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Train to Sorrento

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We will be in Tuscany with a rental car in late August - early September staying near Greve in Chianti as our base. What would be the best way to drop off the rental and catch a train to Sorrento without having to back track to Florence. We returned a rental car to Florence in 2012 and would prefer to not do that again!

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    You could return the car at Chiusi train station, or at Orvieto. The rental agencies in both places are closed on Sundays, and take long lunch breaks on other days, so make sure you know what the hours are.

    Chiusi is a shorter drive, but a longer train ride, so the total travel time is the same. Mostly slow regional trains serve these stations, and the fast trains from Florence to Rome don't make any intermediate stops. It's an hour and a half drive from Greve to Chiusi station, and then about a 3 1/2 hour train ride, with a change in Rome, to Naples. From Orvieto, add half an hour to the drive, and subtract it from the train ride.

    Finally, the Circumvesuviana commuter train from Naples to Sorrento takes from an hour to an hour and a half. This is a commuter train and is often very crowded in the late afternoon.

    An alternative would be to take a bus from Rome's Tiburtina bus station to Sorrento. Almost all trains from Chiusi and Orvieto stop at Tiburtina, and it's a short walk from there to the bus station. There is one bus to Sorrento a day, at 3 PM, getting to Sorrento at 7 PM. It doesn't run on Sundays.

    Here is the site for train schedules.

    http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=4ddd1a035296f310VgnVCM1000005817f90aRCRD

    As you start to type the station name, the correct station should appear, and you have to select it by clicking. The stations would be Chiusi-Chianciano Terme (or Orvieto), and Napoli. If you want to take the bus to Sorrento, the station should be Roma Tiburtina.

    As I said, most of the trains serving Chiusi and Orvieto are regional trains, and these tickets are sold only a week in advance if you buy online. If you use a date further out than that, it will tell you the train isn't available. There's no advantage to buying these tickets online, though. It's better to buy them at the train station. Both Chiusi and Orvieto stations have ticket windows open from early morning to early evening. The tickets have to be stamped in a machine in the station or at the trackside before you board the train; this is very important, as they are open tickets, which can be used for two months, and if they're not stamped, they're not valid tickets on that particular train.

    You can see the bus schedule to Sorrento here:

    http://www.surrentum.com/orari/autolinee-per-e-da-roma/

    The Circumvesuviana train from Naples to Sorrento runs very frequently, and there's no need of a schedule. It's not a Trenitalia train, so Sorrento is not a valid choice as a destination on the Trenitalia web site. The Circumvesuviana station is in the the same station where the Trenitalia train arrives; just follow the signs, and make sure you get the train going to Sorrento, which is the last stop on this train.

    I myself think I'd prefer to take the bus from Rome to Sorrento, although I've never taken it. Since the bus leaves Rome late in the day, you could perhaps have a quick look at Orvieto before turning in your car (in order to have a place to leave your luggage).

    I think you could also take the train all the way to Naples, then get a taxi to the boat dock and take a boat to Sorrento, but I know nothing about this possibility.

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