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Pam Jan 30th, 2001 11:31 AM

Stressed Out over March Italy Trip
Have so many qestions. Would really appreciate any and all responses. Tenative Itineray: 3 days Rome, train to Florence 2 days, pick-up car, 2 days Pievescola, drive to Positano for 2 days, Maybe 1-2 nights in Capri or Sorrento. Drive back to Rome and fly home. <BR>Questions: <BR>How to get to hotel in Rome from airport in Middle of night? (read to many taxi stories) <BR>How to get to train station from hotel in Rome? <BR>How do we find an individual tour guide for Rome and is this the best thing to do for first timers? <BR>Would you eliminate any of these destinations in March? Will we find everything on the Amalfi Coast closed? (we do like to avoid tourist crowds) <BR>Will we able to get to Capri by Ferry or Hydrofoil in March? <BR>I know I probably sound like an idiot with all these questions, I've read and researched til I've made myself crazy. This is a once in a lifetime trip and really want it to be magnifico. <BR> <BR>

laurie Jan 30th, 2001 12:38 PM

For me, its not a close call, I would take a taxi from the airport to the hotel, middle of the night or no. Unless you are pinching every penny, the convenience of not having to drag your bag off and on various modes of conveyance can't be beat. I don't know what taxi horror stories you've heard, but I had good luck with Rome taxies, as has everyone else with whom I have discussed the matter. And, if you take the train, depending on where your hotel is, you are going to end up taking a taxi to your hotel anyway. We took a couple tours from Scala Reale . The Vatican tour was particularly helpful.

Thyra Jan 30th, 2001 12:46 PM

Sorry I can't respond to everything but I will do what I can. <BR> <BR>Your itinerary is very similar to ours in mid March 1999. Great time to go! Less crowded and less expensive, but dress in layers as the weather we experienced ran from "sunbathing type" to freezing rain. All the weather just added to the overall experience for us. <BR>#1) Transpo from Hotel to train and vise versa. First of all find out if your hotel offers a transfer. If they do not then ask them to recommend a taxi company, when you leave have the hotel desk call a cab. We took several cabs in Rome arranged by our hotel and didn't have a single problem. (Sorry I can't remember if they charged extra for number of bags, as they do in Paris, but they may, just be aware of it) <BR>#2) Individual tour guide, GREAT IDEA! If you find one let me know!! We didn't have one, and sure felt like we missed a great many things. We did take a hop on hop off bus tour of Rome, it was ok...But I would have preferred a guide. You certainly don't need one in Florence, that city is very easy to walk and find things in. <BR>A guide could help you with timings, and by that I mean, in March certain sights are only open certain hours.. Like Palentine Hill has English tours ONLY Monday Mornings and Thursday Afternoons (that's not exact but you get the idea)...several museums have odd hours as well, if you have "must see" sights be sure and take their spring hours into account while budgeting your time. <BR> <BR>We did not go to Capri, however we DID go to Ischia by ferry in mid March, no problems however the sea was too rough for hydrofoil. Also in Ischia by late March, things were just starting to open up, (don't know if it is the same on Capri, but presume so) several of the smaller shops were closed and our hotel staff was green, but we had the island practically to ourselves and it was worth it! <BR> <BR>Finally, I think you are very wise to take the train in between Florence and Rome, driving in Rome looked too fierce even for my "I can drive anywhere" spouse! <BR> <BR>Bon Voyage! <BR> <BR>

Pam Jan 30th, 2001 12:58 PM

Thanks Thyra And Laurie. You certainly have relieved some stress by answering some of my neurotic questions. Come on the rest of you travel experts....HELP PLEASE

kam Jan 30th, 2001 01:32 PM

I believe that the aliscafo (hydrofoil) runs yearly between Sorrento and Capri and if that is true, it certainly runs yearly between Naples and Capri. I don't know that I would bother to go over to Capri, however. The drive from Pievescola (and why here? the town in Siena, yes?) to Positano will take quite a long time. You will most likely want to stop in Pompeii on the way. I would just do Positano for 2 day and then down to Ravello for 2 days, leaving early the last day with a visit to Sorrento on the way back to Rome. You could almost do this itinerary without a car entirely. If you're not super confident drivers you will most likely want to take a bus or a driver from Positano to Ravello. At any rate, Capri is a great place to relax and sit in the sun, but for only a couple days, you can find the same sun on the mainland without the hassle of taking the hydrofoil. Other romantics will probably have my head for this! In order to avoid the taxi horror stories in Rome, just make sure you are in a city licensed taxi and not a private driver posing as such. Establish what the price will be beforehand and then relax. Rome is not quite such a "den of thieves" although it is good to pay attention. Good luck.

Ed Jan 30th, 2001 01:39 PM

Taxi airport to hotel. Cost at night likely ITL90,000. <BR> <BR>Hotel to train station? Depends on where it is, eh? In general, though, I'd use taxi. Likely under $10, plus/minus luggage surcharge if you have a lot. <BR> <BR>Don't know where you've hear "taxi stories". In more than 2 dozen trips to Rome I'm unaware I've ever been ripped off. <BR> <BR>Suggest for guide. Unnecessary, in my view, with a little bit of prior preparation and a good guide book. See <BR> <BR>Eliminate? Yes, though not necessarily because it's March. For us, way too much packed into a short trip. We'd be exhausted, and frustrated. Not clear from your note how much time you actually have budgeted for the trip overall. Have you taken into account how much time you'll spend traveling, checking in/out of hotels, orienting? We find a minimum half day shot on changing hotels, even with a short journey. That's usually an underestimate. <BR> <BR>March isn't the best time to visit the Amalfi area. Capri, I should think, would be pretty quiet ... you'll certainly not be bothered by hordes of tourists! <BR> <BR>Ed

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