Southern Italy Itinerary Help

Mar 9th, 2008, 11:47 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 75
Southern Italy Itinerary Help

We are traveling to Southern Italy the first week in May. We will have 8 1/2 days (after subtracting travel days) for sightseeing. We fly in and out of Naples at this point. We know we want to see the following areas:

Pompeii
Vesuvius
Herculaneum
Sorrento
Capri
Positano
Praiano
Ravello
Amalfi

My questions:

1. Is it worth staying a night on Capri?
2. Is Sorrento or Positano a better base for seeing the other areas or maybe first Sorrento and then Positano.
3. Any cities we're overlooking in this area?
4. Better to drive or use the ferries?
5. Given the time we have (8 1/2 days), is there enough time to see any of the Silicy region? If so what is the best way to get there?

Thank you so much for your help and advice!


Merrisr is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 01:35 PM
  #2  
 
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Perfect--stay right there and use public transport except for one day when you splurge and get a driver for a day. Check out Gennaro & Salvatore for your boat trip.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 01:35 PM
  #3  
ira
 
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Posts: 74,387
Hi M,

1. Most folk here say yes.

2. For what you want, I think Sorrento would be best.

I wouldn't move, but if you go direct to Positano - 3 nights - and then to Sorrento, that would work.

3. You might wish to visit Paestum and definitely Naples.

4. I would stick to ferries and buses.

5. No.

ira is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 02:13 PM
  #4  
 
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Posts: 818
You are overlooking Naples which is a beautiful city full of wonderful monuments and museums.Not to mention restaurants and shops. Alas this is not the best time for the city - politically and socially. So perhaps you are better off avoiding it.
carrom is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 03:50 PM
  #5  
 
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Merrisr,

We are doing a very similar trip (about 1/2 day less) just about two weeks before you are. Based on all my research between this site, others sites and people I know that have been to the area, we decided to base in Sorrento and travel from there.

1. I was at a dinner last night and the person I sat next to spent two weeks on Capri. She said it was worth a night although we haven't planned that in our trip as of now.

2. We chose Sorrento because the transit in/out of there is easier and has more options such as trains, busses, rental cars, scooters, etc.

3. I'll let you know when we get bac but as Ira mentioned, we have heard that Paestum is a good visit.

4. We have been advised both here on Fodor's and by many others we know that have been to the area not to drive. By all reports, the roads are narrow and can be very congested. We figured we would play it by ear and possibly rent a car in Sorrento after we learn more about the area while there. There are 2-3 car rental places in Sorrento including an Avis location.

5. Can't address that one. We planned in a couple of off days in case the weather isnít good and we want to shift our plans for any given day.

Iím usually slow about posting trip reports but Iíll try to send you a note when we get back with anything we learn.
MichaelT is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 05:11 PM
  #6  
 
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I'll be in the same area the second and third weeks of April.

1. I hope so! I was going to spend my first three nights in Naples, but since the garbage crisis is still unresolved I'm switching to Capri. I'll try and post afterwards.

2. I opted for Sorrento over Amalfi (not Positano) because the transport links are better, especially so early in the season. Positano sounded too steep and too full of shops, but Amalfi sounded a bit less touristy.

3. I'm also planning to visit Paestum, and have Oplontis, Caserta and the Phlegrean Fields on my possibles list.

4. I'm traveling solo, so no way I'd plan to drive, but suspect I'd opt for public transport even if there were two of us. I live in the U.S. and one of the things I really appreciate when traveling abroad is good public transport.

5. No. I'm going on to Sicily, but I'll be spending three weeks there. By train it takes the better part of a day from Naples, or you can take an overnight ferry. You could fly, but why bother for just a day or two? The time you have is a good amount for what you already have planned.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 05:37 PM
  #7  
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Thank you for the great information!! I think we will skip Sicily on this trip and keep the trip at a relaxed pace. I also appreciate the information about the garbage strike - I was not aware of that.

Bob - I checked out Gennaro & Salvatore. It looks like their excursions all go out of Positano. Does that sound right? I think I saw that it was about 11 km from Sorrento to Positano. Would you use them instead of the ferries I have read about in other threads or do you need both?

Any advice on hotels in Capri or Sorrento? I have pretty good luck on hotels.com but it's always nice to get a personal recommendation.

Thanks again!!
Merrisr is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 05:41 PM
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bookmarking
cybertraveler is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 06:26 PM
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Based on the reviews on tripadvisor I'm booking La Tosca for Capri and Il Nido for Sorrento.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 10th, 2008, 08:29 AM
  #10  
 
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I Messisr,

Normally, I would say spend 2 nights in Naples to see the city and the Acheological Museum, plus Pompeii on the way further south to the actual Amalfi Coast, but with the garbage problem, staying in Sorrento at least a night to see Pompeii might be good.

Personally, I would not choose to stay in Sorrento. I've traveled through it several times on 2 trips to the Amalfi Coast and didn't find it appealing at all. Too large of a city and too many tourists.

I loved staying in Praiano both trips. Not as many transportation options, but makes up for it in lower cost of lodging, small, relaxing and few tourists. A real town.

Highly recommend a visit to Paestum and at least an overnight in Capri.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Mar 10th, 2008, 08:32 AM
  #11  
 
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This is all you need to know about driving in metro Naples:

I was on a 2-lane road on a bus between Capri City and Anacapri. The bus came to a hairpin turn. Heading in the other direction was a tanker truck. Two commercial vehicles making a simultaneous hairpin turn is harrowing enough, but it got worse: a car invented a middle lane and drove between the bus and the tanker.

3 wide in a hairpin turn......
tdyls is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 04:15 AM
  #12  
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Dayle - Thanks for the advice. Where did you stay in Praiano and Capri?


Tdyls - I'm convinced!
Merrisr is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 08:19 AM
  #13  
 
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Merrisr,

I stayed at Le Sirene, a lovely 3 star recommended by Ira. Very reasonable, great views, nice hosts, good breakfasts, excellent value, spotlessly clean. My room had a private terrace.

If you stay there, be sure to have dinner at La Brace. Excellent!

Dayle is offline  
Mar 15th, 2008, 03:50 PM
  #14  
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Update on hotel search

A couple of hotels look promising and wondering if anyone has any experience at either:

Grand Hotel Parco del Sole - Santagnello

or

Palazzo Torre Barbara - Vico Equense

I found them on hotels.com but they were too new on the site to have user reviews.

Thanks for the help!!
Merrisr is offline  
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