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Tickets are Booked! Rome & Ravello: Advice, please!

Tickets are Booked! Rome & Ravello: Advice, please!

Nov 29th, 2012, 06:05 AM
  #1  
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Tickets are Booked! Rome & Ravello: Advice, please!

For those of you who helped me with researching places for our vacation in earlier forums - THANK YOU! The tickets are BOOKED and we are going! We are going in late May/early June and spending 3 nights in Rome, 3 nights in Ravello, 3 nights in Mykinos, 4 nights in Santorini and 1 night in Athens. We are VERY excited! Of course now that we have the schedule down, we need some help with details. We are using the travel agent who helped us with our honeymoon, but I have gotten lots of information from several different people and wanted help figuring out what areas to stay in, etc. etc. With that being said - please see below:

FIRST: In Rome, our travel agent gave us the first two suggestions. The first one is more expensive and the second one looks very nice, is in a great location for sightseeing, but is less expensive, so that is probably what we are leaning towards. The problem is - my mother is OBSESSED with the hotel/area that she and my dad stayed in when they were in Rome. The hotel they stayed in is link 3 and is in Travestere which I hear is about a 10 to 15 minute walk from the center of Rome. My question is: Where would a 30 year old couple who wants to sight see and eat great dinners want to stay? Any dinner suggestions are welcome as well!

1. http://www.hotelmajestic.com/
2. http://www.rosegardenpalace.com/en
3. http://www.hoteldonnacamillasavelli.com/

SECOND: In Ravello - we hear that Capri and the town of Amalfi are both within a 15 to 20 minute drive. Does anyone have any suggestions for "must see" attractions there? Any good hikes / walks? Would you say rent a car or take a taxi? Any amazing restaurants that we NEED to eat in?

I will come back to ask about Greece when we get to that part of the trip, but I appreciate any help that you may have!

Thank you in advance,

Allie
Allie50 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 06:31 AM
  #2  
 
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On, Capri is an ISLAND. It is reachable only by ferry or hydrofoil and a trip there will take the whole day.

I'm not sure who is giving you your information, but they are VERY confused.

Renting a car on the AC in high season is a really bad idea - especially since few hotels have any parking available. Travel should be by taxi or SITA bus - but be prepared for traffic along the coast highway to be about 10 mph - and buses are often full to overflowing.

Sorry can;t help with Rome hotels - don;t know any of the ones you mention.

However, it seems to me you are doing an awful lot of rushing around versus experiencing la dolce vita.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 06:41 AM
  #3  
 
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Your challenge for this trip will be transportation. I would train to Salerno from Rome and then book a driver to Ravello.
FYI, Capri is an island and is at least 2 hours from Ravello.
I love Ravello, but it is quite isolated.

How do you plan to get to Mykonos? That will not be easy and may take an entire day--if you get an early start. I suggest you get a good guide book for the AC, and check on flights fom Naples to Athens. This trip is all about travel logistics.
I hope your TA is good.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 06:48 AM
  #4  
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Our travel agent has worked out our travel for us. We are flying from Naples to Mykinos. It will take us from about 9 AM to 5pm to get there with travel, so about a whole day!

Ravello is not set in stone - any other suggestions? And my apologies - I know that Capri is an island...maybe I was mistaking it for Positano?

Thanks again for the suggestions!

Allie
Allie50 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 07:05 AM
  #5  
 
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I am not trying to highjack this post, but we are thinking of a similar trip (although Rome and AC only) for 2014.
Regarding driving on the AC, is late May / early June considered high season? Would it be a bad idea to drive at that time? Thanks
xyz99 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 07:11 AM
  #6  
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I have NO idea, but that is what nytraveler said! And feel free to highjack the post! The more the merrier .

Also, I have never been to AC, so ANY information, suggestions, etc. are MUCH appreciated!

My fave place in the world is Cinque Terre, but I'm trying to do something different!

Allie
Allie50 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 07:20 AM
  #7  
 
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I would not drive that time of year---too much hassle to park etc. Here is some more info that may help. I prefer booking a driver to/from Naples for travel logistics:

NAVIGATING on the AMALFI COAST
HOW TO GET THERE: You have to want to—it may not be easy. The best option is to land in Naples, but that is not always feasible. Most travelers access it from Rome by train to Naples—a trip of less than two hours. Once in Naples, you have a choice. The local commuter train, Circumversuviana, leaves from the same train station and takes about an hour to SORRENTO, with a possible stop at “ Pompeii Scavi” to see the famed ruins. However, to access any of the coastal towns you must then take a SITA bus or a taxi.

The best option is to hire a private driver to meet you at the Naples station or airport and take you directly to your hotel. Expect to pay about 100E.
www.cuomonet.it www.tourofitaly.com www.francescomarrapese.com
www.angelodriver.com

WHERE TO LOCATE & WHAT TO SEE: Ah, what not to see? This is the most stunning scenery in all of Italy---be sure to pack the camera. Your daily activities will be somewhat determined by your location. SORRENTO is really on the Bay of Naples and not the Amalfi Coast [AC], but is the most convenient location for day trips to Pompeii and the Isle of Capri. The town is larger & relatively flat. In contrast, POSITANO is the most spectacular village on the AC but is almost vertical and a real challenge for your legs.
Hotel choices in Positano should be evaluated by their location in town relative to the beach or position on the hill above the beach. AMALFI & RAVELLO are other popular destinations but are further down the coast.

NOTE: Any of the drivers above can be hired for day trip excursions but should be booked well in advance. Expect to pay about 35E/hour.

Here are my top five activities for this fabulous coast:
• Seeing the coast from the water---the best option. Hire a boat and pray for good weather—here is one www.gennaroesalvatore.it

• Day trip to Capri by hydrofoil from Sorrento or Positano—in season

• Day trip to Ravello by local bus or driver. This lovely village is high above the coast with great views---see Villa Cimbrone.

• Day trip to Pompeii. Plan on spending 4 hours to see it well. You can take the commuter train from Sorrento or hire a driver.

• Shopping for ceramics and sipping LIMONCELLO. The latter is not to be missed---I still have it almost daily at home after dinner.

WHERE TO EAT: I hope you like seafood. Here are some of my favorites:
* In Positano: Da Vincenzo Buca di Bacco Da Constantino

* In Ravello: Cumpa Cosimo Villa Maria

* In Sorrento: Trattoria Da Emilia L’Antica Trattoria
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 07:28 AM
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I also was a bit surprised by the travel involved with the places you are going as I do think some of the logistics from Italy to Greece will be more than I would want to try to plan (or experience) in your time frame. But hopefully the travel agent has it so you will not be too frazzled. I do love your choices apart from the logistics involved.

Back to Rome - I think staying in Trastvere will be fine - true, it is not tourist ground zero, but you can get around to those places easily enough on public transportation. When we visit Rome we love to go to that area, usually just for dinner but it would be fine to stay there - LOTS of pleasant, mom and pop restaurants and some nice outdoor piazzas as well.

As for the Amalfi coast, IMO Ravello, Amalfi, Positano are very nice for chilling out and relaxing. If you want to sightsee the area, Sorrento might be better. Capri can be a nice (long) day trip but I like to spend a few nights there. There is enough to do for a very pleasant 3 day stay so that could be your option for that part of your trip.
suec1 is online now  
Nov 29th, 2012, 07:56 AM
  #9  
ekc
 
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I think Trastevere would be a great area to stay in Rome. Lots of great restaurants and a fairly close walk or bus ride to the ancient sites (well, most of Rome is ancient!).

I am not sure Ravello is the best choice for your stay on the Amalfi Coast. It is actually not on the water, but is a 20 minute bus or taxi ride WAY up the hill from Amalfi. So if you want to see anything other than Ravello, you need to bus or taxi down to Amalfi, then get to your next destination from there.

With your limited time, and given the fact you are flying out of Naples, I would suggest staying in Positano and sightseeing from there. You can take the train from Rome to Salerno and then a ferry (if they are running) from Salerno to Positano. If the ferries are not running, then you can take the train from Rome to Salerno and then take the bus to Positano. Or you can take the train from Rome to Naples, then a separate train to Sorrento and then a bus or driver to Positano (or driver from Naples to Positano). If you search this board you will find TONS of posts on how to get from Rome to the Amalfi Coast.

Getting from Rome to your hotel in Pos will take most of the morning, so after you check in you can have a leisurely lunch and spend the afternoon wandering the town. Highly recommend a tour with Christine at www.discoverpositano.com. Great way to learn the history of Positano. I had a great dinner at Tre Sorelle right on the beach - really good pizza and pasta.

The next day you can take the ferry to Capri and spend the day sightseeing and then back to Pos. Take the bus or a taxi and have cocktails on the terrace at Hotel San Pietro at sunset and then have dinner back in Pos - and maybe a little dancing at Music on the Rocks.

On your last day on the AC, you can take the bus to Amalfi and spend the day exploring Amalfi and Ravello. Depending on the bus schedule, you may be able to have dinner in Amalfi. We had dinner at Lido Azzuro in Amalfi and then had a driver take us back to Positano.

The next morning you will have to leave Pos VERY early to catch your 9 a.m. flight - you have to be at the Naples airport by 7 a.m. at the very latest, so I would book a driver to take you from Pos to the airport, leaving plenty of time for traffic - at least 1.5 hours, which means you are leaving your hotel at 5:30 a.m.

You DO NOT want to rent a car on the AC - terrible traffic and parking is scarce and expensive. You will be fine with the ferries and buses. Hopefully you will have some time for relaxing on a beach when you get to Greece!
ekc is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 07:58 AM
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Bob doesn't seem to like staying in Amalfi, which many of us prefer because it's more of a real Italian town. Ravello is too remote a place to stay. It's great to visit though, wonderful views back down to the coastline.

And if you haven't driven in Italy before, I wouldn't start on the Amalfi coast. The road is carved into the cliff side, very narrow with lots of hairpin turns -- and with the Mediterranean a steep drop below. Parking along the coast is very hard to find and expensive. You can travel along the coast by bus or boat.

As for staying in Rome, we prefer the area around the Piazza Navona/Campo dei Fiori/Trevi Fountain, especially for a first-timer visit. Here's where I'd stay: www.albergodelsenato.it.

Of the hotels on your list, Tripadvisor reviewers really like the first two, are not quite so enthusiastic about the one in Trastevere. Weirdly the first two are not to be found at booking.com.
Mimar is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 08:12 AM
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Fod food - I suggest you check out the Italy board on chowhound. There are several Italian based members who post there.

Also for food/life in Italy stuff, check out Katie Parla www.parlafood.com and Elizabeth Minchilli www.elizabethminchilliinrome.com Both are Rome based ex-pats they also have smart phone apps that are great for finding restaurants.

I also like the revealed rome blog.
johnnyomalley is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 09:52 AM
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WOW thank you all SO much! Maybe we need to reconsider Ravello is what I'm hearing from this! I will look into Positano!
Allie50 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 10:05 AM
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I stayed at the Hotel Majestic in 1999. It was a nice hotel, but the mattress was terrible. However, they have renovated since then. I like the Via Veneto location, though. Last time I was in Rome I stayed at the Excelsior, also on Via Veneto.

I agree with the recommendations about not staying in Ravello but rather, maybe, Positano. I would try to go to Ravello to visit, though. It is lovely, and the views from Villa Rufolo, and especially Villa Cimbrone, are stunning.

I am interested in your post as I am in the planning stages for a trip to Naples, Capri and the Amalfi Coast later next year. I would be spending nights in Naples, on Capri and in Positano.
Delaine is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 10:14 AM
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can't help with the amalfi section, and i've never stayed at any of your rome selections, mainly because they are none of them close enough to the centre for me. the first two are more or less in the same place near the borghese gardens, thus quite a long way from most places you'll want to be for a first visit, and the 3rd one, although technically in Trastevere is not close enough to the centre to avoid a lot of walking.

I agree with mimar and would go for somewhere near the pantheon or piazza navona. there's a recent thread on just that subject or www.venere.com is very good at showing you what's available for your dates in different areas of a city. you can also select by facility and price. then tell your travel agent where you want to go.
annhig is online now  
Nov 29th, 2012, 10:48 AM
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I like Amalfi,but find the hotel selection to be narrow.
But, if you want to splurge, this place is fabulous:

http://www.hotelsantacaterina.it/en/index
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 11:16 AM
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We have had a car in the AC in late May - but:

We had a hotel in Sorrento that had private parking

We were using the car to drive to Pompeii, to Naples and to towns down the coast. (We didn't have any problems with driving - but we are used to NYC - that is searching for a place to park and parallel parking in places barely larger than the car - no mall type parking.

If you are staying in the middle of the coast be sure your hotel has parking (rare) or they can provide it nearby (don't expect it to be cheap).

We had a car since we were in the middle of a road trip. If you are doing the same it makes sense. But I wouldn't rent a car just for the AC.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 11:33 AM
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On hotels in Rome, option 2 on the via Veneto, that would be further that I'd want to be. We enjoy visiting the Piazza Navona, Campo dei' Fiori, Pantheon almost every evening for drinks and people-watching, so we prefer to be closer to that part of the city. We've stayed several times at Residenza Canali ai Coronari, which may be a little below the price point you're looking for.

On our last visit to Rome, this fall, we stayed in Trastevere, at Relais le Clarisse, because I love that area. It was a delightful area to be in, but for us, it was a little too far. It was 20 min. from our hotel, walking, up to Piazza Navona. And there is a tram you could take, but it doesn't go the whole way up to the Piazza Navona area. The hotel you're considering in Trastevere would be a bit further from the central part of historic Rome than the place we stayed. That being said, I felt that Trastevere was less touristy, and had lots of fun cafes and restaurants. On our last day, also, we stopped at a neighborhood gourmet (mostly cheese) store and stocked up for a meal on the return plane trip, and at a neighborhood pasta store for fresh pasta to take home and have for dinner once we were back to our regular lives.
Lexma90 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 02:06 PM
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Just FYI Positano is super hilly - be ready to walk up and down alot of steps. If you rent a car, which I would not, be sure the hotel has parking available (probably for a fee). If you plan to use public transportation be aware the bus does not extensively cover the town - again many steps! Positano is very picturesque but IMO it is not conducive to sightseeing the area. I am fairly mobile, walk about 15 miles a week, but those hills would just spoil staying there for me. I'd opt for Sorrento, Capri or maybe Amalfi.
suec1 is online now  
Dec 7th, 2012, 12:22 PM
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My two cents...do not drive in AC area. My husband and I went a few years ago and by the time we reach our hotel in Positano we both needed an i.v. hookup of wine. We have driven over many parts of Italy but we found this to be very stressful.

In Rome we always stay at Hotel Smeraldo which is a very simple, affordable and wonderful hotel that is walking distance to just about everything. We love that area ad will be back again in October.

We too loved Ravello but not sure we would stay there as others have said. If yo do stay in Positano, don't miss out on the villages above and some restaurants in Montepertuso (I believe that is the proper spelling).

Sounds like a wonderful trip.
mikster is offline  
Dec 7th, 2012, 03:48 PM
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The third hotel that is in Trastevere gets excellent reviews on www.booking.com.

We have rented apartments in Trastevere on three occasions and rented apartments in Testaccio, just across the river on two occasions. Transportation from Trastevere via the #8 tram is easy, dependable (runs at least every 10 minutes and usually more frequent), and fast (it runs on dedicated tracks so traffic doesn't affect the time). The end point is Largo Argentina which is close to Campo dei Fiori, Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon.

Besides the abundance of great restaurants and enotecas, it's also so pleasant because most of it is pedestrian. There is a good tourist office there, too, near the first or tram stop in Trastevere (on right side of Viale Trastevere). Isola Tiberina is accessible by bridge from Trastevere and then you can cross over another bridge and arrive in the Ghetto section of Rome, another fascinating area that is mostly pedestrian.

Testaccio is very popular with young people for its clubs. It appeals to people of all ages for its authentic feel and a place where Italians live. There aren't many tourists there. There is an excellent market there, too, which has recently relocated to a new location on Via Galvani. I haven't been to the market in its new location but is estimated to be about a 1/2 mile from the previous location.
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