Train from Naples to Sorrento

Old May 12th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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Train from Naples to Sorrento

The five of us will be traveling in July on one railpass. We will be going from Rome to Sorrento. I understand we can use the pass from Rome to Naples (I still have to figure out which train to make reservations for - why does this have to be so complicated?) Does the railpass work for Naples to Sorrento? Is that some different train line? Will we have to purchase tickets when we get to Naples? And since the reservation thing is making me crazy - could someone tell me how far in advance I need to reserve? Days or weeks or can it be done right before you get on the train?
Thanks for any help you can give.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 02:17 PM
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(one of) Rome to Napoli train line is operated by the Trenitalia that accepts rail passes. However, there is a surchage and a required reservation in using this train. See http://www.ricksteves.com/rail/pdfs/reservations.pdf under the entry EUROSTAR ITALIA, ALTA VELOCITA,LE FRECCE. The "other" highspeed operator, Italo train, is a private entity and does NOT accept rail passes. There are frequent trains on this route.

The Napoli to Sorrento train is operated by a different entity called Circumvesuviana that does not accept long distance train passes. http://www.eavcampania.it/web/ It is 4.10€ one way. Since it is a commuter train, there is no provision for reservations. However, depending on your transportation and museum needs in the area, you might benefit from Campania Arte card, especially the 3 day version that includes all area buses and trains http://www.campaniartecard.it/.

So you realized the complication in using a pass in Italy. Additionally, what you find is that if you can buy advance train tickets, they come with deep discount as well as compulsory reservations all in one. For this reason, many experienced visitors to Italy don't bother with rail passes if the trips are entirely in Italy. I always get a pass for Switzerland, most time in Germany, sometimes in France, but never for Italy.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 03:31 PM
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Thank you for your help. Yes, this is very confusing.

"if you can buy advance train tickets, they come with deep discount"

This is not what I'm finding. Am I not booking far enough out? The railpass through Rick Steve's will cost us $1260 (5 travelers/4 days/1 country). Three of my four trips require reservations so I'll assume $15 x 5 travelers x 3 trips=$225 That makes my cost with pass and reservations $1485. When I use the treniltalia itinerary scheduler my cost comes to $1850. What am I doing wrong? Do the big discounts only work for three months out? Two of my trips only became available for booking this week.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 04:20 PM
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What Trenitalia itinerary scheduler? AFAIK, Trenitalia doesn't have any such scheduler.

Trenitalia is still loading summer schedules (they start June 9th) and may not be finished for another week or two. Without knowing your actual itinerary, it's hard to tell you what prices/discounts you could get. Would also need to know age of travelers as there is a family discount depending on age. Basically, you can get advance purchase tickets on the fast trains for as little as 9€ which includes your seat reservation. For travel between the main cities (Venice/Florence, Florence/Rome, etc.) you are more likely to snag 19€ tickets on fast trains. You could also use Italorail instead where 20€ tickets are quite common for these routes. They've been in business about two years so the trains are quite new. They don't offer as many trips per day as Trenitalia though.

Your math is saying you are spending $297 per person for four trips (FYI- if you don't need seats on one day then the trip is probably really cheap - maybe a few euro). Even paying full fare on these main routes (about 43€ between Florence/Rome, Rome/Naples, etc.), you would not spend that much. 43€x4=172€ Current exchange rate 172€ = $223. You are losing money with your pass.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 09:48 PM
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Not sure what you're using to look up prices etc, but I find this the easiest place to start...

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD

Here's a screengrab example - for the morning of 16 July, on the Roma Termini to Napoli Centrale journey, with 5 adult passengers....

http://www.pbase.com/image/150160189

I've arranged for it to open up the details of the 09:45 FrecciaRossa (train 9505), to show the cost of those 5 tickets in the various classes.... which ranges from €95 with the Super Economy deal in Standard (more than adequate for the 70 minute journey), through the more "transferable" Base tickets (at 215 Euro in Std), all the way to a rather ridiculous €495 in the grandest, Executive, seats...

(Note that once the set number of Economy and Super Economy tickets have been sold, they're gone... and also that those can no longer be bought on the day of travel... only the "Base" version!)

By way of contrast, you'd presumably pay €50 just to make the rail pass reservations?

Look back at the previous entry, the 09:39 Intercity, you'll see that - although slower - you could travel for less than the pass reservations cost!

If you're not accustomed to using public transport, the Circumvesuviana might be a little daunting... and perhaps it's an idea to apply those savings to being driven from the station in Naples direct to your accommodation in Sorrento? Indeed, for €30-40 per extra hour, you might even have the vehicle wait whilst you visit Pompei, or the smaller site of Herculaneum, along the way...

Peter

(PS: It's just a quirk that the Trenitalia site lists Sorrento - there's usually a high-summer package which covers the train down to Naples, a shuttle bus to the city harbour and then a hydrofoil across the Bay... 2013 details, if it's running at all, still T.B.A. ! The slightly narrower-gauge Circumvesuviana has never been "adopted" into the national rail network)
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Old May 12th, 2013, 10:04 PM
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As a PPS: On checking...

http://www.ricksteves.com/rail/italy.cfm

... isn't the only way 5 passes would come to $1260 with a price of $252 - for 3 days of "1st Class Saver" travel, not 4?

Peter
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Old May 15th, 2013, 06:48 PM
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wow! It's amazing that I only posted that 3 days ago and I'm soooo much wiser now - thanks mostly to you guys and all your help. I have pretty much given up the idea of a rail pass. At this point I'm just struggling with whether or not to prebook the trip from Rome to Naples. Probably bite the bullet and book the later train to get the good price and if we're ahead of schedule we'll just find some place to hang near Termini to kill time. Any suggestions on good places to eat very close to the station?
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Old May 16th, 2013, 12:22 AM
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Bearing in mind that these discount schemes are aimed at shifting tickets which might otherwise go unsold, with - apparently - fewer available than in the winter "round", don't spend too long mulling it over!

Whilst you should be able to get tickets at the "Base" fare right through to the day of travel, cheaper ones may well disappear quickly....

That said, looking again today at that same 16 July, one sees some interesting changes....

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/image/150223938

... as there are now Premium class "Super Economies" available, at €105 for 5.

In detail, four of those are at the rock-bottom summer level for Freccia trains, just €19 - with the fifth at the offer's next price, €29.

If absolutely sure you'd be able to catch whichever train you book for, I'd suggest getting a move on to secure the best deal - and, for relatively short trips such as this, Standard should be fine...

I trust though that this isn't for the day you're flying in - you'd have mentioned that by now, surely?

For what's to be found within Termini station...

http://www.romatermini.com/en/

But before you book, do also check what's on offer from Trenitalia's recent rival - Italo Treno... whose trains leave from the Roma Tiburtina station, to then arrive at the same Napoli Centrale station down here!

Details etc on....
http://www.italotreno.it/EN/Pages/default.aspx

Peter
http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde
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Old May 16th, 2013, 05:49 AM
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Dear A_Brit,

Well, yes, the Rome to Napoli leg is the day we land. AirBerlin says we'll be at Fiumicino 11:30, we have no checked luggage so I'll assume the flight is late and it takes 1 hour to get through customs, use an ATM and get to the L.E. - that puts us on the 1:35 out of Fiumicino. 30 minutes to Termini ... I could book the 12:45 to be safe but we might end up standing around ... what to do? You seem awfully knowledgeable, maybe you can answer this: If I purchase the economy or super economy ticket and I miss my train can I still use the ticket and just rebook a reservation? If that's the case I could book an earlier train. Or if you can only change reservations before the train departs I could book later and purchase seats for an earlier train if we get through in good time. Do you know?

Seems like I'm obsessing about this but it's going to be a veeery long first day and I want to take care of whatever I CAN take care of ahead of time. Oh, maybe this matters ... at least for this first leg I will be booking 1st class, my dad is 83 and that little bit of extra comfort will be good for him after a tough night.

Thanks so much,
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Old May 16th, 2013, 06:50 AM
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"I could book the 12:45 to be safe"

of course I meant the 14:45 ...
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Old May 16th, 2013, 07:14 AM
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You have to allow time for the flight to be late -- though that's less likely coming from in Europe. Immigration can take a long time, depending on how many flights have arrived at the same time. But most flights from the US arrive earlier in the morning.

Re: your original question about getting from Naples to Sorrento, the train for this route is a local commuter train, the Circumvesuviana, so not covered by any (non-local) rail pass. You catch the Circumvesuviana in the basement of the main Naples station, buying the tickets there. (Make sure you get the train to Sorrento, as there are other destinations.)

This same train stops at Pompeii (Pompei Scavi) en route to Sorrento. So it's an easy trip back to Pompeii from Sorrento.
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Old May 16th, 2013, 08:05 AM
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And since the reservation thing is making me crazy - could someone tell me how far in advance I need to reserve? Days or weeks or can it be done right before you get on the train?>

I have used railpasses a lot on Italian trains and have never ever had any problem making the mandated seat reservation once in Italy - even right up until the train - as greg says there are so so many trains.

So if flying especially when you do not know exactly when you will land I'd say just wing it - you can easily make any reservation right at the train station in the airport with your pass.

For lots of great info on Italian trains I always spotlight these fab IMO sites - www.ricksteves.com (as you say you used to price railpasses, which it appears are not the best bet if traveling just inside Italy) and www.seat61.com (good info on discounted tickets) and http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id12.html.
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Old May 16th, 2013, 08:47 AM
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For more info about trains from Naples to Sorrento go to http://www.eavcampania.it/web for a circunvesuviana.
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Old May 16th, 2013, 09:20 AM
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Hi again!

The rules for the various ticket types are here...

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...003f16f90aRCRD

... but there's only very limited scope for changing Economy tickets (which has to be done before the train's departure), and none at all with the SuperEconomy!

...........................

You can book tickets ahead, or just buy them on the day... although those with pre-purchase discounts are only available until the day before, or until their limited numbers have all been sold (which is very likely to happen first)... after which your choice will only be the "Base" level in any class.... as it therefore inevitably is if changing an Economy ticket on the day!

Were it my wife and I, we'd wait and buy the tickets once at Fiumicino.... but if my 80+ yo mother came over from London, we'd probably pause in Rome - and then calmly train down the next day.

Especially having now looked at your other thread, with your father insisting on 1st class to Naples, do at least consider having a driver take you from there to the eventual destination in Sorrento... after everything else he'll have been through, I doubt that finishing with the Circumvesuviana and then maybe a taxi as well would be a very good idea..... for any or all of you!

We've friends who come over from New York most summers, and they've found this a relatively painless way to get here...

http://www.meridiana.it/offers/offer...UP_CALENDAR=0#

Peter
http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde
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Old May 16th, 2013, 11:00 AM
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Maybe I missed it, but is there a reason you aren't flying Berlin to Naples?
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Old May 16th, 2013, 11:57 AM
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Yeah. I'm an idiot.

Going into one airport and out of another added about $150 per ticket, with 5 people and all the other costs throw in I saved close to a thousand but I don't think any of family is going to be speaking to me by the time we get to Sorrento.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 12:48 AM
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Hopefully, very soon after arrival, all you'll be hearing will be the "wows"!

But that really is quite a trek..... if I've now pieced it together correctly, you're 5 people hoping to be carrying only hand baggage, thus:

Home to airport, check-in etc
Fly USA to Berlin... 8 hours or so, land early July 9th
2 hr layover, fly Berlin to Rome FCO... c.2 hrs, land 11:30
Train FCO to Rome Termini... 30 mins maybe
Train Termini to Napoli Centrale... 70 mins
Change to CV train for Sorrento, an hour's ride
Taxi or walk to hotel or wherever...

What's that - a minimum of 18 hours?

As for buying ahead to get your Premium tickets for €105 (rather than €250 on the day, or €215 in Standard).... obviously, the longer the safety margin you allow, the lower the chance of that money being wasted and having to pay full price as well?

Whilst the immediate vicinity of Termini isn't gorgeous, when fresh and unencumbered it's only a short walk to Piazza della Republica, where there are some pleasant cafes and restaurants with views of the spectacular fountains:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attract...ome_Lazio.html

.... lively, if a little "trafficy" - although perhaps embarrassingly TOO near the station for taking taxis?

But as I suggested before, if it were us, we'd buy tickets at the airport on the day - and push on to Naples!

.........................

Just as an idea of the cost for a transfer from Napoli Centrale, try...

http://www.amalfi-drive.com/fares.html

We've not used any of them, but lots of firms offer something similar - with those based in Sorrento or on the AC likely to be a little cheaper. You'll find a list in one of the posts here:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTop..._Campania.html

Peter
http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde
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Old May 17th, 2013, 07:57 AM
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after everything else he'll have been through, I doubt that finishing with the Circumvesuviana and then maybe a taxi as well would be a very good idea..... for any or all of you!>

yes especially the CircumVesuviana which, a commuter train, can always be very crowded - no first class I believe on that train.

Other than that I think going first class to Naples for a party of five with an oldster is a great idea - much much more relaxed and bigger seats, free coffee and snack at seat, fewer seats in the car - easier getting off, and on and on... 2nd class ain't a cattle train but for the trip of a lifetime go first class (or at least put th 80-yr-old in first class!
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Old May 17th, 2013, 11:07 AM
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You people are so sweet ... thank you for not jumping in and agreeing with the "I"m an idiot" line."

Soooo , the saga continues ...

I'm emailing with AirBerlin to see if I can cancel the Berlin - Rome leg of my ticket and just book a separate ticket from Berlin to Naples. There's a $166 flight that would work and then I can save the $100 or so in train tickets from Fiumicino to Naples ... and the old man might not hate me as much. I just need AirBerlin to cooperate and they are not answering my emails.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 10:24 PM
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Hope that works out for you - good piece of lateral thinking!

From Naples Capodichino airport, there's a very convenient bus service (usually 10 "runs" per day by high season) that nowadays leaves from outside the "Departures" building, at just €10 per person.

See this - which drones on a bit, but covers all seasons (eventually):

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTop..._Campania.html

...and this, for finding the stop:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/alibus

Fingers crossed for you!

Peter
http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde
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