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Driving from the Rome Airport to the Amalfi Coast w kids

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Chicago
posts: 3
Driving from the Rome Airport to the Amalfi Coast w kids

Hello - my family and I (husband + two young kids of 4 and 1) are stopping over in Italy for 3 nights on our way from Chicago to Bulgaria. The plan was to rent a car, drive down to Positano, and stay at a rented house.

The problem is that I'm not sure how tangible that is, especially given that we'll be coming off of a long flight with two kids. Still, if the drive from Rome to Positano isn't a major challenge (confusing or with slow traffic), I think it's doable.

My questions are:

1. How easy is it to drive from Rome to Positano. (I do realize parking there is a problem, and I'm looking at vacation rentals where parking is included).

2. Alternatively, are there any wonderful spots closer to Rome, where we can head to instead? Given the small children, we're going to steer clear of Rome, and hope for a vacation-ey, non-touristy (though Positano is touristy), yet beautiful/relaxing feel.

Sorry if I sound completely in the dark (never been to Italy before), and thanks in advance for any tips!

Iskra

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 62,213
reviews: 12
1. Re: Driving from the Rome Airport to the Amalfi Coast w kids

1. It is a very bad idea to get off a long-haul flight and set off on a lengthy journey along busy and unfamiliar roads. It is some 275 km (170 miles) from FCO to Positano, most of it along busy and uninspiring toll motorway, with the last section along difficult winding road.

2. On the way south, you could have a stop by one of the lakes just south of Rome, at Castel Gandolfo for example.

South Australia
posts: 23,726
reviews: 12
2. Re: Driving from the Rome Airport to the Amalfi Coast w kids

Sperlonga south of Rome is a pleasant coastal and beach town, trains from Rome Fiumicino Aeroporto to Fondi/Sperlonga www.trenitalia.com Click on the UK flag for train times and fares.

Trenitalia trains Fondi/Sperlonga to Naples and Salerno

Car rental Naples or Salerno www.auto-europe.com www.autoeurope.it

Route planner www.viamichelin.com

Non EU citizens require an International driving permit for Italy

Traffic and ZTL info roninrome.com/transportation/driving-Italy

Amalfi coast ferries www.alicost.it www.coopsanandrea.com www.capri.net

Buses www.sitasudtrasporti.com Click on "Orari" for Campania bus times

Flights Rome to Bulgaria www.alitalia.com www.air.bg/en

Regional info www.italia.it/en/home.html

www.rome.info

www.amalficoastweb.com

Edited: 1:02 am, July 30, 2013
New York City, New...
posts: 29,559
reviews: 10
3. Re: Driving from the Rome Airport to the Amalfi Coast w kids

I agree - bad idea to get off that flight and take on a 3.5 hour ride, a lot of which is a narrow, winding road where you often have to stop and navigate to let buses pass that are going in the opposite direction. It is a stressful drive in the best of circumstances and a truly bad idea when tired and jet lagged.

And, for just three short days, I'd personally not do it - it may not look far but it takes much more time that one would imagine, given the challenging road.

If you haven't been to Rome before, why not just stay there - it is extraordinary.

Woodbine, Georgia
posts: 26
reviews: 1
4. Re: Driving from the Rome Airport to the Amalfi Coast w kids

Stay in Rome! It will be amazing and fun, buy the book on Amazon ,"Rome with kids! "if you insist on going to the Amalfi coast take a train! do not drive, especially with jet lag and children.We took our little ones all over Rome and had a ball! they loved the Zoo and The Piazza Navona, also the fountains were a big hit We just let them run around while having coffee or wine in The many Piazzas, with only three days, stay and enjoy this beautiful family friendly city!

Chicago
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, East End
posts: 3,407
reviews: 1
5. Re: Driving from the Rome Airport to the Amalfi Coast w kids

I did the drive after a long haul flight. Most of it is not windy narrow road most of it is highway. That being said the last 25 Km or so will take you at least an hour over the types of roads that Momcat describes. It is difficult driving and there is a good chance your kids will get car sick. No way would I take 2 kids down for Rome for 3 nights and then back up to Rome for a flight. Way too much driving. With all the driving on the Amalfi coast being difficult and stressful.

Stay in Rome or close by. Plenty to do there.

B.

Chicago
posts: 3
6. Re: Driving from the Rome Airport to the Amalfi Coast w kids

Seems like the consensus is against it... Thank you everyone for the tips. I will start looking for alternatives nearby - I thought Rome would not be a good option with kids, but I will check fo the recommended book, and take it from there.

Sadly we chose Italy over other countries for the Amalfi coast in particular, but I guess we didn't think through the details (3-hour trip sounds like nothing in general, but I agree is a different animal after a long flight with kids).

Thanks again

New York City, New...
posts: 29,559
reviews: 10
7. Re: Driving from the Rome Airport to the Amalfi Coast w kids

Nothing is stopping you from going - it is just the challenging driving conditions that is a very bad idea with jet lag; you could take the train to Salerno and then the ferry to Positano. This way you avoid the packed buses that travel along the coastal road and you can just enjoy the fast train to Salerno and the convenient ferry ride to Positano.

When are you going and what time is your flight arriving. Traveling via train and ferry would be (to me) a nice, relaxing way to travel on arrival day. That is, if you arrive early in the day to Rome - most flights from the U.S. do arrive in Rome early.

Edited: 2:44 pm, July 30, 2013
Chicago
posts: 3
8. Re: Driving from the Rome Airport to the Amalfi Coast w kids

We arrive at 8 a.m., but we will have luggage for four people (that we can try to downsize), and I just don't know that I can pay enough attention to execute the trip with the kids. They can be winey and have never been on a long trip before. In a way being strapped down in a car seat sounded better and more doable.

The once we're in Positano, we'll have to find our hotel or rental, and that seems to add more complexity. I was planning on getting a GPS (which I hear don't always work), and driving straight to the place.

Utlimately, I think it kinds of depends on how the flight goes (and the days/hours leading up to it), but if the kids don't sleep and don't let us sleep, I think it could be really really hard. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure if I have to, I can do it. Hm... It is a vacation though, so I was hoping for a relaxing time :)

Thanks again, I'll see how my husband feels about it (and about staying in Rome)

Iskra

Chicago
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, East End
posts: 3,407
reviews: 1
9. Re: Driving from the Rome Airport to the Amalfi Coast w kids

In all honesty it will be a terrible time getting your kids to the Amalfi coast from Rome. It is not an easy journey and no matter if you drive or take the train the last hour is on some very difficult winding road with a lot of car sickness potential. It is definitely worth it IMO especially if you are spending time on the Coast but to do it for 3 nights and then turn around and do it again is not a good idea. IMO there is much more in Rome for your kids (at least the 4 year old) than there is on AC although Europe with kids that age is always a struggle.

Good luck.

B.

Edited: 10:31 am, July 31, 2013
Coto de Caza...
Destination Expert
for Amalfi Coast
posts: 482
reviews: 20
10. Re: Driving from the Rome Airport to the Amalfi Coast w kids

No way should you drive with kids to the AC after a long flight. Hire a driver to the AC, yes. If you are stopping in Italy for the AC you might as well see it. But, the AC isn't terribly kid-friendly though. Up stairs, down stairs, traffic, narrow roads, rocky "beaches" may be better for another time. Why not a Tuscan hilltown if not Rome? Montepulciano or Pienza are an easy drive a little over 2 hours from FCO...and that area would give you a nice glimpse into the dream of Italy for a few days. Enjoy!