Venice to Amalfi Coast in one week

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Nov 26th, 2007, 11:00 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Venice to Amalfi Coast in one week

At the suggestion of “dorkforcemom”, frequently represented on this blog, I am writing a condensed version of our 7 day trip to Italy. As she was very helpful to me, I hope I can help others with our tidbits. Air France from Seattle to Paris on Oct 9 and then on to Venice, arriving in Venice the afternoon of Oct 10. We found the best passage to our hotel, Locanda Correr was the Alilaguna line water transport (12 euros). It is the way the locals travel and it was great as we traveled light, and our hotel was walking distance from the San Marco/San Zaccaria stop. Exit the airport to the left, walk a fairly long but flat distance to the pier (follow signs) and buy the ticket there. Don’t buy a ticket at airport booth unless you want a bus to Venice. The ride is less than an hour and is a wonderful way to see the canals. We chose the hotel because it was well priced, stayed only one night, wanted to be near San Marco, walk to the Rialto Bridge, and be near the vaporetto (local water taxi service). It is a lovely quiet place and well located but is up 2 long flights. We were in a small room one more floor up with tricky stairs down to a beautiful bathroom. Not for the faint of heart but classic Venetian style and great for our short stay. We knew the access was quirky when we booked it. All the hotels had decent breakfasts and the service was very good. That evening we walked to Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Bridge and ate dinner and heard wonderful music played by street musicians. Next morning we returned to San Marco for a cappuccino, bought a day pass for the vaporetto and covered a lot of ground before leaving for Rome by train. Using the maps in the water taxi stops it is easy to get all over Venice by the water transport, but leave enough time, as there are many passengers and many stops. The maps tell you how long each trip takes, and some boats stop more frequently than others. We took our last vaporetto trip to the train station easily with our bags, ate lunch near the station and took the Eurostar Italia (fastest) train to Rome the afternoon of the 11th. We rode first class and it was great. We bought tickets online at Trenitalia in the US, printed them out and they were all we needed for the conductor. Very short trip to Venice: would definitely return.

We arrived at the huge central train station of Rome (Termini) and got a cab at the taxi stand out front (don’t go with cabs who solicit you). Yellow and white cabs are honest and will get you where you need to go. We stayed at the Hotel Julia, where the room was quite small but clean and comfortable with a good bathroom, elevator and breakfast. Centrally located near the Piazza Barberini and the Gallery of Ancient Art, close to a metro stop and we used the metro to get around very easily. There is an excellent restaurant next door where we ate twice (Amatriciana style) and many others close by. Next morning we walked to the Termini to purchase a Roma Pass, which allowed us unlimited Metro and bus use for 3 days and free entrance to 2 museums and discounts to historical sites. Well worth the money and the packet is self explanatory (18 euro). We found Rome amazingly easy to get around and walked to many more places than we thought possible. We took the Metro that morning from the Termini with our passes and saw the Coliseum, Roman forum and Palatine Hill and the Vatican (only the museum and Sistine chapel as the line for St Peter’s was way too long with mass that afternoon), and we walked to the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona that evening before dinner. Next morning we walked to the Pantheon and went inside (a must) and then to the Jewish Ghetto and Teatro Marcello. Then we walked to the Piaza Venezio, Trajan’s market, toured the National Museum of Archeology (fantastic) near the Termini. (Near Baths of Diocletian) Can’t begin to mention everything we saw on our walks. Took the metro to the Spanish Steps, then back to our hotel area for a wonderful lunch at the Olympia Restaurant where we sang songs with some local folk, got our bags and headed back to the Termini by cab and left for Naples late that afternoon.

We traveled second class to Naples and it was different than first, but it was fine for the short trip. An ES train with pre-purchased tickets, but as our ultimate destination was the Amalfi Coast, we arranged for a driver to pick us up in Naples and take us to Sorrento, (90 euro) because the train from Naples would have taken forever. I highly recommend this driver, as professional, punctual and reliable. He is Francesco Marrapese and he has a website. His email is [email protected] . He was unable to meet us but sent a reliable and friendly colleague, but we used his services again later that week.

We arrived in Sorrento the evening of Saturday, October 13th and began our Amalfi coast adventure. We stayed in a fantastic hotel, the Antiche Mura, which had the most incredible breakfast. There is no water view, but there was a beautiful marble porch, gardens, and a deep ravine with an ancient mill. The hotel is centrally located in Piazza Tasso and walking distance to shops, small groceries, sandwich shops, restaurants, the port and the train station. We stayed in room 202 which was much larger than we ever expected with all the amenities we could want. The bay of Naples can be viewed from many places so it’s not always necessary to have a “room with a view” unless it is really what you want. On Sunday, we visited the Correale Museum (great view), the port and ate in a wonderful family restaurant, Zintonio. Monday we bought sandwiches from the market across the street and rode the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii (3.6 euro round trip) and then went to Herculaneum as well. I recommend both sites if you can manage it. The combined entrance ticket is 20 euro. Herculaneum is smaller, quite different, and worth the trip. I am told the museum in Naples is wonderful, but we did not have time for that. When returning from Herculaneum there are two trains going south and we got on the wrong train and headed to Sarno instead of Sorrento so we had a little adventure, but it was fun, and we easily got back to the correct train with a little help from the locals. The next day Francesco took us for a 6 hour tour of the Amalfi coast in his minivan. The trip is indescribable, and was worth every euro (45/hr) (see his site). Definitely beats the large tour buses. The local buses are great but crowded and take more days than we had to meander. That night we ate our first disappointing meal at a Fodor recommended restaurant, La Favorita. It was very commercialized and nothing special. We left early the next day, October 17th for Rome and flew off to our next destination. We would go again in a heartbeat and would try to stay much longer and see even more!!!!!
mom5fay is offline  
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Nov 27th, 2007, 06:41 AM
  #2
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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HI M,

Thanks for sharing.

Please, though, break up future reports into shorter paragraphs.

My eyes go blurry with large blocks of type.

ira is offline  
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Jan 6th, 2008, 06:42 PM
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thanks for the info!
jaylaveglia is offline  
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Jan 6th, 2008, 06:54 PM
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Mom5fay, thanks for the trip down memory lane, including the same error on the Circumvesuviana that I made on our first trip there!
Jean is offline  
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Jan 6th, 2008, 07:45 PM
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We also got on the wrong train, heading TO Herculaneum. We ended up all the way in Paolo and were terrifed we'd be stuck there without our passports... Good report!
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