Stay in Sorrento, or Capri?

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Apr 2nd, 2012, 12:35 PM
  #1
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Stay in Sorrento, or Capri?

I am so confused and need your opinions.....

I will be leaving Florence on Monday, July 8th via train and will have (2) nights to spend either in Sorrento or Capri, which should I choose? My intentions are to spend some time in Pompeii and a day in Capri.

Option #1:
7/8 - Leave Florence, spend day in Pompeii, 2 nights in Sorrento
7/9 - Day trip from Sorrento to Capri
7/10 - Leave Sorrento to Rome

Option #2:
7/8 - Leave Florence, spend day in Pompeii, 2 nights in Capri
7/10 - Travel from Capri to Rome

My only reservations about option #2 is getting to Capri after a long day of travel and touring Pompeii. Also, does anyone know the average time one should spend in Pompeii? I have read a lot of people suggesting guided tours, but they only seem to last around 2 hrs.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 01:22 PM
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If you have never seen the awesome Amalfi Coast how about basing in say Amalfi or Positano, two seaside gems of old fishing towns rather than blah IMO Sorrento, which though on the sea has no real sea front seen from the main part of town and is a well-equipped watering hole that is pleasant enough but not nearly as dramatically scenic as Amalfi towns or Capri - in season I believe there are boats between Amalfi towns and Capri or you can bus to Sorrento and ferry to Capri from there. Or see Pompeii en route to Amalfi - two nights there then hit Capri on the way back to Rome.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 01:47 PM
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I don't think Option #2 is viable. I remember that it took us at least four hours on the train from Florence to Naples. Then you have to switch to the commuter train to Sorrento, which as I remember, stops in Pompeii. You'll be lucky to get to Pompeii by mid-afternoon, and then you need about three hours to really see it. Maybe more. Don't even know if you can squeeze all that into one day.

Pompeii to Sorrento is 30 minutes on the train. Hydrofoils to Capri run pretty regularly in season, but can be cancelled if there's bad weather, so you can't really plan too far ahead.

My best suggestion if you really want to travel this far for two days, is to go straight to Sorrento from Florence. While I agree with others that Positano and AMalfi are much more scenic and charming, for what you want to do, Sorrento is a good base.

You could then day trip to either Capri or Pompeii, unless you manage to squeeze it into that first very hectic travel day!
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 02:10 PM
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My heart says Capri but my head agrees that it would be a very long day traveling from Florence and stopping at Pompeii. Sorrento is much more conveniently located to see the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 02:32 PM
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There are fast trains from Florence to Naples that take just under 3 hours. Unfortunately, the first train on Monday, July 8th, seems to depart at 9:14 a.m. (arrives Naples 12:10 p.m.) which is not exactly an early start. On a hot summer day, I'd want to be at Pompeii as the gates are opened, when temps are most comfortable and sun isn't directly overhead. If you don't have trouble with heat and humidity, I see no reason why you couldn't stop at Pompeii for a few hours on your way to Sorrento (which is where I would stay for what you plan to see/do). You will arrive having sat on a train all morning!

FWIW, we spent the better part of a day in Pompeii on our first visit, but I don't know how long I would have lasted on a blazing hot day. If I were you, I'd pack a small umbrella to use as a parasol. Definitely carry water.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 05:47 PM
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You need to cheek the times of the ferries or hydrofoils to and fro Capri. When we stayed in Sorrento and did a day trip to Capri the last boat back left around 6 in the afternoon. I don;t know the times from Naples - and it definitely varies by time of year but you can;t count on getting to or fro Capri past early evening unless you hire a private boat. By the time you saw Pompeii and got into Naples and down to the docks the last ferry might already have left.
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Apr 3rd, 2012, 08:11 AM
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Jean- thanks for looking into the train from Florence to Naples! We don't mind the extreme heat, so that won't be so much of an issue for us.

nytraveler - thanks, that is a very good point! I guess I will have to look into the ferry scheduled and go from there.

Does anyone know what the average time should be to spend in Pompeii? Also, is it worth getting a guided tour, or could you easily do it on your own?
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Apr 3rd, 2012, 09:21 AM
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One's "average" trip time depends on just how interested one is in ancient Roman history and archeology. We (four of us) hired a private guide (they are standing around where you buy your entry tickets) and toured for four hours. Our guide, a 72 year old gentleman named Mario, walked our asses off and then did another private tour in the afternoon. We returned to Sorrento for a nap! We all felt that the cost of a private guide (about 100 euros) was WELL worth the cost and increased the enjoyment of our visit immensely.
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Apr 3rd, 2012, 10:50 AM
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Thanks zoorosf! It seems like a lot of people like the guided tours!
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Apr 3rd, 2012, 11:01 AM
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I'm with Weadles and Sorrento on this based on what you posted.

Hub and I allotted one-half day for Pompeii but ended up staying all day. We thought the guided tour was too expensive so just got a plan of the city and took our time exploring. I must tell you that Pompeii hit me, the non-history lover, like a ton of bricks. As zorrosf mentions above, the guide will know exactly where to take you so will be more efficient. We were there in March so the weather was quite comfortable.

One other possibility it to stay in Naples. We ended up going there to see the amazing Archeology museum. We based in Sorrento and ferried to Capti. You could still ferry to Capri from Naples. And either train, bus or ferry to Sorrento. Someone has posted about possible problems with the Circumvesuviana train line. Any help here for OP???
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