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Transportation Help for Italy Trip

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Feb 28th, 2014, 03:25 PM
  #1
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Transportation Help for Italy Trip

Hello fellow travelers,

My husband and I will be taking a trip to Italy in May. Rome for 3 days, then traveling to the Amalfi Coast for 4 days, then back to Rome for our flight out. Here's my proposed travel from Rome to the coast: Train from Rome to Salerno and then water taxi to our hotel in Praiano, which is right on the water. Here is my question.. while researching trains and schedules I see that Italo (the newer privately owned Ferrari train) embarks from two places in Rome: Roma Ostiense and Roma Tiburtina. Does anyone have experience with this new train? Does it matter which train station I embark from? The Italo site lists them both as options to go to Salerno. My Rome B&B is centrally located, next to the Parthenon. I had assumed I would be traveling from Termini, but I see this is not the case with the high speed trains, at least with Italo. My next question concerns taking the train either to Naples, then taking a boat to my destination in Praiano or continuing the train to Salerno and taking the water taxi. I thought maybe taking a boat from Naples would enable us to see more scenery and be on the water. Anyone have experience with this and can offer advice? Thank you very much in advance.
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Feb 28th, 2014, 03:42 PM
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Ostiense or Tiburtina makes little difference - Tiburtina is a more proper station - bigger - metro goes to either so it don't make much difference. Better than hectic Termini IMO.

Boats Naples to Sorrento to Praiano is a long boat ride and may not be possible in May? You can take the Circumvesuviana train from Naples train stations to Sorrento then a bus or boat to Praiano.

I see no reason to get off the train in Naples - Salerno is much much closer to Praiano than Sorrento.

Ostiense and Tiburtina are about equal distance from the Parthenon - just a few miles each.

There are the Amalfi buses outside the Salerno train station if boat schedules are not conducive to your arrival time - and a lot cheaper - one of the world's most thrilling bus rides along this tortuous coast.

For me Praiano would be too remote from places like Capri or Pompeii if those are in your plans - long commutes - Positano, a perpetual favorite of many here is much closer. But if wanting to go to Paestum - the remarkable Greek archaeological site then Praiano is much closer. Amalfi the town is not too far and is a gem - be sure to go up to ravello for the superb view.

I walked on a great path from Amalfi up to Ravello and its was so sweet - the path - thru orchards and vineyards passing local farmers tilling the soil, etc. I walked down a different way totally thru vineyards overlooking the sea on zigzag paths with again locals tending the vines.

Buses of course also scoot up to Ravello - a nice if for Amalfi sleepier town and the tremendous views!
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Feb 28th, 2014, 04:04 PM
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Italo is fine as far as the trains go, but the two stations it serves in Rome are rather inconveniently located. Tiburtina in particular is a pain to get to, and you'd probably end up going to Termini station to get a train or metro to Tiburtina. Ostiense station is a little more convenient, but not much. You could take the tram to Trastevere station and get a train from there, but there are probably buses that go there as well. From the Pantheon (the Parthenon is in Greece), Termini is the easiest to get to, and hectic or not, that's the station I would prefer, all things being equal.

I would agree that taking the train to Salerno makes the most sense.
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Feb 28th, 2014, 06:17 PM
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I've taken a taxi from central Rome to the Tiburtina station and, although I don't remember the exact cost, it wasn't expensive. I agree with others- train to Salerno and then boat or bus. No need to go through Naples.
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Feb 28th, 2014, 07:15 PM
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Two thoughts!
I would not break up your Rome stays but go right to the AC on day one.

I do not think the ferry lines stop in Praiano. I would get to Naples and hire a private driver to Praiano---perhaps 100E.
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Mar 1st, 2014, 08:49 AM
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You used to be able to reach Praiano with the Metro del Mare, a public boat service, but Bob the Navigator's post reminded me that last year they drastically cut back the service. I just checked, and in 2013 there was no service to Praiano, so you certainly can't count on that.

Given that, I don't know whether it would be better to take the train to Naples or to Salerno. If you pay a private driver to take you to Praiano, Salerno would certainly be much closer than Naples. If you rely on public transportation, from Naples, you would take the Circumvesuviana train (about 1 hour) to Sorrento, followed by a bus. From Salerno, you would take a bus, changing (I think) in Amalfi.
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Mar 1st, 2014, 12:56 PM
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I do not think the ferry lines stop in Praiano. I would get to Naples and hire a private driver to Praiano---perhaps 100E.>

No take the train from Rome right to Salerno - no reason cost wise or timewise to get of at Naples much farther away - from Sorrent you can get a taxi, private driver (arranged) or the Amalfi Coast buses.

Salaerno is the only place you should take the train to. Forget all about Naples - get a direct train to Salerno from Rome so all you have to do in Naples is stay on the train.
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Mar 1st, 2014, 06:20 PM
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Actully, the drivers are all based in Sorrento and getting to Salerno is a real hassle for them--and cost for you.

I spent a week in Praiano 3 years ago and used drivers for transfers twice to/from Naples---the dirty commuter train did not appeal to me. Bite the 100E and enjoy yourself.
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Mar 1st, 2014, 06:26 PM
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Circumvesuviana train is very sketchy. If you do take it, be sure to stop and see Pompeii on that route.
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Mar 2nd, 2014, 11:56 AM
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Well it would seem a simple taxi from Salerno to Praiano would be cheaper and quicker than a private driver from Naples - you make it sound like such a hassle to get to Salerno but there are direct trains from Rome.

Why need a private driver at all? Regular taxis I assume will be waiting at Salerno's train station or for an adventure hop the Amalfi buses for a few euros - I suppose it depends on what kind of budget they are on - money to burn yeh Naples and private driver - well why not a private driver from Rome itself?
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Mar 2nd, 2014, 01:57 PM
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For you, easier to do Rome to Salerno or Rome to Naples to Salerno directly by train.

While I have no problem at all with the Circumvesuviana line (have used it a number of times and enjoy being with a lot of local people), it would be logistically much easier for you not to go through Sorrento - too time consuming.

Me, even if it was a bit of a hassle getting to the station in Rome, I would opt for the direct train from there, and relax for the rest of the trip.
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Mar 2nd, 2014, 03:31 PM
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and if you take the frequent Amalfi buses the relatively short distance to Praiano you would save well over $100 by taking a driver car from Naples!
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 03:11 PM
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Thanks so very much everyone for chiming in here! Much appreciated. PalenQ--you are awesome posting links to this topic elsewhere--thank you! I have decided to take the high speed Italo train from Rome straight to Salerno, then the ferry if it's operating to Amalfi then the bus to Praiano.. or the SITA bus all the way from Salerno. Looks like the plan is shaping up and very doable. And I will do the reverse to get back to Rome for our flight out later that week. I am also looking for a private driver to take us to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Scafati, where my ancestors are from (right next to Pompeii). Thanks for the link on a possible tour guide/driver! I am buying the train tickets now (changeable ones) because I've learned the prices increase the closer you get to the travel date. Wish me luck with that process!
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