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Timing for Pompeii, Amalfi & Capri late June

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Jun 10th, 2016, 01:33 PM
  #1
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Timing for Pompeii, Amalfi & Capri late June

I'm helping out my sister with trip plans to Sorrento. I haven't visited Sorrento/Amalfi region in high season, and need some advice to pass on. They arrive in Naples via train Thursday evening and are renting a car to drive to Sorrento for 4 nights. While there they want to visit Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, and Capri. What is best order? I have given her some info about the Circumvesuviana for Pompeii and SITA bus and red coast to coast buses for Amalfi. Myself I would maybe say Pompeii first day since that will leave them a little time also to orient themselves in Sorrento, then one day take a bus to Amalfi, then maybe ferry Amalfi to Positano, then bus back to Sorrento, then one day ferry to Capri.

How busy are the buses/ferries? Any tips for them that I can pass on? Is it worth them trying to drive on coastal road and stop in Ravello too? Is there parking? I would be put off from driving myself by info in forums and suggested the bus. But maybe I'm wrong?

any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
palatino82 is offline  
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Jun 10th, 2016, 01:43 PM
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The first advice would be to tell them NOT to rent the car. You yourself just described an itinerary that would not make use of a car, and I agree with it. If they are arriving via train to Naples they can just switch to the Circumvesuviana to get to Sorrento. If they arriving very late, or have too much luggage they could probably hire a driver for much less than the cost of renting the car for several days. Driving and parking all around the area will be a major pain at that time of year.

For the Amalfi/Positano day trip I like to take the bus one way and the ferry the other in order to best experience the views both from the road and the water. Buses are crowded mid day so if they can manage the 8am that's best - I've always gotten a seat on it (sit on the right side of the bus heading from Sorrento towards Positano/Amalfi). I like to go all the way to Amalfi, bus back to Positano. Then boat back to Sorrento from Positano.
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Jun 10th, 2016, 02:03 PM
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If they really want the car I would advise picking up the car in Sorrento rather than Naples. Take the Circumvesuviana or a taxi (100.00 euro) from Naples Centrale to Sorrento.

We enjoyed having a car while there but my husband is a very good and very calm driver. The driving wouldn't be for everybody.

There was plenty of parking in Ravello and we found parking in Amalfi as well. We parked in Amalfi and took the ferry to Positano for the views from the water.
It is best to have as small a car as possible.

We took the Circumvesuviana from Sorrento to Pompeii, that was easy. I'd advise going early in the day before it gets too hot.
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Jun 10th, 2016, 02:08 PM
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Take the money they would have spent on the car rental and parking, and hire a driver to explore the Amalfi Coast one day. That way they're not bound by timetables in any direction and can easily see what they want to see, like Ravello. AFAIK, the last ferry from Positano to Sorrento doesn't depart very late in the day, although I agree that the views from the ferry are lovely.

I don't think it matters much which order they do things other than possible weather considerations. The Pompeii excavations are completely out in the open with almost no shelter from rain (or sun) and more dirt than paving. The artifacts found at Pompeii are housed at the archeology museum in Naples, so, depending on their level of interest, they may want to combine Pompeii with a visit to the museum.

Orienting themselves to Sorrento would take an hour, tops. Unless you really mean shopping.
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Jun 10th, 2016, 04:04 PM
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Capri..the funicular you take up to town from the marina will be less crowded at lunch time. We stayed there for four nights and when we arrived mid morning, we waited 45 minutes in line for funicular..and we already had bought our tickets. When we left at noon four days later, there was no line down or up.
To get away from crowds once up in the town center, follow signs for Giardini Agosto and Punta Tragara. Walking between the two on pedestrian walkways with sea views is beautiful and out of the crowds.
In Sorrento, have a meal down at the fishing marina,Ristorante Bagni Delfino, great seafood. Another good place for dinner is Ristorante Tasso.
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Jun 10th, 2016, 05:19 PM
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Why do they need a car? They will be sitting in gridlock traffic along the Amalfi Coast road, it will cost 30 euro to park anywhere - no free parking - and places like Ravello are pedestrian villages. Lately in Positano there have been traffic police directing people straight along the coast road and not allowing them to drive into Positano - as the place was literally full.

I would even question staying in Sorrento, quite frankly. It is also packed with tourists and it is far easier to get around to Pompeii, Capri and the Amalfi Coast from Naples.
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Jun 10th, 2016, 05:45 PM
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kja
 
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You've gotten some great advice already! I'll just chime in to say that I agree that they would be better off without a rental car. And one small quibble -- depending on their interests, it could be difficult to visit both Pompeii and the Archeological Museum in Naples on the same day. I know I wouldn't have had time for both, and I visited both from Naples itself! But maybe they will, and I wholeheartedly second the recommendation to visit the museum.
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Jun 10th, 2016, 05:53 PM
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In high season the car is not very useful - and they would have to find one of the few hotels that provides parking - or find a garage and pay for overnight parking.

We drove up and down the coast from Sorrento an loved it - but it was mid May. In high season that road is pretty much bumper to bumper at about 10 mph - and the buses are usually mobbed - sometimes to the point of no room for people to even get on - and with lots of people standing. At tht time of year the bus is hell - and I would use ferries instead if at all possible.

As for Pompeii I would watch the weather and try to find the coolest day (if there is one) since the site has little shade and gets VERY hot. We arrived when it opened and stayed about 3.5 hours - our limit - then went back to our hotel in Sorrento and spend the rest of the afternoon in the cool indoors or using the pool.
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Jun 11th, 2016, 02:30 AM
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We enjoyed having a car while there but my husband is a very good and very calm driver. The driving wouldn't be for everybody.>>

not even the locals - when we went to Sorrento with our italian class, we had 2 minivans to take us from Naples airport to Sorrento and when we stopped to get petrol I thought that the drivers were going to come to blows! the traffic was really bad, even in February and even though I'm experienced at driving on the continent [as some of us older brits quaintly refer to the rest of Europe] I wouldn't consider driving there.

My other suggestion is to schedule any trip to Pompeii as early in the day as possible and not to be too ambitious - as nyt says it can be extraordinarily hot there; I had had enough after a couple of hours and that was in February.
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Jun 11th, 2016, 07:04 PM
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Thanks for all the advice and especially for the suggestions of times when things are more crowded. Personally I didn't understand the rental car either, but they seemed happy to go with their travel agent's suggestions.

I appreciate the tips and look forward to passing on the details so they know a little better what to anticipate.
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Jun 11th, 2016, 07:56 PM
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Palatino,

Their travel agent is an idiot and has obviously never been to the Amalfi Coast in summer.

The buses will be impossible. If they do stay in Sorrento and start a SITA bus ride down the coast from there, they may have a chance of actually getting on. Maybe not the first bus, they may have to wait an hour or so for the next one.....

Returning from the town of Amalfi, they should definitely take the ferry. There would be very little chance of getting on a bus, and if they did they would be sorry!
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