Southern Italy Itinerary HELP


Jun 25th, 2015, 09:31 AM
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Southern Italy Itinerary HELP

I will be traveling to southern Italy in a week (beginning of july) with family, a total of 7 people. We have 8 full days there and will be staying in Sorrento. I have a working/vague itinerary but I'm not sure if one full day is too much in some of these places, or not enough in others. Is there anything I have not worth visiting? Anything great I'm missing?Any other tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

one day in Amalfi/Ravello
one day in Capri
one day in Naples
one day in Positano/Paiano
one day for Pompeii & Mt. Vesuvius
one day in Sorrento
one day for Sant Agnello (?)
one day for Castellammare Di Stabia
aritravelin3 is offline  
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Jun 25th, 2015, 11:06 AM
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I have family in that area and love it!!!I have been there many times.

Capri is amazing! Try to go in the early morning. Sorrento is so pretty especially at night with the restaurants.

I think Naples you could do 2 days if you go to archeology museum which is very well known. Be sure to eat pizza there!!! Naples is quite large and they have a nice waterfront. Most skip Naples but there are things to see there. De Matteo pizza is amazing and I heard L' Antico Pizzeria da Michele amazing too.They are all in Naples. Naples can get a bit shady but use common sense and use a money belt.

Mt. Vesuvius is great for morning trip then you could do Sorrento beaches in afternoon.

Pompeii is great but Herculano ruins better preserved. Would you consider doing both on different days and cutting Ravello, Sant Agnello or Castellammare? Your agenda is very full. There is so much to do in that area and I have been there 4 times and haven't done the 3 that you mentioned yet. Mt. Vesuvius, Naples, Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii and Herculano are my suggestions. If I had time I would do POsitano. My parents were there and liked a lot. Maybe just see how its going but see must sees first. Consider seeing Sant Agnello and Castellammare, Ravello only if time permits.

I try not to overschedule especially in the summer. It is hot and sometimes fitting in too much becomes unenjoyable.

Id say slow down and enjoy it. You are going to have a great time!
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Jun 25th, 2015, 11:08 AM
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When visiting Pompeii, make sure you're wearing very comfortable shoes, as you'll be walking on uneaven cobblestones most of the time. There's very little shade, so stay hydrated by bringing along a water bottle. There's one place to eat - you'll be able to see Mt Vesuvius in the distance. You can spend as little or as much time at Pompeii in one day as you like, but it's a very large site so being there a better part of the day won't really allow for you to 'visit' Mt Vesuvius (assuming you were planning on climbing it) the same day. Sorrento is actually a good place to base these day trips from.

You haven't mentioned visiting Herculaneum, but if you can make time for that, it's definitely worth a visit. Maybe 1/2 day. If you're talking the Circumvesuvana train, this is the same stop for your Mt Vesuvius climb.

Make sure your day in Naples is at least, in part, devoted to visiting the world class Archelogical museum.

A day trip to Capri will give you an overview of the island, but will be crowded with day trippers. You can take the boat from Sorrento to Capri. Budget accordingly, as it's an expensive destination.

Another destination to consider visiting is Pasteum, so you may want to research that a bit.

You have a nice, memorable trip planned. ENJOY!
Debs is offline  
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Jun 25th, 2015, 05:18 PM
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It really depends on YOUR interests, but FWIW, I would find 1 day in Naples insufficient. Visiting both Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius in a single day, with that large a group, could prove challenging. Pompeii and Herculaneum are very different; both are worth seeing, IMO, but I'm not sure you have time for both. Do some research to see which YOU want to see. I agree with Debs that Paestum is well worth considering. I personally would not skip Ravello, but again, it's not my trip!

If you are staying in Sorrento the entire time, then you might want to prioritize and then see whether you find yourselves returning to (say) Naples or with time free to explore another place.

And do pay attention to the days and times when the things you want to see will be open!

Good luck!
kja is offline  
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Jun 25th, 2015, 06:05 PM
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If you are staying in Sorrento, you won't need a day there, you will have every evening.

Me personally, I would never, ever do Mt Vesuvius in July. It is OK in April. By July, it will be hellishly hot. How old are your family members? Little kids or elderly adults might find it extremely difficult and, unless they have a special interest in Volcanos, teenagers might hate it.
Sassafrass is offline  
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Jun 25th, 2015, 08:30 PM
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I would separate Pompei and Vesuvius and do them on separate days, and only in the morning. For Naples, I would suggest joining a walking tour for the morning and then visiting the archeological museum in the afternoon. You might find when you get to the area that the charm of simply enjoying swims and pretty views diminishes your enthusiasm for running around being a sightseeing tourist with a check list, especially if crowds mean that you are battling your way onto transports to get from point A to point B.

If you leave the area without having seen everything on your wish list, don't feel badly. A lot of people who do check off every sight wish they had spent less giving up a comfortable lounge chair in beautiful view just to race to someplace else where they ended up sitting in a different chair looking at another pretty view. So don't forget to enjoy relaxing and soaking up the fun and sun and long lunches with fun food.
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Jun 25th, 2015, 11:40 PM
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I second Sandralist's suggestions. In fact, Vesuvius is only worth doing if the day is clear - no haze/air pollution or cloud - as the views are the best part of the one hour trek to the top. The cone itself is a giant pit of gravel with a few wisps of steam floating about.

Not sure why Castellammare di Stabiae and Sant Agnello are even on your list. Skip them both and spend more time in one of your other 'one day' destinations.
Blueeyedcod is offline  
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Jun 26th, 2015, 11:06 AM
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The trail up to and down from Mt Vesuvius is cinders - for obvious reasons. You can get a walking stick on your way up. I found going up easier than coming down, as I had a tendancy to slide on the cinders coming down. Take water with you, especially in July. It's not worth going up if the weather is cloudy/hazy. If you have a clear day, you'll get beautiful views of the Bay of Naples along the way.

Just reitering what others have said.
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Jun 26th, 2015, 11:13 AM
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Thank you all so much!!! Seems like it is best to do Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii on two different days, and will possibly cut out Sant Agnello or Castellammare...
aritravelin3 is offline  
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Jun 27th, 2015, 03:28 AM
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Do you have a very special interest in ancient ruins or would you say you have an 'average' interest? If it's just 'average' then I'd advise going to Herculaneum first. It really only takes a couple hours to see. Then go to Pompeii. Some people are fine with only an hour or two, others spend 6 or 7. But if you do Herculaneum first you not only get a better appreciation of what you are seeing in Pompeii (Pompeii is much larger, but Herculaneum more 'intact') but you can spend as little or as much time as you like.

As others have asked, why do you want to go up Vesuvius? You certainly see it from all over (Pompeii, across the bay from Sorrento, from Naples). With a week I wouldn't want to waste my time doing that.

Naples is wonderful and there is certainly lots to see but I felt we got the highlights in one full day. We took the train there and the boat back to Sorrento.

On your Amalfi day make sure you get over to Atrani - only a fifteen minute walk from the center of Amalfi but a great little town with a different feel. If you are into walking there is a walk from Ravello down that goes through Atrani and then into Amalfi. It's steep but most of it is shaded with great views.

Since you are based in Sorrento you have lots of options. I would start with alternating a day on the coast (Amalfi/Positano) then do Pompeii (and Herculaneum), then Capri, then Naples, then another day on the coast (Amalfi/Positano). By then you'll either be tired and just want to hang out in Sorrento or you'll want to go back to whichever place you liked the most. If you want to add something else though consider a day trip to Ischia rather than Castellammare di Stabiae or Sant Agnello.

Here are my trip reports from two of my trips to the area (with links to my photos) :
isabel is offline  
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Jun 27th, 2015, 11:00 AM
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"But if you do Herculaneum first you not only get a better appreciation of what you are seeing in Pompeii (Pompeii is much larger, but Herculaneum more 'intact') but you can spend as little or as much time as you like."

In principle, I think this advice well worth considering. But do note that the cities were very different before their destruction: Pompeii was a large, work-a-day city. Herculaneum was more like a small resort for the wealthy. So some of the things you would see in Herculaneum would not necessarily have been characteristic of Pompeii and vice versa.

And just to confuse things: If you go to Herculaneum first, you may be too tired to explore Pompeii as fully as you might like, at least if you do them on the same day. Unfortunately, some of the sites at Pompeii that many consider among their highest priorities (e.g., the Foro, Antiteatro, and Villa dei Misteri) are about as far from one another as it is possible to be.
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Jun 28th, 2015, 07:59 PM
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Thank you thank you everyone!!!! I appreciate your advice so much it has helped me tons in planning my trip!! Grazie!
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