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Southern italy for late December

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Sep 27th, 2011, 12:58 PM
  #1
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Southern italy for late December

My husband and I have decided to plan a last minute trip to Italy from December 26th-January 3. We will fly in and out of Rome since this is our only option with FF miles. I have been to Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan. My husband has never been to Italy. I would like to explore Rome for 3 days so my husband can see the many sites and then head to Naples and maybe Capri and Pompeii. I was thinking we could take the train from Rome to Naples and then rent a car once there. Does anyone recommend any itineraries? Any advice on transportation?

Thanks!
Kristine
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Sep 27th, 2011, 01:04 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Was there in May

seat61.com Fast Train was a little over an hour to Naples

Lots cheaper less hassle than car...

eurocheapo.com/rome

eurocheapo.com/naples

We did Pompeii stayed at hoteldelfino.com Best Wester Positano

train and bus worked well and was cheap...

After Rome before I have rented with tigercarrental.com

at FCO from 200 euro per week but a hassle ended up costing

a lot more big charges in big cities.

But if u stay rural I have had fun renting a car.

Happy Travels!
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Sep 27th, 2011, 01:12 PM
  #3
 
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In the winter the Amalfi Coast is pretty much shut down. I would expect the same to be true of Capri. Plus ferry sailings are subject to delays or cancellations due to rough waters.

For a base, you could choose Naples or Sorrento. Bigger towns and cities are more lively in the winter. Plus Naples has several museums.

But I wouldn't advise using Naples as a base for daytrips by car. With a car, you could base in Sorrento.

Pick a good weather day to go to Pompeii; not much cover.
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Sep 27th, 2011, 02:03 PM
  #4
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@Mimar Based on your response that most of the Amalfi Coast is shut down in the winter, do you recommend we go elsewhere? I haven't booked my tickets, they are just on hold with the airline. We have also considered Prague, but I thought that was much colder this time of year.
Thanks!
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Sep 27th, 2011, 02:08 PM
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It is all cold that time of year---I would stay in the cities and skip any resort areas---Rome and Florence.
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Sep 27th, 2011, 02:11 PM
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We spent a week in Naples this past January and had a ball. The weather was pretty mild, the city was relatively uncrowded with tourists and folks were incredibly friendly.

We bought a 3-day regional Arte Card and visited the following sites: Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Paestum, all via train.

We flew into Rome, then took an immediate train from the airport to Termini, then a fast train to Naples. It was cheaper to do that than to fly into Naples.
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Sep 27th, 2011, 02:11 PM
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I was recently talking with friends who went to the Amalfi Coast at Christmas last year. They strongly advised against it. Much is closed and, at least last year, it was pretty gloomy. They stayed in Sorrento and intended to visit Capri but never had a good day.

In winter, we find it works better to stay in larger cities where there is a lot to do indoors if the weather is not cooperating. I definitely suggest Italy since your husband hasn't been there but suggest you consider, in addition to Rome, some larger towns and cities. What about 5 days in Rome and the rest in Florence or Venice from which you can do day trip.
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Sep 27th, 2011, 02:59 PM
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I was in Pompei last December and it is wonderful in winter if the weather is dry (and it usually is), as is Naples. It is not cold -- certainly not colder than Rome! -- but boat service to the islands is cut back and can be affected by wind, so if you would be heartbroken to be unable to reach Capri, then of course there are no guarantees.

I wouldn't rent a car for Pompei. You can use the trains, and a car is a positive liability in Naples. But if you have nice weather, there is no reason not to spend a day seeing the famous Amalfi drive by bus or car.

It is not "all cold" in Italy in December -- certainly not as cold as Prague and coastal Italy is warmer than inland Italy, and southern Italy is warmer than southern Italy. Florence and Venice will be much colder.

If you want to go to Florence and Venice, do. But if you and your husband want to see Pompei and even Capri on a calm clear day, December is a fine time to go unless you really will miss all those other tourists. Then head to Florence and Venice. They will be jammed between Christmas and New Year's.
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Sep 27th, 2011, 03:05 PM
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Sorry for my fast typing. I meant to type:

It is not "all cold" in Italy in December -- certainly not as cold as Prague and coastal Italy is warmer than inland Italy, and southern Italy is warmer than northern Italy. Florence and Venice will be much colder.

(I might as well add that I've lived in Italy for several years, and this year will also be heading to Rome for Christmas, as last year I went to Naples so I could walk around seeing the sights comfortably, since the weather is generally nice and the absence of tourist mobs is a real plus.)

You should go see what you want to see.
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Sep 27th, 2011, 05:58 PM
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Forgot to mention -- it was so uncrowded in January, most of my pictures of Pompeii have NO ONE in them. We walked for several hours without another tourist in sight. A few buses came in the afternoon, but it was really quiet. LOVED it.
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Sep 27th, 2011, 06:19 PM
  #11
 
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We spent Christmas 2009 in Rome and New Year in Sorrento. We were warned to expect lots of rain but weather was very mild and sunny. In Rome we saw everything we wanted to see - no problems about things being closed. Did not get to Capri unfortunately as the sea was rough and the ferries not running from Sorrento to Capri. Pompeii was devoid of tourists (fantastic) as was Heraculeum. Took a local bus along the coast from Sorrento to "just explore" - fantastic scenery and we were not aware that shops were closed. Very pleasant.
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Sep 27th, 2011, 06:32 PM
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Another day trip option out of Naples is the royal palace at Caserta.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Caserta

http://www.reggiadicaserta.benicultu...lish/index.htm
Jean is online now  
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Sep 27th, 2011, 07:37 PM
  #13
 
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I just wanted to add my thoughts about travelling to Italy in winter. We spent Christmas 2006 in Rome and went to Sorrento for 3 nights after this. We had beautiful dry, even warm weather. Managed to go to Capri and see the Bluse Grotto one day, visited Pompei and climbed Mt Vesuvius another. Drove the Amalfi Coast on another sparkling sunny day. My family even swam!

Whilst it was not crowded there were certainly people about and at least in Sorrento there were plenty of accommodation options and restaurants to visit.

To add to zeppole's advice: if you want to go then you should. But as always in travel you need to be flexible in case the weather does turn bad.
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Sep 27th, 2011, 10:55 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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We're on Ischia, across from Capri - and about this far away....

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/image/71658162

... and New Year can be very pleasant! A good number of the resorts see a flurry of activity between Christmas and Epiphany (Jan 6th) nowadays - but mostly from Italian visitors.

These were all taken last Jan 2nd, on a trip we made over to the smallest of the three islands, Procida - and who could ask for more?

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/proc_02_01_11

Of course the weather's not like that every day, so do also try these:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/ischiawinter

and, since the precise timing of good and bad weather is a lottery, also have a look at the climate stats:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/image/137093820

We've long been using public transport to explore the area, and many interesting places are within easy reach:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/tele

Try this for a rough idea of train and bus travel times:
http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/image/132567370

.... but, on some winter days, the shelter - and convenience - of a car would have been most welcome!

If you'd be picking one up in Naples, do watch out... the historic centre recently became a ZTL - Limited Traffic Zone!

I've not yet seen how that's settling in, but be sure to organise a route which won't land you in trouble....

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTop..._Campania.html

Peter
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Sep 27th, 2011, 11:07 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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PS... if pretty sure of your travel dates and OK with the various terms and conditions, do consider using Tenitalia's "Mini" advance purchase scheme - which offers some great bargains....

http://www.fsitaliane.it/cms/v/index...003f16f90aRCRD

Just be sure to get in quick once the tickets for travel in late December become available!

Here's an extreme example - 9 Euro to get from Rome to Naples:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/image/138403938

Peter
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