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Southern Italy travel

Grand Rapids...
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Southern Italy travel

Looking for some assistance with a 'home-base' location.

We are hoping our 2 week vacation will consist of relaxing beach side, walking to see some of the sites, drinking great wine, tasting local fare & mingling with locals. We may rent a car so we can drive along the coast.

After arriving from Rome, we are thinking of taking a train to Napoli where we will rent a car (THOUGHTS about this??).

First stop will be Capri. Should that be a day trip or overnight stay?

Other stops: Amalfi Coast: how many days, where to stay for day trips?

Cilento Region: same questions

Ending our trip in Sicily. Again, looking for more natural beauty than crowded touristy areas. Ideally, we'd like to leave our rental car in Sicily & take a (non-sight seeing) train back to Rome for our flight out.

Any suggestions would be appreciated and helpful! THANKS!

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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1. Re: Southern Italy travel

When do you plan to arrive?

If you also plan to depart from Rome, end in Rome to better position for your departing flight.

Avoid driving in Naples as well as the Amalfi Coast!

You can easily take a day trip from the Amalfi Coast to Capri, but Capri is at its best in the early morning and evening once day trippers depart.

Two weeks may seem like a long time, but it really isn't for so many destinations.

Rome, Amalfi Coast then Sicily:

tripadvisor.com/…47999276

And avoid train travel south of Naples – Train service is shoddy in Southern Italy and Sicily.

Palermo to Rome:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g194726-i1382-k624…

Vagabonda

Grand Rapids...
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2. Re: Southern Italy travel

THANK YOU SO much for your quick response.

We arrive in mid September (for a two week stay) Arriving & departing out of Rome.

We do not plan to tour Rome or Napoli at all.

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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3. Re: Southern Italy travel

Prego goldieallard,

Have you already purchased your airline tickets?

Ideally you would open-jaws your route.

You could book a single straight-through transatlantic (one itinerary) ticket to Sicily - Your luggage would continue straight-through to Sicily, and if your flight were delayed on arrival in Rome, the airline would place you on the next outbound flight.

And then return from Naples if you don't plan to see Rome.

Perhaps of interest - Getting from Sorrento to Sicily:

tripadvisor.com/…43535104

If you already have your tickets or if you plan to arrive in Rome because you're using miles for your tickets, and you decide to day trip to Capri from the Amalfi Coast, you might also take the train from Rome to Salerno instead of Naples.

Vagabonda

Grand Rapids...
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4. Re: Southern Italy travel

Yes, tickets are purchased & cannot be changed!

We have no need to go to Napoli, so perhaps we can by pass all together.

What is your reasoning for not driving the Amalfi Coast?

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Southern Italy travel

September is high season and the AC road is heaving with gigantic tour buses, regular buses and zillions of tourists - it is a two lane not very wide road and it can take forever to get one place or another and it is not a fun driver (except if OFF season) - you crawl along, you have to stop and negotiate with buses coming in your direction (backing up, moving over, etc) - it's just a drag and pricey - (very) to park - if you find parking.

During that time of year it is more pleasurable to travel along the coast via the sea. You could arrive in Salerno from Rome via train and get the ferry to the Amalfi Coast. So beautiful and stress free. You can also take boats over from Amalfi or Positano to Capri; how long you spend there depends on what you want to see there and how you want to spend your time -

I love it and have spent full weeks at a time there enjoying swimming, hiking, relaxing, wandering - www.capri.net for info about the island - That site includes a link to info about the ferries over to the island but it won't yet have the info up for the trips until sometime in summer and you need to periodically check to see if the schedule has changed just before your trip.

The AC will be packed with people; the Cilento coast is becoming more popular but is still not the tourist magnet that the AC is - sitting around schmoozing with the locals in the AC villages is not all that common as most people you will meet/see are tourists or people working in the businesses.

I had that opportunity when I went a few years ago in March and then again in late October - things had slowed down and it wasn't as crowded and I know a bit of the language so I was able to enjoy some of those encounters more than when going in the September/early October.

Book very very soon for September.

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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6. Re: Southern Italy travel

Grazie mille MomCat1992! :-)

again with the car! - Check TAB's link!

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g194863-i286-k60…

Vagabonda

Edited: 7:03 pm, March 14, 2013
New York City, New...
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7. Re: Southern Italy travel

Oops - I had taken that as sort of a general question. Apologies!

(hope all is well V)

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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8. Re: Southern Italy travel

Yes, all is well MomCat1992 - Hopefully with you as well!!

Thank you, but there's absolute]y no need for an apology - These are open forums and also your area of expertise!! :-)

Vagabonda xox

9. Re: Southern Italy travel

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Edited: 4:37 pm, March 16, 2013
Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
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113,608 posts
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10. Re: Southern Italy travel

It’s nice to have options, and we all travel differently!

Some find trains fascinating, but others who have done this route found the ride monotonous, boring, and not overly scenic.

These threads objectively discuss those experiences.

tripadvisor.com/…35779234

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g187782-i162-k57…

slowtalk.com/groupee/…167002575001

tripadvisor.com/…46707523

tripadvisor.com/…46707967

September is hot in Sicily, and there’s never guarantee of working air-conditioning on trains, and even if the air-conditioning is working, it’s often not sufficiently cool, and the air-conditioning is turned off during the crossing.

tripadvisor.com/…42315970

Belfastgirl23 is not a keen flyer but has written an objective report describing her experiences on the night train to Sicily, but afterwards Belfastgirl23 wasn’t sure she would do it again - Night Trains:

tripadvisor.com/…41590146

With few exceptions, buses are preferred to trains in Sicily, but the route along the coast from Messina to Siracusa is one of the exceptions. This route is one of the more reliable services in Sicily. The train runs along the coast, and if it’s not cloudy, there are views of Etna.

Unfortunately the route along the northern coast has been named one of the 10 worse in all of Italy.

Le 10 linee ferroviarie peggiori d'Italia.

Legambiente: "Pendolari abbandonati"

repubblica.it/ambiente/…

http://goo.gl/pJKv6

The train does not reflect the Sicilian way of life – Sicilians avoid travel by train whenever possible!

Surely the train has its place, as does flying, and taking ferries – Just know what to expect when you make the decision that’s best for you!

Vagabonda