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What is the road like to drive from Rome to Sorrento?

What is the road like to drive from Rome to Sorrento?

Jan 29th, 2007, 11:05 PM
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What is the road like to drive from Rome to Sorrento?

I have heard about the road along the Amalfi coast (it is frequently discussed on this forum) but what is the road like on the other north side of the peninsula driving out to Sorrento?

Traveler2 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 02:14 AM
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It is the autostrada from Rome - a regular highway with places to stop to get a bite to eat. The road narrows and gets a bit curvy after you take the exit to Sorrento - but the views are beautiful!
Marianna is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 01:51 PM
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Marianna: Is it easy to drive? Is it narrow? (That is the comment everyone hears about the Amalfi coast drive.) Have already decided I am not driving the Amalfi coast, but I thought I have read other postings that said the drive to Sorrento was easy???

Do you have any idea how long it takes to drive to Sorrento from the outskirts of Rome? Michelin said 3 hrs. but I thought I heard someone say 2 1/2 hrs.

Traveler2 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 03:50 PM
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Hi Traveler2, I don't remember the amount of time but the drive between Rome and Sorrento is easy, or at least it always was when my husband drove (he loved driving in Italy).
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 04:28 PM
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For most of the trip you would be on the autstrada - a modern multi-lane divided highway.

The last distance (from past Naples to Sorrento) is still a major road but not a divided highway. Parts are cut out of the side of the hill but you aren;t near a drop off and the road has shoulders all the way if my memory is correct. Certainly not something anyone would hesitate to drive on.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 10:16 PM
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Thank you for your help.

The part I had concern over is the road after Naples, on the peninsula. I am relieved to hear that it is not that bad and NOT narrow. It definitely factored in where to rent a car.

Traveler2 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 01:20 AM
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Hello Traveler2, my husband did all the driving. He seemed fine with it - no problems. It took us about 3 hours or so to drive from Rome to Sorrento. We did not rush - just kept up with the flow. Will you do this drive in the daytime or at night? I think it would be difficult, being your first time, to drive it at night.

Make sure you take the correct exit to Sorrento - it is shortly after Torre Annunziata. I can't remember the name of the exit, but I will post if I find it.

The ride through Naples (a big city), Ercolano (Herculaneum), Torre del Greco (my mother was born here), Torre Annunziata, is not what you might expect - not the lovely Sorrento pictures you have seen - but interesting in its own way. However, once you pass Torre Annunziata, as you drive onto the Sorrentine Peninsula and into Sorrento, the views of the Bay and Vesuvious are wonderful!

I love visiting this whole area - connecting with my family in Ercolano and finding places my grandparents, mother, aunts and uncles spoke of when we were all very little. I love hearing the music and songs which were so much a part of all our family gatherings.

Have a wodnerful trip!
Marianna is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 01:41 AM
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Hi T,

See www.viamichelin.com and www.mappy.com for your route.

The AC road is not all that difficult. It's major problem is that it gets clogged by tour buses.

ira is online now  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 02:29 AM
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The exit shortly after Torre Annunziata is:
Castellamare di Stabia/Sorrento

Marianna is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 04:02 AM
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The road between Napoli and Sorrento (after the toll booth, and before you get to the Castellemare di Stabia/Sorrento Exit, but after Napoli is a couples of Lanes wide, and divided.
Depending on the time of day and the season, it can get crowded, but in my experience, is usually moving along. Then once you take the Castellamare exit, the road is a more narrow, passing thorugh towns with parking on each side, so if it's your first trip, try to arrive during daylight hours, it will be easier to negotiate, and as has already been said, the views are fantastic. There are a couple of spots where one can pull over, stop, and enjoy them. Coming into Sorrento proper, it gets very crowded, and moves alowly. On my first time entering Sorrento by car, I had a private driver, and he had a fender bender with a tourist vehicle.
I did the drive from Fiumicino, west of Rome, to Sorrento, and it was about 3 hours, no husband to drive, so had the wheel to myself.

Marianna- what a wonderful experience you must have had!
Feb 3rd, 2007, 05:28 AM
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More specifically:

After you get off the autostrada and pay the toll, you'll be on SS145, a limited-access viaduct (elevated roadway), but with only two lanes (one in each direction). It's very straight with no exit, so traffic moves pretty well (at around 90km/h), unless someone decides to drive the speed limit of I believe 60.

After ~2.5km, the road comes to a split. The signs are very small and impossible to see at night. Bear left for "Gragano". [Go right, and you will end up in the middle of Castellamare's traffic.] Last time I check, there's no sign there that says "Sorrento".

After the split, you'll continue on a viaduct, and then through a very long tunnel that bypasses Castallamare. After you get out of the tunnel, the scenery starts to look good, and you'll be soon be next to the water, passing the Crowne Plaza hotel. Very easy drive, through this part, traffic moves okay, the roadway with shoulder.

About 5km after you get out of that long tunnel, you'll come to Vico Equense. There's another tunnel bypass here. After this tunnel, the roadway gets narrower and more winding. No more shoulder, and a couple of relatively sharp turns, some hotels and restaurants at Seiano. Traffic will be slower here.

About 2.5km after that Vico Equense tunnel, you'll be at the water again, on the cape before Sorrento. Soon, you'll have the first glance of Sorrento, and there are a couple of vista points with parking so make sure you stop there and take pictures like this one I took:


Very soon, you'll get into the horrible traffic of Sorrento. That part of town is also very unattractive. Just keep going and eventually, you'll get to the nice parts.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 06:06 AM
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Bellastar, it was truly wonderful! The first time we went, we took our mothers (mine and MIL)with us. My mother left Italy when she was 12 and saw it again 55 years later. That was 18 years ago. It was an amazing visit! The second trip they took with us, they were both about 80. We go just about every year, but they are no longer able to travel as they did so they enjoy the pictures of our trips and talking about the things they remember.

Rkkwan, thanks for being more specific than I was for Traveler2. That Castellemare exit is tricky - we once ended up in Salerno because we went right by it - it was night time and that made it even trickier. I forgot about the tunnels but I do know of those stops to take in the gorgeous views. We have pictures at the same spot since our son, now 30, was 12 years old!

Happy travels, Traveler2!
Marianna is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 07:13 AM
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Hi Marianna, How wonderful for you and you mother to share such a homecoming! A real blessing. This area is such a favorite of mine, for the place and also the people with their intelligence, humor and wonderful music.
I'm about to take my own Mom to Italy (first time for her) and she is just over 80. I'm trying hard to figure out how to make it a great time for her (of course windering about the steep stairs, etc.)!
Feb 3rd, 2007, 07:32 PM
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Thank you so much for all of your help!

Rkkwn, you have no idea how much your directions will help us. You really know this area! What gorgeous pictures. I cannot wait to go!!!

Marianna: How I envy you of having your roots from this area! (And also going to Italy every year) Do you speak the language? I am taking my grand.d. on her first trip to Europe and I have bought her Italian language tapes. After looking at Rkkwn's pictures, Sorrento appears to be quite level, not what I was expecting. When I saw that it was near the end of the peninsula, I just naturally assumed it was rugged and steep like the Amalfi coast. It is very beautiful, but then everything I have seen of Italy is!

Bellastarr: I am thrilled to learn you drove this area as I will be in the same situation; no DH driving. I am picking up the car in downtown Rome and have had real concern regarding driving out if it also, but some great Fodorites like yourselves have given some great advice also, so I think we will survive! The downtown location was the only place I could rent a GPS, so hence the drive out of Rome.
I am driving out of Rome before noon and we will be there in Mar. Did you drive in Rome?

I think we will take a bus so that we can see the Amalfi coast. Does anyone have any comments one way or the other on taking the bus? I would love to take a boat/ferry but I doubt they will be running.

Again thanks to all of you!
Traveler2 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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monica007 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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Since your driving question is answered, unless you already know where you plan to be, consider finding a great restaurant on a terrace overlooking the Bay of Naples with a view of Mt. Vesuvius. It is an amazing view that you really want to savor at the right place.
Jul 17th, 2007, 02:53 PM
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From suburban Rome to downtown Naples it's the A-1 autostrada, which is typical highway driving. (You'll need to take some surface streets and expressways from central Rome first to pick up the A-1 though).

From Naples to Castellammare it is the A-3 autostrada, which is narrower and more congested than the A-1. From Castellammare to Sorrento it is a two-lane road that is very congested from Meta to Sorrento. The road goes through several long (2-3 km) tunnels. It's curvy but no hairpins or motion sickness IIRC.

All in all it's about 3 hours plus traffic and pit stops.
tdyls is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 08:17 AM
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Oh, ComfyShoes, you are so right. What a view it is! We went to Lake Como, SML, and the French Riviera this time (just got back) and loved it but now I am missing Sorrento and that beautiful view of Vesuvious across the Bay.

Traveler2, I just saw your question today. I understand Italian far better than I can speak it. When I was little, I could carry on a pretty good conversation in Italian with my mom, dad, gradparents, aunts, uncles, who could speak both Italian and English (grandparents mostly spoke Italian to us though). When we went to school, the teachers told my parents to stop expecting us to speak Italian - imagine that! Anyway, when I am in Italy it does come back to me and I actually surprise myself that I remember the language.
Marianna is offline  

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