You will be using the Circumvesuviana Regional Railway System, called by locals as Vesuviana.

There are two stations served by the Circumvesuviana in Naples : Porta Nolana and Stazione Garibaldi. Porta Nolana is the main station for the Circumvesuviana and is where all the lines start from. Garibaldi is the station underneath the Napoli Centrale train station and it is the most convenient for all that must connect to and from the FS (Ferrovia dello Stato) Federal Railway System (eg. Trains from Rome , or Florence etc).

The Circumvesuviana System is serves all the areas that surrounds the Mount Vesuvious and beyond  reaching places like Sorrento , Baiano and Acerra. The trains are very simple and it can call them quite old, but ready enough to transport a lot of users on a daily basis.

There are no reservations on Circumvesuviana trains as they are considered regional. They have several compartments, some spaces for luggage (very basic) and regular seats (no cushions or anything). You can enter any wagon and seat anywhere. If travelling at night, suggest to use the first wagon and close to the conductor, front area of the wagon.

Tickets… well, tickets are sold at the train stations, newsstands and tobacco shops. They look like a small electronic ticket that has the information UNICO as it is the link system through regional trains and other means of transportation. There are several types of tickets and if you are traveling for more than 3 days within the area, highly reccommended is to read the other inside pages regarding Ticket 3 T Tourist Travel Ticket - Here is the link:

If you are staying in Sorrento for a few days,the suggestion is for you to take the 3T ticket that is the most convenient thing. You can also purchase, aside form all these typologies above, the regular ticket fare Napoli-Sorrento that runs at 3,30Euros each way.

W The machine will add a date and time to your ticket. Keep the ticket always with you and show to the authorized train personnel  whenever asked for. There is magnetic stripe that you must keep in mind so you do not mix with credit cards or ATM or together with your Ipods etc… hen you take the train you will have to take place the ticket in the machine that controls the entrance gates to the trains.

The train stations have platforms (binari) and you can take the train to Sorrento by checking on the boards (looks like those airport boards).  Attention as they might change platform at the last minute.

Naples to Sorrento is very easy to find as it is Capolinea, means the train ends and starts in Sorrento (from/to Naples ). The trip takes approximately 1h15min.

The trains to Sorrento runs every 30 minutes more or less. There are 2 types of train: Diretto and Diretissimo.

The Diretto stops in every single station until Sorrento, the Diretissimo is a bit shorter in time (15 minutes less) as it stops in less stations than the other one. The Direttissimo is marked as DD after the schedule so you know.

The trip to Sorrento is along the Coast and you will stop at Pompeii and Herculaneum stations as well as enjoying the Sorrentine Peninsula coast, go through tunnels. It is quite an adventure. If you like to read, bring a book or maybe have your Ipod ready. The train station are marked with signs that are blue written in white. The train has an electronic display with the upcoming stations and the majority of the trains to Sorrento have the PA system where they say the name of the upcoming station in Italian and English.  However, the PA system is very hard to hear, so pay attention.

Inside the train, there are, sometimes, a few people begging for money (especially gypsies). Do like you never heard them and do not open wallets around.

It is safe, but being attentive is important. Leave the Rolexes and diamonds at home. Keep your large quantity of money and passports with you (in an inner pouch maybe) and spread smaller denominations of euros – bills and coins – in different pockets of your clothing, great tip for facilitating your trip, looking a professional traveller and being safe.

Upon your arrival in Sorrento , you will find a bus stop, taxis and the main street within walking distance. Also buses to the Amalfi Coast (SITA buses) are there as well. The train station in Sorrento has stairs, an elevator, restroom facilities, a café, a newsstand and the ticket office. Ah, and a waiting area !

Additional recent information:

If travelling TO NAPLES/NAPOLI and wanting to arrive at the main Naples Train Station - Centrali - (where the big Europe high speed trains are) then you must get off the Vesuviana metro train at the correct stop in Naples.  This is NOT the last stop in Naples.  Also note that some escalators and elevators (lifts) are not working so you may need to haul heavy luggage up / down the stairs.  Large heavy luggage is allowed on the Vesuviana metro train, but you may need to keep it in the articulation sections where the entrance doors are since they won't fit in the overhead luggage racks - but keep your eye on them or stand with them in case they get feet and walk off.  There are also sometimes bad people that have either spit on the seats or have other bodily fluids that don't smell too good on the train floor.  If so, then just move to another car.  Think of this train as more like a NY subway or a Chicago El or a Rome Metro Train or a London Tube Train, that is to say not clean like a Denver / Phoenix Light Rail train or U.S. Amtrak.  But the price sure does beat taking a ferry to Naples Port and then still having to take a taxi 10 miles through busy Naples to the Naples Centrali Train Station.

 Additional notes:  Have your camera ready when you pass through the Meta & Seino stations.  Vico Equense main station is worth a 15 minute stop.

Wikipedia article -

Official Link - English and Italian -