline  
Apr 30th, 2012, 08:23 AM
  #2  
 
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I'd suggest you get a Rick Steves guidebook - he has very practical info for planning daytrips.

What my guess would be
Capri - one full day

Positano, Amalfi, Ravello - another full day - best to splurge and get a private dirver. The SITA bus can be quite crowded.

Pompeii, probably a full day tho MAYBE combine with Naples depending on how much time you want to spend there.

I have not visited Vesuvius or Paestum so don't know how long these maight take.

Enjoy!
suec1 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2012, 08:32 AM
  #3  
ira
 
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Hey PG,

>Is it possible to see all in 5 days?

Yes.

You will probably want to do a full day:
on Capri;
in Naples (Archaeological Museum and the Capella Sansevero are musts),
for Positano, Amalfi and Ravello - you can take the ferry from Sorrento to Amalfi and take the bus back to Sorrento;
for Pompeii and Vesuvius
for Paestum - you could take the ferry to Salerno and the train to Paestum, returning by train to Salerno and bus to Sorrento via Amalfi.

It would be nice if you had another day to relax.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Apr 30th, 2012, 07:16 PM
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Thanks you both Suec1 and Ira! It seems that both of you suggest a full day for Capri and maybe doing Positano, Amalfi and Ravello in one day. Here is a question: can Capri be paired with one of those cities - and if so, which one would be the best? If Capri can be combined with one city, we can than tour other two cities on another day, Pompeii and Vesuvius on third day, Naples on fourth and Paestum on fifth. Is this too ambitious or just plain impossible?

Suec1 - I'll definitely would consider a private driver for at least one of the days, if not for two. Time of essence here and I don't want to lose any of it in fighting to get on a bus!

Ira - is is possible to avoid the bus on they way back to Sorrento? One of us gets pretty uncomfortable (motion sickness) and I've read a lot of reports that make me nervous about the Amalfi Coast drive... And yes, we'd have two days to relax - one day after arrival and one day before departure. We do have more than 5 days, I just don't want to overload our vacation with daily trips on each day. However if trying to squeeze all in 5 days is too much, I may reconsider and either add another day for the sightseeing, or cut off one of the destinations - which would be unfortunate.
Pietro_Gallo is offline  
Apr 30th, 2012, 07:17 PM
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Suec1, forgot to mention - went out and bought Rick Steves guidebook - thanks!
Pietro_Gallo is offline  
Apr 30th, 2012, 07:32 PM
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I used Joe Bannana (not his real name) tour guide last year for a full day to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. He was an excellent driver, took us to a wonderful restaurant perched high in the hills - La Tavala ?? something like that. I can't see how you would fit Capri into the same day. that's at least a 1/2 day trip that you can easily do on your own. Have fun.
nmonte is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 12:44 AM
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Try to get to Pompeii early in the morning, right when it opens... that way you can be done before most of the crowds roll in and it will be less hot that way....

Many people combine Pompeii with Herculaneum because it takes a little less then half-day for each, but it is a lot of walking so if you can split it up into two days and leave the afternoons for a museum or something with less walking it will be nicer for you... also don't skip the Naples Museum it has fantastic sculptures.

Pick a clear day for the Amalfi Coast tour... because it is all about the views and hairpin turns
Amy_J is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 02:21 AM
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Pietro - you might be able to combine Capri with another of the Amalfi coast towns, depending on ferry schedule but IMO you can easily have a full day on Capri. Probably you will want to do the Blue Grotto - this can take awhile then explore Anacapri - the chairlift is alot of fun. Find an outdoor restaurant for a long lunch, wander around or ride the bus some more - this should use up most of the day. You might want to hire a taxi to take you around for the day - we have always used the bus here - the rides are not long but they can be pretty intense!

I'm glad you're going for a private driver along the coast - it makes the most sense IMO for the day going to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. You can relax and enjoy the scenery in uncrowded comfort. You can easily take the train to Pompeii and Naples. Enjoy your trip!
suec1 is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 11:41 AM
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nmonte - do you remember where Joe Bannana is based? I mean which city-Positano, Naples, Sorrento? Also, do you know if we have to hire a tour guide that takes us to each place - which means less freedom to do our own thing, or can we just hire a private driver who could take us to one place and pick us up in the evening from another (and we'll get around on buses in between)?
Pietro_Gallo is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 12:08 PM
  #10  
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Excellent advise Amy_J! Will try to get to Pomeii early am.
As far as Archaeological Museum in Naples - I'm determined to go there for sure, just don't know what would make more sense - going there before the Pompeii, or after?
Would definitely try to pick a clear day for Amalfi Coast tour
Pietro_Gallo is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 12:10 PM
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Thank you suec1, we'll probably get a private boat tour for Capri. More splurging coming up!
Pietro_Gallo is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 03:54 PM
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We just spent 4 nights in Sorrento a couple of weeks ago.
It rained every day but we still enjoyed ourselves immensely!
We took the ferry over to Capri for half a day or so (would have spent more time but it really started raining so we took the ferry back to Sorrento after lunch.
We took the local train to Pompeii and spent several hours there. Luckily for us that day, it didn't start raining heavy until we were done with Pompeii and ready for lunch.
We (there were 4 of us) hired a private driver through Sorrentocars from 9-5. He took us to Poisitano where we had an hour or so to explore, Ravello where we had about two hours or so (that was our lunch stop) and then to the the last town of Amalfi where we had another hour or so.
The day started off with heavy rain but got better as the day went on. Ugo, our driver, spent extra time with us on our way back to Sorrento and made several extra stops so we could take pictures in the nicer weather. The price was right and he spoke great English.
Hope this helps a bit.
Bettina222 is offline  
May 2nd, 2012, 08:38 AM
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Bettina222 - thanks for the tip! By any chance do you happened to know Ugo's last name? Could it be Ugo Mazzola?

Also - were 2 hours enough for Ravello? (We want to visit both Villa Rufolo and Villa Simbrone) Thanks in advance!
Pietro_Gallo is offline  
May 2nd, 2012, 09:50 AM
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bettina222 - I leave on the 11th for Italy & am wondering what you paid for the private driver - there are only 2 of us, so not sure if a private driver will be cost effective. thx.
CalgaryDoll is offline  
May 2nd, 2012, 02:23 PM
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Hi,
Pietro, I do not know Ugo's last name but the email address is
[email protected]
2 hours was enough for us to see the shops, sample some lemoncello and have lunch but if you want more time, I'm sure you could arrange it.
CalgaryDoll, I think (but I can't remember for sure) that we paid about 230 euros for the 8 hour day.
Let me know how you both make out.
Bettina222 is offline  
May 2nd, 2012, 03:39 PM
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If the Archeological museum hours and your schedule permit it would be best to see it after seeing Herculaneum

...because the city is so well preserved you can actually see where some of the statues used to stand... and some of the interior walls and floor mosaics are still there... so when you see the ones in the museum it will help you place them in context and appreciate them so much more, bringing the whole thing to life... its just an amazing experience.
Amy_J is offline  
May 2nd, 2012, 08:06 PM
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I believe JoeBananna was located in Sorrento. I was also concerned about not being able to browse as I wanted. He will give you as much time as you want in each place, of course making suggestions about where to go and how much time you will need. he has a cell phone w/him so we could reach him if we wanted to meet up with him at a different time or place. He will customize the trip to meet your needs & wants.
i don't remember the costs but at the time i thought it was well worth it. He was very flexible throughout the entire day. i truly felt that his goal was to accomodate us however we wanted.
nmonte is offline  
May 2nd, 2012, 08:16 PM
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Bettina222 and nmonte - thanks! I now have Ugo and JoeBananna names, so I already feel better about this trip.

Amy_J, thanks for your recommendation, I'll check schedule for the Museum and will plan accordingly.

CalcaryDoll - have a good trip! How long are you going for and to which cities?
Pietro_Gallo is offline  
May 2nd, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Also, another idea/question to throw in - can Paestum be combined with any other destination or is it too far out from everything else?
Pietro_Gallo is offline  
May 2nd, 2012, 09:09 PM
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It's not easy to combine Paestum with anything as it's trek by public transport from Sorrento. If you return via Salerno, you can catch the Sita bus and stop at one of the towns on the way back to Sorrento. Just be sure to look at bus schedules so you don't miss the last bus back to Sorrento. I stopped in Positano on the way back to Sorrento from Paestum.

Since you are planning so much travel along the coast, you might want to consider the 3 day Campania Artecard Tutta La Regione for 27€ if you can arrange your schedule to get the value. You get admission to two sites and transport along the coast (buses, local trains) from Naples to Paestum. The 3 day card is the only one that includes transport.

http://www.artecard.it/#

I would not count on ferries a lot for transport as summer schedules won't be in effect in May. Last summer there were a lot of cutbacks on ferries along the coast. They were still frequent between Sorrento/Capri, but not much options for towns along the coast.
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