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Southern Italy without a Car

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Jul 24th, 2014, 01:56 PM
  #1
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Southern Italy without a Car

We will be 3 adults taking 2 18 yr. olds on a graduation tour of Italy next June. We are planning on flying into Naples and traveling north from there by train. I have been to Rome and north and am comfortable with that but I have not been south of Rome. We have 3 nights to spend in Naples or environs. We want to visit Pompeii and then by sea, the Amalfi coast and Capri. We might stay at an Airbnb apartment or get 2 hotel rooms at under $200/nite budget.

I am at a complete loss right now as to first, where to stay from the Naples airport - Naples or another town and how to get there with luggage? And then how to get around to these places we want to see without a car? Do we need to stay close to a port for sea day trips? If so, can we get to Pompeii from there also?

I should add that 2 of us will be 69 and 81 yrs. old so no strenuous means of getting around is wanted.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 02:18 PM
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First, Pompeii is strenuous. The walking is tough as it's mostly uneven cobbles and there is little shade. It will be hot in June.

<< flying into Naples and traveling north from there by train >>

Pompeii, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast are south of Naples. I'm not really sure what you're planning.

In the event that you're really not going north from Naples, Sorrento is a pretty town from where you can access Pompeii Capri, and the AC. If you stay near Piazza Tasso, the area is mostly flat so easy walking to restaurants and the train station.

You take the train to Pompeii, the station is just outside the site (Pompeii Scavi), Capri is accessed by boat from the Sorrento harbor (take a small bus to the harbor), the AC is accessed by bus which leaves from in front of the train station or by boat.

You don't need a car for any of these places.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 02:31 PM
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I would defiitely stay in Sorrento since it has good connections with all the places you want to go, is a larger town with more hotels and restaurants and the center is flat. The smaller towns down the cost are cut into the side of a cliff and there are usually steps - sometime many, many flights of steps to get from hotel to port to restaurant and back to hotel.

For Pompeii (no shade and hot as hell) get there when it opens see what you can in 3 or 4 hours (there will be a lot more) and head back to your hotel and spend the afternoon by the pool. For Pompeii take bottles of water, a hat and possibly an umbrella (as a sunshade). You can either pick up a guide by the gate or just use one of the more detailed guide books (we like Michelin green) so you have the full story of what you are looking at.

From Sorrento you can take a local train to Pompeii, a ferry or hydrofoil to Capri and a ferry to towns down the coast. Can't help with hotels since this is not our price point but I know there is a good selection. Just be sure you are IN the town and not stuck in the hills above it.

For Rome in particular - and people who are new to it - it helps if they have some background - so they understand a little about the huge size of the ancient city, the amenities they had and their cultural, political and religious centers. (I am still amazed at one woman who turned red and hurried her teen kids out of the Forum when the guide started talking about the Temple of the Vestal Virgins - I don't know if she thought they were prostitutes or just couldn't deal with the word "virgin".

In any case, at least a basic knowledge of how sophisticated this society was - and how much of the known world they rules will help them understand what they are seeing.

Also reco the young people have a look at some of the student guides so they have the info they will need to find the student cafes/clubs for nightlife in each place.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 02:41 PM
  #4
 
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Sorry - just saw the 69 and the 81. Not sure how active you are.

But before heading to Pompeii I would check it out on google earth to get an idea of what the conditions are - and to remember that the major streets were built for chariots/horse or mule drawn carts - so there are deep indentations where the wheels would have gone and large stepping stones in the center and on the side for pedestrians. Not for anyone who is not 100% steady on their feet. And requiring the stamina to walk for a couple of miles.

Perhaps the young people should do this on their own.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 05:04 PM
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Sorrento would be easiest as a base for the things you listed and there would be things the 18 year olds could go off and do on their own. The main street in summer closes at night to traffic so everyone is out and about.

From Naples airport, there is a shuttle bus (Curreri) to Sorrento for about 10€ per person. Not sure I would trust Airbnb as there have been quite a few issues with them. $200 is not much for two hotel rooms (only 150€).
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Jul 24th, 2014, 07:16 PM
  #6
kja
 
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"We have 3 nights to spend in Naples or environs. We want to visit Pompeii and then by sea, the Amalfi coast and Capri. "

That isn't much time for all these things. Any chance of adding a day (or two or three)?
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Jul 25th, 2014, 08:31 AM
  #7
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Thanks for all the replies. I wish we had more time for that area of Italy but we have only 2 weeks for the trip and have 3 nights in 4 places, flying home from Venice. Trying to give the kids an overview.

The advice for the kids was really appreciated.

I'd like more from the person who cautioned against Airbnb. This is the first time I have used them but know someone who lists with them. I have already booked with Airbnb in Rome and Venice, making sure to use places that have plenty of reviews over more than a year. I googled and found mostly just complaints from home owners with their listings. Know anything else?
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Jul 25th, 2014, 08:33 AM
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Also forgot to say that our budget is under $200 per nite per room, not total for both rooms as I think someone might have interpreted.
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